HINTON, Sir Thomas (1573/4-1635), of Chilton Park, Chilton Foliat, Wilts.
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Family and Education
b. 1573/4, 1st s. of Anthony Hinton of Earlscott, Wanborough, Wilts. and Martha, da. of John Warneford of Sevenhampton, Wilts.1 educ. Queen’s, Oxf. 1591, aged 17.2 m. (1) 1595 (with £1,000),3 Catherine (bur. 11 Oct. 1609), da. of William Palmer of Parham, Suss., 6s. (1 d.v.p.) 1da. d.v.p.;4 (2) 1 Oct. 1622, Mary (bur. 18 Apr. 1632),5 da. of Peter Tryon, merchant of London,6 wid. of Sir Sebastian Harvey, Ironmonger and alderman of Lime Street, London,7 s.p. suc. fa. 1598;8 kntd. 1 July 1619.9 d. 1 Feb. 1635.10 sig. Tho[mas] Hinton.
Commr. maimed soldiers, Wilts. 1608,11 capt., militia ft. 1608-at least 1611;12 sheriff, Berks. 1612-13;13 j.p. Wilts. 1614-d.;14 commr. oyer and terminer, Devon, Dorset, Hants, Som., Wilts. 1616-25,15 Cornw. 1618-25.16
Hinton’s family had owned property in Swindon, Wiltshire since the thirteenth century and had purchased lands in Wanborough and neighbouring Oxfordshire parishes in the 1540s.17 Hinton himself initially settled at Wanborough, securing a generous dowry from his first wife before inheriting the bulk of the family’s substantial estates in 1598.18 These included lands in Bourton, Oxfordshire, the home of his cousin Thomas Hinton, who married the sister of Lawrence Tanfield*, chief baron of the Exchequer.19 Using the income derived from these properties, rated at a respectable £20 in the subsidy rolls, he purchased Chilton Park, a 615-acre estate on the Wiltshire-Berkshire border.20 However, he did not acquire significant local office until 1608, when Edward Seymour, 1st earl of Hertford, appointed him a captain of foot in Sir William Button’s* militia regiment. Considering this position onerous, Hinton petitioned Hertford for relief ‘in regard of my want of experience in such employments’, and added that he was already serving on a county committee concerning maimed soldiers, and that ‘some necessary occasions are like to cause me to live in London when my absence will either cause the neglect of my duty or my presence procure me much inconvenience’. He had presumably taken lodgings in London by July 1611, when Hertford condemned the ‘defect and want in you of such supplements as belong to every captain having charge of men’.21 By this point Hinton and other leading gentry had become aggrieved at Hertford’s appointment of his servant Josias Kirton as muster-master. In September Hinton proposed to delay the musters until after the harvest, but by the following month he was refusing to contribute towards the muster-master’s wages unless Kirton’s appointment was approved by the whole county.22 Hinton was pricked as sheriff for Berkshire in the following year, and finally appointed to the Wiltshire magistracy in 1614.
In November 1616 Hinton was accused of fraudulently registering a recognizance for £2,000 at the Statute Office, and of then attempting to mortgage it at a goldsmith’s for £5,000. His alleged confederate, Thomas Jolliffe, was committed to the Fleet, but it has not been established what action, if any, was taken against Hinton himself.23 Legal proceedings certainly followed from his marriage in 1622 to Lady Mary Harvey, whose previous husband, Sir Sebastian Harvey, had left her a fortune estimated at £40,000.24 Numerous suits resulted from Hinton’s attempts to secure repayment of loans Harvey had made over the previous 30 years, and from his efforts to exploit more fully the rental income from Harvey’s estates in Shropshire, Gloucestershire and Worcestershire.25 Hinton’s principal legal concerns during the 1620s, however, were to defend his wife’s goods against claims made by Harvey’s daughter Mary and her husband John Popham*, and in countering charges that he had forged a number of leases depriving the young couple of the profits of an estate settled on them at their marriage in May 1621.26
Elected for Downton in December 1620, despite holding no property in south Wiltshire, Hinton presumably owed his seat to the borough’s principal patron, William Herbert, 3rd earl of Pembroke. In the Commons Hinton made no recorded speeches, but was named to 11 bill committees. Some of these involved legal technicalities such as alienations (19 Mar.), local lawsuits (20 Mar.) and forcible entries (24 March). His Wiltshire estate and London interests may explain his nomination to committees for bills dealing with the sale of Wiltshire lands belonging to the debtor Sir Thomas Redferne (15 Mar.) and the relief of London’s poor (2 May). Miscellaneous committees to which he was appointed concerned bills to prevent the export of ordnance (26 Mar.), the use of gold and silver in apparel (21 Apr.) and the estate of the fraudulent scrivener Thomas Frith (26 May).27 On 2 June he was one of the 24 Members selected to inform the king that both Houses preferred the option of an adjournment to an extension of the sitting.28 After the session reconvened in the autumn, he was named to a committee for a bill to convey criminals to houses of correction (22 Nov.). He was also a member of the committee for a bill to allow ministers to lease lands on behalf of their dependants (22, 23 November).29
Hinton was re-elected for Ludgershall in May 1625, probably on the strength of his local status, as he had no direct connection with the borough. He made no known contribution to the work of the House. He may have stood for Ludgershall again in 1626, but if so, he was defeated by Sir William Walter*. He certainly stood at the subsequent election which was called after the Commons voided both initial returns for the second seat. However, although he was returned on 18 Mar. 1626, a rival group of electors submitted a separate indenture for Sir Thomas Jay*, and the dispute remained unresolved at the dissolution in June.30 Hinton is not known to have contested the seat against Jay in 1628.
Hinton died on 1 Feb. 1635 and was initially buried next to Lady Mary at Wanborough before being re-interred alongside his first wife, Catherine, at Chilton Foliat.31 No will has been found, and the inquisition into his estate was not taken until 1639.32 Hinton’s children developed close ties with Virginia: two sons emigrated there; and his daughter married Samuel Matthews, the colony’s governor in the 1650s; while his eldest son, Anthony, belonged to the Virginia Company and may briefly have been a planter in Barbados.33 A fourth son, John, became physician to Henrietta Maria.34 None of Hinton’s descendants sat in Parliament.
Ref Volumes: 1604-1629
Author: Henry Lancaster
- 1. Vis. Wilts. (Harl. Soc. cv-cvi), 207.
- 2. Al. Ox.
- 3. PROB 11/70, f. 13.
- 4. Wilts. RO, 735/2, ff. 2v, 7, 8, 13; W. Munk, Roll of Roy. Coll. of Physicians, i. 329-31.
- 5. LMA, P88/MRY1/002, f. 4v; Wilts. RO, 1788/1.
- 6. G.E. Cokayne, Lord Mayors and Sheriffs of London, 81-2; J. Aubrey, Top. Colls. 201.
- 7. A.B. Beaven, Aldermen of London, i. 25, 102; ii. 39, 52; J. Nicholl, Acct. of Co. of Ironmongers, 191; Vis. Essex (Harl. Soc. xiii), 303.
- 8. PROB 11/93, f. 300.
- 9. Shaw, Knights of Eng. ii. 176.
- 10. Wilts. IPMs ed. G.S. and A.E. Fry (Brit. Rec. Soc. xxiii), 280.
- 11. Add. 5496, f. 26.
- 12. Earl of Hertford’s Ltcy. Pprs. ed. W.P.D. Murphy (Wilts. Rec. Soc. xxiii), 122.
- 13. List of Sheriffs comp. A. Hughes (PRO, L. and I. ix), 6.
- 14. C66/1988 (dorse).
- 15. C181/2, ff. 266v, 283v.
- 16. Ibid. ff. 310v, 331v; 181/3, ff. 6, 30, 55, 62v, 118v, 178v.
- 17. PROB 11/20, f. 212; 11/50, f. 148; O. Hinton, Hinton Fam. Hist. (Wilts. RO transcript), 1, 17.
- 18. VCH Wilts. ix.177; PROB 11/93, f. 300; C142/257/85.
- 19. The Gen. v. 273; E. Ashmole, Antiqs. of Berks. iii. 327; J. Bridges, Hist. and Antiqs. of Northants. i. 263; VCH Berks. iv. 538; PROB 11/156, f. 57.
- 20. E115/213/62; 115/193/11; Wilts. RO, 735/2, f. 2v.
- 21. Add. 5496, ff. 26, 85v.
- 22. Earl of Hertford’s Ltcy. Pprs. 173, 176-7.
- 23. STAC 8/281/7.
- 24. C78/274/4; C142/390/143.
- 25. C2/Chas.I/P13/25; 2/Chas.I/D41/65; 2/Chas.I/D61/112; 2/Chas.I/F49/27; 2/Chas.I/H45/39; 2/Chas.I/H74/2; 2/Chas.I/H111/19; 2/Chas.I/H103/20.
- 26. C2/Chas.I/P63/62; 2/Chas.I/H59/64; C78/274/4; SP16/173/52.
- 27. CJ, i. 556a, 562a, 563b, 572a, 573b, 584b, 602b, 627b.
- 28. Ibid. 637b.
- 29. Ibid. 641b, 643a.
- 30. C219/39/231; 219/40/56-7; Procs. 1626, ii. 248.
- 31. Hinton, 51.
- 32. C142/580/95.
- 33. CSP Dom. 1628-9, p. 286; CSP Col. 1574-1660, pp. 175, 216; Travels and Works of John Smith ed. E. Barber, ii. 910; Recs. Virg. Co. ed. S. Kingsbury, iii. 327; Reg. of Colonial Virg. comp. W. and M. Newton Stanard, 33; William and Mary Quarterly. ix. pt. 1, p. 150.
- 34. R.W.I. Smith, English Speaking Students Univ. Leyden, 118; Munk, i. 329-31.