Available from Boydell and Brewer
|5 Jan. 1559||FRANCIS NEWPORT I|
|15 Dec. 1562||ROBERT WYTHE|
|1572||JOHN RUSSELL II|
|5 Nov. 1584||GEORGE WILD|
|1 Oct. 1586||FRANCIS BRACE|
|2 Nov. 1588||FRANCIS BRACE|
|3 Oct. 1597||JOHN ACTON|
|6 Oct. 1601||JOHN BUCK|
The 1554 charter of incorporation granted Droitwich the right to send two representatives to Parliament, who should be elected by the two bailiffs and burgesses. According to Thomas Habington, who lived four miles from the town, the possession of a phate—216 large vessels of salt water—or a portion of one, in fee simple, carried the privileges of burgess-ship, which descended in the same way as land by common law. Francis Newport I (1559), Robert Wythe (1559, 1563) and George Wild (1584, 1593), were all townsmen and all owned phates. Two other MPs were townsmen who owned salt-pans or flats: Walter Gower (1563) and Thomas Baylis (1597). Francis Brace (1571, 1586, 1589), John Russell II (1572), John Acton (1597) and John Buck (1601) were local country gentlemen who owned salt-pans in the borough. Jasper Cholmley (1584) of Middlesex, probably owed his seat at Droitwich to his connexions with the Russell family. Another local gentry family who owned salt-pans in the borough, the Sheldons, appear to have exercised patronage at Droitwich. They were probably responsible for the returns of William Combe of the Middle Temple in 1589 and Robert Walter of Sussex in 1593. Combe’s mother’s family had lived in Droitwich and he himself was related to his fellow MP, Francis Brace. William Sebright (1572), who lived in London, presumably obtained his seat at Droitwich through his family’s local influence. George Lyttelton (1586) has not been definitely identified but he may have been a brother of Gilbert Lyttelton, who was resident at Droitwich. Humphrey Wheler (1601) has been identified as a townsman of that name. The only one for whom no connexion with the borough can be found is Francis Kinwelmersh, a London poet.
C219/26/111; Habington’s Worcs. (Worcs. Hist. Soc.), i. 466; ii. 295; VCH Worcs. ii. 258-9; iii. 75-77; Worcs. RO, Droitwich pprs. bulk accession, 1006, bdles. 2 and 32.