Rutland gentry in the reigns of Henry VI & Edward IV - Alan Rogers Researching Rutland	Registered Charity No 700273 Rutland Local History & Record Society
I have also added two other lists: a) a list of Rutland gentry made by central government in 1434 when parliament decreed that the gentry of England were required to swear an oath to keep the peace, drawn from the Calendar of Patent Rolls.: b) lists of gentry appointed to assess, collect and distribute a refund on the lay taxes in Rutland; because the government was concerned to share this task out among the gentry, these lists give a fairly full coverage of the county gentry at the time, and they also (unlike the lists of electors) indicate the main place of residence of those named. I hope these lists will encourage further study of the gentry of the county in the fifteenth century. Alan Rogers September 2010
I had cause recently to look at the parliamentary returns for Rutland in the fifteenth century. Rutland, like other counties, sent two members to the medieval parliaments. The process was as follows. The king sent a writ to the sheriff of the county announcing the calling of the parliament and requiring them to ‘elect’ two representatives. The sheriff, at an appropriate meeting of the county court which met on Thursdays in the castle at Oakham (all except in 1449-50 when it met in Uppingham), held such an ‘election’ (we do not know if it was contested or was a simple matter of negotiation and acclamation). Then the sheriff drew up an indented return, giving the names of the persons so chosen and the names of some of those who were present (the ‘electors’) and therefore were witnesses to the correctness of the return. They were of course not all the persons at that meeting of the county court –others would be there on all sorts of business, especially financial, legal and quasi-legal. But they were usually among the more prominent members of the county community. The returns were sent back into chancery where they were kept and are now in the Public Record Office among the National Archives (TNA). I made a note of the names of the ‘electors’ for the county of Rutland, and these are listed here in case they will be of use to other historians. I have standardised first names and most placenames but have set out surnames as they appear. Some of the returns are partly illegible or torn, so some names are missing or indistinct. For completeness’ sake, I have added the names of the MPs for other parliaments from the period gleaned from J C Wedgwood History of the Houses of Parliament 1437 to 1509 (1936).