Derby

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
1558/9RICHARD DOUGHTY 1
 WILLIAM BAINBRIDGE 2
1562/3WILLIAM MORE II
 WILLIAM BAINBRIDGE
1571ROBERT STRINGER
 ROBERT BAINBRIDGE
1572ROBERT STRINGER
 TRISTRAM TYRWHITT
1576ROBERT BAINBRIDGE 3 vice Tyrwhitt, expelled the House
1584HENRY BEAUMONT I 4
 WILLIAM BOTHAM 5
22 Sept. 1586WILLIAM BOTHAM
 ROBERT BAINBRIDGE
1588/9RICHARD FLETCHER II
 WILLIAM BOTHAM
1593ROBERT STRINGER
 WILLIAM BOTHAM
1597HENRY DUPORT 6
 ROBERT STRINGER 7
1 Oct. 1601PETER EURE
 JOHN BAXTER

Main Article

Little is known about the government of Derby before James I’s charter of 1612 By the beginning of Elizabeth’s reign, however, there were certainly two bailiffs, a recorder and chamberlain. The office of steward has not been found before the 1590s, but the absence of local records makes it impossible to say when it first appeared. Members of Parliament were chosen by the freemen and, judging by the surviving returns for the Elizabethan period, the bailiffs acted as returning officers.

For the most part Derby retained a strong degree of independence in its choice of Members. There are indications, however, that the 6th and 7th Earls of Shrewsbury, the most prominent men in the county, enjoyed some influence in the borough. The 7th Earl, high steward by 1611, was the man to whom the town turned in a moment of crisis in 1591, but Shrewsbury influence on actual elections appears to have been slight. It seems likely that three men only—Tristram Tyrwhitt, Henry Beaumont I and Peter Eure—owed their nomination, directly or indirectly, to Shrewsbury support.

Townsmen were returned to the first three Parliaments of the reign. William Bainbridge and William More II had both previously sat in Marian Parliaments.