Arundel

Borough

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

Background Information

No names known for 1510-23

Elections

DateCandidate
1529RICHARD SACKVILLE I
 THOMAS PRESTALL
1536(not known)
1539(not known)
1542(not known)
1545(not known)
1547NICHOLAS PELHAM
 THOMAS CARPENTER
1553 (Mar.)THOMAS PALMER
 THOMAS MORLEY
1553 (Oct.)(SIR) THOMAS PALMER
 THOMAS GAWDY II
1554 (Apr.)SIR THOMAS HOLCROFT
 SIR THOMAS STRADLING
1554 (Nov.)JOHN BURNET
 RICHARD BOWYER
1555SIR HENRY PAGET
 (SIR) WILLIAM DAMSELL
1558EDWARD STRADLING
 DAVID STRADLING

Main Article

The castle, manor and borough of Arundel formed part of the honor of the same name held in chief from the crown by the Fitzalan earls. The borough was governed by a mayor assisted by the burgesses (a term apparently restricted to the town authorities themselves) and several officers. The mayor presided over the borough court as well as the court leet of the manor. A minute book begun in 1539 and some other borough records survive from the period. On the suppression of Calcetto priory in 1525 the borough acquired much of its property and the upkeep of Arundel bridge devolved upon the mayor. At the Dissolution Edward Millet of the Household obtained the site of the Dominican priory, and the 12th Earl of the college attached to the parish church and the maison dieu. The town with its market and fairs was the commercial centre for the honor and its port carried much local trade: the 12th Earl widened the river Arun as part of a series of improvements.1

Indentures survive for both the Parliaments of Edward VI’s reign and for the first, third and fourth of Mary’s, the Edwardian indentures being written in Latin and the Marian ones in English. The contracting parties are the sheriff of Surrey and Sussex and the mayor and burgesses. In some cases the election is said to have been by the unanimous assent and consent of ‘these burgesses and inhabitants’. The indenture for 1547 states that the Members were freely chosen by the major part of the burgesses of the town, yet the name of Thomas Carpenter has been added in an inadequate space, almost certainly in a different hand. All the Members were nominees of the earls, apart from John Burnet and Richard Bowyer in November 1554, who were townsmen with municipal experience. Their return looks like compliance with Mary’s call for residents, but the explanation may be that the 12th Earl was deterred from wielding his habitual patronage by his difficult position at court and in the Council.2

Author: N. M. Fuidge

Notes

  • 1. This survey rests on R.J.W. Swales, ‘Local pol. and partly. rep. of Suss. 1529-58’ (Bristol Univ. Ph.D. thesis, 1964). M. A. Tierney, Arundel, 6-8, 12, 577-99, 601-9, 611-12, 645-6, 672, 682, 690-1, 695-8, 713, 720-3; G. W. Eustace, Arundel, 21, 25, 28, 53-55, 77, 106, 108-12, 249.
  • 2. C219/19/109, 20/135, 21/151, 23/128, 24/164.

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