Inverness Burghs (UK Parliament constituency)

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Inverness Burghs
Former District of burghs constituency
for the House of Commons
Major settlements Inverness, Fortrose, Forres, Nairn
17081918
Number of members One
Replaced by Inverness, Moray and Nairn and Ross and Cromarty
Created from Inverness, Forres, Fortrose and Nairn

Inverness Burghs was a district of burghs constituency of the House of Commons of the Parliament of Great Britain (at Westminster) from 1708 to 1801 and of the Parliament of the United Kingdom (also at Westminster) from 1801 to 1918. It elected one Member of Parliament (MP).

There was also, 1708 to 1918, the Inverness-shire constituency, which was, as its name implies, a county constituency.

Boundaries[edit]

As first used in the 1708 general election Inverness Burghs consisted of four burghs: Inverness in the county of Inverness, Fortrose in the county of Ross, Forres in the county of Elgin and Nairn in the county of Nairn.

For the 1832 general election, as a result of the Representation of the People (Scotland) Act 1832, the boundaries of burghs for parliamentary election purposes ceased to be necessarily those for other purposes.

For the 1918 general election, as a result of the Representation of the People Act 1918, the component burghs of Inverness Burghs were merged into three different county constituencies: Inverness into the Inverness constituency, Forres and Nairn into the Moray and Nairn constituency and Fortrose into the Ross and Cromarty constituency. By this date, the county of Elgin had become the county of Moray and the county of Ross had been merged with the county of Cromarty to form the county of Ross and Cromarty.

Members of Parliament[edit]

Elected Member Party
1708 Alexander Duff
1710 George Mackenzie
1713 William Steuart
1722 Alexander Gordon
1722 election petition Duncan Forbes
1737 by-election Duncan Urquhart
1741 Kenneth Mackenzie
1747 Alexander Brodie[disambiguation needed]
1754 John Campbell
1761 Sir Alexander Grant, Bt
1768 Sir Hector Munro
1802 Alexander Penrose Cumming-Gordon
1803 by-election George Cumming
1806 Francis William Grant
1807 Peter Baillie
1811 by-election Charles Grant
1818 George Cumming Tory
1826 Robert Grant Whig
1830 John Baillie Tory
1831 Charles Lennox Cumming Bruce Tory
1832 John Baillie Tory
1833 by-election Charles Lennox Cumming Bruce Tory
1835 Conservative
1837 Roderick Macleod Whig
1840 by-election James Morrison Whig
1847 Alexander Matheson Whig
1859 change Liberal
1868 Aeneas William Mackintosh Liberal
1874 Charles Fraser-Mackintosh Liberal
1885 Robert Bannatyne Finlay Liberal
1886 change Liberal Unionist
1892 Gilbert Beith Liberal
1895 Robert Bannatyne Finlay Liberal Unionist
1906 John Annan Bryce Liberal
1918 constituency abolished

Election results[edit]

The original electoral system for this constituency gave each of the four burghs one vote, with an additional casting vote (to break ties) for the burgh where the election was held. The place of election rotated amongst the burghs in successive Parliaments. The vote of a burgh was exercised by a burgh commissioner, who was elected by the burgh councillors.

The first direct election in Inverness Burghs was in 1832. The votes from qualified electors, in each burgh, were added together to establish the result.

Unless otherwise indicated, the primary source for the results was Craig. Candidates identified by Craig as Conservatives, in the 1832-1835 Parliament, are listed as Tories. In results for elections before the formal creation of the Liberal Party, shortly after the 1859 general election, candidates identified by Craig as Liberals are divided into Whigs and Radicals following Stooks Smith. Craig's registered electorate and vote figures are sometimes different from those of Stooks Smith, but Craig's figures are used below. For details of the books of Craig and Stooks Smith, see the Reference section below.

In terms of change in % votes and swing, the Conservative candidate in 1835 is related to his performance as the Tory candidate in the 1833 by-election. As there were two Tory candidates in 1832, no swing figure was calculated for the 1833 by-election.

1760s1830s1840s1850s1860s1870s1880s1890s1900s1910s

Elections in the 1760s[edit]

This is an example of a contested election, before the extension of the franchise in 1832. The election took place in Fortrose, so that burgh's commissioner had the casting vote which decided the election.

General Election 11 April 1768: Inverness Burghs (election at Fortrose)[1]
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Non Partisan Hector Munro 3
Fortrose, Nairn
60.0 N/A
Non Partisan Sir Alexander Grant, Bt 2
Forres, Inverness
40.0 N/A
Majority 1 20.0 N/A
Turnout 5 (4 electors) 100.0 N/A
Non Partisan hold Swing N/A

Elections in the 1830s[edit]

General Election 1832: Inverness Burghs
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Tory John Baillie 250 36.1 N/A
Whig John Stewart 243 35.1 N/A
Tory Charles Lennox Cumming Bruce 193 27.9 N/A
Radical Robert Fraser 6 0.9 N/A
Majority 7 1.0 N/A
Turnout 692 96.8 N/A
Registered electors 715
Tory hold Swing N/A
  • Death of Baillie in April 1833
By-Election 17 May 1833: Inverness Burghs
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Tory Charles Lennox Cumming Bruce 357 55.2 +27.3
Whig John Stewart 290 44.8 +9.7
Majority 67 10.4 +9.4
Turnout 647 90.5 -6.3
Registered electors 712
Tory hold Swing N/A
General Election 1835: Inverness Burghs
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Conservative Charles Lennox Cumming Bruce 344 50.3 -4.9
Whig Edward Ellice 340 49.7 +4.9
Majority 4 0.6 -9.8
Turnout 684 90.4 -0.1
Registered electors 757
Conservative hold Swing -4.9 (W to C)
General Election 1837: Inverness Burghs
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Whig Roderick Macleod 336 51.5 +1.8
Conservative James J.R. Mackenzie 317 48.5 -1.8
Majority 19 2.9 N/A
Turnout 653 93.4 +3.0
Registered electors 699
Whig gain from Conservative Swing -1.8 (W to C)

Elections of the 1840s[edit]

  • Resignation of Macleod in March 1840
By-Election 4 March 1840: Inverness Burghs
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Whig James Morrison 353 53.5 +2.0
Conservative John Fraser 307 46.5 -2.00
Majority 46 7.0 +4.1
Turnout 660 87.2 -6.2
Registered electors 757
Whig hold Swing -2.0 (W to C)
General Election 1841: Inverness Burghs
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Whig James Morrison Unopposed N/A N/A
Registered electors 757
Whig hold Swing N/A
General Election 1847: Inverness Burghs
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Whig Alexander Matheson 280 58.5 N/A
Radical Richard Hartley Kennedy 199 41.5 N/A
Majority 81 16.9 N/A
Turnout 479 62.1 N/A
Registered electors 771
Whig hold Swing N/A

Elections of the 1850s[edit]

General Election 1852: Inverness Burghs
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Whig Alexander Matheson Unopposed N/A N/A
Registered electors 825
Whig hold Swing N/A
General Election 1857: Inverness Burghs
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Whig Alexander Matheson 382 53.3 N/A
Conservative A. Campbell 335 46.7 N/A
Majority 47 6.6 N/A
Turnout 717 84.0 N/A
Registered electors 854
Whig hold Swing N/A
General Election 1859: Inverness Burghs
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Whig Alexander Matheson 410 57.2 +3.9
Conservative A. Campbell 307 42.8 -3.9
Majority 103 14.4 +7.8
Turnout 717 82.0 -2.0
Registered electors 874
Whig hold Swing -3.9 (W to C)
  • Note (1859): Shortly after the 1859 general election, the Whig Party was merged into the new Liberal Party. Matheson joined the new party.

Elections of the 1860s[edit]

General Election 1865: Inverness Burghs
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Liberal Alexander Matheson Unopposed N/A N/A
Registered electors 1,022
Liberal hold Swing N/A
General Election 1868: Inverness Burghs
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Liberal Aeneas William Mackintosh Unopposed N/A N/A
Registered electors 1,995
Liberal hold Swing N/A

Elections of the 1870s[edit]

General Election 1874: Inverness Burghs
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Liberal Charles Fraser-Mackintosh 1,134 55.9 N/A
Liberal Aeneas William Mackintosh 879 43.3 N/A
Conservative A. Mackintosh 16 0.8 N/A
Majority 255 12.6 N/A
Turnout 2,029 83.9 N/A
Registered electors 2,419
Liberal hold Swing N/A

Elections in the 1880s[edit]

General Election 1880: Inverness Burghs
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Liberal Charles Fraser-Mackintosh Unopposed N/A N/A
Registered electors 2,990
Liberal hold Swing N/A
General Election 1885: Inverness Burghs
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Liberal Robert Bannatyne Finlay 1,709 52.5 N/A
Independent Liberal Walter Bright McLaren 1,546 47.5 N/A
Majority 163 5.0 N/A
Turnout 3,255 91.5 N/A
Registered electors 3,556
Liberal hold Swing N/A
  • Note (1885): Craig classified McLaren as an Independent Liberal/Crofters' candidate.
  • Note (1886): Shortly before the 1886 general election, the Liberal Party split. Finlay joined the new Liberal Unionist Party.
General Election 1886: Inverness Burghs
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Liberal Unionist Robert Bannatyne Finlay 1,619 54.6 N/A
Liberal Rt Hon. Sir Robert Peel, Bt 1,346 45.4 -7.1
Majority 273 9.2 N/A
Turnout 2,965 83.4 -8.1
Registered electors 3,556
Liberal Unionist gain from Liberal Swing N/A

Elections of the 1890s[edit]

General Election 1892: Inverness Burghs
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Liberal Gilbert Beith 1,615 50.8 +5.4
Liberal Unionist Robert Bannatyne Finlay 1,562 49.2 -5.4
Majority 53 1.6 N/A
Turnout 3,177 85.3 +1.9
Registered electors 3,724
Liberal gain from Liberal Unionist Swing -5.4 (L to LU)
General Election 1895: Inverness Burghs
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Liberal Unionist Robert Bannatyne Finlay 1,846 53.6 +4.4
Liberal Henry Bell 1,596 46.4 -4.4
Majority 250 7.2 N/A
Turnout 3,442 86.6 +1.3
Registered electors 3,974
Liberal Unionist gain from Liberal Swing +4.4 (L to LU)
By-Election 31 August 1895: Inverness Burghs
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Liberal Unionist Robert Bannatyne Finlay Unopposed N/A N/A
Liberal Unionist hold Swing N/A

Elections of the 1900s[edit]

General Election 1900: Inverness Burghs
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Liberal Unionist Sir Robert Bannatyne Finlay 1,829 55.5 +1.9
Liberal J.A. Duncan 1,469 44.5 -1.9
Majority 360 11.0 +3.8
Turnout 3,298 80.7 -5.9
Registered electors 4,085
Liberal Unionist hold Swing +1.9 (L to LU)
  • Note (1900): Change and swing figures are calculated from the 1895 general elewction.
General Election 1906: Inverness Burghs
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Liberal John Annan Bryce 2,304 56.9 +12.4
Liberal Unionist Rt Hon. Sir Robert Bannatyne Finlay 1,746 43.1 -12.4
Majority 558 13.8 N/A
Turnout 4,050 89.1 +8.4
Registered electors 4,547
Liberal gain from Liberal Unionist Swing -12.4 (L to LU)

Elections of the 1910s[edit]

General Election January 1910: Inverness Burghs
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Liberal John Annan Bryce 2,440 59.7 +2.8
Liberal Unionist T.G.T. McMicking 1,650 40.3 -2.8
Majority 790 19.4 +5.6
Turnout 4,090 89.9 +0.8
Registered electors 4,547
Liberal hold Swing -2.8 (L to LU)
General Election December 1910: Inverness Burghs
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Liberal John Annan Bryce 2,367 56.6 -3.1
Liberal Unionist P.J. Ford 1,812 43.4 +3.1
Majority 555 13.2 -6.2
Turnout 4,179 88.6 -1.3
Registered electors 4,719
Liberal hold Swing +3.1 (L to LU)
  • Constituency abolished (1918)

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ The House of Commons 1754-1790

References[edit]

  • Boundaries of Parliamentary Constituencies 1885-1972, compiled and edited by F.W.S. Craig (Parliamentary Reference Publications 1972)
  • British Parliamentary Election Results 1832-1885, compiled and edited by F.W.S. Craig (Macmillan Press 1977)
  • British Parliamentary Election Results 1885-1918, compiled and edited by F.W.S. Craig (Macmillan Press 1974)
  • The House of Commons 1754-1790, by Sir Lewis Namier and John Brooke (HMSO 1964)
  • The Parliaments of England by Henry Stooks Smith (1st edition published in three volumes 1844-50), second edition edited (in one volume) by F.W.S. Craig (Political Reference Publications 1973)
  • Who's Who of British Members of Parliament: Volume I 1832-1885, edited by M. Stenton (The Harvester Press 1976)
  • Who's Who of British Members of Parliament, Volume II 1886-1918, edited by M. Stenton and S. Lees (Harvester Press 1978)
  • Leigh Rayment's Historical List of MPs – Constituencies beginning with "I" [self-published source][better source needed]

See also[edit]