Cambridgeshire

County

Published in The History of Parliament: the House of Commons 1558-1603, ed. P.W. Hasler, 1981
Available from Boydell and Brewer

Elections

DateCandidate
19 Jan. 1559SIR ROGER NORTH
 FRANCIS HYNDE
1562/3SIR ROGER NORTH
 JOHN HUTTON
1566ROBERT PEYTON vice North, called to the Upper House
1571JOHN HUTTON
 HENRY LONG
24 Apr. 1572FRANCIS HYNDE
 JOHN HUTTON
19 Nov. 1584JOHN NORTH
 SIR JOHN CUTTS
20 Oct. 1586JOHN NORTH
 SIR JOHN CUTTS
17 Oct. 1588JOHN NORTH
 (SIR) FRANCIS HYNDE
1593JOHN COTTON
 JOHN PEYTON II
6 Oct. 1597(SIR) HENRY NORTH
 WILLIAM HYNDE
1 Oct. 1601SIR JOHN CUTTS
 (SIR) JOHN COTTON

Main Article

Throughout this period Cambridgeshire was dominated by Sir Roger North, and Baron North from 1564, and lord lieutenant from 1569 to his death in 1600. North was himself the senior knight of the shire in the first Parliament of the reign and the first session of the second; his first son John occupied the senior seat in 1584, 1586 and 1589; and his third son Henry did so in 1597. His three deputy lieutenants also had county seats: Sir John Cutts of Childerley in 1584, 1586 and 1601; John Cotton in 1593 and 1601; and John Peyton II in 1593. The Peytons were related to the Norths, and Peyton’s father Robert, also a deputy lieutenant, replaced North for the 1566 session of the 1563 Parliament. Another old Cambridgeshire family was that of the Hyndes of Madingley, who provided county Members in 1559, 1572, 1589 and 1597. John Hutton (1563, 1571, 1572), of Dry Drayton was an otherwise obscure gentleman who married the daughter of (Sir) John Hynde, widow of Sir John Cutts, the father of the Elizabethan MP of that name. The only county MP who does not fit into the pattern is Henry Long of Shingay, who was elected to a junior seat in 1571, the first Parliament after he came of age, a compliment sometimes paid to minor county families who could seldom aspire to be knights of the shire.

An illustration of the attitude of Lord North’s little band to outsiders is provided by the tale of Sir Horatio Palavicino’s contribution to the county finances. This alien merchant had bought an estate in Cambridgeshire, and his assessment for the musters and for sending troops to Ireland was higher than that of any other in the county, including Lord North himself. In 1598, for example, Cutts, Cotton and Peyton, who were in charge of the assessment, instructed Palavicino to pay £3 10s., while Cotton and Peyton made no contribution at all. This was too much for the Privy Council, who drew up the next assessment themselves.1

Author: P. W. Hasler

Notes

  • 1. L. Stone, Sir Horatio Palavicino, 283-7.

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