Thomas Egerton was born in 1540 in the parish of Doddlestone, Cheshire. He was the illegitimate son of Sir Richard Egerton and an unmarried woman named Alice Sparks. He was acknowledged by his father’s family, who paid for his education. He studied Liberal Arts at Brasenose College, Oxford, and received a Bachelor’s Degree in 1559. He then studied law at Lincoln's Inn and became a barrister. He was a Roman Catholic, until a point in 1570 when his lack of conformity with the Church of England when his Inn passed on a complaint from the Privy Council. Norman Leslie Jones, The English Reformation: Religion and Cultural Adaptation (2002), p. 153.