Petersfield

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 HENRY WESTON
 GEORGE RITHE
1563SIR HENRY WESTON
 TOMAS DERING
1571JOHN COWPER
 ROBERT RITHE I
15 Apr. 1572RICHARD NORTON II
 RALPH BOURCHER
1572THOMAS CHATTERTON vice Bourchier, chose to sit for Newcastle-under-Lyme
8 Nov. 1584SIR HENRY WESTON
 EDMUND MARVYN
7 Oct. 1586EDWARD RADCLIFFE
 EDMUND MARVYN
8 Nov. 1588BENJAMIN TICHBORNE
 EDMUND MARVYN
1593(SIR) WALTER COVERT
 RICHARD WESTON I
4 Oct 1597WILLIAM KINGSWELL
 THOMAS HANBURY
18 Oct. 1601WILLIAM KINGSWELL
 JOHN SWINNERTON

Main Article

Petersfield was a non-incorporated borough, owned by the Weston family until they sold it in 1597 to Thomas Hanbury, an Exchequer official.1 Sir Henry Weston sat for Petersfield in 1559, 1563 and 1584, and his son, Richard Weston I, sat in 1593. They used their influence to return a relative by marriage, Benjamin Tichborne, in 1589, and two outsiders, Ralph Bourchier, a Yorkshire gentleman, in 1572, and (Sir) Walter Covert, a Sussex landowner, in 1593. Edward Radcliffe was a relative of the lord lieutenant of the county, the 4th Earl of Sussex, who obtained Radcliffe’s return in 1586 by arrangement with Sir Henry Weston.

Thomas Hanbury returned his son, also Thomas Hanbury, to the 1597 Parliament, the first after his acquisition of the manor of Petersfield. He also nominated John Swinnerton in 1601, and probably William Kingswell, a Hampshire country gentleman, in 1597 and 1601.

With the exception of Thomas Chatterton, who has not been identified, all the remaining MPs for this period had their own connexions with the borough. George Rithe (1559), Thomas Dering (1563), John Cowper and Robert Rithe I (1571) all owned local estates. Richard Norton II came from a Hampshire family who owned a little property near the borough. Edmund Marvyn married into a Hampshire family, and took up residence in Petersfield, representing the borough in the first Parliament after his marriage, and the two subsequent Parliaments.

Author: M.A.P.

Notes

  • 1. VCH Hants, iii. 114-17.

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