RITHE, Christopher (by 1531-1606), of Lincoln's Inn, London.

Published in The History of Parliament: the House of Commons 1509-1558, ed. S.T. Bindoff, 1982
Available from Boydell and Brewer



Family and Education

b. by 1531, yr. s. of Marlyon Rithe of Totford, Hants.; bro. or half-bro. of George Rithe. educ. L. Inn, adm. 13 Nov. 1556, called 1563. m. Catherine, da. of John Gedney of Bag Enderby, Lincs., 3s. inc. Marlyon 2da.1

Offices Held

Pensioner, L. Inn 1570.

J.p. Mdx. 1569-?d., q. by 1573/74.


Christopher Rithe was almost certainly the younger brother of George Rithe. The pair married two sisters, both were members of Lincoln’s Inn, to which a Christopher Rithe, described as the brother of George Rithe, was specially admitted in 1556, and by his will of 1557 George Rithe left his brother Christopher a gold signet ring bearing his arms. As Christopher Rithe was to practice law it was presumably he, and not a namesake admitted in 1547, who was called to the bar in 1563.2

By 1552 Rithe was holding a chapel and garden in Petersfield, but his two elections for that borough he probably owed chiefly to his brother, who had preceded and was to follow him as one of its Members. On both occasions he sat with the lord of the manor, the young Henry Weston. The appearance of his name over an erasure on the indenture of 1555 is to be regarded as the product of error rather than as evidence of his having superseded a rival, since both names are unaltered earlier in the document; the name erased may have been that of John Vaughan II, who had been returned for Petersfield with Weston to the two previous Parliaments but who in 1555 sat for Bletchingley. Rithe was not among the Members of this Parliament whose names are listed as opponents of one of the government’s bills.3

Rithe was not to sit in an Elizabethan Parliament until 1584, his brother’s death in 1561 having presumably cost him the chance of re-election at Petersfield. He prospered sufficiently to be able to acquire an estate at Twickenham, Middlesex, which became his residence, and a house at Chiswick which he left to his wife when he died in November 1606.4

Ref Volumes: 1509-1558

Author: Patricia Hyde


  • 1. Date of birth estimated from first reference. Mdx. Peds. (Harl. Soc. lxv), 28; Vis. Surr. (Harl. Soc. xliii), 197; Lincs. Peds. (Harl. Soc. li), 396; PCC 92 Stafford.
  • 2. LP Hen. VIII, xxi; PCC 35 Loftes; L.I. Adm. i. 57, 63.
  • 3. CPR, 1550-3, p. 372; C219/24/139.
  • 4. PCC 92 Stafford.