Available from Boydell and Brewer
|1558/9||JOHN THROCKMORTON I 1|
|JOHN NETHERMILL 2|
|RICHARD GRAFTON I|
|28 Apr. 1573||BARTHOLOMEW TATE 3 vice Brownell, deceased|
|27 Oct. 1584||EDWARD BOUGHTON|
|22 Oct. 1588||THOMAS SAUNDERS|
|13 Sept. 1597||HENRY KERVYN|
|6 Oct. 1601||HENRY BRERES|
Coventry was a city, incorporated early and granted the status of a county in 1451. Accordingly it received a separate writ, addressed to its two sheriffs, for parliamentary elections. The electorate consisted of all the freemen.
The majority of MPs returned for Coventry during this period were citizens and corporation officials: John Nethermill (1559), Edmund Brownell (1571, 1572), Thomas Wight (1572, 1584), Thomas Saunders (1586, 1589, 1593, 1597, 1601), Henry Breres (1586, 1589, 1601), John Myles (1593) and Henry Kervyn (1597). Coventry also returned neighbouring country gentlemen who either held office in the city, like John Throckmorton I (1559), the recorder, or who held property in Coventry, like Henry Goodere (1571) and Bartholomew Tate (1573).
The remaining Coventry MPs owed their returns to the influence of Sir Robert Dudley, from 1564 Earl of Leicester, and his brother, the Earl of Warwick, lord lieutenant of the county. Thomas Dudley, one of the MPs in 1563, was Leicester’s servant, the other, Richard Grafton, was one of Leicester’s followers, though he also had family connexions with the city and received payment as its MP; both were Londoners. Edward Boughton (1584) was a Warwickshire country gentleman and Leicester’s bailiff. Henry Goodere (1571) already mentioned as having property in Coventry, was also a relative and follower of the Earl.
In the Parliament of 1601, Breres is recorded as receiving wages at the fairly high rate of 5s. a day. Grafton received £6 13s.4d. ‘in reward for his pains’ in the second session of the Parliament of 1563, and Brownell, Tate, Wight, Saunders and Myles all received round sums for unspecified numbers of days in Parliament, usually combined with payment for other business in London on Coventry’s behalf, so that a rate of wages cannot be calculated.4