HATTON, Sir Thomas (c.1583-1658), of Westminster; later of Long Stanton, Cambs.

Published in The History of Parliament: the House of Commons 1604-1629, ed. Andrew Thrush and John P. Ferris, 2010
Available from Cambridge University Press



1640 (Apr.)

Family and Education

b. c.1583, 3rd s. of John Hatton (d.1587) of Long Stanton and Jane, da. of Robert Shute† of Oakington, Cambs. and Gray’s Inn, London, j.q.b. 1586-90; bro. of Sir Christopher* and Robert*. educ. Camb. to 1600; Gray’s Inn 1607. m. Mary (d.1674), da. of Sir Giles Alington of Horseheath, Cambs. 7s. (3 d.v.p.) 4da. (1 d.v.p.). kntd. 26 July 1616; cr. bt. 5 July 1641. d. 23 Sept. 1658.1

Offices Held

Kpr. Waltham forest, Essex 1617;2 steward (jt.) of Barking manor, Essex 1617;3 commr. sewers, Cambs. and Isle of Ely, 1627, Gt. Fens 1631-41, 1658, Kent 1640, Mdx. 1656;4 j.p. Cambs. 1634-at least 1642;5 dep. lt. by 1634-at least 1640;6 commr. oyer and terminer, Cambs. 1640,7 survey of St. James’s bailiwick, Westminster 1640;8 freeman, Stamford, Lincs. 1640.9

Gent. of the privy chamber extraordinary by 1625,10 1629-at least 1641;11 surveyor-gen. to Queen Henrietta Maria by 1629-40;12 member, Council for Queen Henrietta Maria 1634;13 commr. preservation of game 1635.14


Hatton’s father was the first cousin of the Elizabethan lord chancellor, Sir Christopher Hatton†, who died unmarried in 1591 bequeathing an annuity to Hatton’s mother. The annuity was used to pay for Hatton and his elder brother, Robert*, to study at Cambridge until it was terminated in 1600 by Sir Edward Coke*, who had obtained control of the Hatton estate on his marriage to Elizabeth, Lady Hatton, the widow of the lord chancellor’s nephew and daughter of Thomas Cecil†, later 1st earl of Exeter.15

Hatton was admitted to Gray’s Inn in 1607, but there is no evidence that he sought to pursue a legal career. Five years later Chamberlain described him as an earnest suitor for the widow of the courtier Sir Roger Aston*, and in 1619 he was granted a monopoly of the manufacture of sealing-wax, which he promptly surrendered to (Sir) Henry Britton*.16 In the following year he was returned for Corfe Castle on the interest of Lady Hatton. He was named only to the committee on the bill to naturalize Sir Francis Stewart* and others (19 March).17 He made only one recorded speech, at the recusancy committee on 24 Feb., when, presumably responding to Sir James Perrott’s revelation that (Sir) Henry Spiller*, the Exchequer official responsible for recusancy revenues, had bound over two men not to give evidence against him, he moved ‘to have them enlarged’.18

In 1622 Hatton and a Scottish courtier, Henry Gibb, promoted an expensive and unsuccessful suit against Coke, who was accused of defrauding the Crown over the estate of Hatton’s nephew Christopher*.19 Two years later he was returned for Malmesbury, a borough controlled by Thomas Howard, earl of Suffolk. A petition from the borough alleged that after the election Hatton’s name had been inserted in the return in place of Sir Edward Cecil’s*; however the petition was not prosecuted and on 4 May the Commons confirmed Hatton’s election. It is unlikely that Hatton stood in opposition to Cecil as he had no known links with the borough and the latter was Lady Hatton’s brother. Moreover, Hatton’s mother-in-law was sister to both Cecil and Lady Hatton. It is more likely that Suffolk initially nominated Cecil who, having secured his election at Dover, recommended Hatton as his replacement, the substitution being made after the return had been drawn up.20

Hatton was appointed to seven committees in 1624, including the committee for privileges (23 February). He was among those instructed on 22 Apr. to consider the provisos offered to exempt certain patents from the monopolies bill, to attend a conference on 1 May about the bills concerning limitations of actions and pleadings in the Exchequer, and to attend the king on 28 May with the grievances presented by the House.21 He made no recorded speeches.

There may also have been irregularities in Hatton’s return for Malmesbury in 1625, as his name was inserted in the Crown Office list in place of that of Sir Henry Moody*, although it is Hatton’s name that appears in the return, which shows no sign of having been altered.22 In the first Caroline Parliament Hatton was again named to the privileges committee (21 June). He was also appointed to three others, these being to confer with the Lords about petitioning the king for a national fast (23 June) and to consider bills concerning alienations (25 June) and simony (2 August). Together with his brother, Sir Robert, and Sir Henry Marten* he was sent to the archbishop of Canterbury on 2 Aug. to complain that the forms of service for the fast had not been properly circulated. He again made no recorded speeches.23

There is no evidence that Hatton sought re-election in 1626. In the same year he applied in vain to Buckingham for the office of chancellor of the Garter, for which he was prepared to give £500 to the incumbent, Sir George More*.24 In 1628 he was returned for Stamford, presumably at the nomination of Lady Hatton’s brother, the 2nd earl of Exeter (William Cecil†), the dominant patron of the borough. He made no recorded speeches in the third Caroline Parliament, but was named to five committees in the first session, including, once again, the committee for privileges (20 March). His other appointments concerned estate bills for the 2nd earl of Devonshire (Sir William Cavendish I*) (21 Apr.), Dutton, 3rd Lord Gerard (7 May) and the 1st earl of Bristol (Sir John Digby*) (23 May). On 4 June he was named to the committee for the restitution of Carew Ralegh†.25 He is only mentioned once in the surviving records of the 1629 session, on 20 Feb., when he was appointed to consider a measure concerning the will of the London philanthropist Thomas Sutton.26

By 1629 Hatton was surveyor general to Queen Henrietta Maria and in 1633 he purchased the Hatton estates in Cambridgeshire, including the manor of Long Stanton, from his nephew, (Sir) Christopher Hatton*.27 He was returned again for Stamford to the Short Parliament, but lost his place in the queen’s administration to Robert Long*. There is little sign that he supported either side during the Civil War, although the parliamentarians accused him of refusing to take the Covenant and only paying taxes under compulsion.28

Hatton drew up his will on 10 July 1654, to which he added a codicil on 11 May 1658, in which he left instructions to his executors to lay out £9,000 in the purchase of lands.29 He died on 23 Sept. 1658, aged 75, and was buried at Long Stanton. ‘Nature rendered him illustrious’, claimed his widow on his funeral monument, ‘the university learned, the Court elegant, the law just, the Church blessed. A Jacobean knight, a Caroline baronet, he was companion and servant to both kings’. His son Thomas, the second baronet, was returned for Cambridgeshire in 1674.30

Ref Volumes: 1604-1629

Author: John. P. Ferris


  • 1. CB, ii. 97; HMC Hatfield, x. 435; GI Admiss.; Monumental Inscriptions and Coats of Arms from Cambs. ed. W.M. Palmer, 113; Shaw, Knights of Eng. ii. 159.
  • 2. Chamberlain Letters ed. N.E. McClure, i. 520.
  • 3. CSP Dom. 1611-18, p. 430.
  • 4. C181/3, f. 220v; 181/4, f. 83; 181/5, ff. 177v, 214v; 181/6, ff. 175, 291, 338.
  • 5. C231/5, p. 126; Add. 15750, f. 78.
  • 6. Harl. 4014, ff. 16v, 55v.
  • 7. C181/5, f. 177.
  • 8. CSP Dom. 1640-1, p. 208.
  • 9. Stamford Town Hall, hall bk. 1, f. 401v.
  • 10. LC2/6, f. 38.
  • 11. LC5/132, p. 105; LC3/1, unfol.
  • 12. CSP Dom. 1629-31, p. 37; G.E. Aylmer, King’s Servants, 368; C181/5, f. 181.
  • 13. T. Rymer, Foedera, viii. pt. 4, p. 76.
  • 14. CSP Dom. 1635, p. 319.
  • 15. HMC Hatfield, x. 435.
  • 16. Chamberlain Letters, i. 438; CSP Dom. 1619-23, p. 63; CD 1621, vii. 467.
  • 17. CJ, i. 563a.
  • 18. CD 1621, vi. 267.
  • 19. Chamberlain Letters, ii. 445.
  • 20. CJ, i. 783a; J. Glanville, Reps. of Certain Cases Determined and Adjudged by the Commons in Parl. (1775), pp. 115-16; Aylmer, 368.
  • 21. CJ, i. 671b, 695a, 714a, 773a.
  • 22. OR; C219/39/236.
  • 23. Ibid. 208, 228, 246, 378, 381.
  • 24. Surr. Hist. Cent. LM/COR/4/57,
  • 25. CD 1628, ii. 3; iii. 3, 301, 558; iv. 83.
  • 26. CJ, i. 931b.
  • 27. VCH Cambs. ix. 223-4.
  • 28. CCAM, 322.
  • 29. PROB 11/289, ff. 293v-6v.
  • 30. Monumental Inscriptions and Coats of Arms from Cambs. 113-14.