East Somerset (UK Parliament constituency)
|Former County constituency|
for the House of Commons
|Number of members||One|
|Replaced by||Wells and Yeovil|
|Number of members||Two|
|Type of constituency||County constituency|
From 1832 to 1885, it returned two Members of Parliament (MPs), elected by the bloc vote system of election. From 1885 to 1918, a different constituency of the same name returned one MP, elected by the first past the post voting system.
- 1 Boundaries
- 2 History
- 3 Members of Parliament
- 4 Election results
- 5 References
1885-1918: The Sessional Divisions of Somerton and Wincanton, and part of the Sessional Divisions of Shepton Mallet and Wells.
The constituency, formally called The Eastern Division of Somerset, was created for the 1832 general election, when the former Somerset constituency was divided into new East and West divisions. It also absorbed the voters from the abolished borough of Milborne Port. The constituency might have been better described as North-Eastern Somerset, since its limits stopped well short of the southern extremities of the county. It surrounded the cities of Bath and Wells (although both were boroughs electing MPs in their own right, freeholders within these boroughs who met the property-owning qualifications for the county franchise could vote in East Somerset as well, as could those in Frome); other towns in the division were Glastonbury, Burnham-on-Sea, Clevedon, Keynsham, Midsomer Norton, Portishead, Radstock, Shepton Mallet, Somerton and Weston-super-Mare.
The Second Reform Act brought about significant boundary changes, which came into effect at the 1868 general election, as Somerset was given a third county constituency. The southern end of East Somerset (including Glastonbury, Radstock, Shepton Mallet and Somerton as well as the area round Frome and Wells) was moved into the new Mid Somerset division. The revised East Somerset constituency was now defined as consisting of the Long Ashton, Axbridge, Keynsham, Temple Cloud and Weston Petty Sessional Divisions.
At the 1885 general election, there were further radical boundary changes, Somerset's three two-member county divisions together with one abolished borough being reorganised into seven single-member county constituencies. One of these took the name of Eastern Somerset, but this included none of the voters from the 1867-85 East Somerset constituency, who were divided between the new Frome, Northern Somerset and Wells divisions.
The new Eastern division was carved out of the previous Mid Somerset division, with Shepton Mallet being its largest town; it also included Somerton, Street and Wincanton. This was a predominantly rural constituency, though with some industry in the towns (notably brewing and bootmaking), and a strong Nonconformist religious tradition. It would probably have been a safe Liberal seat, but when its sitting Liberal MP joined the Liberal Unionists when the party split in 1886, he had no difficulty holding his seat until he retired.
The constituency was abolished for the 1918 general election, when Somerset's number of county members was reduced by one. It was mostly replaced by the revised Wells county constituency, but the town of Somerton was transferred to Yeovil.
Members of ParliamentEdit
|Election||1st Member||1st Party||2nd Member||2nd Party|
|1832||William Gore-Langton||Whig||William Papwell Brigstock||Whig|
|Feb. 1834 by-election||William Miles1||Tory|
|1847 by-election||William Pinney||Whig|
|1865||Ralph Neville-Grenville||Conservative||Richard Paget||Conservative|
|1868||Ralph Shuttleworth Allen||Conservative||Richard Bright||Conservative|
|1878 by-election||Sir Philip Miles, Bt||Conservative|
|1879 by-election||Lord Brooke||Conservative|
|1885||Redistribution of Seats Act: Name transferred to a different constituency, electing only one member|
1 Miles was created a Baronet in 1859.
|1910||Ernest Jardine||Liberal Unionist|
Elections in the 1840sEdit
Gore-Langton's death caused a by-election.
Elections in the 1850sEdit
|Turnout||7,460 (est)||73.6 (est)||N/A|
|Conservative gain from Whig|
Elections in the 1860sEdit
|Conservative||Ralph Shuttleworth Allen||3,887||29.7||N/A|
|Turnout||6,548 (est)||74.4 (est)||N/A|
Elections in the 1870sEdit
|Conservative||Ralph Shuttleworth Allen||Unopposed|
Bright's death caused a by-election.
Allen resigned, causing a by-election.
Elections in the 1880sEdit
|Liberal gain from Conservative|
|Liberal Unionist||Henry Hobhouse||Unopposed|
|Liberal Unionist gain from Liberal|
Elections in the 1890sEdit
|Liberal Unionist||Henry Hobhouse||4,330||54.8||N/A|
|Liberal Unionist hold|
|Liberal Unionist||Henry Hobhouse||4,408||56.9||+2.1|
|Liberal Unionist hold||Swing||+2.1|
Elections in the 1900sEdit
|Liberal Unionist||Henry Hobhouse||Unopposed|
|Liberal Unionist hold|
|Liberal Unionist||Bertram Falle||3,890||46.1||N/A|
|Liberal gain from Liberal Unionist|
Elections in the 1910sEdit
|Liberal Unionist||Ernest Jardine||4,997||55.7||9.6|
|Liberal Unionist gain from Liberal||Swing||+9.6|
|Liberal Unionist||Ernest Jardine||4,748||55.1||-0.6|
|Liberal Unionist hold||Swing||-0.6|
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;
- Jenkins, Terry. "Somerset: Background information". The History of Parliament. The History of Parliament Trust. Retrieved 5 October 2012.
- Stooks Smith, Henry (1845). The Parliaments of England, from 1st George I., to the Present Time. Vol II: Oxfordshire to Wales Inclusive. London: Simpkin, Marshall, & Co. p. 25. Retrieved 27 May 2019 – via Google Books.
- Mosse, Richard Bartholomew (1838). The Parliamentary Guide: a concise history of the Members of both Houses, etc. p. 186. Retrieved 27 May 2019.
- "North Devon Journal". 27 December 1832. p. 3. Retrieved 27 May 2019 – via British Newspaper Archive.
- "Somerset Eastern 1832-1918". Hansard. Retrieved 5 October 2012.
- "Election Talk". The Spectator. 13 December 1834. p. 6. Retrieved 19 May 2018 – via British Newspaper Archive.
- "The General Election". Sherborne Mercury. 27 July 1852. p. 3. Retrieved 19 May 2018 – via British Newspaper Archive.
- "To the Editor of the Sherborne and Yeovil Mercury". Sherborne Mercury. 28 August 1847. p. 3. Retrieved 19 May 2018 – via British Newspaper Archive.
- Elvins, Brian. "Somerset County M.P.s 1832–1885—A Profile" (PDF). Somerset Archaeological and Natural History Society. p. 152. Retrieved 19 May 2018.
- "The Provinces". The Spectator. 3 April 1847. p. 6. Retrieved 19 May 2018.
- Craig, F. W. S., ed. (1977). British Parliamentary Election Results 1832-1885 (e-book) (1st ed.). London: Macmillan Press. pp. 450–451. ISBN 978-1-349-02349-3.
- "To the Electors of the Eastern Division of Somerset". Bristol Times and Mirror. 24 July 1852. p. 4. Retrieved 13 August 2018 – via British Newspaper Archive.
- "East Somerset Election". Frome Times. 2 December 1868. p. 2. Retrieved 17 March 2018 – via British Newspaper Archive.
- The Liberal Year Book, 1907
- Debrett's House of Commons & Judicial Bench, 1886
- Craig, FWS, ed. (1974). British Parliamentary Election Results: 1885-1918. London: Macmillan Press. ISBN 9781349022984.
- Debrett's House of Commons & Judicial Bench, 1901
- British Parliamentary Election Results 1885-1918, FWS Craig
- Debrett's House of Commons & Judicial Bench, 1916
- 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)
- Michael Kinnear, The British Voter (London: BH Batsford, Ltd, 1968)
- Henry Pelling, Social Geography of British Elections 1885-1910 (London: Macmillan, 1967)
- Frederic A Youngs, jr, Guide to the Local Administrative Units of England, Vol I (London: Royal Historical Society, 1979)