Ashburton (UK Parliament constituency)

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Former County constituency
for the House of Commons
County Devon
Major settlements Ashburton
Number of members One
Number of members Two (1640–1832); One (1832–1868)
Type of constituency Borough constituency

Ashburton was a borough constituency represented in the House of Commons of the Parliament at Westminster, for one Parliament in 1298 and regularly from 1640 until it was abolished for the 1868 general election. It was one of three Devon borough constituencies newly enfranchised (or re-enfranchised after a gap of centuries) in the Long Parliament. It returned two Members of Parliament until the 1832 general election when the number was reduced to one MP.

From the 1885 general election Ashburton was revived as a county division of Devon. It returned one member until it was abolished from the 1918 general election.

Members of Parliament[edit]

Ashburton borough 1398–1868[edit]

Ashburton re-enfranchised by Parliament in Nov 1640

MPs 1640–1832[edit]

Election First member First party Second member Second party
November 1640 Sir John Northcote Parliamentarian Sir Edmund Fowell Parliamentarian
December 1648 Northcote and Fowell excluded in Pride's Purge – both seats vacant
1653 Ashburton was unrepresented in the Barebones Parliament and the First and Second Parliaments of the Protectorate
January 1659 Thomas Reynell John Fowell
May 1659 Not represented in the restored Rump
April 1660 Sir William Courtenay John Fowell[1]
1661 Sir George Sondes
1677 William Stawell Rawlin Mallock
February 1679 Thomas Reynell
September 1679 Richard Duke of Otterton
1681 William Stawell
1685 Edward Yarde
1689 Sir Walter Yonge Thomas Reynell
1690 William Stawell Sir Richard Reynell
1695 Richard Duke of Otterton
1701 Sir Thomas Lear
1702 Richard Reynell
1705 Gilbert Yarde
January 1708 Roger Tuckfield
May 1708 Robert Balle
1710[2] Richard Lloyd
March 1711 Richard Reynell George Courtenay[3]
March 1711 Andrew Quick
1713 Roger Tuckfield
1734 Sir William Yonge[4] Whig
1735 Thomas Bladen
1739 Joseph Taylor
1741 John Harris John Arscott
1754 The Viscount Midleton
1761 Hon. Thomas Walpole
1767 Robert Palk
1768 Laurence Sulivan Charles Boone
1774 Robert Palk[5]
1784 Robert Mackreth[6]
1787 Lawrence Palk[7]
1796 Walter Palk
1802 Sir Hugh Inglis
1806 Hon. Gilbert Elliot Whig
1807 Lord Charles Bentinck
1811 John Sullivan
1812 Richard Preston
1818 Sir Lawrence Vaughan Palk Sir John Singleton Copley Tory
1826 William Sturges Bourne Tory
1830 Charles Arbuthnot Tory
February 1831 William Stephen Poyntz
May 1831 Robert Torrens
1832 Representation reduced to one Member

MPs 1632–1868[edit]

Election Member Party
1832 William Stephen Poyntz Whig
1835 Charles Lushington Whig
1841 William Jardine Whig
1843 by-election James Sutherland Matheson[8] Whig
1847 Thomas Matheson Whig
1852 George Moffatt Whig
1859 John Harvey Astell Conservative
1865 Robert Jardine Liberal
1868 Constituency abolished

Mid or Ashburton division of Devon 1885–1918[edit]

Election Member Party
1885 Charles Seale-Hayne Liberal
1904 by-election Harry Trelawney Eve Liberal
1908 by-election Captain Ernest Fitzroy Morrison-Bell Liberal Unionist
January 1910 Charles Roden Buxton Liberal
December 1910 Captain Ernest Fitzroy Morrison-Bell Conservative
1918 Constituency abolished

Election Results[edit]

Elections in the 1900s[edit]

Harry Eve
Ashburton by-election, 1904: Devon, Ashburton


Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Liberal Harry Trelawney Eve 5,034 58.6
Conservative General Sir Richard Harrison 3,558 41.4
Majority 1,476 17.2
Liberal hold Swing
Charles Roden Buxton
Ashburton by-election, 1908: Devon, Ashburton


Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Liberal Unionist Ernest Morrison-Bell 5,191 52.8
Liberal Charles Roden Buxton 4,632 47.2
Majority 559 5.7
Turnout 9,823
Liberal Unionist gain from Liberal Swing


  1. ^ Succeeded as 2nd Baronet, 1674
  2. ^ At the election of 1710, Lloyd and Tuckfield were returned but on petition both were found not to have been duly elected (in a dispute over the franchise), and Reynell and Courtenay were declared elected in their place
  3. ^ Courtenay had also been elected for Newport (Cornwall), which he chose to represent; on his being declared duly elected for Ashburton a new writ for a by-election was immediately issued, and Courtenay never sat for Ashburton
  4. ^ Yonge was also elected for Honiton, which he chose to represent, and never sat for Ashburton
  5. ^ Created a baronet, May 1782
  6. ^ Knighted, May 1795
  7. ^ Palk was re-elected in 1796 but was also elected for Devon, which he chose to represent, and did not sit for Ashburton again
  8. ^ Created a baronet, 1850