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Knaresborough (UK Parliament constituency)

Knaresborough was a parliamentary constituency which returned two Members of Parliament (MPs) to the House of Commons of the Parliament of the United Kingdom until 1868, and then one MP until its abolition in 1885.

Knaresborough
Former Borough constituency
for the House of Commons
1553–1885
Number of memberstwo until 1868, then one
Replaced byRipon

Contents

HistoryEdit

Before the Great Reform ActEdit

Knaresborough was a parliamentary borough, first enfranchised by Mary I in 1553. The borough consisted of part of the town of Knaresborough, a market town in the West Riding of Yorkshire. In 1831, the population of the borough was approximately 4,852, and contained 970 houses.

Knaresborough was a burgage borough, meaning that the right to vote was confined to the proprietors of certain specific properties (or "burgage tenements") in the borough; in Knaresborough there was no requirement for these proprietors to be resident, and normally the majority were not. This meant that the right to vote in Knaresborough could be legitimately bought and sold, and, for most of its history until the Great Reform Act of 1832 reformed the franchise, the majority of the burgages were concentrated in the hands of a single owner who could therefore nominate both MPs without opposition. Nevertheless, contested elections were possible, and in 1830, when there were theoretically about 90 qualified voters, 45 people actually voted. But the landowners had other resources beyond the votes they owned, as the bailiff of the lord of the manor was also the returning officer, and of the 45 who attempted to vote in 1830 the bailiff rejected the votes of 23.

In the 16th and 17th century, the main landowners in the area were the Slingsby family, who on occasion occupied both seats themselves, though usually they found it more advantageous to allow one of their fellow county magnates to have at least one of the seats. During the latter part of the Elizabethan period, the Duchy of Lancaster also seems to have been influential – the historian Sir John Neale considered that the Duchy probably nominated at least one of the two members in each Parliament from 1584 to 1597 – but the influence of the Slingsbys was consolidated later. By the mid-18th century, ownership had passed to the Dukes of Devonshire, who retained it until the Reform Act.

After the Great Reform ActEdit

The Reform Act extended Knaresborough's boundaries, bringing in the remainder of the town and coinciding with the boundaries established during the previous decade for policing purposes. This increased the population by nearly a third, to 6,253. Nevertheless, Knaresborough was one of the smaller boroughs to retain both its seats, and the registered electorate for the first reformed election was only 278. In subsequent years this fell further, though by the 1860s it had recovered to reach around 270 once more, and inevitably Knaresborough's representation was reduced to one MP under the Representation of the People Act 1867. The extension of the franchise by the same Act trebled the electorate.

In 1880, after a disputed election with suspicion of corrupt practices, the result was declared void and the constituency's right to representation suspended while a Royal Commission investigated; however, unlike the investigations in some other constituencies at around the same period, nothing too damning was uncovered, and a by-election to fill the vacancies was held in 1881. It proved, nevertheless, to be Knaresborough's last Parliament, for its electorate was still too low and the borough was abolished by the Redistribution of Seats Act 1885. Its electors were transferred to the new Ripon division of the West Riding, a county constituency.

Members of ParliamentEdit

1553–1640Edit

Parliament First member Second member
1553 (Oct) Reginald Beseley Ralph Scrope[1]
1554 (Apr) Edward Napper John Long[1]
1554 (Nov) Sir Thomas Chaloner Ralph Scrope[1]
1555 Henry Fisher ?Sir Thomas Chaloner or George Eden[1]
1558 Henry Darcy Thomas Colshill[1]
1558/9 Laurence Nqwell William Byrnand<[2]
1562/3 William Strickland, sat for Scarborough
repl. by
Christopher Tamworth
Sir Henry Gate, sat for Scarborough
repl. by
Robert Bowes[3][2]
1571 Sir George Bowes John Cade[2]
1572 (Apr) Francis Slingsby Richard Banks[2]
1584 Edmund Poley Francis Slingsby[2]
1586 Francis Palmes William Davison[2]
1588/9 Thomas Preston Francis Harvey[2]
1593 Samuel Foxe Simon Willis[2]
1597 (Sep) Hugh Beeston William Slingsby[2]
1601 (Oct) Henry Slingsby William Slingsby[2]
1604–1611 Sir Henry Slingsby Sir William Slingsby
1614 Sir Henry Slingsby William Beecher
1620–1622 Sir Henry Slingsby Sir Richard Hutton
1624 Sir Henry Slingsby
1625 Sir Henry Slingsby
1626 Sir Richard Hutton Henry Benson
1628 Sir Richard Hutton Henry Benson
1629–1640 No Parliaments convened

1640–1868Edit

Year 1st Member 1st Party 2nd Member 2nd Party
April 1640 Sir Henry Slingsby Royalist ?
November 1640 Henry Benson[n 1] Royalist
1641 William Deerlove[n 2]
March 1642 Sir William Constable, Bt. Parliamentarian
September 1642 Slingsby disabled from sitting – seat vacant
1645 Thomas Stockdale
1653 Knaresborough was unrepresented in the Barebones Parliament and the First and Second Parliaments of the Protectorate
January 1659 Slingsby Bethel Robert Walters
May 1659 Not represented in the restored Rump (Constable had died in the interim)
April 1660 William Stockdale Henry Bethell
1661 Sir John Talbot
1679 Sir Thomas Slingsby, Bt
1685 Henry Slingsby
1689 Thomas Fawkes
1693 Christopher Stockdale
1695 Robert Byerley
Mar 1714 Francis Fawkes
May 1714 Henry Slingsby
1715 Henry Coote[n 3] Whig Robert Hitch
1720 Hon. Richard Arundell
1722 Sir Henry Slingsby, Bt
1758 Hon Robert Walsingham
1761 Lord John Cavendish Rockingham Whig
1763 Sir Anthony Abdy, Bt Rockingham Whig
1768 Captain The Hon Robert Walsingham, RN
1775 Lord George Cavendish
1780 Frederick Ponsonby Whig[4]
1781 James Hare Whig[4]
1793 Lord John Townshend Whig[4]
1804 William Cavendish Whig[4]
1805 John Ponsonby[n 4] Whig[4]
1806 Charles Bennet Whig[4]
1818 Sir James Mackintosh Whig George Tierney Whig[4]
Feb 1830 Henry Brougham[n 5] Whig[4]
Dec 1830 Henry Cavendish Whig[4]
Jun 1832 William Ponsonby Whig[4]
Dec 1832 John Richards Whig[4] Benjamin Rotch Whig[4]
1835 Andrew Lawson Conservative[4]
1837 Henry Rich Whig[4][5][6] Hon Charles Langdale Whig[4][7]
1841 Andrew Lawson Conservative[4] William Ferrand Conservative[4]
1847 William Lascelles Peelite[8][9] Joshua Westhead Whig
1851 Thomas Collins Conservative
1852[n 6] Basil Thomas Woodd Conservative John Dent Whig[10]
1853[n 6] John Dent Whig[10]
1857 Thomas Collins Conservative
1865 Isaac Holden Liberal

1868–1885Edit

Election Member Party
1868 Alfred Illingworth Liberal
1874 Basil Thomas Woodd Conservative
1880 Sir Henry Meysey-Thompson, Bt. Liberal
1881 Thomas Collins Conservative
1884 Robert Gunter Conservative
1885 constituency abolished

Election resultsEdit

Elections in the 1840sEdit

General election 1841: Knaresborough[11][4]
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Conservative Andrew Lawson 150 42.0
Conservative William Ferrand 122 34.2
Whig Charles Sturgeon 85 23.8
Majority 37 10.4 N/A
Turnout 208 86.3
Registered electors 241
Conservative gain from Whig Swing
Conservative gain from Whig Swing
General election 1847: Knaresborough[11]
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Peelite William Lascelles 158 39.5 +5.3
Whig Joshua Westhead 128 32.0 +8.2
Conservative Andrew Lawson 114 28.5 −13.5
Turnout 200 (est) 82.6 (est) −3.7
Registered electors 242
Majority 30 7.5 N/A
Peelite gain from Conservative Swing +6.0
Majority 14 3.5 N/A
Whig gain from Conservative Swing +7.5

Elections in the 1850sEdit

Lascelle's death caused a by-election.

By-election, 12 July 1851: Knaresborough[11]
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Conservative Thomas Collins 95 59.7 N/A
Conservative Andrew Lawson 64 40.3 +11.8
Majority 31 19.5 N/A
Turnout 159 73.3 −9.3
Registered electors 217
Conservative gain from Peelite Swing N/A
General election 1852: Knaresborough[11]
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Conservative Basil Thomas Woodd 113 25.3 −14.2
Whig John Dent 113 25.3 +9.3
Whig Joshua Westhead 113 25.3 +9.3
Conservative Thomas Collins 107 24.0 −4.5
Majority 6 1.3
Turnout 223 (est) 92.1 (est)
Registered electors 242
Conservative gain from Peelite Swing −11.8
Whig hold Swing +9.3
Whig win

As Woodd, Dent and Westhead received the same number of votes, they were all elected. However, in April 1853, after scrutiny, one vote was taken from Westhead and he was declared unduly elected.

General election 1857: Knaresborough[11]
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Conservative Basil Thomas Woodd 174 42.2 +16.9
Conservative Thomas Collins 138 33.5 +9.5
Whig Robert Campbell[12] 100 24.3 −26.3
Majority 38 9.2 +7.9
Turnout 206 (est) 76.3 (est) −15.8
Registered electors 270
Conservative hold Swing +15.0
Conservative gain from Whig Swing +11.3
General election 1859: Knaresborough[11]
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Conservative Basil Thomas Woodd 173 39.3 −2.9
Conservative Thomas Collins 140 31.8 −1.7
Liberal Harry Thompson[13] 127 28.9 +4.6
Majority 13 3.0 −6.2
Turnout 220 (est) 76.9 (est) +0.6
Registered electors 286
Conservative hold Swing −2.6
Conservative hold Swing −2.0

Elections in the 1860sEdit

General election 1865: Knaresborough[11]
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Conservative Basil Thomas Woodd 156 38.4 −0.9
Liberal Isaac Holden 127 31.3 +2.4
Conservative Thomas Collins 123 30.3 −1.5
Turnout 267 (est) 98.0 (est) +21.1
Registered electors 272
Majority 29 7.1 +4.1
Conservative hold Swing −1.1
Majority 4 1.0 N/A
Liberal gain from Conservative Swing +2.4

Seat reduced to one member

General election 1868: Knaresborough[11]
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Liberal Alfred Illingworth 362 51.1 +19.8
Conservative Andrew Sherlock Lawson[14] 347 48.9 −19.8
Majority 15 2.1 +1.1
Turnout 709 92.2 −5.8
Registered electors 769
Liberal hold Swing +19.8

Elections in the 1870sEdit

General election 1874: Knaresborough[11]
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Conservative Basil Thomas Woodd 397 56.2 +7.3
Liberal Andrew Fairbairn[15] 309 43.8 −7.3
Majority 88 12.5 N/A
Turnout 706 91.7 −0.5
Registered electors 770
Conservative gain from Liberal Swing +7.3

Elections in the 1880sEdit

General election 1880: Knaresborough[11]
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Liberal Henry Meysey-Thompson 357 51.1 +7.3
Conservative Basil Thomas Woodd[16] 341 48.9 −7.3
Majority 16 2.3 N/A
Turnout 698 91.6 −0.1
Registered electors 762
Liberal gain from Conservative Swing +7.3

The election was declared void on petition, causing a by-election.

By-election, 13 May 1881: Knaresborough[11]
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Conservative Thomas Collins 374 52.9 +4.0
Liberal Charles Milnes Gaskell 333 47.1 −4.0
Majority 41 5.8 N/A
Turnout 707 93.3 +1.7
Registered electors 758
Conservative gain from Liberal Swing +4.0

Collins' death caused a by-election.

By-election, 10 Dec 1884: Knaresborough[11]
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Conservative Robert Gunter 319 54.4 +5.5
Liberal Angus Holden 267 45.6 −5.5
Majority 52 8.9 N/A
Turnout 586 90.0 −1.6
Registered electors 651
Conservative gain from Liberal Swing +5.5

NotesEdit

  1. ^ Expelled, November 1641
  2. ^ Deerlove was returned in a disputed election; the House decided in favour of his opponent, Constable, in March 1642
  3. ^ Succeeded as The Earl of Mountrath (in the Peerage of Ireland), September 1715
  4. ^ A by-election to replace Cavendish was held in 1804 but abandoned due to rioting, and no return was made. At the by-election held in March 1805, Duncannon received 67 votes and T.E. Wynn Belayse (the Tory candidate) received 125, but Belayse's votes came from the residents whereas Duncannon's came from the (mostly non-resident) proprietors of the burgage tenancies, and Duncannon was returned as Member
  5. ^ Brougham was re-elected at the general election in 1830 but was also returned for Yorkshire; he was elevated to the House of Lords before having chosen which constituency he would represent in the Commons
  6. ^ a b Woodd, Dent and Westhead each received 113 votes, resulting in a triple election. However, after scrutiny, one vote was taken from Westhead and he was declared unduly elected in 1853

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ a b c d e Bindoff, S. T., ed. (1982). The History of Parliament: the House of Commons 1509-1558. Boydell and Brewer. Retrieved 27 September 2011.
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h i j Hasler, P. W., ed. (1981). The History of Parliament: the House of Commons 1558-1603. Boydel and Brewer. Retrieved 27 September 2011.
  3. ^ William Strickland and Sir Henry Gate were both also elected for Scarborough, which they chose to represent, and did not sit for Knaresborough
  4. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r 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. pp. 150–155. Retrieved 11 November 2018 – via Google Books.
  5. ^ Churton, Edward (1838). The Assembled Commons or Parliamentary Biographer: 1838. p. 193. Retrieved 11 November 2018 – via Google Books.
  6. ^ "General Election". Manchester Courier and Lancashire General Advertiser. 15 July 1837. p. 3. Retrieved 11 November 2018 – via British Newspaper Archive.
  7. ^ "Knaresborough". London Morning Post. 29 June 1841. p. 3. Retrieved 11 November 2018.
  8. ^ "Knaresbro'". Leeds Mercury. 31 July 1847. p. 5. Retrieved 15 May 2018 – via British Newspaper Archive.
  9. ^ "Election Movements". Inverness Courier. 10 August 1847. p. 2. Retrieved 15 May 2018 – via British Newspaper Archive.
  10. ^ a b Dod, Charles Roger; Dod, Robert Phipps (1854). Dod's Parliamentary Companion, Volume 22. Dod's Parliamentary Companion. pp. 166–167. Retrieved 15 May 2018.
  11. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l Craig, F. W. S., ed. (1977). British Parliamentary Election Results 1832-1885 (e-book) (1st ed.). London: Macmillan Press. pp. 171–172. ISBN 978-1-349-02349-3.
  12. ^ "Knaresborough". Leeds Intelligencer. 28 March 1857. p. 5. Retrieved 15 May 2018 – via British Newspaper Archive.
  13. ^ "Knaresborough". Sheffield Daily News, and Morning Advertiser. 18 April 1859. p. 4. Retrieved 15 May 2018 – via British Newspaper Archive.
  14. ^ "Knaresborough". Knaresborough Post. 21 November 1868. p. 4. Retrieved 20 February 2018 – via British Newspaper Archive.
  15. ^ "Election Intelligence". Sheffield Daily Telegraph. 28 January 1874. p. 3. Retrieved 3 January 2018 – via British Newspaper Archive.
  16. ^ "London Letter". Western Daily Press. 13 May 1881. p. 3. Retrieved 20 December 2017 – via British Newspaper Archive.