SAUNDERS, Thomas, of Coventry, Warws.
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Family and Education
?s. of John or Thomas Saunders (both graziers) of Coventry.
Sheriff, Coventry 1570-1, mayor 1579-80, alderman.
The Saunders family had been prosperous and prolific in Coventry since the mid-fifteenth century. Saunders himself was a grazier. He was frequently chosen by the city council for special duties, and served five times as burgess in Parliament. It is likely that he was the Mr. Sanders or Saunders who was put on committees concerning the Norfolk election (9 Nov. 1586), a learned ministry (8 Mar. 1587), merchant strangers (14 Mar.) and the continuation of statutes (20 Mar.). As a burgess of Coventry he may have served on cloth committees (14 Mar. 1593, 18 Nov. 1597 and 9 Dec. 1597), and on committees discussing forestallers and regrators (7 Nov. 1597) and maltsters (12 Jan. 1598). He was assessed highly towards the provision of troops for the musters and light horse for Ireland, and was one of those who complained that the city was unjustly burdened, ‘being much decayed and greatly pestered with poor, and daily charged with carts, carriages and posthorses, being the thoroughfare towards Ireland’. No will has been found, and the date of Saunders’ death has not been ascertained. In 1604 a croft was leased to a widow, Bridget Saunders.
B. Poole, Coventry, 371; T. W. Whitley, Parl. Rep. Coventry, 61; Coventry mayors’ accts.; Coventry hand bk.; Coventry bk. of payments, ff. 51, 58, 60, 68; Coventry council bk. ff. 189, 225, 226, 250, 279; HMC Hatfield, viii. 486; D’Ewes, 396, 413, 415, 417, 501, 552, 558, 570, 578.