Colchester

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

Elections

DateCandidate
1512?JOHN CLERE 1
 ?JOHN MAKIN 2
1515?JOHN CLERE 3
 ?JOHN MAKIN 4
1523THOMAS AUDLEY I 5
 AMBROSE LOWTH 6
1529SIR JOHN RAYNSFORD
 RICHARD RICH
1536(not known)
1539(not known)
1542(not known)
1545JOHN LUCAS
 BENJAMIN CLERE
1547JOHN RYTHER
 JOHN LUCAS
1553 (Mar.)SIR FRANCIS JOBSON 7
 ?JOHN LUCAS 8
1553 (Oct.)JOHN LUCAS
 JOHN BEST I
1554 (Apr.)SIR FRANCIS JOBSON
 WILLIAM CARDINALL
1554 (Nov.)GEORGE SAYER
 ROBERT BROWNE III
1555SIR FRANCIS JOBSON
 JOHN HERING
1558GEORGE CHRISTMAS
 THOMAS LUCAS

Main Article

Colchester was incorporated in 1462. Government was vested in a common council consisting of two bailiffs, eight aldermen and 32 burgesses. On receipt of the sheriff’s precept for an election the bailiffs and aldermen—in 1523 the bailiffs alone—summoned the common council to the moothall. The seven election indentures for the Parliaments between 1545 and 1555 survive; all are in English and most of them in good condition. The contracting parties are the sheriff of Essex and Hertfordshire and the bailiffs or, in 1547, the bailiffs with the aldermen and community of the town, and electors are named.

The election of John Clere and John Makin to the Parliaments of 1512 and 1515 is inferred from a settlement in the town records allowing them an annual payment of 26s.8d. each until Clere should have received £17 and Makin £16 10 s.; this had been the method used earlier to pay Members, but no later evidence of payment in that or any other way has been found. The borough’s unwillingness or inability to pay wages, and its dependence on the earls of Oxford, who had a seat four miles distant at Wivenhoe and were keepers of Colchester castle for much of the period, might have been expected to