Tralee was incorporated by a charter of 1613, 10 Jas I, to comprise a provost, 12 free burgesses, two serjeants-at-mace and some freemen. Tralee, however, was a thriving port and other officers included a town clerk, marshall keeper and a weighmaster.
County and borough politics were further complicated by the fact that the various interests were all intermarried: for instance, on 11 November 1711 Thomas Crosbie wrote from Dublin to his brother William Crosbie in Co. Kerry that 'I have some reason to be apprehensive that Jack [Blenner]Hassett (0167) designs privately to match himself with Jenny Denny',191 the daughter of Edward Denny (0619), and in 1713 the marriage did take place. In Tralee, as in Ardfert and Dingle, county and borough interest were traded one against the other. For instance, in May 1743 Sir Maurice Crosbie wrote to a friend that 'What interests our country now is the desertion of Ned Herbert and his interest from Jack [Blenner]Hasset's to Thomas Denny's side, and that on a promise of Denny's that Herbert or his son shall come in for Tralee the next vacancy that shall happen after the present one occasioned by the promotion of the Prime Serjeant [Arthur Blennerhassett, 0163] to the King's Bench.'192
There was a follow-up to this arrangement in 1760 when Herbert wrote to tell Sir Thomas Denny of the king's death and remind him of his promise! In 1790 Tralee was described as follows: 'This close Borough, whose electors consist of twelve Burgesses only, is the sole property of Sir Barry Denny, Baronet, who in fact nominates both the electors and the representatives. Sometimes it is sold and sometimes bartered, to secure its proprietor's return for the County, as was the case at the last general election when Sir Barry Denny gave a seat for it to Sir William Godfrey (0855), for a thousand pounds, which Mr Richard Herbert (1009), the other County Member paid, in order to induce Sir William to resign his interest in their favour and by that means to secure their success.
But should Sir Barry be elevated to the Peerage, an elevation at which he has been eagerly aspiring ever since Lord Townshend's Government, both seats will be given up to the nomination of the minister, for that is now the acknowledged price of being raised to the House of Lords.'193 Sir Barry Denny died in 1794 before his aspirations could be realised, and his son was killed shortly after in the fateful duel. At the Union Tralee retained one MP; Arthur Moore (1450), who purchased a seat in 1798, won the ballot and sat until the 1802 election, when George Canning purchased the return.