Littleton, Or Lyttelton, Sir Thomas, an English jurist, born in Devonshire early in the 15th century, died at Frankley, Worcestershire, Aug. 23, 1481. His father's name was West-cote, but he substituted for it that of his maternal grandfather. He most probably received his collegiate education at Cambridge, whence he afterward removed to the Inner Temple, where he was nominated reader of law lectures. Henry VI. made him steward (or judge of the court of the palace or Mar-shalsea) of the king's household, and on May 13, 1455, a king's sergeant, in which capacity he rode the northern circuit as judge of assize. On the deposition of Henry, his successor Edward IV. confirmed to Littleton all the offices and honors he had received from the Lancastrians. In 1466 he was appointed one of the judges of the court of common pleas. His famous treatise on "Tenures," originally written in Norman French, and translated into English in 1539, from the great changes in the law of real property, no longer receives as much attention as formerly.
It is usually accompanied in modern editions by the commentary of Sir Edward Coke.