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|5 Jan. 1559||THOMAS WELDON|
|12 Apr. 1572||EDMUND DOCKWRA|
|1576||HUMPHREY MICHELL vice Gallys, deceased|
|16 Nov. 1584||HENRY NEVILLE|
|JOHN CROKE III|
|28 Sept. 1586||HENRY NEVILLE|
|10 Oct. 1588||HENRY NEVILLE|
|26 Oct. 1588||EDWARD NEVILLE I vice Neville, chose to sit for Sussex|
|EDWARD NEVILLE II|
|16 Oct. 1597||JULIUS CAESAR|
|1 Oct. 1601||JULIUS CAESAR|
|(SIR) JOHN NORRIS|
Returns at New Windsor were made by ‘the mayor, bailiffs and burgesses of the Queen’s Majesty’s borough of New Windsor’, and the MPs were often royal servants. Electoral patronage was controlled by the constable of the castle, appointed by the Queen, and by the high steward, appointed by the borough. The two posts were sometimes held by the same man.
The first two Members in this period were Thomas Weldon, high steward to 1563, master of the Household, and Roger Amyce, an alderman. Sir Robert Dudley, soon to be Earl of Leicester, the Queen’s master of the horse, was made constable in succession to the Catholic Sir Francis Englefield†, who surrendered his patent on 4 Nov. 1561, and Dudley replaced Weldon as high steward in 1563. Leicester especially requested the return of Edmund Dockwra, an old retainer of his family, in 1572, and may have been responsible for the return of John Croke III in 1584. No doubt other burgesses returned during his period of office were acceptable to him—the townsman Gallys was included in the request he made for the return of Dockwra in 1572. But Leicester’s mind was on other matters than who was to represent New Windsor, and the electoral patronage was gradually taken over by a local magnate, Sir Henry Neville I, who brought in his brother-in-law John Gresham in 1563, and other members of the family in 1584, 1586, 1588 and 1593. When Leicester died on 4 Sept. 1588, the borough on 20 Sept. elected Neville high steward without waiting for the Queen to appoint a constable. When she did, she chose Charles Howard I, the admiral, in whose person the two offices were again combined when Neville died during the course of the 1593 elections. Howard was responsible for the return of the admiralty judge Julius Caesar in 1597 and 1601.
All this is not to imply that there was ill feeling or rivalry between Leicester and Neville or Neville and Howard. On the contrary, relations between them were friendly. For example, it is just as likely that Neville was responsible for the return of John Croke III as Leicester, and the friendship between Neville and Howard is illustrated by Neville’s gift of a ‘falcon hawk’ to Howard in his will. The loser was the town of Windsor. After the death of Weldon, who was very much a townsman, only two other townsmen, Richard Gallys and Edward Hake, were returned in the remaining 38 years of the reign: Humphrey Michell (1571, 1576) was clerk of the works at the castle; John Thomson (1571) audited Michell’s accounts; George Woodward (1586) was clerk of the works, and John Norris (1597, 1601) comptroller of the works. In February 1576, when Gallys had died and (in all probability) been replaced by Michell, the corporation resolved that, in future, ‘when the burgesses of the parliament were chosen, a townsman should be chosen for one’. It seems, however, that the townspeople were not united in their stand, for, in 1586, they returned Henry Neville and George Woodward, despite the fact that a statute of Henry V and their own resolution of 1576 were previously read ‘to the company’. The opposition could only insist that all parliamentary burgesses were sworn as ‘brethren of the guildhall’ before being returned, and, with the apparent exception of Michell, Woodward and Caesar, all the ‘outsiders’ were so sworn, usually just before their election.
Weinbaum,Charters, 7; C219/33/4; Windsor Annals, ed. Tighe and Davis, passim; CPR, 1560-3, p. 310; PCC i Nevell; Bodl. Ashmole 1126 passim. This last comprises extracts from the Windsor borough records taken by Elias Ashmole the antiquary (1617-92).