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.
|Former Borough constituency|
for the House of Commons
|Number of members||two until 1868, then one|
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
|1874||Basil Thomas Woodd||Conservative|
|1880||Sir Henry Meysey-Thompson, Bt.||Liberal|
Elections in the 1840sEdit
|Conservative gain from Whig||Swing|
|Conservative gain from Whig||Swing|
|Turnout||200 (est)||82.6 (est)||−3.7|
|Peelite gain from Conservative||Swing||+6.0|
|Whig gain from Conservative||Swing||+7.5|
Elections in the 1850sEdit
Lascelle's death caused a by-election.
|Conservative gain from Peelite||Swing||N/A|
|Conservative||Basil Thomas Woodd||113||25.3||−14.2|
|Turnout||223 (est)||92.1 (est)|
|Conservative gain from Peelite||Swing||−11.8|
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.
|Conservative||Basil Thomas Woodd||174||42.2||+16.9|
|Turnout||206 (est)||76.3 (est)||−15.8|
|Conservative gain from Whig||Swing||+11.3|
|Conservative||Basil Thomas Woodd||173||39.3||−2.9|
|Turnout||220 (est)||76.9 (est)||+0.6|
Elections in the 1860sEdit
|Conservative||Basil Thomas Woodd||156||38.4||−0.9|
|Turnout||267 (est)||98.0 (est)||+21.1|
|Liberal gain from Conservative||Swing||+2.4|
Seat reduced to one member
|Conservative||Andrew Sherlock Lawson||347||48.9||−19.8|
Elections in the 1870sEdit
|Conservative||Basil Thomas Woodd||397||56.2||+7.3|
|Conservative gain from Liberal||Swing||+7.3|
Elections in the 1880sEdit
|Conservative||Basil Thomas Woodd||341||48.9||−7.3|
|Liberal gain from Conservative||Swing||+7.3|
The election was declared void on petition, causing a by-election.
|Liberal||Charles Milnes Gaskell||333||47.1||−4.0|
|Conservative gain from Liberal||Swing||+4.0|
Collins' death caused a by-election.
|Conservative gain from Liberal||Swing||+5.5|
This section is empty. You can help by adding to it. (June 2008)
- Expelled, November 1641
- Deerlove was returned in a disputed election; the House decided in favour of his opponent, Constable, in March 1642
- Succeeded as The Earl of Mountrath (in the Peerage of Ireland), September 1715
- 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
- 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
- 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
- Bindoff, S. T., ed. (1982). The History of Parliament: the House of Commons 1509-1558. Boydell and Brewer. Retrieved 27 September 2011.
- Hasler, P. W., ed. (1981). The History of Parliament: the House of Commons 1558-1603. Boydel and Brewer. Retrieved 27 September 2011.
- William Strickland and Sir Henry Gate were both also elected for Scarborough, which they chose to represent, and did not sit for Knaresborough
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- Churton, Edward (1838). The Assembled Commons or Parliamentary Biographer: 1838. p. 193. Retrieved 11 November 2018 – via Google Books.
- "General Election". Manchester Courier and Lancashire General Advertiser. 15 July 1837. p. 3. Retrieved 11 November 2018 – via British Newspaper Archive.
- "Knaresborough". London Morning Post. 29 June 1841. p. 3. Retrieved 11 November 2018.
- "Knaresbro'". Leeds Mercury. 31 July 1847. p. 5. Retrieved 15 May 2018 – via British Newspaper Archive.
- "Election Movements". Inverness Courier. 10 August 1847. p. 2. Retrieved 15 May 2018 – via British Newspaper Archive.
- Dod, Charles Roger; Dod, Robert Phipps (1854). Dod's Parliamentary Companion, Volume 22. Dod's Parliamentary Companion. pp. 166–167. Retrieved 15 May 2018.
- 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.
- "Knaresborough". Leeds Intelligencer. 28 March 1857. p. 5. Retrieved 15 May 2018 – via British Newspaper Archive.
- "Knaresborough". Sheffield Daily News, and Morning Advertiser. 18 April 1859. p. 4. Retrieved 15 May 2018 – via British Newspaper Archive.
- "Knaresborough". Knaresborough Post. 21 November 1868. p. 4. Retrieved 20 February 2018 – via British Newspaper Archive.
- "Election Intelligence". Sheffield Daily Telegraph. 28 January 1874. p. 3. Retrieved 3 January 2018 – via British Newspaper Archive.
- "London Letter". Western Daily Press. 13 May 1881. p. 3. Retrieved 20 December 2017 – via British Newspaper Archive.
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- Lewis Namier, The Structure of Politics at the Accession of George III (2nd edition – London: St Martin's Press, 1961)
- J E Neale, The Elizabethan House of Commons (London: Jonathan Cape, 1949)
- J Holladay Philbin, Parliamentary Representation 1832 – England and Wales (New Haven: Yale University Press, 1965)
- Henry Stooks Smith, The Parliaments of England from 1715 to 1847 (2nd edition, edited by FWS Craig – Chichester: Parliamentary Reference Publications, 1973)
- Leigh Rayment's Historical List of MPs – Constituencies beginning with "K" (part 2)