East Looe (UK Parliament constituency)
|Former Borough constituency
for the House of Commons
|Major settlements||East Looe|
|Number of members||Two|
|Replaced by||East Cornwall|
East Looe was a parliamentary borough represented in the House of Commons of England from 1571 to 1707, in the House of Commons of Great Britain from 1797 to 1800, and finally in the House of Commons of the United Kingdom from 1801 until its abolition in 1832. It elected two Members of Parliament (MP) by the bloc vote system of election. It was disenfranchised in the Reform Act 1832.
The borough consisted of the town of East Looe in Cornwall, connected by bridge across the River Looe to West Looe, which was also a parliamentary borough. From the reign of Edward VI, East Looe and West Looe were jointly a borough, returning two members of Parliament; however, under Queen Elizabeth the two towns were separated, and each thereafter returned two members except between 1654 and 1658, when they were once again represented jointly, by one member of the First and Second Protectorate Parliaments.
The right of election was in Mayor and members of the Corporation, together with a number of freemen of the borough. Namier and Brooke estimated that there were about fifty voters in this constituency in the second half of the eighteenth century. It is estimated that by 1800 there were still about fifty electors, and in 1831 the number of eligible voters was 38 while the population of the borough was 865.
In practice, this meant that the power to choose the MPs was in the hands of the local landowner or "proprietor", making East Looe (like West Looe) one of the most notorious of the rotten boroughs. For many years at the time of the Reform Act, East Looe had been controlled by the Buller family (which also controlled West Looe and Saltash), and many members of the family sat for the borough in the House of Commons.
After the Reform Act 1832 disenfranchised the borough, it reverted to being represented as part of the county constituency covering its area. Cornwall was divided into two divisions in 1832, East Cornwall (with its place of election at Bodmin) and West Cornwall (which voted at Truro). East Looe was located in East Cornwall.
Members of Parliament
|Parliament||First member||Second member|
|Parliament of 1571||John Wolley||Edward Cordel|
|Parliament of 1572-1583||Thomas Stone||Thomas West|
|Parliament of 1584-1585||Richard Spencer||Anthony Rous|
|Parliament of 1586-1587||Abraham Hartwell||Edward Trelawny|
|Parliament of 1588-1589||Anthony Everard||Sir Robert Jermyn|
|Parliament of 1593||William Hampden||Gregory Downhall|
|Parliament of 1597-1598||Ambrose Bellot||Robert Gawdy|
|Parliament of 1601||John Hanham||Robert Yardley|
|Parliament of 1604-1611||Sir Robert Phelips||Sir John Parker|
|Addled Parliament (1614)||George Chudleigh||Sir Reginald Mohun|
|Parliament of 1621-1622||Sir John Walter||Sir Jerome Horsey|
|Happy Parliament (1624-1625)||Bartholomew Specot|
|Useless Parliament (1625)||Sir James Bagge||Sir Thomas Trevor|
|Parliament of 1625-1626||Sir John Trevor|
|Parliament of 1628-1629||William Murray||Paul Specot|
|No Parliament summoned 1629-1640|
- In 1659, Buller was also elected for Saltash. He chose to sit for East Looe.
- Godolphin was also elected for Helston, which he chose to represent, and never sat for East Looe
- Walpole was re-elected in 1722 but had also been elected for Great Yarmouth, which he chose to represent, and did not sit again for East Looe
- Trelawny was a Commissioner of Customs at the time of election, which made him ineligible, and his election was void
- Mitford was the Speaker of the House of Commons 1801-1802
- This person was Henry Thomas Hope who is described in ODNB by Mary S. Millar, ‘Hope, Henry Thomas (1808–1862)’, Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, Oxford University Press, 2004 accessed 5 June 2008, not his father, of the same name.
- West Looe (UK Parliament constituency)
- MPs elected in the British general election, 1754
- Unreformed House of Commons
- Robert Beatson, A Chronological Register of Both Houses of Parliament (London: Longman, Hurst, Res & Orme, 1807)
- D Brunton & D H Pennington, Members of the Long Parliament (London: George Allen & Unwin, 1954)
- William Cobbett, Cobbett's Parliamentary history of England, from the Norman Conquest in 1066 to the year 1803 (London: Thomas Hansard, 1808)
- Lewis Namier and John Brooke, The House of Commons 1754-1790 (LOndon: HMSO, 1964)
- 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)
- 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.
- Leigh Rayment's Historical List of MPs – Constituencies beginning with "E" (part 1)[self-published source][better source needed]