Horsham

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 1510-23

Elections

DateCandidate
1529ALFRED BERWICK
 HENRY HUSSEY
1536(not known)
1539(not known)
1542(not known)
1545SIR ANTHONY WINGFIELD
 FRANCIS KNOLLYS
1547ANDREW BAYNTON
 JOHN VAUGHAN I
 (by Feb. 1552 not known)
1553 (Mar.)SIR HENRY HUSSEY
 EDWARD LEWKNOR
1553 (Oct.)ANTHONY HUSSEY
 JOHN MICHELL II
1554 (Apr.)RICHARD BAKER
 JOHN BAKER II
1554 (Nov.)WILLIAM TOOKE
 JOHN PURVEY
1555ROBERT COLSHILL
 WILLIAM HOGAN
1558JOHN BLENNERHASSET
 RICHARD FULMERSTON

Main Article

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 H