Thomas Rudyard was born in Rudyard, Staffordshire in 1640. He qualified as a solicitor and practiced in Lombard Street, London. He was solicitor to the Quakers, Penn and Mead, and he represented them at The Trial of William Penn and William Mead, at the Old Bailey, for a Tumultuous Assembly: 22 Charles II. A. D. 1670. An active member of the Quaker colonization movement, Rudyard drafted the deeds by which William Penn was granted title to lands in Pennsylvania and he was Penn's chief advisor on the document known as Frame of Government.
Thomas Rudyard became one of the twenty-four proprietors of East Jersey and in 1682 was appointed Deputy Governor of East Jersey. Embroiled in the argument between those who wished to encourage immigration to the colony and those who wished to retain the lands in the ownership of the proprietors, Rudyard fell out of favor and was replaced by Gawen Laurie in 1683.
Governor Thomas Dongan appointed Rudyard the first Attorney General of the Province of New York in 1684 but at the end of 1685, Rudyard decided to move to Barbados.
Thomas Rudyard died and was buried at St. Michael's, Barbados, on November 2, 1692.