Dartmouth (UK Parliament constituency)
Dartmouth, also sometimes called Clifton, Dartmouth and Hardness, was a parliamentary borough in Devon which elected two Members of Parliament (MPs) to the House of Commons in 1298 and to the Commons of England, Great Britain, and the United Kingdom from 1351 until 1832, and then one member from 1832 until 1868, when the borough was disfranchised.
|Former Borough constituency|
for the House of Commons
|Number of members||two (1351–1832); one (1832–1868)|
|Replaced by||South Devon|
Clifton, Dartmouth and Hardness were three towns clustered round the mouth of the River Dart in southern Devon; all three are within the modern town of Dartmouth. The borough as first represented in 1298 seems to have included only the town of Dartmouth, but at the next return of members in 1350–1351 it also included Clifton; Hardness is first mentioned in 1553, though may have been included earlier. The boundaries by the 19th century included the whole of Dartmouth St Petrox and St Saviour parishes, and part of Townstall parish.
Dartmouth by the end of the 18th century was a prosperous small port, depending mainly on fishing but also with some shipbuilding interests; but the bulk of the inhabitants had little voice in the choice of its Members of Parliament. After a decision by Parliament that followed a disputed election in 1689, the right to vote in Dartmouth rested with the Corporation, which appointed its own successors, and with the freemen of the borough, who were made by the Corporation. This amounted to a total of 71 voters in 1832, although only 53 of these were resident; virtually all were officers of the custom house or other government employees.
This franchise meant that once control was gained of the borough it was easy to retain indefinitely. Around the turn of the 18th century, the Herne family had almost total control, but in the mid-to-late 18th and early 19th century, control had passed to the government and Dartmouth was considered a safe seat for the party in power, returning one member at the nomination of the Treasury and one of the Admiralty. (Even this control had its limits however – Namier and Brooke quote letters to show that when a vacancy arose in 1757, the government had to abandon their original intention of nominating a soldier, and instead acceded to the corporation's demand for a naval candidate.) The Holdsworth family managed the government's interests in the borough, and generally had first refusal on one of the seats. Indeed, the Holdsworths were sufficiently influential to defy the government on occasion, as in 1780 when Arthur Holdsworth arranged the re-election of the popular but opposition-supporting naval hero Lord Howe to one seat while taking the other for himself – no government candidates stood against them, and both Howe and Holdsworth voted with the opposition in the new Parliament.
At the time of the Great Reform Act, the 1831 census showed that there were 611 houses in the borough but a population of 4,447. Dartmouth was allowed to keep one of its two MPs, and the boundaries were extended slightly to include the whole of Townstall parish and part of Stoke Fleming, bringing the population up to 4,662.
Members of Parliament
|Parliament||First member||Second member|
|1386||Richard Whitelegh||Robert More|
|1388 (Feb)||William Burlestone||John Lacche|
|1388 (Sep)||William Bast||Roger Scoce|
|1390 (Jan)||John Hawley||Thomas Asshenden I|
|1391||John William||John Brasuter|
|1393||John Ellemede||John Hawley|
|1394||William Damiet||John Hawley|
|1395||John Bosom||Edmund Arnold|
|1397 (Jan)||John Bosom||William Glover|
|1402||John Hawley (the elder)||Ralph North|
|1406||John Foxley||John White|
|1407||Henry Bremeler||John Pille|
|1410||John Hawley (the younger)||Edmund Arnold|
|1411||John Hawley||John Corp|
|1413 (May)||John Hawley||John Corp|
|1414 (Nov)||John Hawley||Edmund Arnold|
|1415/6 (Mar)||Edmund Arnold||Walter Wodeland|
|1420||Thomas Asshenden II||Walter Wodeland|
|1421 (May)||John Hawley||Thomas Hankyn|
|1421 (Dec)||John Burley||Henry Sadeler|
|1510–1523||No names known|
|1529||John Trevanion||William Holland, |
repl. 1534 by Nicholas Langmede
|1539||John Ridgeway||William Holland|
|1542||John Anthony||William Holland|
|1545||Nicholas Bacon||John Ridgeway|
|1547||Sir Peter Carew||Richard Duke|
|1553 (Mar)||Nicholas Adams alias Bodrugan||Gilbert Roupe|
|1553 (Oct)||Michael Adams||Michael Roope|
|Parliament of 1554||Nicholas Adams||Edmund Sture|
|Parliament of 1554–1555||John Petre||Nicholas Enis|
|Parliament of 1555||Sir John St Leger||James Courtenay|
|Parliament of 1558||Gregory Huckmore||Thomas Gurney|
|Parliament of 1559||Thomas Southcote||Edward Yarde|
|Parliament of 1563–1567||Sir John More||John Lovell|
|Parliament of 1571||John Vaughan||Thomas Gurney|
|Parliament of 1572–1581||William Cardinal||Thomas Gurney died|
and repl. 1576 by William Lyster
|Parliament of 1584–1585||Hugh Vaughan||Thomas Ridgeway|
|Parliament of 1586–1587||Robert Peter||George Cary|
|Parliament of 1588–1589||Robert Papworth||Richard Drewe|
|Parliament of 1593||Nicholas Hayman||Thomas Holland|
|Parliament of 1597–1598||John Osborne (?)||William Bastard|
|Parliament of 1601||John Traherne||William Bastard|
|Parliament of 1604–1611||Thomas Holland||Thomas Gurney|
|Addled Parliament (1614)|
|Parliament of 1621–1622||Robert Matthew||William Nyell|
|Happy Parliament (1624–1625)||Richard Matthew||William Plumley|
|Useless Parliament (1625)||Roger Matthew||John Upton|
|Parliament of 1625–1626|
|Parliament of 1628–1629|
|No Parliament summoned 1629–1640|
|Year||First member||First party||Second member||Second party|
|April 1640||Andrew Voysey||John Upton|
|November 1640||Roger Matthew||Royalist|
|February 1644||Matthew disabled from sitting – seat vacant|
|December 1648||Browne excluded in Pride's Purge – seat vacant|
|1653||Dartmouth was unrepresented in the Barebones Parliament|
|1654||Thomas Boone||Dartmouth had only one seat in the First and |
Second Parliaments of the Protectorate
|January 1659||Thomas Boone||Colonel John Clarke|
|May 1659||Not represented in the restored Rump|
|1660||John Frederick||John Hale|
|1661||William Harbord||Thomas Southcote|
|1670||William Gould (1640–1671) of Floyer Hayes, Exeter|
|February 1679||Sir Nathaniel Herne||John Upton|
|August 1679||Edward Yarde|
|1685||Roger Pomeroy||Arthur Farwell|
|January 1689||Charles Boone||William Hayne|
|September 1689||George Booth|
|November 1689||Sir Joseph Herne|
|1713||Sir William Drake|
|1715||Joseph Herne||John Fownes (junior)|
|1722||George Treby III||Thomas Martyn|
|1727||George Treby II||Whig||Walter Carey||Whig|
|1742||Lord Archibald Hamilton|
|1757||Captain the Hon. Richard Howe|
|1782||Charles Brett||Rockingham Whig|
|1790||John Charles Villiers|
|1802||Arthur Howe Holdsworth|
|1812||Edmund Pollexfen Bastard||Tory|
|1820||Charles Milner Ricketts|
|1822||James Hamilton Stanhope|
|1825||Sir John Hutton Cooper|
|1829||Arthur Howe Holdsworth|
|1832||Representation reduced to one member|
|1832||(Sir) John Seale||Whig|
|1852||Sir Thomas Herbert||Conservative|
|April 1859||Edward Wyndham Harrington Schenley||Liberal|
|August 1859||John Dunn||Conservative|
Elections in the 1840s
|Whig||John Henry Seale||Unopposed|
Seale's death caused a by-election.
|Conservative gain from Whig||Swing||N/A|
Somes' death caused a by-election.
|Conservative||Henry Thoby Prinsep||111||47.0||N/A|
|Radical gain from Whig||Swing||N/A|
|Radical gain from Whig|
Elections in the 1850s
|Whig||William Schaw Lindsay||135||48.0||N/A|
|Conservative gain from Radical||Swing||N/A|
|Peelite gain from Conservative||Swing||+5.5|
|Liberal||Edward Wyndham Harrington Schenley||123||51.5||−6.0|
|Conservative gain from Liberal|
Elections in the 1860s
Dunn's death caused a by-election.
|Conservative gain from Liberal||Swing||+2.0|
|Conservative gain from Liberal|
- "WHITELEGH, Richard, of Osborn Newton in Churchstow, Devon". History of Parliament Online. Retrieved 10 May 2013.
- "History of Parliament". History of Parliament Trust. Retrieved 12 November 2011.
- "History of Parliament". History of Parliament Trust. Retrieved 12 November 2011.
- "Dartmouth". History of Parliament Online. Retrieved 11 October 2016.
- Browne Willis gives Lambert's name with a query against it, and does not list a second member
- Died September 1641
- Booth was originally declared elected, but on petition the House of Commons decided that some of his voters had not validly been made Freemen, and were therefore ineligible to vote; Booth's opponent, Herne, was consequently declared elected in his place. (House of Commons Journal, 28 November 1689 )
- Sir Joseph Herne died 26 February 1699. There is apparently no record of a writ for a by-election being issued, and the seat may have remained vacant for the remainder of the Parliament
- Succeeded as the 4th Viscount Howe (in the Peerage of Ireland, July 1758. Rear Admiral 1770, Vice Admiral 1775, Admiral 1782
- Created a baronet, July 1838
- Stooks Smith, Henry. (1973) [1844-1850]. Craig, F. W. S. (ed.). The Parliaments of England (2nd ed.). Chichester: Parliamentary Research Services. pp. 66–68. ISBN 0-900178-13-2.
- Churton, Edward (1838). The Assembled Commons or Parliamentary Biographer: 1838. p. 203. Retrieved 1 November 2018 – via Google Books.
- Steele, E. D. (1991). "At home". Palmerston and Liberalism: 1855–1865. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. p. 84. ISBN 0521400457. Retrieved 7 April 2018.
- "The New House of Commons". Hull Packet. 9 July 1852. p. 5. Retrieved 7 April 2018 – via British Newspaper Archive.
- Saunders, Robert (2016). "Peelites, Protectionists and Popular Toryism". Democracy and the Vote in British Politics, 1848–1867: The Making of the Second Reform Act. Abingdon: Routledge. p. 63. ISBN 978-1-4094-1794-1. Retrieved 6 May 2018.
- Leadam, Isaac Saunders (1901). Lee, Sidney (ed.). Dictionary of National Biography (1st supplement). 52. London: Smith, Elder & Co. . In
- "Election Intelligence". Caledonian Mercury. 21 March 1857. p. 2. Retrieved 6 May 2018 – via British Newspaper Archive.
- On petition, Schenley's election was declared void and a writ for a by-election issued
- Craig, F. W. S. (1989) . British parliamentary election results 1832–1885 (2nd ed.). Chichester: Parliamentary Research Services. ISBN 0-900178-26-4.
- "Dartmouth". Western Times. 10 July 1852. p. 6. Retrieved 6 May 2018 – via British Newspaper Archive.
- "Election Intelligence". Morning Chronicle. 3 July 1852. p. 2. Retrieved 6 May 2018 – via British Newspaper Archive.
- "Dartmouth". Western Times. 18 April 1857. p. 3. Retrieved 6 May 2018 – via British Newspaper Archive.
- "Dartmouth". Royal Cornwall Gazette. 3 April 1857. p. 5. Retrieved 6 May 2018 – via British Newspaper Archive.
- "Election Petitions". Western Times. 30 July 1859. pp. 2–3. Retrieved 6 May 2018 – via British Newspaper Archive.
- "Political". Brighton Guardian. 17 October 1860. p. 2. Retrieved 25 March 2018 – via British Newspaper Archive.
- Robert Beatson, A Chronological Register of Both Houses of Parliament (London: Longman, Hurst, Res & Orme, 1807)
- D. Brunton and D. H. Pennington, Members of the Long Parliament (London: George Allen & Unwin, 1954)
- Cobbett's Parliamentary history of England, from the Norman Conquest in 1066 to the year 1803 (London: Thomas Hansard, 1808)
- Maija Jansson (ed.), Proceedings in Parliament, 1614 (House of Commons) (Philadelphia: American Philosophical Society, 1988)
- Lewis Namier, The Structure of Politics at the Accession of George III (2nd edition – London: St Martin's Press, 1961)
- Lewis Namier and John Brooke, The History of Parliament: The House of Commons 1754–1790 (London: HMSO, 1964)
- T. H. B. Oldfield, The Representative History of Great Britain and Ireland (London: Baldwin, Cradock & Joy, 1816)
- J. Holladay Philbin, Parliamentary Representation 1832 – England and Wales (New Haven: Yale University Press, 1965)
- Robert Walcott, English Politics in the Early Eighteenth Century (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1956)
- Willis, Browne (1750). Notitia Parliamentaria, Part II: A Series or Lists of the Representatives in the several Parliaments held from the Reformation 1541, to the Restoration 1660 ... London. p. 1.
- Frederic A. Youngs, Jr, Guide to the Local Administrative Units of England, Vol. I (London: Royal Historical Society, 1979)
- Leigh Rayment's Historical List of MPs – Constituencies beginning with "D" (part 1)