LYTTON, Rowland (c.1615-74), of Knebworth, Herts.

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

b. c.1615, o.s. of Sir William Lytton of Knebworth by 1st w. Anne, da. and h. of Stephen Slaney of Norton, Salop. educ. Hertford sch.; Sidney Sussex, Camb. matric. 24 Jan. 1632, aged 17; I. Temple 1633, travelled abroad (Italy) 1635-6. m. (1) Judith (d. 13 May 1659), da. and coh. of Thomas Edwards, Mercer, of London and Wadhurst, Suss., 2s. 2da.; (2) settlement 12 June 1661, Rebecca (d. 23 Mar. 1686), da. and coh. of Thomas Chapman, Draper, of Soper Lane, London and Wormley, Herts., wid. of Thomas Playters of Sotterley, Suff., and of Sir Richard Lucy, 1st Bt., of Broxbourne, Herts., 1da. Kntd. 27 June 1660; suc. fa. Aug. 1660.2

Offices Held

Commr. for new model ordinance, Herts. 1645, assessment 1645-50, 1657, Jan. 1660-d.; j.p. Herts. and Mon. 1656-July 1660, St. Albans 1656-Sept. 1660; commr. for militia, Herts. 1659, Mar. 1660, sheriff 1662-3, dep. lt. 1670-d.


Originating in Derbyshire, Lytton’s ancestors had been reckoned among the foremost gentry of Hertfordshire since Sir Robert Lytton acquired Knebworth in 1492 and became knight of the shire in 1495. Lytton’s father sat for the county in the Long Parliament until imprisoned as a Presbyterian at Pride’s Purge.3

Lytton himself served on the county committee, but was regarded as hostile to the Protectorate in 1656. Nevertheless he was re-elected for the county to Richard Cromwell’s Parliament and again in 1660. He was an inactive member of the Convention, making no recorded speeches and serving on only three committees, those for the indemnity bill, for cancelling all grants since May 1642, and for settling the militia. Presumably a court supporter, he was rewarded with a knighthood; but the ascendancy of the Cavaliers, headed by Thomas Fanshawe, drove him from county office. He probably did not stand again, though he was reappointed deputy lieutenant in 1670 and served until his death. After settling the bulk of his estates, he left £5,000 as a portion to his only unmarried daughter. He died on 1 Nov. 1674 and was buried at Knebworth. The family became extinct in the male line without further parliamentary honours.4

Ref Volumes: 1660-1690

Authors: M. W. Helms / E. R. Edwards / Geoffrey Jaggar


  • 1. Excluded.
  • 2. Clutterbuck, Herts. ii. 377-8, 384; PC2/44/390; Vis. London (Harl. Soc. xv), 249; The Gen. n.s. xxxiv. 4-5.
  • 3. VCH Herts. iii. 315; Keeler, Long Parl. 263-4, D. Underdown, Pride’s Purge, 211.
  • 4. VCH Herts. iv 13; PCC 129 Bunce; Clutterbuck, ii. 384.