Thomas Widdrington

b. ?
d. 13 May 1664, buried in London

Title: Speaker of the Parliament of the Commonwealth of England, Scotland, and Ireland (to 26 Jun 1657)
  Speaker of the Parliament of the Commonwealth of England, Scotland, and Ireland, and the Dominions and Territories thereunto belonging (26 Jun 1657 - 20 Jan 1658)
  Speaker of the House of Commons of the Commonwealth of England, Scotland, and Ireland, and the Dominions and Territories thereunto belonging (from 20 Jan 1658)
Term: 17 Sep 1656 - 4 Feb 1658
Chronology: 17 Sep 1656, elected Speaker by the Parliament
  26 Jun 1657, Parliament adjourned
  20 Jan 1658, Parliament convened
  4 Feb 1658, Parliament dissolved by the Lord Protector
Names/titles: Sir Thomas Widdrington
Biography:

Sir Thomas Widdrington was a member of an ancient Northumberland family, and was elected Member of Parliament for Berwick in 1640. He took a prominent part on the Presbyterian side against the bishops, but finding subsequently that the Independents were the rising party, he joined them, and in 1648 was made one of the Commissioners of the Great Seal. He refused to take any part in the king's trial, but in 1651 was made one of the Council of State. He was in favor of making the young Duke of Gloucester king under restrictions, but this advice was not relished either by the Cromwellian or Republican factions. Oliver Cromwell reappointed him to his commissionership, but on his refusing to assent to the proposed reforms in Chancery, he was removed from office in 1655. He was chosen Speaker of the Parliament of 1656, in which capacity he presented the Humble Petition and Advice to Cromwell, and strongly advocated his assuming the royal title. In 1658 he was made Chief Baron of the Exchequer, and in 1660 Commissioner of the Great Seal, which office he held until the Restoration. He owed his rise in great measure to his having married a sister of Lord Fairfax.


[1] "The Lives of the Speakers of the House of Commons", by James Alexander Manning (London, 1850).
[2] "Dictionary of English History", by S.J. Low and F.S. Pulling (Cassell, London 1910).
Last updated on: 13 Mar 2010 01:47:05