Grantham

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
8 Jan. 1559THOMAS RANDOLPH
 WILLIAM MORE I
1562/3ROGER MANNERS I
 WILLIAM COOKE I
1571WILLIAM KILLIGREW
 ARTHUR HALL
1572JOHN VAUGHAN I 1
 ARTHUR HALL
12 Nov. 1584ARTHUR HALL
 WILLIAM THOROLD
24 Oct. 1586SIR HENRY BAGNALL
 ROBERT MARKHAM
1586WILLIAM ASHBY vice Bagnall, chose to sit for Anglesey
1588/9RICHARD MORE I
 WILLIAM ARMYN
1593THOMAS HORSMAN
 FRANCIS NEALE
5 Oct. 1597THOMAS HORSMAN
 FRANCIS NEALE
3 Oct. 1601OLIVER MANNERS
 THOMAS HORSMAN

Main Article

In this period Grantham was governed by an alderman and 12 comburgesses. There was also a recordership held for much of the Elizabethan period by the Thorold family, who lived nearby. In a letter dated 1581 Anthony Thorold implied that he had held the position for many years and his father before him. The successive earls of Rutland, whose seat at Belvoir was only a few miles distant, were stewards of the manor of Grantham, and Lord Clinton (Earl of Lincoln from 1572) must have been steward of the borough, for in 1587 the 2nd Earl sought Burghley’s help in his efforts to succeed his late father in the office.

Grantham first sent Members to Parliament in 1467. No municipal records survive from the sixteenth century, but it seems likely that parliamentary and other elections were conducted in an assembly of all the burgesses in the alderman’s court. The election return for 1559 records that the Members were chosen by the alderman, comburgesses and ‘communitas’, while that of 1597 reads ‘with the authority of us and of all other burgesses and of the "communitas" of Grantham’. When the Earl of Rutland sought a nomination in 1584 the alderman told him that his request had been ‘moved at our last court’, but that ‘the greater number of our commons’ had already ‘given their voices’ to Arthur Hall and William Thorold. That the corporation could effectively control these meetings is suggested by the last sentence in the letter to the Earl: ‘hereafter you may commend us all, if we hear from you before our voices be passed to others’.

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