Page:VCH Surrey 1.djvu/419

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POLITICAL HISTORY was summoned by writ as Lord Hussey of Betchworth in 1348. The baronies of St. John of Lagham and Hussey of Betchworth became extinct in 1353 and in 1361 respectively, the holder of the latter dying of the Black Death in its second great visitation. Reginald de Cobham, summoned to Parliament as Lord Cobham of Sterborough (in Lingfield) in 1342, left a son who sat in 1370 and 1372 and survived till 1403, but was never summoned after I372. 1 He and his representatives furnish an exception to the alleged rule that a writ of summons furnished always a right to a summons in perpetuity. There were also represen- tatives of the first baron St. John of Lagham alive after 1349 who were never summoned. Of the spiritual lords of Surrey the Bishop of Winchester ranked alone as always a lord of Parliament. The Abbot of Chertsey, the Abbot of Waverley and the Prior of Merton all sat in de Montfort's Parliament in 1265, when the clergy were very fully represented. The Abbots of Chertsey were summoned at intervals down to the reign of Edward III., when they ceased to attend. It is probable that the Abbot of Waverley, the chief in dignity of the Cistercian abbots in England, might have kept his place if he had cared to do so ; but the spirituality preferred their own convocations to Parliament, and the Cistercians had also assemblies of their own order to attend. 8 The heads of Benedictine abbeys of royal foundation usually continued to be summoned to Parlia- ment after Edward III., but the Benedictine house of Chertsey, though a royal foundation in fact, was founded by a king of the Mercians and by an under king of Surrey, not by a king of all England. It had been refounded by Edgar, but preferred to date back to Wulfhere and Frithwald. As a county Surrey sent knights of the shire to Parliament from the time probably when county representation first began in the reign of Henry III. The earliest names extant of those returned are Roland de Acstede and William Ambesac in the Parliament at West- minster of 1 8 Edward I. 3 The elections were in the County Court, which was undoubtedly held at Guildford. Who exercised the franchise is a question of very considerable uncertainty. To the County Court came originally free landholders and the reeve and four men from each township who might not be free men, and there were certainly men whose tenure included the obligation of attendance at the County Court, so that we must infer that there were others who were not bound to attend and who probably would not attend as a rule. Taking part in county government as in 1 Two Reginalds de Cobham of Sterborough, father and son, were summoned to Parliament from 1 6 to 46 Edw. III. See Prynne's Registers of Parliamentary Writs, where however the two Reginalds are treated as one. The elder died in 1361, a year of the Black Death. 8 The Abbot of Chertsey was summoned to the Parliaments of 49 Hen. III. ; 23, 27 Edw. I. ; 22, 23 Edw. III. The Abbot of Waverley was summoned to those of 49 Hen. III. ; 28, 30, 32 Edw. I. See Prynne's Rfgiiters of Parliamentary Writs. 8 See Original Writs and Returns Printed by Order of the House of Commons, 1878. Manning and Bray give wrongly Henry Hussee and William de Echingham. Their lists are incomplete and incorrect. 351