Stafford, Sir Thomas (1857–1935), 1st baronet, doctor and medical commissioner, was born 3 May 1857 at Portobello, Co. Roscommon, the second son of John Stafford, JP, of Portobello. He qualified as licentiate of the RCPI in 1882 and established a practice in Co. Roscommon at Boyle, where he remained for many years until appointed medical commissioner for the local government board for Ireland. In effect, this position meant administering the poor law, and his consequent work in Dublin represented the first systematic research into urban poverty in twentieth-century Ireland. His findings revealed the chronic deprivation afflicting the city's working-class population and were submitted to the royal commission on the poor laws (1905–9). Having observed in the course of his work that poverty was a frequent precursor to disease, Stafford later collaborated with the countess of Aberdeen (qv) to combat tuberculosis, serving on a government committee in 1912 and implementing its recommendations at a local level. Conferred with a diploma in 1898 by the Royal Institute of Public Health, the following year he became a fellow of the RCSI. He received a succession of honours, becoming CB (1906), baronet (1913), deputy lieutenant of Co. Roscommon (1916), and privy councillor (1918). In 1921 he resigned his membership of the Irish viceroy's advisory council because of what he regarded as the severity of the administration of Lord French (qv).
Aside from his work in public health, Stafford was a convivial character well known for his house parties and love of sport. He was a talented cricketer, and became a prominent member of the Irish Turf Club, regularly attending major race meetings. In 1890 he married Frances Agnes (d. 1916), the only daughter of Col. E. R. King-Harman, MP. They had two sons: Edward, who was killed in action in 1914, and Cecil, who later inherited the baronetcy as Cecil Stafford-King-Haiman. Stafford died 11 May 1935 while visiting Geoffrey Thomas Taylour, 4th marquess of Headfort, at Headfort, Kells. Rockingham Castle in Co. Roscommon, the family home of the Staffords, was destroyed by fire in 1957, and became known as Lough Key Forest Park. Some of Stafford's correspondence is in the British Library, London.