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|17 Jan. 1559||SIR WALTER DENYS|
|1562/3||NICHOLAS ST. JOHN|
|1571||SIR NICHOLAS ARNOLD|
|18 Apr. 1572||WILLIAM BRYDGES|
|1584||ROWLAND LEIGH 1|
|RICHARD SMITH 2|
|5 Oct. 1586||JOHN HIGFORD|
|5 Oct. 1597||(SIR) GEORGE GIFFORD|
|1601||(SIR) GEORGE GIFFORD|
The borough of Cricklade, which was not incorporated, was in the hands of the Crown throughout Elizabeth’s reign. In 1557 the stewardship of the borough, together with that of other neighbouring properties, was granted to Edmund Brydges, and Baron Chandos. His son Giles, who succeeded him in March 1573, was granted the same office the following June, and in 1594, his brother, William, was granted the stewardship of Cricklade and held it until his death. Evidence of the family’s interest in Cricklade is to be found in Edmund Brydges’ will.3
Parliamentary elections were dominated by the Brydges. Three of the family, Giles, William and Gray, represented the borough before succeeding to the title. Two MPs, (Sir) George Gifford (1597, 1601) and Thomas Smith (1589) married daughters of the 2nd and 4th Barons Chandos respectively. Five other Members, Sir Walter Denys (1559) and John Astley (1559), Anthony Throckmorton (1563), Sir Nicholas Arnold (1571) and Roland Leigh (1584) were indirectly related to the Brydges by marriage. The remaining identified MPs were their friends, neighbours or court connexions. John Higford (1572, 1586), was the son of a close friend and neighbour of the 3rd Baron Chandos. Higford’s father, also John, was sheriff at the time of the 1586 election. Nicholas St. John (1563), the lawyer, Richard Delabere (1586), and John Pleydell (1593) were all neighbours of the Brydges family. The Bristol lawyer George Snigge (1589) was in all probability well acquainted with William, Lord Chandos. Henry Noel (1593), a gentleman pensioner from Leicestershire, probably had court connexions with the Brydges. Richard Smith (1584) has not been definitely identified, but may have been the 1589 MP’s brother. It has not proved possible to do more than guess at reasons for the return of Robert Master in 1601.
- 1. Browne Willis.