Norfolk

County

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
1529SIR ROGER TOWNSHEND
 SIR JAMES BOLEYN
1536?SIR ROGER TOWNSHEND 1
 (not known)
1539RICHARD SOUTHWELL 2
 EDMUND WYNDHAM 3
1542SIR ROGER TOWNSHEND 4
 ?(SIR) RICHARD SOUTHWELL 5
1545SIR THOMAS PASTON
 CHRISTOPHER HEYDON
1547SIR EDMUND KNYVET
 SIR NICHOLAS LESTRANGE
by 23 Jan. 1552SIR ROBERT DUDLEY vice Knyvet, deceased
1553 (Mar.)SIR ROBERT DUDLEY
 SIR THOMAS RADCLIFFE
1553 (Oct.)(SIR) RICHARD SOUTHWELL
 SIR HENRY BEDINGFIELD
1554 (Apr.)(SIR) RICHARD SOUTHWELL
 SIR HENRY BEDINGFIELD
1554 (Nov.)(SIR) RICHARD SOUTHWELL 6
 SIR JOHN SHELTON
1555SIR JOHN CLERE
 JOHN APPLEYARD
1558SIR HENRY BEDINGFIELD
 SIR WILLIAM WOODHOUSE

Main Article

The elections for the knighthood of the shire for Norfolk were held at meetings of the county court in the shire house at Norwich castle. In 1542 the forthcoming election was announced at the previous meeting of the county court and at the markets at Great Yarmouth and Thetford. Indentures survive for all the Parliaments between 1542 and 1558 save that of November 1554. All are in Latin and the contracting parties are the sheriff of Norfolk and Suffolk and the electors, whose names number between 20 and 80; in 1542 and 1555 two of the Norfolk coroners are also mentioned. Several Members were kinsmen of the sheriffs who returned them: in 1545 Sir William Drury returned his son-in-law Christopher Heydon and another relative of Heydon’s; in November 1554 Sir Thomas Woodhouse his kinsman Sir John Shelton, and in 1555 Shelton his cousin Sir John Clere. If the by-election following the death of Sir Edmund Knyvet was held in 1551 Sir Robert Dudley could have been returned by his father-in-law Sir John Robsart.7

There is a glimpse of crown intervention, and of a personal reaction to it, at the election of 1539, when the royal nomination of Edmund Wyndham and Richard Southwell provoked Edmund Knyvet into a futile display of petulance at the county court. The 3rd Duke of Norfolk was presumably the intermediary as he told Cromwell that before going north he had