Available from Cambridge University Press
Right of Election:
in the freemen
Number of voters:
c.85 in 16141
|1 Mar. 1604||SIR JOHN MORICE|
|SIR WILLIAM BOWYER I|
|c. Mar. 1614||SIR GEORGE SAVILE|
|SIR HENRY WOTTON|
|11 Jan. 1621||(SIR) ARTHUR INGRAM|
|5 Feb. 1624||(SIR) ARTHUR INGRAM|
|28 Apr. 1625||SIR JOHN HOTHAM , bt.|
|2 Feb. 1626||SIR WILLIAM SLINGSBY|
|WILLIAM ASHTON I|
|28 Feb. 1628||RICHARD LOWTHER|
|WILLIAM ASHTON I|
Situated in the north of Westmorland, Appleby received its first royal charter in the late twelfth century, and sent two Members to the Model Parliament.2 Geographically and politically dominated by its castle, one of the many homes of the Clifford earls of Cumberland and hereditary sheriffs of Westmorland, the town had, by the early Stuart period, been outstripped by Kendal, both as an economic and administrative centre.3 Municipal government lay in the hands of a mayor, eight aldermen, and a common council of 16. Surviving returns from this period were made by the mayor in the name of the freemen, a list of whom, probably drawn up for the election to the Addled Parliament, contains about 85 names.4 The borough was so poor that it could not afford to cover its Members’ travelling expenses to distant Westminster, let alone parliamentary wages, although it did manage to find the money to have its charters confirmed in 1607.5 None of the ten Members returned in this period resided in the town, or even in the county. Five were Yorkshiremen, while the rest came from as far south as Essex, Buckinghamshire, Bedfordshire, Middlesex, and Kent.
The two Members returned in 1604 were presumably nominated by the 3rd earl of Cumberland; although, as hereditary sheriff of Westmorland, the earl was also the returning officer, this does not appear to have prevented him from exercising patronage in the election. Sir John Morice, who was re-elected, was a kinsman of the countess, while Sir William Bowyer I, an Exchequer official, was probably recommended to Cumberland by Sir Robert Cecil†. Cumberland died in 1605 and was succeeded by his brother, Francis Clifford*. In 1614 neither he, nor the dowager countess, who had recently made an unpopular attempt to obstruct the holding of the assizes in the castle, appear to have put forward candidates.6 Instead, both Members were probably nominated by the dowager countess’ nephew, Henry, Lord Clifford*. The first, Sir George Savile, was the brother-in-law of Clifford’s friend and schoolfellow, Sir Thomas Wentworth*, while the second place went to Sir Henry Wotton, Clifford’s friend and former travel companion.
Before the next general election Wentworth had ‘an absolute promise of my Lord Clifford’ to reserve one seat for him at Appleby, which, were he to be re-elected for Yorkshire, he would transfer to Christopher Wandesford*.7 In the event Wentworth did retain the county seat, while Wandesford was also successful at Aldborough, Yorkshire, leaving the senior seat at Appleby available for (Sir) Arthur Ingram, who handled Clifford’s business at Court and in the city.8 The junior seat went to Clifford’s maternal uncle, Thomas Hughes. The same pair were re-elected in 1624. However, Ingram was also returned at Old Sarum and York, opting to serve for the latter. A fresh election was ordered at Old Sarum, but surprisingly there is no evidence of formal steps to fill the Appleby vacancy. Nevertheless the Crown Office list, the official record of returns, was temporarily amended to indicate that the Appleby Member was in fact Ingram’s eldest son and namesake. Ingram himself was presumably behind this unsuccessful subterfuge, for in October 1624, when a second session was expected, he explored the possibility of securing a writ for a new election at Appleby, with a view to returning Sir Arthur junior. Again, nothing came of this, so Hughes alone sat for the borough during this Parliament.9
In the first election of Charles I’s reign, Wentworth persuaded Clifford to nominate Sir John Hotham, who chose to sit for Beverley; yet, again no new writ was issued to find a replacement. In 1626 the first seat went to Sir William Slingsby, the brother of one of Wentworth’s trustiest adherents, and in second place Lady Clifford proposed William Ashton, who had acted as surety in her ‘necessities’. Hughes was re-elected in 1628, still as junior Member. For the senior seat, Richard Lowther, the cousin of local magnate Sir John Lowther I*, was presumably nominated by Clifford.10
Authors: John. P. Ferris / Rosemary Sgroi
- 1. Cumb. RO (Kendal), WSMB/A/2/1.
- 2. M. Weinbaum, Brit. Bor. Charters, 118; M.W. Holdgate, Hist. Appleby, 22-3, 26.
- 3. Trans. Cumb. and Westmld. Antiq. and Arch. Soc. xi. 282-3.
- 4. Cumb. RO (Kendal), WSMB/A/2/1.
- 5. Cumb. RO (Kendal), WSMB/A/2/2.
- 6. CSP Dom. 1603-10, pp. 408, 435.
- 7. Strafforde Letters (1739) ed. W. Knowler, i. 9.
- 8. A.F. Upton, Sir Arthur Ingram, 154.
- 9. CJ, i. 617b; SP14/159/54; C193/32/14, f. 10; Wentworth Pprs. ed. J.P. Cooper (Cam. Soc. ser. 4. xii), 213. Sir Arthur Ingram jun. is misidentified as the Appleby Member in R.E. Ruigh, Parl. of 1624, pp. 56, 413.
- 10. Wentworth Pprs. 288.