WHITTON, Thomas (d.1411), of Whitton near Burford, Salop.
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Family and Education
s. and h. of John Whitton (d.1372) of Whitton. m. 1da. d.v.p.
Tax collector, Salop Dec. 1373, Nov. 1374, Nov. 1377; assessor May 1379.
Sheriff, Salop 7 Nov.-18 Dec. 1390, 5 Nov. 1406-30 Nov. 1407.
Coroner, Salop bef 3 Aug. 1392.
Commr. of inquiry, Salop Nov. 1409 (ownership of Farlow).
Whitton came from an old-established Shropshire family. When his father was murdered by a chaplain on 30 Nov. 1372, he inherited Whitton itself and more scattered properties at Ashford and elsewhere in the southern part of the county, on the border with Herefordshire.1 His earliest royal service was as a collector of parliamentary subsidies. In 1387 he enlisted in the large force about to put to sea under Richard, earl of Arundel, the admiral, and since Arundel was a leading landowner in Shropshire, it is possible that he formed a permanent association with him. Whitton’s dismissal from the shrievalty in December 1390, only five weeks after his appointment (made while he was representing Shropshire in Parliament), came after John of Gaunt, duke of Lancaster, had applied to the chancellor to have him removed. The grounds were perhaps Whitton’s failure to fulfil the necessary property qualification, although it may be that Gaunt, who was no friend of Arundel, had other, more personal, reasons for his objection. Two years later Whitton was replaced as coroner on the basis that he was ‘too sick and aged’ to perform his duties. That he was too old seems unlikely, for not only did he occasionally serve as a juror at Shropshire sessions of the peace, but towards the end of his second Parliament, that of 1406, he was re-appointed sheriff, and this time successfully completed a full term. During his shrievalty he held the elections at Shrewsbury for the subsequent Parliament. Among Whitton’s closest associates were John Darras* of Neenton and Malcolm de la Mare*, both of whom were neighbours of his; and in November 1407 he was named by Richard Cornwall, baron of Burford, as a feoffee of his estates.2
On 4 Apr. 1408 Whitton made an agreement with the rectors of Burford parish church for requiem masses for the souls of his forebears for four generations back, the cost (20s. a year) to be borne by his brother and heir, Edward, and the latter’s successors as lords of the manor of Whitton. It would appear that his daughter, Joan, the wife of Thomas Worthyn, had already died. The shire knight himself lived only three years more, and Whitton was held by his brother’s descendants until 1609.3
Ref Volumes: 1386-1421
Author: L. S. Woodger
Not to be confused with Whitton in Westbury, where another family named Whitton lived (VCH Salop, viii. 313).
- 1. CIPM, xiii. 283; CPR, 1370-4, pp. 346, 364; Add. Chs. 41135, 41139, 41142, 41145, 41147; Trans. Salop Arch. Soc. (ser. 4), ix. 43-56.
- 2. CAD, iv. A8934; CCR, 1392-6, p. 12; Salop Peace Roll ed. Kimball, 69; C219/10/4; CPR, 1405-8, p. 382; E101/41/5; SC1/40/178; C81/1355/60.
- 3. Reg. Trefnant (Canterbury and York Soc. xx), 151-2; Add. Chs. 41152-6; Trans. Salop Arch. Soc. (ser. 4), ix. 43-56.