Devon (UK Parliament constituency)

Devon was a parliamentary constituency covering the county of Devon in England. It was represented by two Knights of the Shire, in the House of Commons of England until 1707, then of the House of Commons of Great Britain from 1707 to 1800 and finally the House of Commons of the United Kingdom from 1801 to 1832. Elections were held using the bloc vote system of elections.

Former County constituency
for the House of Commons
Number of membersTwo
Replaced byNorth Devon
South Devon

Under the Reform Act 1832, it was split into two divisions, North Devon and South Devon, for the 1832 general election.


The constituency consisted of the historic county of Devon, excluding the city of Exeter which had the status of a county in itself after 1537. (Although Devon contained a number of other parliamentary boroughs, each of which elected two MPs in its own right for part of the period when Devon was a constituency, these were not excluded from the county constituency, and owning property within the borough could confer a vote at the county election. This was not the case, though, for Exeter.)

Members of Parliament


Constituency created 1290, during the reign of King Edward I (1272–1307).

Parliaments of Edward I (1272–1307)
YearFirst memberSecond member
1290 (Jul)Sir Robert de WodetonSir Andrew Trelosk of Dunterton[1]
1294 (Nov)unknown[1]
1295 (Nov), the
Model Parliament
Sir Robert de WodetonSir William Prous of Gidleigh (1245–1315)[1]
1297 (Oct)Sir Henry Ralegh of Strete Ralegh in WhimpleSir Hugh Prous of Gatcombe in Colyton[1]
1298 (May)Sir John Umfraville of LapfordSir William Champernowne (c.1240–1304) of Ilfracombe[1]
1300 (Mar)Sir Robert Beaple of KnowstoneSir Reginald Ferrers of Bere and Newton Ferrers[1]
Parliaments of Edward III (1327–1377)
YearFirst memberSecond member
1331Sir Roger de Pridias (Prideaux) of Orcheton, Modbury[2]
1340Adam de Branscombe
1356/7John Daubernon of Dunsland[3]
1364Sir John Cary (d. 1395) of Cockington, Devon, Chief Baron of the Exchequer[4]Sir William Cary (brother)[5]
1348Adam de Branscombe
1369Sir John Cary (d. 1395) of Cockington, Devon, Chief Baron of the Exchequer[6]Sir William Cary (brother)[6]
1371Sir William Bonville
1376Sir William Bonville
Parliaments of Richard II
YearFirst memberSecond member
1377 (Oct)Sir William Bonville
1378Sir William Bonville
1379Sir William Bonville
1379John Beaumont (d. 1379/80)[7]
1380John Beaumont (d. 1379/80)[7]
1380 (Nov)Sir William Bonville
1381Sir William Bonville
1382 (May)Sir William Bonville
1382 (Oct)Sir William Bonville
1383Sir Philip Courtenay
1383Ivo FitzWarin
1384 (Apr)Sir William Bonville
1385Sir John Stretch[8]
1386Sir Philip CourtenaySir John Stretch[9]
1388 (Feb)Sir Philip CourtenaySir John Prideaux[9]
1388 (Sep)Sir John StretchSir John Grenville[9]
1390 (Jan)Sir Philip CourtenaySir James Chudleigh[9]
1390 (Nov)Sir James ChudleighJohn Prescott[9]
1391Sir James ChudleighSir William Sturmy[9]
1393Sir Philip CourtenaySir James Chudleigh[9]
1394Sir John GrenvilleSir James Chudleigh[9]
1395Sir Philip CourtenaySir Hugh Courtenay[9]
1397 (Jan)Sir William BonvilleSir John Grenville[9]
1397 (Sep)Sir Hugh CourtenaySir William Bonville[9]
Parliaments of Henry IV
YearFirst memberSecond member
1399Sir Philip CourtenayJohn Stretch[9]
1401Sir Philip CourtenaySir John Wadham[9]
1402Sir William BonvilleSir John Grenville[9]
1404 (Jan)Sir Thomas PomeroyEdmund Pyne[9]
1404 (Oct)Sir William SturmyWalter Reynell[9]
1406Sir Hugh LuttrellSir Thomas Pomeroy[9]
1407Sir Hugh LuttrellRobert Cary[9]
1410Sir Thomas PomeroyRobert Cary[9]
1411Edmund PyneRobert Cary[9]
Parliaments of Henry V
YearFirst memberSecond member
1413 (Feb)
1413 (May)Sir Thomas PomeroyRobert Cary[9]
1414 (Apr)John St. AubynRobert Cary[9]
1414 (Nov)Richard I HankfordJohn Arundell[9]
1416 (Mar)Richard I HankfordRobert Cary [9]
1416 (Oct)
1417John ColeRobert Cary[9]
1419Edward PomeroyRobert Cary[9]
1420Sir Robert ChalonsThomas Archdeacon[9]
1421 (May)Sir Hugh CourtenayRobert Cary[9]
1421 (Dec)John CopplestoneHenry Fortescue[9]
Parliaments of Henry VI
NoYearFirst memberSecond member
1st1422William Bonville, 1st Baron BonvilleRobert Cary[10]
2nd1423Richard HankefordJohn Cole[10]
3rd1425William Bonville, 1st Baron BonvilleRobert Cary[10]
4th1426Robert CaryJames Chuddelegh[10][9]
5th1427Philip CourtenayWilliam Bonville, 1st Baron Bonville[10] (& John Reynell 1427/8[11])
9th1433Sir Philip Cary
10th1435Nicholas Radford[12]John Copplestone
171439John Copplestone[13]
331454/5Walter Reynell (died 1478) of Malston in the parish of Sherford, Devon[14]
Parliaments of Edward IV
YearFirst memberSecond member
1491John Crocker
YearFirst memberSecond member
1510–1523No names known[9]
1529Sir William Courtenay (d. 1535) of Powderham, died Nov.1535
and repl. Jan 1536 by
George Carew
Sir Thomas Denys[9]
1539Sir Thomas DenysRichard Pollard[9]
1542Richard Pollard?Gawain Carew[9]
1545?Sir Gawain Carew[9]
Parliaments of Edward VII
YearFirst memberSecond member
1547Sir Gawain CarewJohn Chichester[9]
1553 (Mar)Sir Peter CarewJohn Fulford[9]
Parliaments of Mary I
YearFirst memberSecond member
1553 (Oct)Sir Peter CarewSir Thomas Denys[9]
1554 (Apr)Sir John ChichesterJohn Prideaux[9]
1554 (Nov)James BassettJames Courtenay[9]
1555James BassettRobert Denys[9]
Parliaments of Elizabeth I
YearFirst memberSecond member
1558James BassettGeorge Kirkham[9]
1559[9] Sir Peter Carew Sir John St Leger
1563–1567[15] John Chichester Gawin Carew
1571[15] Sir John St Leger Peter Edgcumbe
1572–1583[15] Arthur Bassett
1584–1585[15] Walter Raleigh William Courtenay
1586–1587[15] John Chudleigh
1588–1589[15] William Courtenay George Cary
1593[15] Sir Thomas Denys Sir Edward Seymour, 1st Baronet
1597–1598[15] William Strode Amias Bampfield
1601[15] William Courtenay Sir Edward Seymour, 1st Baronet
Parliaments of James I
YearFirst memberSecond member
1604–1611[16] Sir Edward Seymour, 1st Baronet Thomas Ridgeway[17]
(from 1607)[16] Sir John Acland
1614[16] John Drake Sir Edward Giles
1621–1622[16] Sir Edward Seymour, 2nd Baronet
1624–1625[16] Sir William Strode
Parliaments of Charles I
YearFirst memberSecond member
1625[16] Francis Fulford Francis Courtenay
1626[16] John Drake John Pole
1628–1629[16] John Bampfield Sir Francis Drake, Bt[18]


YearFirst memberFirst partySecond memberSecond party
April 1640[16] Sir Edward Seymour, 3rd BaronetRoyalist Thomas Wyse[19]
November 1640[16]
1641[16] Sir Samuel Rolle[20]Parliamentarian
January 1643 Seymour disabled to sit – seat vacant
1646 Sir Nicholas Martyn
1648 William Morice[21]
December 1648 Morice and Martyn excluded in Pride's Purge – both seats vacant.
1653 Seven nominated members in the Barebones Parliament: George Monck, John Carew, Thomas Saunders, Christopher Martyn, James Erisey, Francis Rous, Richard Sweet
Devon's representation was increased to 11 MPs in the First and Second Parliaments of the Protectorate
1654 Thomas Saunders, Robert Rolle, Arthur Upton, Thomas Reynell, William Morice, John Hale,
William Bastard, William Fry, Sir John Northcote, Bt, Henry Hatsell, John Quick
1656 Thomas Saunders, Robert Rolle, Arthur Upton, Thomas Reynell, William Morice, John Hale,
Sir John Northcote, Bt, Captain Henry Hatsell, Sir John Yonge, Edmund Fowell, John Doddridge
January 1659 Sir John Northcote, Bt Robert Rolle
May 1659 Not represented in the restored Rump
April 1660 George Monck Sir John Northcote, Bt
July 1660 Sir Edward Seymour, 3rd Baronet
1661 Sir Hugh Pollard, Bt Sir John Rolle
1667 Earl of Torrington
1671 Sir Coplestone Bampfylde, Bt
February 1679 Sir Edward Seymour, 4th BaronetTory Sir William Courtenay, Bt
September 1679 Samuel Rolle
1685 Sir Bourchier Wrey, Bt Sir Coplestone Bampfylde, Bt
1689 Francis Courtenay Samuel Rolle
September 1699 Thomas Drewe
January 1701 Sir William Courtenay, Bt
December 1701 Sir John Pole, Bt
1702 Robert Rolle
1710 Sir William Pole John Rolle
1712 Sir William Courtenay, Bt
1713 Sir Coplestone Bampfylde, BtTory
1727 John Rolle
1730 Henry Rolle
1736 John Bampfylde
1741 Sir William Courtenay, Bt Theophilus Fortescue
1746 Sir Thomas Dyke-Acland, Bt
1747 Sir Richard Bampfylde, Bt
1762 John Parker
1776 John Rolle Walter
1780 John Rolle
1784 John Pollexfen BastardTory
1796 Sir Lawrence Palk, Bt
1812 Sir Thomas Dyke-Acland, BtTory
1816 Edmund Pollexfen Bastard
1818 Viscount EbringtonWhig
1820 Sir Thomas Dyke-Acland, BtTory
1830 Viscount EbringtonWhig
1831 Lord John RussellWhig
  • Constituency abolished (1832)



  1. J. J. Alexander (1912). "Devon County Members of Parliament. Part I. The early Plantagenet Period (1212–1327)". Report & Transactions of the Devonshire Association. 44: 366–381.
  2. Vivian, Lt.Col. J. L., (ed.) The Visitations of the County of Devon: Comprising the Heralds' Visitations of 1531, 1564 & 1620, Exeter, 1895, p. 616, pedigree of Prideaux.
  3. Risdon, Tristram (d. 1640), Survey of Devon, 1811 edition, London, 1811, with 1810 Additions, p. 251.
  4. Vivian, Lt.Col. J. L., (ed.) The Visitations of the County of Devon: Comprising the Heralds' Visitations of 1531, 1564 & 1620, Exeter, 1895, p. 150, pedigree of Cary (regnal year 37 Edward III, i.e. 1363); see also biography of his son Sir Robert Cary in History of Parliament
  5. Vivian, Lt.Col. J.L., (Ed.) The Visitations of the County of Devon: Comprising the Heralds' Visitations of 1531, 1564 & 1620, Exeter, 1895, p. 150, pedigree of Cary (regnal year 37 Edward III, i.e. 1363).
  6. Vivian, p. 150 (regnal year 42 Edward III, i.e. 1368).
  7. Beaumont, Edward T., The Beaumonts in History. A.D. 850-1850. Oxford, c. 1929, (privately published), Chapter 5, pp. 56–63, The Devonshire Family, p. 62 (term given as 1376–80).
  8. "STRETCH, Sir John (1341-90), of Pinhoe and Hempston Arundel (Little Hempston), Devon". History of Parliament Online. Retrieved 12 May 2013.
  9. "History of Parliament". Retrieved 12 September 2011.
  10. Willis 1715, p. 252.
  11. Vivian, Lt.Col. J. L., (ed.) The Visitations of the County of Devon: Comprising the Heralds' Visitations of 1531, 1564 & 1620, Exeter, 1895, p. 643: regnal date "6 Henry IV" (sic), probably "6 Henry VI" 1427/8; corrected date deduced as his brother was Walter Reynell (died 1478) of Malston (Vivian, p. 643) a Member of Parliament for Devon in 1454/5 (Vivian, p. 643).
  12. History of Parliament Online article.
  14. Regnal date 33 Henry VI per Vivian, Lt.Col. J. L., (ed.) The Visitations of the County of Devon: Comprising the Heralds' Visitations of 1531, 1564 & 1620, Exeter, 1895, pp. 643–5, pedigree of Reynell, p. 643.
  15. J. J. Alexander (1915), "Devon Country Members of Parliament, Part IV, The Tudor Period (1485-1603)", Rep. Trans. Devon. Ass. Advmt Sci., XLVII: 365–370
  16. J. J. Alexander (1916), "Devon Country Members of Parliament, Part V, The Stuart Period (1603-1688)", Rep. Trans. Devon. Ass. Advmt Sci., XLVIII: 330–332
  17. Appointed Treasurer in Ireland 1607.
  18. Youngest brother (1588–1637) of Francis Drake.
  19. Died March 1641.
  20. Died December 1647.
  21. Morice may not have taken his seat before being excluded in Pride's Purge.


  • D. Brunton & 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)
  • J. E. Neale, The Elizabethan House of Commons (London: Jonathan Cape, 1949)
  • Leigh Rayment's Historical List of MPs – Constituencies beginning with "D" (part 2)
  • Willis, Browne (1715). Notitia parliamentaria: or, An history of the counties, cities, and boroughs in England and Wales: Cornwall, Cumberland, Darby, Devon, Dorset and Durham. II. Printed by Robert Gosling. p. 252.

See also

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