Dictionary of Welsh Biography

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SALUSBURY , THOMAS ( 1561 - 1586 ), conspirator .

Born 1561 , elder son and heir of John Salusbury the younger and Katheryn of Berain . His year of birth is found in an englyn by William Cynwal , NLW MS. 1553 . His brother ( Sir ) John was b. in 1566 ( englyn by William Cynwal in NLW MS. 6495 , facing p. 1); in the same MS., englynion by various poets name five of his children.

He was admitted to Trinity College , Oxford , 29 Jan. 1579/80 at the age of 16 (he is not the same as the Thomas Salusbury who is mentioned by Foster , Reg. of Adm. to Gray's Inn , under the year 1573 ; cf. also D.N.B. ). After some time at Oxford , he joined the service of the earl of Leicester , his guardian and patron , and while in London appears to have become a Roman Catholic ; about 1580 he joined a group of lively young courtiers who favoured the cause of Mary , queen of Scots .

Early in 1586 Salusbury and another Welshman , Edward Jones of Plas Cadwgan near Wrexham , came under the influence of Anthony Babington who was plotting to murder Elizabeth , release Mary , and set her on the throne. The plot was disclosed to the authorities and Babington was arrested at the end of Aug.; Salusbury succeeded in escaping to Cheshire where, however, he, too, was arrested a few days later. He and the other conspirators were arraigned before a special court at Westminster , 13 Sept. , and Salusbury was found guilty of intending to raise a rebellion in Denbighshire should Babington 's plot be successful. In spite of his strenuous denial that he had any desire to murder Elizabeth , he was executed 21 Sept. to the terror and great grief of his family and his other friends in Denbighshire .

Salusbury had m., at the age of 10, Margaret , daughter of Maurice Wynn of Gwydir , his mother's third husband. Lleweni passed to his brother, Sir John Salusbury (d. 1612 ) .


  • Oxford Dictionary of National Biography and the authorities mentioned therein;
  • Foster , Alumni Oxonienses ;
  • D. Mathew , The Celtic Peoples and Renaissance Europe. A study of the Celtic and Spanish influences on Elizabethan history (1933) , 64-8;
  • A. H. Dodd , English Historical Review , 1944 , 354-5;
  • John Williams , Ancient and modern Denbigh a descriptive history of the castle, borough and liberties with sketches of the lives, character and exploits of the feudal lords (Denbigh, 1856) , 166-7.


Emyr Gwynne Jones, M.A., (1911-72), Bangor

Published date: 1959