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23 Ed. I, 1295.-John Oumpaygnoun, Adam Sagoun
(Yagoun ?). 26 Ed. I, 1298.-Will. Pykus, Will. le Feverere. 28 Ed. I, 1300.- Phil. de Sweyneston, John de Leye. 29 Ed. I, 1302.—Hen. de Hyneton, Phil. Daukyn. 30 Ed. I, 1303.—Hen. de Hyneton, Phil.de Sweyneston. 33 Ed. I, 1305.—Phil. de Sweyneston, Hugo Rouan. 35 Ed. I, 1307.— Ric. Yago.
In 1628 report was made to the House of Commons that Webley and Milbourn Port had sent burgesses, 26 and 28 Edward I, but had discontinued long. Upon question they were ordered, as ancient Boroughs, be restored. From 16 10 the members for Weobley are as follow: 1640.– Will. Tomkins, Thos, Tomkins. 1640, Nov. (the Long Parliament). -Arthur Jones, Lord
Ranelagh, Thos. Tomkins. Subsequently Robt.
Andrews, Will. Crowther. 1658.—Herb. Perrot, Rob. Andrews. 1660.-Jas. Pitts, Rich. Weston. 1661.–Thos. Tomkins, John Barnaby. 1678.-Will. Gray vice Serjt. Gregory (?), Speaker of
House of Commons, who succeeded Sir J. Williams;
Col. John Birch. 1681.-John Booth, Col. John Birch. 1685.-Hen. Cornwall, Rob. Price. 1688.- Col. John Birch, Jas. Morgan. 1690.—Rob. Price, Thos. Foley. 1692.—The same. 1695.- The same. 1698.- The same. 1701.- Rob. Price, John Birch. 1702.-Hen. Cornwall, Thos. Price. 1705.- Hen. Cornwall, John Birch. 1707.-The same. 1708.—Hen. Thynne, who died; Hen. Gorges, J. Birch. 1710.—Hen. Cornwall, John Birch. 1713.-Uvedale Price, John Birch.
1 Hill, u. s.; Parry, Parlts., p. 318.
1715.-Adm. Chas. Cornwall, who died ; Nich. Philpot,
Paul Foley. 1722.—John Birch, Nich. Philpot. 1727.-Uvedale Price, John Birch (expelled the House),
Jas. Cornwall. 1737.---Sir John Buckworth, John Birch (not duly
elected), Jas. Cornwall. 1741.—Hen. Visct. Palmerston, George Lord Carpenter. 1747.-Mansell Powell (not duly elected), Savage Mos
tyn, John Earl of Egmont. 1754.–J. Craster, S. Mostyn (d.), George V. Vernon. 1761.—Marquis of Titchfield (afterwards Duke of Port
land, and Prime Minister, 1783 and 1807), Fred.
Thynne, W. Lynch. 1768.-Lord Irnham, Hon. H. F. Thynne (vac. seat),
Bamber Gascoyne. 1774.-Sir W. Lynch, Bart. ; Sir Leger Douglas. 1781.—Sir L. Douglas, A. Bayntun. 1784.—John Scott (afterwards Lord Eldon), A. Bayntun,
Lord Weymouth. 1790.—Sir J. Scott, Sol.-Genl.; Lord Weymouth. 1791.—Sir J. Scott, Att.-Genl. ; Lord Weymouth, and
afterwards Lord G. Thynne. 1792-96. — The same. 1796.—Lord G. Thynne, Lord John Thynne. 1797.—Lord G. Thynne, Lord J. Thynne, and afterwards
Inigo Freeman Thomas, Esq. 1798.—Lord G. Thynne, I. F. Thomas. 1800.—Lord G. Thynne, Sir C. H. Talbot, Bart. 1802.- Lord G. Thynne, Robt. Steele, Esq. 1807.—Lord G. Thynne, Right Hon. Heneage Finch,
Lord Guernsey. 1812.-Right Hon. Geo. Ashburnham, Viscount St.
Asaph; Hon. W. Lennox Bathurst. 1813.-Hon. W.L. Bathurst, Jas. Lennox W. Naper, Esq. 1816.-Hon. W.L. Bathurst, and afterwards Lieut.-Col.
Lord Fred. Cavendish Bentinck,J.L.W.Naper, Esq. 1817.—Lord F. C. Bentinck, J. L. W. Naper, Esq. 1818.—Lord F. C. Bentinck, Viscount Weymouth. 1819.-The same.
1820.—Lord F.C. Bentinck, Rear-Adm. Sir G. Cockburn,
Bart. 1824.-Lord F. C. Bentinck, and afterwards Lord H. F.
Thynne, Rear-Adm. Sir G. Cockburn, Bart. 1825.- Lord H. F. Thynne, Rear-Adm. Sir G. Cockburn,
Bart. 1826.-The same. 1828.— The same, and afterwards Capt. Lord W. Thynne. 1829.—The same. 1830.—The same. 1831.—Lord H. F. Thynne, Lord Edw. Thynne.
The results of the elections of the members for Weobley in the first half of its revived existence as a borough, were not free from contention. In 1660 Sir E. Turner reported to the House of Commons that the late election is void, as the sheriff did not send any precept for the same. In 1677 the election was pronounced to be void. In 1691 Thos. Foley petitioned against the return of Colonel Birch. No determination was made; but when the Colonel, in his turn, petitioned against the return of Mr. Foley, the House determined that Mr. Foley was duly elected.' Dec. 12, 1698, Mr. Foley petitioned against the return of Mr. Birch, son of Colonel Birch, and the House resolved that he (T. F.) was duly elected. From 1700 the strife became warmer, and on Feb. 25 in that year a petition was presented from“ the unbribed burgesses against the return of H. Cornwall, Esq., by means of bribery, promises, gratuities, threats, and even confinement, for their votes, with other illegal practices.”—No determination. Feb. 26,“ petition of Capt. Charles Cornwall against the return of Colonel Cornwall and John Birch.- N. d. Feb. 27, petition of several burgesses against the return of John Birch, Esq., for bribery.-N. d. Jan. 15, 1701, a similar petition from H. Cornwall, Esq., against Mr. Birch.-N. d. Nov. 4, 1702, J. Birch petitioned against the return of H. Cornwall and T. Price, Esqs., by bribery.-N. d.
A similar 1 The inscription on Colonel Birch's monument says he was M.P. till his death in 1691.
petition, in 1708, against H. George or Gorges; and in 1715 one from J. Birch (Serjt.) against the return of Paul Foley; and one from Simon Gough and J. Moore against that of Charles Cornwall. “The House resolved that Paul Foley was not duly elected, and that J. Birch is duly elected.” Oct. 25, 1722, petition of E. Hughes and J. Carpenter against the return of Nich. Philpot and John Birch ; and a similar one, Jan. 21, 1723.
This cross-fire of petitions was stopped at length by a resolution of the House, March 3, 1736, “ that the right of election is in the inhabitants of the ancient votehouses, of 20s. per ann, and upwards, residing in the said houses forty days before the day of election, and paying scot and lot, who shall be resident at the time of election.” The Marquis of Bath, and the parish officers in his interest, refused to rate those who opposed his nomination ; upon which the aggrieved persons applied to the Court of King's Bench for a mandamus, to compel the parish officers to put them on the rates. But the Court refused to grant it, on the ground that the parish officers are the proper judges of the persons to be rated, subject to appeal.” In order to settle the question, the Marquis of Bath bought up all the ancient vote-houses, But the “ aggrieved parishioners” were not yet content; and in 1740 an account appears in one of the vestry books, that a meeting was held to decide - whether the inhabitants and occupiers should be rated to the poor, or the landlords.” All, or nearly all, signed for the former. (N.B., almost all the signatures are by marks, very few names written.) Possibly the good burgesses of Weobley were fearful lest the settlement of the tenure of the vote-houses might stand in the way of the good old customs of“ bribery, promises, and gratuities,”under which they had heretofore thriven. The entry proceeds: “Mr. Moore (the petitioner of 1715) did refuse to give the foregoing persons leave to sign or object against the poor's lewn.” The returning officers were
1 Oldfield, Parl, Hist., iv.
the constables. In 1643 the “ Lord of Essex" was chief constable.
There was no corporation and no seal. Of the old vote-houses one or two remain, which still bear the numbers affixed to them for election purposes.
The acreage of the parish is 3,218, and the population in 1861 was 819.
Among particulars relating to Weobley, it may be worth while to transcribe some part of a pamphlet now in the British Museum, as illustrating some of the ideas and the history of the time to which it relates. sists of a letter from J. A., Hereford, and is entitled The Demon of Burton :
“There is a farm in Burton, a village in the parish of Weobley, which Mr. Wm. Bridges, a linendraper of London, has in mortgage from one Thomas Tomkins, a decayed yeoman. This farm was taken in by lease by Mrs. Elizth. Bridges about Michaelmas 1669. Soon after this tenant was entered on the farm, some Familiar began to act apish pranks, by knocking boldly at the door in the dark of the evening, and the like early in the morning, but nobody to be seen. The stools and forms were thrown into disorder, heaps of malt and vetches mingled, loaves of bread laid on a table carried into another room, and hid in tubs covered with cloths; cabbage plants dug up and replanted in various patterns; a half-roasted pig demolished, except the bones ; the milk turned sour with vinegar ; some cattle died, and among others a sow leaped and danced in strange postures, and at last fell down dead; a loft of hay set on fire, a mow of pulse and pease likewise.
“After these fires one John Jones, a valiant Welshman, undertook to keep watch with a sword, a mastiff dog, and a lantern. He had not long lain on the bed when he heard a knocking at the door, and, as he conceived, many cats came into his chamber, broke the windows, and made a hideous noise. The mastiff howled, the candle went out, the Welshman fell into a cold sweat, left his sword unused, and with much ado found the door, and ran half a mile without looking behind him ; protesting next day he would not lie another night in the house for £100.
“These particulars I received from eye witnesses of unquestionable credit (?), and you may no more doubt the truth of them than distrust the affection of your humble servant, (To be continued.)
"J. A. “ Hereford, March 1670."