HOGHTON, Sir Henry, 5th Bt. (c.1678-1768), of Hoghton Tower, nr. Preston, Lancs.
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Family and Education
b. c.1678, 2nd but 1st surv. s. of Sir Charles Hoghton, 4th Bt.†, by Mary, da. of John Skeffington, 2nd Visct. Masserene [I]. educ. M. Temple 1695. m. (1) (with £5,000) Oct. 1710, Mary (d. 1720), da. of Sir William Boughton, 4th Bt.*, s.p.; (2) 14 Apr. 1721, Elizabeth (d. 1736), da. and coh. of Richard Lloyd, mercer, of London, wid. of Ld. James Russell*, s.p.; (3) (with £8,000) Susanna, da. of Thomas Butterworth of Manchester, Lancs., s.p. suc. fa. as 5th Bt. 10 June 1710.1
Freeman, Preston 1682; burgess, Wigan 1710.2
Commr. forfeited estates 1716–25; judge-adv.-gen. 1734–41.3
The Hoghtons had been established in Lancashire since the 14th century, and had resisted the Reformation until the beginning of the 17th century. However, once the Puritan Richard Hoghton† succeeded as third baronet in 1647 the Hoghtons of Hoghton Tower became, in the words of a historian of Lancashire Nonconformity, ‘the most influential supporters of the Presbyterian interest in Lancashire’. The fifth baronet certainly maintained this tradition as he became a leading supporter of Dissenters in and around Preston. The family seat, Hoghton Tower, had been a haven for Nonconformists throughout the Restoration period, and, having been registered as a Dissenting meeting place after the Revolution, the congregation, under the influence of Hoghton from 1710, had grown to approximately 180 by 1718. Hoghton also supported the construction of Presbyterian chapels in Preston and Walton-le-Dale, and helped to raise funds for, and subsequently attended on occasion, the Independent chapel at Tockholes, near Blackburn, built in 1710. Brought up within the Dissenting community as he was, it is scarcely surprising that Hoghton should prove to be a strong Whig throughout his life, obsessed with the twin threats of popery and Jacobitism. Despite these Dissenting links, however, one of the main props of his interest at Preston was his possession of the advowson of Preston parish church, owned by the family since the early 17th century. The Hoghtons consistently nominated to the living Low Church clergy who subsequently acted in the Hoghton interest in Preston politics; when Sir Charles Hoghton vested the nomination of a new vicar in the corporation in 1700 the individual nominated was the zealous Whig Samuel Peploe, who proved to be a strong ally of Sir Henry Hoghton throughout the latter’s political career. Indeed, it was claimed that in 1711 Peploe had allowed Hoghton to finance the building of a new gallery in Preston church and vested the power of disposing of the new pews in Hoghton, which the latter allegedly used ‘to support and maintain his interest in the said borough as Member’.4
Hoghton was victorious at Preston in 1710 despite the national trend, having been ‘set up by the Whig interest and by them entirely supported’. He was incorrectly classed as a Tory in the ‘Hanover list’. He was not an active Member, and, having told on 10 Mar. 1711 against repealing the Act prohibiting the import of French wine, he was granted a six-week leave of absence on 17 Apr. This was the sum of his recorded activity in the 1710–11 session, and this lethargy, combined with his known partisan loyalty, indicate that his inclusion among the ‘worthy patriots’ who in the 1710–11 session detected the mismanagement of the previous administration was another mistake on the part of the parliamentary analysts. This interpretation is supported by Hoghton’s vote on 7 Dec. 1711 for the ‘No Peace without Spain’ motion. His only other significant parliamentary activity in this session came on 24 Apr. 1712 when he told against the imposition of a duty on brass and other wrought metals, a measure which Lancashire metal workers opposed. Despite his lack of activity at Westminster Hoghton was concerned to secure re-election at Preston, and as early as the autumn of 1712 he announced his intention to stand at the next election. He campaigned vigorously, attending celebrations of the peace organized by Preston corporation and taking a house in the borough in May 1713, but was defeated by the resurgent interest of the duchy of Lancaster. An additional factor in his defeat may have been his Dissenting links, as before the election he was forced to make a deposition that he had attended only Anglican services when living at York in the summer of 1712, though tellingly he could not make a similar denial in relation to his stay there in the summer of 1713.5
Hoghton was not, however, willing to fade quietly from the political scene. In January 1714 he put himself forward for election as an alderman at Preston, treating extensively, and his lack of success led to riots, to which Hoghton was alleged to have given ‘all the encouragement possible’. Hoghton continued treating his voters following this setback, it being reported in October 1714 that ‘Sir Harry still keeps on drinking his voters and really he has now gotten such an interest among the mean sort of people . . . [that] it will be very hard to hinder him’. It was claimed that Hoghton spent £1,500 during the 1715 election, and his munificence proved effective as he topped the poll, being listed as a Whig in a comparison of the 1713 and 1715 Parliaments. Hoghton remained active in the Whig cause down to the late 1740s, playing a prominent role in suppressing both the Fifteen and Forty-Five, and in the ensuing pursuit of Jacobites and Catholics after both rebellions. In 1723 he was elected a freeman of the mock corporation of Walton-le-Dale. He died, aged 89, on 23 Feb. 1768 and was succeeded by his nephew and namesake, who re-established the Hoghton interest at Preston and became a leading proponent of relief for Protestant Dissenters.6
Ref Volumes: 1690-1715
Authors: Eveline Cruickshanks / Richard Harrison
- 1. BL, Verney mss mic. 636/54, Lady Cave to Ld. Fermanagh (John Verney*), 23 Oct. 1710.
- 2. Preston Guild Rolls (Lancs. and Cheshire Rec. Soc. ix), 187; Wigan RO, Wigan bor. recs. AB/MR/10.
- 3. De Hoghton Deeds (Lancs. and Cheshire Rec. Soc. lxxxviii), 258.
- 4. R. Halley, Lancs.: Its Puritanism and Nonconformity, i. 155–6; B. Nightingale, Lancs. Nonconformity, ii. 66–77; G. C. Miller, Hoghton Tower, 198; B. Nightingale, History of the Old Independent Chapel Tockholes, 42–43; H. W. Clemesha, Hist. Preston, 294; Lancs. RO, archdeaconry of Richmond recs. ARR/13/5/24, pprs. re. Preston gallery dispute, 1711–21.
- 5. NLS, ms 8262, f. 43; HMC Kenyon, 448; Lancs. RO, Kenyon mss DDKe/HMC/1144, Richard Langton to George Kenyon*, 15 May 1713; Manchester Central Lib. Farrer mss L1/42/1/2, Hoghton’s deposition, c.1713.
- 6. Farrer mss L1/42/1/10, Ralph Ashton to [–], 26 Jan. 1713[–4]; Devonshire mss at Chatsworth House, Finch-Halifax mss box 3 no.107, same to [–]; box 5 bdle. 11, Sir Christopher Musgrave, 5th Bt.*, to [–], 19 Oct. 1714; De Hoghton Deeds, 276–87; HMC Kenyon, 473, 475; Harris Museum Preston, min. bk. of mock corpn. of Walton-le-Dale.