LITTLETON, Timothy (c.1608-79), of Henley, Salop and St. Giles in the Fields, Mdx.

Published in The History of Parliament: the House of Commons 1660-1690, ed. B.D. Henning, 1983
Available from Boydell and Brewer



1661 - 1 Feb. 1670

Family and Education

b. c.1608, 7th s. of Sir Edward Littleton (d.1622) of Henley, Salop. c.j. N. Wales circuit 1621-2, by Mary, da. of Edmund Walter of Ludlow, c.j. S. Wales circuit 1581-94. bro. of Edward Littleton, 1st Baron Lyttelton of Mounslow. educ. I. Temple 1626, called 1635. m. (1) 23 July 1631, Elizabeth (bur. 27 June 1667), ?1s. d.v.p.; (2) lic. 30 June 1668, aged 60, Elizabeth (d.1684), da. of one Ayliffe, wid. of one Gibbons, s.p. Kntd. 29 June 1671.1

Offices Held

Serjeant-at-law 1640; baron of the Exchequer 1 Feb. 1670-d.

Bencher, I. Temple 1640; second justice, N. Wales circuit 1644-7, c.j. Aug. 1660-70; member, council in the marches of Wales 1644; j.p. Anglesey, Caern. and Merion. 1644-6, Sept. 1660-d., Salop Aug. 1660-d.; commr. for association, Salop 1645; recorder, Ludlow 1656-75, Bewdley 1660-70; commr. for assessment, Salop 1657, Sept. 1660-d., Mdx. 1673-9, oyer and terminer, Oxford circuit July 1660, corporations, Salop 1662-3.2


Littleton’s father was a younger son of the Shropshire branch of the family, and his eldest brother was lord keeper from 1641 till his death at Oxford in the Civil War. It was doubtless to this connexion that he owed his appointment as a Welsh judge in 1644; but he can hardly have been regarded as a royalist delinquent, since he never compounded. He was allowed to serve as recorder of Ludlow under the Protectorate, and was named to the county assessment commission. Returned for the borough at the general election of 1660, he was not an active committeeman in the Convention, being named only to the committee of elections and privileges and seven others. His eight speeches suggested a moderate attitude towards the Restoration. He opposed penalties for those who had collaborated under the Protectorate, though he agreed that the bill of indemnity should not apply where the oaths of allegiance and supremacy were refused. He seconded a motion to empower the King to nominate army and excise commissioners. He was appointed to the committee on the bill to settle ministers in their livings, though on the first reading he complained that ‘’twas to continue all scandalous ministers out, and not to remove all scandalous that were in’, and later he was among those ordered to direct the clerk of the Commons in any difficulties arising over the engrossment. He helped to manage the conference of 31 Aug. on the King’s message announcing the recess. As chairman for the bill to confirm the land purchases, he reported the case of Thomas Gewen. An Anglican and a court supporter, he was rewarded with promotion to the chief justiceship of his circuit.3

Littleton was re-elected in 1661 after a contest, but he was even less active in the Cavalier Parliament, with nine committees in eight sessions. Of these, three (all in the first session) were on private bills, and he was named to the elections committee in each of the first four sessions. Though he took no part in politically sensitive legislation, he was listed as a court dependent in 1664. He is last mentioned in the Journals on 22 Nov. 1666, when he and Thomas Jones I testified on the sanity of John Bodvile, whose estates were claimed under a disputed will by Robert Robartes. Nevertheless Sir Thomas Osborne included him in 1669 among the Members who usually voted for supply, and in the following year he became a high court judge. He was buried in the Temple church on 2 Apr. 1679.4

Ref Volumes: 1660-1690

Authors: M. W. Helms / J. S. Crossette


  • 1. Trans. Salop Arch. Soc. (ser. 2), xi. 324; (ser. 4), iii. 309-11; London Mar. Lic. ed. Chester, 850; C7/304/17; PCC Hare.
  • 2. W. R. Williams, Gt. Sessions in Wales, 96-97; W. H. Black, Docquets of Letters Patent, 145; CSP Dom. 1645-7, p. 80; 1675-6, p. 247; Bodl. Ch. Salop 146.
  • 3. Bowman diary, ff. 51, 52, 57v, 76, 105; CJ, viii. 106, 144, 152.
  • 4. Temple Church Recs. 23.