Ludgershall

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
12 Jan. 1559WILLIAM WIGHTMAN
 HENRY SHARINGTON
1562/3GRIFFIN CURTEYS
 GEORGE COPE
1571CHRISTOPHER WRAY
 JAMES COLBRAND
23 Apr. 1572JAMES COLBRAND
 THOMAS WALKEDEN
17 Nov 1584JOHN KINGSMILL
 FRANCIS BUTTON
8 Oct. 1586AMBROSE COPPINGER
 JOHN KINGSMILL
8 Oct. 1588CAREW RALEGH
 HENRY HYDE
1593EDWARD THORNBOROUGH
 CHIDIOCK WARDOUR
5 Oct. 1597EDMUND LUDLOW
 RICHARD LEAKE
10 Oct. 1601ROBERT PENRUDDOCK
 JAMES KIRTON I

Main Article

Ludgershall was a non-incorporated borough granted in 1539 to Richard Brydges for 40 years at a rent of £15 per annum. At the beginning of Elizabeth’s reign the widowed Lady Jane Brydges lived there but only the 1563 MPs can be said to have owed their returns to her: Griffin Curteys, servant of the Seymours, a neighbour, and George Cope, who married Lady Brydges’ niece.

None of the Members in this period had a direct link with the borough. Five were returned through their family’s local standing: Henry Sharington (1559), Francis Button (1584), Carew Ralegh (1589), Edward Thornborough (1593) and Edmund Ludlow (1597). Three had connexions with the earls of Pembroke. William Wightman (1559) was an Exchequer official and servant of the 1st Earl; Ambrose Coppinger (1586) was later receiver to the Countess of Warwick, sister-in-law of the 2nd Earl; and Robert Penruddock (1601) of Compton Chamberlayne had already sat thrice for a Pembroke borough and his return for Ludgershall may be presumed to have been at the instance of the 3rd Earl. In the latter part of the reign the Earl of Hertford was responsible for the return of his servant James Kirton I in 1601, and probably also for the returns of Henry Hyde (1589) and Richard Leake (1597). Henry Hyde was a Wiltshire gentleman whose father, Lawrence Hyde I, was the Earl’s auditor. Richard Leake’s suggested identification connects him with the Earl of Hertford. Three Ludgershall MPs owed their seats to Richard Kingsmill who owned property near the borough. John Kingsmill (1584, 1586) was Richard’s younger brother; Christopher Wray (1571) was Richard Kingsmill’s contemporary at Lincoln’s Inn; and Chidiock Wardour (1593), a Hampshire gentleman, had connexions with the Kingsmills in the Exchequer and had already been a