WHITTINGHAM, Edward (1576-1648), of Court Culmore, Montgomery, Mont. and St. Martin-in-the-Fields, Mdx.

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

bap. 12 Feb. 1576,1 1st legit. s. of William Whittingham of Montgomery and Margaret, da. of (?Thomas) Jones of Cruggion, Mont.2 educ. Shrewsbury g.s. , Salop 1589; Clement’s Inn 1598.3 m. by 1607, ?Joan, 1s. d.v.p., other ch.4 suc. fa. 1596.5 bur. 24 Jan. 1648.6 sig. Edw[ard] Whittingh[a]m.

Offices Held

Servant to Sir Edward Herbert* c.1600-?d.7

Burgess, Montgomery by 1604, bailiff, 1624-5, coroner 1625-6;8 escheator, Mont. 1636-7.9


The Whittinghams were presumably related to the Whittingham family of Middlewich, Cheshire, but the exact connection has not been traced.10 The MP’s father, William Whittingham, clearly received a legal training, as he was deputy clerk of the peace for Montgomeryshire by 1575, and under-sheriff in the following year. The clerkship of the peace suggests a link with the custos rotulorum of the shire, Edward Herbert†, from whom the family also leased a burgage in Montgomery.11

As his surname was uncommon along the Marches, the future MP was probably the Edward Whittingham admitted to Shrewsbury School in February 1589. In 1598 he was resident at Clement’s Inn, one of the inns of chancery attached to the Inner Temple, but any plans he may have had to become an attorney like his father seem to have been cut short in about 1600, when he joined the household of Sir Edward Herbert*, grandson of his father’s patron. Herbert spent much of his time at his mother’s house near Charing Cross, so it is not surprising that Whittingham gave as his address the parish of St. Martin-in-the-Fields during the final years of Elizabeth’s reign.12

Whittingham returned to Wales in the autumn of 1603, but a few months later he was selected as MP for Montgomery Boroughs, presumably in order to maintain Sir Edward Herbert’s electoral interest there. The latter preferred to sit for Merioneth, while none of Herbert’s younger brothers was yet old enough to represent the borough seat. Whittingham left no trace on the known records of his only Parliament, and in 1614 the Montgomery Boroughs seat went to Herbert’s stepfather, Sir John Danvers.

By 1616 Whittingham had established his family at Court Culmore, a mile west of Montgomery, where he became a member of the corporation, serving as one of the town’s two bailiffs at least once.13 He may occasionally have practised as an attorney, pursuing a suit in Chancery for his mother’s family in 1629-31, and apparently acting for Herbert in a lawsuit before the Council in the Marches in 1639.14 Claiming to be ‘sometimes sickly’ during a lawsuit over his executorship of the estate of a close relative in 1640, Whittingham seems to have avoided any active commitment during the first Civil War; he died on the eve of the second, on 24 Jan. 1648. None of his descendants sat in Parliament, but the Edward Whittingham who was recorder of Montgomery during the 1670s was probably a nephew.15

Ref Volumes: 1604-1629

Author: Simon Healy


  • 1. NLW, CPD 691, f. 2.
  • 2. PROB 11/90, f. 195; HMC Hatfield, xxiii. 117-18; C78/312/8. The MP’s mother has been tentatively connected with the ped. in Dwnn, Vis. Wales ed. S.R. Meyrick, i. 324.
  • 3. Shrewsbury Sch. Regestum Scholarium comp. E. Calvert, 113.
  • 4. I. Temple Admiss. 249 (Wm. Whittingham); CITR, ii. 356; PROB 11/183, f. 175; Al. Ox. (Wm. Whittingham).
  • 5. PROB 11/90, f. 195.
  • 6. NLW, CPD691, f. 34.
  • 7. HMC Hatfield, xxiii. 117-18; Life of Ld. Herbert of Cherbury ed. J.M. Shuttleworth, 16.
  • 8. C219/40/3.
  • 9. C142/557/34; List of Escheators comp. A.C. Wood (L. and I. Soc. lxxii) .
  • 10. Vis. Cheshire (Harl. Soc. xviii), 248; Vis. Cheshire (Harl. Soc. lix), 255-7.
  • 11. Reg. Council in Marches of Wales ed. R. Flenley (Cymmrodorion rec. ser. viii), 142; E112/62/12; STAC 5/L24/12; C142/247/84.
  • 12. Shrewsbury Sch. Regestum Scholarium, 113; STAC 5/W4/13; REQ 2/157/492; Life of Ld. Herbert, 16, 39; HMC Hatfield, xxiii. 117-18.
  • 13. C3/297/34. Whittingham was listed as coroner in the election indenture of 1626, which suggests he had been bailiff the previous year; the 1625 election return is too damaged to confirm this. C219/39/250; 219/40/3.
  • 14. C2/Chas.I/W123/87; C78/312/8; Herbert Corresp. ed. W.J. Smith (Univ. Wales, Bd. of Celtic Studs., Hist. and Law ser. xxi), 101.
  • 15. C2/Chas.I/L35/1; Herbert Corresp. 226; C5/195/33, 5; 5/398/161.