TICHBORNE, Benjamin (c.1598-by 1661), of Aldershot, Hants and the Middle 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.1598, 1st s. of Sir Walter Tichborne* and Mary, da. of Robert White of Aldershot, Hants.1 educ. Oxf. 1613; M. Temple 1616, called 1623.2 m. by 1622, Elizabeth (d.1657),3 da. of Sir John Compton of Prior’s Dean, Hants, and h. to her bro. John, 1s. d.v.p.4 suc. fa. 1637.5 d. by 1661.6

Offices Held

Recorder, Portsmouth, Hants 1630-42;7 freeman, Newport and Yarmouth I.o.W. 1634;8 commr. inquiry, Windsor forest, Berks. 1641,9 assessment, Hants 1641.10


The Tichborne family of Tichborne, of which this Member’s father was a younger son, was reputed for its adherence to Catholicism, despite their outward conformity and prominence among the county’s magistracy. The prospect of severe measures against recusants in the second Caroline Parliament obliged Tichborne, as the lawyer of the family, to make sure of a seat by standing not only for Petersfield but also for St. Ives, where he probably obtained the recommendation of the 4th marquess of Winchester. He was successful in both places, opting for the Hampshire borough on 18 Feb. 1626.11 He failed to save his grandfather (Sir Benjamin†) and uncle (Sir Richard*) from being presented as Catholic officeholders, but managed on 23 May to secure his father’s omission from the Hampshire list.12 He was named to committees for two private bills, and was among those ordered on 25 May to draft the alnage bill.13 Re-elected for Petersfield in 1628, his first appointment was a subcommittee to search for precedents on the liberty of the subject (28 Mar. 1628).14 On 5 June he argued that there was no need to allow the duke of Buckingham to defend himself against impeachment. ‘We are here’, he observed, ‘in a double capacity: of court, of council’. Were they merely a court it would be ‘injustice not to hear him’, but since they were also a council they were free to do as they wished.15 Tichborne was one of the eight lawyers ordered to report the conference of 7 June about the king’s answer to the Petition of Right.16 He was not originally appointed, either by name or constituency, to consider the bill for extending the navigable section of the Medway from Maidstone to Penshurst, but with eight other Members, including such busy and authoritative figures as Sir Edward Coke* and John Selden*, he was later added, and took the chair. After deliberating, the committee was equally divided on the question of whether the project contravened the Monopolies Act, as Tichborne reported on 17 June. He was ordered by the House to bring the committee together again in a fortnight’s time; however, by then the session was over.17 His other bill committees were the restitution of Carew Ralegh† (28 May), and the Essex lands of Edmond Hammond, which was revived in the second session.18 In 1629 Tichborne was also named to the committees to consider the bill for increase of trade (11 Feb. 1629), to hear complaints against foreign postal services (13 Feb.), and to consider another private land sale bill (23 February).19

On the death of his brother-in-law in 1634 Tichborne acquired Prior’s Dean in right of his wife, and three years later succeeded to his father’s estate and debts.20 In 1642 Parliament licensed him to go to Holland to place his son at Leiden University, and he remained abroad for the rest of his life, though retaining his chambers in the Temple.21 He was still living in exile in 1658 when his son left him £200 p.a.22 However, he was dead by September 1661, when his brother petitioned for the renewal of a Crown lease.23 No will or administration has been found. The next member of the family to sit in Parliament was his nephew, White Tichborne, who represented Haslemere in the Revolution Convention.

Ref Volumes: 1604-1629

Authors: Virginia C.D. Moseley / Rosemary Sgroi


  • 1. Berry, Hants Gen. 31.
  • 2. Al. Ox.; M. Temple Admiss.; MTR, 682.
  • 3. Eg. 2364, f. 305.
  • 4. VCH Hants, iv. 423, 437; PROB 11/275, f. 264.
  • 5. CSP Dom. 1637-8, p. 7.
  • 6. Ibid. 1661-2, p. 88.
  • 7. Portsmouth Recs. ed. R. East, 420.
  • 8. Add. 5669, f. 97v; I.o.W. RO, NBC 45/2, f. 198.
  • 9. C181/5, f. 211v.
  • 10. SR, v. 88, 155.
  • 11. Procs. 1626, ii. 69.
  • 12. Ibid. 323; iii. 313.
  • 13. Ibid. ii. 348; iii. 180, 330.
  • 14. Procs. 1628, vi. 105.
  • 15. CD 1628, iv. 128.
  • 16. Ibid. iv. 177.
  • 17. Ibid. iii. 446; iv. 345, 350, 353, 354.
  • 18. CD 1628, iv. 3, 331.
  • 19. CJ, i. 928b, 929a, 929b, 932b.
  • 20. CSP Dom. 1637-8, p. 7.
  • 21. CJ, ii. 754a; MTR, 1061.
  • 22. PROB 11/275, f. 264.
  • 23. VCH Hants, iv. 3; CSP Dom. 1661-2, p. 88.