The rise and progress of the town and the history of its institutions & people.

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Lord Orrery was connected with the Dorset family, being the son of Roger, second Earl Orrery, by his marriage with Lady Mary Sackville, daughter of Richard, fifth Earl of Dorset. He died August 24th, 1703, and was buried at Withyham.
1695, Nov. 19th. Sir Thomas Dyke, Bart., and John Conyers.
Four days before this election the leading residents of East Grinstead were entertained at supper at the expense of the Earl of Dorset, the meal costing him £10. 16s. 6d., a fair sum over 200 years ago. The " bribe," however, seems to have been ineffectual, for the Dorset nominees were defeated. They were Lord Orrery and Sir Spencer Compton. John Conyers, who was son-in-law to Robert Goodwin, the Covenanter and a former M.P. for East Grinstead, had evidently taken a considerable part in the public life of the town. He owned Mill Place and Pick-stones (?Pixton Hill), but is described as living at Walthamstow. Ten years before his election he had petitioned Parliament as to the right of the inhabitants to vote, and he again went before them on the same grounds in 1688. Lord Orrery petitioned Parliament on Nov. 25th, 1695, that John Jenner, the bailiff of East Grinstead, had refused to admit several good votes, and that Sir Thomas Dyke and John Conyers were declared wrong­fully elected. At the same time Spencer Compton pre­sented a petition setting forth that the Bailiff arbitrarily returned the two Members named, though the petitioner had a majority of legal electors voting for him. Both the petitions were referred to the Committee of Privileges, as was also another petition from the inhabitants of East Grinstead, presented four days later. On this occasion the matter seems to have been more fully gone into than ever before. Numerous witnesses were examined and some interesting side-lights were thrown on the conduct of elections in those days. A man named Ledger swore that when Sir Thos. Dyke canvassed him, just before the election, he pulled oat a handful of money and said he would do the voter quite as much kindness as Mr. Compton would, while a canvasser named Payne offered him " the
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