Thomas Wilson (1524–1581), Esquire, LL.D.,   was an English diplomat and judge who served as a privy councillor and Secretary of State (1577–81) to Queen Elizabeth I. He is remembered especially for his Logique (1551)  and The Arte of Rhetorique (1553),  which have been called "the first complete works on logic and rhetoric in English". 
He also wrote A Discourse upon Usury by way of Dialogue and Orations (1572), and he was the first to publish a translation of Demosthenes into English. 
He was the son of Thomas Wilson, a farmer, of Strubby, Lincolnshire.  He was educated at Eton College under Nicholas Udall,  and at King's College, Cambridge,  where he joined the school of Hellenists to which John Cheke, Thomas Smith, Walter Haddon and others belonged. He graduated B.A. in 1546, and M.A. in 1549.  
Wilson was an intellectual companion to the sons of John Dudley, 1st Duke of Northumberland, especially with John, Ambrose, and Robert Dudley.  When the Dudley family fell from power in 1553, he fled to the Continent. He was with Sir John Cheke in Padua in 1555–1557, and afterwards at Rome, whither in 1558 Queen Mary wrote, ordering him to return to England to stand his trial as a heretic. He refused to come home, but was arrested by the Roman Inquisition and tortured. He escaped, and fled to Ferrara, but in 1560 he was once more in London. 
Wilson became Master of Requests and Master of St Katherine's Hospital in the Tower in 1561  and entered parliament in January 1563 as MP for Mitchell, Cornwall.  In 1571 and 1572 he was elected MP for London.
From 1574 to 1577, Wilson, who had now become a prominent person in the diplomatic world, was principally engaged on embassies to the Low Countries, and on his return to England he was made a privy councillor and sworn secretary of state; Francis Walsingham was his colleague.  In 1580, despite his being not in holy orders, Queen Elizabeth appointed Wilson Dean of Durham. He died at St Katherine's Hospital on 16 June 1581, and was buried next day, "without charge or pomp", at his express wish. 
In 1551 Wilson produced, with Walter Haddon, a Latin life of Henry Brandon, 2nd Duke of Suffolk and his brother Charles Brandon, 3rd Duke of Suffolk. His earliest work of importance was The Rule of Reason, conteinynge the Arte of Logique set forth in Englishe (1551), which was frequently reprinted.  It has been considered a derivative work, in English, of the Dialectica of John Seton which was circulated as a Latin manuscript before its publication.  
It has been maintained that the book on which Wilson's fame mainly rests, The Arte of Rhetorique, was printed about the same time, but this is probably an error: the first edition extant is dated January 1553. It is the earliest systematic work of rhetoric and literary criticism existing in the English language.  
The Arte of Rhetorique gives Wilson a place among the earliest exponents of English style. He was opposed to pedantry of phrase, and above all to a revival of uncouth medieval forms of speech, and encouraged a simpler manner of prose writing than was generally appreciated in the middle of the 16th century.  He was also opposed to "inkhorn terms"—borrowings and coinages from Greek and Latin—which he found affected. 
In 1570 Wilson published a translation, the first attempted in English, of the Olynthiacs and Philippics of Demosthenes, on which he had been engaged since 1556.   His Discourse upon Usury, which he dedicated to Robert Dudley, Earl of Leicester, his patron and former pupil, appeared in 1572. 
In his will proved in 1582, Thomas Wilson refers to his brother Godfrey Wilson of Durham, and calls Sir William Wynter his brother-in-law. He also had brothers Humphrey and William in Lincolnshire. He was first married to Agnes Wynter (sister of William Wynter), widow of William Broke of Ham in Essex: Broke died in 1562.   Agnes died in 1574. Wilson names one son and two daughters who were born of this marriage:
Sir Francis Walsingham, Sir William Wynter and Mathewe Smyth Esquire were appointed overseers to Wilson's will.
According to the Visitations of Essex, Wilson made a late marriage to Jane, widow of John Pynchon of Writtle, Essex, which is shown in the parish registers of Terling (Essex) at 15 July 1576.   The Visitations identify her as a daughter of Sir Richard Empson.   P.W. Hasler states that Jane died in 1577,  which would account for her not being mentioned in Thomas Wilson's will of 1582. However the register copy of Jane Wilson's will suggests it was written in 1587 and proved in 1588. Both John Pynchon's and Jane Wilson's wills   indicate a near relationship to Peter Osborne: possibly Jane was first the widow of Osborne's brother John, of Latchingdon, Essex, who had died in 1553. 
Admiral Sir William Wynter was an admiral and principal officer of the Council of the Marine under Queen Elizabeth I of England and served the crown during the Anglo-Spanish War (1585–1604).
Peter Osborne, Esquire, (1521–1592) was an English officer of state who was Keeper of the Privy Purse to King Edward VI, at a time when great constitutional changes affected the management of public finance. Of reformist sympathies in religion, his career was in abeyance during the reign of Queen Mary but regained momentum as Remembrancer in the Exchequer under Elizabeth, working usually to his marital kinsman Lord Burghley. He also sat in seven parliaments between 1559 and 1589.
Elizabeth Paulet was an English noblewoman, the daughter of John Paulet, 2nd Marquess of Winchester of Basing, Hampshire and his first wife Elizabeth Willoughby.
Sir Edward Bacon, of Shrubland Hall in the parish of Coddenham in Suffolk, England, was a Member of Parliament and an elder half-brother of the philosopher and statesman Sir Francis Bacon.
Thomas Cromwell was an English Member of Parliament during the reign of Queen Elizabeth I. His diaries of proceedings in the House of Commons are an important source for historians of parliamentary history during the period when he was a member, and Sir John Neale draws heavily upon them in his ground-breaking two-volume study of Elizabeth I and Her Parliaments (1953–1957).
Sir Anthony Wingfield KG, MP, of Letheringham, Suffolk, was an English soldier, politician, courtier and member of parliament. He was the Lord Lieutenant of Suffolk from 1551 to 1552, and Vice-Chamberlain of the Household in the reign of Edward VI.
Thomas Gerard, 1st Baron Gerard was a Staffordshire and Lancashire landowner and politician, a member of six English parliaments for three different constituencies. Although a prominent member of the Essex faction in the reign of Elizabeth I, he avoided involvement in the Essex Rebellion and received greater honours, including a peerage, in the reign of James I.
(Sir) Thomas Tasburgh, originally of South Elmham, Suffolk, afterwards of Hawridge and latterly of Beaconsfield and Twyford, Buckinghamshire, was a member of the English landed gentry, a magistrate, member of parliament, High Sheriff of Buckinghamshire, and officer of the Exchequer to Queen Elizabeth I. Although Thomas Tasburgh was not himself a Catholic recusant, his second marriage brought him into a wide sphere of Catholic kinship and association, and some considerable debts. Jane's daughter Lettice, who married Thomas's nephew John Tasburgh (V) of Flixton Hall, shaped the future Catholicism of the Tasburgh family.
Strubby is a village in the East Lindsey district of Lincolnshire, England. It is situated just north of the A157 road, 8 miles (13 km) south-east from Louth and 4 miles (6.4 km) north from Alford. The village forms part of Strubby and Woodthorpe civil parish, with the nearby hamlet of Woodthorpe.
Sir William Courtenay of Powderham in Devon was a prominent member of the Devonshire gentry. He was Sheriff of Devon in 1579–80 and received the rare honour of having been three times elected MP for the prestigious county seat (Devon) in 1584, 1589 and 1601.
Sir William Courtenay was a landowner in Devon and de jure 2nd Earl of Devon. He was the son of George Courtenay and Catherine, daughter of Sir George St Ledger of Annery. He succeeded his grandfather Sir William Courtenay, of Powderham in 1535. He was knighted in 1553 and MP for Plympton in 1555.
Sir William Strode (1562–1637) of Newnham in the parish of Plympton St Mary, Devon, England, was a member of the Devon landed gentry, a military engineer and seven times a Member of Parliament elected for Devon in 1597 and 1624, for Plympton Erle in 1601, 1604, 1621 and 1625, and for Plymouth in 1614. He was High Sheriff of Devon from 1593 to 1594 and was knighted in 1598. In 1599 he was appointed Deputy Lieutenant of Devon. There is a monument to him in the parish church of Plympton St Mary.
Hon. John Sutton, was the brother of Edward Sutton, 5th Baron Dudley and was briefly Member of the Parliament of England for Staffordshire. during the reign of Elizabeth I.
Sir Thomas White was an English politician.
Dorothy Kitson later, Dorothy, Lady Pakington, was the daughter of Sir Thomas Kitson, a wealthy London merchant and the builder of Hengrave Hall in Suffolk. Her first husband was Sir Thomas Pakington, by whom she was the mother of Queen Elizabeth I's favourite, Sir John "Lusty" Pakington. After Sir Thomas Pakington's death she married Thomas Tasburgh. She was one of the few women in Tudor England to nominate burgesses to Parliament and to make her last will while her husband, Thomas Tasburgh, was still living. Her three nieces are referred to in the poems of Edmund Spenser.
Thomas Darcy, 1st Earl Rivers was an English peer and courtier in the reigns of Elizabeth I, James I and Charles I.
Sir Nicholas Parker, eldest son of Thomas Parker of Ratton and Eleanor, daughter of William Waller of Groombridge, was a military commander during the reign of Elizabeth I. He was Sheriff of Sussex in 1586-7, again in 1593-4 and was elected MP for Sussex in 1597.
Edward Lewknor was the representative of a branch of a prominent Sussex family, in an armigerous line descending in the distaff side from the Camoys barony. Having attained standing as a member of parliament and by a position of service in the royal household, his career was ended abruptly by his involvement in Henry Dudley's conspiracy against Queen Mary I, and his consequent attainder. His children were restored in blood by Queen Elizabeth I.
Sir Arthur Hopton, of Witham, Somerset, was an English politician. He was member of parliament for Dunwich in 1571, and for Suffolk in 1589. He was made a Knight of the Bath at the coronation of King James I.
John Strode, the son of Robert Strode of Parnham, Dorset and Elizabeth Hody, was elected MP for Dorset in 1572 and was Sheriff of Dorset from 1572 to 1573.