Horsham

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
31 Dec. 1558RICHARD LESTRANGE 1
 NICHOLAS MYNN 2
1562/3PETER OSBORNE
 ROBERT BUXTON
1571JOHN HUSSEY I
 JOHN GRESHAM
20 Apr. 1572NICHOLAS HARE
 JOHN HARE
1584NICHOLAS HARE
 JOHN HARE
8 Oct. 1586NICHOLAS HARE
 JOHN HARE
1588/9NICHOLAS HARE
 JOHN HARE
1593JOHN HARE
 RICHARD FRANKE
5 Oct. 1597JOHN HARE
 JAMES BOOTH
1601SIR WILLIAM HARVEY
 MICHAEL HICKES

Main Article

The manor of the borough of Horsham formed part of the larger manor of Horsham, owned by the Duke of Norfolk. It was held by the bailiff and burgesses as mesne land, directly of the lord of the manor. Local government was in the hands of the bailiffs and burgesses. The two bailiffs were chosen annually at a court leet by the lord’s steward. Election returns were made by the bailiffs, burgesses and commonalty. In 1586, 17 burgesses and 17 commoners were named on the original return.3

Before his attainder in January 1572, the 4th Duke of Norfolk dominated Horsham’s elections. Richard Lestrange (1559) was connected with Norfolk through his elder brother, Sir Nicholas, chamberlain of the Duke’s household. Both Nicholas Mynn (1559) and Robert Buxton (1563) were servants of Norfolk. Peter Osborne (1563) was an Exchequer official who doubtless owed his seat at Horsham to Cecil acting through Norfolk. John Hussey I (1571), a Sussex landowner, and John Gresham (1571), who had recently sold his Sussex property, were both returned for Horsham with Norfolk’s approval.

After Norfolk’s attainder, the borough was represented in four Parliaments by members of the Hare family, Inner Temple lawyers who came from East Anglia. Ralph Hare, one of eight brothers, acquired extensive property in Sussex and must have been a well-known figure in Horsham, possibly its steward, but he never represented the borough himself. On 7 Feb. 1589 Hugh Hare moved in the House for a new writ to replace Nicholas as burgess for Horsham, but the background to the incident remains obscure. In any event Nicholas was in the House 10 days later. He was never returned again, his brother John taking over in 1593 the senior seat which Nicholas had pr