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|28 Apr. 1572||WILLIAM RUSSELL|
|15 Nov. 1584||REGINALD MOHUN II|
|1586||REGINALD MOHUN II|
|28 Oct. 1588||JOHN RASHLEIGH|
|20 Oct. 1588||ARTHUR ATYE|
|4 Oct. 1597||JOHN RASHLEIGH|
|10 Oct. 1601||CAREW RALEGH|
|SIR WILLIAM COURTENAY II|
Once hand in glove with the local pirates, the citizens of Fowey, according to Richard Carew, made ‘great amendment of their former defects’ and turned to honest trade. The borough first sent MPs to Westminster in 1571, and the implication must be that the 2nd Earl of Bedford, lord lieutenant of the county and lord warden of the stannaries, was behind this. But there was evidently a breakdown in communications, for the borough’s right to the franchise was challenged—unsuccessfully—in the House on 6 Apr. that year. Returns were signed by a portreeve and some half dozen leading burgesses, and, in 1588 at least, were said to have been made ‘with the consent of the other inhabitants’. On this occasion, and possibly on others, a separate return was drawn up for each Member. The Rashleigh family is said to have had 12 votes, Treffry and Colquite 4 each, Peters 2, Mohun and eight other families 1 vote each, and, though firm evidence is lacking, this fits the pattern of events from 1584.
The 1571 MPs were an Exchequer official and the parliamentary diarist, Thomas Cromwell. In 1572 a blank return was sent up, no doubt to Bedford, the names inserted being those of his son William Russell, still a minor, and Edward Harington, a lawyer of the Rutland family then high in the Queen’s favour. Thenceforward, with the exception of Atye and Lennard, noted below, all the Fowey MPs were local men. The Mohun and Treffry families who themselves supplied Fowey MPs in 1584, 1586, 1597 were related by marriage. William Killigrew (1593) was a cousin of William Treffry (1584). The Mohuns were related to the Devon Courtenays, one of whom sat in 1601, and John Rashleigh (1589, 1597) secured the return of his brother-in-law John Bonython in 1586. It is probable that Carew Ralegh (1601), deputy warden of the stannaries to his more famous brother, was found a seat at Fowey by William Treffry. The two outsiders returned for Fowey were Arthur Atye (1589), probably brought in by Henry Killigrew, brother of the 1593 Member, and Samuel Lennard (1593). Lennard’s brother Sampson was by 1593 a follower of (Sir) Robert Cecil who knew the Treffrys towards the end of the reign, and may have asked them to give Lennard the seat.
E. W. Rashleigh, Hist. Fowey; J. Keast, Story of Fowey; Complete Parochial Hist. Cornw.; Carew’s Surv. Cornw. ed. Halliday, 209-10;CJ, i. 83.