East Glamorganshire (UK Parliament constituency)

East Glamorganshire was a parliamentary constituency in Glamorganshire, Wales. It returned one Member of Parliament (MP) to the House of Commons of the Parliament of the United Kingdom, elected by the first past the post system.

East Glamorganshire
Former County constituency
for the House of Commons
Number of membersone
Replaced byCaerphilly, Pontypridd
Created fromGlamorganshire


The constituency was created by the Redistribution of Seats Act 1885 for the 1885 general election, and abolished for the 1918 general election. Throughout its existence it was held by the Liberal Party and it was a constituency largely dominated by the coal mining industry.


Created in the redistribution of seats in 1885 & from the old Glamorganshire constituency which had been in existence since 1541, the seat covered a wide area that included Llantwit Fardre, Church Village, Tonteg, Pentyrch, Creigiau, Pontypridd, Caerphilly, Abercynon, Llanfabon, Gelligaer, Hengoed. It was abolished in the next redistribution of seats that took place in 1918.

Members of ParliamentEdit

Election Member Party
1885 Sir Alfred Thomas Liberal
1910 Clement Edwards Liberal
1918 constituency abolished


Following the creation of the seat in 1885, there was a contest for the nomination. Following a meeting at Pontypridd, a number of candidates were proposed and invited to address public meetings. They included T. Marchant Williams, Lewis Morris and the Rev Aaron Davies.[1] Ultimately the two leading candidates proved to be Alfred Thomas, a prominent figure in the public life of Cardiff, where he had served as Mayor in 1881/2, and William Bowen Rowlands, a Pembrokeshire-born lawyer. After a contest lasting several months, Rowlands withdrew, ostensibly to prevent a split in the Liberal vote following the appearance of a Conservative candidate. However, Rowlands was regarded as far less radical than his opponent.[2] A leading Baptist, Thomas's victory owed much to his nonconformist connections, upon which this 'amiable and benevolent man' based much of his political outlook.[3]

From the outset the Liberal Association in the constituency was constituted as 'The Liberal and Labour Association', and for 25 years Thomas held the seat without any significant threat from advocates of direct labour representation.[4] As late as 1908 it held a perfunctory annual meeting where little significant business was transacted.[5] The Conservatives put up a credible fight in 1892, 1895 and 1900, but in 1906 Thomas was returned unopposed.

By the end of the first decade of the twentieth century there were rumours that Thomas would retire and in 1907, Evan Thomas, a miners' agent, was nominated to contest the seat once the sitting member stood down.[6] Thomas was. however, an ordained Baptist minister, and hardly regarded as a firebrand. Ultimately, however, Thomas denied to contest the January 1910 general election and comfortably saw off a Conservative challenger.

In April 1910, Thomas announced his retirement at the next General Election.[7] The Liberal Association eschewed an opportunity to select a working man, with their chairman declaring that 'neither a Tory nor a Socialist should occupy the seat'.[7] They opted for Clement Edwards. As a result, Charles Butt Stanton, miners' agent in the Aberdare Valley and a member of Aberdare Urban District Council emerged as a labour candidate but failed to win the endorsement of the Miners' Federation of Great Britain executive.[8] He was beaten into third place.

At the General Election expected in 1915, Edwards would have been opposed by Alfred Onions. treasurer of the South Wales Miners' Federation. However, the war intervened, and by the 1918 the seat had been abolished following extensive boundary changes and the creation of the new constituencies of Caerphilly and Pontypridd which would ultimately become Labour strongholds.

Election ResultsEdit

Elections in the 1880sEdit

General election 1885: East Glamorganshire[9][10]
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Liberal Alfred Thomas 4,886 70.1 N/A
Conservative Godfrey Lewis Bosville Clark 2,086 29.9 N/A
Majority 2,800 40.2 N/A
Turnout 6,972 81.6 N/A
Registered electors 8,544
Liberal win (new seat)
General election 1886: East Glamorganshire[11][10]
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Liberal Alfred Thomas Unopposed
Liberal hold

Elections in the 1890sEdit

General election 1892: East Glamorganshire[10][12]
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Liberal Alfred Thomas 5,764 67.3 N/A
Conservative Herbert Clark Lewis, 2nd Baron Merthyr 2,797 32.7 New
Majority 2,967 34.6 N/A
Turnout 8,561 72.9 N/A
Registered electors 11,741
Liberal hold Swing N/A
General election 1895: East Glamorganshire[10]
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Liberal Alfred Thomas 6,055 60.8 -6.5
Conservative Charles James Jackson 3,909 39.2 +6.5
Majority 2,146 21.6 -13.0
Turnout 9,964 76.8 +3.9
Registered electors 12,981
Liberal hold Swing -6.5

Elections in the 1900sEdit

General election 1900: East Glamorganshire[10][13]
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Liberal Alfred Thomas 6,994 63.2 +2.4
Conservative Henry Edzell Morgan Lindsay 4,080 36.8 −2.4
Majority 2,914 26.3 +4.7
Turnout 11,074 72.3 −4.5
Registered electors 15,315
Liberal hold Swing +2.4
General election 1906: East Glamorganshire[10]
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Liberal Alfred Thomas Unopposed
Liberal hold

Elections in the 1910sEdit

General election January 1910: East Glamorganshire[11][10][14][15]
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Liberal Alfred Thomas 14,721 72.0 N/A
Conservative Frank Hall Gaskell 5,727 28.0 New
Majority 8,994 44.0 N/A
Turnout 20,448 85.3 N/A
Liberal hold Swing N/A
General election December 1910: East Glamorganshire[16][10][14][15]
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Lib-Lab Clement Edwards 9,088 46.9 -25.1
Conservative Frank Hall Gaskell 5,603 28.9 +0.9
Labour Charles Stanton 4,675 24.1 New
Majority 3,485 18.0 -26.0
Turnout 19,366 80.8 -4.5
Lib-Lab hold Swing -13.0

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 July 1914, the following candidates had been selected;


  • a The Total Electorate for the Constituency in December 1910 was also 23,979.
  • b The Total Electorate for the Constituency in January 1910 was 23,979.

See alsoEdit

Notes and referencesEdit

  1. ^ "Nomination of Liberal Candidates". Weekly Mail. 25 April 1885. Retrieved 19 May 2014.
  2. ^ "Mr Bowen Rowlands Withdraws (editorial)". South Wales Daily News. 18 September 1885. p. 2. Retrieved 20 November 2017.
  3. ^ Morgan 1960, p. 10.
  4. ^ Morgan 1981, p. 66.
  5. ^ Morgan 1981, p. 244.
  6. ^ Morgan 1981, p. 247.
  7. ^ a b "East Glamorgan. Sir Alfred Thomas Retires". Cardiff Times. 16 April 1910. p. 6. Retrieved 30 November 2017.
  8. ^ Morgan 1981, p. 251.
  9. ^ Debrett's House of Commons & Judicial Bench, 1886
  10. ^ a b c d e f g h British Parliamentary Election Results 1885-1918, FWS Craig
  11. ^ a b The Times House of Commons Guide 1910, 1911, 1919, Poltico's Publishing Page 92 1910 Section
  12. ^ Debrett's House of Commons & Judicial Bench, 1896
  13. ^ Debrett's House of Commons & Judicial Bench, 1901
  14. ^ a b Debrett's House of Commons & Judicial Bench, 1916
  15. ^ a b Craig, FWS, ed. (1974). British Parliamentary Election Results: 1885-1918. London: Macmillan Press. ISBN 9781349022984.
  16. ^ The Times House of Commons Guide 1910, 1911, 1919, Poltico's Publishing Page 101 1911 Section
  17. ^ Western Mail 22 Jul 1914


Books and JournalsEdit