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|4 Nov. 1584||PETER OSBORNE|
|6 Nov. 1588||EDWARD COKE|
|1593||THOMAS KNYVET II|
|22 Sept. 1597||FRANCIS HARVEY II|
|2 Oct. 1601||MARTIN STUTTEVILLE|
Aldeburgh was incorporated in 1547 and was governed by two bailiffs assisted by ‘the twelve’ and ‘the twenty-four’. The Duke of Norfolk was lord of the borough, and presumably it was he who secured its enfranchisement in 1571. Its right to return Members was challenged in the House and referred to the returns committee, 6 Apr. 1571.1 Parliamentary election indentures were made between the sheriff and the bailiffs, whose names were given on the returns.2
The Duke of Norfolk’s influence is obvious at the 1571 election, Roger Woodhouse being a Norfolk gentleman related to the Howards, and Robert Higford a household servant of the Duke. After 1571 the Howards may still have controlled at least one seat for a time, although Philip, Earl of Arundel, who seems, on coming of age in 1578, to have succeeded his father at Aldeburgh, was never as influential in East Anglia as Norfolk had been. In 1572, when Norfolk was in the Tower, Francis Beaumont, a Leicestershire lawyer, took the senior seat. His patron is not evident, but he was well connected, being a brother-in-law of the 3rd Lord Vaux, and may have been returned through Howard influence. Charles Seckford, the junior Member for 1572, was a courtier, related by marriage to the Howards, and he too may have owed his nomination to Howard influence, although it seems more likely that he relied on the local prestige of his uncle Thomas Seckford I, master of requests, whose estate at Woodbridge was about 15 miles from Aldeburgh.