Calais (constituency)

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Calais
Former Borough constituency
for the House of Commons
Major settlements Calais
1372–1558
Number of members 2
Replaced by none
(annexed by France)

Calais was a former constituency of the Parliament of England.

The French town of Calais was under English rule from 1347 until 7 January 1558. During part of that time it was represented in the Parliament of England by two members.

In 1360 the Treaty of Brétigny assigned Guînes, Marck and Calais – collectively the "Pale of Calais" – to English rule in perpetuity, but this was only informally and partially implemented.

In 1363 the town was made a staple port. It had become a parliamentary borough sending burgesses to the House of Commons of the Parliament of England by 1372.

Reforms in the representation of the town[edit]

King Henry VIII of England decided to modify the arrangements for the government of Calais. A statute (27 Hen. VIII, c. 63) made provision for two members to be returned to the Parliament of England. It seems that the earlier authority for the town to be represented in Parliament had lapsed some time before, as no prior representatives are noted in The House of Commons 1509-1558.

One member was to be nominated, elected and chosen by the Deputy (the King's representative in the town) and his Council. The other member was to be nominated, elected and chosen by the Mayor and his Council.

Under the provisions of the statute, members were elected to ten Parliaments. On 6 December 1557 a writ was issued for the election of members to an eleventh Parliament, but before it met Calais had fallen to the French. The history of the parliamentary constituency had ended.

Members of Parliament 1536-1558[edit]

Summoned Elected Assembled Dissolved First Member Second Member
27 April 1536 1536 8 June 1536 18 July 1536 Thomas Boys William Pryseley
1 March 1539 1539 28 April 1539 24 July 1540 Thomas Boys Thomas Broke
23 November 1541 1542 16 January 1542 28 March 1544 unknown unknown
1 December 1544 1545 23 November 1545 31 January 1547 Richard Blount Eustace Abington
2 August 1547 1547 4 November 1547 15 April 1552 Thomas Broke Thomas Fowler
5 January 1553 1553 1 March 1553 31 March 1553 unknown Thomas Massingberd
14 August 1553 1553 5 October 1553 5 December 1553 Edmund Peyton John Aster
17 February 1554 1554 2 April 1554 3 May 1554 William Horne John Aster
3 October 1554 1554 12 November 1554 16 January 1555 Oliver Loveband Hugh Counsell
3 September 1555 1555 21 October 1555 9 December 1555 ?John Challoner[a] Edmund Peyton
6 December 1557 n/a 20 January 1558 17 November 1558 vacant vacant

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ It is not certain that Challoner was the member, but it was inferred he was (thus the ? was placed before the name).

References[edit]

  • The House of Commons 1509-1558, by S.T. Bindoff (Secker & Warburg 1982)