Guildford

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
10 Jan. 1559SIR THOMAS PALMER
 THOMAS STOUGHTON
1562/3THOMAS BROMLEY 1
 JOHN AUSTEN 2
1571PETER OSBORNE
 HENRY KNOLLYS I
1572WILLIAM MORE I
 THOMAS STOUGHTON
14 Jan. 1581LAURENCE STOUGHTON vice Thomas Stoughton, deceased3
26 Oct. 1584GEORGE MORE
 LAURENCE STOUGHTON
1586GEORGE MORE
 LAURENCE STOUGHTON
23 Oct. 1588(SIR) WILLIAM MORE I
 GEORGE MORE
1593GEORGE MORE
 LAURENCE STOUGHTON
4 Oct. 1597(SIR) WILLIAM MORE I
 SIR ROBERT SOUTHWELL
17 Oct. 1601ROBERT MORE
 WILLIAM JACKSON

Main Article

Guildford had been incorporated in the middle ages and was governed by a mayor, ‘approved men’, and the guild of merchants. In 1559 Henry, 12th Earl of Arundel, held the office of high steward. On his death in 1580, Edward Clinton, 1st Earl of Lincoln, was elected but died within five years. The corporation then chose Charles Howard I, Lord Howard of Effingham. Among the gentry living near Guildford, the most prominent was (Sir) William More I, of Loseley, who took an active interest in the borough’s affairs.

Both 1559 MPs owed their returns for Guildford to the 12th Earl of Arundel. Sir Thomas Palmer of Parham, Sussex, was a follower of Arundel and Thomas Stoughton of Stoughton, Surrey, was comptroller of Arundel’s household. Thomas Bromley, the London lawyer, also owed his return for Guildford in 1563 to Arundel. By 1571 Arundel was in prison and by 1581 he was dead. Nevertheless Stoughton, having already sat once for the borough, was of sufficient status to secure his own return in 1572. He died just after the 1576 session and was replaced for that of 1581 by his son Laurence, who was also returned in 1584, 1586 and 1593. After Arundel’s death only one MP for Guildford was nominated by a high steward: Sir Robert Southwell (1597), a marriage relation of Charles Howard I.

From 1571 onwards the Mores of Loseley dominated the returns at Guildford. At least one member of the family was returned to every Parliament from 1572 until the end of the reign. William More I was also responsible for the returns of both Members in 1571, Peter Osborne, an Exchequer official, and Henry Knollys I, a personal friend. Of the remaining two MPs, one, John Austen (1563) was recorder, the other, William Jackson (1601) remains unidentified.4

Author: M.A.P.

Notes

  • 1. OR (1878) app. xxxv.
  • 2. Ibid.
  • 3. C219/282.
  • 4. Hist. Guildford (1801), pp. 4-5; HMC 7th Rep. 618, 622, 628, 630.

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