HADDE, Matthew (c.1544/5-1617), of St. Alphege, Canterbury, Kent and Lincoln's Inn, London

Published in The History of Parliament: the House of Commons 1604-1629, ed. Andrew Thrush and John P. Ferris, 2010
Available from Cambridge University Press



Family and Education

b. c.1544/5, 2nd s. of Henry Hadde (d.1581) of Frinsted, Kent and Catherine, da. of Thomas Wilsford of Lenham, Kent. educ. L. Inn 1568, called 1577. unm. d. 8 Aug. 1617.1 sig. Mathew Hadde.

Offices Held

Reader, Furnival’s Inn c.1583;2 bencher, L. Inn 1589-d., reader 1589-90, 1597-8, marshal, 1589, kpr. of Black Bk. 1594-5, 1589-90, treas. 1597-8, master of the lib. 1609-at least 1614;3 fee’d counsel, Canterbury 1591-1612,4 Hythe, Kent 1598,5 Lydd, Kent,6 fee’d counsel and recorder (jt.), Sandwich, Kent 1607,7 recorder, Canterbury 1612-d;8 steward, Faversham, Kent by 1611,9 Ct. of Dover by 1616.10

Freeman, Canterbury 1591,11 common councilman 1591,12 alderman by 1609;13 j.p. Kent 1592-at least 1614, Canterbury 1608;14 commr. sewers, Wittersham levels, Kent and Suss. 1604,15 E. Kent 1604-d.,16 Teynham and Tonge, Kent 1607, Kent and Suss. 1609-d.;17 asst. Dover harbour board 1606;18 commr. subsidy, Kent and Canterbury 1608,19 aid 1609,20 oyer and terminer, Canterbury 1609,21 Sandwich, Kent 1613,22 piracy, Cinque Ports 1612-d.,23 charitable uses, Kent 1616.24


By the late thirteenth century the Haddes were seated at Chart Sutton, a few miles south-east of Maidstone, but a century later they had moved to Frinsted manor, near Sittingbourne, where they remained until Hadde’s elder brother Arnold alienated the property in 1587.25 Hadde entered Lincoln’s Inn in his early twenties, becoming a barrister at about 32. By 1586 he was leasing property near Canterbury from the local dean and chapter.26 Despite his bailiff having killed a labourer in April 1591 while distraining some livestock,27 Hadde was shortly afterwards retained as standing counsel at 40s. p.a. by Canterbury’s corporation, and became a magistrate in the following year. In 1597 he leased a schoolhouse in the parish of St. Alphege from Archbishop Whitgift,28 which may have become his permanent home outside London. He subsequently became a prominent Kent lawyer, and by about 1612 had ‘virtually monopolized all the high legal posts’ in the county.29

Hadde was returned to Westminster as the junior Member for Canterbury in 1604. A newcomer to Parliament, he was evidently taken under the wing of his senior colleague, the recorder of Canterbury and veteran parliamentarian, Sir John Boys, who was named to five of the nine committees to which Hadde was appointed in 1604. His interests as a lawyer and magistrate largely influenced his appointments, as he was named to consider bills concerned with the continuation of expiring laws (24 Mar.), the release of prisoners from gaol (31 Mar.), the relief of prisoners (20 Apr.), bigamy (26 Apr.), the legal status of the post-nati (3 May) and poor relief (4 May). However, local considerations explain his inclusion on bill committees for Edward Neville of Birling (14 May) and John Theobald of Seal (22 May).30 He made no recorded speeches in 1604, although he must have been interested in wardship, one of the session’s key themes, as he often practised in the Court of Wards and had purchased a wardship himself.31

Hadde played little recorded part in the second session. On 3 Mar. 1606 he brought in a bill for the repair of the bridge over the Severn at Upton although he had not been named to the committee, and on 27 Mar. he was added to the committee concerned with the enforcement of the penal laws. On 1 Apr. he was named to two more committees, one concerned with the Pinners’ Company and the other with church government, but received no mention thereafter.32 However, by now he had made enough of an impression on his colleagues to merit inclusion in the ‘Parliament Fart’: ‘Yet, quoth Mr. Had, that we may come by it,/ Let’s make a proviso to limit and tie it’.33 During the third session his only bill committee appointments concerned Cheshunt vicarage (12 Dec. 1606), Henry Boughton’s Warwickshire estate (15 Dec. 1606) and the Kent lands of Sir William Selby I* (30 Apr. 1607). On 11 May 1607 he also opposed the addition of a proviso to the clothing bill.34 Following the end of the session, Hadde helped Sir John Boys inspect the Act allowing Richard Sackville to surrender the office of chief butler, as the Cinque Ports were concerned that it might prejudice their right to collect prisage.35 In 1608 he backed Boys, his fellow subsidy commissioner, in a rating dispute with Sir Thomas Peyton.36 In the fourth session he was named to just two bill committees, one concerned with the lands of the late Lord Cheyney (19 June 1610) and the other with the parish of Ashe (4 July 1610). Both were Kent measures.37

Hadde was granted the chambers formerly belonging to Serjeant Humphrey Winch* in November 1606, and was also permitted access to Lincoln’s Inn Library, of which he subsequently became master. In 1612 he succeeded Sir John Boys as recorder of Canterbury, and in the following year presented silver cups to Prince Charles, Princess Elizabeth and the Palsgrave on their visit to the city.38 Unable to attend the Maidstone assizes of March 1613 due to illness, 39 he was not re-elected to Parliament in 1614 and was probably seriously ill by November 1615, when Lincoln’s Inn passed a resolution on the use of his chambers in anticipation of his imminent demise.40 He died unmarried and childless on 8 Aug. 1617 and was buried at St. Alphege, Canterbury six days later.41 No will or administration has been found, but he was evidently succeeded in his estates by his barrister nephew, Edmund Hadde.42 Twelve shillings were spent on repairing his arms in the window of Lincoln’s Inn chapel in 1628-9.43

Ref Volumes: 1604-1629

Author: Andrew Thrush


  • 1. Vis. Kent (Harl. Soc. xlii), 97-8; Cent. Kent Stud. P151/1/1, f. 29v; LI Admiss.; LI Black Bks. i. 402; Topographer, i. 212.
  • 2. Readings and Moots at Inns of Ct. II ed. S.E. Thorne and J.H. Baker (Selden Soc. cv), p. civ; J.H. Baker and J.S. Ringrose, Cat. of English Legal Mss in CUL, 124.
  • 3. LI Black Bks. ii. 11, 13, 15, 38, 52, 56, 117, 164, 167.
  • 4. Canterbury Cathedral Archives, CC/A3/3, f. 195; CC/FA/22(1), f. 35.
  • 5. E. Kent Archives Cent. H1031, f. 183v.
  • 6. P. Clark, Eng. Prov. Soc. 276, dates of tenure not given.
  • 7. W. Boys, Hist. Sandwich (1792), p. 423; Cent. Kent. Stud. Sa/AC/6, f. 355.
  • 8. Canterbury Cathedral Archives, CC/FA/22(1), ff. 74, 295.
  • 9. Cent. Kent. Stud. Fa/AC/3, f. 81v; Fa/FAc/197, f. 261r-v.
  • 10. CSP Dom. 1611-18, pp. 376, 416.
  • 11. Roll of Freemen of City of Canterbury comp. J.M. Cowper, 318.
  • 12. Canterbury Cathedral Archives, CC/A3/3, f. 194v.
  • 13. Canterbury Cathedral Archives, CC/AA/57.
  • 14. Cal. Assize Recs. Kent Indictments, Eliz. I ed. J.S. Cockburn, 338, 492; Cal. Assize Recs. Kent Indictments, Jas. I ed. J.S. Cockburn, 121-2; C181/2, f. 82.
  • 15. C181/1, p. 180.
  • 16. C181/1, p. 189; Cent. Kent. Stud. S/EK/SO2, pp. 93, 318.
  • 17. C181/2, ff. 45v, 88v, 248.
  • 18. J.B. Jones, Annals of Dover, 100.
  • 19. SP14/31/1.
  • 20. SP14/43/107.
  • 21. Canterbury Cathedral Archives, CC/AA/57.
  • 22. C181/2, f. 198v.
  • 23. Ibid. ff. 185, 247.
  • 24. C93/7/7.
  • 25. Draft CPR, 1585-7, ii. 26.
  • 26. Canterbury Cathedral Archives, DCc/CA3, f. 57. For subsequent leases, see ibid. ff. 149, 162v, 163v, 202, 265.
  • 27. Cal. Assize Recs. Kent Indictments, Eliz. I, 327.
  • 28. SP12/277/95. CSP Dom. 1598-1601, p. 532 (surname mis-spelt).
  • 29. Clark, 275.
  • 30. CJ, i. 152b, 160b, 180a, 185a, 197b, 198b, 210a, 283a, 222a, 234b.
  • 31. WARD 9/528, ff. 141v, 262, 501.
  • 32. CJ, i. 277a, 290b, 291b.
  • 33. Add. 34218, f. 21v.
  • 34. CJ, i. 330a, 331a, 365a, 1043b.
  • 35. Cal. of White and Black Bks. of Cinque Ports ed. F. Hull (Kent Recs. xix), 386.
  • 36. STAC 8/235/18.
  • 37. CJ, i. 441a, 445b.
  • 38. C.R. Bunce, Ancient Canterbury, 17.
  • 39. Cal. Assize Recs. Kent Indictments, Jas.I ed. J.S. Cockburn, 121-2.
  • 40. LI Black Bks. 178.
  • 41. Regs. St. Alphaege, Canterbury 1558-1800 ed. J.M. Cowper, 209.
  • 42. LI Admiss. 111; W.R. Prest, Rise of the Barristers, 365.
  • 43. LI Black Bks. 289.