Representatives in Parliament

Parliament evolved over many years from the Saxon Witenagemot and the Norman Curia Regis which were groups of noblemen and churchmen who advised the Sovereign. until about 1240 when the term parliament came into use.

All Shires were required to send Knights of the Shire to parliament although it still had advisory powers only.

By 1265 an elected parliament was in place with freeholders with land valued at 40 shillings being entitled to vote for shire and borough representatives.

By 1295 two parliaments were created called the model parliament - one for the Lords and Bishops and the other for Knights and Commoners.

Over the next few hundred years Parliament grew in power taking more and more powers until it became the controlling force in the country.

Parliaments were of no fixed length and so some ran for a few months and some for many years.

Until 1700's there were no political parties although groups such as the puritans and cavaliers dominated various parliaments and set the agenda.

Many of the people representing Maldon were ' carpetbaggers' ie they lived away from Maldon with no real local connections but bought some land or bought the freedom of the Borough to entitle them to stand. Many never even visited Maldon expect for polling day.

Contested elections were often decided by the liberal amount of favours that candidates favoured on the small number of electors or of course influence brought to bear by the influential members of the community.

In the 1826 election the votes of 3,200 freemen were polled despite the male adult population being 1,859. In 1852 the Parliamentary Commission reported that  'At Maldon the bribery oath was taken by all the electros without hesitation and merely added perjury to the political immorality of the inhabitants.'  Returns for this election showed that the candidates expenses for drinks in the public houses at Maldon came to 5,000 with the cost of beer drink at Maldon and heybridge alone amounting to 2,150.

Quentin Dick fought and won 3 elections during which he had spent 30,000 of gifts and a corrupt loan system where electors received loans in exchange for their votes.

This system meant that the money was often recouped by advantages taken in London from being a MP and perhaps explains why a number of MP's were arrested for embezzlement and theft.

East Essex is a major part of the Maldon Constituency which has had several names and constituency area but has always included the Town of Maldon and the East Essex area of the Dengie 100.

Records are difficult to trace and so listed are some Members of Parliament for Maldon in the early years and a complete listing from 1885. From 1689 MP's often represented political parties although the alliance was less formal than the party politics system seen today.

Robert Darcy

1416 , 1419, 1421 , 1422 , 1425, 1426, 1439, 1445

Resident of Rochford who bought a large amount of Land in Maldon

Robert Darcy ( Junior)

1450

A Lancastrian during war of roses. He served as Sheriff of Essex and Herts

Thomas Drakes

1466

 

James Wright - 

1467

 

William Albon  

1469 and 1472

 

Robert Harlesdon

1469

A Lancastrian who had his estates confiscated and was killed in 1471

William Tendring

1478

 

Robert Plomer

1483 and 1491

Lawyer and Royal servant

John Chauncy

1491

 

Richard Tay

1529

 

Richard Payton

1529

 

Sir Walter Mildmay

1553

Chancellor of the Exchequer for Queen Elizabeth I

Edward Lewkenor

1584, 1586,1593, 1604

An extreme Puritan who launched many attacks on the Church. One of these attacks was made outside the Houses of Parliament where he no longer held parliamentary priveledge for which Lewkenor was sent to the Tower for a short period.

William Wyseman

1601

 

Sir Julius Ceaser

1620

Master of the Rolls

Sir Henry Mildmay

1625,1628, 1640

In 1620 was appointed Keeper of the Kings Jewel House. He was a Royalist although became a Parliamentarian by 1640 and in 1649 was one of the Judges for Charles I trial.  In 1661 when the return of Charles II was due he was asked to account for the Kings Jewels but was unable to do so and fled to France. This was a failure as he was arrested at Rye and brought to the tower where he was sentenced to life imprisonment. In 1664 this was varied to transportation to Tangier but he died in transit.

Sir William Masham

1626

Sent to Marchelsea Prison with his father in law Sir Frannces barrington for opposing the funds required by Charles I

Sir Thomas Checke

1626

 

Sir John Clotworthy

1640

Was arrested  in 1647 for embezzleing funds from parliament and spent  3 years  in prison

Sir John Bramston

1678 , 1685

Chairman of many parliamentary committees

Sir Thomas Darcy

1685

 

Charles Montague

1689

Whig

The son of the Earl of Manchester . Montague was Lord of the Traesury, Chancellor of the Exchequor. He bacame Earl of Halifax.

John Bullock

1698

Whig

 

Samuel Tufnell

1715

 

 

Robert Colebrooke

1741,1747,1754

Whig

 

John Bullock ( Junior)

1754,1761,1768

Whig

 

John Huske

1763, 1768

 

Huske was an American from Boston who came to live in England in 1748. He fled to France to avaoid arrest for defrauding Mr Townsend of 30,000.

Eliab Harvey

1780

 

Was Captain of the 'Temeraire 'in the Battle of Trafalgar.

John Strutt

1784,1790

Tory

Lived at Terling Place

Drigue Billers Olmius

1784,

 

the second Baron Waltham

John Holden Strutt

1790

Tory

Represented Maldon for 40 years

George Mark Arthur Allanson Winn

1826

Tory

 

Thomas Barrett Lennard

1826, 1830,1831

Whig

 

Quintin Dick

1830,1831, 1837

Tory

 

John Round

1837

Tory

 

Edward Bentall

1868

 

 

George Sandford

1874

 

 

George Courtauld

1883

Liberal

 

In 1885 there was a redistribution of seats. The two seats at Maldon Borough and the Essex County representation were discontinued and replaced with  a Parlimentary Constituency of Maldom with one seat.

Arthur Kitching

1885-1886

Liberal

 

Charles Gray

1886-1892

Conservative

 

Cyril Dodd

1892-1895

Liberal

 

Charles Hedley-Strutt

1895-1906

Conservative

Chairman of Essex Quarter Sessions

Thomas Bethell

1906-1910

Liberal

 

Sir James Fortescue Flannery

1910-1922

Conservative

Flannery was a famous engineer of his time. He was born in Liverpool but moved south on marriage.

Major E Ruggles-Brise

1922-1923

Conservative

Ruggles Brise was a landowner in the Finchingfield area. He served in the First World War with distinction being awareded the Legion D'Honneur.

Valentine Crittall

1923 -1924

Liberal

A member of the Crittall family of buisnessmen. Valentine designed the model village of Silver End to act as a home for men working in his factory.

Major E Ruggles Brise

1924-1944

Conservative

During this period Ruggles-Brise was promoted to Colonel

Tom Driberg

1944-1955

Labour

A journalist who became a leading Labour Party thinker. He lived at Bradwell Lodge and took the title Baron Bradwell . On losing his Maldon seat he became MP for West Ham. Obtained notoriety for his casual approach to his homosexuality.

Brian (Alistair) Harrison

1955-1970

Conservative

Born in Australia with a distinguished war service . Came to the UK in 1948

In 1983 the constituency boundary was changed to be Colchester south and Maldon

John Wakeham

1970-1992

Conservative

A leading Conservative under the Margaret Thatcher Government . His wife was killed and he was badly injured in the IRA Brighton bombing .Now Lord Wakeham

In 1997 the constituency boundary was changed to be Maldon and East Chelmsford

John Whittingdale

1992 - current

Conservative

Click here to visit a page on John Whittingdale

 

 

 

 

 

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