Hatton, Christopher, Sir (1540 -1591)
Sir Christopher Hatton, Elizabeth's Lord Chancellor, was the second son of William Hatton of Holdenby in Northamptonshire, and Alice Sanders. A member of the Inner Temple, he attracted Elizabeth's attention at a masque and made his career at court, holding successively the posts of Gentleman Pensioner, Gentleman of the Privy Chamber, Captain of the Guard, Vice Chamberlain and member of the Privy Council. When in 1587 he was made Lord Chancellor there were murmurings both in court and legal circles, but, to quote Collins, "the courtiers that envied the last capacity, were forc'd by his power to own themselves in an error; and the serjeants that refus'd to plead before him at first, cou'd not, at length, but own his great abilities". He was made a Knight of the Garter in 1588. Hatton is said to have died of a broken heart because the Queen, who never forgave debts, asked for immediate payment of an old one, when he was not in a position to pay it. A bachelor, he left his estates to his sister's son, Sir William Newport, who took the name of Hatton, with remainder to his godson, Sir Christopher. The books passed from Sir William, through his widow, Lady Elizabeth, daughter of William Cecil, Lord Burleigh, to her second husband Sir Edward Coke, and many of them are still at Holkham. For the Hatton quarterings see The visitation of Cheshire 1580 Harleian Society xviii London, 1882.