Newport

Borough

Published in The History of Parliament: the House of Commons 1660-1690, ed. B.D. Henning, 1983
Available from Boydell and Brewer

Background Information

Right of Election:

in the freeholders

Number of voters:

about 75 in 1679

Elections

DateCandidate
13 Apr. 1660SIR FRANCIS DRAKE, 2nd Bt.
 WILLIAM MORICE I
20 Aug. 1660LAURENCE HYDE vice Morice, chose to sit for Plymouth
4 Apr. 1661SIR FRANCIS DRAKE, 2nd Bt.
 JOHN SPECCOT I
c. Feb. 1662PIERS EDGCUMBE vice Drake, deceased
 Henry Ford
25 Mar. 1667NICHOLAS MORICE vice Edgcumbe, deceased
c. Feb. 1678AMBROSE MANATON vice Speccot, deceased
 John Coryton II
 Sir Walter Yonge, 3rd Bt.
17 Feb. 1679JOHN CORYTON II
 AMBROSE MANATON
 John Morice
18 Sept. 1679WILLIAM CORYTON
 AMBROSE MANATON
8 Mar. 1681WILLIAM MORICE II
 AMBROSE MANATON
22 Apr. 1685WILLIAM MORICE II
 JOHN SPECCOT II
18 Jan. 1689SIR WILLIAM MORICE, Bt.
 JOHN SPECCOT II

Main Article

Newport, a suburb of Launceston, had no municipal organization. The manorial court every year elected two ‘vianders’, and it had been contended in 1628 that the freeholders could claim the poll in parliamentary elections only if the vianders disagreed on the choice of candidates. Normally only a couple of dozen voters attested the returns, but the indenture for the contested election of February 1679 carries 75 signatures. As lords of the manor since 1651 the Morices enjoyed the strongest interest, but they were sometimes required to defend it against the Coryton brothers and Ambrose Manaton, who held property in the borough.1

At the general election of 1660 the past and present lords of the manor, Sir Francis Drake and William Morice, were returned. Both were Presbyterians, though Morice in particular, as the principal adviser of George Monck, strongly supported the Restoration. When he chose to sit for Plymouth, he presumably nominated Laurence Hyde, the lord chancellor’s son, to fill the vacancy. Drake was re-elected in 1661, and as Morice did not require the other seat it was taken by John Speccot, who presumably shared his political and religious outlook. Drake’s death early in the New Year occasioned a contest, though neither writ nor return has survived. Henry Ford, who was connected with the Court through Thomas Clifford, probably stood on the Morice interest aga