Available from Boydell and Brewer
Right of Election:
in the freemen
Number of voters:
30 in 1673
|c. Apr. 1660||PHILIP SMYTHE, Visct. Strangford|
|6 May 1661||JOHN HERVEY|
|15 Nov. 1661||SIR HENRY WOOD vice Andrews, deceased|
|2 Feb. 1673||SIR LEOLINE JENKINS vice Wood, deceased|
|Election declared void, 6 Feb. 1673|
|11 Feb. 1673||SIR LEOLINE JENKINS||15|
|Edward Hales I||12|
|14 Feb. 1679||SIR EDWARD DERING, 2nd Bt.|
|Sir William Honeywood, Bt.||11|
|8 Aug. 1679||SIR EDWARD DERING, 2nd Bt.|
|EDWARD HALES I||15|
|Sir William Honeywood, Bt.||5|
|11 Mar. 1681||SIR EDWARD DERING, 2nd Bt.|
|EDWARD HALES I|
|3 Apr. 1685||HON. HENEAGE FINCH II|
|12 June 1685||WILLIAM SHAW vice Deedes, election declared void|
|11 Jan. 1689||EDWARD HALES I|
|Sir Edward Dering, 3rd Bt.|
Throughout the Cavalier Parliament (except for its first six months), and again under James II, Hythe was represented by two placemen. Nevertheless, by the end of the period it had shaken itself free from domination by the Government without falling under the sway of any of the neighbouring magnate families, such as the Derings. In this process Edward Hales I played a leading, though not always successful, part. His family, like that of Lord Strangford, enjoyed a long-established connexion with the borough, which, coupled with recent canvassing, sufficed to defy the attempt of Edward Montagu I to nominate both Members in 1660 on the admiralty interest. The third local candidate, Phineas Andrews, was a newcomer, but his royalist sympathies secured his return as Strangford’s junior colleague. His expenses seem to have been so moderate that Hales, tainted by his step-father’s notorious republicanism, may have declined the poll. But in 1661 he was probably one of the four rivals whom Andrews confronted. The courtier John Hervey was nominated by the lord warden and probably unopposed, but the mayor put up for the second seat, and Sir Thomas Peyton was later reported to have been disappointed ‘in what he designed concerning Hythe’. Possibly he had induced Sir Edward Dering to stand in order to clear his own path to the county seat. Andrews, who had expected to spend about £20 on the election, complained that he had to lay out seven times as much; but he did not get his money’s worth, for he died on 23 Sept. Lord Chancellor Clarendon, by offering to restore Hales to the commission of the peace, persuaded him not only to desist from his own candidature at the by-election, but to work for the return of a second courtier, Sir Henry Wood, who was probably unopposed.1
It was quite a different story at the next by-election. Wood died in May 1671. The lord warden’s nominee was Sir Leoline Jenkins, judge of Admiralty for the Cinque Ports, who was returned on 2 Feb. 1673 with the support of the mayor, four of the five jurats, and nine of the common council. This being disallowed because the writ had been issued by the lord chancellor during the long recess, he was again returned on 11 Feb. Hales petitioned, alleging want of notice and corrupt practices, but no progress was made during the sessions of 1673. Though Jenkins was abroad on a diplomatic mission, Sir Gilbert Talbot thought that, but for the prorogation, he ‘would most certainly have been thrown out of the House, for they would not be persuaded to defer the trial of his election till his return’. Hales renewed his petition on 7 Jan. 1674 after Parliament had reconvened. The committee of elections gave Jenkins only one month to appear, or to send an attorney to act for him in the matter. ‘It was endeavoured by many of your friends to have you more favourably dealt with’, wrote Henry Coventry, ‘but the torrent was too strong.’ On 6 Feb. a petition of the mayor, jurats, and council of Hythe was presented to the House, along with ‘a certificate under the names of certain... electors against the petition’. ‘By main force upon a division’, the court party by 76 to 68 obtained a deferment for six weeks. But Parliament was again prorogued, and it was not until 28 Apr. 1675 that Jenkins was finally declared elected.2
The dissolution of the Cavalier Parliament found the country party in disarray, even though neither of the sitting Members contested the constituency. Julius Deedes, who had managed Hales’s campaign in 1673, was absent in Wales, and Sir Edward Dering was detained in London by official duties. Hales, though fully engaged already in promoting his own candidature at Queenborough and that of Edward Dering for the county, consented to take charge at Hythe, despite ‘his long neglect of his former interest there’, until Deedes could return. He found the court candidate Sir William Honeywood firmly entrenched and offering to join his interest to Dering’s. Dering had no need of any help, and, as he wrote to Honeywood, ‘having no interest of authority in that town, but only of kindness, I cannot pretend to lead them in any measure in their second vote’. As it was, Deedes returned in time to defeat Honeywood; but at the second election of 1679 ‘his concerns were such and his wife very ill, [so] that he did not think of standing’. His first proposal was on behalf of William Brockman†, a local lawyer who was to sit for Hythe in the Officers’ Parliament, but Hales, who had failed at Queenborough, secured Dering’s support, and easily defeated Honeywood, despite his report that Hales had given the mayor a hundred guineas from Sir Edward Dering, ‘as impudent a lie as ever faced the sun’. The sitting Members were returned unopposed in 1681.3
Deedes was mayor at the general election of 1685, and boldly returned himself, though the indenture is unsigned. Perhaps he hoped to avoid trouble by returning the lord warden’s nominee, the Hon. Heneage Finch II, as senior Member. Finch was a Guards officer and a courtier, but also a younger son of the lord lieutenant. The election was declared void in respect of Deedes only, and at the by-election William Shaw, a treasury official with no known local connexions, was returned. The charter was surrendered in 1686, but no replacement was issued, and the corporation was only slightly remodelled, with the removal of a jurat and three councilmen in September 1688. In 1689 Hales and Deedes defeated the younger Dering, now the 3rd baronet, who may have been regarded as a Whig collaborator.4
Author: Basil Duke Henning
- 1. Bodl. Carte 73, f. 369; Oxinden Letters 1642-70 ed. D. Gardiner, 244, 250; Kent AO, U47/3F3/7; G. Wilks, Parl. Rep. Cinque Ports, 84.
- 2. Williamson Letters (Cam. Soc. n.s. ix), 71; Add. 25123, f. 5; 34132, f. 12; CSP Dom. 1673-5, p. 140; Dering Pprs. 71.
- 3. Stowe 746, ff. 7, 9-15, 19-20; Kent AO, U1713/B34.
- 4. G. Wilks, Gleanings from Minute Bks. 58; PC2/72/733; N. and Q. (ser. 3), vi. 122.