Hatton, Christopher (1605?-1670) (DNB00)

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HATTON, CHRISTOPHER, first Lord Hatton (1605?–1670), born according to some authorities in December 1602, but baptised at Barking, Essex, on 11 July 1605 (Lysons, Environs, iv. 101), was the eldest surviving son of Sir Christopher Hatton, K.B. (d. 1619), sometime of Clay Hall, Barking, and afterwards of Kirby, Northamptonshire, a cousin of Sir Christopher Hatton [q. v.], lord chancellor. His mother was Alice, eldest daughter of Thomas Fanshawe of Dronfield, Derbyshire, and of Ware Park, Hertfordshire (Clutterbuck. Hertfordshire). He was educated at Jesus College, Cambridge, and created K.B. at the coronation of Charles I on 2 Feb. 1626 (Metcalfe, Book of Knights, p. 186). In 1636 he became steward of Higham Ferrers and of the manors of Warrington, Irchester, Rushden, and Raunds, Northamptonshire. He was returned M.P. for Higham Ferrers to the Long parliament in 1640, but was reported as disabled to sit in October 1645. After the outbreak of the civil war he joined the king at Oxford, and was there created D.C.L. in November 1642 (Wood, Fasti Oxon. ed. Bliss, ii. 41). Clarendon speaks of him at this time as ‘a person of great reputation, which in a few years he found a way utterly to lose’ (Hist. Rebell. vi. 396). During 1643 he was made keeper of Olney Park, Buckinghamshire, and on 29 July of that year was raised to the peerage with the title of Baron Hatton of Kirby, being sworn of the privy council on 26 Dec. following. Hatton was one of those who signed the peers' letter to the council in Scotland in November 1643 (ib. vii. 369 n. 6). He was comptroller of the king's household from 29 Dec. 1643 until 1646, and acted as joint commissioner for Charles at the conference of Uxbridge from 28 Jan. until 22 Feb. 1645. By August 1648 he had retired to France. He gives a graphic account of his life abroad in his letters to Sir Edward Nicholas and others (Nicholas Papers, Camd. Soc.) He always found comfortable quarters, and made himself very happy with his ‘books and fiddles’ (cf. Evelyn, Diary, i. 251, 253, 257, 262). His efforts to restore the monarchy were considered important enough to justify the council of state requesting Sir Arthur Hesilrige, on 22 March 1650, to have him watched (Cal. State Papers, Dom. 1649–50 pp. 184, 461, 1650 p. 54). Finding that his intrigues were likely to lead to the sequestration of his estate in England, he discontinued his visits to the king in November 1651 (ib. 1651–2, p. 3). When, however, in November 1654, Henrietta Maria forbade the Duke of Gloucester her presence, Hatton hospitably received him into his house at Paris on 1 Dec., and entertained him some days (Cal. Clarendon State Papers, ii. 434, 437; Hist. Rebell. xiv. 119). Being much pressed for money, he obtained with some difficulty leave to return to England in September 1656 (Cal. State Papers, Dom. 1656–7, pp. 116, 583). After the Restoration he was spoken of for lord privy seal in September 1660 (Hist. MSS. Comm. 5th Rep. App. p. 156), and was appointed a privy councillor on 29 Jan. 1662, and governor of Guernsey on the ensuing 22 May. According to Roger North, he afterwards forsook his family to live in Scotland Yard, London, and ‘divert himself with the company and discourse of players and such idle people’ (Lives, ed. Jessopp, ii. 294). He died at Kirby on 4 July 1670, and was buried in Westminster Abbey. He married at Hackney, Middlesex, on 8 May 1630, Elizabeth (d. 1672), eldest daughter and coheiress of Sir Charles Montagu, knt., of Boughton, Northamptonshire (Lysons, ii. 489), by whom he had two sons—Christopher [q. v.] and Charles, whom North calls ‘truly noble’ and ‘incomparable’—and three daughters.

Hatton, who was a lover of antiquities, assisted Dugdale during the civil war, and employed Gregory King [q. v.] to work for him from 1667 until 1669. He published [at Oxford in 1644] the ‘Psalter of David,’ ‘with a prayer suitable to each [psalm] formed by himself; which book is called Hatton's psalms’ (North, ii. 294).

[Authorities quoted; Doyle's Official Baronage, ii. 155; G. F. Warner's Introd. to Nicholas Papers (Camd. Soc.), vol. i.]

G. G.