Newport Iuxta Launceston
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|1558/9||[RICHARD] GRENVILLE I 1|
|THOMAS HICKES 2|
|10 Dec. 1562||GEORGE BASSETT 3|
|20 Apr. 1572||GEORGE BASSETT|
|1584||ROBERT MORDAUNT 4|
|WALTER COVERT 5|
|31 Oct. 1588||DANIEL ROGERS|
|11 Nov. 1588||WILLIAM CAVENDISH II|
|20 Sept. 1597||MORGAN COLEMAN|
|3 Oct. 1601||TOBIAS MATTHEW|
|SIR JOHN LEITH|
Newport adjoined Dunheved, and the two together constituted Launceston. Newport originally belonged to Launceston priory, around which it was built, but at the dissolution of the monasteries was annexed to the duchy of Cornwall. It first sent Members to Parliament at some time between 1512 and 1529. The surviving Elizabethan parliamentary returns usually state that election was made by the two bailiffs and a number of burgesses. In 1572 a portreeve was mentioned. As is frequently the case with other Cornish boroughs a separate indenture was made for each MP, at least in 1589, 1597 and 1601. One of the bailiffs named on the 1563 return was John Arundell† of Trerice, a relative of the Grenvilles of Penheale. Returns for the last two Parliaments of the reign include the names of John Arundell of Trerice and a George Grenville among the burgesses. These families were responsible for the choice of seven of Newport’s MPs: Richard Grenville I (1559), George Bassett (1563, 1572), Robert Colshill (1571), Robert Mordaunt (1584), Edward Wynter (1586), Emanuel Chamond (1593) and Edward Lewknor (1597). A seat in 1559 went to Thomas Hickes, a local man, son of the tenant of Launceston priory, and connected with the Carew family, themselves relatives and associates of the Arundells and Grenvilles. In 1597 the burgesses gave ‘their voices’ to reserve one seat for the nominee of Richard Carew of Antony, brother of George Carew, secretary to Lord Keeper Egerton (Thomas Egerton I), the Member returned being Egerton’s steward, Morgan Coleman. It may be noted that in the following Parliament, Gregory Donhault, another of Egerton’s secretaries, was returned, presumably through Carew influence, for the neighbouring borough of Dunheved.6
Also influential at Newport was the duchy of Cornwall. The father of Ashton Aylworth (1563) was a duchy official, as were the Killigrews (responsible for the return of Sir John Leigh in 1601). The Killigrews were related by marriage to Lord Burghley, and in this way Burghley secured seats for Walter Covert (1584), John Osborne (1586), and Daniel Rogers (1589). The Warwickshire gentleman Edward Holte (1571) must have been elected through a patron at court. He had attended the Middle Temple, as had William Marbury (1572) and Richard Stephens (1593), whose patrons at Newport are unknown. William Cavendish II (1589) and Tobias Matthew (1601) must be assumed to have owed their seats at Newport to a court connexion.7
George Bassett’s death in 1580 leaves open the possibility that there was a by-election to fill the seat for the 1581 session, but no evidence for one has been found.
Author: P. W. Hasler
- 1. E371/402(1).
- 2. Ibid.
- 3. Did not serve for the full duration of the Parliament.
- 4. Add. 38823, ff. 17-21.
- 5. Ibid.
- 6. R. and O. B. Peter, Launceston and Dunheved (1885), pp. 34, 54-56; A. F. Robbins, Launceston, 96-97; C219/27/13; 28/25; 31/34, 35; 33/53, 54; 34/233, 234.
- 7. Peter, 33; Robbins, 85; CPR , 1566-9, p. 262.