Available from Boydell and Brewer
|14 Jan. 1559||THOMAS SACKVILLE|
|HENRY BERKELEY I|
|Apr. 1572||THOMAS CURE|
|22 Oct. 1584||THOMAS CURE|
|1 Oct. 1586||JOHN COVERT|
|21 Oct. 1589||FRANCIS ALFORD|
|JOHN SHURLEY II|
|11 Sept. 1597||GEORGE RIVERS|
|25 Sept. 1601||HENRY COMPTON II|
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 Arundel, who was responsible for the return of Humphrey Lloyd (1559) and Michael Heneage (1572). Lawrence Banester (1563) was a servant of Arundel’s son-in-law, the Duke of Norfolk. Henry Berkeley I (1571) may have been nominated either by the Sackvilles or by the 12th Earl of Arundel. Though Thomas Cure (1572, 1584) was a Southwark tradesman with a court job, he had property in East Grinstead, and may have been returned twice on his own local interest. At any rate, soon after the borough was granted arms in 1572 he paid for the engraving of East Grinstead’s first seal,
for the love and goodwill that he, the said Cure, bare unto the said borough town and the inhabitants thereof.
Drew Pickesse (1586), Thomas Frere (1589) and John Shurley II (1593) were all local men.
Somerville, Duchy, i. 53, 327, 340; Horsfield, Sussex, i. 385-91; DL 42/23, ff. 47, 235, 238; HMC Hatfield, vii. 385; 42/112 ff. 177 seq.; S.C.6/2198; W. H. Hills, East Grinstead, passim; CSP Dom. 1547-80, p. 123.