Bridgnorth (UK Parliament constituency)

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Bridgnorth
Former Borough constituency
for the House of Commons
County Shropshire
Major settlements Bridgnorth
1295–1885
Number of members 1295–1868:Two
1868–1885: One
Replaced by Ludlow

Bridgnorth was a parliamentary borough in Shropshire which was represented in the House of Commons of England from 1295 until 1707, then in the House of Commons of Great Britain until 1800, and in the House of Commons of the Parliament of the United Kingdom from 1801 until its abolition in 1885.

It was represented by two burgesses until 1868, when it was reduced to one Member of Parliament (MP).

Boundaries[edit]

According to the 1881 census, the borough of Bridgnorth comprised the parishes of Quatford, part of Quatt, St. Leonard and St Mary (in Bridgnorth town), Astley Abbotts, Eardingdon, Oldbury, Romsley and Tasley. This was smaller than the municipal borough, which only contained the first four.[1]

Members of Parliament[edit]

MPs 1295–1640[edit]

Parliament First member Second member
1388 (Feb) John Farnales William Palmer I [2]
1388 (Sep) William Palmer I William Goldsmith [2]
1390 (Jan) William Palmer I John Farnales [2]
1390 (Nov)
1391 William Palmer I Thomas Horde [2]
1393 William Palmer I John Farnales [2]
1394 William Palmer I John Farnales [2]
1395 William Palmer I John Farnales [2]
1397 (Jan) William Palmer I John Blockley [2]
1397 (Sep)
1399 William Palmer I Thomas Horde [2]
1402 Hugh Harnage John Bruyn [2]
1404 (Jan)
1404 (Oct)
1406 Hugh Harnage Walter Green [2]
1407 Walter Green John Cook [2]
1410 ... Lange [2]
1411 Thomas Hopton Hugh Stanford [2]
1413 (Feb)
1413 (May) Hugh Stanford Thomas Green [2]
1414 (Apr) Richard Parlour Thomas Odyes [2]
1414 (Nov) Richard Horde Richard Parlour [2]
1415
1416 (Mar) Richard Horde Richard Parlour [2]
1416 (Oct)
1417 Richard Horde Richard Parlour [2]
1419 Richard Horde Richard Parlour [2]
1420 Richard Horde William Stapeley [2]
1421 (May) Thomas Green Robert Aylesbury [2]
1421 (Dec) Thomas Green Richard Parlour [2]
1425 John Bruyn [3]
1510-1523 No names known[4]
1529 Humphrey Goldston George Hayward [4]
1536 ?
1539 ?
1542 Edward Hall William Grey [4]
1545 Edward Hall Henry Blount [4]
1547 Roger Smith John Pulley [4]
1553 (Mar) Ambrose Gilberd Roger Smith [4]
1553 (Oct) Sir George Blount Jerome Horde [4]
1554 (Apr) Jerome Horde William Acton [4]
1554 (Nov) John Horde Jerome Horde [4]
1555 Jerome Horde William Acton [4]
1558 John Broke Thomas Bromley [4]
1559 Sir George Blount Richard Prince[5]
1562/3 John Broke Edward Cordell [5]
1571 Henry Townshend Thomas Otley [5]
1572 Henry Townshend Thomas Seckford, died
and replaced in 1580 by
Edmund Molyneux [5]
1584 Jerome Corbet Walter Lee [5]
1586 Edward Bromley John Lutwich [5]
1588 Edward Bromley John Lutwich [5]
1593 Edward Bromley John Lutwich [5]
1597 Edward Bromley John Lutwich [5]
1601 Thomas Horde Edward Bromley [5]
1604 Sir Lewis Lewknor Edward Bromley,
replaced by
Francis Lacon
1614 John Pierse Richard Singe
1621-1622 Sir John Hayward William Whitmore
1624 Sir William Whitmore George Smith
1625 Sir William Whitmore George Vernon
1626 Sir Richard Shelton George Vernon
1628-1629 Sir Richard Shelton Sir George Paule
1629–1640 No Parliaments summoned

MPs 1640–1868[edit]

Elected First member First party Second member Second party
April 1640 Edward Acton Royalist (Sir) Thomas Whitmore
November 1640 (Sir) Thomas Whitmore [6] Royalist
February 1644 Acton and Whitmore disabled to sit - both seats vacant
1646 Robert Clive Robert Charlton
December 1648 Clive and Charlton not recorded as sitting after Pride's Purge
1653 Bridgnorth was unrepresented in the Barebones Parliament
1654 William Crown Bridgnorth had only one seat in the First and
Second Parliaments of the Protectorate
1656 Edmund Waring
January 1659 Edmund Waring John Humphrys
May 1659 Not represented in the restored Rump
April 1660 Sir Walter Acton John Bennet
1661 Sir William Whitmore, Bt
1663 Sir Thomas Whitmore
1685 Roger Pope
1689 Sir Edward Acton, Bt Tory
1694 Roger Pope
1702 Sir Humphrey Brigges, Bt
1705 William Whitmore
1710 Whitmore Acton Richard Cresswell Tory
1713 William Whitmore John Weaver
1725 St John Charlton
1734 Thomas Whitmore Grey James Grove
1741 William Whitmore
1747 Arthur Weaver
1754 Hon. John Grey William Whitmore [7]
1768 The Lord Pigot
1771 Thomas Whitmore
1778 Hugh Pigot [8] Whig
1784 Isaac Hawkins Browne
1795 John Whitmore
1806 Thomas Whitmore
1812 Hon. Charles Jenkinson
1818 Sir Thomas Tyrwhitt Jones
1820 William Wolryche-Whitmore
1831 James Foster
1832 Robert Pigot Tory Thomas Charlton Whitmore Tory
1834 Conservative Conservative
1837 Henry Hanbury-Tracy Liberal
1838 by-election Sir Robert Pigot Conservative
1852 Henry Whitmore Conservative
1853 by-election[9] John Pritchard Conservative
1865[10] Sir John Dalberg-Acton, Bt Liberal
'1866[10] Henry Whitmore Conservative
1868 Representation reduced to one Member

MPs 1868–1885[edit]

Election Member Party
1868 Henry Whitmore Conservative
1870 by-election William Henry Foster Liberal
1880 Conservative
1885 Constituency abolished under the Redistribution of Seats Act

Election results[edit]

Elections in the 1850s[edit]

General Election 1852: Bridgnorth (2 seats)[11]
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Conservative Henry Whitmore 443 40.8
Conservative Robert Pigot 360 33.1
Whig Frederick William Cadogan[12] 283 26.1
Majority 77 7.1
Turnout 685 (est) 95.5 (est)
Registered electors 717
Conservative hold Swing
Conservative hold Swing

Pigot's election was declared void on petition due to bribery, causing a by-election.[13]

By-election, 22 March 1853: Bridgnorth[11]
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Conservative John Pritchard Unopposed
Conservative hold
General Election 1857: Bridgnorth (2 seats)[11]
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Conservative Henry Whitmore Unopposed
Conservative John Pritchard Unopposed
Registered electors 678
Conservative hold
Conservative hold

Whitmore was appointed a Lord Commissioner of the Treasury, requiring a by-election.

By-election, 3 March 1858: Bridgnorth[11]
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Conservative Henry Whitmore Unopposed
Conservative hold
General Election 1859: Bridgnorth (2 seats)[11]
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Conservative Henry Whitmore Unopposed
Conservative John Pritchard Unopposed
Registered electors 708
Conservative hold
Conservative hold

Elections in the 1860s[edit]

General Election 1865: Bridgnorth (2 seats)[11]
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Conservative John Pritchard 299 34.1 N/A
Liberal John Dalberg-Acton 289 33.0 N/A
Conservative Henry Whitmore 288 32.9 N/A
Turnout 583 (est) 94.9 (est) N/A
Registered electors 614
Majority 10 1.1 N/A
Conservative hold Swing N/A
Majority 1 0.1 N/A
Liberal gain from Conservative Swing N/A

On 22 March 1866, after scrutiny, Dalberg-Acton was unseated and Whitmore was duly elected in his place.

Whitmore was then appointed a Lord Commissioner of the Treasury, requiring a by-election.

By-election, 21 Jul 1866: Bridgnorth (1 seat)[11]
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Conservative Henry Whitmore Unopposed
Conservative hold

The seat was reduced to one member for the 1868 election.

General Election 1868: Bridgnorth[11]
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Conservative Henry Whitmore 548 52.4 −14.6
Liberal John Dalberg-Acton 497 47.6 +14.6
Majority 51 4.9 +3.8
Turnout 1,045 81.7 −13.2
Registered electors 1,279
Conservative hold Swing −14.6

Elections in the 1870s[edit]

Whitmore resigned, causing a by-election.

By-election, 16 Feb 1870: Bridgnorth[11]
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Liberal William Henry Foster Unopposed
Liberal gain from Conservative
General Election 1874: Bridgnorth[11]
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Liberal William Henry Foster 701 71.8 +24.2
Conservative George Barbour[14] 275 28.2 −24.2
Majority 426 43.6 N/A
Turnout 976 77.0 −4.7
Registered electors 1,267
Liberal gain from Conservative Swing +24.2

Elections in the 1880s[edit]

General Election 1880: Bridgnorth[11]
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Conservative William Henry Foster 641 66.6 +38.4
Liberal Edward Reid Vyvyan[15] 321 33.4 −38.4
Majority 320 33.3 N/A
Turnout 962 78.6 +1.6
Registered electors 1,224
Conservative gain from Liberal Swing +38.4

Sources[edit]

  • Robert Beatson, A Chronological Register of Both Houses of Parliament (London: Longman, Hurst, Res & Orme, 1807) [2]
  • 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) [3]
  • David Hayton, 'The Country Party in the House of Commons 1698-1699', Parliamentary History, volume 6 (1987), 141-63
  • Craig, F. W. S. (1989) [1977]. British parliamentary election results 1832–1885 (2nd ed.). Chichester: Parliamentary Research Services. pp. 59–60. ISBN 0-900178-26-4. 
  • Leigh Rayment's Historical List of MPs – Constituencies beginning with "B" (part 5)

Notes and references[edit]

  1. ^ [1]
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s t u v w "History of Parliament". History of Parliament trust. Retrieved 2011-10-26. 
  3. ^ "BRUYN, John (d.c.1437), of Bridgnorth, Salop." History of Parliament Online. Retrieved 28 April 2013. 
  4. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k "History of Parliament". History of Parliament trust. Retrieved 2011-10-26. 
  5. ^ a b c d e f g h i j "History of Parliament". History of Parliament trust. Retrieved 2011-10-26. 
  6. ^ Created a baronet, June 1641
  7. ^ Later Lieutenant-General
  8. ^ Later Admiral
  9. ^ The re-election of Sir Robert Pigot at the 1852 general election was voided on petition, triggering the 1853 by-election. A petition was also lodged against Henry Whitmore, but was dismissed.
  10. ^ a b The election in 1865 of Sir John Dalberg-Acton, Bt was overturned on petition in 1866, and in 1866 the seat was awarded instead to Henry Whitmore
  11. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k Craig, F. W. S., ed. (1977). British Parliamentary Election Results 1832-1885 (e-book) (1st ed.). London: Macmillan Press. pp. 59–60. ISBN 978-1-349-02349-3. 
  12. ^ "Miscellaneous News". Coventry Herald. 2 July 1852. p. 6. Retrieved 18 April 2018 – via British Newspaper Archive. (Subscription required (help)). 
  13. ^ "The Parliamentary Election Inquiries". Leeds Times. 5 March 1853. p. 8. Retrieved 18 April 2018 – via British Newspaper Archive. (Subscription required (help)). 
  14. ^ "Bridgnorth Election". Eddowes's Journal, and General Advertiser for Shropshire, and the Principality of Wales. 11 February 1874. p. 7. Retrieved 28 December 2017 – via British Newspaper Archive. (Subscription required (help)). 
  15. ^ "The General Election". Leicester Chronicle. 3 April 1880. p. 8. Retrieved 18 December 2017 – via British Newspaper Archive. (Subscription required (help)). 

See also[edit]