Monmouth Boroughs (UK Parliament constituency)

Monmouth Boroughs (also known as the Monmouth District of Boroughs) was a parliamentary constituency consisting of several towns in Monmouthshire. It returned one Member of Parliament (MP) to the House of Commons of the Parliaments of England, Great Britain, and finally the United Kingdom; until 1832 the constituency was known simply as Monmouth, though it included other "contributory boroughs".

Monmouth Boroughs
Former Borough constituency
for the House of Commons
1545–1918
Number of membersone
Replaced byMonmouth and Newport
For constituencies which may be confused with Monmouth Boroughs, see Monmouth constituency

History and boundaries

The area was first enfranchised as the single-member borough of Monmouth or Monmouth Town in the reign of Henry VIII, at the same time as the counties and boroughs of Wales. On official, national-level paper cast as being in England its electoral arrangements from the outset resembled those of the Welsh boroughs rather than those in the rest of England - its single member and its other "contributory boroughs" in the same county, which were required to contribute to the members' expenses and which had the right to send voters to take part in the election at the county town. These were initially six or perhaps seven in number: Caerleon, Newport, Trellech, Usk, Chepstow, Abergavenny and possibly Grosmont; but by the late 17th century all of the electors were freemen of Monmouth, Usk and Newport.

The franchise was settled by a judgment in a disputed election in 1680, when Monmouth attempted to return a member to parliament without the involvement of the other boroughs, and the Court declared the right to vote to rest in the resident freemen of Monmouth, Newport and Usk. The number of electors fell away sharply during the 18th century - from 2,000 in 1715 to about 800 in the 1754-1790 period; by the time of the Great Reform Act in 1832 qualified voters numbered: 123 in Newport, 83 in Monmouth and 74 in Usk. In Tudor times the seat was under the influence of the Duchy of Lancaster and around the start of the 18th century it was a pocket borough of the Morgan family of Tredegar, who were influential in the Newport area; but soon afterwards the Dukes of Beaufort (a Scudamore family branch) gained control. After the Duke's candidate had won the election of 1715 decisively, this patronage was so clear contests ceased until 1820 their candidates (many of them members of the family) were returned unopposed.

At the time of the Great Reform Act (or First Reform Act), 1832, Monmouth and Newport each had around 5,000 residents and Usk just over 1,000. This was great for most seats of its type even dual-member boroughs were mostly were kept if they had or could be simply drawn to exceed 4,000 residents. Nevertheless, all three parts of this seat were expanding by taking into the new high-rent-paying and/or landed outlook (franchise) a broad view of each town; such area took in 13,101 people and its electorate (under the "reformed" franchise) was 899. Henceforth it was generally referred to as the Monmouth Boroughs.

From 1832 until 1906 results tended on 'marginal' rather than 'safe', alternating between Conservatives and Whigs/Liberals. Crawshay Bailey (Con.) was returned unopposed four times after he was first elected. The seat moved steadily towards the Liberals, however, as the franchise became more inclusive and Newport grew in size; by the turn of the century 90% of the electorate was there, and it was a mass-labour working class and mainly industrial town unlike Monmouth and Usk. The Conservatives won in their landslide year of 1900 and held the seat in the by-election when that election was voided for various irregularities, but were probably helped by the association of the Liberal candidate with the campaign to extend the Welsh Sunday Closing Act to Monmouthshire. After, it was identifiably "safely" Liberal, and at the time of the 1911 census had a population of 77,902.

The seat was abolished by the Representation of the People Act 1918: Newport became a parliamentary borough; Monmouth and Usk, mainstays of "Monmouth" county constituency.

Boundary reforms

Redefined limits of the three contributory boroughs were set in 1832 and 1885.

Members of Parliament

1545-1640

ParliamentFirst member
1542Thomas Kynnyllyn[1]
1545Richard Morgan, also elected for Gloucester [1]
1547Giles Morgan[1]
1553 (Mar)(not known)[1]
1553 (Oct)John Philip Morgan[1]
1554 (Apr)John Philip Morgan[1]
1554 (Nov)John Philip Morgan[1]
1555Thomas Lewis[1]
1558Matthew Herbert[1]
1559Moore Powell [2]
1562Moore Powell [2]
1571Charles Herbert [2]
1572Moore Powell, died
and replaced 1576 by
Sir William Morgan [2]
1584Moore Gwillim [2]
1586Moore Gwillim [2]
1588Philip Jones [2]
1593Edward Hubberd [2]
1597Robert Johnson [2]
1601Robert Johnson [2]
1604-1611(Sir) Robert Johnson
1614Sir Robert Johnson
1621-1622Thomas Ravenscroft
1624Walter Stewart or Steward
1625Walter Stewart or Steward
1626William Fortune
1628William Morgan
1629–1640No Parliaments summoned

1640-1918

YearMemberParty
April 1640 Charles Jones[n 1]
November 1640 Disputed election - seat effectively vacant [n 2]
1646 Thomas Pury
1653 Monmouth was unrepresented in the Barebones Parliament
and the First and Second Parliaments of the Protectorate
January 1659 Nathaniel Waterhouse
May 1659 Thomas Pury
April 1660 Sir Trevor Williams
1661 Sir George Probert
1677 Charles Somerset
February 1679 Sir Trevor Williams
September 1679 Charles Somerset [n 3]
1680 John Arnold Whig
April 1685 Charles Somerset
June 1685 Sir James Herbert
January 1689 John Arnold Whig
February 1689 John Williams
1690 Sir Charles Kemeys
1695 John Arnold Whig
1698 Henry Probert
1701 John Morgan
1705 Sir Thomas Powell
1708 Clayton Milborne
1715 William Bray
1720 Andrews Windsor
1722 Edward Kemeys
1734 Lord Charles Somerset
1745 Sir Charles Tynte
1747 Fulke Greville
1754 Benjamin Bathurst
1767 (Sir) John Stepney [n 4]
1788 Henry Somerset [n 5] Tory[3]
1790 Charles Bragge Tory[3]
1796 Vice Admiral (Sir) Charles Thompson [n 6]
1799 Lord Edward Somerset Tory[3]
1802 Lord Charles Somerset Tory[3]
1813 Henry Somerset Tory[3]
May 1831 Benjamin Hall [n 7] Whig[3]
July 1831 Henry Somerset Tory[3]
1832 Benjamin Hall Whig[3]
1837 Reginald Blewitt Whig[3][4][5][6]
1852 Crawshay Bailey Conservative
1868 Sir John Ramsden Liberal
1874 Thomas Cordes Conservative
1880 Edward Carbutt Liberal
1886 Sir George Elliot Conservative
1892 Albert Spicer Liberal
1900 Dr Frederick Rutherfoord Harris [n 8] Conservative
1901 Joseph Lawrence Conservative
1906 Lewis Haslam Liberal
1918 constituency abolished

Election results

Elections in the 1840s

General election 1841: Monmouth Boroughs [7]
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Whig Reginald Blewitt 476 100.0
Chartist William Edwards[8] 0 0.0
Majority 476 100.0
Turnout 476 37.5
Registered electors 1,268
Whig hold Swing N/A
General election 1847: Monmouth Boroughs [7]
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Whig Reginald Blewitt Unopposed
Registered electors 1,420
Whig hold

Elections in the 1850s

Blewitt resigned by accepting the office of Steward of the Manor of Hempholme, causing a by-election.

By-election, 3 April 1852: Monmouth Boroughs [7]
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Conservative Crawshay Bailey 764 59.1 N/A
Whig William Schaw Lindsay[9][10] 529 40.9 N/A
Majority 235 18.2 N/A
Turnout 1,293 77.1 N/A
Registered electors 1,676
Conservative gain from Whig Swing N/A
General election 1852: Monmouth Boroughs [7]
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Conservative Crawshay Bailey Unopposed
Registered electors 1,676
Conservative gain from Whig
General election 1857: Monmouth Boroughs [7]
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Conservative Crawshay Bailey Unopposed
Registered electors 1,744
Conservative hold
General election 1859: Monmouth Boroughs [7]
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Conservative Crawshay Bailey Unopposed
Registered electors 1,745
Conservative hold

Elections in the 1860s

General election 1865: Monmouth Boroughs [7]
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Conservative Crawshay Bailey Unopposed
Registered electors 2,087
Conservative hold
General election 1868: Monmouth Boroughs [7]
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Liberal John William Ramsden 1,618 52.8 N/A
Conservative Samuel Homfray[11] 1,449 47.2 N/A
Majority 169 5.5 N/A
Turnout 3,067 81.3 N/A
Registered electors 3,771
Liberal gain from Conservative Swing N/A

Elections in the 1870s

General election 1874: Monmouth Boroughs [7]
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Conservative Thomas Cordes 2,090 59.1 +11.9
Liberal Henry Pochin[12] 1,447 40.9 11.9
Majority 643 18.2 N/A
Turnout 3,537 75.2 6.1
Registered electors 4,702
Conservative gain from Liberal Swing +11.9

Elections in the 1880s

General election 1880: Monmouth Boroughs [7]
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Liberal Edward Carbutt 2,258 50.7 +9.8
Conservative Thomas Cordes 2,197 49.3 9.8
Majority 61 1.4 N/A
Turnout 4,455 87.5 +12.3
Registered electors 5,090
Liberal gain from Conservative Swing +9.8
General election 1885: Monmouth Boroughs [13][14][15]
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Liberal Edward Carbutt 2,932 50.1 0.6
Conservative Thomas Cordes 2,921 49.9 +0.6
Majority 11 0.2 1.2
Turnout 5,853 90.3 +2.8
Registered electors 6,485
Liberal hold Swing 0.6
General election 1886: Monmouth Boroughs [13][14]
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Conservative George Elliot 3,033 54.2 +4.3
Liberal Edward Carbutt 2,568 45.8 -4.3
Majority 465 8.4 N/A
Turnout 5,601 86.4 -3.9
Registered electors 6,485
Conservative gain from Liberal Swing +4.3

Elections in the 1890s

General election 1892: Monmouth Boroughs [14][16]
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Liberal Albert Spicer 3,430 52.2 +6.4
Conservative George Elliot 3,137 47.8 6.4
Majority 293 4.4 n/a
Turnout 6,567 85.3 1.1
Registered electors 7,697
Liberal gain from Conservative Swing +6.4
General election 1895: Monmouth Boroughs [14][17][16]
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Liberal Albert Spicer 3,743 51.1 1.1
Conservative Emanuel Maguire Underdown 3,589 48.9 +1.1
Majority 154 2.2 2.2
Turnout 7,332 87.4 +2.1
Registered electors 8,391
Liberal hold Swing 1.1

Elections in the 1900s

General election 1900: Monmouth Boroughs [14][17][13]
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Conservative Frederick Rutherfoord Harris 4,415 54.2 +5.3
Liberal Albert Spicer 3,727 45.8 5.3
Majority 688 8.4 N/A
Turnout 8,142 87.2 0.2
Registered electors 9,335
Conservative gain from Liberal Swing +5.3
1901 Monmouth Boroughs by-election[13]
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Conservative Joseph Lawrence 4,604 51.9 2.3
Liberal Albert Spicer 4,261 48.1 +2.3
Majority 343 3.8 4.6
Turnout 8,865 90.4 +3.2
Registered electors 9,803
Conservative hold Swing 2.3
General election 1906: Monmouth Boroughs [13][14]
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Liberal Lewis Haslam 4,531 44.7 1.1
Conservative Edward Emanuel Micholls 3,939 38.8 15.4
Labour Repr. Cmte. James Whinstone 1,678 16.5 N/A
Majority 592 5.9 N/A
Turnout 10,148 90.6 +3.4
Registered electors 11,207
Liberal gain from Conservative Swing +7.2

Elections in the 1910s

General election January 1910: Monmouth Boroughs [13][18]
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Liberal Lewis Haslam 6,496 54.8 +10.1
Conservative Charles Cayzer 5,351 45.2 +6.4
Majority 1,145 9.6 +3.7
Turnout 11,847 91.6 +1.0
Registered electors 12,934
Liberal hold Swing +1.9
General election December 1910: Monmouth Boroughs [13][18]
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Liberal Lewis Haslam 6,154 54.9 +0.1
Conservative Gerald de La Pryme Hargreaves 5,056 45.1 -0.1
Majority 1,098 9.8 +0.2
Turnout 11,210 86.7 4.9
Registered electors 12,934
Liberal hold Swing +0.1

General Election 1914/15:

Another General Election was required to take place before the end of 1915. The political parties had been making preparations for an election to take place and by the July 1914, the following candidates had been selected;

Notes and references

Notes

  1. Jones was also elected for Beaumaris, but had not chosen his seat before parliament was dissolved
  2. The election of November 1640 was disputed between William Watkins and Thomas Trevor. Watkins took his seat at the very beginning of the Parliament, but was then instructed to cease attending until the dispute had been resolved; in fact this had not happened by the time of the outbreak of the Civil War, and proceedings were then put in abeyance and neither ever gained the seat. Watkins was disabled from sitting for his adherence to the Royalist cause while Trevor was elected for another constituency, and a writ to fill the vacant seat was eventually issued in 1646.
  3. On petition, Herbert was declared not to have been duly elected, having been returned only by the freemen of Monmouth, and his opponent Arnold (who had the majority once the votes of Newport and Usk were included) was declared elected in his place
  4. Succeeded to a baronetcy, October 1772
  5. Worcester was re-elected in 1790, but had also been elected for Bristol, which he chose to represent, and did not sit again for Monmouth
  6. Created a baronet, 1797
  7. On petition, Hall's election was overturned and the Marquess of Worcester declared re-elected in his place
  8. On petition, the election of Harris was declared void and a by-election held

References

  1. "History of Parliament". History of Parliament Trust. Retrieved 2013-06-02.
  2. "History of Parliament". History of Parliament Trust. Retrieved 2011-10-16.
  3. Stooks Smith, Henry. (1973) [1844-1850]. Craig, F. W. S. (ed.). The Parliaments of England (2nd ed.). Chichester: Parliamentary Research Services. pp. 219–220. ISBN 0-900178-13-2. Retrieved 22 August 2018.
  4. Churton, Edward (1836). The Assembled Commons or Parliamentary Biographer: 1836. p. 33. Retrieved 22 August 2018 via Google Books.
  5. Mosse, Richard Bartholomew (1838). The Parliamentary Guide: a concise history of the Members of both Houses, etc. p. 143. Retrieved 22 August 2018 via Google Books.
  6. "Monmouth — Thursday". Coventry Standard. 9 July 1841. p. 2. Retrieved 22 August 2018 via British Newspaper Archive.
  7. Craig, F. W. S., ed. (1977). British Parliamentary Election Results 1832-1885 (e-book)|format= requires |url= (help) (1st ed.). London: Macmillan Press. ISBN 978-1-349-02349-3.
  8. "The Secretary of the Chartists' Reply to Wit. Edwards". Monmouthshire Merlin. 17 July 1841. p. 4. Retrieved 13 August 2019 via British Newspaper Archive.
  9. "Monmouth Burghs Election". Cork Constitution. 8 April 1852. p. 3. Retrieved 22 August 2018 via British Newspaper Archive.
  10. "The Nomination". Monmouthsire Merlin. 2 April 1852. p. 5. Retrieved 22 August 2018 via British Newspaper Archive.
  11. "Monmouth". Monmouthshire Beacon. Gwent. 21 November 1868. p. 1. Retrieved 5 March 2018 via British Newspaper Archive.
  12. "Stafford". South Wales Daily News. 24 August 1875. p. 5. Retrieved 6 January 2018 via British Newspaper Archive.
  13. British Parliamentary Election Results 1885-1918, FWS Craig
  14. The Liberal Year Book, 1907
  15. Debrett's House of Commons & Judicial Bench, 1886
  16. Craig, FWS, ed. (1974). British Parliamentary Election Results: 1885-1918. London: Macmillan Press. ISBN 9781349022984.
  17. Debrett's House of Commons & Judicial Bench, 1901
  18. Debrett's House of Commons & Judicial Bench, 1916

Bibliography

  • S T Bindoff, The History of Parliament: The House of Commons 1509-1558 (Secker & Warburg, 1982)
  • D Brunton & D H Pennington, Members of the Long Parliament (London: George Allen & Unwin, 1954)
  • The Constitutional Year Book for 1913 (London: National Union of Conservative and Unionist Associations, 1913)
  • F W S Craig, British Parliamentary Election Results 1832-1885 (2nd edition, Aldershot: Parliamentary Research Services, 1989)
  • P W Hasler, The History of Parliament: The House of Commons 1558-1603 (London: HMSO, 1981)
  • Lewis Namier & John Brooke, The History of Parliament: The House of Commons 1754-1790 (London: HMSO, 1964)
  • J. E. Neale, The Elizabethan House of Commons (London: Jonathan Cape, 1949)
  • T. H. B. Oldfield, The Representative History of Great Britain and Ireland (London: Baldwin, Cradock & Joy, 1816)
  • Henry Pelling, Social Geography of British Elections 1885-1910 (London: Macmillan, 1967)
  • J Holladay Philbin, Parliamentary Representation 1832 - England and Wales (New Haven: Yale University Press, 1965)
  • Romney Sedgwick, The History of Parliament: The House of Commons 1715-1754, (London: HMSO, 1970)
  • Robert Walcott, English Politics in the Early Eighteenth Century (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1956)
  • Parliamentary Boundaries Act, 1832 (2 & 3 Will. 4 c.64), Schedule O
  • Redistribution of Seats Act, 1885 (48 & 49 Vict c.23), Ninth Schedule
  • W R Williams The Parliamentary History of the Principality of Wales
  • Cobbett's Parliamentary history of England, from the Norman Conquest in 1066 to the year 1803 (London: Thomas Hansard, 1808)
  • Leigh Rayment's Historical List of MPs – Constituencies beginning with "M" (part 3)
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