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|1558/9||SIR JOHN PERROT 1|
|JOHN SCRIVEN 2|
|19 Apr. 1572||JOHN GWYNNE I|
|Feb. 1576||HENRY ASHLEY vice Hyett, deceased|
|1 Nov. 1584||ANDREW ROGERS|
|JOHN ROGERS I|
|1 Oct. 1586||JOHN ROGERS I|
|10 Oct. 1588||JOHN ROGERS I|
|17 Sept. 1597||JOHN FRANK|
|11 Oct. 1601||(SIR) JOHN STAFFORD|
The manor and borough of Wareham, which had been granted to three of Henry VIII’s Queens, remained in the hands of the Crown throughout Elizabeth’s reign. Governed by a mayor and council of burgesses, the town obtained certain liberties under a charter of 1587.3
Only twice did Wareham return townsmen to Parliament. These were Christopher Gerard, junior Member in 1589, and John Frank, senior Member in 1597. The strongest electoral influence was that of the Rogers family of Bryanston and Langton Matravers. The influence of the 2nd Earl of Bedford is also evident in the returns for several of the early Parliaments. He may well have counted the Rogers family among his supporters: Sir John Rogers at least was sympathetic to Bedford’s religious views, and Sir Edward Rogers, comptroller of the Queen’s household, had a long-standing association with the Russells.
Both the 1559 MPs were indebted to the Rogers family for their returns. James Morice, the senior Member in 1563, was related to Bedford, and John Pistor, from Sherborne, Dorset, senior Member in 1571, was connected with Bedford through his two nephews. The junior Members in these two Parliaments, Richard Shaw, a landowner, and Clement Hyett, a lawyer, were both resident near the borough and owed their seats to the Rogers family. Henry Ashley, who replaced Hyett in 1576, was a Dorset gentleman whose father was a friend of the Rogers family. Very little is known about John Gwynne I, senior burgess in 1572. On the ‘blank’ return his name is entered in the same hand as that of his colleague Clement Hyett.4 However, since Hyett was a Rogers nominee it may reasonably be supposed that Gwynne was brought in by Bedford.
Two members of the Rogers family, Andrew and John I, were returned in 1584, and John I was again elected in 1586 and 1589. In 1593 their uncle Thomas was returned together with George Strode, a distant kinsman and probably close associate of the family. The return of Sampson Hussey in 1597 is more difficult to explain; his godfather was a Strode.
In 1586, a ‘blank’ was made out, referred to the Earl of Pembroke, and subsequently completed with the name of Thomas Lambert.5 Possibly the Earl solicited a nomination; we do not know. In any case, his nominee had to be content with the junior position and probably it was an isolated intervention.
Andrew Rogers’s death and the dotage of his father combined to weaken the grip of the family on Wareham before the election of 1601. Nevertheless, Edmund Scott may well have owed his return in that year to John Rogers. The other Member, (Sir)John Stafford, was a follower of (Sir) Robert Cecil, and here, as in other Dorset boroughs, may be detected the intervention of Viscount Howard of Bindon, who obtained several nominations and offered them to Cecil.