FITTON, Edward (c.1548-1606), of Gawsworth, Cheshire.

Published in The History of Parliament: the House of Commons 1558-1603, ed. P.W. Hasler, 1981
Available from Boydell and Brewer




Family and Education

b. c.1548, s. of (Sir) Edward Fitton of Gawsworth by Anne, da. of Sir Peter Warburton of Arley. educ. Brasenose, Oxf. BA 1566; G. Inn 1568. m. Alice, da. and h. of Sir John Holcroft of Holcroft, Lancs., 2s. 2da. suc. fa. 3 July 1579. Kntd. 1580.

Offices Held

Receiver gen. for Ireland 1579; j.p. Cheshire, Lancs. from c.1583; sheriff, Lancs. 1591-2; mayor, Macclesfield 1601.1


Fitton, who was concerned with the conveying of money to Ireland between 1574 and 1579, settled down in his native county, until in 1585 the proposal to colonise Munster revived his interest in Ireland, where his father had been vice-treasurer. He organized support among the leading Cheshire gentry and, in 1587, obtained a lease of nearly 12,000 acres in Limerick, Tipperary and Waterford. Financial difficulties ensued, his enthusiasm waned, and he was finally noted as an absentee.2

Fitton enjoyed the favour of Lord Burghley and was on visiting terms with Henry, 4th Earl of Derby, lord lieutenant of Lancashire and Cheshire. His return to Parliament for two duchy of Lancaster boroughs was most probably brought about by a great man at court exerting influence on the chancellor of the duchy. In 1576 he was named to one committee concerning land (18 Feb.). He did not appear at the beginning of the session of 1581, pleaded employment on the Queen’s business, and acquiesced in the return of Richard Molyneux II in his place. At the end of the session (18 Mar.) the House disallowed the substitution and enjoined Fitton to continue to serve.3