Ram, Thomas (1564–1634), Church of Ireland bishop of Ferns and Leighlin, was born in Windsor, Berkshire, the son of Dr Francis Ram of Windsor. After attending Eton he entered King's College, Cambridge (1588), graduated BA (1592–3) and MA (1596), and was a fellow (1591–1601). In 1599 he accompanied Lord Lieutenant Essex (qv) to Ireland as his chaplain and was retained by his replacement, Lord Mountjoy (qv), one year later. Serving Mountjoy seems to have been a hazardous task, owing to the lord deputy's desire to be to the fore of every battle, and at one stage Ram had his horse shot out from under him. In 1600 he was made prebend, praecentor and vicar choral of Christ Church cathedral. One year later he became dean of Cork, resigning in 1604 after he became dean of Ferns and Leighlin, a post he held until 1626. He was also parson of St Mary's in Wexford, vicar of Balrothery in Dublin and chantor of Christ Church.
On 6 February 1605 he was nominated bishop of Ferns and Leighlin, and consecrated on 2 May following. Because this was one of the most dilapidated sees in Ireland, he was allowed to continue to hold his other offices and in May 1629 he was also made prebend of Fethard. In 1613 Ram declared that the revenues of his diocese had fallen from £400–£500 per annum to £60, owing to his predecessors’ policy of alienating church lands in fee or on very long leases. In 1611 commissioners for the plantation of Wexford reported that at least 2,000 acres of church land had been lost. Ram too may have been feathering his own nest, as in January 1612 he was pardoned for unspecified offences committed. He was able to build up a considerable personal estate at Gorey and received land in the plantation of Wexford. Nonetheless he appears to have been a conscientious bishop who carried out annual visitations and worked hard to recover church land. He did succeed in recovering the manor of Fethard and the townland of Heringston through legal proceedings, and by 1629 his see was valued at £170 a year. However, by the time of Ram's death the diocese was still so poor that Lord Deputy Wentworth (qv) gave it to a clergyman he disliked as punishment.
Upon becoming bishop Ram was advised by the secular authorities to avoid persecuting catholics and accordingly sought to persuade rather than coerce his diocesans into embracing protestantism. He found some of the poorer people to be sympathetic, but their social superiors, who remained resolute in their support of the catholic faith, forced them to adhere to catholicism. On the king's orders c.1611–12, he began prosecuting catholics for failing to attend protestant church services. However, all those brought before the courts declared their willingness to face prison and he admitted soon after that he had made little progress in converting catholics. Unlike his predecessors, he ensured that only clergy who swore the oath of supremacy were installed in church livings in his diocese, thereby guaranteeing that his clergy were reliably protestant. In practice, it also meant that his clergy were overwhelmingly English-born. His efforts to recruit local Irish-speaking clergy bore little fruit. On 12 November 1626 he was one of twelve bishops who signed a protest against the toleration of catholicism and in May 1631 he seized several mass houses. He built an episcopal residence at Gorey and bequeathed a library to the clergy, but this was destroyed in 1641. He died 24 November 1634 of apoplexy at the clerical convocation in Dublin and was buried in Gorey.
He married first Jane Gilford, with whom he had one son and four daughters, and second Anne, daughter of Robert Bowen of Bally Adams, Queen's Co., with whom he had three sons and one daughter. His eldest son, Thomas, inherited his estate at Ramsfort in Gorey. Another son, Robert, was prominent as a parliamentarian pamphleteer in the English civil war.