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Sir Isaac Thornton (27 February 1615 – 1 May 1669) was an English lawyer and politician who sat in the House of Commons in 1660.

Thornton was the son of Sir Roger Thornton of Soane, Cambridgeshire. He matriculated from Corpus Christi College, Cambridge at Easter 1631. He was admitted at Lincoln's Inn on 20 June 1632 and was called to the Bar in 1640.[1]

In 1660, Thornton was elected Member of Parliament for Cambridgeshire in the Convention Parliament.[2] He was knighted on 19 March 1661.[3]

Thornton was of Snailwell, Cambridgeshire.[1] He died at the age of 54 and is buried in the parish church in Snailwell.[4]


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Isaac Thornton’s pedigree can be traced with certainty only from Elizabethan times.

His eldest brother, Samuel, compounded for his delinquency on the Oxford articles in 1646, but nothing is known of Thornton’s attitude to the Civil Wars, although he was probably a royalist sympathizer.

In 1654 he acquired a ‘capital messuage’ at Snailwell from another brother, Roger, possibly with the help of Edward Benlowes, a minor poet with whom he seems to have been living at the time.
By 1658 he had control of the manor.

Thornton contested Cambridgeshire election in 1660 as one of the candidates standing for ‘the restoration of the King and the Church’, and was returned, according to Samuel Pepys, ‘against all expectations’.

He was inactive in the Convention Parliament, in which he was named to only 8 committees, of which the most important were those for appointing army commissioners and for settling the militia.

He probably did not stand again, but he was not overlooked by the Court, receiving a knighthood and a share in the regicides’ lands. [He must have done something to earn them -- not everyone received a cut of the spoils.]

He died on 1 May, 1669, and was buried at Snailwell, the only member of
his family to sit in Parliament.


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Chart showing the number of references in each month of the diary’s entries.