DIGHTON, Christopher (1559-1604), of High Street, Worcester
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Family and Education
bap. 5 Nov. 1559,1 3rd but 2nd. surv. s. of Christopher Dighton I† (d.1587), vintner of High Street, Worcester, being 1st. s. with 2nd w. Alice, da. of one Conygard, alias Richardson.2 m. (1) 17 Jan. 1586, Elizabeth (d. 18 Sept. 1590), da. of one Booth of Cheshire, 2s. d.v.p.; (2) 31 May 1591, Helen (Eleanor), da. of Thomas Walsgrove alias Fleet† of Worcester, clothier, 3da.3 d. 2 Aug. 1604.4
Member of the Twenty Four, Worcester by 1588, high chamberlain 1592-3, low bailiff 1596-7, low alderman 1597-8, high bailiff and judge of Ct. of Orphans 1598-9, high alderman 1599-1600, auditor 1600.5
High master, Weavers, Walkers and Clothiers’ Co. Worcester 1596-7.6
Dighton should be distinguished from a namesake, a Fenland sewer commissioner who was almost certainly a member of the Lincolnshire Dightons.7 Another namesake was a customs searcher at Gravesend, in Kent.8 Christopher Dighton belonged to the tightly knit group of families that governed Worcester. His father and second father-in-law represented Worcester in Parliament and his father was high bailiff when the queen visited the city in 1574. Dighton’s sister Martha married Robert Abbot, later bishop of Salisbury and brother of the Jacobean archbishop of Canterbury. Although his father was a vintner, Dighton became a prominent member of the Clothiers’ Company. When his father died in 1587, Dighton’s elder half-brother John, who had taken holy orders, sold him their father’s house, which was almost certainly the inn or tavern subsequently called the Earl’s Post. Dighton probably supplied it with beer himself, since he referred to various malt houses in his will.9
Dighton was elected to James’s first Parliament along with his brother-in-law, John Coucher, on 2 Mar. 1604.10 On 20 Apr. he was named to the conference to discuss the Union and on 16 June he was appointed to consider a bill concerning tanners.11 He was replaced on the last day of the year, having died on 2 August.12 In his will, dated 26 July 1604, he bequeathed his three daughters £200 each, and cancelled the debts of Robert Abbot and his sister Martha. The overseers of his will included Coucher, who acted as a witness. He asked to be buried near his father in St. Helen’s church. He appointed his wife as executrix, who proved his will on 23 Aug. 1604. None of his descendants sat in Parliament.13
Ref Volumes: 1604-1629
Authors: Glyn Redworth / Ben Coates
- 1. Par. Bk. of St. Helen’s Church, Worcester ed. J.B. Wilson, i. 12.
- 2. W.R. Buchanan-Dunlop, ‘Old Worcester Fams. III. Dighton’, Trans. Worcs. Arch. Soc. xxii. 84-5; CPR, 1554-5, p. 308; Par. Bk. St. Helen’s Church, Worcester, ii. 95, 97.
- 3. Par. Bk. of St. Helen’s Church, Worcester, i. 25, 26, 29, 31, 33; ii. 7, 8, 97, 99; Vis. Worcs. (Harl. Soc. xxvii), 48; HP Commons, 1558-1603 sub Walsgrove alias Fleet, Thomas.
- 4. Par. Bk. St. Helen’s Church, Worcester, ii. 107.
- 5. Chamber Bk. ed. S. Bond (Worcs. Hist. Soc. n.s. viii), 63; Worcs. RO, X496.5/BA9360, shelf 644/1, ff. 185v, 196, 200, 202v, 205, 207.
- 6. Worcs. RO, b705:232 BA6955/2, f. 27v.
- 7. C181/5, f. 75v; Lincs. Peds. ed. A.R. Maddison (Harl. Soc. l), 298-90.
- 8. HCA 13/46, ff. 287, 296, 316, 489; CSP Dom. 1635-6, p. 374.
- 9. Buchanan-Dunlop, 84-7; PROB 11/104, ff. 199v-200.
- 10. Chamber Bk. 82.
- 11. CJ, i. 180a, 241a.
- 12. Chamber Bk. 87.
- 13. PROB 11/104, ff. 199v-200.