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 inhabitant householders not receiving alms

Number of voters:

about 360 in 1679


c. 28 Mar. 1660THOMAS LEE I
 Thomas Scott
20 Mar. 1661(SIR) THOMAS LEE I
3 Feb. 1679(SIR) THOMAS LEE I
 John Backwell
6 Aug. 1679(SIR) THOMAS LEE I
1 Feb. 1681(SIR) THOMAS LEE I
 Sir Thomas Lee, Bt.
 Sir Richard Ingoldsby
14 Jan. 1689THOMAS LEE II

Main Article

At Aylesbury, the four constables acted as returning officers. Two were appointed at the court leet of the Pakingtons, lords of the borough, and the others by the lessees of the prebendal manor; but neither interest was active in this period, when both seats were normally controlled by the Lees of Hartwell. Interest apart, it is probable that the moderate ‘country’ politics of the first baronet were congenial to the electorate, about one-fifth of which was nonconformist. Throughout Charles II’s reign he and his step-father (Sir) Richard Ingoldsby represented the borough. In 1660 there was a contest with the republican spymaster Thomas Scott, but in 1661 they were returned with the unanimous consent and assent of the inhabitants. At the election for the first Exclusion Parliament the court supporter John Backwell ran Ingoldsby surprisingly close. A loyal address, signed by over 260 electors, was produced in July 1681, and in 1683 the ‘inhabitants’ expressed their abhorrence of the Rye House Plot and their detestation of ‘fanatics’. In 1685 the moderate Tory Sir William Egerton and the extreme Richard Anderson were returned, with many voters disqualified as almsmen of the Bedford Charity, which was controlled by the local dissenters. Lee claimed a majority of six to one; but his petition never emerged from committee. In 1688 James II’s electoral agents reported that

The town hath generally resolved to choose Sir Thomas Lee, who hath a good character as having been always against persecution, but keeps himself as to the Test. Before the election they intend to know his resolution. He endeavours likewise to make an interest for his son.

The electors declined Anderson for the second seat ‘for his morals’, but showed an inclination towards Simon Mayne, the regicide’s son, or the townsman Edward Plampin, ‘a rigid dissenter and very subtle’. In 1689 Sir Thomas Lee represented the county, and at Aylesbury his son and his son-in-law Richard Beke were returned.

VCH Bucks. iii. 7, 13; Cal. Cl. SP, iv. 626; Bucks. RO, BAS165/24; BL, M636/32, Edmund to Sir Ralph Verney, 3 Feb. 1679; London Gazette, 30 Aug. 1683; HMC Astley, 61; CJ, ix. 725; xii. 487; Duckett, Penal Laws (1883), 239-40.

Author: Leonard Naylor