Huntingdon

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. 1559RICHARD PATRICK
 WILLIAM SYMCOTS
1562/3RICHARD GOODERICK
 GEORGE BLYTH
1571TRISTRAM TYRWHITT
 RALPH ROKEBY
25 Apr. 1572THOMAS SLADE 1
 JOHN TURPIN
19 Nov. 1584FRANCIS FLOWER
 WILLIAM CERVINGTON
1586FRANCIS FLOWER
 WILLIAM CERVINGTON
12 Oct. 1588FRANCIS FLOWER
 WILLIAM CERVINGTON
1593ROBERT LEE
 ROBERT CROMWELL
8 Oct. 1597RICHARD CROMWELL
 ROBERT COOKE
1601WILLIAM BEECHER
 THOMAS CHICHELEY

Main Article

Though there was a connexion with the duchy of Lancaster going back to the thirteenth century, it has not proved possible to associate more than one Huntingdon MP in this period with the chancellor of the duchy. Perhaps there were more—it has been stated that Sir Robert Cecil asked for a seat late in the reign, and some of the nominations attributed below to great men may have been contrived through the duchy—but no links have been established.

Returns were made by two named bailiffs and ‘the major part of the burgesses within the said borough abiding and residing who were present’ (1584) or ‘all the burgesses ... with their unanimous consent’ (1597). About 20 signed the return. In 1596 a recorder was appointed, Sir Oliver Cromwell, whose family had been prominent locally since acquiring Hinchingbrooke at the dissolution of the monasteries. Two members of the family were returned in this period, Robert in 1593 and Richard in 1597. Other local gentlemen who sat for the borough were Tristram Tyrwhitt (1571), Thomas Chicheley (1601) and William Beecher (1601). Chicheley may, however, have owed his return to a court connexion, and Beecher’s father-in-law, the 3rd Baron St. John, was lord lieutenant of the county. Other Huntingdon MPs who may have, or did, come in through the influence of great men were George Blyth in 156 (Sir William Cecil); Francis Flower, who took the senior seat in the 1580s (Hatton) and Robert Lee in 1593. Lee may be presumed to have been nominated by (Sir) Thomas Heneage, chancellor of the duchy of Lancaster, who is known to have asked for a seat at that election.

The identities of Richard Gooderick (1563) and Ralph Rokeby (1571) have not been established. All the remaining Huntingdon MPs resided in the town, and all held municipal office except Th