Thomas Bryan (Chief Justice)

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Sir Thomas Bryan I KS KB (died 14 August 1500) was a British justice.

He married Margaret Bowsey.

He was born to the son of William John Bryan "Briennie" Royal House of Bryan, although Thomas assumed the arms of Guy De Bryan when he became a person of some importance. It is suggested he went to university before beginning legal studies in the 1440s, becoming a student at Gray's Inn, progressing rapidly; by 1456 he was already a Bencher, and was acting as a Feoffee for the Inn. He was at this point serving as legal counsel for various London companies, including as a steward for St Bartholomew's Hospital in 1459.

He was appointed Common Serjeant of London in 1460, a position he held until he was created Serjeant-at-law in 1463, followed by a further promotion to King's Serjeant in 1470. After the accession of Edward IV in 1471 Bryan was made Chief Justice of the Common Pleas, and was appointed a Knight of the Bath in 1475. Bryan served as Chief Justice for 29 years until his death, the longest period of service up to that point.Sir Thomas Bryan, father of Francis, was a direct descendant of Engelbert I, Seigneur de Brienne, who died in 990. Thirteen generations later there was Lord Guy de Bryan, who did important civil and military services during the reigns of Edward III and Richard II.

He died on 14 August 1500, leaving a son, another Sir Thomas Bryan II , whose son Francis Bryan I became Lord Chief Justice of Ireland and was known as the "Vicar of Hell".[1]


  1. ^ "Oxford DNB article:Bryan, Sir Thomas". Retrieved 2008-10-04. (subscription required (help)). 
Legal offices
Preceded by
Sir Robert Danby
Chief Justice of the Common Pleas
Succeeded by
Sir Thomas Wode