LEIGHTON, Robert (1628-89), of Wattlesborough, Alberbury, Salop and Bausley, Mont.

Published in The History of Parliament: the House of Commons 1660-1690, ed. B.D. Henning, 1983
Available from Boydell and Brewer



Family and Education

bap. 30 Dec. 1628, 1st s. of Edward Leighton of Wattlesborough by Abigail, da. and h. of William Stevens of Shrewsbury. educ. Shrewsbury 1638. m. c.1650, Gertrude, da. of Edward Baldwin of Diddlebury, Salop, 7s. (4 d.v.p.) 5da. suc. fa. 1632.1

Offices Held

Commr. for assessment, Salop 1657, Aug. 1660-80, Mont. 1661-80, Salop and Mont. 1689, j.p. Salop July 1660-80, 1682-5, Mont. 1675-85, Sept. 1688-?d.; capt. of militia ft. Salop 1660-?80, 1682-?5, commr. for recusants 1675, sheriff 1687-Nov. 1688; dep. lt. Mont. Sept. 1688-?d.2


Leighton came from a junior branch of a Shropshire family that had first represented the county in the 14th century. At the Restoration, he was one of the proposed knights of the Royal Oak with an income of £800 p.a. Returned for Shrewsbury, nine miles from his home, at the general election of 1661, he was an inactive Member of the Cavalier Parliament. He was appointed to only 13 committees, including the committee of elections and privileges in two sessions and those on the bills to regulate the weaving trade (15 Mar. 1663) and for the better collection of the hearth-tax (4 May 1675). He defaulted from a call of the House on 13 Feb. 1668, and was fined £40, and he was also absent without leave on 21 Feb. 1671 and 17 Dec. 1678. Classed as ‘thrice worthy’ by Shaftesbury in 1677, he does not appear in any list of the court party. In 1680 he was removed from the commission of the peace and the militia, presumably as an exclusionist, but he hoped to stand against William Leveson Gower for the county in 1681, and was restored at the King’s command in the following year. He was absent when the questions on the repeal of the Test Act and Penal Laws were put to the Montgomeryshire magistrates, but he must have been regarded as a potential Whig collaborator, since he was added to the lieutenancy in June 1688. He was buried at Alberbury on 27 Apr. 1689. His eldest son was created a baronet and represented Shropshire under William III and Shrewsbury under Queen Anne.3

Ref Volumes: 1660-1690

Author: Eveline Cruickshanks


  • 1. Trans. Salop Arch. Soc. (ser. 1), ix. 414; (ser. 4), xii. 217; Mont. Colls. viii. 99.
  • 2. SP29/41/85.
  • 3. Trans. Salop Arch. Soc. (ser. 1), ix. 416; (ser. 3), viii. 162; (ser. 4), iii. 287-9; Owen and Blakeway, Shrewsbury, i. 243; VCH Salop, iii. 257; CSP Dom. 1682, p. 81.