Launceston (UK Parliament constituency)
Launceston, also known at some periods as Dunheved, was a parliamentary constituency in Cornwall which returned two Members of Parliament to the British House of Commons from 1295 until 1832, and one member from 1832 until 1918. It was a parliamentary borough until 1885, and a county constituency thereafter.
|Former Borough constituency|
for the House of Commons
|Number of members||Two (1295–1832); one (1832–1885)|
|Cornwall, North-Eastern or Launceston|
|Former County constituency|
for the House of Commons
|Number of members||One|
|Replaced by||North Cornwall|
|Created from||East Cornwall, Launceston|
1832-1885: The old Borough of Launceston and the Parish of St Stephen, and all such parts of the several Parishes of Lawhitton, St Thomas the Apostle, and South Petherwin as are without the old Borough of Launceston.
1885-1918: The Sessional Division of East Middle, East North, Lesnewth, and Stratton, and part of the Sessional Division of Trigg.
Launceston was one of 21 parliamentary boroughs in Cornwall between the 16th and 19th centuries; unlike many of these, which had been little more than villages even when established and were rotten boroughs from the start, Launceston had been a town of reasonable size and importance though much in decline by the 19th century. The borough consisted of only part of the present town, as Newport was a separate borough in itself from 1554, though Newport and Launceston were joined together as Dunheved, collectively returning members, earlier in that century.
The right to vote was vested theoretically in the Mayor, aldermen and those freemen of the borough who were resident at the time they became freemen; but in practice the vote was exercised only by members of the corporation, who were chosen mainly with a view to maintaining the influence of the "patron". Up to 1775, this was generally the head of the Morice family, who also controlled Newport, but in that year Humphry Morice sold his interest in both boroughs to the Duke of Newcastle, whose family retained hold on both until the Reform Act. There were about 17 voters in Launceston in 1831, by which time the borough was as rotten as any of the others in Cornwall.
In 1831 the borough had a population of 2,669 and 429 houses. Under the Great Reform Act of 1832 the boundaries were extended to encompass the whole town (including Newport, which was abolished as a separate borough), bringing the population up to 5,394. This was sufficient for Launceston to retain one of its two seats.
The borough was eventually abolished in 1885, but the name of the town was transferred to the new county constituency in which it was placed, strictly the North-Eastern or Launceston Division of Cornwall, which also elected a single member. This covered a much larger, rural, area including Callington, Calstock and Bude-Stratton. This constituency in its turn was abolished in 1918, being absorbed mostly into the new Cornwall North constituency.
Members of ParliamentEdit
- Constituency created (1295)
North-Eastern or Launceston Division of CornwallEdit
|1885||Sir Thomas Dyke-Acland||Liberal|
|1898 by-election||Sir John Fletcher Moulton||Liberal|
|1906||Sir George Croydon Marks||Liberal|
Elections in the 1840sEdit
Hardinge was appointed Secretary at War, requiring a by-election.
Hardinge resigned after being appointed Governor-General of India, causing a by-election.
Elections in the 1850sEdit
|Conservative||Thomas Chandler Haliburton||Unopposed|
Elections in the 1860sEdit
|Conservative||Alexander Henry Campbell||Unopposed|
Campbell resigned, causing a by-election.
Elections in the 1870sEdit
|Conservative||James Henry Deakin (senior)||453||67.7||N/A|
|Liberal||Henry Charles Drinkwater||216||32.3||N/A|
The election was declared void on petition, due to corrupt practices including Deakin allowing his tenants to "kill rabbits the eve of the election", causing a by-election.
|Conservative||James Henry Deakin (junior)||417||64.1||-3.6|
Deakin's resignation caused a by-election.
Elections in the 1880sEdit
Giffard resigned upon his appointment as Lord Chancellor and elevation to the peerage, becoming Lord Halsbury, causing a by-election.
|Liberal||Thomas Dyke Acland||4,690||64.4||+21.2|
|Conservative||Thomas Northmore Lawrence||2,587||35.6||-21.2|
|Liberal gain from Conservative||Swing||+21.2|
|Liberal||Thomas Dyke Acland||Unopposed|
Elections in the 1890sEdit
|Liberal Unionist||Lewis Molesworth||2,913||42.8||N/A|
|Liberal Unionist||Frederick Wills||2,975||45.0||+2.2|
|Liberal||John Fletcher Moulton||3,951||58.0||+3.0|
|Liberal Unionist||Frederick Wills||2,863||42.0||-3.0|
Elections in the 1900sEdit
|Liberal||John Fletcher Moulton||3,831||58.3||+3.3|
|Liberal Unionist||Foster Cunliffe||2,737||41.7||-3.3|
|Liberal||George Croydon Marks||4,658||63.0||+4.7|
|Liberal Unionist||George Sandys||2,736||37.0||-4.7|
Elections in the 1910sEdit
|Liberal||George Croydon Marks||4,703||56.9||-6.1|
|Liberal Unionist||Horace Bere Grylls||3,564||43.1||+6.1|
|Liberal||George Croydon Marks||4,373||57.4||+0.5|
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 the July 1914, the following candidates had been selected;
- The Parliamentary Boundary Act 1832
- "HAMELY (HAMYLYN), Sir John (aft.1324-1399), of Wimborne St. Giles, Dorset". History of Parliament Online. Retrieved 30 May 2013.
- "History of Parliament". History of Parliament Trust. Retrieved 3 November 2011.
- "History of Parliament". History of Parliament Trust. Retrieved 27 October 2015.
- "BOWYER, Sir William I (1558-1616), of Denham Court, Bucks. and Westminster". History of Parliament. Retrieved 26 March 2015.
- Expelled from the House, August 1641. Coryton was Vice-Warden of the Stannaries and as such had the responsibility for making the return of members (officially notifying the House of Commons who had been elected) for some of the Cornish boroughs. He himself was returned as Member for both Launceston and Grampound, and initially sat for Launceston, but having been found guilty of falsifying the return for Bossiney the House resolved "That Mr. Coryton shall not be admitted to sit as a Member in this Parliament" on 18 August 1641
- On petition concerning a dispute over who had the right to vote, Freind was found not to have been duly elected, and Willes was declared elected in his place
- The Lord Arden (in the peerage of Ireland) from 1784
- Stooks Smith, Henry. (1973) [1844-1850]. Craig, F. W. S. (ed.). The Parliaments of England (2nd ed.). Chichester: Parliamentary Research Services. pp. 41–43. ISBN 0-900178-13-2.
- This election was held void on petition, and a by-election was held
- Craig, F. W. S., ed. (1977). British Parliamentary Election Results 1832-1885 (e-book)
|url=(help) (1st ed.). London: Macmillan Press. ISBN 978-1-349-02349-3.
- "The Representation of Launceston". Exeter and Plymouth Gazette. 27 February 1877. p. 3. Retrieved 4 January 2018 – via British Newspaper Archive.
- "The Launceston Election Petition". Bolton Evening News. 6 June 1874. p. 4. Retrieved 4 January 2018 – via British Newspaper Archive.
- "The Representation of Launceston". The Morning Post. 1 July 1874. p. 3. Retrieved 4 January 2018 – via British Newspaper Archive.
- "To the Electors of the Borough of Launceston". Cornish & Devon Post. 18 October 1879. p. 4. Retrieved 4 January 2018 – via British Newspaper Archive.
- "Launceston Election". The Cornishman (90). 1 April 1880. p. 5.
- "Eye and Launceston Elections". Pall Mall Gazette. 2 July 1885. p. 10. Retrieved 3 December 2017 – via British Newspaper Archive.
- "The Polling at Launceston". Eastern Evening News. 2 July 1885. p. 3. Retrieved 3 December 2017 – via British Newspaper Archive.
- British parliamentary election results, 1885-1918 (Craig)
- Debrett's House of Commons & Judicial Bench, 1886
- Western Times, 23 Jan 1914
- D. Brunton & D. H. Pennington, Members of the Long Parliament (London: George Allen & Unwin, 1954)
- Cobbett's Parliamentary History of England, from the Norman Conquest in 1066 to the year 1803 (London: Thomas Hansard, 1808) 
- F. W. S. Craig, British Parliamentary Election Results 1832–1885 (2nd edition, Aldershot: Parliamentary Research Services, 1989)
- Maija Jansson (ed.), Proceedings in Parliament, 1614 (House of Commons) (Philadelphia: American Philosophical Society, 1988)
- 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, Volume 1 (London: Simpkin, Marshall & Co, 1844) 
- Willis, Browne (1750). Notitia Parliamentaria, Part II: A Series or Lists of the Representatives in the several Parliaments held from the Reformation 1541, to the Restoration 1660 ... London. p. 1.
- Frederic A. Youngs, jr, "Guide to the Local Administrative Units of England, Vol I" (London: Royal Historical Society, 1979)
- House of Commons journals and other records at British History Online
- The History of Parliament Trust, Launceston (Dunheved), Borough from 1386 to 1868
- Leigh Rayment's Historical List of MPs – Constituencies beginning with "L" (part 1)