HARTOPP, Sir Edward, 1st Bt. (1572-1655), of Buckminster, Leics.

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. 1572, 2nd s. of William Hartopp (d.1586), of Freeby, Leics. and Eleanor, da. of John Adcock, yeoman, of Brentingby, Leics.1 m. (by 1608), Mary, da. of Sir Erasmus Dryden, 1st bt.*, of Canons Ashby, Northants., 5s. (3 d.v.p.) 4da. (1 d.v.p).2 suc. bro. Thomas 1604;3 cr. bt. 3 Dec. 1619.4 bur. 10 Jan. 1654.5

Offices Held

Capt. of ft., Low Countries 1598-9.6

Capt. militia foot, Leics. by 1614-16,7 sheriff 1617-18,8 commr. subsidy 1641-2,9 dep. lt. 1642-48;10 commr. to raise forces in Holland, Lincs. 1643,11 assessment, Leics. 1645-8, militia 1645-8; 12 j.p. Leics. by 1650-2.13


Hartopp came from a Leicestershire yeoman family that both rose and spread spectacularly in the sixteenth century. His great-grandfather headed the subsidy roll at Burton Lazars in east Leicestershire in 1524, his father and brother founded branches nearby at Freeby and Little Dalby, and the family became armigerous in 1596.14 Unlike his elder brothers, Hartopp was not sent to the inns of court, and probably took to soldiering in the Low Countries at an early age. He inherited the manor of Freeby after the death of his brother Thomas in 1604 and attached himself to the Hastings interest, supporting the 5th earl of Huntingdon in 1611 over the appointment to the county bench of Sir John Bale, who came from an equally recent family.15 Huntingdon, as lord lieutenant, appointed him one of the county’s militia captains, and in 1614 he bought Buckminster, which became his principal residence.16 However, he lost his captaincy when the militia was reorganized in 1616 and, apart from serving as sheriff in 1617-18, he held no further local office until the 1640s, although he was able to acquire a baronetcy in 1619.17

By the late 1620s Hartopp seems to have entered the circle of Henry, 2nd Lord Grey of Groby. Reporting on preparations for the Leicestershire election of 1628, Sir Wolstan Dixie* informed Huntingdon that he relied on Lord Grey to ‘procure Sir Edward Hartopp his presence’ at the hustings. Hartopp was subsequently elected for the county alongside Huntingdon’s son Ferdinando, Lord Hastings, which suggests that a deal was struck between Huntingdon and Grey. The first of his family to sit, Hartopp played no known part in the third Caroline Parliament.18

Hartopp’s son Edward was knighted in 1634, married the daughter of secretary of state (Sir) John Coke*, and commanded a regiment in the parliamentary army during the Civil War. Hartopp himself also supported Parliament, serving on several of its local commissions, as a result of which the royalists seized his estate. He was buried at Buckminster on 10 Jan. 1655.19 His will, dated 29 Sept. 1654, was proved on 21 Mar. 1655.20 His grandson represented Leicestershire in the three Exclusion Parliaments as a Whig.21

Ref Volumes: 1604-1629

Authors: Paula Watson / Ben Coates


  • 1. A.J. Shirren, Chrons. of Fleetwood House, 7; Leics. RO, Hartopp mss 8D39/2383.
  • 2. Nichols, County of Leicester, ii. 128.
  • 3. ‘Depopulation returns for Leics. in 1607’ ed. L.A. Parker, Trans. Leics. Arch. Soc. xxiii. 255.
  • 4. C66/2202/2.
  • 5. Nichols, ii. 127.
  • 6. APC, 1598-9, pp. 391, 421, 634.
  • 7. HEHL, HAM Box 53(6), ff. 4v, 17v, 28v.
  • 8. List of Sheriffs comp. A. Hughes (PRO, L. and I. ix), 75.
  • 9. SR, v. 85, 153.
  • 10. HMC Cowper, ii. 309; LJ, x. 356.
  • 11. LJ, vi. 129.
  • 12. A. and O. i. 642, 968, 1085, 1238; CJ, iv. 78a.
  • 13. C193/13/3; C231/6, f. 232.
  • 14. W.G. Hoskins, ‘Leics. Farmer in the Sixteenth Century’, Trans. Leics. Arch. Soc. xxii. 64; Nichols, ii. 280; VCH Leics. ii. 209; Grantees of Arms ed. W.H. Rylands (Harl. Soc. lxvi), 117.
  • 15. ‘Depopulation Returns for Leics. in 1607’, p. 255; HEHL, HA5436.
  • 16. Nichols, ii. 123.
  • 17. T. Cogswell, Home Divisions, 112; Nichols, ii. 267; CSP Dom. 1619-23, p. 98.
  • 18. Procs. 1628, vi. 154-5;
  • 19. Nicholas, ii. 127-8; HMC Cowper, ii. 331; CSP Dom. 1644, p. 82; CCAM, 396.
  • 20. PROB 11/250, ff. 347v-8v.
  • 21. HP Commons, 1660-1690, ii. 503.