HEWETT, Thomas (1605-1662), of The Strand, Westminster and Pishiobury, Sawbridgeworth, Herts.

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. 6 Oct. 1605,1 1st s. of Sir William Hewett* and Elizabeth, da. of Richard Wiseman, Clothworker, of St. Lawrence Pountney, London. educ. Merchant Taylors’ sch. 1611-12; I. Temple 1618; Eton 1619-22; Sidney Sussex, Camb. 1622; travelled abroad 1625-8.2 m. (1) 14 May 1629, Frances (d. 21 May 1632), da. of Sir Henry Hobart* of Blickling, Norf., 1da.; (2) c.1633, Margaret (d. 1 Aug. 1689), da. of Sir William Lytton* of Knebworth, Herts., wid. of Thomas Hillersden of Elstow, Beds., 5s. (4 d.v.p.) 8da. (2 d.v.p.).3 suc. fa. 1637; kntd. 10 July 1641; cr. bt. 19 July 1660.4 d. 4 Aug. 1662. sig. Thomas Hewett.

Offices Held

Sheriff, Herts. 1638-9, 1660-1,5 commr. subsidy, Herts. 1641, assessment 1642, 1657-61, Westminster 1652,6 array, Herts. 1642,7 j.p. 1642-c.50,8 commr. militia 1648, 1660.9


The eldest son of a prosperous London merchant and moneylender, Hewett received an exceptional education, attending the Merchant Taylors’ school, the Inner Temple, Eton and Cambridge. In 1625 Hewett received a licence to travel for three years, and on his return he secured his election for Windsor to the third Caroline Parliament on his father’s interest, by way of completing his education. He left no mark on the records of the House. In 1635 he bought, for £16,500, the manor of Pishiobury from the earl of Middlesex (Sir Lionel Cranfield*), and settled in Hertfordshire.10 There, in 1637, he became a trustee for Lady Elizabeth Bevill, the widow of Sir Robert Bevill*.11 Shortly after his father’s death he served as sheriff, and complained of the county’s backwardness in paying Ship Money.12 He seems to have taken little part in the Civil War, during which time he and his wife were assessed at £1,500 between them in The Strand,13 but he accepted local office under Parliament. After he had refused to protect the Quakers of Sawbridgeworth from persecution, a pamphleteer observed bitterly that he was ‘wise enough in his generation to keep out of the way of danger from forfeiting his estate’, and at the Restoration he was created a baronet.14 He died on 4 Aug. 1662, expecting ‘the resurrection of the just’, and was buried at Sawbridgeworth, where his memorial inscription recorded that he had lived ‘piously, justly, soberly, contentedly, a rare example to others’. He left £13,000 between his five unmarried daughters. His only surviving son was created an Irish peer in 1689, but died unmarried shortly afterwards.15

Ref Volumes: 1604-1629

Authors: Alan Davidson / Andrew Thrush


  • 1. H.B. Wilson, Hist. Par. of St. Laurence Pountney, 131.
  • 2. Reg. Merchant Taylors’ Sch.; Eton Coll. Reg. comp. W. Sterry, 170; Al. Cant.; I. Temple database of admiss.; APC, 1625-6, p. 157.
  • 3. Clutterbuck, Herts. iii. 202.
  • 4. Shaw, Knights of Eng. ii. 209; CB.
  • 5. List of Sheriffs comp. A. Hughes (PRO, L. and I. ix), 64.
  • 6. SR, v. 62, 84, 151, 213, 332; A. and O. ii. 669, 1070, 1370
  • 7. Northants. RO, FH133.
  • 8. C231/5, p. 530; Herts. Q. Sess. Bks. v. 342, 352; C193/13, f. 3.
  • 9. A. and O. i. 1238; ii. 1432.
  • 10. Clutterbuck, iii. 201; M. Prestwich, Cranfield, 505-6. Prestwich incorrectly states that Pishiobury’s buyer was Sir John Hewett.
  • 11. HALS, ms 74967; Vis. Herts. (Harl. Soc. xxii), 64.
  • 12. CSP Dom. 1638-9, p. 586.
  • 13. CCAM, 176.
  • 14. Further Evidence of the Aforementioned Thomas Hewet his Disaffection (1659), p. 2.
  • 15. VCH Herts. iii. 336; PROB 11/309, f. 157; Clutterbuck, iii. 216.