Published in The History of Parliament: the House of Commons 1558-1603, ed. P.W. Hasler, 1981
Available from Boydell and Brewer


13 Oct. 1586JAMES HAWLEY
20 Oct. 1588HENRY READE
20 Oct. 1601HENRY LUDLOW

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Early in Elizabeth’s reign Andover instituted the office of high steward, the Earl of Leicester being the first incumbent in 1574. Leicester’s successor is not known, but in April 1597 the Earl of Essex was appointed. While in office, Essex was responsible for obtaining a new charter for the town in 1599. After his fall, the office may have remained vacant for a while, but by 1604 it was held by the Earl of Southampton. Andover enjoyed the patronage of two local noblemen, both followers of Leicester: Lord Sandys of the Vyne, who was a freeholder in Andover, and William West, 1st Baron Delaware, whose widow married a townsman.

By sending representatives to Parliament in 1586 Andover revived a privilege dormant for almost 280 years. Presumably its reawakening as a parliamentary borough was effected by its then high steward the Earl of Leicester. At the time of the preceding election in 1584 he had asked for both nominations: being steward of your town, I make bold heartily to pray you that you would give me the nomination of one of your burgesses for the same; and if, minding to avoid the charges of allowance for the other burgess, you mean to name any that is not of your town, if you will bestow the nomination of the other burgess also on me, I will thank you for it.To this he had added: ‘If you will send your election with a blank, I will put in the names’. Nothing is known to have come of this request; and as he was in the Netherlands in 1586 and died in September 1588, it is doubtful whether he ever nominated at Andover. The 1586 return was made by the ‘bailiffs and approved men’, and in 1588 by the ‘high bailiffs with the consent of the corporation and commonalty’. Confusion concerning the right of election was the crux of a late seventeenth-century dispute, but in all probability the commonalty played no effective part in elections during Elizabeth’s reign.

The junior seat in 1586 was filled by Edwin Sandys I who had that year married a daughter of William, 3rd Lord Sandys. The senior seat was taken by an obscure member of the Middle Temple, James Hawley, whose name was inserted in a different hand from the rest of the return, Andover having left a ‘blank’ for Leicester or another to complete. Hawley, however, had no known connexion with either Leicester or Andover, but he may have known his fellow-Member, Edwin Sandys I, at the Middle Temple. Both 1589 MPs owed their returns to their connexions with the Sandys family. Temple was to become Edwin Sandys I’s brother-in-law, and Reade owed both his entry into Parliament and admission to the Middle Temple to Miles Sandys, Edwin’s father, himself MP for Andover in 1593. Two more Middle Temple lawyers were returned there: Edward Phelips (1597) and Nicholas Hyde (1601), both probably through the influence of the Sandys family. Henry Ludlow, the 1601 MP, no doubt owed his return to his father-in-law, Thomas West II, 2nd Baron Delaware, who is also the suggested patron for Edward Barker, an ecclesiastical lawyer returned for the borough in 1593. Edward Reynolds (1597) was secretary to the Earl of Essex, high steward of the borough at the time of the election.

VCH Hants, iv. 347-50; Wilts. Arch. Mag. xxi. 305; Mereweather and Stephens, Boroughs, ii. 1393-4; C66/1504 m. 21; Bath mss, Devereux pprs. 3, f. 107; Andover corp. mss; C219/30/92.

Author: R.C.G.