Available from Boydell and Brewer
No names known for 1510-23
|1545||SIR ANTHONY WINGFIELD|
|JOHN VAUGHAN I|
|(by Feb. 1552 not known)|
|1553 (Mar.)||SIR HENRY HUSSEY|
|1553 (Oct.)||ANTHONY HUSSEY|
|JOHN MICHELL II|
|1554 (Apr.)||RICHARD BAKER|
|JOHN BAKER II|
|1554 (Nov.)||WILLIAM TOOKE|
Situated at the centre of the Weald, Horsham was a small yet prosperous town. Stone and slate were quarried nearby but its wealth rested on the iron produced in the locality. A bill to curtail the growth of the iron industry there failed in the Parliament of 1547. The manor of the borough formed part of the larger manor of Horsham within the barony of Bramber owned by the dukes of Norfolk. On her marriage to the 2nd Duke the barony had been settled upon Agnes Tylney, who lived at Chesworth on the outskirts of the town from her husband’s death in 1524 until her own in 1545: Chesworth was the administrative centre of the Howard estates in the county. In 1545 the barony passed into the possession of the crown and two years later Edward VI conferred it on Sir Thomas Seymour II, Baron Seymour of Sudeley, upon whose attainder it reverted to the crown. In 1553 Mary restored the barony to the Howards. The borough was governed by two bailiffs assisted by two constables and about 50 burgesses. A jury of burgesses nominated four candidates for selection for the bailiwick by the steward of the manor at the Michaelmas meeting of the court leet. No borough records exist for the period. Before the Dissolution the town had a guild dedicated to the Virgin and St. John.1
Indentures survive for all the Parliaments between 1545 and 1555, except for that of April 1554, the first being written in Latin, the remainder in English. The contracting parties are the sheriff of Surrey and Sussex and the burgesses or the burgesses and freeholders, or the burgesses and inhabitants, between ten and 21 of whom are named. In December 1544 the constables and bailiff head the list of electors and in February and September 1553 John Caryll, steward of the barony of Bramber. In 1547 John Vaughan’s name appears over an erasure in a different hand from the rest of the document, and in November 1554 and 1555 the names of one or both Members are later insertions.2
In 1539 the 3rd Duke listed Horsham among the boroughs ‘where in times past I could have made the burgesses of Parliament’. The Howards were virtual dictators there, all the known Members returned during the reigns of Henry VIII and Mary being their nominees, apart from William Tooke and John Purvey returned during the minority of the 4th Duke in 1554: both Tooke and Purvey, who were related by marriage, seem to have owed their Membership to their official positions. The return of Andrew Baynton and John Vaughan in 1547 was presumably the work of Admiral Seymour. Both the Members for the following Parliament, Sir Henry Hussey and Edward Lewknor, were well-known figures there. Alfred Berwick lived in Horsham and the Hussey family and John Michell not far away, but despite its apparent preference for residents Horsham did not comply with Mary’s request in the autumn of 1554.3
Author: N. M. Fuidge
- 1. This survey rests on R. J. W. Swales, ‘Local pol. and parlty. rep. of Suss. 1529-58’ (Bristol Univ. Ph.D. thesis, 1964) and ‘The Howard interest in Suss. elections 1529-58’, Suss. Arch. Colls. cxiv. 49-60. Horsfield, Suss. ii. 230, 242-7, 262, 266; CJ, i. 18-20, 22; VCH Suss. ii. 20, 422.
- 2. C219/18C/120, 19/108, 20/129, 21/156, 23/126, 24/161.
- 3. LP Hen. VIII, x. 816 citing Cott. Calig. B6, f. 319. Horsham appears on the list of vacancies in the Parliament of 1529 compiled during 1532-3, with a note that the patronage lay with the Duke of Norfolk, but its inclusion there was evidently a mistake, LP Hen. VIII, vii. 56 citing SP1/82, ff. 59-62.