Radnorshire

County

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

Elections

DateCandidate
1542JOHN BAKER IV
19 Feb. 1544JOHN PRICE I vice Baker, deceased
1545JOHN KNILL
1547RICHARD BLIKE 1
1553 (Mar.)(not known)
1553 (Oct.)CHARLES VAUGHAN
1554 (Apr.)JOHN BRADSHAW II
1554 (Nov.)JOHN KNILL
1555STEPHEN PRICE
1558IEUAN LEWIS

Main Article

Leland remarked on the fertility of the Radnorshire valleys on the border with England, and on the quality of the wool produced in the east of the county, but Camden could find little to praise, calling the neighbourhood of Rhayader ‘a vast wilderness, dismal to behold by reason of many crooked ways and high mountains’. Radnorshire was one of the counties set up at the Union. Although New Radnor was named shire town, the county court was to alternate between it and Rhayader until 1543, when following the murder of a judge at the assizes there, Rhayader was replaced by Presteigne as the alternate meeting place. A bill to make New Radnor the sole one was introduced in the Commons in February 1552 but failed after a single reading.2

In 1545, in February and September 1553 and October 1554 the elections were held at Radnor castle, but the indentures for 1543 and 1558 are too damaged to yield a place-name. All the indentures save the first, the one for the by-election caused by the death of John Baker, are in Latin and like those for Devon and Cardiganshire they often add the names of the Members for the Boroughs. The contracting parties are the sheriff and the free-holders, or between 30 and 50 named electors usually described as gentlemen. John Bradshaw was returned by his sheriff-father, and several other knights enjoyed kinship with the sheriff. With the possible exception of John Price, whose parentage has not been established, all the knights came from a close-knit group of families with lands in the shire and all were versed in local administration. Richard Blike had begun his career in the service of the president of the council in the marches, and although Bishop Lee was dead by 1547 this connexion could still have benefited him, as it may have done several of the other knights who had kinsmen in the employ of the council.3

Author: N. M. Fuidge

Notes

  • 1. Hatfield 207.
  • 2. Leland, Itin. ed. Smith, iii. 41-42; Camden, Britannia (1695), col. 586; Mont. Colls. xxx. 228-9; CJ, i. 18.
  • 3. C219/18B/141, 18C/189, 20/202, 21/249, 23/209, 24/247.

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