HUTTON, Richard (c.1594-1645), of Goldsborough, Yorks. and Gray'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.1594, 2nd but 1st surv. s. of Sir Richard Hutton of Goldsborough, Yorks., j.c.p. 1617-39, and Agnes, da. and coh. of Thomas Briggs of Cowmire Hall, Crosthwaite, Westmld.1 educ. G. Inn, entered 1613; St. John’s, Camb. 1615, BA 1617, incorp. Oxf. 1617.2 m. (1) 25 May 1620, Anne, da. and coh. of Sir Richard Paulet* of Freefolk, Hants, wid. of Sir William Young (d.1618) of Basildon, Berks., s.p.;3 (2) 17 Oct. 1626, Margaret, da. of Sir William Wentworth, 1st bt., of Wentworth Woodhouse, Yorks., 1s. 1da.;4 (3) settlement 1 June 1638, Elizabeth (bur. 21 Mar. 1681), da. of Sir John Jackson of L. Inn, London and Hickleton, Yorks., wid. of Richard Williamson of Walkeringham, Notts., s.p.5 kntd. 17 July 1625;6 suc. fa. 1639.7 d. 15 Oct. 1645.8

Offices Held

Capt., militia ft. Yorks. 1625-?42;9 member, Council in the North 1629-41;10 gamekpr. Kimberworth, Yorks. by 1635;11 steward learned, honour of Knaresborough ?1639-d.;12 commr. subsidy, Yorks. (W. Riding) 1629, 1641-2, Poll Tax 1641, Irish aid 1642, array 1642;13 sheriff, Yorks. 1642-3.14

Gov. Knaresborough castle 1642-4;15 col. of ft. (roy.) 1644-d.16


Hutton’s father, younger son of a Cumbrian gentry family, trained as a lawyer, bought Goldsborough, three miles from Knaresborough, in 1601, and was elevated to the judicial bench in 1617. Justice Hutton apparently had no parliamentary ambitions, but his participation in the 1611 commission that frustrated plans to enclose the commons of Knaresborough forest earned him a local following, and it was perhaps because of this that his son was returned for Knaresborough throughout the 1620s.17

Hutton was never a prominent MP, but he did make some impression in his first Parliament. On 10 Mar. 1621 he was named to the committee to confirm copyhold tenures on Prince Charles’s manor of Kendal, Westmorland, a scheme which resembled a duchy of Lancaster project rejected by the tenants of Knaresborough forest a decade earlier. Hutton and his father had presumably supported secretary of state (Sir) George Calvert* and Sir Thomas Wentworth* at the hotly contested Yorkshire county election, as when the Commons censured two of Wentworth’s supporters on 23 Mar., Hutton was chiefly concerned ‘not to have the Members chosen blemished by the punishment of these offences’. He was later named to the committee for the bill to improve the navigation on the Yorkshire Ouse (3 May), a measure opposed by Wentworth and many other local landowners.18 Hopes for a productive session collapsed in December, when the Commons fell into an acrimonious dispute with the king over its right to free speech. On 17 Dec., in a last-ditch attempt to secure a resumption of normal business, Secretary Calvert delivered a message from the king conceding full enjoyment of parliamentary privileges. Many remained suspicious of the king’s motives, and pressed for James to endorse a formal declaration of the Commons’ privileges. Hutton took a more moderate line, agreeing that the House was entitled to record its privileges, but arguing that there was no need to confront the king over this issue; he also endorsed the request to resume ordinary business, a motion later supported by Wentworth. Such pleas had no effect, and the session ended in acrimony two days later.19

In the 1624 Parliament Hutton made only one recorded speech, during the debate of 1 Mar. about the decision to advise the king to break off the treaties with Spain. The supporters of the ‘patriot’ cause sought to obtain a vote which stopped short of requiring James to declare war, but their efforts were disrupted by a number of more hawkish speakers; Hutton’s speech, which dwelt on the dangers arising from a Spanish Match, was doubtless intended to help the patriots.20 It is not known whether Hutton attended the 1625 Parliament, which met during a plague epidemic, but he certainly came south to receive a knighthood at Windsor in July 1625. War with Spain finally commenced in October, and in the 1626 session Hutton was one of those nominated to attend the conference with the Lords at which William Herbert, 3rd earl of Pembroke and Archbishop Abbot pleaded for a generous grant of taxation to support the war effort (7 March). However, he took no part in the impeachment proceedings against the duke of Buckingham until Sir Dudley Digges and (Sir) John Eliot were arrested for suggesting that Charles and the favourite had been complicit in the murder of King James. In the debate which followed, on 12 May, the House resolved upon a Remonstrance for this infringement of its right to free speech. Hutton urged that the wording of this document should be conciliatory, and should acknowledge Charles’s ‘grace and power to dissolve us’, but his motion was ignored. Hutton married Wentworth’s sister in October 1626, but while he was returned for Knaresborough once again in 1628, he left no trace on the records of the session in which his brother-in-law played such a prominent part, nor did he profit from Wentworth’s preferment during the 1630s.21

In 1638 Hutton’s father was one of the two judges who unequivocally condemned Ship Money in principle; he quickly wrote to Wentworth justifying his decision. As a result the latter held no grudge against his son, who was paired with Wentworth’s nephew Sir William Savile, 3rd bt.† for the Yorkshire election of October 1640. The pair were roundly defeated by Sir Ferdinando Fairfax* and Henry Belasyse*, and while Savile later came in at a by-election, Hutton did not stand again. In September 1642 Hutton garrisoned Knaresborough castle for the king, in order to forestall its capture by Fairfax’s parliamentarian forces. After the fall of York he retreated to Pontefract. He was killed in action at nearby Sherburn-in-Elmet on 15 Oct. 1645. His Goldsborough estate eventually came to his grandson Robert Byerley, who sat for Knaresborough in nine parliaments between 1695 and 1714.22

Ref Volumes: 1604-1629

Authors: Karen Bishop / Simon Healy


  • 1. Vis. Yorks. ed. Foster, 536.
  • 2. GI Admiss.; Al. Cant.
  • 3. Reg. St. Botolph Bishopsgate ed. A.W.C. Hallen, i. 61; VCH Hants, iv. 210; VCH Berks. iii. 460.
  • 4. J. Hunter, South Yorks. ii. 143.
  • 5. Ibid.; C142/664/8; Strafforde Letters (1739) ed. W. Knowler, ii. 178.
  • 6. Shaw, Knights of Eng. ii. 189.
  • 7. C142/586/108.
  • 8. Fairfax Corresp. ed. R. Bell, ii. 254-5.
  • 9. Add. 18979, f. 2; Add. 28082, f. 80.
  • 10. R. Reid, Council in the North, 498.
  • 11. Strafforde Letters, i. 485.
  • 12. CSP Dom. 1660-1, p. 239.
  • 13. Fairfax Corresp. ed. G.W. Johnson, i. 210; SR, v. 61, 83, 107, 141, 150; Northants. RO, FH133.
  • 14. HMC 5th Rep. 142.
  • 15. HMC 13th Rep. i. 63.
  • 16. Slingsby Diary ed. D. Parsons, 81; P.R. Newman, Roy. Officers in Eng. and Wales, 207.
  • 17. J. Nicolson and R. Burn, Westmld. and Cumb. ii. 401; Hist. Harrogate and Knaresborough ed. B. Jennings, 130-2.
  • 18. CJ, i. 548b, 571b, 605b; Hist. Harrogate and Knaresborough, 130.
  • 19. CD 1621, vi. 243-4; R. Zaller, Parl. of 1621, pp. 172-83.
  • 20. ‘Spring 1624’, p. 61.
  • 21. Procs. 1626, ii. 216; iii. 245; Hunter, ii. 143.
  • 22. Strafforde Letters, i. 485; ii. 177-8; Slingsby Diary, 50-1, 63, 171; Harrogate and Knaresborough, 139; Fairfax Corresp. ii. 254-5.