Flint Boroughs


Published in The History of Parliament: the House of Commons 1509-1558, ed. S.T. Bindoff, 1982
Available from Boydell and Brewer

Background Information

No names known for 1542



Main Article

The castle, town and borough of Flint were founded by Edward I on the Dee estuary at the conquest of Wales, and had thenceforth remained the centre of government in north-east Wales. The constable of the castle was originally ex officio mayor, but was so often an absentee that the mayoralty was usually exercised by a local man, in 1553 Thomas Salusbury. The Edwardian charter vesting municipal administration in two bailiffs elected annually by the burgesses was confirmed repeatedly throughout the middle ages and again by Mary in 1555. By the mid 16th century the mayor and bailiffs were assisted by a recorder. The town with its port was in decline and relied increasingly on its position as the shire town to attract custom. Of the other ‘ancient boroughs’ in the county with charters of their own only Rhuddlan situated on the river Clwyd was larger than Flint and prosperous; Caerwys in the commote of Rhuddlan was occasionally the meeting place for the Flintshire great sessions, Caergwrle (also known as Hope) belonged to the 3rd Earl of Derby, and Overton, in the detached part of the county, was also owned by the earl and had less than 20 houses.2

All five boroughs took part in elections under Elizabeth and may have done so in February 1553 when Edward Stanley is said to have been elected by omnes burgenses burgi et totiorum burgorum comitatus predicti, but in December 1544, September 1553 and October 1555 only the ‘burgesses of the borough of Flint’ voted and in November 1554 the procedure was probably the same. The elections were held at Flint usually on the same day as those for the county. Five indentures in Latin are extant, the contracting parties being the sheriff of Flintshire and the mayor and bailiffs of Flint and a dozen named electors.3

All the Members were burgesses of Flint and all save Edward Stanley were probably related. A quarrel between Stanley and Thomas Salusbury over the grinding of corn at Flint may explain why Salusbury’s kin did not enjoy a monopoly of the Membership, but it did not prevent Stanley from being returned during Salusbury’s mayoralty early in 1553. Robert Massey was also elected for Scarborough in April 1554 but it is not known which constituency he preferred to represent.

Author: N. M. Fuidge


  • 1. Hatfield 207.
  • 2. M. Beresford, New Towns in the Middle Ages, 549-52, 574; The King’s Works, i. 308; CChR, ii. 209, 277, 372; iv. 469; v. 262; Arch. Camb. (ser. 5), viii. 177 182-4; Williams, Flints. i. 155; Leland, Itin. ed. Smith, iii. 67.
  • 3. C219 18C/179, 20/190, 21/233, 23/198, 24/241, 29/217, 30/138.