Sudbury (UK Parliament constituency)

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Former Borough constituency
for the House of Commons
Number of members two
Former County constituency
for the House of Commons
Number of members one
Replaced by Sudbury and Woodbridge

Sudbury was a parliamentary constituency which was represented in the British House of Commons. A parliamentary borough consisting of the town of Sudbury in Suffolk, it returned two Members of Parliament (MPs) from 1559 until it was disenfranchised for corruption in 1844. The Sudbury election of 1835, which Charles Dickens reported for the Morning Chronicle, is thought by many experts to be the inspiration for the famous Eatanswill election in his novel Pickwick Papers.[1]

A county constituency of the same name was established by the Redistribution of Seats Act 1885 for the 1885 general election, electing one MP by the first past the post voting system. It was abolished for the 1950 general election.


Members of Parliament[edit]

MPs 1559–1640[edit]

Parliament First member Second member
1559 Clement Throckmorton Henry Fortescue [2]
1563 John Heigham Thomas Andrews [2]
1571 John Hunt John Gurdon[2]
1572 Richard Eden Martin Cole[2]
1584 Edward Waldegrave Henry Blagge [2]
1586 Henry Blagge Geoffrey Rusham [2]
1588 Thomas Eden Thomas Jermin [2]
1593 William Fortescue Dudley Fortescue [2]
1597 George Waldegrave John Clapham [2]
1601 Philip Gawdy Edward Glascock [2]
1604-1611 Sir Thomas Beckingham Thomas Eden, jnr
1614 Robert Crane Henry Binge
1621 Edward Osburne Brampton Gurdon
1624 Robert Crane Sir William Pooley
1625 Sir Nathaniel Barnardiston Robert Crane
1626 Sir Nathaniel Barnardiston Thomas Smith
1628 Sir Robert Crane Sir William Pooley
1629–1640 No Parliaments summoned

MPs 1640–1844[edit]

Year 1st Member 1st Party 2nd Member 2nd Party
April 1640 Sir Robert Crane Parliamentarian Richard Pepys
November 1640 (Sir) Simonds d'Ewes [3] Parliamentarian
February 1643 Crane died - seat left vacant
1645 Brampton Gurdon
December 1648 D'Ewes ceased sitting after Pride's Purge
1653 Sudbury was unrepresented in the Barebones Parliament
1654 John Fothergill Sudbury had only one seat in the First and
Second Parliaments of the Protectorate
January 1659 Samuel Hassel
May 1659 Not represented in the restored Rump
April 1660 John Gurdon Joseph Brand
1661 Thomas Waldegrave Isaac Appleton
1662 Sir Robert Cordell
1677 Sir Gervase Elwes
February 1679 Gervase Elwes
September 1679 Sir Gervase Elwes
1685 Sir John Cordell Sir George Wenyeve
1689 Sir John Poley Philip Gurdon
February 1690 John Robinson
October 1690 Sir Thomas Barnardiston
1698 Samuel Kekewich
1699 John Gurdon
1700 Sir Gervase Elwes
January 1701 Sir John Cordell
December 1701 Joseph Haskin Stiles
1703 George Dashwood
1705 Philip Skippon
1706 Sir Hervey Elwes
1710 John Mead Lieutenant-General Robert Echlin
1713 Sir Hervey Elwes
1715 Thomas Western[disambiguation needed]
1722 John Knight Colonel William Windham
1727 Carteret Leathes
January 1734 Richard Jackson
April 1734 Richard Price Edward Stephenson
1741 Thomas Fonnereau Carteret Leathes
1747 Richard Rigby
1754 Thomas Walpole
1761 John Henniker
1768 (Sir) Patrick Blake [4] (Sir) Walden Hanmer [5]
1774 [6] Thomas Fonnereau Philip Champion Crespigny
1775 Sir Patrick Blake Sir Walden Hanmer
1780 Philip Champion Crespigny [7]
1781 Sir James Marriott
1784 William Smith John Langston
1790 John Coxe Hippisley Thomas Champion Crespigny
1796 William Smith Sir James Marriott
1802 Sir John Coxe Hippisley John Pytches
1807 Emanuel Felix Agar
1812 Charles Wyatt
1818 William Heygate John Broadhurst
1820 Charles Augustus Tulk
1826 John Wilks Bethel Walrond
1828 John Norman Macleod
1830 Sir John Benn Walsh Tory
1831 Digby Cayley Wrangham
1832 Conservative Michael Angelo Taylor Whig
1834 Sir Edward Barnes [8] Conservative
1835 John Bagshaw Whig Benjamin Smith Whig
July 1837 Sir James John Hamilton Conservative Sir Edward Barnes Conservative
December 1837 Joseph Bailey Conservative
1838 Sir John Benn Walsh Conservative
1840 George Tomline Conservative
1841 [9] Frederick Villiers Meynell Whig David Ochterlony Dyce Sombre Whig
29 July 1844 Constituency disfranchised for corruption and incorporated into Western Suffolk

MPs 1885–1950[edit]

Election Member Party
1885 Sir William Quilter, Bt. Liberal Unionist
1906 William Charles Heaton-Armstrong Liberal
1910 (January) Sir Cuthbert Quilter Conservative
1918 Stephen Goodwin Howard Coalition Liberal
1922 Herbert Mercer Conservative
1923 John Frederick Loverseed Liberal
1924 Henry Walter Burton Conservative
1945 Roland Hamilton Labour
1950 constituency abolished


  1. ^ M.C. Rintoul (1993). Dictionary of Real People and Places in Fiction. Taylor & Francis. p. 872. ISBN 9780415059992. 
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h i j "History of Parliament". History of Parliament Trust. Retrieved 2011-10-20. 
  3. ^ Created a baronet, July 1641
  4. ^ Created a baronet, September 1772
  5. ^ Created a baronet, May 1774
  6. ^ On petition, the result of the election of 1774 was overturned: Fonnereau and Crespigny were declared not to have been duly elected and their opponents, Blake and Hanmer, were seated in their place
  7. ^ On petition, Crespigny was declared not to have been duly elected and his opponent, Marriott was seated in his place
  8. ^ Elected on the casting vote of the returning officer after a tie in votes. His opponent petitioned against the decision, denying that the returning officer was entitled to a casting vote, but Parliament was dissolved before the issue had been settled.
  9. ^ The 1841 election was declared void on petition and a Royal Commission was appointed to investigate, which eventually led to the disfranchisement of the constituency


Elections in the 1910s[edit]

General Election 1918

Electorate 26,437

Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Liberal Maj. Stephen Goodwin Howard 6,656
  1. Capt. Richard George Proby
Labour Joseph Rouse Hicks 390
Liberal gain from Unionist Swing

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

Elections in the 1920s[edit]

General Election 1922

Electorate 26,195

Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Unionist Herbert Mercer 7,298
National Liberal Stephen Goodwin Howard 5,410
Liberal E W Tanner 2,813
Unionist gain from Liberal Swing
General Election 1923

Electorate 26,604

Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Liberal John Frederick Loverseed 8,813
Unionist Herbert Mercer 8,148
Liberal gain from Unionist Swing
General Election 1924

Electorate 26,951

Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Unionist Henry Walter Burton 10,579
Liberal John Frederick Loverseed 9,168
Unionist gain from Liberal Swing
General Election 1929

Electorate 31,850

Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Unionist Henry Walter Burton 9,715 40.2
Liberal Alan John Sainsbury 8,309 34.4
Labour W J Shingfield 6,147 25.4
Majority 1,406 5.8
Unionist hold Swing

Elections in the 1930s[edit]

General Election 1931

Electorate 31,869

Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Conservative Henry Walter Burton 13,500
Liberal Alan John Sainsbury 10,929
Conservative hold Swing
General Election 1935

Electorate 31,869

Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Conservative Henry Walter Burton 11,700 49.3
Liberal Alan John Sainsbury 8,344 35.2
Labour H Denton 3,670 15.5
Majority 3,356 14.1
Turnout 23,714 74.4
Conservative 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; Conservative: Henry Burton, Liberal: Frederic Sellers, Labour: Roland Hamilton.

General Election 1945

Electorate 35,108

Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Labour Roland Hamilton 9,906
Conservative Henry Walter Burton 9,659
Liberal Margaret Hitchcock 5,045
Labour gain from Conservative Swing


  • 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)
  • Cobbett's Parliamentary history of England, from the Norman Conquest in 1066 to the year 1803 (London: Thomas Hansard, 1808) [2]
  • 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. 
  • Maija Jansson (ed.), Proceedings in Parliament, 1614 (House of Commons) (Philadelphia: American Philosophical Society, 1988) [3]
  • H G Nicholas, To The Hustings: Election scenes from English fiction (London, Cassell & Co., 1956)
  • Leigh Rayment's Historical List of MPs – Constituencies beginning with "S" (part 6)[self-published source][better source needed]