Available from Cambridge University Press
Number of voters:
almost 7,000 in 1597
|12 Mar. 16041||FRANCIS CLIFFORD|
|SIR JOHN SAVILE|
|7 Apr. 1606||SIR RICHARD GARGRAVE vice Clifford, called to the Upper House|
|28 Mar. 16142||SIR JOHN SAVILE|
|SIR THOMAS WENTWORTH|
|Sir John Mallory*|
|25 Dec. 1620||(SIR) GEORGE CALVERT|
|SIR THOMAS WENTWORTH , (bt.)|
|Sir John Savile|
|Sir Thomas Savile|
|19 Jan. 1624||SIR JOHN SAVILE|
|SIR THOMAS SAVILE|
|9 May 16253||Sir Thomas WENTWORTH , (bt.)|
|SIR THOMAS FAIRFAX I|
|Sir John Savile|
|?Sir Thomas Savile|
|1 Aug. 1625||SIR THOMAS WENTWORTH , (bt.)|
|Sir Thomas Fairfax I re-elected after being unseated on petition|
|Sir John Savile|
|?Sir Thomas Savile|
|16 Jan. 16264||SIR JOHN SAVILE|
|SIR WILLIAM CONSTABLE , bt.|
|?Sir Francis Wortley*|
|by 12 Mar. 16285||SIR THOMAS WENTWORTH , (bt.)|
|Sir John Savile|
|?Sir Thomas Savile|
|9 Feb. 1629||SIR HENRY SAVILE , (bt.) vice Wentworth, called to the Upper House|
|9 Feb. 1929||?Sir Francis Wortley|
The largest county in England, Yorkshire is a region of enormous topographical variety.6 The early Stuart economy reflected this diversity, with the lowlands dominated by arable farming, the Wolds and the Ryedale given over to large-scale sheepwalks, and the dales in the Moors and northern Pennines used for cattle grazing.7 The Aire and Calder valleys contained one of the country’s fastest-growing cloth industries, while Richmond and Doncaster specialized in hand-knitted stockings,8 and Sheffield in cutlery; meanwhile, coal and lead mining proliferated along the eastern fringes of the Pennines, and alum shale deposits were exploited on the Cleveland coast.9 Yorkshire was fully integrated into both the national and international economy. York’s access to the sea via the River Ouse made it a regional distribution centre,10 while the West Riding clothing industry acquired its wool from across the north and north Midlands. Yorkshire cattle were sold in London, and their hides were returned north for tanning.11 Cloth and lead were shipped to the Baltic and the Low Countries through Hull, and lead, grain and cutlery to London. In return came whale oil from the Arctic, grain, timber and iron from the Baltic, wine, salt and oil from France and Spain, finished goods from Amsterdam and London and coal and salt from Tyneside and Scotland.12
Administratively, Yorkshire was dominated by the lord president of the Council in the North, the county’s ex officio lord lieutenant, who was assisted by a law court staffed by four judges, and a professional secretariat.13 At a lower level, the county was divided into a multitude of overlapping jurisdictions: each of the three Ridings had a separate bench of justices, as did York, Hull and the three ecclesiastical liberties of Ripon, Cawood and Beverley. The ancient feudal lordships still retained some significance; most belonged to the Crown, except for the honour of Skipton, held by the Clifford family, and that of Holderness, held by the Constables of Burton Constable.14 Geography shaped the administrative contours of the shire: the North Riding was customarily divided into three parts covering the Pennines, the Vale of York and the Moors, while in the West Riding each of the dales was run by a different group of gentry. Despite this fragmentation, York remained the focal point of county society, both because of its economic significance, and also because it was the seat of a multiplicity of administrative and judicial bodies: the Council in the North, ecclesiastical courts for the diocese and archdiocese of York, an Admiralty Court, the assizes and (usually) the county gaol.15
The shock waves of the Reformation reverberated longer in Yorkshire than in most counties. Except at Hull and Beverley, Protestantism struck few deep roots before the Northern Rising of 1569, but by the end of the century the corporations of Doncaster, Halifax, Leeds, and York had acquired godly reputations, although many rural areas still lacked access to a preaching ministry.16 Recusancy and occasional conformity remained a serious problem at the end of Elizabeth’s reign,17 notwithstanding the efforts of a small but energetic group including (Sir) John Ferne*, Sir Thomas Hoby* and John Thornborough, dean of York, who harried the political unreliable during the 1590s.18 There were fewer problems with Protestant nonconformity, partly because of official connivance. Archbishop Neile’s rigorous enforcement of conformity drove Sir William Constable*, Sir Matthew Boynton* and Sir Richard Saltonstall into exile in the 1630s, but long before this there was plenty of evidence of both puritanism and outright heterodoxy: Dr. John Favour ran a clerical exercise at Halifax; Hoby and (somewhat later) Boynton provided patronage for ejected ministers; Sir John Savile’s chaplain, James Nutter, twice fell foul of the authorities, while one of his parishoners, James Nayler, went on to become a leading Quaker in the 1650s; and there were separatist conventicles in Craven and Cleveland.19
I. Yorkshire’s Electoral Geography
Despite its size, Yorkshire returned only two knights of the shire before 1820. However, aspiring MPs could look to the county’s 11 borough constituencies (12 from 1621), as well as to East Retford, in Nottinghamshire, Clitheroe in Lancashire and Appleby in Westmorland. Perhaps for this reason there was only one known contest for the shire under Elizabeth, in 1597. However, this situation changed abruptly following the accession of James I. One reason for this was electoral geography: the southern part of the West Riding, where many of the wealthiest gentry lived, had no parliamentary boroughs until the enfranchisement of Pontefract in 1621, and the majority of candidates for the shire seats came from this area throughout the early modern period.20 Hence it was no accident that rivalry among the West Riding elites played a major part in the eight contested elections between 1597 and 1629. Another factor in the growth of electoral controversy was the personality of the lord president, who was generally reluctant to allow factional disputes to boil over at election time, for the sake of public order as much as for political reasons. Vice-president Sir Thomas Gargrave† and lord president Huntingdon had kept a tight rein on the county elections for much of Elizabeth’s reign, but thereafter electoral disputes occurred in 1597, in 1614 and repeatedly throughout the 1620s, during the incumbency of the often ineffectual Lord Scrope.21 A third factor prompting some to contest elections was the prestige which the knighthood of the shire conferred, particularly upon rising families or newcomers to the shire. Sir Thomas Hoby was an ambitious newcomer looking to prove himself in 1597; Wentworth aspired to favour at Court in return for securing the election of secretary of state (Sir) George Calvert* in 1620; Henry Belasyse’s transfer from Thirsk in 1626 to the county in 1628 reflected his father’s recent elevation to the peerage; while Sir Henry Savile* may have felt that his defeat of Wentworth’s candidate in 1629 repaid the latter for his failure to help him find him a borough seat in December 1620.22
As no individual wielded a preponderant influence in any one of Yorkshire’s three Ridings, let alone throughout the shire, candidates for the county seat were obliged to construct a coalition from among their relatives, friends and neighbours, a complex task even in the absence of a contest. The individual best placed to do this was the lord president, who was accustomed to playing local factions off against each other. Lord Sheffield went to considerable lengths to arrange an uncontested election in 1604, and Scrope made an abortive attempt to impose his own candidates when an election was called in November 1620.23 Several extended family networks could combine their forces to produce an impressive turnout at the hustings. These included the Cliffords, Wentworths and Saviles of Thornhill, whose West Riding tenants formed the core of Sir Thomas Wentworth’s support throughout the 1620s; the Constables of Burton Constable and Fairfaxes of Gilling, who held over 60,000 acres in the East and North Ridings; and the Belasyses, Cholmleys and Fairfaxes of Denton, whose estates were less extensive than those of the other two affinities, but lay (for the most part) much closer to York. Aspiring candidates could also seek the support of the shire’s many noble landowners. Lords Sheffield and Scrope had private estates in Cleveland and the Wensleydale respectively, while lords Darcy and Eure held lands in the Vales of York and Pickering. There were also three absentee magnates with substantial Yorkshire estates: the earls of Rutland, with estates at Helmsley; Gilbert Talbot†, 7th earl of Shrewsbury and (after his death in 1616) his sons-in-law the earls of Arundel and Pembroke, who held the manor of Sheffield; and (at least in theory) the disgraced 9th earl of Northumberland, who owned a dozen manors in the North and East Ridings.24
The only key electoral player in Yorkshire who was unable to rely upon an extended family network, aristocratic or official support was Sir John Savile, whose estate of 5,000 acres in the Leeds area was unremarkable by Yorkshire standards. His influence was grounded upon his tenure as steward of the duchy of Lancaster honour of Wakefield, which he took over from his father-in-law, Sir Edward Carey†, in 1588. This jurisdiction covered much of the hinterland of Halifax and Huddersfield, two of the most rapidly expanding cloth manufacturing districts in the West Riding, where Savile earned substantial goodwill by enfranchising large numbers of copyhold tenants at nominal rents. He reinforced the loyalty of this quasi-feudal following by maintaining cordial relations with the influential puritan clergy of the area, and by his vigorous advocacy of the clothiers’ economic interests at Court, in the law courts and in Parliament.25 Substantial as his personal following was, it is worth noting that Savile’s most notable electoral successes, in 1597 and 1614, were achieved with the assistance of the earl of Shrewsbury and influential gentry allies; Wentworth’s skill in co-opting the gentry vote during the 1620s caused Savile immense problems which he never entirely solved.
II. Electoral History to 1614
Savile’s early interests and much of his landed inheritance lay in Lincolnshire, where he served as sheriff in 1590-1. Later in the decade, however, he built up his influence in Yorkshire, and in 1597 he picked a fight with Sir John Stanhope I* and Sir Thomas Hoby over the county seats, almost certainly at the behest of Stanhope’s enemy, the 7th earl of Shrewsbury. Stanhope was backed by Archbishop Hutton (acting head of the Council in the North), Lords Cumberland, Darcy and Scrope, 86 gentry and an estimated 3,000 freeholders. However, Savile, whose supporters were dismissed as ‘a few gentlemen and a great multitude of clothiers, woolmen and other freeholders of the West Riding’, carried the day with the assistance of Shrewsbury’s tenants and four of the county’s greatest gentry: Sir William Fairfax† of Gilling (with whom he paired on the morning of the election), Sir Richard Mauleverer, William Wentworth and Richard Gargrave*. This upset provoked a flurry of anguished protests, both from the supporters of the defeated parties and from the leading dignitaries of the Council in the North, who had been prepared to abandon Hoby and concede the junior seat to Savile, but pronounced themselves ‘much grieved that Sir John Savile should think to prefer himself and others in this way, and still more that he should express publicly against Sir John Stanhope, born in this country, custos rotulorum of the North Riding and a large landowner, that he is uncapable to election’.26 Savile’s efforts availed him little at the time: Fairfax died a week into the session, and Savile later recalled that he was ‘taken at the bar, coming into the House [of Commons], and was brought to the [Privy] Council Chamber and therein committed’ to the Fleet prison for three weeks.27 However, his achievement in defeating candidates backed by both the Council in the North and the overwhelming majority of the gentry overshadowed the shire’s electoral politics for the next 30 years.
The 1601 election seems to have passed without incident, with lord president Burghley (Thomas Cecil†) securing the apparently uncontested return of his vice-president, Sir Thomas Fairfax I*, and Sir Edward Stanhope†; the election indenture was a roll-call of those who had supported the Stanhope-Hoby ticket four years earlier.28 When the writs for James’s first Parliament were sent out in February 1604, Lord Sheffield, who had succeeded to the presidency only seven months previously, looked to achieve a compromise with a circular letter recommending two candidates he described as ‘persons against whom no exceptions can be made’: the former Stanhope supporter Francis Clifford, heir to the earldom of Cumberland, and Sir John Savile. Furthermore, Sheffield avoided controversy by offering no suggestions as to which man should be given precedence. To the palpable relief of all, this question was resolved on the eve of the election, when Savile informed the Council that
he then was well contented that in the indentures Mr. Clifford should be first set down, and himself for the second, howsoever the freeholders should be affected towards him. … And upon the election, he being carried upon the freeholders’ shoulders, cried himself, “a Clifford”, and with that cry went to Mr. Clifford’s company, and so went they to the [York Castle] hall to have the indentures for that election sealed, still crying, “a Savile, a Savile”.29
Clifford’s seat fell vacant when he succeeded his brother as 4th earl of Cumberland in October 1605. It was nearly six months before a by-election was held, a delay which, intentionally or otherwise, ensured the eligibility of the man returned, Sir Richard Gargrave, who only completed his term of office as sheriff in February 1606. The list of attestors on the indenture suggests that ill-feeling generated by the 1597 election had finally subsided: Gargrave had supported Savile on the former occasion, but in 1606 the sheriff was Archbishop Hutton’s son Sir Timothy, and the return was witnessed by the erstwhile Stanhope supporters Sir Henry Jenkins*, Sir Conyers Darcy and Christopher Constable as well as Savile adherents such as Sir John Jackson†, Sir Thomas Bland and John Mauleverer.30
By 1614 Gargrave’s profligacy had obliged him to alienate many of his estates, and he was no longer a plausible candidate for the knighthood of the shire.31 Sir George Savile†, then sheriff, was probably the moving force behind the nomination of his great-nephew Sir Thomas Wentworth, the 21-year-old heir to the Wentworth Woodhouse estate, whose candidacy was apparently endorsed by Sir John Savile, who proposed to stand again. However, at the county court Wentworth was challenged by a man almost 40 years his senior, Sir John Mallory* of Studley Royal, a member of the Council in the North, whose father had represented the shire in 1584. Mallory naturally commanded the support of his immediate neighbours such as William Aldeburghe*, the mayor of Ripon and the crypto-Catholic Thomas Tankard, but he also won over the Fairfaxes of Denton, their cousins the Belasyses of Coxwold, and even Christopher Wandesford*, the only occasion on which the latter is known to have opposed his future patron. Furthermore, presumably with the backing of his brother-in-law Ralph, 3rd Baron Eure†, Mallory managed to assemble an impressive coalition of East Riding families including Sir William Constable, 1st bt.*, the recusant Sir Henry Constable, John Hotham* and John Legard*. The election was clearly a tumultuous affair, with the sheriff drowning out Mallory’s supporters ‘by sounding of trumpets and other practices’ to ensure the return of his candidates. At the start of the parliamentary session Mallory submitted a petition ‘about the election of the knights of the shire’. This was ‘respited till Sir John Savile’s coming up’ and nothing further was heard of the complaint during the session.32
III. The Election of December 1620
By the time the writs for the next Parliament were sent out in November 1620, the political landscape of Yorkshire had undergone considerable changes. Savile had been ordered to resign as custos rotulorum of the West Riding in December 1615, following a Star Chamber case in which one of his neighbours accused him of abusing his powers as a justice.33 He was replaced by Wentworth, who had just succeeded his father and was apparently intended to have been a temporary substitute. To Savile’s undoubted dismay, Wentworth was confirmed in office when he declined to resign the position two years later.34 The presidency of the Council in the North also changed hands in January 1619, when Sheffield, an associate of the 3rd earl of Southampton and a supporter of a Protestant foreign policy, was removed at the behest of the Spanish ambassador, Gondomar. His replacement, Lord Scrope, was well known for his Catholic sympathies, which recommended him to the advocates of a Spanish Match at Court, but hardly suited the ethos of an institution which had consistently championed the fight against recusancy since the Northern Rising.35
These local upheavals explain why Scrope felt able to ignore Savile’s inherent claim to one of the Yorkshire seats in November 1620. He recommended a pairing between his vice-president, Sir Thomas Fairfax II*, and Secretary of State Sir George Calvert, one of the keenest proponents of the Spanish Match, who had recently purchased a small estate at Kiplin in the North Riding but had virtually no personal influence within the shire. While Savile did not declare formally his candidacy for some weeks, he signalled his intentions by announcing ‘that he will be at York the day of the election’, and it quickly became apparent that Fairfax, son of Savile’s partner in 1597, was reluctant to pick a fight with such a redoutable adversary. At this point Wentworth, who was keen to boost his standing at Court, and could hardly afford to have Savile questioning his conduct as custos in Parliament, clamoured to be allowed to take up the challenge. The issue was swiftly resolved when Wentworth sent Sir Peter Middleton to Fairfax, who willingly resigned his interest in the county election in favour of a seat at Hedon, a borough dominated by his brother-in-law, Sir Henry Constable, Viscount Dunbar.36
Wentworth’s first move was to secure control of the election writ, which was brought down from London by his cousin George Radcliffe*. Unhappily, the only county court day before the Parliament was due to convene fell upon 25 Dec., and despite consulting the judges over the possibility of an adjournment, Wentworth was obliged to ask his supporters to ‘eat a Christmas pie with me’ at York. Although his pairing with Calvert was a naked bid for preferment at Court, custom required him to present himself as a disinterested patriot:
In truth, I do not desire it [a seat] out of any ambition, but rather to satisfy some of my best friends and such as have most power over me. Yet if the country make choice of me, surely I will zealously perform the best service for them that my means or understanding shall enable me unto.
Wentworth gave the lie to this false modesty by his willingness to use Calvert’s influence to further his cause. He pressed his partner to secure a Privy Council letter (along the lines of the one used at Middlesex in 1614) advising Savile to stand aside, and warned Scrope that ‘if this old veteran [Savile] should carry it against Mr. Secretary (without whom neither will I be [elected]) it were some touch to our own estimations above’. Sir Henry Belasyse (1st bt.)† was informed that ‘in my next letters I will … let Mr. Secretary know your good respect and kindness towards him’ (an undertaking Wentworth apparently failed to keep), while the York alderman (Sir) Robert Askwith* was promised an introduction to Calvert when he came up to London.37
Wentworth’s campaign followed the conventional tactic of seeking the maximum turnout among the tenantry of the shire’s greatest landowners. He confidently relied on his friend Christopher Wandesford to mobilize the Swaledale, and on Lord Darcy and Sir Richard Cholmley to do likewise in the Vale of York and Whitby Strand, but in other areas of the North and East Ridings, where his personal influence was slight, he was obliged to appeal to more distant acquaintances. Bishop Neile of Durham provided him with a letter of recommendation which was presumably aimed at episcopal tenants in Allertonshire and Howdenshire. Scrope’s secretary, George Wetherid*, was urged to ensure the support of his master’s tenants in the Wensleydale and those of the earl of Rutland at Helmsley, and asked to procure a letter from Scrope to Sir Thomas Fairfax II and Sir Henry Constable, ‘that they will labour their friends and further our elections’ in the Vale of York and Holderness. Sir Henry Belasyse mobilized the Vale of Pickering, while Sir Matthew Boynton was flattered into acting on Wentworth’s behalf in the Flamborough area by the latter’s reference to a fictitious ‘ancient and near acquaintance’ of their two families.38
However much Wentworth canvassed for voices in the North and East Ridings, the precedent of 1597 suggested that Savile might still carry the day if he managed turn out the West Riding clothiers in sufficient numbers. Consequently it was this area which became the main battleground between the two men. Wentworth promised Calvert ‘a thousand voices of my own besides my friends’, and began by securing the support of his immediate neighbours at the southern end of the West Riding in Strafforth, Osgoodcross and Staincross wapentakes. He also took considerable pains to mobilize the Hallamshire tenants of the earls of Pembroke and Arundel, and the freeholders of the honour of Pontefract, where Pembroke had succeeded Shrewsbury as steward in 1619. Further north, Wentworth could count upon the Clifford interest in Craven, while in Claro wapentake and Knaresborough liberty he used Sir Henry Slingsby* to further his cause; in Skyrack wapentake he looked to Sir Thomas Fairfax I, Sir Henry Savile and (Sir) Arthur Ingram*. Even in the heart of the clothing district, Wentworth took the fight to his opponent with the aid of Samuel Casson, deputy steward of the manor of Leeds Kirkgate, and two local landowners, Sir Richard Beaumont* and Sir John Ramsden*.39
Savile’s campaign is more difficult to reconstruct, as almost none of his correspondence survives. He kept his opponents guessing about his intentions for several weeks, and when he finally declared himself, it was upon the unlikely pretext that he ‘had received three hundred letters in two days from gentlemen of worth to move him to stand for one at the election’. In fact, it is very difficult to identify more than a handful of gentry who supported him: he was almost certainly backed by William Mallory*, and probably by Sir Thomas Bamburgh, Sir Robert Monson*, Sir John Jackson and Richard Darley*, whose names headed his return in 1624. However, his key supporters, who signed the petition against the election of Wentworth and Calvert which was submitted to the committee for privileges in February 1621, were almost exclusively West Riding clothiers, leavened by only a few clothier-gentry such as John Kaye and Gregory Armytage.40 Thus it is not surprising that early in the campaign Sir Henry Savile, one of Wentworth’s staunchest supporters, believed that ‘when he [Savile] shall well understand his friends’ and neighbours’ engagements he will think it more wisdom and safety for his reputation to go to his grave with that honour the country hath already cast upon him than to hazard the loss of all at a farewell’.41 Savile confounded such expectations by staking his chances almost exclusively upon a direct appeal to the freeholders, which he disseminated through his friends among the clothiers, and clerics such as Dr. John Favour, vicar of Halifax. He made great play of the fact that Calvert was not resident within the shire, and thus technically disqualified under a statute of 1413, and may also have insinuated that the ruling of 1614 excluding the attorney-general from the Commons extended to other government officials. Moreover, having been detained at the end of the Addled Parliament, he was able to present himself to the freeholders as ‘their martyr, having suffered for them, the patron of the clothiers, of all others the fittest to be relied upon’.42
Wentworth treated his adversary’s efforts with the utmost seriousness. Following Savile’s attacks on Calvert for his pro-Spanish sympathies, and for the slightness of his connections with the county, Wentworth circulated a detailed refutation of these charges among the high constables of the West Riding. Never one to shrink from a confrontation, Wentworth also visited Halifax in a fruitless attempt to win over Daniel Foxcroft, one of Savile’s key supporters.43 Two weeks before the election, when it seemed that Savile would only contest the senior seat, Wentworth planned to face his adversary in a poll, but then to reverse the order of precedence and have Calvert’s name entered first on the indenture.44 Wentworth also sought to ensure the maximum turnout among his own supporters, requesting the high constables to ask the parish constables to draw up lists of freeholders who intended to vote for him, on the disingenuous grounds that ‘we may keep the note as a testimony of their good affections and know whom we are beholden unto’; it would also have allowed him to identify those who had betrayed him at a poll.45 Finally, Wentworth mustered his supporters at Tadcaster on the eve of the election and led them into York in a body to impress waverers, while he warned Sir Richard Beaumont, who planned to spend the night in York, to ensure that ‘there be no working underhand with your freeholders’.46
Election day was, inevitably, a confused and controversial affair. As in 1597, Savile appears to have surprised his opponents by making a last-minute pairing with his son, Sir Thomas*, which rendered Wentworth’s plans to secure an unopposed election for Calvert worthless.47 The election seems to have been decided by the sheriff’s decision to shut the gates of York Castle before all of Savile’s supporters had entered: if testimony from both sides is to be believed, only a few hundred Savile supporters were present in the castle yard, while over a thousand more clamoured for admission outside the gates.48 The Saviles subsequently raised a petition against the election, which was signed by 362 freeholders and claimed the support of ‘many hundreds more’, while Wentworth’s allies spread a countervailing rumour ‘that the said complaints hath rather proceeded from some particular differences of some private persons than for any general grievance’.49
The committee for privileges heard evidence about the election on 6 and 8 Feb. 1621. Both Calvert and Wentworth had powerful friends on the committee, and only Mallory, who still resented Wentworth’s defeat of his father in 1614, advocated overturning the result.50 The House took a more serious view of the charge of labouring for voices, which turned on the semantic issue of whether Wentworth had instructed the high constables either to ‘entreat and request’ or to ‘will and require’ the freeholders to give their voices for Calvert and Wentworth. A canny political operator such as Wentworth was never likely to have left such a hostage to fortune in writing, and two of the constables, George Shilleto* and Walter Stanhope, produced copies of the offending letter which exonerated Wentworth.51 It eventually emerged that two other constables had exceeded their remit by sending out warrants to their petty constables in the usual form to ‘will and require’ the freeholders to attend and give their voices for Wentworth. After a heated debate, ‘the voice and dislike of each party crying down and hindering the speech of those that were of another opinion’, it was these constables who became scapegoats for the whole affair, being required to make a public submission both before the Commons and also at the next West Riding quarter sessions.52
IV. Elections of 1624-6
Wentworth appeared to be on the verge of a breakthrough at Court in July 1622, when he was mentioned as a contender for the comptrollership of the Household, but over the next two years he lost his wife, his health and his putative career to repeated outbreaks of tertian fever. Still recuperating when the next Parliament was summoned, in January 1624, he contented himself with a seat at Pontefract. This left the Saviles with a clear run at the shire seats, although Wentworth recorded a brief alarm on the eve of the election, ‘upon a sudden noise in the country of an intention in some to have elected persons suspected in religion, which to us all would have been full of danger and scandal’. On the eve of a Parliament which was intended to overturn the Spanish Match and lead the country into the confessional conflict then raging on the Continent, even Wentworth claimed to be prepared to turn out on behalf of his old adversary, whose ‘soundness in religion’ he freely acknowledged. The identity of the potential challengers is not known; it is possible that Scrope attempted to promote Sir Thomas Fairfax II and Sir Thomas Belasyse*, both of whom had Catholic wives, as official candidates.53 The crisis blew over as quickly as it had arisen, and the most notable feature of the county court was the conspicuous absence of the greater gentry, who followed Wentworth’s example in staying at home: of the 30 men who attested Wentworth’s return in 1620 only one, Sir Peter Middleton, also signed the Saviles’ in 1624.54
The death of King James in March 1625 was quickly followed by writs for a fresh Parliament. Savile, who had undoubtedly enhanced his local reputation by his opposition to war with Spain in the 1624 session, was the obvious candidate for the shire, leaving Wentworth pondering ‘how to set my cards upon this new shuffle of the pack’. Having arranged to discuss tactics with Wandesford and Sir Francis Trappes at the militia musters for Claro wapentake on 12 Apr., Wentworth changed his mind and took horse for London, where he assessed the altered balance of power at Court. Before leaving he instructed Trappes, Sir Peter Middleton and Sir John Jackson* to canvass privately for him as senior knight among their friends, and ‘not to engage themselves anywhere else till they hear further’. However, he kept his options open, asking the mayor of Pontefract for one of the borough’s seats in case he failed to be returned for the shire.55
With Wentworth’s intentions still unclear, two other contenders, Sir Thomas Fairfax I and William Mallory, joined forces to challenge the Saviles. The source of Fairfax’s opposition to Savile, a leading opponent of war in the 1624 session, is easily surmised. Fairfax was one of the few Yorkshire gentry who was unequivocally in favour of a continental war, having volunteered to help defend the Palatinate in 1620, while in 1624 he had petitioned James to raise an army to assist in the defence of the Low Countries. Mallory’s motivation is more difficult to comprehend: a supporter, like Savile, of the anti-war stance in the 1624 session, he may have felt that Savile was too willing to abandon his principles in pursuit of favour at Court. Savile directed his main effort against Mallory, using his chaplain, James Nutter, to savage his rival’s reputation by circulating ‘scandalous and seditious letters’ accusing Mallory of Catholic sympathies. Fairfax was confident that his partner would ‘most substantially acquit himself of the guilt, for he doth daily make good testimony of his sincerity’, but the smear was effective because it was founded upon the truth: Mallory’s mother had recently been indicted for recusancy by the York High Commission, one of his brothers was a Catholic exile, and he was first cousin to William, 4th Baron Eure†, a recusant convict, half of whose fines he had been granted in 1619.56 As Fairfax justifiably complained to Scrope, ‘they [the Saviles] will no doubt accumulate such a multitude of people in those well disposed towns of trades as they will be powerful. Neither can the falsehood of the suggestions [against Mallory] appear, for at the day of elections shouts, not reasons, must be heard’.57
Meanwhile Wentworth, having resolved to stand against Savile during his sojourn in London, returned to Yorkshire at the end of April to find that he was facing not one but two pairs of rivals. He also had to respond to Savile’s mischievous allegation that the findings of the recent inquisition post mortem into the lands of Sir George Savile had lost him control of the Thornhill estate, which he held as guardian to his underage nephews, George and William Savile†. These problems aside, he now concentrated on the further reaches of the county. Having been endorsed by Lord Henry Clifford*, he wrote to the latter’s steward at Skipton, and asked George Boteler* to go to Londesborough to solicit the support of Clifford’s father, the 4th earl of Cumberland. Boteler and Sir John Hotham were then delegated to canvass the East Riding and Henry Stapleton the Ainsty, while the steward of the 9th earl of Northumberland was approached for the voices of the Percy tenants in the North and East Ridings. Despite his exertions, Wentworth’s candidacy was undoubtedly hampered by lack of preparation, and by his status as a single candidate facing two rival pairs. He was saved by Mallory’s decision to accept the offer of a burgess-ship from his neighbours at Ripon on 3 May. Three days later Mallory asked Sir Francis Trappes to ensure that ‘Sir Thomas Fairfax may be joined to some worthy gentleman, which I leave to be considered of amongst friends’. As Trappes was Wentworth’s uncle, the identity of Fairfax’s new partner was a foregone conclusion.58
Even with this new infusion of strength, Wentworth could hardly have been assured of victory at the county court without the connivance of the sheriff, Sir Richard Cholmley. The latter acceded to a request for a poll from the Savile supporter Sir Christopher Hildyard*, but had only tallied 35 voices when he learned that the gate of the castle yard had been broken open ‘and many freeholders gone out upon Sir John Savile’s persuasions that the taking of the poll would last many days’. Cholmley abandoned the poll and declared Wentworth and Fairfax elected, both of whom, he subsequently claimed, had ‘double the number of freeholders’ mustered by the Saviles. The dispute was further complicated by controversies over whether (as in 1620) some of Savile’s supporters had been shut out of the castle yard, and whether the poll had been demanded before eleven o’clock, as the statute required.59
Wentworth and his allies tacitly conceded the weakness of their cause by doing everything in their power to delay judgment when the issue came before the Commons. On 21 June, the first day of business in the new session, Mallory and Wentworth responded to Sir Edward Giles’s submission of a petition on Savile’s behalf by moving ‘to adjourn till Michaelmas, in respect of the plague’, while Sir Robert Phelips and Wandesford suggested ‘an adjournment to another place’. The House shrugged off what one diarist called an ‘untimely motion’, and Savile’s petition was expedited by the committee for privileges. Sir George More’s report on 4 July accepted Wentworth’s claim that the blame for any misconduct at the election lay entirely with Sheriff Cholmley, but the latter sought to delay the proceedings by asking for permission to summon witnesses. The committee refused this request by 17 votes to 25, but the question was reopened on the floor of the House by Sir Edward Coke and a northern chorus: Wentworth, Hoby, Wandesford and John Lowther I. Eventually, at Coke’s suggestion, a compromise was agreed whereby Wentworth, Fairfax and Cholmley were to set down their version of events; if Savile verified their claims the case was to proceed to judgment, otherwise witnesses were to be called. Savile wrong-footed his rivals by accepting their account without demur on the following day, which, as (Sir) John Eliot* later recalled, ‘although desired, was no satisfaction unto Wentworth, who came unwillingly so near the determination of the question’. Clearly flustered, Wentworth renewed his call for counsel and witnesses, but the House disapproved of such a transparently self-serving motion, rejecting it by 133 votes to 94 and ordering a warrant for a new election.60
Wentworth’s first instinct was to play for time by asking lord keeper Williams to delay the issue of the election writ. The failure of this gambit left him with the gargantuan task of mobilizing his supporters in Yorkshire in little over two weeks, a prospect which was not assisted by Fairfax’s apparent apathy: having written to his partner on 16 July, Wentworth had heard nothing in return nine days later. As hitherto, Wentworth looked to the earls of Cumberland, Arundel and Pembroke for support in Craven and Hallamshire, while he secured Viscount Dunbar’s backing by means of a letter from Williams. He encountered some trouble from his neighbour Sir Francis Wortley*, who canvassed for him but refused to back Fairfax, but his chief concern was the fear that Savile would sow confusion among his supporters by laying the blame for the overturning of the earlier election at his door. In his letter to Fairfax on 16 July, he proposed to counter this accusation at two levels: to the gentry he offered the consideration that ‘the whole kingdom looks not only whether Sir John [Savile] be able to carry it against you and me, but indeed against all the gentlemen too besides’; while lower down the social scale, he advocated that
The other freeholders should, by some fit instruments, be let to understand that they have reason to stand to the first election, by reason we were put forth by a faction for serving them honestly and boldly; the little cause they have to choose Sir John, that did so apparently wrong them by bringing in apprentices and such as had not voice, much to their danger and prejudice, and that since hath been the author of putting the country to this second trouble.
At a practical level, Wentworth arranged to provide two hogsheads of wine and 10 of beer at York Castle ‘for the freeholders, who will be forced to stay long, to refresh themselves with this hot season’. This precaution proved to be wise, as Cholmley was obliged to hold a ‘tedious and troublesome polling’ before declaring Wentworth and Fairfax returned.61
Wentworth’s efforts earned him just four days service in the Commons before the Parliament was dissolved. During that time he managed to damage his standing at Court by refusing to add to the existing grant of two subsidies, a stance which proved sufficient to have him pricked as sheriff in November.62 This excluded him from the Parliament summoned to meet in the following February, but in the event it allowed him to play a pivotal role in the county election of January 1626. Despite misgivings, he was unable to resist the opportunity to make trouble for his old adversary when Wandesford proposed to mount a challenge to the Saviles in conjunction with Fairfax’s son-in-law Sir William Constable:
I [Wentworth] … find in my judgment Sir John Savile stronger than formerly, for besides his own number … it will be impossible to draw so great a part from him out of this country, nay I fear not possible to keep them at home …. Yet I confess I wish old [Savile of] Howley were put to it, so it were not at your cost.
Having himself been approached about the county election by his neighbour Sir Francis Wortley, who had come to blows with Sir Thomas Savile a few days after the 1625 election, Wentworth advised Wandesford to content himself with a borough seat at Richmond, allowing Wortley to join Constable in opposition to the Saviles,
for I foresaw if he [Wortley] gained it, Savile were lost forever, and if he failed, the other got no conquest much to brag of; besides, being his countryman, these parts would be more easily drawn with him than with a stranger, and consequently more weaken the old fox in his earth than any other I can think of.
Wentworth’s assessment of Savile’s growing strength in the West Riding was borne out only a few weeks later, when Sir Henry Savile, who had enthusiastically supported Wentworth in 1620, declared for Sir John Savile, on the grounds that the latter’s patronage had done a great deal for Leeds. Wentworth ironically observed that ‘the supremacy of Agbrigg and Morley63 will scorn to have any partners in an election of knights for the shire’, and offered his erstwhile supporter the glib assurance that ‘you frame imagination of an opposition, whereof there is little ground’. The duplicity of this statement must have been obvious to Sir Henry, but Wentworth’s conciliatory tone was probably intended to suggest that he was not entirely committed to the Constable-Wortley ticket, and left room for a deal to avoid a repetition of the events of the previous year, in which the sheriff’s intervention had robbed the Saviles of victory. The issue was ultimately resolved ‘at the very hour of the election’, when Sir Thomas Savile found himself ‘surprised with a sudden sickness which enforced me to keep to my chamber and to resign my interest in that business to another’. This well-timed indisposition allowed Sir John Savile to ensure his own election by conceding the junior seat to his rival, Constable, an arrangement that left only Wortley without a seat.64
V. The Forced Loan and the Elections of 1628-9
In the 18 months which elapsed before the next election, local and national politics intermeshed to an unprecedented degree as Wentworth, Savile and their respective allies vied with each other for the confidence of the Court while striving to retain that of their countrymen. Savile secured a two-thirds’ reduction in the Privy Seal loans charged upon Yorkshire in April 1626, but lost face when criticisms of the Commons’ attacks on Buckingham, which he had made in a letter to the West Riding clothiers, came to light in the following month.65 After the Parliament was dissolved on 15 June, Savile was named to the Privy Council, and at the summer assizes he displaced his rival as custos of the West Riding. Moreover, at his behest, Sir William Alford* succeeded Sir William Constable as custos in the East and Sir David Foulis replaced Sir Thomas Hoby in the North.66 Savile helped alleviate the Crown’s financial problems by inaugurating a scheme to allow recusants to compound for their fines, while his implementation of the Forced Loan in 1626-7 pushed Constable, Sir John Hotham and (rather more reluctantly) Wentworth into defiance, arrest and, ultimately, internal exile.67 Meanwhile, the Belasyses and Fairfaxes of Denton, who might also have refused the Loan, were brought to acquiescence with timely offers of peerages, while Viscount Dunbar was offered the leading role in East Riding politics which he had hitherto been denied because of his Catholicism.
At a time when Savile had, to all intents, succeeded Scrope in charge of the north of England, those who refused to co-operate with him could only pin their hopes upon a fresh Parliament, a prospect which came closer after the failure of the expedition to the Île de Ré in the autumn of 1627. In November Wandesford discussed the issue with Mallory, who insisted that Wentworth was the only man to challenge Savile, and suggested a pairing with Henry Belasyse, heir to the recently ennobled Lord Fauconberg (Sir Thomas Belasyse). As Mallory saw it, the only problem with this arrangement was the possibility that Belasyse, as a peer’s son, might demand the senior seat. Wandesford hastened to set his mind at rest with the assurance that Wentworth ‘never expected that but when it was your [Wentworth’s] right; in this case it was not, unless Mr. Belasyse were pleased to resign it. And so the dialogue [with Mallory] concluded with a mutual promise to send to one another upon the first notice of a summons’. Hopes for a Parliament grew after the release of the Loan refusers on 2 Jan. 1628. Wandesford worried about the electoral consequences of ‘the universal dependence Sir John Savile hath from the Catholics’ following the success of the recusant composition policy, but Wentworth probably faced a greater challenge from those Wandesford characterized as ‘poor and low spirits that devote themselves to a servile adoration of any temporary greatness’: beneficiaries of Savile’s regime such as Dunbar, Hildyard, Alford and Foulis, whose tenants would augment Savile’s clothier vote. Another danger was the possibility that the Fairfaxes of Denton and the Belasyses, having acquired their peerages upon Savile’s recommendation, might abandon Wentworth, leaving him only Constable or Sir Arthur Ingram as possible partners, but any such fears were quickly laid to rest when Sir Ferdinando Fairfax* offered a partnership between Wentworth and Belasyse. Wandesford leapt at the chance, advising Wentworth ‘you must join with a man gracious with the papists, which only Henry is’.68
The 1628 election was possibly the most close-run of the entire decade. The sheriff, Sir Thomas Fairfax II, brother-in-law of Viscount Dunbar, might have been expected to be a Savile partisan, but he resented the fact that the junior (Denton) branch of the family had acquired a peerage while he had not. Moreover, the Commons’ investigation of Cholmley’s conduct in 1625 undoubtedly obliged him to behave more responsibly than Savile might have wished. A poll was held, probably at Savile’s request, but some of the freeholders, when tendered the oath, refused to declare their names. According to the report from the committee for privileges, the contest was so tight that ‘Sir Thomas Wentworth had the major number at the poll, but the major number of them who put down their names in writing were for Sir John Savile’. Under the circumstances, Savile must have been astonished when Fairfax declared Wentworth and Belasyse elected, a decision which was ratified by the Commons on 17 April.69
Wentworth’s performance in the 1628 session, which was critical of the government but notably more responsible than that of many of his colleagues, earned him a peerage, a seat on the Privy Council and (in December) the presidency of the Council in the North. According to Wandesford, news of Wentworth’s preferment was poorly received in the Yorkshire, ‘the common opinion passing you now under Sir John Savile’s character, and that there is a Thomas as well as a John for the king’. Such discontent counted for little in the long term, as Wentworth quickly set about removing Savile’s men from office and installing his own, but before he could begin this task, he had to organize the by-election brought about by his own elevation to the Lords. By the time he arrived in York to take up the presidency at the end of December, Sir Henry Savile had already declared his intention to stand. Although a Savile supporter in 1626 and 1628, Sir Henry had remained on good terms with Wentworth, congratulating him on his victory on the latter occasion, and insouciantly observing that if both Sir John and Sir Thomas Savile were to be rejected by the freeholders (as they ultimately were), ‘in good faith our case will be lamentable’.70
Savile approached the 1629 by-election in the same light-hearted vein, sending Wentworth a long and rather disingenuous account of his motives for seeking election, which included
hope of better and more free times, a desire to see my honourable friends in the south … a desire to keep this honour deposited for this time in that name which hath often enjoyed it, until your lordship’s nephew and my young cousin Sir Willam [Savile] be more capable thereof … an ambition to serve my country with a good heart, which must serve to supply all other defects in a man not qualified for such an assembly.
Wentworth made it clear that he intended to promote an official candidate, apparently his neighbour Sir Francis Wortley, whose dignity he had undoubtedly offended by dropping him so suddenly at the 1626 election, and Sir Henry Savile gave every impression of having yielded gracefully:
though it were but for your little neighbour (who of himself is able to do so little) yet … I could never be drawn to oppose any design of your lordship’s when you were in our rank … much less may I be seen to oppose a known design of your lordship’s, and that the first after the entry to your government.
However, three weeks later, Savile returned to the fray, allegedly at the behest of the Leeds clothiers, rescinding his earlier withdrawal on the grounds that Wentworth was supporting Wortley only ‘as a private friend, but not as a lord president’. Although Wortley could presumably count on the sympathy of the sheriff, Wentworth’s ally Sir Matthew Boynton, his personal interest was (as Wentworth had himself observed in 1626) relatively slight, and at the county court some of Wentworth’s friends apparently deserted him: Trappes and Sir Peter Middleton both signed Savile’s return. Sir Henry vehemently denied that the Saviles of Howley had had anything to do with his decision to stand: ‘upon my salvation I have nothing to do with them or they with me in this affair. They neither send me a voice, nor did I beg any of them; it may be true that many of my neighbours and wellwillers are of the old bands of reiters’. The first part of this statement is unverifiable, but the second was undoubtedly true: among those who signed Savile’s election indenture, the majority were either gentry who had signed the Saviles’ return in 1624, or clothiers such as John Kaye, Gregory Armytage and John Harrison, who had backed the petition against Wentworth’s election in 1621.71
VI. Local Issues in Parliament
With Savile basing much of his electoral appeal upon his reputation as ‘the patron of the clothiers, of all others the fittest to be relied upon’, neither Wentworth nor any other potential challenger for local pre-eminence could afford to neglect the freeholders’ interests. Thus there was a consensus about the significance of Parliament as a forum for the airing and resolution of local grievances: in a speech at Rotherham in April 1621 Wentworth assured the subsidymen who were footing the bill for the Commons’ speedy grant of two subsidies for defence of the Palatinate that ‘we have not been idle in performance of our duties towards our great mother, the commonwealth’; while on the last day of the 1624 session, in a debate sparked by the king’s criticism of the Commons for its relentless attacks on monopoly patents, Savile insisted ‘that none can judge of a grievance to the kingdom as this House, which is composed of all the kingdom’.72 Rhetorical flourishes aside, in a county as large, prosperous and diverse as Yorkshire it was inevitable that much parliamentary business, particularly over issues relating to administrative and economic affairs, would be either sponsored by or relevant to local interests.
The most straightforward issues promoted in Parliament by Yorkshire Members were bills to resolve local problems. In 1610 Savile secured statutory confirmation of copyholds held of the honour of Wakefield (agreed under a duchy of Lancaster initiative in 1607-8), while in 1624 he tabled the bill to allow the Hallamshire cutlers to form a trade gild independent of the Sheffield manorial court. The Saviles, Hoby and Wandesford were all named to the committee for the bill to confirm copyholds on the duchy of Cornwall manor of Goathland (15 Mar. 1624), but, unlike several other items of legislation then before the House, the bill did not have the personal backing of Prince Charles and was never reported. In the following year Sir Thomas Fairfax I received a petition from freeholders who objected to being fined for non-attendance at the county assizes due to sickness or old age, and he was presumably sponsor of a bill to this remedy this problem, which received a first reading on 25 June; his subsequent unseating meant that the measure progressed no further.73
The clothing interest was, after agriculture, Yorkshire’s largest employer, and was a perennial concern for the county’s MPs. Crises occurred regularly within the industry, as its supply and manufacturing processes were vulnerable to interruption by war, disease, the vagaries of the trading cycle, government interference and changes in fashion and technology, any combination of which could have a significant impact on the local economy. Thus in both May 1614 and February 1626 Savile warned of the consequences of slumps in the cloth trade, advising the House on the latter occasion that there were ‘30,000 men within ten miles of his house who, if they have not relief shortly, will take it where they can get it’.74 Furtherance of the cloth trade was an issue over which many interests could co-operate, as is demonstrated by the 1606 bill to confirm a 20 per cent discount on the customs for northern cloths. Savile drew attention to ‘an abuse in the custom of cloths’ on 11 Feb., and a bill to rectify the situation was tabled two days later. Reported by the York MP Christopher Brooke on 5 Mar., it was smothered in the Lords despite the best efforts of Anthony Cole* of Hull, but the discount was later confirmed by means of a petition to the earl of Salisbury (Robert Cecil†).75
In 1614, Members were almost unanimous in their condemnation of the New Merchant Adventurers, who had been granted a monopoly of cloth exports on the understanding that they would develop the dyeing industry and discontinue shipments of white cloth. Trade halved within months, to the despair of many Members, including Savile, who protested that poorer clothiers were being driven to bankruptcy.76 The new Company ignored these criticisms, but its failure to improve the balance of trade led to the revocation of its patent in 1617, when the old Merchant Adventurers were allowed to buy back their former rights. The substitution of one monopoly for another was not universally welcomed, and the Adventurers were criticized in the Commons in 1621 for imposing charges upon exports to recoup the cost of their new patent. Their detractors included William Mallory, an inveterate opponent of all monopolies, and alderman John Lister* of Hull, who was not a Merchant Adventurer and resented the obligation to pay their charges; the government, however, was grateful for the Company’s financial support, and Wentworth, following Calvert’s lead, sought to defuse the situation. The Merchant Adventurers came under attack again in 1624, this time for their monopoly of the export of coloured cloths, when Savile, who numbered many Adventurers among his closest supporters, came to the Company’s defence, warning that ‘if we labour too much to prune this Company we may destroy them, and so bring a great mischief to the kingdom’. During May 1624 he twice extolled the benefits the Company had brought to the cloth trade, blaming declining exports on increases in wool prices and customs dues, and the growth of a rival industry in Silesia.77 Controversy over the cloth trade subsided during the war years of the later 1620s, but in 1629 the Leeds clothiers, who had been the driving force behind Sir Henry Savile’s return at the Yorkshire by-election, gathered a petition against the town corporation’s attempts to force them into a trade guild. The sudden dissolution meant that Savile was unable to bring this to the Commons’ attention, but Wandesford later submitted it to the Privy Council.78
The clothing debates of the early 1620s highlight the way in which economic interests engendered as much controversy as co-operation in the Commons. The middle years of James’s reign saw a similar upheaval in the wool trade, with the Merchants of the Staple and a consortium of patentees led by Viscount Fentoun fighting for control.79 Both groups came under attack in the Commons in 1621, when the Staplers’ patent was condemned, Fentoun’s was censured, and the pretermitted custom on cloth was heavily criticized. Wentworth and Calvert moved to safeguard Halifax’s exemption from regulation, secured by statute in 1555, but were opposed by Sir Thomas Belasyse, a North Riding woolgrower, and Mallory, who (in pursuance of his feud with Wentworth), unreasonably asked ‘that a knight of the shire would not move for a particular place for exemption’. To Wentworth’s undoubted satisfaction, the House resolved to throw the domestic wool trade open to all, but brought in a bill to ban exports, at the third reading of which Northumbrian MPs pressed for exemption for Berwick wool on the grounds of its extreme coarseness. With an eye to his constituents’ interests, Wentworth, among others, insisted that Berwick wool should not be exported, as its quality had improved, ‘and [it] is now bought by Yorkshire clothiers’.80
If the knights of the shire often served the interests of the West Riding clothiers in debates on wool and cloth, their attitude to the grain trade was dominated by a more obviously self-interested determination to secure the highest possible price for their crops. The only MPs who did not welcome the 1621 bill to ban grain imports were Brooke and Lister, who protested that Polish rye was the only commodity which York and Hull merchants could trade for northern cloth in the Baltic. Wandesford, by contrast, argued that a ban on grain shipments would encourage the Eastland merchants to look for new imports. The bill was lost at the dissolution, which was just as well, as the glut of 1621 turned to shortage by 1624, when restrictions on the export of grain was debated as part of the statutes’ continuance bill. Savile advocated maintenance of a good price, ‘that the farmer and husbandman be encouraged, for then the poor will not want’, whereas Hoby approached the problem from the opposite direction, urging that the poorest should be relieved by lowering the price of pease and beans, from which the cheapest bread was made.81
The improvement of river navigation was an issue which had a potentially enormous impact upon the economies of both York and the West Riding clothing district, but the projected costs and the reluctance of either area to see its rivals prosper created a good deal of tension in the Commons. There were no recorded objections to the proviso for the River Ouse which Robert Askwith appended to the weirs bill on 23 June 1604, but the draft was not reported before the prorogation. From about 1614 the York corporation promoted a much more radical scheme to cut a new 25-mile channel across the East Riding, which gave rise to a navigation bill in 1621. This was opposed by Wentworth, who refused to pay for the scheme through a county-wide rate, although it was agreed that funds might be raised by means of a duty upon goods shipped upriver. In 1626 the York corporation hoped to reintroduce the bill, now shorn of its contentious county rate, but their intentions came to nothing, probably because enthusiasm for local legislation dwindled as the session came to be dominated by the duke of Buckingham’s impeachment.82 Meanwhile, Savile promoted a rival measure to canalize the rivers Aire and Calder. Although plans were laid in 1624 and 1625, no legislation reached the Commons until 1626, when a bill was rejected at the second reading ‘after long debate’. The proposal avoided a county levy, laying most of the charge for the work on an imposition on trade, but faced objections from the York corporation, which feared the project would be ‘a great impoverishment to this ancient city’. Shortly before the 1628 session the Saviles discussed the prospects for fresh legislation, but with both father and son defeated in their attempts to secure election, none was introduced.83
Yorkshire MPs welcomed attacks on patents and patentees as warmly as any, particularly in the case of the locally unpopular Sir Stephen Procter, who was called before the House as much because of his longstanding feud with his neighbour Sir John Mallory as for his patent as collector of recusancy fines. The case of Sir John Bennett*, who had made many friends in Yorkshire during his years as diocesan chancellor, was somewhat different: charged with bribery as judge of the Prerogative Court of Canterbury in 1621, it was more in sorrow than in anger that Mallory and Sir John Gibson* called for his expulsion from the House.84 The fact that Bennett’s misdemeanours had been visited upon litigants in Canterbury archdiocese only may help to explain why his crimes aroused relatively little anger among northern MPs. The same could not be said of John Lepton, whose monopoly of drafting lawsuits submitted to the Council in the North had significantly raised the price of litigation at York. Wentworth, Hoby and Lister attacked Lepton at the committee of grievances on 7 May 1621, although (Sir) Talbot Bowes* later tried to secure him a more sympathetic hearing at the bar of the House. This patent was subsequently revived for the benefit of Sir Thomas Monson*, and it is hardly surprising that Wentworth and Wandesford were tellers in the vote which censured it afresh in 1628.85
The key role of the Council in the North meant that its affairs loomed large in the priorities of the county’s MPs. Unlike the residents of the Marcher shires, northerners were not concerned to free themselves from the Council’s jurisdiction, but on 18 May 1614 Savile moved to include its court within the remit of a bill to restrict the use of writs of supersedeas by Westminster courts, a proviso which would have substantially reduced the volume of litigation referred to York from local courts. He was opposed by Sir Richard Williamson*, one of the York justices, who, as Christopher Brooke observed, almost undoubtedly spoke ‘intending his private [interest]’. The same arguments were deployed when a similar bill was tabled in 1624: Wentworth and Sir Thomas Savile both revived the proviso for York, which was opposed on this occasion by Sir Christopher Hildyard, a Council member.86
While Yorkshiremen largely accepted the Council’s authority, the Commons was used as a platform for a series of increasingly outspoken attacks on lord president Scrope during the 1620s, all but one of which were promoted by Savile and Wentworth, who both aspired to discredit Scrope and secure the presidency for themselves. The sole exception was a petition of June 1621, in which a dissatisfied litigant charged Scrope with corruption: the accusation was discounted by Mallory, Wentworth, Ingram and Hoby, who suggested that Scrope’s accuser be kept in custody lest the accusation prove frivolous.87 Three years later the Commons received a petition of complaint about the support given to Catholics by Scrope, Rutland and Dunbar. It was said that ‘the men most violent against these lords are Wentworth, Hoby, Savile and Wandesford’, a claim supported by the fact that it was Sir Thomas Savile who named Scrope to the recusant officeholders’ petition. Although an embarrassment to Scrope, the political impact of these accusations was muted by the Lords’ contention that the charges were based upon hearsay, and a week before the end of the session it was agreed that the petition should be presented to the king privately by Prince Charles. Any chance that it might be heeded were presumably dashed by Buckingham, whose wife was niece to Scrope’s wife.88
With Wentworth and Savile at each others’ throats during the 1625 session neither had time to attack Scrope, but the latter’s fate became an issue during the next election, when Wentworth worried that unless Sir William Constable stood, ‘a great part of the East Riding will voice with Savile in opposition of the president, whom they persuade themselves he [Savile] would question in Parliament’. As he was by this stage angling for Buckingham’s favour, Savile can have had little intention of acting upon this threat, and he is unlikely to have been ‘the knight of Yorkshire’ who cited Scrope among the county’s recusant officials at the end of February 1626; the troublemaker must therefore have been Constable. Meanwhile, a separate petition, which revived the charges levelled at Scrope in 1624, and claimed that recusant convictions in the north had more than doubled since Scrope took office, was forwarded to the king on 11 March, but this elicited no response.89 Hoby subsequently used the charges against Scrope, Dunbar and Rutland to illustrate the allegation that the duke of Buckingham had systematically promoted recusants to positions of authority. Eliot gleefully reported this to the House on 24 Mar., but the accusation was strenuously opposed by a number of the duke’s clients. It was at this point that Savile, who had held aloof from the debate about Scrope, intervened to defend the duke, blaming any increase in recusancy on the inadequacies of the clergy in the North and East Ridings and belittling the lord president, who was, he claimed, ‘not so great a man as to carry a faction in Yorkshire’. The duke took the hint, and while Scrope remained in office and secured an earldom after the dissolution of the Parliament, Savile assumed executive power in the north.90
Having been excluded from influence for 18 months, Wentworth and his associates inevitably regarded the 1628 Parliament as a golden opportunity to settle scores with Scrope, Savile and Dunbar. On the second day of business, Hoby called for an inquiry into the increase in the numbers of recusants, while Mallory observed that the relevant statistics could be collated from the papers of Savile’s composition committee. Despite the efforts of the lord president’s secretary, James Howell*, Scrope, Rutland and Dunbar were once again included on the list of recusant officeholders, while on 24 May John Pym* and Hoby secured an investigation of Savile’s composition committee. Finally, on 6 June, as the Commons anxiously awaited the king’s second answer to the Petition of Right, Hoby, Hotham and Wentworth attacked the activities of the recusancy commission, which Wentworth portrayed as an attempt ‘to pervert the law, and will amount to a toleration’. Although Wentworth’s performance in the Commons earned him favour at Court and a viscountcy in July 1628, it did nothing to dislodge Scrope from office, and it was only after Buckingham’s assassination that Wentworth finally secured the presidency, which he offered to buy for £20,000.91
VII. Yorkshire and War in the 1620s
The knights of Yorkshire were broadly similar to other MPs in terms of their willingness to defend and promote a range of interests in Parliament, and while the rivalry between Savile and Wentworth may have given a competitive edge to their advocacy, it would be wrong to assume that either was solely motivated by a cynical desire to manipulate local opinion for their own benefit. The issues which best illustrate the complex interplay of principle and self-interest upon the actions of the shire knights are the interrelated questions of the nation’s involvement in and financing of the continental wars of the 1620s. Although most MPs regarded the spectre of Habsburg hegemony as a serious threat to national security, there were profound disagreements over strategy between those unwilling to condone anything more than a defensive war, others who cast covetous glances towards the wealth of Spain and the Indies, and the small number who were prepared to face the burden of raising or subsidising an army to intervene in Germany and the Low Countries.
One of the few Yorkshiremen who welcomed the prospect of intervention in the war in Germany was Sir Thomas Fairfax I, who briefly served in the Low Countries among the English volunteers organized to defend the Palatinate in 1620, and was subsequently the author of a petition urging King James to hire Count Mansfeld’s services to assist the beleaguered Protestant forces on the Continent. Hence it is no surprise that his only recorded speech in the 1625 Parliament supported a grant of two subsidies rather than the single subsidy facetiously proposed by Sir Francis Seymour. This offer, although hardly enough to fund a major campaign, was at least a gesture of support to assist the preparations for what would clearly be a lengthy commitment, and it was generally assumed that a fresh grant would be offered at another session in the spring.92 John Lister and George Shilleto both spoke approvingly of a ‘blue water’ strategy involving an attack on Spanish possessions in the Caribbean,93 but once the question of cost was raised most Yorkshiremen were reluctant to commit themselves to anything more expensive than a defensive policy. This attitude may have arisen in part from a natural parsimoniousness, but also owed something to a realistic calculation of local interests: as Lister and others persistently reminded the House during the later 1620s, war with Spain left the Yorkshire coast and the region’s main trading routes to London, the Low Countries and the Baltic dangerously vulnerable to attacks by privateers based at Dunkirk.94
The provision of supply to bring the kingdom to readiness for war began auspiciously enough on 15 Feb. 1621, when a swift consensus emerged for a grant of two subsidies, although Christopher Brooke and John Carvile grounded their assent upon the expectation that the House would be allowed to attack monopolists in return. This was duly permitted, and Wentworth used the Commons’ proceedings against patentees as the centrepiece of the speech he made to the Rotherham subsidymen at Easter 1621, claiming that the impeachment of (Sir) Giles Mompesson* was ‘of more safety to the Commonwealth in the example than 6 of the best laws that have been made in 6 of the last parliaments’, and a more than adequate justification for an early vote of supply.95 While Wentworth was prepared to bankroll James’s diplomatic initiatives, he was probably one of the few pro-Spanish Members of the House, and during the autumn sitting both his personal inclinations and his concern for the Commonwealth led him to argue that domestic issues should be given priority over foreign policy. On 26 Nov., during a debate on the king’s demands for a fresh grant of subsidy for relief of the Palatinate, he urged that the question be thrust aside, ‘and tomorrow patiently to fit ourselves for the end of a session, and not to lose the fruits of a Parliament’. The motion would have put legislation before supply, exactly the opposite of what the government wished, a stance which cut across Wentworth’s energetic attempts to curry favour at Court over the preceding year. He reiterated this point in a speech drafted about two weeks later, in which he sought to persuade the House to abandon the cessation of business which ultimately wrecked the session.96
Wentworth maintained a lower profile in 1624 than he had in previous parliaments. This stance was partly forced upon him by ill-health, but probably also owed something to political calculation, as the lot of representing the county’s views on war thereby fell to Savile. In a session in which the war party was led by Prince Charles, Buckingham, and the Privy Council, assisted (or at least not hindered) by many of those who had spoken in favour of domestic priorities in 1621, opposition was a daunting prospect, but Savile rose to the occasion.97 On 5 Mar., during a debate about the 3rd earl of Southampton’s motion to offer the king open-ended assistance if the abandonment of the Spanish Match should result in war, he echoed Edward Alford’s criticism of the undertaking, observing that ‘it was a great engagement, and that having once passed it, it was not in our power to revoke it nor moderate it’, as the king would be left to judge the scale of the funds he required. While Savile gave general assurances of support and spoke of the need to prepare for a defensive war, the effect of his speech was entirely obstructive of official efforts. He was presently supported by Wandesford, who argued that the House should ignore Southampton’s motion and wait until the end of the session to vote a specific grant of subsidies, and Mallory, who overplayed his hand by moving that Sir Edwin Sandys, who had raised the motion, be expelled from the House.98
Savile launched his most powerful attack on the ‘patriot’ coalition during the supply debate of 19-20 March. Initially primed by a series of official and semi-official speakers, the House was thrown into confusion by a brief interjection from Savile, who demanded ‘first to know what we shall do in this business; 2. what the charge of it will come to; 3. to consider how to levy it’. Pym, himself a hawk, wryly summarized the effect of this speech:
he [Savile] was seconded by Mr. Alford, Sir Arthur Ingram, Mr. Mallory and others, among which there were no doubt those who wished this order for the better perfecting and establishing of our counsels, and perchance there wanted not [those] who in this variety affected delay or an opportunity of crossing that in some privative or subordinate question which they would not oppose in the main.
Thanks to a timely intervention from Sir Edward Coke the proposal for supply was eventually restored to the agenda, but Savile continued to play for time, first by deferring the debate until the next morning, and then by proposing to appropriate the three subsidies agreed upon to ‘Holland, Ireland, the ports and the Navy’, an essentially defensive strategy. It was objections such as these which provided the impetus for the relatively unusual stipulation that the disbursement of the funds raised should be supervised by a six-man committee nominated by the Commons.99
James’s equivocations over the breach with Spain made many MPs understandably reluctant to offer liberal supply for a war which would, at best, have been pursued half-heartedly. If this had been the chief fear of those who opposed a war in 1624, their attitudes should have been transformed at the accession of King Charles, who undertook preparations for an attack on Spain and summoned a fresh Parliament to provide funds for the war effort. In fact, the vigorous approach Charles demonstrated towards a war with Spain had very little impact upon the attitudes of Yorkshire Members. Sir Thomas Hoby spent most of the 1625 session venting his outrage at the relaxation of the recusancy laws consequent upon the king’s marriage to Henrietta Maria, while the efforts of Mallory and Wandesford to secure an immediate adjournment to delay consideration of Savile’s petition about the Yorkshire election were hardly supportive of royal policy. In the supply debate of 30 June Wentworth agreed to the emerging consensus for two subsidies, but ominously insisted that these be given ‘only as a testimony of the duty of the subject towards His Majesty’, not as an indication of any long-term obligation to support a war.100 Distracted for the next month by the need to secure his own re-election, Wentworth, arriving late at the Oxford sitting, was asked by the chancellor of the Exchequer, Sir Richard Weston*, to be more accommodating in his attitude to the Crown’s needs. Although he agreed to serve Buckingham ‘in the quality of an honest man and a gentleman’, Wentworth could hardly afford to be seen as neglectful of his constituents’ interests in the immediate aftermath of a hard-fought by-election, and in the key debate of 10 Aug., as in the autumn of 1621, he called for a pardon and ‘some good bills’ to be given precedence over any increase in supply. In what was clearly an attempt to square his views with his undertaking to Weston, he added the rider that ‘when it shall please His Majesty to call us together again, be it within a day [after the prorogation], and to propound supply, we shall entertain it with all cheerfulness’. However, his stance was clearly regarded as a betrayal at Court, and resulted in his exclusion from the next Parliament.101
During the 1626 Parliament Savile gradually moved into Buckingham’s orbit, a development which encouraged him to modify his earlier opposition to the war. However, this did not oblige him to demonstrate a slavish devotion to every aspect of government policy, and his desire to lighten the financial burdens heaped upon his constituents remained undimmed. On 24 Feb. he demanded to know whether there were ‘any enclosures’ of policy which were not to be debated, a motion which harked back to the confusion sown by the roundabout means the ‘patriots’ had used to advocate war in 1624. More constructively, he went on to urge ‘that the Privy Council may lead the way’, a motion which resulted in chancellor Weston being ordered to present a projected budget of the Crown’s expenses to the House. While this was being prepared, the Commons considered ways in which to increase royal revenues. Voicing the grievances of his neighbours, Savile spoke of the burdens laid upon poorer taxpayers: ‘the £5 man in subsidy who is the farmer and copyholder … is the third or fourth part of England; he languishes and [is] ready to give up the last gasp, and by raising of the [land]lords’ fines worse’. He estimated the annual cost of the subsidy to the Danish army at £600,000, and demanded to know ‘are we able to bear this? If the king of Denmark withdraw [from Germany], what estate will the Low Countries be [in]?’. The alarmist tone of this speech was unhelpful to the government, and Secretary of State (Sir) John Coke was obliged to reassure the House that the Danish subsidies were ‘not so great as Sir H. [sic J.] Savile [thinks]’. However, Savile seems to have been aiming to support the commitment to Denmark, and advocating nothing more controversial than the shifting of the fiscal burdens of war away from subsidy by exploring other revenue-raising schemes. He may have gone some way towards redeeming his reputation in official circles two days later, when he was one of the few Members who spoke in favour of an early grant of supply.102
Savile’s constructive criticism of official policy allowed him to retain credibility in a House which was overwhelmingly hostile to Buckingham’s conduct of both the war with Spain and the rapidly deteriorating diplomatic relations with France. He was less guarded in a letter he sent to his associates at Leeds on 27 Feb., in which he advised that his efforts to raise the clothiers’ grievances in Parliament had been ignored by Members ‘so resolutely bent and with such eagerness in pursuit of a great man as rather than they will fail or surcease they are resolved to hazard the whole estate of the Commonwealth’. This letter was widely circulated in the West Riding over the following weeks, during which time Savile stood out in the Commons as one of the few independent Members who counselled moderation as the duke’s opponents began to gather charges against him. He dismissed Buckingham’s arrest of the St. Peter of Le Havre as ‘an error, but no grief’, made light of the alleged misuse of Crown revenues, and insisted that the duke was doing his best to protect English shipping. His attitude to supply also became more accommodating. He welcomed Secretary Coke’s war budget of 23 Mar., and was probably the unidentified Yorkshire MP who was prepared to endorse a grant of three subsidies and three fifteenths in return for a reduction in the Privy Seal loan of £10,000 then being collected within the county, a quid pro quo he duly obtained from the Privy Council a few days later. However, his support for the government reached its limits on 26 Apr., when he flatly refused to add to the existing grant of supply and recommended other methods of raising revenue which did not fall so heavily upon the poorer subsidymen, such as composition for wardship and a Poll Tax on the gentry. He also moved that all those rated at above £4 in the subsidy books should pay half the total at the first subsidy, offering £15 as his own share. On 3 May he moved that ‘the king should know the state of his subjects and that he should not presume of more from them than can be paid’, advice he was presumably also offering the government in private. On the following day he was one of those appointed to draft a petition imploring the king to allow the House to discuss revenue reform.103
Savile’s drive for fiscal efficiency survived the dissolution of the 1626 Parliament: within weeks he had been appointed to the Privy Council commission for revenue reform, whereupon he recommended schemes to compound for fines for both recusancy and feudal tenures.104 However, his willingness to impose a Forced Loan worth five subsidies upon his countrymen sat rather uneasily with his objection to any increase in a grant of three subsidies only months before, and must have made some contribution to his defeat at the 1628 election. By contrast, Wentworth’s refusal of the Loan and subsequent imprisonment burnished his local reputation, while his disinclination to speak out publicly against the legality of the levy earned him the respect of the Privy Council.105
Wentworth’s reputation as one of the more moderate Loan refusers put him in an ideal position to assist in the negotiations whereby Parliament traded the Petition of Right for five subsidies in 1628. This did not mean that he was prepared to compromise the principles for which he had so recently suffered, and he was resolutely set against an early grant in the supply debate of 2 Apr., insisting that ‘I cannot forget that duty I owe to my country, and unless we be secured against our liberties we cannot give’. However, once the king signified his willingness to exchange a confirmation of the liberties of the subject for cash two days later, he hastened to secure a vote of supply, helping to talk the House around to a grant of five subsidies rather than the four originally mooted. In a letter to Sir Edward Stanhope on 6 Apr. he spoke of his hopes for ‘a very happy Parliament’, but made it clear that this presupposed a satisfactory resolution of the constitutional crisis: ‘the grand committee hath voted for five subsidies, but [these] are not as yet to be reported to the House, nor will not I think, at least by my consent, till we be in something a better readiness for the security of the subjects in those fundamental liberties’.106 It was quickly resolved (with Wentworth’s support) that all five subsidies should be paid within a single year, but House held Charles to his bargain: the bill did not receive its first reading until 12 May, and the committee stage was dragged out until 10 June, after the Commons had received the king’s second answer to the Petition of Right.
With the exception of Sir Thomas Hoby, Yorkshire’s MPs were generally less vociferous in 1629 than in previous sessions. As Wentworth and Savile had both ‘turned courtier’, each had an obvious interest in restraining their allies in the Commons. Eschewing his former reputation as a firebrand, Wandesford made valiant attempts to moderate proceedings against the customs farmers on 19 Feb., and to defend Wentworth’s new patron, lord treasurer Weston, on 2 March. As for the knights of the shire, Sir Henry Savile, who cannot have sat for more than two weeks between his election and the dissolution, had little impact upon the House, while Henry Belasyse, still only 24 years old, is not recorded to have spoken until the final day. On this occasion, fired with youthful ardour by Sir John Eliot’s dramatic declaration against Tunnage and Poundage, he moved ‘that the Speaker, if he would not put it to the question, should come out of the chair and the House should choose another’.107
Author: Simon Healy
- 1. LPL, ms 708, f. 131.
- 2. W. Yorks. AS (Bradford), 32D86/38/2, f. 14.
- 3. Ibid. f. 19.
- 4. HMC Hodgkin, 43.
- 5. Strafforde Letters (1739) ed. W. Knowler, i. 44.
- 6. V. Wilson, British Regional Geology: E. Yorks. and Lincs.; W. Edwards and F.M. Trotter, British Regional Geology: Pennines and Adjacent Areas.
- 7. Agrarian Hist. Eng. and Wales ed. J. Thirsk, v. pt. 1, 59-86.
- 8. H. Heaton, Yorks. Woollen and Worsted Industries; W.B. Crump and G. Ghorbal, Hist. Huddersfield Woollen Industry; R.T. Fieldhouse and B. Jennings, Hist. Richmond and Swaledale, 158-62, 169-60, 177-82; STAC 8/230/20, f. 2.
- 9. D. Hey, Fiery Blades of Hallamshire; A. Raistrick and B. Jennings, Hist. of Lead Mining in Pennines; J.U. Nef, Rise of British Coal Industry, i. 57-64; Borthwick, Reg. Test. 23, f. 787v; Fieldhouse and Jennings, 160-1; R.B. Turton, Alum Farm.
- 10. B.F. Duckham, Yorks. Ouse, 13-42; D. Palliser, ‘York under the Tudors: the trading life of the northern capital’, in Perspectives in Eng. Urban Hist. ed. A. Everitt, 39-59; D. Palliser, Tudor York, 179-200; VCH Yorks. (E. Riding), vi. 80-1, 105-6.
- 11. P.J. Bowden, Wool Trade in Tudor and Stuart Eng. 68-71, 87n.1; D. Hey, Yorks. from AD1000, p. 137.
- 12. KINGSTON-UPON-HULL.
- 13. R. Reid, Council in the North, 243-371.
- 14. R.B. Smith, Land and Pols. in the Eng. of Henry VIII, 50-61; map at rear of Reid; B. Dobson, ‘Crown, Charter and City, 1396-1461’, Gov. of Medieval York ed. S. Rees Jones (Borthwick Studies in Hist. iii), 34-55; Hull Charters trans. J.R. Boyle, 34-45.
- 15. Palliser, 3-4; Reid, 344. Sir Richard Gargrave kept the county gaol at Wakefield in 1604-6: LPL, ms 708, f. 93; ms 709, f. 61.
- 16. A.G. Dickens, Lollards and Protestants in the Diocese of York; C. Cross, Puritan Earl, 247-69; P. Lake, ‘Matthew Hutton – Puritan Bishop?’, Hist. lxiv. 182-204; Palliser, 226-259; C. Cross, Urban Magistrates and Ministers (Borthwick Ppr. lxvii); Reformation in Eng. Towns ed. P. Collinson and J. Craig; P. Marshall, Face of the Pastoral Ministry in the E. Riding (Borthwick Ppr. lxxxviii).
- 17. See primarily the works of J.H. Aveling: Northern Catholics; Catholic Recusancy of W. Riding; Post-Reformation Catholicism in E. Yorks.; Catholic Recusancy in City of York.
- 18. M. Questier, ‘Practical Anti-Papistry during the reign of Elizabeth I’, JBS, xxxvi. 371-96; SIR RICHARD CHOLMLEY; SIR HENRY CONSTABLE.
- 19. R.A. Marchant, Puritans and Church Courts in the Dioc. of York, 15-43; D. Como, Blown by the Spirit, 266-324; SIR MATTHEW BOYNTON, 1st Bt.; SIR WILLIAM CONSTABLE, 1st Bt.; SIR THOMAS POSTHUMOUS HOBY.
- 20. Map in HP Commons, 1558-1603.
- 21. Particularly in 1597: HMC Hatfield, vii. 412-13.
- 22. SIR THOMAS POSTHUMOUS HOBY; Strafforde Letters, i. 8; HENRY BELASYSE; J.J. Cartwright, Chapters in Yorks. Hist. 203-4; Wentworth Pprs. ed. J.P. Cooper (Cam. Soc. ser. 4. xii), 144-6.
- 23. Wentworth Pprs. 47-8; Strafforde Letters, i. 10.
- 24. Wentworth Pprs. 143-5; Fairfax Corresp. ed. G.W. Johnson, i. 7-8; C142/185/40; 142/310/79. Northumberland’s estates had changed little since the 15th century, for which see A.J. Pollard, North-East Eng. during Wars of the Roses, 96.
- 25. C142/476/141; R. Somerville, Hist. Duchy Lancaster, 523; Crump and Ghorbal, 31-50; B. Jennings, Pennine Valley, 41-57; STAC 5/S10/16; 5/S32/1; 5/S33/11; 5/S43/14; 5/S71/32; 5/S73/23; 5/S79/9; 5/S81/31; 5/S83/9; 5/W14/31; 5/W32/21; 5/W40/3; 5/W47/7; 5/W49/14; 5/W69/24; 5/W70/14; 5/W71/12.
- 26. HMC Hatfield, vii. 412-17; Wentworth Pprs. 37, 39; M. Kishlansky, Parl. Selection, 49-55.
- 27. HMC Hatfield, vii. 426-7, 436-7; Procs. 1626, iii. 244; APC, 1597-8, pp. 46, 114.
- 28. HMC Hatfield, vii. 413-16; C219/34/116.
- 29. Wentworth Pprs. 47-8; LPL, ms 708, f. 131.
- 30. List of Sheriffs comp. A. Hughes (PRO, L. and I. ix), 163; C219/35/2/145. Darcy, Constable and Mauleverer were close relatives of men who had participated in the 1597 election.
- 31. SIR RICHARD GARGRAVE.
- 32. W. Yorks. AS (Bradford), 32D86/38/2, f. 14; CJ, i. 457b; Procs. 1614 (Commons), 471.
- 33. The case was presumably STAC 8/225/12.
- 34. Strafforde Letters, i. 2-4; Wentworth Pprs. 84-6, 100-1, 105; C231/4, f. 13; Fortescue Pprs. ed. S.R. Gardiner (Cam. Soc. n.s. i), 23-8; R. Cust, ‘Wentworth’s “change of sides” in the 1620s’, in Pol. World of Thomas Wentworth ed. J.F. Merritt, 66-7.
- 35. Reid, 387-8; S.L. Adams, ‘The Protestant Cause … 1585-1630’ (Oxf. Univ. D.Phil, thesis, 1973), pp. 433-7.
- 36. Strafforde Letters, i. 10; N. Yorks. RO, ZBL1, 1/1/1-2, 9-10.
- 37. Strafforde Letters, i. 8-9; Wentworth Pprs. 144.
- 38. Wentworth Pprs. 143-4; Strafforde Letters, i. 8-9; Surr. Hist. Cent. LM1331/25.
- 39. Strafforde Letters, i. 11-13; Wentworth Pprs. 144-5; Beaumont Pprs. ed. W.D. Macray (Roxburghe Club cxiii), 43-4; Duchy of Lancaster Office-Holders ed. R. Somerville, 149; Manor and Bor. of Leeds ed. J.W. Kirby (Thoresby Soc. lvii), 248.
- 40. Strafforde Letters, i. 13; C219/38/269; Surr. Hist. Cent. LM1331/26; Crump and Ghorbal, 43-7. For Mallory, see below.
- 41. Beaumont Pprs. 43-4.
- 42. Strafforde Letters, i. 11; SR, ii. 170; Procs. 1614 (Commons), 52-8; APC, 1613-14, p. 457; HMC Portland, ix. 138; R. Cust, ‘Pols. and the Electorate in the 1620s’, in Conflict in Early Stuart Eng. ed. R. Cust and A. Hughes, 144-6.
- 43. W. Yorks. AS (Bradford), Sp St 11/5/3/1; Surr. Hist. Cent. LM Corresp., 14 Dec. 1620.
- 44. Strafforde Letters, i. 11.
- 45. Ibid., 13; CD 1621, iv. 48-9; Surr. Hist. Cent. LM1331/25.
- 46. Wentworth Pprs. 145.
- 47. Sir Thomas Savile’s candidacy may be deduced from his role in the subsequent complaints to the committee of privileges: CD 1621, ii. 45, 260; iv. 187; Nicholas, Procs. 1621, i. 38-9, 61; CJ, i. 571b.
- 48. Surr. Hist. Cent. LM1331/25; Nicholas, i. 175; CD 1621, iv. 23; vi. 69.
- 49. Surr. Hist. Cent. LM1331/26.
- 50. CJ, i. 556-7.
- 51. CD 1621, iv. 48-9; Surr. Hist. Cent. LM1331/25. Stanhope’s copy of the letter is in W. Yorks. AS (Bradford), Sp St 11/5/3/1.
- 52. CD 1621, iv. 161; CJ, i. 571b.
- 53. Chamberlain Letters ed. N.E. McClure, ii. 446; Wentworth Pprs. 202-3; SIR THOMAS BELASYSE, 2nd bt.; SIR THOMAS FAIRFAX II. Visct. Dunbar would also have been eligible, but unlikely to stand, as he was a Catholic.
- 54. C219/37/321; 219/38/269.
- 55. Wentworth Pprs. 229-31; Strafforde Letters, i. 25-6.
- 56. Borthwick, HCAB 16, ff. 322-3; WILLIAM MALLORY; C66/2209/4.
- 57. Bodl. Fairfax 34, f. 71, repr. in Fairfax Corresp. i. 6-7.
- 58. Radcliffe Corresp. ed. T.D. Whitaker, 176-7; Add. 25463, f. 72; Strafforde Letters, i. 27; Wentworth Pprs. 231-2; Bodl. Fairfax 34, f. 47.
- 59. Procs. 1625, pp. 295-7, 300.
- 60. Ibid. 206-7, 209, 211, 213, 296-7, 314-15, 513-15. Savile’s petition is in W.Yorks. AS (Bradford) 32D86/38/2, f. 19.
- 61. Fairfax Corresp. i. 7-10; H. Cholmley, Mems. (1787), pp. 23-4.
- 62. List of Sheriffs, 163.
- 63. The two wapentakes which comprised the heart of the clothing district, in which Howley lay.
- 64. Strafforde Letters, i. 32-3; Wentworth Pprs. 246; HMC Hodgkin, 43, 285-8.
- 65. APC, 1625-6, pp. 169-70, 421-2, 424; Wentworth Pprs. 249-50; Procs. 1626, ii. 301, 303-4, 306-8, 392-401; iv. 289; Fairfax Corresp. i. 30-1.
- 66. APC, 1626, p. 100; Som. RO, DD/PH 219/66; Wentworth Pprs. 255-6; Strafforde Letters, i. 36; C231/4, f. 209v.
- 67. SP16/60/51-2; APC, 1627, pp. 382, 418; 1627-8, pp. 17, 75, 217; Fairfax Corresp. i. 59-61; Wentworth Pprs. 256-62; Strafforde Letters, i. 36-9; R. Cust, Forced Loan, 221-3, 227.
- 68. Wentworth Pprs. 278, 283, 287; APC, 1627-8, p. 217; Cust, Forced Loan, 72-90.
- 69. CD 1628, ii. 507-8, 510-11, 517.
- 70. SIR THOMAS WENTWORTH,; Wentworth Pprs. 301; SCL, Strafford Pprs. 12/50; Strafforde Letters, i. 44.
- 71. Strafforde Letters, i. 48-9; Wentworth Pprs. 312-14; C219/41A/106.
- 72. Wentworth Pprs. 153; ‘Nicholas 1624’, f. 245v.
- 73. CJ, i. 403a, 686a, 750a; HLRO, O.A. 7 Jas.I, c.25; main pprs. (suppl.) 13 Mar. 1624; R.W. Hoyle, ‘Vain Projects: the Crown and its Copyholders in the reign of Jas. I’, Eng. Rural Soc. ed. J. Chartres and D. Hey, 86-7; Hey, Hallamshire, 54-7; C.R. Kyle, ‘Prince Charles in Parl.’, HJ, xli. 614-19; Bodl. Fairfax 34, f. 25; Procs. 1625, p. 245.
- 74. Procs. 1614 (Commons), 299-300, 304, 306; Procs. 1626, ii. 137.
- 75. CJ, i. 267, 269b, 277b; LJ, ii. 394a; HMC Hatfield, xxiii. 220-1; xxiv. 52; Hull RO, L.159-60; SP14/111/69.
- 76. A. Friis, Alderman Cockayne’s Project; Procs. 1614 (Commons), 299-300, 304, 306.
- 77. CJ, i. 620b, 698-9; CD 1621, ii. 363; ‘Holland 1624’, ii. f. 79; ‘Nicholas 1624’, ff. 192v, 206; ‘Pym 1624’, iii. f. 36.
- 78. Wentworth Pprs. 311-12; Seventeenth Cent. Ec. Docs. ed. J. Thirsk and J.P. Cooper, 223-4; SP16/139/57.
- 79. Stuart Royal Procs. i. 344-5; Bowden, 164-74.
- 80. SR, iv. 288; CJ, i. 520-1, 624-5, 653; CD 1621, ii. 381, 478-9; v. 456-8; Nicholas, ii. 255-6.
- 81. CJ, i. 544-5; CD 1621, iii. 281; ‘Nicholas 1624’, ff. 136-7, 141-2.
- 82. CJ, i. 245, 605b; Duckham, 43-8; York City Archives, House Bk. 34, ff. 218, 220-2v, 291; House Bk. 35, ff. 6, 9.
- 83. York City Archives, House Bk. 34, f. 291; House Bk. 35, f. 6; Procs. 1626, ii. 288, 266, 269; W. Yorks. AS (Bradford), 32D86/19, ff. 89-90.
- 84. C.C.G. Tite, Impeachment and Parl. Judicature, 64-72, 133-6; CJ, i. 583b; CD 1621, v. 339-40.
- 85. Reid, 383-5, 390-2; CD 1621, iii. 194, 244; CJ, i. 620a; CD 1628, iii. 345; iv. 22-3, 28-33.
- 86. Procs. 1614 (Commons), 281, 284, 290-1; ‘Spring 1624’, p. 157; CJ, i. 747b.
- 87. CD 1621, iii. 387; CJ, i. 635a; Nicholas, ii. 149-50.
- 88. Bodl. Eng Misc. c.855, ff. 131-2; HMC Hodgkin, 42; CJ, i. 708, 776a; ‘Holland 1624’, ii. f. 52; ‘Nicholas 1624’, ff. 214v-15; LJ, iii. 394-5.
- 89. Strafforde Letters, i. 32; Procs. 1626, ii. 102, 138, 179, 264-7.
- 90. Procs. 1626, ii. 334-5, 357-9, 362-3; Reid, 398.
- 91. CD 1628, ii. 48; iii. 63, 595, 599; iv. 143-4, 151, 156-7, 162-3, 166-7, 169, 324; J. Howell, Epistolae Ho-Elianae (1727) 5 Aug. 1629 [sic June 1628]; C. Russell, PEP, 380-2; Wentworth Pprs. 309.
- 92. Strafforde Letters, ii. 288; Add. 28326; Bodl. Fairfax 34, f. 7; Procs. 1625, pp. 274-6; Russell, PEP, 225.
- 93. CJ, i. 648a, CD 1621, ii. 455 (named as ‘Mr. Solicitor’: identified as Shilleto from CD 1621, v. 217); Hull Trinity House, LHI/1/1, letter of 14 Mar. 1625/6.
- 94. Procs. 1625, pp. 458, 468 (Lister); Procs. 1626, ii. 56 (Wandesford), 323 (Lister); CD 1628, iii. 308, 310 (Hoyle, Lister).
- 95. CD 1621, ii. 86-7; Nicholas, i. 48-9; Wentworth Pprs. 155.
- 96. CD 1621, iii. 457-8; Wentworth Pprs. 165-8; C. Russell, ‘Wentworth and Anti- Spanish Sentiment, 1621-4’, in Wentworth, 53-6; Cust, ‘Wentworth’s “change of sides”’, in Wentworth, 69-70.
- 97. Wentworth Pprs. 205; Russell, PEP, 145-53, 168-71; T. Cogswell, Blessed Revolution, 145-65.
- 98. Ferrar 1624, p. 61; Rich 1624, p. 24; ‘Lowther 1624’, f. 24; Russell, PEP, 179-82; Cogswell, Blessed, 184-6.
- 99. ‘Jervoise 1624’, f. 72; ‘Pym 1624’, f. 32v; CJ, i. 743b; ‘Spring 1624’, pp. 148-9; Cogswell, Blessed, 203-15.
- 100. Russell, PEP, 204-13; T. Cogswell, ‘Phaeton’s Chariot’, in Wentworth, 24-46; Procs. 1625, pp. 207, 209-11, 213, 231, 246, 249, 276, 278-9.
- 101. Strafforde Letters, i. 34-5; Procs. 1625. p. 423; Wentworth Pprs. 236-9; Russell, PEP, 257-9; Cust, ‘Wentworth’s “change of sides”’, in Wentworth, 72-4; S.P. Salt, ‘Wentworth and the Parl. Representation of Yorks.’, NH, xvi. 154-5.
- 102. Procs. 1626, ii. 116, 122, 126, 129-30, 137.
- 103. Ibid. 298-9, 352, 361, 381; iii. 74, 76-8, 147, 156, 303; APC, 1625-6, pp. 421-2.
- 104. APC, 1626, p. 51; HMC Cowper, i. 273; Univ. London, Goldsmiths’ ms 195/1, ff. 2v-4.
- 105. Cust, ‘Wentworth’s “change of sides”’, in Wentworth, 74-6; Wentworth Pprs. 260-1.
- 106. CD 1628, ii. 250, 300-2, 307-8, 318-19; Wentworth Pprs. 290.
- 107. CD 1629, pp. 85, 156, 172, 222, 255, 266.