HUTCHINSON, Stephen (1572-by 1648), of Wykeham Abbey, Yorks.

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



Family and Education

b. c.20 Oct. 1572,1 1st s. of Edward Hutchinson† of Wykeham Abbey and Mary, da. of Richard Wood of Pickering, Yorks.2 educ. L. Inn 1594.3 m. ?(1) at least 1s. (d.v.p.);4 (2) 25 Nov. 1612, Catherine, da. of Sir Richard Musgrave of Norton Conyers, Yorks., master of ordnance in the North 1591-1617, at least 1s.5 suc. fa. 1591.6 d. bef. 30 Nov. 1648.7

Offices Held

Commr. sewers, Yorks. (N. Riding) by 1604-42?, R. Derwent 1629;8 treas. hospitals, Langbargh div. (N. Riding) 1614-15;9 commr. survey, Scarborough castle, Yorks. 1618;10 freeman, Scarborough 1622;11 j.p. N. Riding 1624-5;12 capt. militia ft. N. Riding ?1625-42;13 commr. subsidy, N. Riding 1628.14


A Thomas Hutchinson had been chantry priest at Wykeham in the fifteenth century, while Hutchinson’s paternal grandfather, a Londoner with Yorkshire origins, acquired Wykeham Abbey in 1544. Hutchinson’s father purchased lands in the neighbouring manor, going to law over his title in 1618. He secured a confirmation of the family arms in 1581, and was returned to Parliament for Scarborough, five miles distant, in 1586.15

Hutchinson was one of the hunting party led by William Eure† which humiliated Sir Thomas Hoby* in August 1600, drinking, gambling and swearing while guests at his house. Charges brought against Hutchinson in the resulting Star Chamber case involved his maintenance of a recusant aunt, whom he claimed to be trying to convert.16 Although fined £20, it was probably Hutchinson’s obscurity rather than the consequences of this incident which kept him from the commission of the peace until 1624. He was apparently dropped from the bench in 1625,17 but he seems to have been a captain in the Trained Bands by June of the same year, when he instructed Scarborough’s bailiffs to furnish the borough’s recruits for the war against Spain.18

Hutchinson’s request for a parliamentary seat at Scarborough in 1626 may indicate a wish to lobby for reinstatement to the bench in London. Equally, he may have been encouraged to stand by the previous Member, William Thompson*, whose elder brother Christopher was his brother-in-law.19 He declared himself proud to be a freeman, promising to serve without expenses and to be ‘as willing to bestow my pain in whatsoever you shall conceive me in, or any occasions you have for the common gain of the town as any to my power’.20 The phrasing suggests that Hutchinson knew of the corporation’s plans to renew their charter during the forthcoming session. The draft, which was submitted in May, was almost identical to the controversial charter which had been rejected in 1620, with the exception that Hutchinson rather than William Thompson was named as mayor, presumably in anticipation of his efforts on the town’s behalf. However, like the earlier draft, it was halted after passing the Privy Seal.21

Hutchinson left no trace upon the records of the 1626 Parliament, but monitored its proceedings on the town’s behalf. Writing from his lodgings in the Strand ten days into the session,22 he advised ‘here are many great matters in speech but nothing done’. The reason, he explained, was the Commons’ investigation of the seizure of the St. Peter of Le Havre. Though no final report had yet been made, the consequences of the incident were already apparent:

we had the lieutenant of the Tower to answer at the bar [of the House, on 23 Feb.], who came well off: so we think it will reflect upon Sir Henry Marten*, the judge of the [Admiralty] Court, or rather upon the duke [of Buckingham], but by reason of this ship thus stayed [it] hath caused the king of France to stay so many of our ships there.23

The Scarborough merchants, who traded with northern France, had an obvious interest in the outcome of this case, as well as news of the dispatch of a squadron to guard the east coast trade against the Dunkirk privateers. He assured his brother-in-law

the main matter now in speech is the defence of our coast, and I hear of no place but is as ill provided as we at Scarborough, therefore I hope our relief will come in the generality, for which I intended to have been a petitioner at the [Privy] Council table, both to have gotten a more speedy answer and a more speedy supply for the defence of your town, but I will yet attend in hope the Lower House will press the king for defence of his realm, and to make himself master of the Narrow Seas.24

Unfortunately, no further correspondence survives. Hutchinson was replaced at the 1628 election by John Harrison, a London customs official, but remained on amicable terms with the corporation: in 1631 he persuaded (Sir) Richard Graham*, a kinsman by marriage, to use his influence at Court to secure a less ambitious charter renewal, asking Graham ‘to give satisfaction to the town of Scarborough that you had a friend [who] would go through with that business for you’.25

Presumably a passive parliamentarian during the Civil War, Hutchinson’s will of 9 Sept. 1646 bequeathed an annuity of £140 to his royalist son, who, ‘as I conceive, hath been disaffected to the State, and thereby hath incurred my displeasure’. The rest of his estate was assigned to his Thompson relations as trustees for his infant grandchildren. His will was proved on 30 Nov. 1648.26 His descendants, who continued to live at Wykeham, later changed their name to Langley. No subsequent member of the family sat in Parliament.27

Ref Volumes: 1604-1629

Author: Simon Healy


  • 1. C142/228/5.
  • 2. Vis. Yorks. ed. Foster, 183; Clay, Dugdale’s Vis. Yorks. ii. 438-9.
  • 3. LI Admiss.
  • 4. The 1612 visitation records Hutchinson as already having a son: Vis. Yorks. ed. Foster, 183.
  • 5. Clay, Dugdale’s Vis. Yorks. ii. 438-9; CSP Dom. 1580-1625, p. 495; 1611-18, p. 443.
  • 6. C142/228/5.
  • 7. Borthwick, York wills, Ryedale deanery, Nov. 1648.
  • 8. C181/1, f. 86; 181/4, ff. 1, 114; YAS, MD125.
  • 9. N. Riding Q. Sess. Recs. ed. J.C. Atkinson, ii. 296.
  • 10. E178/4895, ff. 1-2.
  • 11. Scarborough Recs. ed. M.Y. Ashcroft (N. Yorks. RO, xlvii), 90.
  • 12. C231/4, f. 168.
  • 13. Scarborough Recs. 148, 151-2; Add. 28082, f. 81.
  • 14. Scarborough Recs. 193.
  • 15. VCH N. Riding, ii. 427, 499; PROB 11/43, f. 166; C2/Jas.I/T1/8; 2/Jas.I/T10/23; Grantees of Arms ed. W.H. Rylands (Harl. Soc. lxvi), 132.
  • 16. STAC 5/H22/21, f. 9; 5/H67/29; HMC Hatfield, x. 303.
  • 17. T. Rymer, Foedera, viii. pt. 3, p. 9.
  • 18. Scarborough Recs. 148.
  • 19. Clay, Dugdale’s Vis. Yorks. ii. 438-9; Borthwick, Reg. Test. 24, f. 548.
  • 20. N. Yorks. RO, MIC 1320/502, calendared in Scarborough Recs. 159.
  • 21. The two drafts may be found in PSO2/42, pt. 1 (Feb. 1620) and PSO2/65 (May 1626). The latter was printed in Copy Translations of [Scarborough] Charters (n.d.).
  • 22. He dated the letter to the last day of Jan. but the news it contained dated from the end of Feb. The session began on 19 Feb.
  • 23. Scarborough Recs. 160-1; CJ, i. 824a; C. Russell, PEP, 279-81. Hutchinson probably derived much of his account from Sir John Eliot’s* report of 22 Feb.: see Procs. 1626, ii. 92-4.
  • 24. Scarborough Recs. 160-2 (Hugh Cholmley* to bailiffs).
  • 25. Ibid. 216, 219. For the text of the new charter, see Copy Translations of [Scarborough] Charters (n.d.), 136-42.
  • 26. Borthwick, York wills, Ryedale deanery, Nov. 1648; Royalist Comp. Pprs. ed. J.W. Clay (Yorks. Arch. Soc. rec. ser. xx), 6-7.
  • 27. VCH N. Riding, ii. 500.