LEVINGE (LIVING), Timothy (c.1574-1636), of Derby and the Inner Temple, 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.1574, 4th s. of Thomas Levinge of Baddesley Ensor, Warws. and Margaret, da. of Thomas Freeman of Bolehall, Warws.1 educ. Balliol, Oxf. 1591, aged 17; Clement’s Inn; I. Temple 1596, called 1606.2 m. by 1617,3 with £400, Elizabeth, da. and h. of William Fayrefax, Goldsmith, of Lombard Street, London, 4s. 1da.4 d. 10 June 1636.5

Offices Held

Recorder, Derby by 1620-?d.;6 steward of reader’s feast, I. Temple 1621, bencher 1622-d., reader 1624.7

J.p. Derbys. 1635-d.8


Levinge was described on matriculating at Oxford in 1591 as a plebeian, but his elder brother bought the Derbyshire manor of Parwich and was granted a coat of arms in 1611.9 Straitened circumstances probably explain Levinge’s relatively late call to the bar in 1606. However, he subsequently married an heiress, and by 1618 was acting as legal adviser to the 5th earl of Huntingdon.10 He acquired property in Derby,11 and by 1620 had succeeded Henry Duport† as the borough’s recorder. In this capacity he commenced an action in Chancery the same year to enforce the payment of an annual rent charge of £3 for the poor of St. Peter’s, Derby.12

Returned as senior Member for Derby in 1621, Levinge was named to just one committee, to consider a bill that aimed to limit the time within which legal actions could be brought (6 February).13 His first recorded speech was on the Leicestershire election, in which Sir Thomas Beaumont II* had been returned despite being heavily outvoted by Huntingdon’s brother Sir George Hastings*. Speaking on 8 Feb., he unsuccessfully opposed a motion to admit counsel to Beaumont on the grounds that the facts of the case were not in dispute. He returned to this subject the following day, when he desired to know whether Beaumont had promised to indemnify the sheriff for falsely returning him.14 On 17 Feb. he was given leave to attend a trial in Nottingham ‘for His Majesty in a quo warranto’,15 but had returned by 8 May, when he informed the House that Sir Charles Morrison* had drawn his sword on Clement Coke*.16 At the beginning of the second sitting, on 20 Nov., Levinge was abused as he left the House by a mariner armed with a loaded pistol, who was reportedly intent on killing a Member. The mariner, whose grievance is not recorded, was examined by a committee and released three days later.17 On 17 Dec., with the House in committee, Levinge successfully argued against the opinion of Sir Nathaniel Rich* that the Speaker was debarred by order from taking the chair to read a message from the king.18

With his colleague (Sir) Edward Leech promoted master in Chancery, Levinge moved down to the second seat at the following election. On 18 Mar. 1624 he was among those reported to have not received the Members’ communion as he was riding the circuit, but although absent without leave, he escaped censure.19 On 1 May he reported the bill to enable Vincent Lowe, an inhabitant of Derby, to sell land to pay his debts, to which all the Derbyshire members had been appointed on 12 April.20 That same day (1 May) he was added to the committee for Edward Egerton’s bill.21 In addition he attended an undated meeting of a committee for a bill to reverse a decree issued by the Court of Requests concerning the estate of John Edwards, to which all the lawyers had been appointed on 16 April.22

Re-elected to the first Caroline Parliament, Levinge played virtually no recorded part in its proceedings. However, he is known to have attended two undated meetings of the committee for the bill to confirm an agreement between the king and the tenants of the Cheshire manor of Macclesfield, to which all the Derbyshire Members had been appointed on 23 June.23 ‘A gentleman of good credit’, in November 1625 he informed the authorities that Derbyshire’s Catholics were planning a meeting, but it failed to materialize.24 At the following election, in 1626, Derby temporarily surrendered its seats to aristocratic patronage. Levinge regained his seat in the third Caroline Parliament, but was only mentioned once in the surviving parliamentary records, being named to the committee to amend the 1624 Act for Vincent Lowe on 16 May 1628.25

Levinge compounded for knighthood at £10 in 1630.26 Shortly before his death in June 1636 he finally won his lawsuit on behalf of Derby’s poor. Moreover, Chancery endorsed his recommendation for an increase in the disputed rent charge to £5.27 Described by the judge Sir Richard Hutton as ‘a grave honest man, of good reputation, and well learned’, Levinge was appointed serjeant-at-law on 29 May 1636, but died in Derby of the stone before the coif could be conferred.28 In his will, made on 1 Nov. 1633, he left £5 6s. 8d. to the poor of Derby, and £2 for charitable uses in his native Warwickshire, where he owned or leased land. He also held property in Nottinghamshire and Derbyshire, but his will does not suggest great wealth. His son Thomas, who succeeded as a minor, died of wounds fighting for the king at Hopton Heath. The next member of the family to enter Parliament was Levinge’s great-nephew Richard, who sat for Chester in 1690 before receiving judicial office in Ireland.29

Ref Volumes: 1604-1629

Authors: Virginia C.D. Moseley / Ben Coates


  • 1. Vis. Warws. (Harl. Soc. xii), 321; R.G.A. Levinge, Hist. of Levinge Fam. 4.
  • 2. Al. Ox.; I. Temple Admiss.
  • 3. Vis. Warws. (Harl. Soc. xii), 321.
  • 4. Vis. Staffs. (Harl. Soc. xii), 39-40; PROB 11/86, f. 311v; PROB 11/138, f. 80; PROB 11/172, f. 248; PROB 11/226, f. 214.
  • 5. C142/555/80.
  • 6. C219/37/82.
  • 7. CITR, ii. 125, 136, 143.
  • 8. C231/5, p. 186; C193/13/2, f. 13v.
  • 9. Burke PB, 1116; Grantees of Arms ed. W.H. Rylands (Harl. Soc. lxvi), 155.
  • 10. HEHL, HA5448.
  • 11. C142/555/80.
  • 12. C78/351/1.
  • 13. CJ, i. 511b.
  • 14. Ibid. 513b, 516a.
  • 15. Ibid. 525a.
  • 16. CD 1621, iii. 202.
  • 17. Nicholas, Procs. 1621, ii. 183, 199.
  • 18. CJ, i. 666b.
  • 19. ‘Nicholas 1624’, f. 87v.
  • 20. CJ, i. 762b, 781b; Kyle thesis, 530.
  • 21. CJ, i. 696a.
  • 22. C.R. Kyle, ‘Attendance Lists’, PPE 1604-48 ed. Kyle, 204-5.
  • 23. Ibid. 227; Procs. 1625, p. 226.
  • 24. HMC Cowper, i. 228.
  • 25. CD 1628, iii. 429.
  • 26. E407/35, f. 33v.
  • 27. C78/351/1.
  • 28. Order of Sjts.-at-Law ed. J.H. Baker, 133, 186; Diary of Sir Richard Hutton 1614-39 ed. W.R. Prest (Selden Soc. suppl. ser. ix), 108.
  • 29. PROB 11/172, ff. 248-9; C142/555/80; Levinge, 5.