Caernarvonshire

County

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

Elections

DateCandidate
1542?JOHN WYNN AP MEREDYDD
1545JOHN PULESTON
1547(SIR) JOHN PULESTON
by 23 Jan. 1552JOHN WYNN AP MEREDYDD vice Puleston, deceased1
1553 (Mar.)JOHN WYN AP HUGH
1553 (Oct.)MORRIS WYNN
1554 (Apr.)MORRIS WYNN
1554 (Nov.)DAVID LLOYD AP THOMAS
1555SIR RHYS GRUFFYDD
1558WILLIAM WYNN WILLIAMS

Main Article

The leading families in Caernarvonshire lived mainly along the north coast or in the east of the county, the Gruffydds at Penrhyn, the Pulestons at Caernarvon and the Wynns at Gwydir; among the knights of the shire only John Wyn ap Hugh and David Lloyd ap Thomas came from the poorer and more remote peninsula of Llyn. In the mid 16th century the county was free from the feuding which divided the neighbouring island of Anglesey, the disputes between the various interrelated families being less deep-rooted and persistent.

It was almost certainly John Wynn ap Meredydd who was the first knight to be returned to Parliament after the Union: although only the name John survives on the dorse of the writ and on the sheriff’s schedule he is the man most likely to have had the honour, his brother-in-law John Puleston being elected for Caernarvon Boroughs. Puleston was himself returned to the following Parliament by Wynn. Of the five other knights only David Lloyd ap Thomas was not a kinsman of Puleston and Wynn, but he presumably enjoyed the backing of their families at his election since he held the lease of the lordship of Nevin with the Wynns and shared a bailiwick with John Wyn ap Hugh. It is possible that ap Hugh’s election early in 1553 was favoured by the Duke of Northumberland under whom he had served in the suppression of Ket’s rebellion, and Sir Rhys Gruffydd’s return in 1555 had the support of the council in the marches. Only David Lloyd ap Thomas and the younger and less experienced Morris Wynn had not been named to the bench before being returned to Parliament, but both were put on it shortly afterwards.

Elections were held at meetings of the county court at Caernarvon. Six indentures written in Latin survive, mostly in poor condition. The contracting parties are the sheriff of Caernarvonshire and a group of named voters varying in number from ten to 30. The names are divided into categories: esquires, gentlemen and othe