The eldest son of Robert Honywood and grandson of Mary Honywood. He and head of a prominent Essex family, he was knighted in 1632. On the outbreak of the Civil War he declared for the parliamentary side, and was one of the Committee for Essex in 1648. In the same year, under the command of Thomas Fairfax, he led the Essex forces at the Siege of Colchester. In 1649, he was one of those named in the commission to try the King, but did not serve on the court. He also led a regiment at the Battle of Worcester in 1651.
Sir Thomas was elected to Parliament as member for Essex in the First and Second Parliaments of the Protectorate, and in 1658 was raised to Cromwell's new Upper House. However, he was distrusted by the hardline Puritans and considered "rather soft in his spirit". He retired from public life after the Restoration.
He married Hester (d.1681) daughter of John Le Mott, Merchant of London, on 13 May 1634 at All Hallows, London Wall, London. She was the widow of John Manning, Merchant of London (d.1635). His daughter Elizabeth Honywood married Sir John Cotton and his son was John Le Mott Honywood.
- Jacqueline Eales, ‘Honywood , Mary (1527–1620)’, Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, Oxford University Press, 2004; online edn, May 2014 accessed 1 Jan 2015
- Concise Dictionary of National Biography (1930)
- R. C. Latham & W. Matthews, The Diary of Samuel Pepys, Volume X - Companion (London: HarperCollins, 1995)
- Mark Noble, Memoirs of several persons and families... allied to or descended from... the Protectorate-House of Cromwell (Birmingham: Pearson & Rollason, 1784)