HOGHTON (HOUGHTON), Sir Charles, 4th Bt. (c.1644-1710), of Hoghton Tower, Lancs.
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Family and Education
b. c.1644, 5th but 1st surv. s. of Sir Richard Hoghton, 3rd Bt., of Hoghton Tower by Lady Sarah Stanhope, da. of Philip, 1st Earl of Chesterfield. educ. privately (Adam Martindale). m. settlement 8 Mar. 1677 (with £5,000), Mary, da. of John, 2nd Visct. Massereene [I], 5s. (2 d.v.p.) 5da. suc. fa. 3 Feb. 1678.1
Freeman, Preston 1662, 1682; commr. for assessment, Lancs. 1677-80, 1689-90, dep. lt. 1680-?d., j.p. 1689-90, 1696-d., commr. for inquiry into superstitious uses 1693.2
Hoghton’s ancestors acquired possession of the property to which they gave their name early in the 14th century, and served regularly as knights of the shire from 1322, with an interval due to recusancy under Elizabeth. His father, however, was a Presbyterian, who was in arms for Parliament in the Civil War, sitting for Lancashire as a recruiter until Pride’s Purge, and again under the Protectorate. He conformed at the Restoration, but maintained dissenting ministers in his household as chaplains and tutors. In 1665 he was described as ‘a very worthy person living in great repute in Lancashire’ with an annual income of £2,500 or more. Hoghton’s mother, ‘a great patroness of religion and nonconformity’, appears to have borne a strong resemblance to her brother Arthur Stanhope. Hoghton was described as ‘a proper man of person, very civil and judicious, given to no voice, a great scholar and mathematician’ by a prospective father-in-law, but in spite of these admirable qualities the match fell through. A proposed union with Lord Wharton’s daughter in 1671 also came to nothing. It was not until 1677 that he was provided with a wife of unimpeachable Presbyterian background.3
Hoghton succeeded to the family estates in the following year, but was not appointed to the commission of the peace, probably because his religious and political principles were too well known. He was returned for the county at the second general election of 1679 as a country candidate. A moderately active Member of the second Exclusion Parliament, he was named to the committees to inquire into abhorring, to encourage woollen manufactures, and to repeal part of the Severn Fishery Act. A private bill to rectify his marriage settlement was steered through committee and carried to the Lords by (Sir) John Otway. Hoghton was re-elected in 1681 but probably failed to reach Oxford before the short-lived Parliament was dissolved. He did not stand in 1685, but he and Edward Rigby provided the only support for Lord Brandon (Hon. Charles Gerard) at the preliminary gentry meeting. He was returned unopposed to the Convention, in which he was named only to the committee for the relief of Protestant refugees from Ireland. He was not listed as supporting the disabling clause in the bill to restore corporations, and did not stand again. After presenting a nonconformist to the vicarage of Preston, he surrendered the advowson to the corporation, preferring to maintain a dissenting meeting-house at Tockholes. He died on 10 June 1710, aged 66, and was buried at Walton-on-the-Hill. His son, the 5th baronet, sat for Preston as a Whig in four Parliaments between 1710 and 1741.4
Ref Volumes: 1660-1690
Author: Irene Cassidy
- 1. Vis. Lancs. (Chetham Soc. lxxxv), 154; Croston, Lancs. iv. 182-5; De Hoghton Deeds (Lancs. and Cheshire Rec. Soc. lxxxviii), 252.
- 2. Preston Guild Rolls (Lancs. and Cheshire Rec. Soc. ix), 145, 187; Lancs. RO, QSC 103; T27/14/16.
- 3. VCH Lancs. vi. 37, 40-41; R. Halley, Lancs. Puritanism and Nonconformity, 126, 156, 298-9, 383-5; E. Broxap, Civil War in Lancs. 29; Bodl. Carte mss 75, f. 415, Pickering to Sandwich, 27 Dec. 1665; De Hoghton Deeds, 251-2; CSP Dom. 1676-7, p. 572.
- 4. HMC Le Fleming, 162; CSP Dom. July-Sept. 1683, p. 234; CJ, ix. 686; Westmld. RO, Fleming mss. 2882, Kirkby to Fleming, 15 Mar. 1685; De Hoghton Deeds, 74, 252; VCH Lancs. vi. 44; vii. 86; Halley, 444-5.