Northamptonshire (UK Parliament constituency)

The county constituency of Northamptonshire, in the East Midlands of England was a constituency of the House of Commons of the Parliament of England, then of the Parliament of Great Britain from 1707 to 1800 and of the Parliament of the United Kingdom from 1801 to 1832 and was represented in Parliament by two MPs, traditionally known as Knights of the Shire.

Former County constituency
for the House of Commons
Number of memberstwo

After 1832 the county was split into two new constituencies, North Northamptonshire and South Northamptonshire.


The constituency consisted of the historic county of Northamptonshire. Although the county contained a number of parliamentary boroughs, each of which elected one or two MPs in its own right for parts of the period when Northamptonshire was a constituency, these areas were not excluded from the county constituency. Owning freehold property of the required value, within such boroughs, could confer a vote at the county election. (After 1832, only non-resident owners of forty shilling freeholds situated in borough seats could qualify for a county vote on the basis of that property.)

Members of Parliament


Constituency created (1290)

ParliamentFirst memberSecond member
1305 (Feb)Oliver la Zouch[1]John de Seyton[1]
1319John de Longeville[1]William Trussell[1]
1324Henry de Trailly
1330 (Nov)Robert de Daventry[1]Edmund Trussell[1]
1337John de Seyton
1343Sir William Brabazon[1]
1380 (Jan)John Tyndale
1382 (Oct)John WydevilleJohn Tyndale
1383 (Feb)John WydevilleJohn Tyndale
1383 (Oct)John Wydeville
1384 (Apr)Roger de la ChamberJohn Tyndale
1384 (Nov)Roger de la ChamberJohn Tyndale
1385Sir Giles Mallory
1386Roger de la ChamberJohn Tyndale [2]
1388 (Feb)Sir Giles MalloryJohn Wydeville [2]
1388 (Sep)John HarrowdenJohn Mulsho [2]
1390 (Jan)Roger de la ChamberJohn Mulsho [2]
1390 (Nov)John WydevilleJohn Mulsho [2]
1391Roger de la ChamberSir Nicholas Lilling [2]
1393Sir Giles MalloryJohn Tyndale [2]
1394Sir Henry GreenSir Giles Mallory [2]
1395Roger de la ChamberRobert Chiselden [2]
1397 (Jan)Sir Henry GreenJohn Cope [2]
1397 (Sep)Hugh NorthboroughJohn Mulsho [2]
1399John CopeRobert Chiselden [2]
1401Sir Giles MalloryJohn Warwick [2]
1402Sir Giles MalloryJohn Cope [2]
1404 (Jan)Sir John TrussellRalph Parles [2]
1404 (Oct)Ralph GreenJohn Cope [2]
1406Ralph Parles / John CopeJohn Warwick [2]
1407John TyndaleThomas Wake [2]
1410Sir John St. JohnRalph Green [2]
1411Sir John St. JohnWilliam Huddlestone [2]
1413 (Feb)
1413 (May)Nicholas MerburyThomas Wake [2]
1414 (Apr)Thomas WydevilleNicholas Merbury [2]
1414 (Nov)Sir John TrussellJohn Mortimer [2]
1416 (Mar)Sir John St. JohnWilliam Huddlestone [2]
1416 (Oct)
1417Thomas MulshoThomas Wake [2]
1419Thomas StrangeJohn Boseno [2]
1420Sir John BeaufoRichard Knightley [2]
1421 (May)Sir John St. JohnThomas Strange [2]
1421 (Dec)Sir John KnyvetSimon Kynnesman [2]
1423William TreshamRichard Knightley
1425John Catesby
1427William Tresham
1429William TreshamJohn Catesby
1432William Tresham
1433William Tresham
1435William Tresham
1439William TreshamRichard Knightley
1442William Tresham
1445William Tresham
1447William TreshamHenry Green
1449 (Feb)William TreshamWilliam Catesby
1449 (Oct)William TreshamThomas Thorpe
1450 (Nov)Thomas Mulsho
1453Sir Thomas TreshamWilliam Catesby
1459Sir Thomas Tresham
1484William Catesby
1486Sir Thomas Lovell
1491Richard EmpsonDavy Philip
1510–1512No names known[3]
1515?Sir Nicholas Vaux? [3]
1529Sir William ParrRichard Knightley[3]
1539Sir William ParrSir Thomas Tresham [3]
1542Sir Thomas TreshamSir William Newenham [3]
1547Henry WilliamsSir John Cope [3]
1553 (Mar)Sir Nicholas ThrockmortonRobert Lane [3]
1553 (Oct)Sir John FermorWilliam Chauncy [3]
1554 (Apr)Sir Thomas TreshamSir John Spencer [3]
1554 (Nov)Sir Thomas TreshamWilliam Chauncy [3]
1555Sir John FermorWilliam Chauncy [3]

As there were sometimes significant gaps between Parliaments, the dates of first assembly and dissolution are given for those up to 1640. Where the name of the member has not yet been ascertained or is not recorded in a surviving document, the entry unknown is entered in the table.

ElectedAssembledDissolvedFirst MemberSecond Member
155820 January 155817 November 1558Sir Walter MildmaySir John Spencer
155923 January 15598 May 1559Edward Montagu
156311 January 15632 January 1567Sir William Cecil
15712 April 157129 May 1571Sir Robert Lane
15728 May 157219 April 1583(Sir) Christopher Hatton
158423 November 158414 September 1585
158615 October 158623 March 1587
15884 February 158929 March 1589Sir Richard Knightley
159318 February 159310 April 1593Sir Thomas CecilChristopher Yelverton
159724 October 15979 February 1598Sir Richard Knightley
160127 October 160119 December 1601Sir John StanhopeSir William Lane
160419 March 16049 February 1611Sir Valentine KnightleySir Edward Montagu
16145 April 16147 June 1614Sir William Tate [4]
162016 January 16218 February 1622Sir William Spencer
(1621)Richard Knightley [5]
162412 February 162427 March 1625
162517 May 162512 August 1625
16266 February 162615 June 1626Sir John Pickering
162817 March 162810 March 1629Francis NicollsRichard Knightley
1629–1640No Parliaments convened


ElectionFirst memberFirst partySecond memberSecond party
Northamptonshire was represented by 2 elected Knights of the Shire
1640, April John Crew Sir Gilbert Pickering, Bt
1640, November Sir Gilbert Pickering, BtParliamentarian Sir John Dryden, BtParliamentarian
Northamptonshire was represented by 2 nominated MPs in Barebones Parliament
1653 [6] Sir Gilbert Pickering, Bt Thomas Brooke
Northamptonshire's representation was increased to 6 elected MPs in the First and Second Parliaments of the Protectorate
1654 (1) Sir Gilbert Pickering, Bt (2) John Crew [7]
(3) Sir John Norwich, Bt (4) John Claypole, senior
(5) Sir John Dryden, Bt (6) Thomas Brooke
1656 (1) Sir Gilbert Pickering, Bt (2) John Claypole[8]
(3) William Boteler (4) James Langham
(5) Thomas Crew (6) Alexander Blake
Northamptonshire's representation was decreased to 2 MPs in the Third Parliament of the Protectorate and thereafter
1659, January Richard Knightley Philip Holman
1659, May Sir Gilbert Pickering, Bt vacant
1660, April 22 John Crew Sir Henry Yelverton, Bt
1661, March 21 Sir Justinian Isham, 2nd Bt George Clerke
1675, April 29 Lord Burghley
1678, February 28 Miles Fleetwood
1679, February 6 Sir Roger Norwich, Bt John Parkhurst
1679, August 21 Miles Fleetwood
1685, May 12 Sir Roger Norwich, Bt Edward MontaguTory
1689, January 14 Edward HarbyWhig
1689, June 13 Sir Thomas Samwell, Bt
1690, February 20 Sir St Andrew St John, BtWhig John ParkhurstWhig
1695, November 14 Thomas CartwrightTory
1698, July 21 Sir Justinian Isham, 4th BtTory John ParkhurstWhig
1701, December 4 Thomas CartwrightTory
1730, May 21 Sir Justinian Isham, 5th Bt
1737, March 31 Sir Edmund Isham, Bt
1748, April 14 Valentine Knightley
1754, December 26 William Cartwright
1768, March 31 Sir William Dolben, Bt
1773, January 14 Lucy Knightley
1774, October 18 Thomas Powys
1784, April 15 Sir James Langham, Bt
1790, June 23 Francis Dickins
1797, August 2 William Ralph CartwrightTory
1806, November 12 Viscount AlthorpWhig
1831, May 23 Viscount MiltonWhig
Constituency abolished 1832: see North Northamptonshire and South Northamptonshire.


  1. Members of Parliament 1213-1702. London: House of Commons. 1878.
  2. "History of Parliament". Retrieved 8 September 2011.
  3. "History of Parliament". Retrieved 8 September 2011.
  4. "TATE, Sir William (1559/60-1617), of Delapré Abbey, Northants". History of Parliament Online. Retrieved 11 April 2013.
  5. Elected following the elevation of Sir Edward Montagu to the peerage in 1621
  6. From: 'List of members nominated for Parliament of 1653', Diary of Thomas Burton esq, volume 4: March - April 1659 (1828), pp. 499-500. URL: Date accessed: 27 January 2008.
  7. Appointed to Cromwell's Upper House, which first sat on 20 January 1658.
  8. Claypole was also elected for Carmarthenshire and chose Northamptonshire.


See also


  • Cobbett's Parliamentary history of England, from the Norman Conquest in 1066 to the year 1803 (London: Thomas Hansard, 1808)
  • The House of Commons 1690-1715, by Eveline Cruickshanks, Stuart Handley and D.W. Hayton (Cambridge University Press 2002)
  • J E Neale, The Elizabethan House of Commons (London: Jonathan Cape, 1949)
  • The Parliaments of England by Henry Stooks Smith (1st edition published in three volumes 1844-50), second edition edited (in one volume) by F.W.S. Craig (Political Reference Publications 1973))
  • Leigh Rayment's Historical List of MPs – Constituencies beginning with "N" (part 3)
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