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John Hatsell

John Hatsell (1733-1820) was Clerk of the House of Commons from 1768 till his death in 1820, although he retired from active service on 11 July 1797 when John Ley became Deputy Clerk. Hatsell came to prominence in 1760 when he was appointed Clerk Assistant.  He had built a formidable reputation outside Parliament in the Middle Temple and was seen as a leading authority on the  law. His standing within Parliament as an unrivalled expert on procedure was cemented by his publication ‘Precedents of Proceedings in the House of Commons' which was published, over four volumes, between 1776 and 1796.

Hatsell died, from an apoplectic stroke, on the 15th October 1820 at his house at Marden Park, Surrey and was buried in the Temple Church in London.


Engraving of John Hatsell


Seated portrait by James Northcote. Engraving by C Picart.



Catalogue number

Parliamentary Archives HC/LB/1/114/61