Westbury

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
5 Jan. 1559ANTHONY CARLETON
 RALPH SKINNER
1562/3HUGH RYLEY
 JOHN DYSTER
1571FRANCIS BLOUNT
 THOMAS LONG
25 Apr. 1572WILLIAM BROUNCKER
 HENRY BROUNCKER
16 Nov. 1584WILLIAM BROUNCKER
 EDWARD MIDWINTER
10 Oct. 1586ROBERT BAYNARD
 HENRY WHITAKER
1 Nov. 1588HENRY FANSHAWE II
 JOHN BENNETT
1593WILLIAM JORDYN II
 HENRY FANSHAWE II
3 Oct. 1597MATTHEW LEY
 JAMES LEY
5 Oct. 1601MATTHEW LEY
 HENRY JACKMAN

Main Article

Although not a corporate borough, Westbury had a mayor who was the returning officer at parliamentary elections. The 6th Lord Mountjoy had estates near Westbury, and promoted the returns of Anthony Carleton, his relative by marriage (1559), and his elder brother, Francis (1571). It is not known how either Ralph Skinner, a Durham ecclesiastical official, or John Dyster, a clerk in Chancery, came to be returned. Hugh Ryley (1563), steward of Bishop Jewel of Salisbury, may have owed his seat to his mother’s family connexions with the borough. Thomas Long, a simpleton, who has not been certainly identified, went to extreme lengths to obtain his seat in 1571, bribing Anthony Garland, the mayor, and a Mr. Wat of Westbury £4 for his seat. The matter was brought to the notice of the House of Commons, however, which on 10 May 1571 ordered the two men to repay the money, and imposed a fine of £20 upon the town. The following day a pursuivant was sent to Westbury, summoning Garland and Wat before the House, but no record survives of their making an appearance.

From 1572 onwards, Westbury returned for the most part local gentlemen and their associates. William Brouncker of Erlestoke, who had succeeded to property in West