Midlothian (UK Parliament constituency) (1708–1918)

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Edinburghshire
Former County constituency
for the House of Commons
17081918
Number of members One
Replaced by Midlothian & Peebles Northern
Peebles & Southern
Created from Edinburghshire

Edinburghshire (also known as Midlothian) was a county 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) by the first past the post system of election.

The seat is most famous as the location of William Ewart Gladstone's upset victory in the Midlothian Campaign of 1880, regarded as the birth of the modern political campaign in the United Kingdom. After Gladstone's victory it became the first non-English constituency to be represented by a serving prime minister.

Boundaries[edit]

As first used, in 1708 general election of the Parliament of Great Britain, the constituency covered the county of Edinburgh, except the burgh of Edinburgh, which was covered by the Edinburgh burgh constituency. 1708 boundaries were used also for all subsequent elections of that parliament.

In 1801 the Parliament of Ireland was merged with the Parliament of Great Britain to form the Parliament of the United Kingdom . The first general election of the new parliament was the general election of 1802. There was no change to the boundaries of any pre-existing Westminster constituency, and 1802 boundaries were used also in the general elections of 1806, 1807, 1812, 1818, 1820, 1826, 1830 and 1831.

For the 1832 general election, as a result of the Representation of the People Act 1832, the constituency was redefined. The boundaries of counties and burghs for parliamentary purposes ceased to be necessarily those for other purposes, but nominally the Edinburghshire constituency consisted of the county of Edinburgh minus the burghs of Edinburgh, Leith, Portobello, and Musselburgh. Edinburgh was again covered by the Edinburgh constituency, and Leith, Portobello and Musselburgh were covered by the Leith Burghs constituency.

1832 boundaries were used also in the general elections of 1835, 1837, 1841, 1847, 1852, 1857, 1859, 1865, 1874, 1880, 1886, 1892, 1895, 1900, 1906, January 1910 and December 1910.

For the 1918 general election, as a result of the Representation of the People Act 1918, the area of the Edinburghshire constituency was mostly divided between the Midlothian and Peebles Northern and Peebles and Southern Midlothian constituencies. By this date, the county of Edinburgh had been renamed as the county of Midlothian.

The Midlothian and Peebles Northern constituency consisted of the Calder and Suburban districts and part of the Lasswade district of the county of Midlothian, and the Peebles and Southern constituency consisted of the county of Peebles, the Gala Water district and part of the Lasswade district of county of Midlothian, and the burghs of Bonnyrigg, Lasswade, and Penicuik in county of Midlothian.[1]

The rest of the county of Midlothian was covered by the Edinburgh Central, Edinburgh East, Edinburgh North, Edinburgh South, Edinburgh West and Leith constituencies.[1]

Member of Parliament[edit]

Election Member Party
1708 George Lockhart Tory
1715 John Baird
1722 Robert Dundas
1737 Sir Charles Gilmour
1751 Robert Balfour-Ramsay
1754 Robert Dundas Whig
1761 Sir Alexander Gilmour
1774 Henry Dundas Tory
1790 Robert Dundas Tory
1801 Robert Saunders-Dundas Tory
1811 Sir George Clerk, Bt Tory
1832 Sir John Dalrymple, Bt Whig
1835 Sir George Clerk, Bt Conservative
1837 William Gibson Craig Whig
1841 William Ramsay Ramsay Conservative
1845 Sir John Hope, Bt. Conservative
1853 The Earl of Dalkeith Conservative
1868 Sir Alexander Ramsay-Gibson-Maitland Liberal
1874 The Earl of Dalkeith Conservative
1880 William Ewart Gladstone Liberal
1895 Sir Thomas Gibson-Carmichael Liberal
1900 The Master of Elibank Liberal
1906 Lord Dalmeny Liberal
1910 The Master of Elibank Liberal
1912 John Augustus Hope Conservative
1918 constituency abolished

Election results[edit]

1910s[edit]

By-election 10 September 1912: Edinburghshire [2]
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Conservative Lieut-Col John Augustus Hope 6,021
Liberal Hon Alexander Shaw 5,989
Labour R. Brown 2,413
General Election December 1910: Edinburghshire [2]
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Liberal Master of Elibank 8,837
Conservative Major John Augustus Hope 5,680
General Election January 1910: Edinburghshire [2]
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Liberal Master of Elibank 9,062
Conservative Hon Mountstuart William Buller-Fullerton-Elphinstone 5,427

1900s[edit]

General Election 1906: Edinburghshire [3]
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Liberal Lord Dalmeny 8,348
Conservative Frank J. Usher 5,131
General Election 1900: Edinburghshire [4]
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Liberal The Master of Elibank 5,804
Conservative Lieut-Col the Hon North de Coigny Dalrymple-Hamilton 5,490
Thomas Gibson-Carmichael

1890s[edit]

General Election 1895: Edinburghshire [4]
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Liberal Sir Thomas Gibson-Carmichael Bt 6,090
Conservative Major the Hon North de Coigny Dalrymple 5,631

At a by-election on 23 August 1892, William Gladstone was returned unopposed.[5]

General Election 1892: Edinburghshire [5]
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Liberal Rt Hon William Ewart Gladstone 5,845
Conservative Col Andrew Gilbert Wauchope CB CMG 5,155

1880s[edit]

General Election 1886: William Ewart Gladstone elected unopposed.[6]

At a by-election in February 1886, Gladstone having accepted office as Prime Minister, he was returned unopposed.[6]

General Election 1885: Edinburghshire [6]
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Liberal William Ewart Gladstone 7,879
Conservative Charles Dalrymple 3,248

1860s[edit]

General Election 1868: Edinburghshire [7]
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Liberal Alexander Ramsay-Gibson-Maitland, Bart 1,195
Conservative Earl of Dalkeith 640

Notes and references[edit]

  1. ^ a b Boundaries of Parliamentary Constituencies 1885-1972 (ISBN 0-900178-09-4), F. W. S. Craig, 1972
  2. ^ a b c Debrett's House of Commons and the Judicial Bench, 1916
  3. ^ Whitaker's Almanack, 1907
  4. ^ a b Debrett's House of Commons and the Judicial Bench, 1901
  5. ^ a b Whitaker's Almanack, 1893
  6. ^ a b c Debrett's House of Commons and the Judicial Bench, 1889
  7. ^ Debrett's House of Commons and the Judicial Bench, 1870

Leigh Rayment's Historical List of MPs – Constituencies beginning with "M" (part 2)[self-published source][better source needed]

Parliament of the United Kingdom
Preceded by
Buckinghamshire
in 1876
Constituency represented by the Prime Minister
1880–1885
1886–1886
1892–1895
Succeeded by
Manchester East
in 1902