Dorset (UK Parliament constituency)
Former County constituency|
for the House of Commons
|Number of members||
|Replaced by||North Dorset, South Dorset, East Dorset, West Dorset|
Dorset was a county constituency covering Dorset in southern England, which elected two Members of Parliament (MPs), traditionally known as knights of the shire, to the House of Commons of England from 1290 until 1707, to the House of Commons of Great Britain from 1707 to 1800, and to the House of Commons of the United Kingdom until 1832.
The Great Reform Act increased its representation to three MPs with effect from the 1832–33 general election, and under the Redistribution of Seats Act 1885 the constituency was abolished for the 1885 election, and replaced by four single-member divisions: North Dorset, South Dorset, East Dorset and West Dorset.
When elections were contested, the bloc vote system was used, but contests were rare. Even after the 1832 Reforms, only three of the nineteen elections before 1885 were contested; in the others, the nominated candidates were returned without a vote.
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Members of Parliament
|Election||First member||First party||Second member||Second party||Third member||Third party|
|1832||Lord Ashley||Conservative||William John Bankes||Conservative||Hon. William Ponsonby||Whig|
|1837||Hon. John Fox-Strangways||Whig|
|1846 by-election||Henry Ker Seymer||Conservative||John Floyer||Conservative|
|1856 by-election||Henry Sturt||Conservative|
|1857||Hon. Henry Portman||Liberal|
|1864 by-election||John Floyer||Conservative|
|1876 by-election||Hon. Edward Digby||Conservative|
|1885||Constituency divided among North, South, East, and West Dorset.|
Elections in the 1860s
Seymer resigned, causing a by-election.
Elections in the 1870s
Sturt was elevated to the peerage, becoming Lord Alington.
|Tenant Farmer||Robert Fowler||1,866||37.9||N/A|
Elections in the 1880s
- Craig, F. W. S. (1989) . British parliamentary election results 1832–1885 (2nd ed.). Chichester: Parliamentary Research Services. pp. 376–377. ISBN 0-900178-26-4.
- "HAMELY (HAMYLYN), Sir John (aft.1324-1399), of Wimborne St. Giles, Dorset". History of Parliament Online. Retrieved 30 May 2013.
- "History of Parliament". Retrieved 2011-09-09.
- "CARENT, William (d.1476), of Toomer in Henstridge, Som". History of Parliament Online. Retrieved 28 May 2013.
- Craig, F. W. S., ed. (1977). British Parliamentary Election Results 1832-1885 (e-book) (1st ed.). London: Macmillan Press. pp. 380–381. ISBN 978-1-349-02349-3.
- "Representation of the County". Western Gazette. 21 January 1876. pp. 6–8. Retrieved 29 December 2017 – via British Newspaper Archive. (Subscription required (. ))
- 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) 
- F W S Craig, British Parliamentary Election Results 1832-1885 (2nd edition, Aldershot: Parliamentary Research Services, 1989)
- Maija Jansson (ed.), Proceedings in Parliament, 1614 (House of Commons) (Philadelphia: American Philosophical Society, 1988)
- 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)
- Heywood Townshend, Historical Collections:: or, An exact Account of the Proceedings of the Four last Parliaments of Q. Elizabeth (1680) 
- British History Online - 'List of members nominated for Parliament of 1653', Diary of Thomas Burton esq, volume 4: March - April 1659 (1828),
- Willis, Browne (1750). Notitia Parliamentaria, Part II: A Series or Lists of the Representatives in the several Parliaments held from the Reformation 1541, to the Restoration 1660 ... London. p. 1.
- Leigh Rayment's Historical List of MPs – Constituencies beginning with "D" (part 2)