Robert Hitcham

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Portrait of Sir Robert Hitcham belonging to the National Portrait Gallery, and on display in the Royal Courts of Justice

Sir Robert Hitcham (1572? – 1636) was a Member of Parliament and Attorney General.

Robert was born of lowly origin in Levington, near Ipswich, and educated at the Free School at Ipswich and later Pembroke College, Cambridge,[1] studying law. He was admitted to Gray's Inn on 3 November 1589 from Barnard's Inn and was called to the Bar in 1595.

He became a Member of Parliament for West Looe, Cornwall from 1597 to 1598; for King's Lynn, Norfolk from 1604 to 1611; for Cambridge in 1614 and for Orford, Suffolk from 1624 to 1626.

He held a number of posts including: Attorney-General to Anne of Denmark, Queen Consort to James I (1603–?); Sergeant-at-law (1614–?); and King's Senior Sergeant-at-law (1616–?). He was knighted on 29 June 1604 by King James I.

On 14 May 1635 he purchased Framlingham Castle, Suffolk from Theophilus Howard, 2nd Earl of Suffolk for the sum of £14,000, which he subsequently bequeathed to the Master, Fellows and Scholars of Pembroke College, Cambridge. He bought a house in Ipswich and spent the rest of his bachelor days in that town.

He died on 15 August 1636 and now lies in a tomb in the Church of St Michael the Archangel, Framlingham. His will stated that the castle, save for the outer walls, be demolished and the stone used to build a poor house. The inner buildings were duly demolished and a poor house was built in its place.

Hitcham's Cloister in Pembroke College (built 1666) was named after him.[2]

The Hitcham House at Thomas Mills High School is named after, and dedicated to Robert Hitcham. House captains are voted in annually.


  1. ^ "Hitcham, Robert (HTCN587R)". A Cambridge Alumni Database. University of Cambridge. 
  2. ^