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Right of Election:
in the freemen of Cardigan, Lampeter, Aberystwyth, Tregaron and Atpar
Number of voters:
over 1,700 in 1734
|c. July 1660||JAMES PHILIPPS|
|22 Apr. 1661||JAMES PHILIPPS|
|Sir Francis Lloyd|
|Election declared void, 30 Apr. 1662|
|6 Apr. 1663||SIR CHARLES COTTERELL|
|Sir Francis Lloyd|
|24 Feb. 1679||HECTOR PHILIPPS|
|22 Sept. 1679||HECTOR PHILIPPS|
|7 Mar. 1681||HECTOR PHILIPPS|
|13 Apr. 1685||HECTOR PHILIPPS|
|14 Jan. 1689||HECTOR PHILIPPS|
All the Members in this period were returned on the interest of the Philipps family, who as owners of the Priory dominated the principal borough. The writ for the general election of 1660 went astray, but there is no evidence of opposition to James Philipps, one of the Propagation committee who had ruled Wales under the Commonwealth. In the different circumstances of 1661, however, he was challenged by the Royalist Sir Francis Lloyd of Maesyfelin, who petitioned against his return on the grounds that due notice had not been given to the out-boroughs. On 12 Apr. 1662, Katherine, wife of James Philipps (whom she called ‘Antenor’), wrote to Sir Charles Cotterell that the case would be
determined in two or three days, or (which I rather wish) delayed till next session; for Antenor’s witnesses having been so lately at London eight weeks to no purpose, were not willing to come again till they heard there was a necessity for it; and my brother Philipps has writ word that you were of opinion their journeys might be spared.
The election was declared void, and Philipps, who had narrowly missed expulsion from the House for his part in the trials of Royalists during the Interregnum, did not stand again, but nominated Cotterell to contest the seat. The election was described by Mrs Philipps in a letter to Cotterell dated 18 Apr. 1663.
Give me leave, Sir, to tell you what I know you have heard from Antenor already, that he entreats you to accept of an election to be burgess for the town of Cardigan, which he would not mention to you till ’twas past, because he was resolved not to expose you to a repulse; nor had you ever been named but that he found himself able to carry it for you against all the world. You are chosen upon the poll by 118 votes, all of them allowed by our antagonists themselves to have right to elect. If any of the other party should endeavour to insinuate that they quietly submitted to it, merely out of respect to you, let them know that you are sufficiently informed they did all they could to oppose you, and that it was carried by Antenor’s single interest. I hope all those who were the greatest sticklers against him will now be convinced that after all their contrivances to asperse his person and baffle the election, he is not yet the despicable thing in his own country that they represent him to be.
Lloyd again petitioned, which made Cotterell ‘a little discouraged’, but Katherine Philipps reassured him that ‘you are not a person whom we would engage in a contest, were there not all the right in the world on your side to bring you off’. On 6 July the elections committee reported that Cotterell had a clear majority of the votes, and Lloyd’s petition was dismissed.1
Cotterell did not stand again in 1679 and Hector Philipps, brother of James, was returned unopposed, representing the constituency for the remainder of the period. There is no evidence of any contest. Although Philipps was a Whig, Cardigan corporation presented a loyal address abhorring the Rye House Plot. There was no quo warranto or regulation.2