HORTON, Walter (b.c.1512), of Catton, Derbys. and Caloughdon, Warws.
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Family and Education
b. c.1512, prob. 1st s. of John Horton by his w. ?Anne. m. ?Anne, da. of John Curzon of Croxhall, Derbys. suc. gd.-fa. Roger Horton of Catton 1526.1
The sixteenth-century pedigrees of this family are confused. It is, for example, uncertain whether Anne Curzon was Horton’s wife, mother or grandmother. Possibly the Derbyshire branch of the family was connected with (and the name a variant spelling of) the Houghtons of Clitheroe, who were established in the town by Elizabeth’s reign. Whether or not this is so, Horton presumably owed his seat to (or at least was approved of by) the chancellor of the duchy of Lancaster, as a list for the Parliament of 1563 has Horton down for Monmouth, another duchy borough. Yet between Horton and Sir Ambrose Cave the chancellor, the only known connexion is that both were Warwickshire landowners, so there remains the possibility that Horton did indeed have ties with Clitheroe and that these were decisive. He certainly lived on his Derbyshire property, the heralds’ visitation of 1569 referring to ‘Catton ... below Croxhall upon the River of Tam, the habitation of Walter Horton, esquire ... pleasant, fruitful and commodious’. In 1564 the bishops’ letters to the Council about religion described him as ‘meet to be called to office’, and he was chosen to be one of his bishop’s three advisers on the religion of justices of the peace in the county. In August 1565, apparently as a justice, he carried out an inquiry into the Derbyshire lands of John Sacheverall. He presumably had some property in Staffordshire, where early in Elizabeth’s reign he was a commissioner for inquisitions post mortem. In July 1560 he was involved in an affray at Tamworth, and was accused in the Star Chamber of unlawful assembly and attacking a certain William Robinson. According to the bill of complaint, the townspeople intervened and separated the contestants.
No will or inquisition post mortem survives, and the date of Horton’s death is unknown. It was probably a younger relative and namesake, the son of Christopher Horton of Catton, who subscribed £25 to the Armada fund.4