Rye

Borough

Published in The History of Parliament: the House of Commons 1604-1629, ed. Andrew Thrush and John P. Ferris, 2010
Available from Cambridge University Press

Background Information

Right of Election:

in the freemen

Number of voters:

50 in 1604; 29 or 30 bet. 1621 and 1628

Elections

DateCandidate
12 Mar. 16041THOMAS HAMON
 JOHN YOUNG
17 Oct. 1607HENEAGE FINCH vice Hamon, deceased
7 Mar. 1614EDWARD HENDEN
 THOMAS WATSON
23 Dec. 1620EMMANUEL GIFFARD
 JOHN ANGELL
 Samuel Short
25 Jan. 1624SIR EDWARD CONWAY II
 JOHN ANGELL
 Sir William Twysden , (bt.)*
 Samuel Short
 Richard Tufton
28 Feb. 1624THOMAS CONWAY vice Conway, chose to sit for Warwick
21 Apr. 1625THOMAS FOTHERLEY
 JOHN SACKVILLE
 Sir John Franklin*
 John Angell
 Emmanuel Giffard
16 Feb. 1626THOMAS FOTHERLEY
 JOHN SACKVILLE
 Thomas Alured*
27 Feb. 1628RICHARD TUFTON
 THOMAS FOTHERLEY
 John Sackville

Main Article

Rye had obtained charters from its overlords, the Norman abbots of F├ęcamp, in the twelfth century, and by the reign of Henry III it had been added to the original Cinque Ports.2 The only major natural harbour between Portsmouth and the Thames, it reached the zenith of its commercial prosperity in the mid-sixteenth century, when it emerged as ‘the most important urban economy in eastern Sussex’.3 London’s cloth merchants took advantage of the short sea crossing to northern France and the Netherlands to export their goods from Rye, which also boasted one of the largest fishing fleets in southern England.4 However, in the last decade of Elizabeth’s reign the town experienced total and irretrievable economic collapse. The draining of marshland by commercial farmers in the nearby Rother levels caused the haven to silt up, and forced London’s merchants to export their cloth directly to France instead. As the haven declined so too did the fishing fleet, which by 1629 had been reduced to nine small barks.5 The inability of Rye’s corporation to prevent the plundering of the town’s fishing grounds by those who used the illegal trawl net, such as the French, merely hastened the process.6 In the late 1590s a desperate corporation spent over £1,400 on a scheme to deepen the channel, but the project failed and between 1600 and 1602 the town was forced to sell most of its properties to pay off its loans.7 As Rye’s economy spiralled downwards, so too its population shrank, from more than 3,500 in the early 1570s to fewer than 1,300 by 1600. Among those who fled were most of the enterprising Protestant refugees who had previously flooded into the town to escape persecution.8 By 1624 more than a hundred houses were uninhabited.9 A reduced population meant that the corporation’s total receipts, which had regularly exceeded £300 in the 1580s, fell by more than a third by 1600.10

Protestants formed a majority in Rye long before the Elizabethan settlement, under which it became a stronghold of puritanism, though a traditionalist faction survived at least until the middle of the reign.11 The governing body consisted of the mayor and up to 12 jurats, but all the freemen were part of the assembly and were entitled to vote at parliamentary elections. An attempt to limit the franchise to the magistrates and the short-lived common council in 1580 had ended in failure.12 The number of voters at parliamentary elections tended to fluctuate. In 1604 there were 50, whereas in 1614 there were only 26. However, in the 1620s the figure settled at around 30.13 From 1571 the lord warden of the Cinque Ports enjoyed the right to nominate one of the borough’s two Members. What was left of the Crown revenues – the petty customs and the rents of assize – was collected by the water-bailiff, while the customer of Chichester, who was responsible for all the Sussex ports, maintained an office on the quayside with a resident searcher.14

Following the accession of James I it was widely expected that a Parliament would be called immediately. In May 1603 the lord warden, Henry Brooke, 11th Lord Cobham, dispatched a note to Rye in which he curtly demanded ‘the nomination of one of your burgesses for the next Parliament’. In the event, however, no Parliament was summoned until 31 Jan. 1604, by which time Cobham had been replaced by Henry Howard, earl of Northampton. On 20 Feb. the corporation, having learned of the impending Parliament, sent two of its jurats to wait on Northampton, presumably to know the name of his nominee, but also to request his aid in the ‘repair of our decayed haven’,15 as the town was now incapable of paying for any further repairs itself. At the ensuing election, held on 12 Mar. and attended by the mayor, three jurats and 25 members of the commonalty, the borough elected as its senior Member its former mayor, Thomas Hamon, who had been one of the two jurats sent to consult Northampton in the previous month. The junior seat was bestowed on the former customer of Chichester, John Young, who had once lived in Rye and was now its water-bailiff. It seems likely that Young was Northampton’s nominee, as he subsequently regarded Northampton as his patron. Despite the town’s poverty, the assembly agreed to pay Hamon parliamentary wages.16

Soon after Parliament assembled Hamon and Young sent the corporation a letter, which was read out at a meeting of the assembly on 2 April. Its contents are unknown, but it seems likely that the two Members proposed that the town should lobby vigorously for the repair of its harbour. On 21 Apr. the land chamberlain paid out 5s. to one Robert Burdet for engrossing ‘certain letters … sent to the nobility about our harbour’. The following day, at a meeting of the corporation, a petition addressed to the king and drafted by Hamon and Young was read out and approved, as were several other letters ‘sent by our lord warden and our burgesses to the Parliament … which letters do concern our harbour, for the amendment thereof’. On 23 Apr. the land chamberlain reimbursed one William Harvey the £6 which he had ‘laid out at London to Mr. Hamon by the appointment of Mr. Mayor’.17 This lobbying campaign seems to have borne fruit, for on 27 June, shortly before Parliament was prorogued, the king appointed a special sewer commission to which both Hamon and Young were named. Procured at the cost of the corporation, it was granted for the sole purpose of preserving Rye’s haven.18 Several of the local landowners complained about this development, however, and in November Hamon was sent back to London armed with ‘all necessary decrees and ordinances’ in order to rebut their objections.19

Hamon returned home early from the third session of Parliament, and died soon after submitting a request for the payment of his outstanding parliamentary wages. Shortly after learning of Hamon’s death, a local landowner, Sir William Twysden* (bt.), desired the mayor and his brethren to defer the subsequent by-election until he had consulted the lord warden. These consultations produced a letter from Northampton recommending Twysden’s brother-in-law Heneage Finch, who as a barrister of the Inner Temple would ‘ease you of that daily and large allowance which was before allotted to his predecessor’. Twysden himself pointed out that Finch would be ‘very willing and able to advise, as well as aid and plead for you, if need shall be’.20 The assembly yielded to these arguments, and in October 1607 elected Finch, who took his seat when Parliament finally reassembled in 1610. By that time it had become clear that the 1604 sewer commission had failed to halt the decline of the harbour.21 On the contrary, recent storms had brought in more silt than ever, the town’s jetties and quays were on the verge of collapse and the roadway leading to Rye had been almost completely washed away, threatening ‘the utter ruin and decay of this whole town’.22 Unable to pay for repairs itself, the mayor and jurats resolved to lay a bill before Parliament. A previous attempt in 1601 to secure legislation had failed,23 but the Rye corporation was encouraged by the fact that the Dover authorities had succeeded in renewing their harbour preservation Act of 1581, which gave them the right to levy a duty from passing ships to pay for repairs. Consequently, on 29 Mar. 1610 the mayor and jurats asked Northampton to further a bill in Parliament. However, both Houses were then preoccupied with the Great Contract and it was therefore not until November that lobbying began in earnest. The mayor and jurats wrote to Northampton’s secretary, John Griffith II*, James Thurbarne* (counsel to the Cinque Ports), Serjeant John Shurley (counsel for Rye and one of the Members for Lewes) and Twysden, as well as to Finch and Young, for assistance. They also dispatched four of their number to London to confer ‘with such gents as have taken upon them to be our solicitors to follow our suit by bill into the Parliament House’. Yet despite these efforts the bill was not granted even a first reading by the Commons.24

Following this failure Rye evidently tried to work with the marsh-drainers rather than against them. In October 1613 the local sewer commissioners declared that the salt marshes near Rye harbour might be drained without prejudice to the haven, while in November Rye’s mayor entered into an agreement with one of the drainers to recover 27 acres of marshland near the town.25 This change of tactics may explain why Rye failed to reintroduce its harbour bill when Parliament met again in 1614. By that time Young had evidently emigrated while Finch did not put himself forward for election. As the borough was unable any longer to pay parliamentary wages, its choice of representatives necessarily fell on two outsiders, Thomas Watson, an Exchequer official who had purchased a small estate in Kent, and Edward Henden, a barrister of local origin, both of whom were instructed to ‘bear their own charges’.26 It has been suggested that both men were the nominees of the lord warden,27 but Watson at least may have had access to other sources of patronage, as he was a friend of Sir Francis Fane*, who had headed the 1604 sewer commission, and a former business associate of the privy councillor Sir Thomas Lake I*. Henden was clearly a stranger to Rye before he was elected, as his first name was initially recorded in the corporation minutes as ‘Edmund’. Following the election, Watson and Henden were ordered to visit Rye before Parliament commenced to be sworn as freemen, but it seems that only Henden actually did so.28 Both men were subsequently named to the committee for the cancellation of the fish-packing monopoly, but neither is known to have performed any direct service for their constituents.

By the time of the next general election neither Watson nor Henden seem to have been interested in serving again. Shortly after writs were dispatched the borough was contacted by the yeoman purveyor of fish for the royal Household, William Angell, who had been trading with the town in an official capacity since at least 1594.29 Moreover, in 1606-7 he had paid part of Thomas Hamon’s parliamentary wages out of his own pocket, for which he had been subsequently reimbursed.30 On 22 Nov. 1620 he asked the borough to bestow one of its seats on his 30-year old son John, a gentleman pensioner who had ‘spent his time to good purpose both in the university and inns of court, as he will be ready to give demonstration thereof’. In order to improve John’s chances, Angell went to see the lord warden, Lord Zouche, whom he asked for a letter of nomination. He also remonstrated with Zouche on behalf of the borough about various French fishermen whose use of the trawl net was ruining the fishing grounds off Rye. Zouche, however, had already promised his support to ‘his ancient acquaintance’, Emanuel Gifford, a crypto-Catholic courtier, and was initially reluctant to yield to Angell’s request. Nevertheless, ‘considering how worthy the son is and how well his father has deserved of you’, he asked the borough to elect John Angell, promising that this request for the second seat would not become a precedent.31 William Angell, however, was clearly dissatisfied with this arrangement, for if Rye refused to allow Zouche the right to nominate two candidates his son might be left empty-handed. Consequently he also obtained letters of nomination from his departmental superiors, the treasurer of the Household, Sir Thomas Edmondes* and the lord steward, the duke of Lennox.32 Angell may have had good grounds for concern, for on 4 Dec. Samuel Short, a local lawyer from Tenterden, offered ‘to do your town and the rest of the Ports some service for the maintenance of your liberties, which are daily attempted to be infringed’.33 Short’s interest in standing may have stemmed from the insistence of the Privy Council that the Cinque Ports should contribute to the cost of the attack on the Algerian corsairs, a levy that would include Tenterden, which, through its links with Rye, was considered a member of the Cinque Ports. However, his candidature was unsuccessful, as Gifford and John Angell were elected in their absence.

By the time the 1621 Parliament met, Rye was once again desperately concerned at the state of its harbour. The earlier improvement in relations with the local marsh drainers had not halted the decline, and consequently, as Parliament was assembling, the mayor and jurats sent letters to the lord warden, to its newly elected Members and to William Angell asking them ‘to move for us the tonnage which was formerly granted unto Dover’.34 They also instructed their parliamentary representatives to seek some remedy for ‘the injurious and disorderly fishing of the French trawlers’.35 In response John Angell declared his willingness to cooperate, but on 9 Feb. suggested that the town ‘send someone up to London … that Mr. Giffard and myself may be strengthened with some good reasons in behalf of that cause’.36 Neither Member was well acquainted with the borough, and in 1610, when the town had last sought legislation, it had sent up several ‘solicitors’ to assist its parliamentary representatives. However, this sensible request caused unexpected difficulties. On 26 Feb. the Rye assembly chose Richard Gilberidge to travel to London with instructions for Giffard and John Angell.37 The mayor and jurats were appalled, as a few days earlier they had learned that Gilberidge had been selling licences to French fishermen giving them permission to fish with whatever nets they chose.38 Declaring that they had little confidence in Gilberidge’s willingness to help the town seek parliamentary redress against the trawl fishermen, they appealed to Lord Zouche.39 However, it was not until mid-April that the lord warden intervened to bring about the replacement of Gilberidge by the town’s mayor, John Palmer, by which time the Parliament was well advanced. Although Palmer was subsequently paid expenses by the borough, he soon found that he needed more help, and at the end of April two assistants were dispatched to London to consult with him and the town’s Members.40 By the time that Parliament rose for the summer, neither Palmer nor Rye’s Members had succeeded in laying a bill to preserve its haven before the Commons, though other towns, such as Colchester, had managed to do so. A bill to preserve sea fry by restraining unlawful fishing with trawls was certainly read on 19 Mar., but it was the work of a group of London Fishmongers rather than Rye’s Members, neither of whom spoke in the ensuing debates. Committed some five weeks later, it was never reported, possibly because it smacked too much of the restrictions on trade that were so unpopular in this Parliament.41

By the time that a new Parliament met, in 1624, Rye’s authorities had evidently decided to leave the parliamentary campaign against trawl fishing to others and to concentrate instead on a bill to pay for the repair of the harbour. Rather than seek the right to lay a charge on shipping, as it had done in the past, however, Rye now sought to gain control of the duties paid by shipowners to Dungeness lighthouse, which was situated at the mouth of the harbour. This lighthouse had allegedly been the brainchild of one of Rye’s own freemen, but the right to erect it had been granted to the courtier Sir Edward Howard I*, who had subsequently sold his interest to another. A bill to transfer ownership of the lighthouse to the town would enable its authorities to pay for the repair of the harbour and restore the borough to its former prosperity.42 This idea was by no means far-fetched, as in 1621 there had been many in the Commons who had regarded private owners of lighthouses as greedy monopolists, and who might be willing to look with approval on a scheme to convert the revenues of Dungeness lighthouse to the public good.

Rye’s sudden interest in Dungeness lighthouse probably explains why Richard Tufton, the younger brother of Sir Nicholas Tufton*, owner of the land on which the lighthouse stood, applied to the borough for one of its parliamentary seats. Tufton urged the mayor ‘to signify unto the jurats of Rye how much I desire to do them service, and to give them assurance that I shall do my best endeavour to advance the good of the town’,43 but his protestations of goodwill are unlikely to have been believed, as it must have been obvious that Tufton’s main concern was to protect the rents paid by the lighthouse patentees to his brother. Another local applicant for a seat was Sir William Twysden, who had not sat in Parliament since 1614 and who reminded the borough that it was he who had recommended that his brother-in-law Heneage Finch, serve as their MP in 1607.44 The lawyer Samuel Short of Tenterden also cast his hat into the ring, this time with the support of the Tenterden corporation, which commended him ‘both for the care he hath to religion and his love to the commonwealth’.45 However, both Twysden and Short lacked the sort of poweful connections that would help the borough gain control of the revenues paid to Dungeness lighthouse. The same was not true of John Angell, though, whose father William, now serjeant of the acatry, renewed his former approach for his son. William was at first anxious that the borough would not consider his request as John had failed to obtain legislation in 1621, and consequently pointed out that the 1621 Parliament had failed to pass any bills apart from the Subsidy Act, ‘so as no man’s service appeared what it was or would have been unto the place he were burgess of’. He promised that if Rye re-elected his son, he and his friends would rally to the borough’s assistance, ‘because your town hath of all others most need of help’. He further pledged that if Rye sent up a solicitor to assist its Members, as it had done in the past, he would ‘entertain him in my own house at bed and board’ and that every evening, when they were altogether, they would ‘confer and consider the best way to do you service’.46 This was clearly music to the ears of Rye’s voters, and not surprisingly the borough once again bestowed its second seat upon John Angell. The senior place was, as always, conferred upon the lord warden’s nominee. This time the Zouche’s favour was bestowed not on Emmanuel Giffard, who asked William Angell to intervene with Zouche on his behalf, but on Sir Edward Conway II, the eldest son of Secretary Conway, whose patron was the royal favourite, the duke of Buckingham. If anything, Conway’s connections must have made him seem even more useful to Rye than John Angell. The day after the election the Rye corporation wrote to the successful candidates, neither of whom had been present on the hustings, to ask them to come down to take the oath of a freeman and to ‘receive such information from us as [to] what is to be moved in Parliament for the good and benefit of our town’.47

Following the opening of the Parliament, however, Conway elected to serve for Warwick, for which borough he had also been returned. On 24 Feb. Conway’s father sent an apology to Rye’s corporation, and explained that he had not intended that they should return his eldest son at all, but his youngest son Thomas. As a fresh election would now be held, he asked the town to elect Thomas instead. As an incentive for it to do so, he added that he had persuaded Buckingham to join him in speaking with the king on their behalf, ‘so that I doubt not but that you will have a good end of it to your liking’.48 This was exactly what the corporation must have wanted to hear, and four days later, after receiving confirmation from Lord Zouche that he was happy with the new arrangement, Thomas Conway was elected and sworn as a freeman.49 Shortly thereafter the mayor, Mark Thomas, who had served as one of the town’s ‘solicitors’ in Parliament in 1610, instructed a local lawyer named Robert Foster to prepare a bill concerning Dungeness lighthouse.50 Foster, who had evidently drafted legislation before, provided two copies and advised the mayor to ‘make the Speaker as much yours as you can’.51

On 8 Mar. 1624 the town assembly resolved to send the bill to its Members for ‘the advice of their expert and skilful friends, who are well acquainted with the former method of bills of this nature’.52 Two days later the assembly also wrote to Lord Zouche requesting his support for the bill, which was carried up to London by the mayor, at a cost of 4s. 3d.53 The timing of the submission of the bill was left to the discretion of the borough’s parliamentary representatives, but by 20 May, following a reminder sent to him two weeks earlier, John Angell confessed that nothing had been done. He apologized for the sickness that had lately made him ‘an ill Member of the House, and a bad servant to you’, but added that as Parliament was engrossed with ‘matters of so great importance and high a nature … these ordinary businesses are put off from time to time and infinitely delayed’. There was no need to worry, however, as the Dungeness patent was still before the committee and, until the House had resolved either to condemn or modify it, a bill would be premature. Besides, he observed, ‘I make no question that this Parliament will be of so long continuance that we shall find leisureable time to effect our desires for you’. This was a disastrous miscalculation, however, for not merely had the Commons already announced that it would not receive any more bills that session ‘without order of the House’, but just nine days after this letter was written the Parliament was prorogued, never to meet again.54

The failure to secure a hearing for the lighthouse bill in 1624 marked not only the end of Rye’s legislative ambitions during this period, but also of John Angell’s parliamentary career. Following the summons of a fresh Parliament in 1625, Angell was deserted by his father, who was clearly bitterly disappointed with his son. Angell himself admitted that his earlier performance had proved disappointing, but in a letter to the corporation applying for re-election he protested that ‘I did you as faithful and effectual a service as those times would give me leave’. His request was supported by his cousin and neighbour, John Halsey, who had recently donated premises to Rye for use as a house of correction and who claimed that Angell would prove to be much more useful in Parliament ‘than any man that has had no experience in that high court’.55 However, the failure to promote the Dungeness lighthouse bill had severely tarnished the reputation of both Angell and Thomas Conway, who did not seek re-election, having resumed his military career abroad.

The field was now wide open for other candidates, among them Emanuel Gifford, who now obtained a letter of recommendation from the lord treasurer, Sir James Ley*. In his letter to the corporation, Ley stated that Gifford should only be provided for after the new lord warden, the duke of Buckingham, had been satisfied. Buckingham characteristically sought to expand the lord warden’s interest by nominating two candidates, his steward Thomas Fotherley and Sir John Franklin*, ‘a deserving friend’ from Willesden, Middlesex. However, the duke’s admiralty secretary Edward Nicholas* made it clear that Fotherley, who was also brother-in-law of the lieutenant of Dover Castle, Sir John Hippisley*, was to be preferred, as ‘in very great esteem with his grace, beyond most of his grace’s servants’. Rye’s assembly, which had only granted Buckingham’s predecessor the privilege of naming the candidates to both seats in 1620 as a favour, was naturally reluctant to surrender its rights over the junior seat. Besides, the 4th earl of Dorset (Sir Edward Sackville*), the patron of Rye’s church, had also applied for a seat on behalf of his cousin, John Sackville, an officer in the Dutch army like Thomas Conway. Some of the townsmen were evidently sceptical that Sackville would prove any more active on their behalf than Conway had been, for it was the middle of the campaigning season and there was every likelihood that he would soon rejoin his unit in the Low Countries.56 However, Rye urgently needed Dorset’s co-operation as their vicar, Bryan Twyne, a non-resident, was seeking a new curate.57 Consequently, at the election, which was held on 21 Apr., the borough returned not only Fotherley but also Sackville, who attended the proceedings and was sworn in as a freeman.58 Shortly after the Parliament began, on 22 June, Sackville wrote to the mayor and jurats from Dorset House to let them know that he had been in touch with Twyne, and to assure them that no clergyman contrary to their good liking would be sent to serve the cure. He also stated that, ‘according to your order’, he had sworn in Fotherley as a freeman. Patience was needed in respect of a curate, however, as the town was still unfitted of an able and sufficient minister to conduct the national day of fasting and prayer ordered on the Dutch model for 20 July.59 Nevertheless Sackville was re-elected in 1626, when Buckingham again sent in two nominations. The assembly naturally preferred Fotherley who, through Hippisley, had great influence in the local Cinque Ports’ administration, to the lord keeper’s secretary Thomas Alured*, who was put forward merely in fulfilment of a promise by Buckingham’s client, (Sir) John Coke*.60

The outbreak of war with France found Rye virtually defenceless against the old enemy. Consequently, in March 1627 the corporation applied to Buckingham through Sackville for ordnance and (less successfully) for the return of the town gunner from London.61 Sackville continued to remain eager to demonstrate his willingness to serve the town, for in January 1628, ‘by his pains and importuning his noble friends’, he evidently obtained for the corporation a royal licence to collect money in southern England for the repair of their harbour, a courtesy which the earl of Dorset described as being ‘not ordinary in these times’. However Dorset’s account of his cousin’s services proved of no avail at the election of 1628.62 The freemen, it seems, were more concerned to conciliate Sir Nicholas Tufton as ground landlord of the Dungeness lighthouse. He reminded them that he had a claim for damages caused by their harbour works, and that he and his ancestors had spent money on the maintenance of the London road through his property, on which their sole remaining economic activity depended. He also sent the borough £30 to spend on further improvements and instructed his clerk of the ironworks to deliver as much cinder as he could spare.63 Consequently, when Tufton’s brother Richard again offered himself for election, he pushed Fotherley, still the lord warden’s nominee, into second place, and Sackville was left out in the cold. Following the election, the mayor and the land chamberlain journeyed to London to administer the freeman’s oath to both burgesses, although Fotherley had been sworn in three years earlier.64

Authors: Peter Lefevre / Andrew Thrush

Notes

  • 1. Dates of elections from E. Suss. RO, RYE 1/7, f. 507v; 1/8, f. 68; 1/9, f. 423v; 1/10, f. 209; 1/11, ff. 15, 22, 67, 100v, 196v.
  • 2. L.A. Vidler, New Hist. of Rye, 4, 6; VCH Suss. ix. 50.
  • 3. S. Hipkin, ‘Closing Ranks’, Urban Hist. xxii. 321; S. Hipkin, ‘The Impact of Marshland Drainage on Rye Harbour, 1550-1650’, Romney Marsh: the Debatable Ground ed. J. Eddison, 138.
  • 4. S. Hipkin, ‘Buying Time: Fiscal Policy at Rye, 1600-40’, Suss. Arch. Colls. cxxxiii. 242-3.
  • 5. HMC 13th Rep. IV, 192.
  • 6. Ibid. 137, 139, 143; CSP Dom. 1611-18, p. 354; 1623-5, p. 228; SP14/127/45; APC, 1627-8, p. 341.
  • 7. Hipkin, ‘Buying Time’, 246; G. Mayhew, Tudor Rye, 268.
  • 8. Mayhew, 81, 83, 89.
  • 9. HMC 13th Rep. IV, 167.
  • 10. Hipkin, ‘Closing Ranks’, 321; Hipkin, ‘Buying Time’, 421.
  • 11. Mayhew, 61, 79, 134.
  • 12. Hipkin, ‘Closing Ranks’, 325-6.
  • 13. For the 1604 figure, see Hipkin, ‘Closing Ranks’, 334; for the others, see endnote 1.
  • 14. Mayhew, 103.
  • 15. E. Suss. RO, RYE 61/12, f. 19v; RYE 1/7, f. 506v.
  • 16. E. Suss. RO, RYE 1/7, ff. 507v-8.
  • 17. Ibid. ff. 506v, 508v, 509v; RYE 61/12, f. 21.
  • 18. Recs. Rye Corporation ed. R.F. Dell, 89-90; HMC 13th Rep. IV, 131.
  • 19. E. Suss. RO, RYE 1/7, f. 535.
  • 20. E. Suss. RO, RYE 47/71/2; HMC 13th Rep. IV, 134-5.
  • 21. Hipkin, ‘Marshland Drainage’, 139-40.
  • 22. HMC 13th Rep. IV, 144; Recs. Rye Corporation, 95.
  • 23. Hipkin, ‘Closing Ranks’, 332.
  • 24. HMC 13th Rep. IV, 144, 146; E. Suss. RO, RYE 1/8, ff. 250, 264v; RYE 61/16, f. 8.
  • 25. CSP Dom. 1611-18, p.201; Recs. Rye Corporation, 134.
  • 26. E. Suss. RO, RYE 1/9, ff. 423v-4.
  • 27. Hipkin, ‘Closing Ranks’, 333.
  • 28. E. Suss. RO, RYE 1/9, ff. 431-2.
  • 29. E. Suss. RO, RYE 47/59/10.
  • 30. E. Suss. RO, RYE 61/13, ff. 73, 76v.
  • 31. E. Suss. RO, RYE 47/96/1-3.
  • 32. E. Suss. RO, RYE 47/96/4, 5.
  • 33. E. Suss. RO, RYE 47/96/6.
  • 34. E. Suss. RO, RYE 1/10, f. 211.
  • 35. SP14/119/85.
  • 36. E. Suss. RO, RYE 47/96/10.
  • 37. E. Suss. RO, RYE 1/10, f. 217v.
  • 38. CSP Dom. 1619-23, p. 228.
  • 39. SP14/119/110.
  • 40. E. Suss. RO, RYE 1/10, ff. 219-20; RYE 61/27, f. 15v.
  • 41. CJ, i. 562a, 588b; GL, ms 5570/2, pp. 405, 408; CD 1621, iii. 64, n. 2. It has been suggested that Rye was probably behind bills to prevent unlawful fishing in 1606 or 1610, but there is no evidence for this: J.K. Gruenfelder, ‘Rye and the Parl. of 1621’, Suss. Arch. Soc. cvii. 27-8.
  • 42. SP14/160/60; SP16/89/26 (the latter is a set of miscalendared notes on this matter).
  • 43. E. Suss. RO, RYE 47/99. Tufton’s letter is undated, but it describes Mark Thomas as mayor and states that the writs had only just been issued, indicating that it was written in late Dec. 1623 or early January 1624. We are grateful to Christopher Whittick for drawing this dating evidence to our attention.
  • 44. HMC 13th Rep. IV, 162.
  • 45. E. Suss. RO, RYE 47/98/6.
  • 46. E. Suss. RO, RYE 47/98/7.
  • 47. SP14/158/50.
  • 48. E. Suss. RO, RYE 47/98/16.
  • 49. E. Suss. RO, RYE 47/98/11; 1/11, f. 22.
  • 50. E. Suff. RO, RYE 61/30, f. 13.
  • 51. HMC 13th Rep. IV, 166.
  • 52. E. Suss. RO, RYE 1/11, f. 22v.
  • 53. SP14/160/60; E. Suss. RO, RYE 61/30, f. 13v.
  • 54. HMC 13th Rep. IV, 171; CJ, i. 702b.
  • 55. Procs. 1625, pp. 697-9; HMC 13th Rep. IV, 172.
  • 56. Procs. 1628, vi. 161.
  • 57. Procs. 1625, pp. 696-8; Suss. Arch. Colls. xiii. 274.
  • 58. E. Suss. RO, RYE 1/11, f. 67.
  • 59. HMC 13th Rep. IV, 174.
  • 60. Procs. 1626, iv. 249; HMC Cowper, i. 240; E. Suss. RO, RYE 1/11, f. 100v.
  • 61. HMC 13th Rep. IV, 181; CSP Dom. 1627-8, pp. 112, 220.
  • 62. Procs. 1628, vi. 160-1; Recs. Rye Corporation, 95.
  • 63. E. Suss. RO, RYE 47/109/31.
  • 64. E. Suss. RO, RYE 1/11, f. 197v; RYE 61/34, f. 13.