Wallingford

Borough

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

Elections

DateCandidate
9 Jan. 1559THOMAS MYND
 JOHN FORTESCUE I
1562/3WILLIAM DUNCH
 THOMAS BROWNE
1571THOMAS DUDLEY
 EDMUND DUNCH
28 Apr. 1572THOMAS DIGGES
 JOHN FORTESCUE I
9 Nov. 1584CHRISTOPHER EDMONDS
 RICHARD KNOLLYS
26 Sept. 1586RICHARD KNOLLYS
 THOMAS STAMPE
2 Oct. 1588MICHAEL MOLYNS
 THOMAS STAMPE
1593THOMAS FORTESCUE I
 ANTHONY BACON
26 Sept. 1597THOMAS FORTESCUE I
 OWEN OGLETHORPE
29 Sept. 1601JOHN HERBERT
 HENRY DOYLEY
1601THOMAS FORTESCUE I vice Herbert, chose to sit for Glamorganshire

Main Article

The borough of Wallingford was governed by a mayor, three aldermen and 12 assistants. Parliamentary returns were made by ‘the mayor, burgesses and commonalty’. The royal property in the borough was attached to the manor of Ewelme, Oxfordshire, and the constableship of Wallingford castle was in the hands of the stewards of Ewelme, who were, certainly until 1596, Sir Francis Knollys and his son Henry Knollys II. Sir Francis Knollys seems to have taken little interest in elections at the beginning of the reign. Thomas Mynd (1559) was a lawyer who owned property in the borough which he had already represented twice in Marian parliaments. John Fortescue I (1559) was a courtier, and stepson of Sir Thomas Parry, comptroller of the Queen’s household, who held property near Wallingford and who had previously sat for Wallingford three times in Parliament. John Fortescue I was returned again for the borough in 1572. William Dunch (1563) and his son Edmund (1571) were from a local family resident at Little Wittenham, Berkshire, who had no need of a patron at Wallingford. Thomas Browne (1563) was from the well-connected family of Betchworth castle, Surrey; he owed his return to his first wife’s standing in Berkshire although his actual patron was probably Sir Francis Knollys. In February 1569 the Earl of Leicester became high steward of Wallingford, after obtaining that office in New Windsor, Abingdon and Reading; he appears to have nominated only twice at Wallingford: in 1571 Thomas Dudley and in 1572 Thomas Digges, both his followers. In 1584 and 1586 Sir Francis Knollys returned his fifth son, Richard, who had Berkshire estates. Christopher Edmonds (1584) was returned by his marriage relation Sir Henry Norris I, recently created Lord Norris, joint lord lieutenant of Berkshire and Oxfordshire with Knollys, and destined to succeed Leicester as Wallingford’s high steward in 1588. That year the Wallingford bailiffs’ accounts record a payment ‘for a man to go to my Lord Norris about a burgess for the Parliament’: Michael Molyns, who held estates near the borough, was presumably his choice. Thomas Stampe (1586, 1589), a townsman, and steward (or recorder) of the borough from 1584, appears not to have needed a patron to obtain his seats. Owen Oglethorpe (1597), whose estate of Newington lay close to the borough, and Henry Doyley (1601), a townsman, were both returned on the strength of their own local standing. Thomas Fortescue I (1593, 1597) was the brother of John Fortescue I, now chancellor of the Exchequer and in 1601 to become high steward of the borough. In 1601 Thomas Fortescue I was again returned, at a by-election, when his brother’s nominee, John Herbert, preferred to sit for Glamorganshire. Anthon