HITCHAM, Robert (c.1572-1636), of Gray's Inn; later of Framlingham, Suff.

Published in The History of Parliament: the House of Commons 1558-1603, ed. P.W. Hasler, 1981
Available from Boydell and Brewer




Family and Education

b. c.1572, at Levington or Nacton, Suff. educ. Ipswich free sch.; Pembroke, Camb. 1587; Barnard’s Inn; G. Inn 1589, called 1595. unm. Kntd. 1604.

Offices Held

Attorney-gen. to Queen Anne 1605; ancient, G. Inn 1604, Lent reader 1605; serjeant-at-law 1614; King’s serjeant 1616; recorder, Orford 1621.


Of lowly origin, Hitcham was ‘not born to £200 ... not to £20 nor to £2’, yet his success as a lawyer enabled him to build up an estate of £1,500 p.a. In 1597 he was returned for both St. Germans (through the intervention of an unknown patron, perhaps Cecil) and West Looe, choosing the latter. He may have owed his West Looe seat either to Sir William Bevill, steward of the borough, or, more likely, Cecil, who was later, in all probability, responsible for Hitcham’s appointment as attorney-general to Queen Anne. Hitcham died 15 Aug. 1636, a man of ‘sharp wit, strong brains, powerful friends, plentiful purse and indefatigable diligence’.

DNB; G. Inn Pens. Bk. i. 165, 209; HMC Var. iv. 268; Nichols, Progresses Eliz. ii. 129; Suff. Green Bks. xii. 103; W. A. Copinger, Suff. Manors, iii. 174; iv. 280; HMC Hatfield, xi. 405; xvii. and xviii, passim.

Ref Volumes: 1558-1603

Author: W.J.J.