HATTON, Christopher (1605-1670), of Kirby Hall, Northants. and Scotland Yard, Westminster

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



18 Jan. 1625
c. Apr. 1626
1640 (Apr.)
1640 (Nov.) - 7 Sept. 1642
[1640 (Nov.)]

Family and Education

b. 28 June 1605,1 1st s. of Sir Christopher Hatton* and Alice, da. of Sir Thomas Fanshawe† of Ware Park, Herts.2 educ. Jesus, Camb. 1620, MA 1622; G. Inn 1620; Oxf. DCL 1642.3 m. 8 May 1630 (with £2,400), Elizabeth (d. 29 Dec. 1672),4 da. and coh. of Sir Charles Montagu* of Cranbrook, Barking, Essex, 2s. 3da.5 suc. fa. 1619;6 cr. KB 1 Feb. 1626;7 Bar. Hatton of Kirby 29 July 1643. d. 4 July 1670. 8

Offices Held

J.p. Cambs. 1628-34, 1636-8, Northants. 1628-?45, 1660-d., Rutland 1639-?45;9 commr. sewers, Northants. 1627-34, Lincs. Northants. and Hunts. 1639-41, Bedford great level 1662,10 knighthood fines, Northants. 1630-1,11 oyer and terminer, Midlands circ. 1631-42, 1660-d.,12 swans, Cambs. and Hunts. 1633;13 custos rot. Northants. 1636-?45;14 commr. gaol delivery, Northampton 1637;15 steward, Higham Ferrers manor, Northants. 1637-49;16 commr. array, Northants. and Rutland 1642;17 kpr. Olney Park, Bucks. 1643-?d.18

PC 1643-6, 1662-d.;19 comptroller of the Household 1643-6;20 commr. preservation of Oxford 1645,21 commr. (roy.), treaty of Uxbridge 1645;22 gov. of Guernsey 1662-d.23

FRS 1661.24


Hatton inherited his father’s extensive estates in Northamptonshire, including land and ecclesiastical patronage near Peterborough. In January 1625 Hatton was first returned for Peterborough while still a minor at the by-election caused by the elevation of Sir Francis Fane* to the peerage. However, he proved unable to take his seat, as James I’s last Parliament had already been prorogued before he was elected, and was automatically dissolved by the king’s death the following March. Still under age, he was again returned for Peterborough to the first Parliament of the new reign, but left no trace in the records of its debates. In February 1626 he was dubbed a knight of the Bath at Charles I’s coronation. It is not known whether he stood for election to Charles’s second parliament that same year, but if so he failed to find a seat. He was provided with an opening at Clitheroe after his uncle, Thomas Fanshawe I* challenged the return of an unnaturalized Scot, George Kirke, and succeeded in obtaining a new writ. Once again Hatton went unnoticed in the records of the Parliament. He reciprocated Fanshawe’s favour two years later by helping him to buy the manor of Barking, Essex, from the Crown.25

It was later said by Roger North† that Hatton ‘diverted himself with the company of players and such idle people that came to him [at Scotland Yard], while his family lived in want at Kirby’.26 Together with his close friend William Dugdale, Hatton spent much of his time collecting antiquities and historical records, and briefly contemplated soliciting for the office of keeper of records in the Tower of London.27 Appointed the duchy of Lancaster’s steward of Higham Ferrers in 1637, Hatton was twice elected for the borough, where his wife’s family had influence, in 1640. However, as a commissioner of array he was expelled from the Commons in September 1642. He joined the king at Oxford, where he served as Charles’s comptroller of the Household, sat on the Privy Council, and was raised to the peerage in 1643. He also produced an edition of the psalms, with prayers composed by the Arminian Jeremy Taylor, and received an honorary doctorate.28 However, after the king’s defeat, Hatton resigned his Court posts, and compounded in 1648 on an estate worth over £2,200 a year by his own account, before fleeing abroad, where he remained in exile until 1656.29 After the Restoration he was appointed governor of Guernsey, but spent little time there after quarrelling with his deputy.30 He preferred to live in London, where he became a founding member of the Royal Society. He died intestate on 4 July 1670 and was buried in Westminster Abbey.31 He was succeeded by his son Christopher, who represented Northampton from 1663 until he was raised to the Lords.

Ref Volumes: 1604-1629

Authors: Virginia C.D. Moseley / Rosemary Sgroi


  • 1. C142/376/100.
  • 2. Vis. Eng. and Wales, Notes ed. F.A. Crisp, vi. 149.
  • 3. Al. Cant.; GI Admiss.; Al. Ox.
  • 4. CP, vi. 396-7.
  • 5. Vis. Northants. (Harl. Soc. lxxxvii), 137.
  • 6. C142/376/100.
  • 7. Shaw, Knights of Eng. i. 162.
  • 8. CP, vi. 396-7.
  • 9. C231/4, f. 250; 231/5, pp. 126, 324; SP16/405, f. 47v; C220/9/4, f. 58v.
  • 10. C181/3, f. 218; 181/4, f. 140, 180; 181/5, ff. 149, 214v; 181/7, p. 148.
  • 11. HMC Buccleuch, iii. 358.
  • 12. C181/4, f. 70; 181/5, f. 220; 181/7, pp. 15, 534.
  • 13. C181/4, f. 153v.
  • 14. C231/5, p. 223; Bodl. North c. 4, f. 16.
  • 15. C181/5, f. 65v.
  • 16. Duchy of Lancaster Office-Holders ed. R. Somerville, 192.
  • 17. Northants. RO, FH133.
  • 18. VCH Bucks. iv. 432.
  • 19. PC2/53, p. 223; CSP Dom. 1661-2, p. 555; CCC, 1580.
  • 20. CSP Dom. 1641-3, p. 507.
  • 21. Ibid. 1644-5, p. 464.
  • 22. LJ, vii. 166b; HMC 7th Rep. 453a.
  • 23. CSP Dom. Addenda, 1660-70, pp. 670-1, 696-7.
  • 24. J. Evans, Hist. Soc. of Antiquaries, 26.
  • 25. CSP Dom. 1627-8, p. 578, 1628-9, pp. 49, 192.
  • 26. R. North, Lives, ii. 294.
  • 27. W. Hamper, Life, Diary and Corresp. of Sir William Dugdale, 170-80, passim.
  • 28. F. Madon, Oxford Bks. ii. 165, 342-3.
  • 29. CCC, 1579; M.F. Keeler, Long Parl. 208.
  • 30. CSP Dom. 1661-2, pp. 574, 600, Add. 1660-70, 696, 697.
  • 31. Westminster Abbey (Harl. Soc. Reg. x), 172.