Published in The History of Parliament: the House of Commons 1690-1715, ed. D. Hayton, E. Cruickshanks, S. Handley, 2002
Available from Boydell and Brewer

Background Information

Right of Election:

in the inhabitants paying scot and lot

Number of Qualified Electors:

about 106 in 17151

Number of voters:

155 in 1694


 William Garway  
20 Jan. 1694HENRY HOWARD, Ld. Walden  vice Morley, deceased77278
 John Cooke7677
20 Jan. 1694COOKE vice Howard, on petition, 22 Feb. 1694  
5 Nov. 1695HENRY HOWARD, Ld. Walden  
 John Cooke  
29 Aug. 1698JOHN COOKE  
8 Jan. 1701JOHN COOKE  
 Christopher Knight  
22 Nov. 1701JOHN COOKE  
17 July 1702EDMUND DUMMER  
 John Cooke  
 RICHARD BOYLE,  Visct. Shannon [I]  
7 Dec. 1708HENRY LUMLEY, Visct. Lumley  vice Peachey, chose to sit for Sussex  
12 Mar. 1709RICHARD BOYLE,  Visct. Shannon [I],  re-elected after appointment to office  
 Edmund Dummer  
3 Oct. 1710RICHARD LUMLEY, Visct. Lumley  
 HENRY O’BRIEN, Earl of Thomond [I]  
31 Aug. 1713HENRY O’BRIEN, Earl of Thomond [I]  
 RICHARD LUMLEY, Visct. Lumley  

Main Article

Arundel was a manorial borough, its officials consisting of 12 burgesses and a mayor, the latter acting as the returning officer. The chief interest lay with the Duke of Norfolk, who owned the manor and whose castle dominated the town. Although previously a Catholic, Henry Howard, 7th Duke of Norfolk, had conformed to the Church of England in 1679, and after 1690 usually controlled one seat. The second seat customarily went to one of the neighbouring gentry families, although at times a government nominee came in on the Court interest based on the customs service at the port.3

In the 1690 election the sitting Members stood again: William Morley, a Tory, of Halnaker, seven miles from Arundel and possibly the Howard nominee in this election, and William Garway, a Whig, seated at Ford, two miles away, with a strong interest of his own. The third candidate was James Butler I of Patcham, another Whig with a strong local influence, who had last represented the borough in 1681. In 1688 the royal agents had reported that Butler would be returned with Garway’s support, so presumably he and Garway were again standing jointly. In the event Garway was defeated, whereupon he retired from active political life.

The death of Morley in December 1693 gave rise to a contested by-election the following January. Norfolk put up his kinsman, Lord Walden, later 6th Earl of Suffolk, who was opposed by John Cooke, a country gentleman with estates nearby in Petworth. Walden seems to have been a moderate Tory at this time, whereas Cooke was a Whig with anti-clerical views. At the poll the two candidates secured an equal number of votes, whereupon the mayor gave his casting vote for Walden, who was duly returned. Cooke’s petition, charging the mayor with partiality and irregular proceedings, was presented on 31 Jan. 1694 and reported to the House by the elections committee on 22 Feb. Counsel claimed on Cooke’s behalf that the mayor’s poll showed 77 votes each with the mayor’s casting vote bringing Lord Walden up to 78, but claimed that it should have been 76 votes each with the mayor’s vote giving Walden 77. More importantly, Cooke alleged that 21 of Walden’s votes were invalid on the grounds that the right of election lay with the inhabitants paying scot and lot, whose names must be entered in the Poor Book. These voters were not entered, and to prevent investigation the mayor had taken possession of the book, saying ‘he would poll whom he pleased’. Other witnesses testified that, on Norfolk’s orders, ‘the dragoons that quartered in Arundel, being about 12 in number, were drawn up on the day of election’ to intimidate Cooke’s supporters and that the Duke’s servants had threatened those voting for Cooke with the loss of their jobs and higher rents. For Walden the mayor claimed that the right of election lay in all inhabitant housekeepers, whether or not their names were in the Poor Book. An alternative poll was produced showing a majority of five for Walden, and it was claimed that six of Cooke’s electors were not housekeepers. Other witnesses testified that the dragoons were peaceable and had been drawn up at the other end of town, that Cooke ‘had above 40 horse with him besides above 100 foot’, and that he had offered bribes, varying between 2s. and £5 for votes. Possibly the most effective testimony on Cooke’s side came from Butler, who claimed that at two previous elections only those in the Poor Book had been allowed to vote ‘and this was the rule they went by’. The committee decided in favour of Cooke. The House agreed that the right of election lay in the inhabitants paying scot and lot and that Cooke had been duly elected. Butler acted as a teller on Cooke’s behalf.

Before the 1695 election John Freke wrote to Robert Harley* that ‘the Duke of Norfolk will carry the choice of one, Cooke may be the other and Butler left out’. Norfolk’s candidate was again Lord Walden, but Butler does not seem to have stood, although a third candidate did present himself in the person of Edmund Dummer, one of the commissioners of the navy, a friend of both Harley and Cooke, standing on the Court interest. On this occasion Norfolk’s interest proved too strong and Cooke was squeezed out, much to the delight of at least one local clergyman. Undeterred, Cooke presented himself again in 1698, when Dummer stood down, leaving Cooke to be returned with Christopher Knight, a Tory whose estates at Lyminster were only one-and-a-half miles from Arundel. Both stood again in the first 1701 election, when Knight was defeated by Dummer, who had lost his job at the Navy Board in 1699 and was now running a packet service to the West Indies. Knight presented a petition against Dummer, alleging bribery, but it was not heard.4

In April 1701 the Duke of Norfolk died. Since his successor, the 8th Duke, was a minor and a Catholic, the Howard interest began to decline. In the second 1701 election Cooke was returned with another Whig, a neighbouring landowner, Carew Weekes of Tortington. Cooke presented the borough’s address in 1702 following the death of King William, which contained no condolences on that event, only congratulations on the accession of Queen Anne. In the ensuing election Cooke stood as usual, probably with Dummer, but was defeated by Weekes. Dummer wrote to Harley on 21 July 1702, ‘I have committed no mistake at this place . . . My friend, [John] Cooke, and I are parted very good friends, but mighty uneasy under his disappointment, chargeable only on the ill conduct of his friends’. Cooke did not stand again and in 1705 Dummer was returned with James Butler II, the son of the 1690 Member.5

The 1708 election saw a complete change. The usual candidates made way for Sir Henry Peachey of Newgrove, Petworth, who had earlier represented the county, but after a defeat in 1705, he was insuring himself by standing for Arundel as well as for the county. He was returned with Lieutenant-General Richard Boyle, 2nd Viscount Shannon [I], who was on active service with the army. Both were Whigs. Peachey chose to sit for the county, thereby causing a by-election when a new interest asserted itself. This belonged to the Lumleys of Lumley Park, Durham, who in the mid-16th century had inherited many of the Sussex estates of Henry FitzAlan, 19th (or 12th) Earl of Arundel. Their influence had been in abeyance for some years as the present head of the family Richard Lumley, 1st Earl of Scarbrough, had been elevated to the English peerage in 1681, and his eldest son, Henry Lumley, Lord Lumley, had been under age for most of the previous period. A correspondent wrote to Harley on 30 Sept. 1708, ‘Mr Hopkins [Thomas*] is gone down to Arundel, where he is likely to be opposed by Lord Lumley and Dummer’. It is not known if there was a poll, but Lumley, a Whig like his father, was returned, and the family continued to hold one seat at every election until 1747. Dummer, whose intense anxiety to return to Parliament was doubtless fuelled by his desire to avoid prosecution for debt as his financial situation became increasingly desperate, made another attempt, at the by-election on 12 Mar. 1709 caused by Boyle’s appointment as deputy governor of Dover Castle. Predictably Dummer was defeated and on 29 Mar. he petitioned alleging bribery and threats against Boyle’s agents and that he had a majority of 12. The petition was ordered to be heard at the bar of the House on 10 May, but in the event the Commons was prorogued on 21 Apr. Dummer presented his petition again in the following session on 25 Nov. 1709, when it was referred, but on 12 Dec. the elections committee reported the discovery of a slight difference in the wording and was discharged from further proceedings.6

Henry Lumley died early in 1710, leaving his brother Richard, Lord Lumley, another Whig, to take over the family seat at the 1710 election. The second seat went to the Earl of Thomond [I] (Henry O’Brien) who was returned through the influence of his stepfather, Henry Howard, formerly Lord Walden, now 6th Earl of Suffolk, who was exercising what was left of the Howard interest at Arundel, and his father-in-law, the 6th Duke of Somerset, who was seated at Petworth and took an active interest in Sussex elections. One commentator reported Thomond’s election as a gain for the Tory party, but Thomond was in fact a Whig. The same two were returned in 1713 and continued to sit for the rest of the period.7

Author: Paula Watson


  • 1. B. Willis, Not. Parl. iii. 58.
  • 2. Mayor's poll
  • 3. Ibid.
  • 4. Suss. Arch. Colls. cvi. 155; Add. 70018, ff. 94–95.
  • 5. London Gazette, 30 Apr.–4 May 1702; HMC Portland, viii. 104–5.
  • 6. HMC Portland, iv. 506.
  • 7. Huntington Lib. Stowe mss 57(4), p. 170.