Cricklade

Borough

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

Elections

DateCandidate
17 Jan. 1559SIR WALTER DENYS
 JOHN ASTLEY
1562/3NICHOLAS ST. JOHN
 ANTHONY THROCKMORTON
1571SIR NICHOLAS ARNOLD
 GILES BRYDGES
18 Apr. 1572WILLIAM BRYDGES
 JOHN HIGFORD
1584ROWLAND LEIGH 1
 RICHARD SMITH 2
5 Oct. 1586JOHN HIGFORD
 RICHARD DELABERE
1588/9GEORGE SNIGGE
 THOMAS SMITH
1593HENRY NOEL
 JOHN PLEYDELL
5 Oct. 1597(SIR) GEORGE GIFFORD
 GRAY BRYDGES
1601(SIR) GEORGE GIFFORD
 ROBERT MASTER

Main Article

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