HUTCHINSON, Sir Thomas (1589-1643), of Owthorpe and Nottingham, Notts.
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Family and Education
b. 4 Sept. 1589,1 o.s. of Thomas Hutchinson of Cropwell, Notts. and Jane, da. and h. of Henry Sacheverell of Radcliffe-upon-Soar, Notts.2 educ. Pembroke Coll. Camb. 1606; G. Inn 1609.3 m. (1) lic. 11 Apr. 1612,4 Margaret (d.1619), da. of Sir John Byron of Newstead Abbey, Notts., 3s. (1 d.v.p.); (2) 17 Dec. 1631, Catherine (bur. 28 Dec. 1695), da. of Sir John Stanhope of Shelford, Notts., 1s. 2da.5 suc. fa. 1599;6 kntd. 20 Mar. 1617.7 d. 18 Aug. 1643.8 sig. Tho[mas] Hutchinson.
Commr. assarts, Notts. 1614;9 j.p. Notts. 1617-at least 1641,10 sheriff 1620-1;11 commr. subsidy, Notts. 1624, 1641-2, Nottingham 1641-2,12 sewers, Leics. and Notts. 1625-at least 1629, Lincs. and Notts. 1625-at least 1642, Lincs. 1629-at least 1634,13 charitable uses, Notts. 1626, 1629-31, 1634-40,14 Forced Loan, Notts. and Newark 1627,15 oyer and terminer, Midland circ. 1631-42,16 exacted fees, Notts. 1634;17 dep. lt. Notts. by 1637-?;18 commr. to inquire whether lands in Lenton and Radford Notts. belonged to the king 1637,19 perambulation, Sherwood Forest, Notts. 1641,20 array, Notts. 1642,21 sequestration, 1643.22
According to his daughter-in-law, Lucy Hutchinson, this Member was descended from the Hutchinson family of Yorkshire. If so, then he was a distant relative of Stephen Hutchinson*. Hutchinson’s great-grandfather bought Owthorpe, in south-east Nottinghamshire, in early Tudor times. Well-connected to the leading Nottinghamshire gentry, the family was described by Lucy Hutchinson as ‘unambitious’, and indeed none of Hutchinson’s ancestors had been elected to Parliament.23
Hutchinson inherited his estate when he was still a minor. His father begged the four trustees appointed in his will ‘to do the utmost to get the wardship of my son Thomas’, but though they purchased the wardship for £109 the arrangement proved unsatisfactory, and culminated in what Chamberlain described as ‘an odd affray’. Hutchinson’s guardian, Sir German Pole, ambushed him February 1613 while he was disembarking at the Temple Stairs, and cut off two or three of his fingers. Aided by a waterman, Hutchinson grappled with his antagonist, ‘bit off a good part of his nose, and carried it away in his pocket’. According to his daughter-in-law, ‘his honourable carriage ... procured him a great deal of glory’.24
Lucy Hutchinson claimed that Hutchinson was ‘the most popular and the most beloved man in the country, even to the envy of those prouder great ones that despised the common interest’.25 She also wrote that he became ‘addicted’ to the study of theology and that he built up an impressive library of works on the subject. His inclination to favour ‘the oppressed saints’ evidently caused him to be branded a puritan, although he certainly conformed to the Church of England, and a book justifying the act of kneeling to receive communion, a practice commonly frowned on by puritans, was dedicated to Hutchinson in 1629.26
Hutchinson became the first of his family to enter Parliament when he was returned for the county in 1626. His only committee appointment was for a Derbyshire estate bill on 1 March.27 He sought to evade executing the Forced Loan by leaving the county, but a summons from the Privy Council brought him to heel, and on 4 Aug. 1627 his fellow Nottinghamshire commissioners reported that he had ‘willingly condescended to lend, and subscribed both to the book and certificate’. There is no evidence that he sought re-election in 1628, when he probably supported his brother-in-law Sir John Byron*.28
Hutchinson continued active in local affairs, though he was in trouble for residing in London over Christmas 1632, while Owthorpe was being rebuilt, and for depopulation in 1637.29 Re-elected in 1640 his daughter-in-law states that the approach of Civil War filled him with consternation, being ‘infinitely desirous the difference might rather have been composed by accommodation’. He remained at Westminster, where he made a brief will on 17 Aug. 1643. He died the following day, and was buried in the newly built church of St. Paul’s, Covent Garden. He was succeeded by his son John†, the regicide, both in his estate and (after the Civil War) in the representation of the county.30