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
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)