TUTT, Alexander (by 1575-1614), of Oxenwood Farm and Idmiston, Wilts.

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. by 1575,1 1st s. of John Tutt of Oxenwood and Eleanor, da. of William Poynter, clothier, of Whitchurch, Hants.2 m. by 1589,3 Millicent (d. aft. 1611),4 da. of Sir George Burley of Longparish, Hants,5 5s. 4da.6 kntd. 18 Apr. 1604.7 bur. 15 Dec. 1614.8 sig. Alexander Tutt.

Offices Held

Servant to Edward Seymour, 1st earl of Hertford by 1595-d.9

Commr. subsidy, Wilts. 1599, 1600, 1604, 1608, 1610-11,10 j.p. 1600-d.,11 sheriff 1604,12 dep. lt. 1604-d.;13 commr. sewers, Hants and Wilts. 1605;14 collector aid, Wilts. 1612-13,15 commr. charitable uses 1614.16


Tutt’s father John was a magistrate and minor landowner in south-east Wiltshire, whose wife brought her husband some property in neighbouring Hampshire.17 For several years John Tutt was a rent receiver for Edward Seymour, 1st earl of Hertford, who granted him the profits of certain lands and of the manors of Trowbridge, Amesbury and Bradford, in Wiltshire.18 Hertford went on to employ John’s eldest son, this Member, as his agent in leasing out various properties, although Alexander Tutt does not appear to have had any formal legal training. The relationship was clearly profitable to Tutt, who was soon able to purchase Idmiston manor. In 1599 he also paid £2,250 for two neighbouring manors.19 Over the next decade Tutt continued to organize the leases of Hertford’s properties, in certain cases securing for himself sole rights to their alienation.20 By 1607 he was in joint control of the profits of the farms held by Amesbury monastery as well as the profits of the town’s fair.21

In 1604 Hertford, as lord lieutenant for Wiltshire, secured for Tutt both the shrievalty and the deputy lieutenancy of the county, no doubt expecting full co-operation from him. In August, however, Tutt joined other magistrates in criticizing Hertford for appointing his servant Josias Kirton as muster-master for the county.22 By the following month Sir James Mervin [Marvyn]†, another deputy lieutenant, was openly criticizing Tutt for slowness in payment of his division’s muster rates, and a week later Tutt declared himself unable to muster, excusing himself both through illness and his dislike of Kirton.23 Tutt showed further reticence in 1611 by refusing to pay £40 for the muster unless the charge was approved by the whole county.24

It was no doubt Hertford who encouraged Tutt’s election to Parliament in 1604 for Wootton Bassett, presumably through his influence with Mervin, who held the chief interest in the borough.25 Once at Westminster, Tutt was named to committees for considering the bill to remove benefit of the clergy to cattle and sheep stealers (21 Apr.), and for assuring various lands and tenements to the dean and chapter of Windsor (21 Apr.), in whose ecclesiastical jurisdiction some of his family’s properties lay.26 He was also named to the committee (26 Apr.) to debate the bill whereby Sir John Rodney* sought to confirm the title to his estates following the suicide of an uncle whose offer of marriage to Frances Howard had been rejected in favour of an advance from the earl of Hertford.27 In the following month (6 May) Tutt was identified as being among those who, ‘by experience in their own particular, or by the testimony of their country neighbours, could make more pregnant proof of the several articles’ of the purveyance bill.28 He was named to only two more committees for the remainder of the Parliament, one to inquire into the ‘invective sermon’ given by a chanter of Lincoln Cathedral (26 May 1606), and the other for the sale of Thomas Mompesson’s Wiltshire estate to cover debts (31 Mar. and 26 Nov. 1606).29

Tutt continued to be active until his untimely death in December 1614, having attended the Marlborough sessions in the previous October.30 He was sufficiently prosperous to support his eldest son through Cambridge and the Middle Temple and to make provision for two of his other sons to progress to university. However, he had often incurred debts - in 1607 he was sued for £2,000 by Sir James Mervin - and at his death he owed £2,450 to several creditors, while his principal manor, Idmiston, yielded only £100 annually.31 As late as 1619 his son and heir, also named Alexander, was in court putting up bonds and making arrangements to sell a number of farms to clear remaining debts.32 None of Tutt’s five sons sat in Parliament, but two took holy orders, of whom one became sub-dean of Salisbury after the Restoration.33

Ref Volumes: 1604-1629

Author: Henry Lancaster


C2/Jas.I/T10/53; Wilts. RO, 283/79, no. 133.

  • 1. Wilts. RO, 283/78.
  • 2. Vis. Hants (Harl. Soc. lxiv), 213.
  • 3. PROB 11/78, f. 144.
  • 4. Wilts. RO, 1098/1, unfol.
  • 5. R.C. Hoare, Hist. Wilts. ‘Chalke Hundred’, 36.
  • 6. Vis. Wilts. (Harl. Soc. cv-cvi), 200; Vis. Hants, 213.
  • 7. Shaw, Knights of Eng. ii. 131.
  • 8. Wilts. RO, 1098/1, unfol.
  • 9. STAC 5/T7/5.
  • 10. E179/198/329; 179/198/335, 342, 370; 179/199/370; SP14/31/1, f. 47.
  • 11. Wilts. RO, A1/150/2, f. 19; C181/1, f. 83v; C231, f. 164; C66/1549.
  • 12. List of Sheriffs comp. A. Hughes (PRO, L. and I. ix), 154.
  • 13. Earl of Hertford’s Ltcy. Pprs. ed. W.P.D. Murphy (Wilts. Rec. Soc. xxiii), 41.
  • 14. C181/1, f. 103v.
  • 15. E403/2732, f. 86v.
  • 16. C93/5/20.
  • 17. PROB 11/45, f. 25; 11/43, ff. 230v-1; Mins. of Procs. in Sessions 1563, 1574-92 ed. H.C. Johnson (Wilts. Rec. Soc. iv), 269.
  • 18. Cal. of Antrobus Deeds Bef. 1625 ed. R.B. Pugh (Wilts. Rec. Soc iii), 55, 58; Wilts. RO, 212/78.
  • 19. E179/198/314; 179/198/329; Wilts. RO, 212A/32/2.
  • 20. Cal. of Antrobus Deeds, 70; Wilts. RO, 212B/2868; 283/80, nos. 128, 135.
  • 21. Wilts. RO, 283/79, no.133.
  • 22. Hertford’s Ltcy. Pprs. 27, 38, 39; Wilts. IPMs ed. G.S. and A.E. Fry (Brit. Rec. Soc. xxiii), 20.
  • 23. Hertford’s Ltcy. Pprs. 37.
  • 24. Ibid. 177.
  • 25. C219/35/2/125.
  • 26. CJ, i. 181b, 182b.
  • 27. Ibid. 185a.
  • 28. Ibid. 202a.
  • 29. Ibid. 212b, 291b, 325a.
  • 30. Wilts. RO, A1/150/3, f. 567.
  • 31. C2/Jas.I/T12/36; C142/352/131
  • 32. PROB 6/8, f. 178; C2/Jas.I/T9/75.
  • 33. Al. Ox.