Available from Boydell and Brewer
Right of Election:
in the resident freemen of Denbigh, Holt and Ruthin
Number of voters:
c.1,400 in 1715
|6 Apr. 1660||(SIR) JOHN CARTER|
|10 Apr. 1661||SIR JOHN SALUSBURY, Bt.|
|18 Feb. 1679||SIR JOHN SALUSBURY, Bt.|
|3 Sept. 1679||SIR JOHN SALUSBURY, Bt.|
|4 Mar. 1681||SIR JOHN SALUSBURY, Bt.|
|10 Apr. 1685||SIR JOHN TREVOR|
|16 Jan. 1689||EDWARD BRERETON|
It seems that only Denbigh and Holt voted in the earlier elections in this period. John Carter, one of the tyrants of North Wales during the Interregnum, may have retrieved his reputation with the electors in March 1660 by superintending the slighting of Denbigh Castle, which had ‘long burdened the neighbouring gentry’, and was returned to the Restoration Convention in the following month. But the traditional territorial interests soon reasserted themselves. The loyalty of Denbigh, having suffered much by sword, fire and plunder, was rewarded with a new charter, under which Sir John Salusbury of Llewenni was appointed recorder. He was probably returned unopposed in 1661 in agreement with the Myddeltons of Chirk Castle, who needed his support in the county.1
The detention of an Irish priest at Denbigh in the summer of 1678 caused the corporation both trouble and expense, as Salusbury pointed out. Owing to the negligence of (Sir) Joseph Williamson, the evidence was not available at the trial, and, according to William Williams, (Sir) Job Charlton ‘frowned’ on the prosecution. Salusbury was re-elected in February 1679, but the Ruthin corporation complained that they had received no notice of the election, in which only the county town had participated. In fact, the deputy mayor and 22 other ‘burgesses’ of Holt were also named on the return, and the Ruthin petition was never reported. Edward Brereton, a Tory, contested the borough seat in the autumn, but Salusbury defeated him by over 500 votes, and Brereton’s petition was never reported. In 1681 Salusbury ‘refused to be elected by Denbigh, unless Ruthin should be admitted to vote also’, and was returned ‘with the assent and consent of the greater part’ of all three boroughs. In 1683 the strongly Tory corporation of Denbigh presented an address not only abhorring the Rye House Plot, but also asking for the laws against conventicles to be put into operation.2
After Salusbury’s death in 1684, an agreement was reached between Sir Richard Myddelton and Sir John Trevor for mutual assistance in county and boroughs. Brereton acquiesced reluctantly, and the only danger came from the Whig Sir Robert Cotton, Bt., who had inherited Llewenni; but his energies were given up to an unsuccessful struggle to retain his Cheshire seat, and Trevor was elected to James II’s Parliament. The court candidate in 1688 was the son of Williams, the ablest of the Whig collaborators; but Myddelton renewed his understanding with Brereton, who was returned to the Convention ‘openly and unanimously without opposition or contradiction of anyone’.3
Author: A. M. Mimardière
- 1. HMC Popham, 162; CSP Dom. 1660-1, pp. 372, 488.
- 2. CSP Dom. 1678, pp. 279, 348-9, 405; CJ, ix. 541, 576, 639; Grey, vi. 402; True Dom. Intell. 9 Sept. 1679; NLW, Sweeney Hall mss, Lloyd to Mathews, 7 Mar. 1681; London Gazette, 29 Oct. 1683.
- 3. NLW, Chirk Castle mss, E6349, Trevor to Myddelton, 2 Mar. 1685; E1084, Thelwall to Myddelton, 3 Dec. 1688; Wynnstay mss 85/5, letters of Trevor, 17, 21 Mar. 1685.