Eye (UK Parliament constituency)

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Eye
Former Borough constituency
for the House of Commons
County Suffolk
Major settlements Eye
1571–1885
Number of members Two until 1832, then one until 1885
18851983
Number of members One
Type of constituency County constituency
Replaced by Central Suffolk

Eye was a parliamentary constituency represented in the House of Commons of the Parliament of the United Kingdom. It elected two Members of Parliament (MPs) by the bloc vote system of election. The Reform Act 1832 reduced its representation to one MP, elected by the first past the post system.

The parliamentary borough of Eye was abolished under the Redistribution of Seats Act 1885, and replaced with a new county division of the same name, which lasted until 1983 when most of it became part of the Central Suffolk constituency. Its main claim to fame was that it was the smallest town to have a parliamentary constituency named after it as the town of Eye had only approximately 1500 voters in 1981. It had been a Liberal seat until 1950 after which it became a safe Conservative seat.

Boundaries[edit]

The Borough[edit]

Eye was once the smallest borough in the country, its claim based on the 1205 Charter of King John. The Charter was renewed in 1408, then many more times by successive monarchs. However, in 1885, the Town Clerk of Hythe proved that the original Charter belonged only to Hythe in Kent, the error having arisen from the similarity of the early English names. The error was confirmed by archivists in the 1950s, but borough status was not discontinued until 1974 after government reorganization when Eye became a parish but retained a Town Council, a Mayor and the insignia. From 1571 to 1832, Eye boasted two Members of Parliament. Following the Reform Act 1832, Eye had one MP until 1983, after which the Eye constituency became the Central Suffolk constituency.

Members of Parliament[edit]

Eye borough[edit]

MPs 1571–1660[edit]

Parliament First member Second member
1571 Richard Bedell Charles Cutter [1]
1572 Charles Calthorpe Charles Cutter [1]
1584 Bassingbourne Gawdy George Brooke [1]
1586 Bartholemew Kemp Thomas Bedingfield [1]
1588 Edward Grimston Sir Edmund Bacon [1]
1593 Edward Honnyng, eldest son of William Honnyng Philip Gawdy [1]
1597 Anthony Gawdy Edward Honnyng, eldest son of William Honnyng [1]
1601 Edward Honnyng, eldest son of William Honnyng Anthony Gawdy [1]
1604 Edward Honnyng, eldest son of William Honnyng Sir Henry Bockenham
1614 Sir Robert Drury Huntingdon Colby
1621–1622 Sir Roger North Sir John Crompton
1624 Sir Henry Crofts Francis Finch
1625 Francis Finch Sir Roger North
1626 Francis Finch Sir Roger North
1628 Francis Finch Sir Roger North
1629–1640 No Parliaments summoned
1640 (Apr) Sir Frederick Cornwallis Sir Roger North
1640 (Nov) Sir Frederick Cornwallis Sir Roger North
1645 Morris Barrow Sir Roger North
1648  ?
1653 Eye not represented in Barebones Parliament
1654 Eye not represented in 1st Protectorate Parliament
1655 Eye not represented in 2nd Protectorate Parliament
1659 Edward Dendy Joseph Blisset

MPs 1660–1832[edit]

Election First member [2] First party Second member [2] Second party
1660 Charles Cornwallis Sir George Reeve
1661 Charles Cornwallis, senior
1675 Sir Robert Reeve
1678 Sir Charles Gawdy
1679 Charles Fox George Walsh
1681 Sir Charles Gawdy Sir Robert Reeve
1685 Sir John Rous
1689 Thomas Knyvett Tory Henry Poley
1690 Thomas Davenant
1695 Charles Cornwallis Whig
1697 Sir Joseph Jekyll Whig
1698 Hon. Spencer Compton Tory
1701 Whig
1710 Thomas Maynard
1713 Edward Hopkins
1715 Thomas Smith
March 1722 Hon. Spencer Compton Whig
November 1722 James Cornwallis
1727 Stephen Cornwallis John Cornwallis
1743 Edward Cornwallis
1747 Roger Townshend
1748 Nicholas Hardinge
1749 Courthorpe Clayton
1758 Henry Townshend
1760 Viscount Brome Whig
March 1761 Henry Cornwallis
December 1761 Henry Townshend
1762 The Viscount Allen Richard Burton [3]
1768 Hon. William Cornwallis
1770 Richard Burton Phillipson
1774 John St John
1780 Arnoldus Jones-Skelton
1782 Hon. William Cornwallis
1784 Peter Bathurst
1790 Hon. William Cornwallis [4]
1792 Peter Bathurst
1795 Viscount Brome Tory
1796 Mark Singleton
1799 James Cornwallis Tory
1806 Marquess of Huntly
January 1807 James Cornwallis Tory
April 1807 Hon. Henry Wellesley
May 1807 Mark Singleton
1809 Charles Arbuthnot Tory
1812 Sir William Garrow Whig
1817 Sir Robert Gifford Tory
1820 Sir Miles Nightingall Tory
1824 Sir Edward Kerrison, Bt Tory
1829 Sir Philip Sidney, Bt Tory
1831 William Burge
1832 Representation reduced to one member

MPs 1832–1885[edit]

Election Member [2] Party
1832 Sir Edward Kerrison, Bt Conservative
1852 Edward Kerrison [5] Conservative
1866 by-election Hon. George Barrington [6] Conservative
1880 Ellis Ashmead-Bartlett Conservative
1885 Borough abolished – name transferred to county division

Eye division of Suffolk[edit]

MPs 1885–1983[edit]

Election Member [2] Party
1885 Francis Seymour Stevenson Liberal
1906 by-election Harold Pearson Liberal
1918 Alexander Lyle-Samuel Liberal
1923 The Lord Huntingfield Conservative
1929 Edgar Granville Liberal
1931 National Liberal
1942 Independent
1945 Liberal
1951 Sir Harwood Harrison Conservative
1979 John Gummer Conservative
1983 constituency abolished: see Suffolk Central

Elections in the 1910s[edit]

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 from 1914 and by the end of this year, the following candidates had been selected; Liberal: Weetman Pearson, Conservative: Labour:

General Election 1918

Electorate 33,399

Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Liberal
  1. Alexander Lyle-Samuel
10,072 61
Unionist Col. Frederick William French 6,362
Majority 3,710
Turnout
Liberal hold Swing

A # denotes candidate who was endorsed by the Coalition Government.

Elections in the 1920s[edit]

General Election 1922

Electorate 32,579

Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Liberal Alexander Lyle-Samuel 10,556
National Liberal Stephen Gerald Howard 7,025
Majority 3,531
Turnout
Liberal hold Swing
General Election 1923

Electorate 32,999

Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Unionist Lord Huntingfield 11,172
Liberal Alexander Lyle-Samuel 9,244
Labour C W Kendall 2,984
Majority 1,928
Turnout
Unionist gain from Liberal Swing
General Election 1924

Electorate 33,841

Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Unionist Lord Huntingfield 13,450
Liberal Sir Thomas Robert Bethell 7,441
Labour C W Kendall 4,329
Majority
Turnout
Unionist hold Swing
General Election 1929

Electorate 40,340

Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Liberal Edgar Louis Granville 13,944
Unionist Arthur Gilstrap Soames 12,880
Labour Owen Aves 4,709
Majority
Turnout
Liberal gain from Unionist Swing

Elections in the 1930s[edit]

General Election 1931

Electorate

Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Liberal National Edgar Louis Granville unopposed
Liberal National hold Swing
General Election 1935

Electorate 40,832

Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Liberal National Edgar Louis Granville 21,606
Labour H L Self 7,613
Majority
Turnout
Liberal National hold Swing

Elections in the 1940s[edit]

General Election 1939/40: Another General Election was required to take place before the end of 1940. The political parties had been making preparations for an election to take place from 1939 and by the end of this year, the following candidates had been selected; Liberal: Edgar Granville, Labour: H L Self, British Union: Ronald N Creasy.

General Election 1945

Electorate 43,126

Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Liberal Edgar Louis Granville 11,899
Conservative Maj. Algernon Malcolm Borthwick 10,950
Labour B Collingson 8,089
Majority 949
Turnout
Liberal hold Swing

Elections in the 1950s[edit]

General Election 1950

Electorate 56,855

Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Liberal Edgar Louis Granville 17,762 37.27
Conservative James Harwood Harrison 17,135 35.96
Labour LG Emsden 12,481 26.19
Communist Mrs Lee Chadwick 277 0.58
Majority 627 1.32
Turnout 83.82
Liberal hold Swing
General Election 1951

Electorate 58,518

Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Conservative James Harwood Harrison 19,791 40.61
Liberal Edgar Louis Granville 17,602 36.12
Labour Harold F Falconer 11,340 23.27
Majority 2,189 4.49
Turnout 83.28
Conservative gain from Liberal Swing
General Election 1955

Electorate 57,092

Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Conservative James Harwood Harrison 21,317 45.04
Labour Edgar Louis Granville 20,428 43.16
Liberal Inga-Stina Robson 5,582 11.79
Majority 898 1.88
Turnout 82.90
Conservative hold Swing
General Election 1959

Electorate 56,395

Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Conservative James Harwood Harrison 22,333
Labour Edgar Louis Granville 19,849
Liberal Inga-Stina Robson 5,215
Majority 2,484 5.24
Turnout 84.04
Conservative hold Swing

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d e f g h "History of Parliament". History of Parliament. Retrieved 2011-10-19. 
  2. ^ a b c d Leigh Rayment's Historical List of MPs – Constituencies beginning with "E" (part 2)[self-published source][better source needed]
  3. ^ Later adopted the surname Phillipson
  4. ^ Rear Admiral from 1793, Vice Admiral 1794, Admiral 1799
  5. ^ Succeeded as baronet, March 1853
  6. ^ Succeeded as The Viscount Barrington (in the Peerage of Ireland), February 1867