Stockbridge

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
1563WALTER SANDYS
 WILLIAM ST. JOHN
1571WILLIAM ST. JOHN
 TRISTRAM PISTOR
3 May 1572HENRY GIFFORD
 TRISTRAM PISTOR
9 Nov. 1584GEORGE KINGSMILL
 HAMPDEN PAULET
9 Oct. 1586GEORGE KINGSMILL
 JOHN FISHER II
10 Nov. 1588CHIDIOCK WARDOUR
 HENRY ST. JOHN
1593JOHN AUDLEY II
 HENRY ST. JOHN
1 Oct. 1597MILES SANDYS
 MARK STEWARD
1601EDWARD SAVAGE
 THOMAS GRYMES

Main Article

The borough of Stockbridge formed part of the duchy of Lancaster honour of King’s Soreborne, which was ‘farmed’ throughout Elizabeth’s reign by the Gifford family. The borough officials (a bailiff, serjeant and constable) were elected annually at a court leet held before the steward. This officer was formerly chosen by the bailiff but in Elizabethan times was appointed by the duchy at the nomination of the farmer. George Kingsmill, a relation of the Giffords, became steward in 1579. William, 3rd Lord Sandys, held the manor of Stockbridge on a long lease from the duchy.

The borough first sent Members to Parliament in 1563 and was the last of many duchy boroughs to be enfranchised in the Tudor period. At the beginning of the 1563 Parliament, the borough’s right to return was challenged along with that of all other newly enfranchised boroughs. Return was made by the bailiff, burgesses and inhabitants. The first return, 1563, mentions that the borough had received a precept from the sheriff.

Although probably responsible for the enfranchisement of the b