Haslemere

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
2 Nov. 1584CHRISTOPHER RITHE
 MARLYON RITHE
1586WILLIAM MORGAN III
 WILLIAM CAMPION
1588/9HUGH HARE
 JOHN HASELRIGGE
1593ADRIAN STOUGHTON
 NICHOLAS SAUNDERS II
15 Sept. 1597FRANCIS AUNGIER
 GEORGE AUSTEN
12 Oct. 1601FRANCIS WOLLEY
 JOHN CLARKE

Main Article

Haslemere was a ‘tithing’ in the manor of Godalming, which came into the hands of the Crown in Edward VI’s reign. Anthony Browne Viscount Montagu was its steward from 1553 until his death in 1592. Though a Catholic, Montagu was trusted and rewarded by the Queen, being one of the commissioners for the trial of Mary Stuart in 1586, serving against the Armada in 1588, and entertaining the Queen at Cowdray in 1591. Thus, while there need be no doubt that he could have obtained the enfranchisement of a borough if this was his ambition, two questions remain: why Haslemere rather than Godalming, which had been incorporated for ten years by 1584, and what could have induced Browne to want it? Perhaps the answer to the second lies in some undiscovered connexion between him and the two undistinguished London lawyers, father and son, who were its first Members. As if to emphasize the obscurity of the whole matter, it was stated, only some dozen years later, that the place had ‘sent two burgesses to Parliament from time whereof the memory of man was not to the contrary’.

One of the 1586 MPs, William Campion, may have owed his return to the Rithes. The 1589 Members were another London lawyer, Hugh Hare, and John Haselrigge, of Clapham, Surrey, a brother-in-law and neighbour of Bartholomew Clerke, master of requests. All the remaining MPs for Haselmere in this period were connected with the Mores of Loseley. (Sir) William More I ‘recommended’ the grant of the 1596 charter, and