Boroughbridge (UK Parliament constituency)

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Former Borough constituency
for the House of Commons
Number of membersTwo

Boroughbridge was a parliamentary borough in Yorkshire from 1553 until 1832, when it was abolished under the Great Reform Act. Throughout its existence it was represented by two Members of Parliament in the House of Commons.

The constituency consisted of the market town of Boroughbridge in the parish of Aldborough (which was also a borough with two MPs of its own). By 1831 it contained only 154 houses, and had a population of 947.

Boroughbridge was a burgage borough, meaning that the right to vote was vested in the tenants of certain specified properties, of which there seem to have been about 65 by the time the borough was abolished. Since these properties could be freely bought and sold, the effective power of election rested with whoever owned the majority of the burgages (who, if necessary, could simply assign the tenancies to reliable placemen shortly before an election). For more than a century before the Reform Act, Boroughbridge was owned by the Dukes of Newcastle, who controlled around fifteen seats across the country; however, in the 1790s, they sold one of the seats for £4,000 to the banker Thomas Coutts, who used it to put his son-in-law, Francis Burdett, into Parliament.

Members of Parliament[edit]

  • Constituency created (1553)


Parliament First member Second member
1553 (Oct) William Tancred Christopher Wray[1]
1554 (Apr) Ralph Cholmley Christopher Wray [1]
1554 (Nov) Christopher Wray John Holmes[1]
1555 Christopher Wray Robert Kempe[1]
1558 William Fairfax Christopher Wray [1]
1558/9 Sir John York Richard Bunny[1]
1562/3 John Astley Thomas Disney[1]
1571 Cotton Gargrave Thomas Boynton[1]
1572 (Apr) Thomas Eynns (died 1578) Cotton Gargrave[1]
1584 (Oct) Henry Cheke Nicholas Faunt[1]
1586 (Sep) George Savile Robert Briggs[1]
1588/9 Sir Edward Fitton Francis Moore[1]
1593 John Brograve Vincent Skinner
1597 (Sep) Henry Fanshawe Thomas Crompton[1]
1601 Richard Whalley Thomas Fairfax [1]
1604 John Ferne Sir Henry Jenkins
1609 Sir Thomas Vavasour Sir Henry Jenkins
1614 Sir Ferdinando Fairfax George Marshall
1621 Sir Ferdinando Fairfax George Wethered
1624 Sir Ferdinando Fairfax Christopher Mainwaring
1625 Sir Ferdinando Fairfax William Mainwaring
1626 Sir Ferdinando Fairfax Philip Mainwaring
1628 Sir Ferdinando Fairfax Francis Neville
1629–1640 No Parliaments summoned


Year First member First party Second member Second party
April 1640 Ferdinando, Lord Fairfax Francis Neville
November 1640 Sir Philip Stapylton (d. September 1647) Parliamentarian Thomas Mauleverer Parliamentarian
1648 Henry Stapylton
December 1648 Stapylton excluded in Pride's Purge – seat vacant
1653 Boroughbridge not represented in the Barebones Parliament and the First and Second Parliaments of the Protectorate
January 1659 Colonel Laurence Parsons Robert Stapylton
May 1659 Not represented in the restored Rump as Thomas Mauleverer had died in the interim
1660 Conyers Darcy Sir Henry Stapylton
1661 Sir Richard Mauleverer, Bt Robert Long[2]
1673 Sir Henry Goodricke, Bt
1675 Sir Michael Warton
March 1679 Sir Thomas Mauleverer, Bt
August 1679 Sir John Brookes, Bt
1685 Sir Henry Goodricke, Bt
1689 Christopher Vane[3] Whig
1690 Sir Brian Stapylton
1695 Thomas Harrison
1698 Sir Brian Stapylton
1705 John Stapylton Craven Peyton
1708 Sir Brian Stapylton
1713 Edmund Dunch Whig
1715 Thomas Wilkinson Sir Richard Steele Whig
1718 Sir Wilfrid Lawson, Bt
March 1722 Conyers Darcy[4] James Tyrrell
October 1722 Joseph Danvers
1727 George Gregory
1742 William Murray Tory
1746 Earl of Dalkeith
1750 Hon. Lewis Monson Watson[5]
1754 John Fuller
1755 Sir Cecil Bisshopp, Bt
1756 Earl of Euston[6] Whig
1757 Thomas Thoroton
1761 Brice Fisher
1767 James West the younger
1768 Nathaniel Cholmley James West
1772 Major-General Henry Clinton
1774 Anthony Eyre Charles Mellish[7]
1775 Colonel William Phillips
1780 Charles Ambler, KC
1784 Sir Richard Sutton, Bt The Viscount Palmerston
1790 Morris Robinson
1796 Francis Burdett[8] Independent Sir John Scott Tory
1799 Hon. John Scott Tory
1802 Edward Berkeley Portman Whig
January 1806 Viscount Castlereagh Tory
November 1806 Brigadier William Henry Clinton Tory Henry Dawkins Tory
1808 Henry Clinton Tory
1818 Marmaduke Lawson Whig George Mundy Tory[9]
March 1820 Richard Spooner Radical
June 1820 Captain George Mundy, RN[10] Tory[9] Lt Colonel Henry Dawkins Tory[11]
1830 Sir Charles Wetherell Tory[12] Matthias Attwood Tory[13]
  • Constituency abolished (1832)


Source: 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)

Elections in the 1800s[edit]

At the 1802 general election, Edward Berkeley Portman and John Scott were elected unopposed.
At the 1806 and 1807 general elections, William Henry Clinton and Henry Dawkins were elected unopposed.
At the Boroughbridge by-election, 1808, Henry Clinton was elected unopposed.

Elections in the 1810s[edit]

At the 1812 general election, William Henry Clinton and Henry Clinton were elected unopposed.
General election 1818: Boroughbridge (2 seats)
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Tory Marmaduke Lawson 37 39.8 N/A
Tory George Mundy 33 35.5 N/A
Tory Thomas Murdoch 25 24.7 N/A
Turnout 93 N/A N/A

In the Boroughbridge by-election, 1819, Marmaduke Lawson was elected unopposed.

Elections in the 1820s[edit]

General election 1820: Boroughbridge (2 seats)
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Tory Richard Spooner 38 28.6 N/A
Tory Marmaduke Lawson 38 28.6 N/A
Tory George Mundy 28 21.0 N/A
Tory Henry Dawkins (1788–1864) 28 21.0 N/A
Majority 10 7.6 N/A
Turnout 133 N/A N/A
Tory hold Swing N/A
Mundy and Dawkins were seated on petition.
At the 1826 United Kingdom general election, George Mundy and Henry Dawkins were elected unopposed.

Elections in the 1830s[edit]

General election, 2 August 1830: Boroughbridge[14]
Party Candidate Votes %
Tory Charles Wetherell 38 32.8
Tory Matthias Attwood 38 32.8
Tory Andrew Lawson 20 17.2
Tory William Alexander Mackinnon 20 17.2
Majority 18 15.6
Turnout c. 58 c. 89.2
Registered electors c. 65
Tory hold
Tory hold
General election, 29 April 1831: Boroughbridge[14]
Party Candidate Votes %
Tory Charles Wetherell Unopposed
Tory Matthias Attwood Unopposed
Registered electors c. 65
Tory hold
Tory hold


  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n "History of Parliament". Retrieved 2011-09-27.
  2. ^ Created a baronet as Sir Robert Long in 1662
  3. ^ Vane was returned as MP at the election of 1689, but on petition he was unseated and Stapylton declared to have been elected in his place
  4. ^ Darcy was also elected for Richmond, which he chose to represent, and never sat for Boroughbridge
  5. ^ Watson was re-elected in 1754, but had also been elected for Kent, which he chose to represent, and did not sit again for Boroughbridge
  6. ^ Euston was elected two weeks later in a by-election for Bury St Edmunds, which he chose to represent, and never sat for Boroughbridge
  7. ^ Mellish was also elected for Pontefract, which he chose to represent, and never sat for Boroughbridge
  8. ^ Succeeded to a baronetcy as Sir Francis Burdett in 1797
  9. ^ a b Casey, Martin. "MUNDY, George (1777-1861), of Shipley Hall, Derbys. and 9 Cork Street, Mdx". The History of Parliament. Retrieved 25 May 2020.
  10. ^ Spooner and Lawson were initially declared re-elected at the 1820 general election, but they were unseated and Mundy and Dawkins were returned on petition
  11. ^ Casey, Martin. "DAWKINS, Henry (1788-1864), of Over Norton, Oxon. and 58 Green Street, Grosvenor Square, Mdx". The History of Parliament. Retrieved 25 May 2020.
  12. ^ Fisher, David R. "WETHERELL, Charles (?1770-1846), of 5 Stone Buildings, Lincoln's Inn and 7 Whitehall Place, Mdx". The History of Parliament. Retrieved 25 May 2020.
  13. ^ Jenkins, Terry. "ATTWOOD, Matthias (1779-1851), of 27 Gracechurch Street, London and Dulwich Hill House, Surr". The History of Parliament. Retrieved 25 May 2020.
  14. ^ a b Casey, Martin. "Boroughbridge". The History of Parliament. Retrieved 25 May 2020.


  • Robert Beatson, "A Chronological Register of Both Houses of Parliament" (London: Longman, Hurst, Res & Orme, 1807) [1]
  • Michael Brock, The Great Reform Act (London: Hutchinson, 1973)
  • 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]
  • J E Neale, The Elizabethan House of Commons (London: Jonathan Cape, 1949)
  • J Holladay Philbin, "Parliamentary Representation 1832 – England and Wales" (New Haven: Yale University Press, 1965)
  • Henry Stooks Smith, "The Parliaments of England from 1715 to 1847" (2nd edition, edited by FWS Craig – Chichester: Parliamentary Reference Publications, 1973)
  • Frederic A Youngs, jr, "Guide to the Local Administrative Units of England, Vol II" (London: Royal Historical Society, 1991)
  • Leigh Rayment's Historical List of MPs – Constituencies beginning with "B" (part 4)