CARTWRIGHT, Hugh (by 1526-72), of London and West Malling, Kent.

Published in The History of Parliament: the House of Commons 1509-1558, ed. S.T. Bindoff, 1982
Available from Boydell and Brewer



Family and Education

b. by 1526, 1st s. of Edmund Cartwright of Ossington, Notts. by Agnes, da. of Thomas Cranmer of Sutton Notts. educ. ?Trinity Hall, Camb. 1534. m. Jane, da. of Sir John Newton alias Cradock of East Harptree Som. and Henham, Glos., s.p.2

Offices Held

Surveyor, ct. augmentations, Kent 1550-4; j.p. Kent 1558/59-d.; commr. Rochester bridge 1571.3


Hugh Cartwright was the nephew of Archbishop Cranmer. His return to the first Parliament of Edward VI’s reign was doubtless the archbishop’s work: in what appears to have been his first experience of the Commons he was chosen by a recently enfranchised Cornish borough where the Arundells of Lanherne were supreme. Presumably through his work in the augmentations he became known to Sir Thomas Arundell during the late 1540s, and this link explains his choice of seat. Arundell was dead by the time the next Parliament was called and Cartwright was not re-elected for Mitchell, nor is it likely that he was found a seat elsewhere. He was not to reappear in the Commons until after Cranmer’s execution, and although he lived near Rochester he may then have relied on the patronage of his neighbours the Brookes, to whom he was later related by marriage. Cartwright attracted some kind of notice during this Parliament as his name was one of a group marked with a circle on a list of its Members.4

In May 1549 Cartwright joined with William Hyde, then augmentations surveyor in Kent, in the purchase for £710 of former monastic lands in the county. The property included the chapel of Womenswould, for defacing which, and removing the lead, Cartwright and Hyde were complained of in the Star Chamber by the inhabitants of the parish. Cartwright in his answer asserted that the chapel was not the parish church, as the plaintiffs alleged, and that he had been granted by the King ‘all the lead, timber, stone, glass, iron and bells of the same chapel and also the mansion house of the curate there’, which he had lawfully taken into his possession. The court found in favour of the plaintiffs and ordered Cartwright to tile the church: for persistent refusal to obey this decree he was in November 1552 imprisoned and fined £50. Cartwright succeeded Hyde as surveyor of Kent in June 1550.5

Although his fortunes were thus bound up with the Reformation, Cartwright demonstrated his loyalty to Mary by supporting the crown against Sir Thomas Wyatt II in 1554. He was placed on the commission of the peace for Kent in the first year of Elizabeth’s reign and in 1564 Archbishop Parker described him as conformable. He appears to have played little part in the life of the county and may, indeed, have spent some of his time in Nottinghamshire, where he had inherited his father’s manor of Ossington. But it was as of West Malling, esquire, that he sued out a general pardon in 1553; and this was still the way in which he described himself when he came to make his will on 10 Dec. 1571, leaving to his wife all his household stuff and all the profits of the dissolved abbey of West Malling. The income from the rest of his lands, except the third from the manor of Ossington due to the Queen, he left to his brother Thomas Cartwright until William, Thomas’s son and Hugh’s heir, became 21. He appointed Thomas and William Cartwright the executors of his will, which was sealed and delivered on 6 Feb. 1572 and proved on 5 July 1572. In a case in the court of requests, however, Jane Cartwright was described as an executor, with Thomas Cartwright, of her late husband. William Dabridgecourt, acting on behalf of William Cartwright, the Queen’s ward, contested the validity of the inventory of Hugh Cartwright’s possessions.6

Ref Volumes: 1509-1558

Author: Helen Miller


  • 1. Hatfield 207.
  • 2. Presumed to be of age at election. CPR, 1555-7, p. 243; Hasted, Kent, iv. 511.
  • 3. APC, iii. 51; CPR, 1569-72, p. 278.
  • 4. Strype, Cranmer, i. 602; Wm. Salt Lib. SMS 264.
  • 5. CPR, 1548-9, pp. 319-23; St.Ch.3/1/73; Harl. 2143, f. 6v; APC, iii. 51.
  • 6. Arch. Cant. iii. 180; Cam. Misc. ix(3), 58; C142/162/127; NRA 14759; CPR, 1553-4, p. 454; PCC 25 Daper; Req.2/38/78.