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|17 Jan. 1559||SIR GEORGE BLOUNT|
|20 Apr. 1572||HENRY TOWNSHEND|
|THOMAS SECKFORD II|
|13 Feb. 1580||EDMUND MOLYNEUX vice Seckford, deceased|
|6 Nov. 1584||JEROME CORBET|
|6 Oct. 1586||EDWARD BROMLEY|
|25 Oct. 1588||EDWARD BROMLEY|
|16 Sept. 1597||EDWARD BROMLEY|
|1 Oct. 1601||THOMAS HORDE|
Throughout Elizabeth’s reign, Bridgnorth was governed by two bailiffs and 24 aldermen. Elections were made by the bailiffs and aldermen ‘with consent’ of the commonalty.
The borough’s representation was shared during this period between the council in the marches of Wales and the local gentry. Sir Henry Sidney, lord president of the council 1559-86, was responsible for the returns of two of his servants, Thomas Seckford II, a relative, in 1572 and Edmund Molyneux, at a by-election caused by Seckford’s death in 1579. Sir Andrew Corbet, a member of the council, was requested by the Privy Council to supervise elections in 1571, and he returned Henry Townshend, who was later to join the council, and Thomas Otley, a relative who owned property in Bridgnorth. Townshend sat again in 1572. Jerome Corbet (1584) was Sir Andrew’s brother and himself a member of the council. Richard Prince (1559), a Shrewsbury lawyer, owed his return for Bridgnorth to William Leighton, his father-in-law, yet another member of the council in the marches.
With only one exception, the remaining Bridgnorth MPs came from local county families. Two of them, Walter Lee (1584) and John Lutwich (1586, 1589, 1593, 1597), could best be described as ‘local boys at London’. Edward Bromlets father was recorder at the time of the 1586 election, but had died by the time of the next election. Bromley, however, having got a seat once, had enough local influence to retain it until the end of the reign, only then being content with the second seat when the first passed to Thomas Horde, recorder since 1589. Edward Cordell (1563) is the only MP who had no connexions with Shropshire or the council in the marches: he no doubt owed his return to the influence of his brother Sir William Cordell, the master of the rolls.
J. F. A. Mason, Bridgnorth, 16, 17, 18; W. Watkins-Pitchford, Bridgnorth in 16th and 17th Cents.; P. H. Williams, Council in the Marches of Wales, 346-7; Trans. Salop Arch. Soc. (ser. 4), v. 47; viii. 122; liv. 171-213; R. Flenley, Cal. Reg. Council, Marches of Wales, 211.