Gloucestershire

County

Published in The History of Parliament: the House of Commons 1558-1603, ed. P.W. Hasler, 1981
Available from Boydell and Brewer

Elections

DateCandidate
9 Jan. 1559SIR JOHN ST. LOE 1
 SIR GILES POOLE 2
1562/3NICHOLAS WALSHE
 RICHARD DENYS
1571SIR GILES POOLE
 SIR NICHOLAS POYNTZ
1572GILES BRYDGES
 SIR NICHOLAS ARNOLD
13 Feb. 1576THOMAS CHESTER vice Brydges, called to the Upper House3
1581SIR THOMAS PORTER vice Arnold, deceased
1584SIR JOHN TRACY I
 WILLIAM BRYDGES 4
10 Oct. 1586WILLIAM BRYDGES
 (SIR) WILLIAM WYNTER
30 Dec. 1588SIR THOMAS THROCKMORTON
 EDWARD WYNTER
1593SIR HENRY POOLE
 SIR JOHN POYNTZ
26 Sept. 1597SIR JOHN TRACY II
 SIR JOHN HUNGERFORD
21 Sept. 1601(SIR) EDWARD WYNTER
 JOHN THROCKMORTON II

Main Article

Sir John St. Loe (1559) of Tormarton, who had been under house arrest in the previous reign for his opposition to the government, was elected senior knight of the shire for the first Parliament, but no evidence of a by-election to replace him has been found. His fellow MP, Sir Giles Poole, of Sapperton, had on the contrary been regarded as a ‘safe Catholic’ during Mary’s reign, and yet continued on the Gloucestershire commission of the peace under Elizabeth until his death in 1589. He was related through his mother to the Brydges family and represented the shire a second time in 1571. His son, Sir Henry Poole, was elected as senior knight for the shire in 1593, the first Parliament after his father’s death. Nicholas Walshe (1563) of Sodbury was a younger son with few prospects until 1556 when ‘a fiery sulphureous globe’ conveniently wiped out his father and elder brothers, leaving him in possession of the estates. He married into the Berkeley family, and was thus connected with both his fellow MP, Richard Denys, heir to the estate of Cold Ashton, whose grandmother was a Berkeley, and Sir Nicholas Poyntz (1571) of Iron Acton, whose mother was a Berkeley. Poyntz’s son, Sir John, was returned for a county seat in 1593. In the senior county seat was taken by Giles Brydges of Sudeley, heir to the 2nd Baron Chandos. When his father died in 1573, Brydges, now 3rd Baron Chandos, was called to the Upper House. Thomas Chester, a Bristol merchant who had bought the estate of Almondsbury, and was living as a country gentleman by 1573, was elected at a by-election to replace Brydges in the remaining sessions of the Parliament. Sir Nicholas Arnold (1572) of Highnam took his first county seat in Elizabeth’s reign at the age of 63, and died in 1580 before the end of the Parliament. It seems likely that he was replaced at a by-election by his nephew Sir Thomas Porter, whose name only features in the journals of the House for the 1581 session and who is not known to have sat elsewhere.5 A measure of doubt also exists over the identity of the senior knight in 1584. No return survives for that Parliament and Browne Willis suggests Sir John Darcy. As no knight of that name has been found in Gloucestershire at that time, the MP has been presumed to be Sir John Tracy I of Toddington, whose maternal grandfather was 1st Baron Chandos and who was related by marriage to many of the leading county families, including the Throckmortons and the Berkeleys. Sir John Tracy II, who succeeded his father to the Toddington estate in 1591, secured a county seat in 1597. William Brydges of Sudeley secured county seats in both the 1584 and 1586 Parliaments, doubtless with the help of his brother, the 3rd Baron Chandos. (Sir) William