Newton

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
7 Jan. 1559SIR GEORGE HOWARD
 RICHARD CHETWODE
1562/3FRANCIS ALFORD
 RALPH BROWNE I
1571ANTHONY MILDMAY
 RICHARD STONELEY
1572JOHN GRESHAM
 JOHN SAVILE I
1584ROBERT LANGTON 1
 EDWARD SAVAGE 2
8 Oct. 1586ROBERT LANGTON
 EDWARD SAVAGE
14 Oct. 1588EDMUND TRAFFORD II
 ROBERT LANGTON
1593EDMUND TRAFFORD II
 ROBERT LANGTON
1597WILLIAM COPE 3
 GEOFFREY OSBALDESTON 4
15 Oct. 1601THOMAS LANGTON
 RICHARD ASHTON

Main Article

Newton—‘a little poor market’ Leland called it—first sent Members to Parliament in 1559. No authority has been found for its enfranchisement, but its first Members were not challenged in the House. The 1559 return is to testify that we, the free men of the borough of Thomas Langton, knight, baron of Newton ... have elected Sir George Howard and Richard Chetwode Esquire, with the assent of the burgesses, to Parliament.The return was signed by Sir Ambrose Cave, chancellor of the duchy of Lancaster, and by William Fleetwood I, the ‘steward of the said borough’. Fleetwood had many connexions with the duchy and in addition was related to the Langtons. This last fact probably explains why the duchy picked on Newton when it set out to obtain the enfranchisement of an extra borough. The names of the first two Members indicate that if Cave and Fleetwood were responsible for the enfranchisement of the borough, the deal was concluded through Sir William Cecil, who was given in return the nomination of the 1559 MPs. One of them was the brother of Queen Catherine Howard, Queen Elizabeth’s cousin no less. The other described Cecil as his ‘dear father’, and Cecil’s interest in him is apparent from his noting ‘Mr. Chetwood’s case’ as a subject for attention the day after Elizabeth’s succession. Francis Alford (1563) also had connexions with Cecil, but here the resemblance between 1559 and 1563 ends, for the second 1563 Member, Ralph Browne, was a protégé of Cave, whose will he witnessed (unless, of course, there is confusion here with another man of the same name). Both 1571 men were connected with the Exchequer, Anthony Mildmay through his father Sir Walter, and Richard Stoneley through the new chancellor of the duchy Sir Ralph Sadler. John Savile I (1572) had a connexion with the duchy and John Gresham (1572) with William Fleetwood I. The influence of the duchy n