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David Chadwick (23 December 1821 – 19 September 1895)[1] was an English accountant and Liberal Party politician. He sat in the House of Commons from 1868 to 1880.


Early lifeEdit

David Chadwick was the son of John Chadwick,[2] who was originally from Macclesfield but later moved to Manchester.[2]

Chadwick was educated in Manchester, and began training as an accountant in 1843.[3] By 1870 he was a senior partner in Chadwicks, Adamson, Collier, and Co., based in London and Manchester.[2] He was a President of the Manchester Statistical Society, the first president of the Manchester Institute of Accountants, and an associate of the Institution of Civil Engineers.[2]

At the 1865 general election, Chadwick unsuccessfully contested the borough of Macclesfield,[4] but he won the seat at the 1868 general election.[5] Macclesfield then had two Members of Parliament (MPs), and Chadwick and his fellow Liberal MP William Coare Brocklehurst were re-elected in 1874[6] and in 1880.[4][7] However, an election petition was lodged against the result of the 1880 general election in Macclesfield, and the result was declared void on 22 June 1880.[1] The Election Court found that an organised system of bribery and treating by the Liberal election agent had prevailed at the election; Chadwick and Brocklehurst were both unseated[8] and a Royal Commission was appointed to investigate. The inquiry opened on 1 October 1880,[9] which found that there had been extensive bribery in the borough.[4] The writ was suspended, and the borough lost its right to representation in Parliament.[4] William Mair, Liberal agent at the election, told the court that he had promised Chadwick that no money would be spent illegally. He was convicted in July 1881 of bribery and of making a false return of election expenses.[10] Chadwick did not stand again.

Chadwick was also a prolific writer on a range of topics. His works included Suggestions for an Equitable Redistribution of Parliamentary Representation, The Financial Aspect of the Sanitary Question, Poor Rates and Principle of Rating, Social and Educational Statistics of Manchester, and The Rate of Wages in 200 Trades for 20 Years.[2] He was described in 1870 as being "in favour of the ballot, national education, and reduction in national expenditure".[2]

He erected the Macclesfield Free Library, and presented it to the town's corporation.[3] He was also a governor of the estate of the Royal Holloway College in Surrey.[3]


Chadwick married twice, firstly in 1844 to Louisa Bow, daughter of William Bow of Broughton.[2] Louisa died in 1873, and in 1878 he married Ursula Sopwith, daughter of the civil engineer Thomas Sopwith.[3]

Chadwick died on 19 September 1895, aged 73, at his home The Poplars in Herne Hill, London[11] and was buried at West Norwood Cemetery.


  1. ^ a b Leigh Rayment's Historical List of MPs – Constituencies beginning with "M" (part 1)
  2. ^ a b c d e f g Mair, Robert Henry (1870). Debrett's Illustrated House of Commons and the Judicial Bench 1870. London: Dean & Son. p. 53. Retrieved 13 October 2010.
  3. ^ a b c d "Obituary". The Times. London. 21 September 1895. p. 10.
  4. ^ a b c d Craig, F. W. S. (1989) [1977]. British parliamentary election results 1832–1885 (2nd ed.). Chichester: Parliamentary Research Services. p. 198. ISBN 0-900178-26-4.
  5. ^ "No. 23443". The London Gazette. 20 November 1868. p. 5995.
  6. ^ "No. 24063". The London Gazette. 6 February 1874. p. 540.
  7. ^ "No. 24829". The London Gazette. 2 April 1880. p. 2359.
  8. ^ Edward Loughlin O'Malley and Henry Hardcastle, "Reports of the Decisions of the Judges for the Trials of Election Petitions in England and Ireland", vol. III (Stevens and Haynes, 1881), p. 100.
  9. ^ "Macclesfield". The Times. London. 4 October 1880. p. 6.
  10. ^ "Prosecutions For Bribery At Macclesfield". The Times. London. 29 July 1881. p. 10.
  11. ^ "Obituary". The Times. London. 20 September 1895. p. 8.

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