Breconshire

County

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 name known foe 1542

Elections

DateCandidate
1545JOHN GAMES alias AP MORGAN
1547SIR JOHN PRICE 1
1553 (Mar.)?SIR ROGER VAUGHAN 2
1553 (Oct.)SIR ROGER VAUGHAN
1554 (Apr.)SIR ROGER VAUGHAN
1554 (Nov.)RHYS VAUGHAN II 3
1555(not known)
1558WALTER HERBERT II

Main Article

Breconshire was one of the four new counties set up at the Union. On the attainder of the 3rd Duke of Buckingham in 1521 the old lordship of Brecon had escheated to the crown. Several parcels of the lordship of Brecon were sold or let by the crown, the most important being the lordship of Builth granted to the 1st Earl of Pembroke in 1550. In 1540 the King made Sir William Vaughan of Porthaml chancellor and receiver of the lordship of Brecon, and on Vaughan’s surrendering his patent in 1546 he was succeeded by his son Roger who held the appointment until his death. Although the earls of Pembroke and of Worcester held office and lands in Breconshire neither had much influence there, and the two leading families, the Gameses of Brecon and the Vaughans of Porthaml, were interrelated and furnished knights during the mid 16th century. The other three knights, Walter Herbert, Sir John Price and Rhys Vaughan, seem to have been kinsmen of theirs. All the knights had some experience of local administration but Rhys Vaughan probably gained his only after sitting in Parliament, being pricked sheriff at the accession of Elizabeth. Price was secretary of the council in the marches when returned. As one who had assisted in the division of the shires John Games may have been the first knight for Breconshire, entering the Parliament of 1542 with his son Edward, the Member for the Boroughs.4

Elections took place at Baile Glas next to Brecon castle. Indentures written in Latin survive for the last two Parliaments of Henry VIII’s reign and for the two held in 1553. The indenture for 1542 is an illegible fragment but the others are in better condition. The contracting parties are the sheriff of Breconshire and about 25 named electors ‘and others’. The Crown Office list for the Parliament of November 1554 bears a note that ‘ll [?oydd] Gryffith brought the return for Breknok from my L[ord] steward’. The returns for both shire and Boroughs, both known simply as Brecon, have been lost but presumably they were sewn together by the sheriff according to custom and sent to the 12th Earl of Arundel as lord steward of the Household for transmission to Chancery.5

Author: N. M. Fuidge

Notes

  • 1. Hatfield 207.
  • 2. Only the christian name remains on the indenture, C219/20/176.
  • 3. Huntington Lib. Hastings mss Parl. pprs.