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|9 Nov. 1584||ANTHONY COOKE|
|RICHARD COOKE II|
|9 Oct. 1586||FRANCIS KEILWAY|
|25 Oct. 1588||FRANCIS KEILWAY|
|1593||RICHARD BLOUNT II|
|14 Oct. 1597||THOMAS WEST III|
|17 Oct. 1601||SIR FRANCIS DARCY|
In this period Lymington was a mesne roeshe borough with a mayor, recorder, town clerk, serjeant and burgesses. The high steward was Sir Henry Wallop, whose son Henry was joined with him in the office in December 1594. In 1600 the manor and borough were granted to Charles Howard, Earl of Nottingham.
It is not clear how Lymington came to be enfranchised; possibly it was on the initiative of Sir Henry Wallop, with the support of Lord Burghley. At any rate the first two MPs seem to have been related to Burghley, though their relationship is not clear. Sir Henry Wallop’s half-brother was returned in 1586, together with a cousin who was a local country gentleman. The latter, Francis Keilway, was returned again next time with another local gentleman, William White. Among the Wallops’ neighbouts were the West family, Barons Delaware. Richard Blount II (1593) married the daughter of the 1st Baron and Thomas West III (who was to succeed as 4th Baron 1602) came in in 1597, together with Henry Wallop, now joint steward of the borough. It is not known how the Hampshire country gentleman John Knight (1593) came to be returned, possibly it was in fact through Henry Wallop’s influence. By 1601 the wheel of patronage at Lymington may have come full circle, for the last two MPs in this period had connexions with Sir Robert Cecil. One was the soldier Sir Francis Darcy, the other Thomas Ridley, an ecclesiastical official of Winchester diocese (and son-in-law son-in-law of the bishop), whose immediate patron was probably the Earl of Nottingham.
VCH Hants, iv. 639-46; C.