LATTON, John (1484/85-1548), of the Inner Temple, London and Upton, Berks.
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Family and Education
b. 1484/85, 1st s. of Thomas Latton of Upton by Joan, da. of John Foxe. educ. I. Temple, adm. 20 Feb. 1510. m. (1) 1da., (2) 1516 or later, Anne, da. of John Yate of Charney and Lyford, Berks., prob. wid. of William Welbeck of Barking, Essex, 6s. 9da. suc. fa. 8 Apr. 1503.3
Treasurer, I. Temple 1534.
J.p. Berks. 1522-d., commr. subsidy 1523, 1524; other commissions, Berks. and Oxon. 1527-d.4
The Latton family had held land at Upton, near Blewbury, since the reign of Edward I and John Latton’s father also acquired the neighbouring manor of Chilton. Nothing has come to light concerning Latton’s early education but after entering the Inner Temple at a comparatively late age he became an active member of his inn, often presiding over its parliaments. He was assessed there for subsidy in November 1523 at 50s. on goods valued at £50. Success as a lawyer no doubt enabled him to add to his country estates. In 1533 he secured the reversion of a lease of the manor of Broughton, Wiltshire, for 21 years and in 1542 he bought the manor of Kingston Bagpuze, Berkshire, with other lands in the same county and in Oxfordshire.5
Latton’s election for Oxford in 1529 with William Fleming may have been contested. Most of the Oxford Members at this time, including Fleming, were townsmen, whereas Latton did not even own property in the county at the time of his return, although of his later acquisitions Northmoor was only five miles from Oxford. He probably owed his return therefore, directly or indirectly, to Sir John Dauntesey, a prominent royal servant and knight of the shire for Oxfordshire in this Parliament, whose first wife had been Latton’s sister Alice. Dauntesey’s son William had married a daughter of Sir Thomas More and More’s influence may have been useful to Latton at Oxford as it presumably was to William Dauntesey at Thetford. Cromwell classed Latton with the younger Dauntesey, William Roper, another son-in-law to More, and Henry See, Roper’s friend and colleague, as ‘of Chelsea’ in a list thought to be of Members opposed to the bill in restraint of appeals to Rome. Some of these may have opposed the bill on economic rather than religious grounds, fearing that it would harm the cloth trade, but although Latton had some interest in that trade, his connexion with the More circle would in itself account for his inclusion. Two other men on the list, Sir William Essex and Thomas Vachell, were to act with Latton (although he is not mentioned in Foxe’s account) as judges at the trial of the Windsor martyrs in 1543, and another, William Symonds, was to play a leading part in the trial. If Latton were aligned with the opposition in Parliament, that did not prevent Oxford’s receiving instructions to return him again with Fleming to its successor. In a letter of 18 May 1536 the mayor, William Frere, replied to Cromwell that Fleming was too old to sit again and asked whether he, and perhaps Latton also, should not be replaced. Frere, perhaps a defeated candidate in 1529, may have coveted one of the seats, but to what effect we cannot say as the names of the men elected in 1536 are unknown.6
Latton made his will on 6 Apr. 1547, died at Chilton on 31 May 1548 and was buried in Blewbury church, where there is a brass of him and his family. His extensive property was carefully divided. His ‘newly builded house’ at Kingston Bagpuze, with half the lands there, went to his widow, the remaining lands at Kingston and at East Lockinge to his eldest son William, and others at Charlton, East Hanney and West Lockinge in Berkshire and at Mortlake in Surrey, to his younger sons. Two daughters, Dorothy and Jane, received £100 apiece; a third daughter Susan was left the profits of a wardship granted to Latton in 1531; and another daughter Anne was to have £200 at the age of 14. The three elder daughters and the three younger sons also received additional monetary bequests. The executors were Latton’s wife and eldest son, with two sons-in-law and a Dauntesey ‘cousin’ as overseers. William Latton, aged 22 at his father’s death, married Margaret, daughter of Thomas Alvard of Ipswich, Suffolk, but died prematurely in 1551.7