Thomas Charlton (speaker)

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Thomas Charlton (1417?–1465) was Speaker of the House of Commons of England in 1454 .[1]

He was the son and heir of Sir Thomas Charlton of Hillingdon (d. 1445), landowner and MP.

By 1441 Thomas jnr had entered Henry VI's household as one of the esquires of the hall and chamber. In 1442 he was elected to the first of the six parliaments in which he served as knight of the shire for Middlesex. He inherited from his parents' extensive estates over five counties and again represented Middlesex in the Parliaments of 1447 and 1449. He was knighted, probably in 1453. In 1453 he once again sat in parliament for Middlesex, when Richard, Duke of York made his claim to the throne during Henry VI's illness. The speaker of the Commons, Thomas Thorpe, was arrested on York's orders and on 16 February 1454 Charlton was elected in his place (until April)

In 1455 he was appointed Sheriff of Bedfordshire and Buckinghamshire and in 1459 returned again to Parliament. After the Yorkist invasion of 1460 he committed to the Yorkist cause and was one of the judges who tried the Lancastrian defenders of the Tower of London, was again elected to Parliament and was made Comptroller of the Household. As Comptroller he accompanied Henry VI to the second battle of St Albans in 1461, where he was taken prisoner, regaining his freedom after Edward IV's victory at Towton the following month.

He died in 1465. He had married Benedicta, a daughter of the former speaker of the Commons Sir Richard Vernon. They had two sons and three daughters


Kleineke, Hannes. "Charlton,Sir Thomas". Oxford Dictionary of National Biography (online ed.). Oxford University Press. doi:10.1093/ref:odnb/92982.  (Subscription or UK public library membership required.)

Political offices
Preceded by
Thomas Thorpe
Speaker of the House of Commons
Succeeded by
John Wenlock