East Retford

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
1571HENRY DRAYCOT
 THOMAS BROXHOLME
1572JOB THROCKMORTON
 GEORGE DELVES
14 Nov. 1584DENZIL HOLLES
 THOMAS WAAD
1586DENZIL HOLLES
 JOHN CONYERS
10 (?) 1588GEORGE CHAWORTH
 ALEXANDER RADCLIFFE
1593ROGER PORTINGTON
 ANTHONY COOKE
4 Oct. 1597ROGER PORTINGTON
 JOHN ROOS
1601ROGER MANNERS II
 ROBERT KYDMAN

Main Article

East Retford did not receive a charter of incorporation until 1607, being governed during Elizabeth’s reign, as for many years past, by two bailiffs. The borough began to send Members to Parliament in this period in 1571. Elections were held in the moot hall in the presence of the bailiffs and an unknown number of burgesses. None of the Elizabethan MPs lived in the town.

The list of Members leaves little doubt that the powerful Manners family, earls of Rutland, was behind East Retford’s representation in the Parliament of 1571, although Edward Manners, the 3rd Earl, only came of age in July 1510: he may have needed the support of his uncle George Talbot, 6th Earl of Shrewsbury, or of another relative, Sir William Cecil, whose ward he had been. A favourite with the Queen, Shrewsbury, whose grandfather had been granted the manor of East Retford by Henry VIII, may have been high steward of the borough; he was also lord lieutenant of Nottinghamshire, at least until 1569, and the owner of extensive estates in the area. The East Retford Members were challenged in the House on 6 Apr. 1571, along with other boroughs who had not previously returned MPs during the