Hedon

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
1558/9JOHN VAUGHAN I 1
 JOHN SALVEYN 2
1562/3SIR JOHN CONSTABLE
 CHRISTOPHER HILLIARD I
1571CHRISTOPHER HILLIARD I
 WILLIAM PALER
1572CHRISTOPHER HILLIARD I
 JOHN MOORE I
31 Oct. 1584HENRY CONSTABLE
 FULKE GREVILLE
3 Oct. 1586(SIR) HENRY CONSTABLE
 JOHN HOTHAM
12 Oct. 1588JOHN ALFORD
 CHRISTOPHER HILLIARD II
1593HENRY BROOKE alias COBHAM II
 CHRISTOPHER HILLIARD II
26 Sept. 1597THOMAS SALVEYN
 CHRISTOPHER HILLIARD II
12 Oct. 1601MATTHEW PATTESON
 CHRISTOPHER HILLIARD II

Main Article

The government of Hedon was based on a charter granted in 1348 and confirmed by Elizabeth in 1565, which provided the borough with a mayor, two bailiffs, a coroner and other officers. Municipal and parliamentary elections were conducted in a general assembly of the burgesses. It is not clear how many burgesses had the right to vote and the surviving Elizabethan returns shed no light on this problem. The returns are made out by the ‘mayor, bailiffs and burgesses’. In 1601 a separate ‘blank’ return was made out for each Member.

At the beginning of Elizabeth’s reign the 6th Earl of Westmorland granted his brother-in-law, Sir John Constable, the seigniory of Holderness. Sir John took the senior seat in 1563, and his son Henry sat in 1584 and 1586. Probably their religious conservatism curtailed their own parliamentary careers but it did not hinder their patronage at Hedon, where on two occasions (1584, 1586) they commanded both seats. Fulke Greville (1584) was a cousin of his fellow MP, and a courtier. John Hotham (1586) of Scarborough in the East Riding, was also related to the Constables. Other probable nominees of the Constable family were John Salveyn of Hemingbrough, Yorkshire, a relative, in 1559; Thomas Salveyn, a relative from the Durham branch of the family in 1597; William Paler (1571), a Yorkshire country gentleman of good standing and also a relative of the Constables, and John Moore I (1572) who, if identified correctly, was a Yorkshire gentleman and lawyer, connected with the Constables by marriage.

The other leading local family was that of the Hilliards, second in importance to the Constables, but closely related to them. In 1563 Christopher Hilliard I took the junior seat to his brother-in-law Sir John Constable, but in 1571, when the latter was sheriff of the county, he took the senior seat over the Constable nominee and retained it in 1572. His namesake, nephew and heir, Christopher Hilliard II, represented the borough in the last four Parliaments of the reign, bringing the family’s total to seven Hedon seats in this p