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|1558/9||PETER OSBORNE 1|
|ADRIAN POYNINGS 2|
|10 Dec. 1562||EDWARD AMEREDITH|
|1571||SIR EDWARD HASTINGS|
|22 Apr. 1572||WILLIAM KNOLLYS|
|4 Nov. 1584||RICHARD GRAFTON II|
|10 Nov. 1584||SIR JOHN ST. LEGER|
|29 Oct. 1588||RICHARD PENKEVELL|
|2 Nov. 1588||CHRISTOPHER WALKER|
|2 Oct. 1597||(SIR) EDWARD DENNY|
|6 Oct. 1601||THOMAS TREVOR|
|10 Oct. 1601||LEWIS DARTE|
For centuries the lordship of Tregony had belonged to the Pomeroys, a Devon family. Hugh Pomeroy died in 1565 and was succeeded by an 11 year-old son, also Hugh, who became the ward of a local gentleman. Other neighbouring families included the Penkevells, who were later to acquire Tregony by marriage, and the Trevanions.3 The borough—a ‘not specially memorable’ market town, in Richard Carew’s opinion—first sent Members to Parliament in the modern period in 1559. In the following Parliament its MPs were asked, along with MPs of five other boroughs, to produce letters patent allowing them to take their seats.4 Whether they did or not is not known. Probably the enfranchisement of the borough was secured by the 2nd Earl of Bedford rather than by the Pomeroys, whose influence was only local and who tended to conservatism in religious affairs. Elections seem to have been carried out by the mayor and a handful of senior burgesses—perhaps a similar body to the common council of nine burgesses (including the mayor) described in a charter of James I.5 The policy of drawing up a separate return for each Member was adopted as early as 1584.
Until his death in 1585 the 2nd Earl of Bedford’s influence was dominant in the elections at Tregony. He was no doubt responsible, directly or indirectly, for the returns of Peter Osborne, a puritan Exchequer official (1559); Adrian Poynings (1559), a professional soldier who had fought at St. Quentin; Edward Ameredith (1568), a puritan lawyer from Exeter; Sir Edward Hastings (1571), younger brother of the 3rd Earl of Huntingdon; Robert Dormer (1571), a personal friend despite his Catholicism; William Knollys (1572), eldest surviving son of Sir Francis Knollys; Peter Wentworth (1572); and Sir John St. Leger (1584), one of Bedford’s former deputy lieutenants in Devon. Giles Lawrence (1563) has not been identified and Richard Grafton II (1584), a London lawyer, probably owed his return at Tregony to an unknown associate of his late father. At the 1586 elections Tregony returned two local men for the first time in the Elizabethan period. Richard Penkevell (1589) was also a local man who in 1590 was to marry into the Pomeroy family. Penkevell’s fellow-Member, Christopher Walker, town clerk of Bodmin, required a local patron, most probably the Trevanion family, who were more active at elections than the Pomeroys. Both 1601 Members—Thomas Trevor, a lawyer from Denbighshire, and Lewis Darte, a Barnstaple merchant who had settled near Tregony—were related to the Trevanions by marriage, while John Snow (1593) was in the service of another relative, Sir George Carey. Arnold Oldsworth (1593) was probably returned through the influence of the Countess of Warwick (daughter of the 2nd Earl of Bedford), whose servant Oldsworth was or was shortly to become. The soldier and courtier Sir Edward Denny (1597) had numerous Cornish relatives, including the Pomeroys, through his marriage to Margaret Edgecombe. Henry Birde (1597) has not been identified.