Mayor of Barnstaple

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The Mayor's Pew, St Peter's Church, Barnstaple. On the chair back are shown the arms of Barnstaple: Gules a castle of three towers conjoined argent the centre tower larger than the others,[1] between two scrolls inscribed in Latin: Domini Nomen and Firmum Castellum ("The Name of God (is) a Strong Castle")

The Mayor of Barnstaple together with the Corporation long governed the historic Borough of Barnstaple, in North Devon, England. The seat of government was the Barnstaple Guildhall.[2] The mayor served a term of one year and was elected annually on the Feast of the Assumption of the Virgin (15 August) by a jury of twelve.[3] However Barnstaple was a mesne borough[4] and was held by the Mayor and Corporation in chief not from the king but from the feudal baron of Barnstaple, later known as the lord of the "Castle Manor" or "Castle Court". The Corporation tried on several occasions to claim the status of a "free borough" which answered directly to the monarch and to divest itself of this overlordship, but without success. The mayor was not recognised as such by the monarch, but merely as the bailiff of the feudal baron.[4] The powers of the borough were highly restricted, as was determined by an inquisition ad quod damnum during the reign of King Edward III (1327–1377), which from an inspection of evidence found that members of the corporation elected their mayor only by permission of the lord, legal pleas were held in a court at which the lord's steward, not the mayor, presided, that the borough was taxed by the county assessors, and that the lord held the various assizes which the burgesses claimed.[4] Indeed, the purported ancient royal charter supposedly granted by the Anglo-Saxon King Aethelstan (d.939) (King of the Anglo-Saxons from 924 to 927 and King of the English from 927 to 939) and held by the corporation, from which it claimed its borough status, was suspected to be a forgery.[4]

Since 1974 Barnstaple has been a civil parish governed by a town council.[5]

List of mayors[edit]

An incomplete list of the mayors of Barnstaple between 1303 and 1793, was compiled by Benjamin Incledon (1730–1796) of Pilton House, Pilton, near Barnstaple in North Devon, an antiquarian and genealogist, and was published in 1830 within Joseph Besly Gribble's work "Memorials of Barnstaple".[6] A list of mayors from 1301 to 2002 was more recently published in Lois Lamplugh's 2002 work Barnstaple: Town on the Taw.[7]

List[edit]

The following were mayors of Barnstaple, Devon, England:

  • 1406 Thomas Holman [8]
  • 1407–12 Thomas Hooper
  • 1413 Thomas Walsh
  • 1414–19 Thomas Hooper
  • 1420 Thomas Holman
  • 1421–22 Thomas Hooper
  • 1423 William Hertescott
  • 1424 Thomas Hertescott
  • 1425 William Hertescott
  • 1426 John Goldsmith
  • 1427 Thomas Hooper
  • 1428 John Goldsmith
  • 1429 Thomas Hooper
  • 1430 John Goldsmith
  • 1431 Richard Bowden
  • 1432 William Hertescott
  • 1433 William Bedwin
  • 1434 Richard Bowden
  • 1435 John Hutchen
  • 1436 William Hertescott
  • 1437 William Bowden
  • 1438 William Rowe
  • 1439 John Mules
  • 1440 Richard Bowden
  • 1441 John Mules
  • 1442 Richard Norris
  • 1443 William Bedwin
  • 1444 John Mules
  • 1445 Walter Hayman
  • 1446 Richard Rowe
  • 1447 Walter Hayman
  • 1448 William Hertescott
  • 1449 Richard Newcombe
  • 1450 John Widon
  • 1451 Nicholas Bovey
  • 1452 William Upcott
  • 1453 Richard Pickard
  • 1454 John Widger
  • 1455 Walter Gaynock
  • 1456 William Charnier
  • 1457 Walter Gaynock
  • 1458 Richard Newcombe
  • 1459 John Widger
  • 1460 John Bowdon
  • 1461 John Smith
  • 1462 John Collins
  • 1463 John Widger
  • 1464 John Collins
  • 1465 John Widger
  • 1466 John Bowden
  • 1467 John Widger
  • 1468 John Pugsley
  • 1469 John Bowden
  • 1470 John Widger
  • 1471 John Squire
  • 1472 John Widger
  • 1473 Philip Stigan
  • 1474 John Pugsley
  • 1475 John Collins
  • 1476 John Hart
  • 1477 Philip Stigan
  • 1478 John Branton
  • 1479 John Bowden
  • 1480 Thomas White
  • 1481 John Hart
  • 1482 Richard Crews
  • 1483 Robert Symons
  • 1484 John Smith
  • 1485 Walter Nicholls
  • 1486 William Dallington
  • 1487 William Hart
  • 1488 Philip Warington
  • 1489 Robert Symons
  • 1490 John Salisbury
  • 1491 William Dallington
  • 1492 Roger Colmer
  • 1493 John Smith
  • 1494 Robert Symons
  • 1495 Arthur Merryfield
  • 1496 John Salisbury
  • 1497 Roger Colmer
  • 1498 Richard Parminter
  • 1499 William Cosby
  • 1500 John Salisbury
  • 1557-8: William Salusbury.[9]
  • 1607: Richard Beaple (1564–1643)[10]
  • 1611: Pentecost Dodderidge
  • 1620: John Penrose (1575-1624)
  • 1621: Richard Beaple (1564–1643)[10]
  • 1627: Pentecost Dodderidge
  • 1629: Gilbert Paige (c.1590–1647)
  • 1632: Richard Ferris (1582–1649) (1st of 2 terms)[10]
  • 1635: Richard Beaple (1564–1643)[10]
  • 1640: Thomas Horwood (1600–1658)
  • 1641: Gilbert Paige (c.1590–1647)
  • 1646: Richard Ferris (1582–1649) (2nd of 2 terms)[10]
  • 1637: Pentecost Dodderidge
  • 1650: Thomas Matthew
  • 1653: Thomas Horwood (1600–1658)
  • 1667: Thomas Matthew
  • 1712: Robert Incledon
  • 1721: Robert Incledon

References[edit]

  1. ^ Per Heraldic Visitation of 1620 for the Borough of Barnstaple [1]
  2. ^ See further: Oliver, W. Bruce, Barnstaple Borough, Transactions of the Devon Association, vol. 62, (1930) pp.269–273
  3. ^ History of Parliament, Barnstaple [2]
  4. ^ a b c d History of Parliament, Barnstaple
  5. ^ "Barnstaple Town Council". Archived from the original on 25 January 2001.
  6. ^ Gribble, Joseph Besly, Memorials of Barnstaple: Being an Attempt to Supply the Want of A History of that Ancient Borough, Barnstaple, 1830, pp. 197–205, 219–25 [3] (Gribble established the “Barnstaple Iron Foundry” in 1822 (p.546))
  7. ^ Lamplugh, Lois, Barnstaple: Town on the Taw, South Molton, 2002, Appendix C, pp.153–160
  8. ^ http://genuki.cs.ncl.ac.uk/DEV/Barnstaple/BarnstapleMayors.html
  9. ^ http://www.historyofparliamentonline.org/volume/1509-1558/member/salusbury-william-1519-59
  10. ^ a b c d e Lamplugh, Lois, Barnstaple: Town on the Taw, South Molton, 2002, p.156, List of Mayors