Castle Rising


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



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The castle, manor and chase of Rising had belonged to the duchy of Cornwall until 1544, when Henry VIII exchanged them and two other manors with the 3rd Duke of Norfolk for lands in Suffolk. On the duke’s attainder in 1547 they escheated to the crown but after his restoration in 1553 he recovered them by Act (1 Mary st. 3, no.14). On his death a year later the lordship passed to his widow, who survived until 30 Nov. 1558 when the 4th Duke inherited it. The town of Rising, which by the 16th century had sunk into insignificance, was governed by a mayor and enjoyed certain municipal privileges. Its enfranchisement in 1558 was presumably the work of the 4th Duke, then recently come of age, and was perhaps designed to accommodate his servant Sir Nicholas Lestrange after Cambridge’s refusal to elect him to Mary’s last Parliament. Sir John Radcliffe, who was 19 when returned with Lestrange, was the duke’s cousin and so took precedence over the older man.1

The return for 1558, in the form of a deed recording that the mayor and burgesses had chosen the two Members, is identical with that used by the adjacent borough of Lynn during the 1550s. The imitation perhaps owed something to Lestrange, who had sat for Lynn in the previous Parliament. Rising was to repeat the formula in 1559, but later to adopt the customary indenture between the sheriff and the mayor and burgesses.2

Author: N. M. Fuidge


  • 1. R. A. Brown, Castle Rising, Norf. 1, 23-28; W. Taylor, Castle Rising, passim; Blomefield, Norf. ix. 48.
  • 2. C219/25/80.