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|12 Jan. 1559||JOHN ELTOFTES|
|26 Apr. 1572||GEORGE FREVILE|
|ROBERT BOWES I|
|5 Nov. 1584||GEORGE IRELAND|
|Election declared void, 11 Feb. 1589|
|16 Feb. 1589||RALPH BOWES|
|THOMAS POSTHUMOUS HOBY|
|1593||THOMAS POSTHUMOUS HOBY|
|22 Sept. 1597||JAMES COLBRAND|
|15 Oct. 1601||JOHN MORICE|
A borough by prescription, Appleby was subject to the Cliffords, earls of Cumberland, whose castle dominated the town; the mayor and two bailiffs had no influence on elections. Henry Clifford, 2nd Earl of Cumberland, himself a Catholic, returned two others of that religion to the first Parliament of the reign: Christopher Monckton, a Yorkshire country gentleman, and John Eltoftes, an Inner Temple lawyer whose services had been employed by the family and who had already represented Appleby in the previous reign. Eltoftes died before the end of the Parliament but no evidence of a by-election to replace him has been found. Monckton sat again in 1563 with Robert Atkinson, another Inner Temple lawyer of Catholic views. When the 2nd Earl of Cumberland died in 1570, his heir was a boy of eleven and control of the borough passed into the hands of his guardian, the 2nd Earl of Bedford. Parliamentary elections during the minority were handled by Bedford’s son-in-law, the 3rd Earl of Sussex, lord president of the council in the north. Sussex nominated two of his servants, Richard Wroth (1571) and George Frevile (1572). He was also responsible for the returns of John Layton, a Yorkshire landowner, who had been active in the suppression of the northern rebellion, and Robert Bowes I, who was soon afterwards made a member of the council in the north.
George Clifford had succeeded to his estates and was 3rd Earl of Cumberland by 1584, but the Russells maintained their influence at Appleby by reason of his marriage to the 2nd Earl of Bedford’s youngest daughter, and for a few years it is difficult to see a clear pattern of patronage at Appleby. Henry Macwilliam (1584), the second husband of the widowed Lady Cheke, was no doubt returned through Burghley’s intervention with either Bedford or Cumberland, and his colleague George Ireland had connexions with the 5th Earl of Derby, whose wife was the half-sister of the 3rd Earl of Sussex. James Ryther (1586) was a distant relative of the earls of Cumberland, but the other 1586 man has not been identified. Obscurity also surrounds a disputed election to the next Parliament. The men originally returned were Laurence Lister and Thomas Musgrave. Through some chicanery the names were erased from the document and replaced by those of Robert Warcop (perhaps the partner of Thomas Warcop mentioned in the latter’s biography) and Anthony Felton, a London attorney who was building up interests in the north. Both Warcop and Felton were involved at one time or another in the vexed question of the Dacre estates, and perhaps this is the clue to their intervention at Appleby. However it is also possible that behind this disputed election lies simply a clumsy effort by Felton to have himself returned for reasons best known to himself or else a difference between the Russell and Cumberland electoral interests. In the upshot, on 11 Feb. 1589 the returns committee of the Commons decided that ‘upon the insufficiency and uncertainty thereof ... the said ... return not yet received of record to be utterly disallowed’.1 A new writ was issued, the return to which (dated or possibly mis-dated 16 Feb. 1589, a Sunday) named Ralph Bowes, son of Robert Bowes I, and Thomas Posthumous Hoby, whose mother had married into the Russell family in 1574. If the 1589 incident did represent a conflict of interest between the Cumberland and the Russell interests, then the Russells won, because both 1593 men were of that party: Hoby was re-elected, with Cuthbert Reynolds, formerly a servant of the 2nd Earl of Bedford. There can have been little love lost between the families at this time because of the Countess of Cumberland’s distress at her husband’s frequent absences and infidelities. James Colbrand (1597) and both 1601 Members were Cumberland’s men: Colbrand was related to him through the St. Johns of Bletsoe; John Morice was another distant relative; Thomas Caesar had sailed with him in 1591 and had since been involved with him in a petition for the licence to export undressed cloth. John Lyly (1597) may also have owed his return to Cumberland; certainly it was due to some connexion at court.
Author: P. W. Hasler
- 1. D’Ewes, 430.