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|13 Jan. 1559||THOMAS WARREN|
|1571||THOMAS ANDREWS II|
|1572||THOMAS ANDREWS II|
|[?14] Nov. 1584||RICHARD BARREY|
|JOHN MOORE II|
|JOHN MOORE II|
|22 Oct. 1597||THOMAS FANE|
Dover was the most important of the Cinque Ports and, by the beginning of Elizabeth’s reign, had already enjoyed several centuries of strong and independent local government. Parliamentary elections were conducted in the common assemblies, consisting of mayor, jurats, common council and freemen.
The 1559 Members were two townsmen, one of whom, Thomas Warren, had already sat at least twice. The same men were re-elected in 1563, the mayor’s name being placed above Warren’s on the return. The warden intervened for the first time in 1571 when John Pinchon, identified as an Essex landowner, was returned with the mayor, whose name again appears in the superior position. On this occasion it appears that the warden gave his nomination to a friend at court. In 1572 the two townsmen Andrews and Warren were again returned, and on 7 Sept. 1579 the common assembly resolved that none but jurats should in future be elected to Parliament. However, by the time of the next election the warden had drummed up some support from the Privy Council. He wrote to the town asserting that the Council had allowed him, ‘for certain special causes’, to nominate one of their Members. Dover referred the matter to their counsel and the assembly gave in on 7 Nov. electing Richard Barrey, the lieutenant of Dover castle, together with one of their own jurats. Before the next election the Privy Council asked boroughs to return the Members who had sat in 1584, which Dover did.
Barrey died in 1588, and was succeeded as lieutenant of the castle by Thomas Fane, who took over Barrey’s seat for Dover. The other man, Edward Stephens, a jurat, had just unsuccessfully contested the mayoralty. Fane was reelected in 1593 and 1597, on each occasion the other Member being the then mayor of Dover. It is interesting to see that, whereas the local man appears as senior Member in the minutes of the town council, the official return, sent into Chancery by the lord warden, names Fane first. In 1601 the lord warden asked Dover to send him the election return in blank, a request granted by the council, though ‘the like hath not heretofore been granted’. Cobham nominated George Fane, nephew of the lieutenant of the castle, who stood down himself because of illness. The junior Member, George Newman, commissary of Canterbury, had, before the election on 16 Oct., ‘craved to be admitted a freeman’ and paid £5 in gold, ‘which, in respect of the go