East Grinstead

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
14 Jan. 1559THOMAS SACKVILLE
 HUMPHREY LLOYD
1562/3JOHN SACKVILLE
 LAWRENCE BANESTER
1571JOHN JEFFREY
 HENRY BERKELEY I
Apr. 1572THOMAS CURE
 MICHAEL HENEAGE
22 Oct. 1584THOMAS CURE
 FRANCIS ALFORD
1 Oct. 1586JOHN COVERT
 DREW PICKESSE
21 Oct. 1589FRANCIS ALFORD
 THOMAS FRERE
1593READE STAFFORD
 JOHN SHURLEY II
11 Sept. 1597GEORGE RIVERS
 RICHARD BAKER
25 Sept. 1601HENRY COMPTON II
 GEORGE RIVERS

Main Article

The borough of East Grinstead, part of the duchy of Lancaster since the reign of Edward III, formed a ‘liberty of itself without any intermeddling of the hundred’ of that name. According to a 1563 survey of duchy lands in Sussex, the borough had about 50 burgages, six of which were held by Sir Richard (‘Fillsack’) Sackville. Among other Sackville property in the neighbourhood was the manor of Brambletye, which became the residence of Henry Compton II, whose mother married into the family. While the fact that the Sackvilles held a number of duchy offices in Sussex obviously enhanced their influence in East Grinstead, it is interesting to see that the pattern of patronage there remained local rather than central. During a period in which there were 10 elections and six chancellors of the duchy only one example has been found of a possible central nomination, that of Reade Stafford in 1593, when (Sir) Thomas Heneage was chancellor, and, even then, Stafford’s return may have been due equally well to Thomas Sackville, Lord Buckhurst as to Heneage. Sir Robert Cecil, appointed chancellor in October 1597, applied in September for one or both nominations. On the 14th of that month the borough wrote to tell him that he was too late: the election had already taken place.

The following MPs, in all probability, owed their return to Sackville influence: Thomas Sackville (1559), John Sackville (1563), John Jeffrey (1571), Francis Alford (1584, 1589), George Rivers (1597, 1601), Richard Baker (1597), Henry Compton II (1601), John Covert (1586). The Sackvilles were not the only family connected with both the duchy and with East Grinstead. Before he passed it over to Sir Richard Sackville, the office of steward of duchy lands in Sussex was held by the 12th Earl of Arun