Maldon (UK Parliament constituency)

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Maldon
County constituency
for the House of Commons
Outline map
Boundary of Maldon in Essex for the 2010 general election.
Outline map
Location of Essex within England.
County Essex
Electorate 69,539 (December 2010)[1]
Current constituency
Created 2010
Member of Parliament John Whittingdale (Conservative)
Number of members One
Created from Maldon and East Chelmsford
18851983
Type of constituency County constituency
Replaced by Colchester South and Maldon and Rochford
Created from East Essex, Maldon
1332–1885
Number of members two to 1868, one from 1868 to 1885
Type of constituency Borough constituency
Replaced by Maldon
Overlaps
European Parliament constituency East of England

Maldon is a constituency[n 1] represented in the House of Commons of the UK Parliament since 2010 by John Whittingdale, a Conservative.[n 2]

History[edit]

Its previous incarnation was a constituency existing between 1332 (36 years after the Model Parliament) and 1983.

This seat is a successor to the Maldon and East Chelmsford constituency which existed from 1997 to 2010.

The new constituency[edit]

Following the Boundary Commission's Fifth Periodic Review of Westminster constituencies, Parliament radically altered some constituencies and enacted new ones to allow for the increasing population. The majority of the former Maldon and East Chelmsford constituency formed the basis of this new seat for 2010, Maldon, losing the Chelmsford parts;[n 3] to compensate, wards in and around South Woodham Ferrers came in from the former Rayleigh constituency and Margaretting is added from the former West Chelmsford constituency.

Thus the seat has electoral wards;

  • Althorne, Burnham-on-Crouch North, Burnham-on-Crouch South, Heybridge East, Heybridge West, Maldon, Essex East, Maldon North, Maldon South, Maldon West, Mayland, Purleigh, Southminster and Tillingham from Maldon district
  • Bicknacre and East and West [anningfield, Little Baddow, Danbury and Sandon, Rettendon and Runwell, South Hanningfield, Stock and Margaretting, South Woodham Ferrers–Chetwood and Collingwood and South Woodham Ferrers–Elmwood and Woodville from Chelmsford district

The historic constituency (1332-1983)[edit]

Maldon
Former Borough constituency
for the House of Commons
1332–1885
Number of members two (1295-1868); one (1868-1885)
Essex, Maldon
Former County constituency
for the House of Commons
18851983
Number of members one

Maldon was originally a Parliamentary borough in Essex, first represented in the House of Commons in 1332; it elected two MPs until 1868, and one from 1868 until 1885. In that year the borough was abolished but the name was transferred to a county division of Essex, which continued with some boundary changes until 1983.

Maldon borough (1332-1885)[edit]

Boundaries and franchise before the Reform Act[edit]

Until the Great Reform Act of 1832, the borough consisted of the three parishes of the town of Maldon, Essex, a small market town and port on the coast of Essex.

Maldon had been a municipal as well as Parliamentary borough, its first charter dating from the reign of Henry II, and at one period the Corporation had the sole right to elect the town's MPs. From 1701 at the latest, however, the right to vote was exercised by the freemen of the town, whether or not resident within the borough; and, unusually, honorary freemen and those acquiring the freedom by purchase were also entitled to vote in Maldon. This had several consequences. The electorate in Maldon was much bigger than was usual in a town of that size - in the first half of the 18th century, the number of qualified voters generally about 800 (the majority of whom did not live in Maldon). It also meant that the town corporation, with the power to create freemen and therefore voters, was in a position to gerrymander elections if it so wished. This might, as was the case in some other boroughs, have ended in one interest gaining control of the corporation and turning Maldon into a pocket borough; in fact, however, Maldon instead stayed independent but venal, and gaining election there tended to be an expensive business. Sometimes it was not merely a case of bribing the voters: in 1690, it was recorded in the House of Commons journals that the wives and daughters of Maldon freemen were being bribed at election time as well.

One interest that was firmly established by the middle of the 18th century, however, was that of the government, which ensured that lucrative posts in the customs house were reserved for loyally-voting freemen, and also attempted to have government supporters – often strangers to the town – elected to vacancies on the corporation. It was generally taken for granted that the government candidates would normally be elected.

The Strutt ascendancy[edit]

However, in the 1750s the government's control of Maldon weakened, and a prominent local Tory, John Strutt, found he had enough influence with the voters to sway elections. He secured the election of several of his friends over the years and eventually, in 1774, was persuaded to stand himself, which he did successfully.

In the meanwhile, however, a dramatic change had been wrought in the system. In 1763 one of the sitting MPs, Strutt's friend Bamber Gascoyne, was appointed to the Board of Trade and therefore had to be re-elected at Maldon. Gascoyne's opponent, John Huske, accused him of threatening that any freemen working in the customs house who did not vote for hiiould be dismissed (which, by this period, would have been an illegal threat). Although the Prime Minister, George Grenville, denied having authorised Gascoyne to make any such threat and Gascoyne denied having made it, it seems clear it was believed in Maldon and the corporation sided with Huske, creating enough new freemen to ensure Gascoyne was defeated. Both sides started actions for bribery, but Gascoyne had decided on more drastic action. He took out a writ against the Corporation, and the Courts ordered the ousting of the majority of members; eventually, in 1768, the Corporation was dissolved by judicial order.

For half a century the duties of returning officer were transferred to the High Sheriff of Essex. However, the Sheriff could not assume the Corporation's function of swearing in new freemen, and Strutt's influence was thus entirely secured against any possibility of new voters being created to outvote him. However, there was a problem: by the time of the general election of 1807 the number of remaining qualified voters had dwindled to 58, and the constituency was in imminent danger of quite literally dying out. Yet there were more than 800 new freemen who were only barred from voting because there was nobody to swear them in; finally a new charter was granted, in time to enfranchise them for the election of 1810.

Matters then returned to normal in Maldon for the remaining 22 years before the Reform Act. Strutt's son, Joseph Holden Strutt, retained much of the influence that his father had wielded, being generally considered to be able to nominate one of the two MPs or to choose to sit himself; as he exercised all government patronage in Maldon, he was well placed to secure the other seat as well. But when the voters proved uncooperative, they could easily enough be overruled: at the 1826 election, the Corporation secured the result it wanted by admitting another thousand new freemen in time for them to vote; 3,113 freemen voted, of whom only 251 were Maldon residents.

After the Reform Act[edit]

In the initial drafts of the Reform Bill, Maldon was to lose one of its two seats and although it was eventually spared this fate its population of 3,831 in 1831 left it very close to the borderline. The eventual Reform Act extended the borough by adding the neighbouring parish of Heybridge, increasing the population to 4,895; but with only 716 qualified voters under the new franchise its electorate was less than a quarter of what it had previously been. The constituency was a highly marginal one, victory rarely being secured by more than a handful of votes. In 1852, only 40 votes separated first place from fourth, and the second Tory's majority over his Whig opponent was only 6; after the losing candidates petitioned, alleging corruption, the election was declared void[2] and Maldon's right to representation was suspended while a Royal Commission investigated. However, no major scandal was uncovered and (unlike some other boroughs similarly investigated at the same period) its right to vote was reinstated and a writ for a new by-election which took place in 1854 was issued.[3]

Maldon county constituency (1885-1983)[edit]

The Second Reform Act, implemented in 1868, took seats from most of the smallest boroughs, and Maldon's representation was halved; but it was still too small, and at the election of 1885 the borough was abolished altogether. The county division into which the town was placed, however, was named after the town. (Officially, until 1918, it was the Eastern (or Maldon) Division of Essex; after that, simply the Maldon division.) As well as Maldon itself this contained the towns of Braintree, Halstead and Witham. Once again this constituency was a marginal one - almost the only rural county seat in the South East at this period not to be safely Conservative. The strength of the Liberal vote seems to have been partly based on the strength of Nonconformism in the Halstead area, but also on trade unionism among the agricultural labourers (which elsewhere in Essex was offset by a strongly Tory maritime vote which Maldon lacked).

Maldon in Essex, showing boundaries used from 1918 to 1945.

After 1918, boundary changes added Burnham on Crouch and the surrounding district, but the constituency was still a rural one, with 35% of the occupied male population employed in the agricultural sector at the time of the 1921 census. The Labour rather than the Liberals were now the Conservatives' main opponents. When the Liberal Party split in 1922, Maldon's Liberals split as well, and the constituency was the first where the Lloyd George Liberals set up a constituency association, though this was apparently without the sanction of the national party headquarters and the association is not recorded as having organised any activities. In 1923 no Liberal candidate stood at all, and Labour captured the seat for the first time. The Conservatives retook the seat in 1924, holding it until the 1940s, but it was won by Tom Driberg in a wartime by-election; yet his hold on the seat was rarely secure and he eventually moved to sit for a safer seat. Thereafter Maldon remained Conservative until its abolition, though at first by the narrowest of margins.

The Maldon constituency was abolished in the boundary changes which came into effect at the 1983 election, being divided between the new Colchester South and Maldon and Rochford constituencies.

Members of Parliament[edit]

MPs 1332–1640[edit]

Parliament First member Second member
1386 Richard Bush John Glover[4]
1388 (Feb) John Dyer Henry Hales[4]
1388 (Sep) John Crakebon John Welles[4]
1390 (Jan) John Skinner I John Joce[4]|
1390 (Nov)
1391 John Welles John Page[4]
1393 John Skinner John Glover[4]
1394
1395
1397 (Jan) John Glover John Joce[4]
1397 (Sep)
1399 John Joce John Crakebon[4]
1401
1402 John Page Thomas Paffe[4]
1404 (Jan) John Burgess Thomas Paffe[4]
1404 (Oct)
1406 John Flower Robert Painter[4]
1407 John Page John Hockham[4]
1410 ?William Wade[4]
1411 John Flower John Burgess[4]
1413 (Feb)
1413 (May) Richard Galon John Burgess[4]
1414 (Apr)
1414 (Nov) John Flower John Burgess[4]
1415
1416 (Mar)
1416 (Oct)
1417 Thomas Paffe Richard Sampson[4]
1419 Richard Galon William Bennett[4]
1420 John Burgess Richard Galon[4]
1421 (May) John Cooper Richard Bawde[4]
1421 (Dec) William Burgh William Gore[4]
1422 Robert Darcy[5]
1487 Sir Richard Fitzlewis[6]
1491 Robert Plummer[6]
1504 Sir William Say
1510 Sir Richard FitzLewis Thomas Hintlesham[7]
1512 Thomas Cressener  ?[7]
1515 John Strangman  ?[7]
1523 John Bozom Thomas Wyburgh[7]
1529 Thomas Tey Edward Peyton[7]
1536 William Harris John Raymond[7]
1539 John Edmonds William Bonham[7]
1542 Edward Bury Henry Dowes[7]
1545 Clement Smith Nicholas Throckmorton[7]
1547 Sir Clement Smith Henry Dowes, died
and replaced by Jan 1552 by
William Bassett[7]
1553 (Mar) Sir Walter Mildmay Henry Fortescue[7]
1553 (Oct) ?Anthony Browne John Raymond[7]
1554 (Apr) Thomas Hungate Edmund Tyrrell[7]
1554 (Nov) Anthony Browne John Wiseman[7]
1555 Sir Henry Radclyffe Richard Weston[7]
1558 Edmund Tyrrell Roger Appleton, died
and replaced by Nov 1558 by
Henry Golding[8]
1559 Sir Humphrey Radcliffe Henry Golding[8]
1562/3 John Lathom Richard Argall[8]
1571 Peter Osborne. sat for Guildford,
repl. by
George Blythe
Gabriel Croft[8]
1572 Thomas Gent Vincent Harris, died
and repl. Oct 1574 by
Edward Sulyard[8]
1584 Edward Lewknor William Wiseman[8]
1586 John Butler Edward Lewknor[8]
1588 John Butler William Vernon, sick
and replaced by
Edward Lewknor[8]
1593 Sir Thomas Mildmay, Bt Edward Lewknor[8]
1597 Thomas Harris William Wiseman[8]
1601 William Wiseman Richard Weston[8]
1604 Sir Edward Lewknor, died
and replaced 1605 by
Sir Theophilus Howard
William Wiseman, died
and replaced 1610 by
Sir John Sammes
1610 Sir Robert Rich
1614 Sir John Sammes Charles Chiborne
1621-1622 Sir Henry Mildmay Sir Julius Caesar
1624 Sir William Masham, Bt Sir Arthur Harris
1625 Sir William Masham, Bt Sir Henry Mildmay
1626 Sir William Masham, Bt Sir Thomas Cheek
1628-1629 Sir Henry Mildmay Sir Arthur Harris
1629–1640 No Parliaments summoned

MPs 1640–1868[edit]

Year First member[9] First party Second member[9] Second party
April 1640 Sir Henry Mildmay Parliamentarian John Porter
November 1640 Sir John Clotworthy Parliamentarian
January 1648 Clotworthy disabled from sitting January 1648,
but readmitted June 1648
June 1648 Sir John Clotworthy Parliamentarian
December 1648 Clotworthy excluded in Pride's Purge - seat vacant
1653 Maldon was unrepresented in the Barebones Parliament
1654 Colonel Joachim Matthews Maldon had only one seat in the First and
Second Parliaments of the Protectorate
1656
January 1659 Henry Mildmay
May 1659 Colonel Sir Henry Mildmay One seat vacant
April 1660 Tristram Conyers Henry Mildmay
June 1660 Edward Herrys
1661 Sir John Tyrell Sir Richard Wiseman
1677 Sir William Wiseman, 1st Baronet
March 1679 Sir John Bramston
October 1679 Sir Thomas Darcy, 1st Baronet
1685 Sir John Bramston
1689 Charles Montagu
1693 Sir Eliab Harvey
1695 Irby Montagu
1699 John Bullock
January 1701 William Fytche
November 1701 John Comyns
1708 Sir Richard Child Thomas Richmond
1710 John Comyns[10]
1711 William Fytche
1712 Thomas Bramston[11]
1715 Samuel Tufnell
1722 Sir John Comyns
1727 Henry Parsons Thomas Bramston
1734 Martin Bladen
1740 Benjamin Keene
1741 Sir Thomas Drury, Bt Robert Colebrooke
1747 Sir Richard Lloyd, KC
1754 Colonel John Bullock
1761 Bamber Gascoyne Independent
1768 John Huske
1773 Charles Rainsford
1774 John Strutt Tory Hon. Richard Savage Nassau
1780 Eliab Harvey
1784 The Lord Waltham
1787 Sir Peter Parker, Bt
1790 Joseph Holden Strutt Tory Charles Callis Western Whig
1806 Benjamin Gaskell[12] Whig
1807 Charles Callis Western Whig
1812 Benjamin Gaskell Whig
1826 Hon. George Allanson Winn Tory Thomas Barrett Lennard Whig
1827 Hugh Dick Tory
1830 Quintin Dick Tory
1832 Conservative
1837 John Round Conservative
1847 David Waddington Conservative Thomas Barrett Lennard Whig
1852 [2] Charles du Cane Conservative Taverner John Miller Conservative
1854 George Peacocke Conservative John Bramley-Moore Conservative
1857 Thomas Western Whig
1859 Liberal George Peacocke[13] Conservative
1865 Ralph Anstruther Earle Conservative
1868 Representation reduced to one member

MPs 1868–1983[edit]

Election Member[9] Party
1868 Edward Hammond Bentall Liberal
1874 George Sandford Conservative
1878 by-election George Courtauld Liberal
1885 Arthur George Kitching Liberal
1886 Charles Wing Gray Conservative
1892 Cyril Dodd, QC Liberal
1895 Hon. Charles Hedley Strutt Conservative
1906 Thomas Robert Bethell Liberal
1910 (January) Sir James Fortescue Flannery, Bt Conservative
1918 Coalition Conservative
1922 Lt Col Edward Ruggles-Brise MC Conservative
1923 Valentine George Crittall Labour
1924 Lt Col Edward Ruggles-Brise MC Conservative
1942 by-election Tom Driberg Independent
1945 Labour
1955 Brian Harrison Conservative
1974 (February) John Wakeham Conservative
1983 constituency abolished

The re-formed Maldon seat was fought for the first time at the 2010 general election.

Election Member[9] Party
2010 John Whittingdale Conservative

Elections[edit]

Elections in the 1900s[edit]

General Election 1906: Maldon[14]

Electorate 10,613

Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Liberal Thomas Robert Bethell 4,773 50.8 +9.3
Conservative Hon. Charles Hedley Strutt 4,624 49.2 -9.3
Majority 149 1.6
Turnout 88.5 +9.1
Liberal gain from Conservative Swing

Elections in the 1910s[edit]

General Election, December 1910: Maldon
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Conservative James Fortescue Flannery 5,386 53.4
Liberal Willoughby Jardine 4,693 46.6
Majority 693 6.8
Turnout
Conservative hold Swing
General Election, 1918: Maldon
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Coalition Conservative Sir James Fortescue Flannery, Bt 8,136 51.1
Labour George Dallas 6,315 39.6
Liberal Ernest William Tanner 1,490 9.3
Majority 1,823 11.5
Turnout 15,943 56.7
Conservative hold Swing

Elections in the 1920s[edit]

General Election, 1922: Maldon
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Conservative Edward Archibald Ruggles-Brise 10,337 47.2 −3.9
Labour George Dallas 6,085 27.8 −11.8
Liberal James Parish 5,470 25.0 +15.7
Majority 4,252 19.4 +7.9
Turnout 21,892 74.8 +18.1
Conservative hold Swing
General Election, 1923: Maldon
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Labour Valentine George Crittall 10,329 50.1 +22.3
Conservative Edward Archibald Ruggles-Brise 10,280 49.9 +2.7
Majority 49 0.2
Turnout 21,892 69.6 −5.2
Labour gain from Conservative Swing
General Election, 1924: Maldon

Electorate 30,573

Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Conservative Edward Archibald Ruggles-Brise 13,209 52.3 +2.2
Labour Valentine George Crittall 9,323 36.9 −13.0
Liberal H. R. G. Brooks 2,724 10.8 N/A
Majority 3,886 15.4
Turnout 25,256 82.6 +13.0
Conservative gain from Labour Swing
General Election, 1929: Maldon

Electorate 40,238

Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Conservative Edward Archibald Ruggles-Brise 14,020 43.8 −8.5
Labour Herbert Evans 11,224 35.1 −1.8
Liberal Herbert A. May 6,748 21.1 +10.3
Majority 2,796 8.7 −6.7
Turnout 31,992 79.5 −3.1
Conservative hold Swing

Elections in the 1930s[edit]

General Election, 1931: Maldon

Electorate 40,246

Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Conservative Edward Archibald Ruggles-Brise 22,055 70.8 +27.1
Labour William Frederick Toynbee 9,078 29.2 −5.9
Majority 12,977 41.6 +32.9
Turnout 31,133 74.7 −4.8
Conservative hold Swing
General Election, 1935: Maldon

Electorate 43,395

Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Conservative Sir Edward Archibald Ruggles-Brise 17,072 53.4 −17.4
Labour William Frederick Toynbee 9,264 28.9 −0.3
Liberal Hilda Mary Adela Buckmaster 5,680 17.7 N/A
Majority 7,808 24.5 −16.1
Turnout 32,016 73.8 −0.9
Conservative hold Swing

Elections in the 1940s[edit]

Maldon by-election, 25 June 1942
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Independent Thomas Edward Neil Driberg 12,219 61.3
Conservative R. J. Hunt 6,226 31.3 −22.1
National Independent and Agricultural Robert Borlase Matthews 1,476 7.4
Majority 5,993 30.0
Turnout 19,921 44.4 −29.4
Independent gain from Conservative Swing

Driberg was elected in 1942 as an Independent Labour candidate, but took the Labour Party whip in January 1945, and stood in the 1945 election as a Labour Party candidate.

General Election, 1945: Maldon
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Labour Thomas Edward Neil Driberg 22,480 60.4 −0.9
Conservative A. M. S. Stevenson 14,753 39.6 +6.3
Majority 7,727 20.8 −9.2
Turnout 37,233 74.5 +30.1
Labour hold Swing

Elections in the 2010s[edit]

General Election 2010: Maldon[15]
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Conservative John Whittingdale* 28,661 59.8 +3.5
Liberal Democrat Elfreda Tealby-Watson 9,254 19.3 +4.3
Labour Swatantra Nandanwar 6,070 12.7 -11.5
UKIP Jesse Pryke 2,446 5.1 +0.6
BNP Len Blaine 1,464 3.1 +3.1
Majority 19,407 (40.5%)
Turnout 47,895 69.6 +6.7
Conservative hold Swing -0.4
* Served as MP for the preceding constituency of Maldon and East Chelmsford since 1997

See also[edit]

Notes and references[edit]

Notes
  1. ^ A county constituency (for the purposes of election expenses and type of returning officer)
  2. ^ As with all constituencies, the constituency elects one Member of Parliament (MP) by the first past the post system of election at least every five years.
  3. ^ To Witham and Chelmsford
References
  1. ^ "Electorate Figures - Boundary Commission for England". 2011 Electorate Figures. Boundary Commission for England. 4 March 2011. Retrieved 13 March 2011. 
  2. ^ a b "MALDON ELECTION". Hansard. 1853-03-18. Retrieved 2009-05-04. 
  3. ^ "NEW WRIT FOR MALDON". Hansard. 1854-08-11. Retrieved 2009-05-04. 
  4. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s t u "History of Parliament". History of Parliament Trust. Retrieved 2011-10-18. 
  5. ^ http://www.historyofparliamentonline.org/volume/1386-1421/member/darcy-robert-1448
  6. ^ a b Cavill. The English Parliaments of Henry VII 1485-1504. 
  7. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o "History of Parliament". History of Parliament Trust. Retrieved 2011-10-18. 
  8. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k "History of Parliament". History of Parliament Trust. Retrieved 2011-10-18. 
  9. ^ a b c d Leigh Rayment's Historical List of MPs – Constituencies beginning with "M" (part 1)[self-published source][better source needed]
  10. ^ Comyns was re-elected in 1715, but his election was declared void because he refused to take the oath that he met the property qualification to be elected
  11. ^ Bramston was initially declared re-elected in 1715, but on petition he was declared not to have been duly elected and his opponent, Tufnell, was seated in his place
  12. ^ On petition, Gaskell was adjudged not to have been duly elected, and his opponent, Western, was seated in his place
  13. ^ Peacocke changed his name to Sandford during the Parliament of 1865
  14. ^ British parliamentary election results, 1885-1918 (Craig)
  15. ^ Maldon 2010 Results, UKPollingReport

Sources[edit]

  • Robert Beatson, A Chronological Register of Both Houses of Parliament (London: Longman, Hurst, Res & Orme, 1807) [1]
  • D. Brunton & D. H. Pennington, Members of the Long Parliament (London: George Allen & Unwin, 1954)
  • John Cannon, Parliamentary Reform 1640-1832 (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1972)
  • Cobbett's Parliamentary history of England, from the Norman Conquest in 1066 to the year 1803 (London: Thomas Hansard, 1808) [2]
  • The Constitutional Year Book for 1913 (London: National Union of Conservative and Unionist Associations, 1913)
  • F W S Craig, British Parliamentary Election Results 1832-1885 (2nd edition, Aldershot: Parliamentary Research Services, 1989)
  • Craig, F. W. S. (1983) [1969]. British parliamentary election results 1918-1949 (3rd edition ed.). Chichester: Parliamentary Research Services. ISBN 0-900178-06-X. 
  • Michael Kinnear, The British Voter (London: BH Batsford, Ltd, 1968)
  • J Holladay Philbin, Parliamentary Representation 1832 - England and Wales (New Haven: Yale University Press, 1965)
  • Edward Porritt and Annie G Porritt, The Unreformed House of Commons (Cambridge University Press, 1903)
  • Lewis Namier, The Structure of Politics at the Accession of George III (2nd edition - London: St Martin's Press, 1961)
  • Lewis Namier & John Brooke, The History of Parliament: The House of Commons 1754-1790 (London: HMSO, 1964)
  • T. H. B. Oldfield, The Representative History of Great Britain and Ireland (London: Baldwin, Cradock & Joy, 1816)
  • Henry Pelling, Social Geography of British Elections 1885-1910 (London: Macmillan, 1967)
  • Robert Waller, The Almanac of British Politics (1st edition, London: Croom Helm, 1983)
  • Frederic A Youngs, jr, Guide to the Local Administrative Units of England, Vol I (London: Royal Historical Society, 1979)