Petition to the Royal Council alleging corruption in the
election of knights of the shire for Suffolk, 1453

Power and influence could determine who was elected to Parliament, and therefore what sympathies a particular parliament would have. In the medieval and early modern periods, the election of knights of the shire provided an opportunity for powerful figures to exert their influence. Also, especially during the build-up to the Wars of the Roses, contenders for power used Parliament to attack their opponents.

In this petition to the Royal Council (relating to a case in KB 27/775, rex rot. 20d), John Mowbray, Duke of Norfolk, complains that the sheriff of Suffolk tried to get his own candidates elected and had falsely accused the duke's servants of intimidation. Complaints of this kind were common throughout the country. In this instance, the duke was angry because his own candidates were excluded by the actions of the sheriff.

Catalogue reference: Catalogue reference: E 28/84/24 (1453)


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