Eye (UK Parliament constituency)

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Eye
Former County constituency
for the House of Commons
CountySuffolk
Major settlementsEye
18851983
Number of membersOne
Replaced byCentral Suffolk and Suffolk Coastal[1]
1571–1885
Number of membersTwo until 1832, then one until 1885
Type of constituencyBorough constituency

Eye was a parliamentary constituency represented in the House of Commons of the Parliament of the United Kingdom. It elected two Members of Parliament (MPs) by the bloc vote system of election. The Reform Act 1832 reduced its representation to one MP, elected by the first past the post system.

The parliamentary borough of Eye was abolished under the Redistribution of Seats Act 1885, and replaced with a new county division of the same name, which lasted until 1983 when most of it became part of the Central Suffolk constituency. Its main claim to fame was that it was the smallest town to have a parliamentary constituency named after it as the town of Eye had only approximately 1500 voters in 1981. It had been a Liberal seat until 1950 after which it became a safe Conservative seat.

Boundaries[edit]

1885–1918: The Municipal Borough of Eye, the Sessional Divisions of Framlingham, Hartismere, and Hoxne, and part of the Sessional Division of Blything.

1918–1950: The Municipal Borough of Eye, the Urban Districts of Halesworth, Leiston-cum-Sizewell, Saxmundham, and Stowmarket, the Rural Districts of East Stow, Hartismere, and Hoxne, and parts of the Rural Districts of Blything and Plomesgate.

1950–1983: The Municipal Boroughs of Aldeburgh and Eye, the Urban Districts of Leiston-cum-Sizewell, Saxmundham, and Stowmarket, the Rural Districts of Blyth, Gipping, and Hartismere, and in the Rural District of Deben the civil parishes of Blaxhall, Boulge, Bredfield, Burgh, Campsey Ash, Charsfield, Chillesford, Clopton, Cretingham, Dallinghoo, Dallinghoo Wield, Debach, Eyke, Gedgrave, Grundisburgh, Hoo, Iken, Letheringham, Monewden, Orford, Otley, Pettistree, Rendlesham, Sudbourne, Swilland, Tunstall, Ufford, Wantisden, Wickham Market, and Witnesham.

The Borough[edit]

Eye was once the smallest borough in the country, its claim based on the 1205 Charter of King John. The Charter was renewed in 1408, then many more times by successive monarchs. However, in 1885, the Town Clerk of Hythe proved that the original Charter belonged only to Hythe in Kent, the error having arisen from the similarity of the early English names. The error was confirmed by archivists in the 1950s, but borough status was not discontinued until 1974 after government reorganization when Eye became a parish but retained a Town Council, a Mayor and the insignia. From 1571 to 1832, Eye boasted two Members of Parliament. Following the Reform Act 1832, Eye's representation was reduced to one MP. The parliamentary borough of Eye was abolished in 1885, and replaced by a county constituency of the same name, covering a much wider area. This lasted until 1983, after which the Eye constituency became the Suffolk Central constituency.

Members of Parliament[edit]

Eye borough[edit]

MPs 1571–1660[edit]

Parliament First member Second member
1571 Richard Bedell Charles Cutter [2]
1572 Charles Calthorpe Charles Cutter [2]
1584 Bassingbourne Gawdy George Brooke [2]
1586 Bartholemew Kemp Thomas Bedingfield [2]
1588 Edward Grimston Sir Edmund Bacon [2]
1593 Edward Honnyng, eldest son of William Honnyng Philip Gawdy [2]
1597 Anthony Gawdy Edward Honnyng, eldest son of William Honnyng [2]
1601 Edward Honnyng, eldest son of William Honnyng Anthony Gawdy [2]
1604 Edward Honnyng, eldest son of William Honnyng Sir Henry Bockenham
1614 Sir Robert Drury Huntingdon Colby
1621–1622 Sir Roger North Sir John Crompton
1624 Sir Henry Crofts Francis Finch
1625 Francis Finch Sir Roger North
1626 Francis Finch Sir Roger North
1628 Francis Finch Sir Roger North
1629–1640 No Parliaments summoned
1640 (Apr) Sir Frederick Cornwallis Sir Roger North
1640 (Nov) Sir Frederick Cornwallis Sir Roger North
1645 Morris Barrow Sir Roger North
1648 ?
1653 Eye not represented in Barebones Parliament
1654 Eye not represented in 1st Protectorate Parliament
1655 Eye not represented in 2nd Protectorate Parliament
1659 Edward Dendy Joseph Blisset

MPs 1660–1832[edit]

Election First member [3] First party Second member [3] Second party
1660 Charles Cornwallis Sir George Reeve
1661 Charles Cornwallis, senior
1675 Sir Robert Reeve
1678 Sir Charles Gawdy
1679 Charles Fox George Walsh
1681 Sir Charles Gawdy Sir Robert Reeve
1685 Sir John Rous
1689 Thomas Knyvett Tory Henry Poley
1690 Thomas Davenant
1695 Charles Cornwallis Whig
1697 Sir Joseph Jekyll Whig
1698 Hon. Spencer Compton Tory
1701 Whig
1710 Thomas Maynard
1713 Edward Hopkins
1715 Thomas Smith
March 1722 Hon. Spencer Compton Whig
November 1722 James Cornwallis
1727 Stephen Cornwallis John Cornwallis
1743 Edward Cornwallis
1747 Roger Townshend
1748 Nicholas Hardinge
1749 Courthorpe Clayton
1758 Henry Townshend
1760 Viscount Brome Whig
March 1761 Henry Cornwallis
December 1761 Henry Townshend
1762 The Viscount Allen Richard Burton [4]
1768 Hon. William Cornwallis
1770 Richard Burton Phillipson
March 1774 Francis Osborne, Marquess of Carmarthen
October 1774 John St John
1780 Arnoldus Jones-Skelton
1782 Hon. William Cornwallis
1784 Peter Bathurst
1790 Hon. William Cornwallis [5]
1792 Peter Bathurst
1795 Viscount Brome Tory
1796 Mark Singleton
1799 James Cornwallis Tory
1806 Marquess of Huntly
January 1807 James Cornwallis Tory
April 1807 Hon. Henry Wellesley
May 1807 Mark Singleton
1809 Charles Arbuthnot Tory
1812 Sir William Garrow Whig
1817 Sir Robert Gifford Tory
1820 Sir Miles Nightingall Tory
1824 Sir Edward Kerrison, Bt Tory
1829 Sir Philip Sidney, Bt Tory
1831 William Burge
1832 Representation reduced to one member

MPs 1832–1885[edit]

Election Member [3] Party
1832 Sir Edward Kerrison, Bt Tory
1834 Conservative
1852 Edward Kerrison [6] Conservative
1866 by-election Hon. George Barrington [7] Conservative
1880 Ellis Ashmead-Bartlett Conservative
1885 Borough abolished – name transferred to county division

Eye division of Suffolk[edit]

MPs 1885–1983[edit]

Election Member [3] Party
1885 Francis Seymour Stevenson Liberal
1906 by-election Harold Pearson Liberal
1918 Alexander Lyle-Samuel Liberal
1923 The Lord Huntingfield Conservative
1929 Edgar Granville Liberal
1931 Liberal National
1942 Independent
1945 Liberal
1951 Sir Harwood Harrison Conservative
1979 John Gummer Conservative
1983 constituency abolished: see Suffolk Central

Elections[edit]

Elections in the 1830s[edit]

General Election 1832: Eye[8]
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Tory Edward Kerrison Unopposed
Registered electors 253
Tory hold
General Election 1835: Eye[8]
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Conservative Edward Kerrison Unopposed
Registered electors 282
Conservative hold
General Election 1837: Eye[8]
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Conservative Edward Kerrison Unopposed
Registered electors 301
Conservative hold

Elections in the 1840s[edit]

General Election 1841: Eye[8]
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Conservative Edward Kerrison Unopposed
Registered electors 342
Conservative hold
General Election 1847: Eye[8]
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Conservative Edward Kerrison Unopposed
Registered electors 322
Conservative hold

Elections in the 1850s[edit]

General Election 1852: Eye[8]
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Conservative Edward Kerrison Unopposed
Registered electors 356
Conservative hold
General Election 1857: Eye[8]
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Conservative Edward Kerrison Unopposed
Registered electors 359
Conservative hold
General Election 1859: Eye[8]
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Conservative Edward Kerrison Unopposed
Registered electors 342
Conservative hold

Elections in the 1860s[edit]

General Election 1865: Eye[8]
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Conservative Edward Kerrison Unopposed
Registered electors 339
Conservative hold

Kerrison resigned in order to contest the 1866 by-election in East Suffolk.

By-election, 27 July 1866: Eye[8]
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Conservative George Barrington Unopposed
Conservative hold
General Election 1868: Eye[8]
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Conservative George Barrington Unopposed
Registered electors 1,198
Conservative hold

Elections in the 1870s[edit]

General Election 1874: Eye[8]
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Conservative George Barrington Unopposed
Registered electors 1,163
Conservative hold

Barrington was appointed Vice-Chamberlain of the Household, requiring a by-election.

By-election, 19 Mar 1874: Eye[9][8]
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Conservative George Barrington 656 63.0 N/A
Liberal Charles Easton[10] 386 37.0 N/A
Majority 270 25.9 N/A
Turnout 1,042 89.6 N/A
Registered electors 1,163
Conservative hold Swing N/A

Elections in the 1880s[edit]

General Election 1880: Eye [8]
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Conservative Ellis Ashmead-Bartlett 540 53.0 N/A
Liberal Charles Easton[10] 478 47.0 N/A
Majority 62 6.0 N/A
Turnout 1,018 94.2 N/A
Registered electors 1,081
Conservative hold Swing N/A

Bartlett was appointed a Civil Lord of the Admiralty, requiring a by-election.

By-election, 2 Jul 1885: Eye [8]
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Conservative Ellis Ashmead-Bartlett 473 58.5 +5.5
Liberal Mervyn Lanark Hawkes[11] 336 41.5 −5.5
Majority 137 17.0 +11.0
Turnout 809 82.3 −11.9
Registered electors 983
Conservative hold Swing +5.5
F.S. Stevenson
General Election 1885: Eye [12][13]
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Liberal Francis Seymour Stevenson 5,356 61.5 +14.5
Conservative Benjamin Bridges Hunter Rodwell 3,360 38.5 −14.5
Majority 1,996 23.0 N/A
Turnout 8,716 79.3 −13.9
Registered electors 10,993
Liberal gain from Conservative Swing +14.5
General Election 1886: Eye [14][13]
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Liberal Francis Seymour Stevenson 4,544 60.7 −0.8
Liberal Unionist James Colquhoun Revell Reade 2,938 39.3 +0.8
Majority 1,606 21.4 −1.6
Turnout 7,482 68.1 −11.2
Registered electors 10,993
Liberal hold Swing −0.8

Elections in the 1890s[edit]

Lionel Holland
General Election 1892: Eye [15][13]
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Liberal Francis Seymour Stevenson 4,701 57.8 −2.9
Conservative Lionel Holland 3,431 42.2 +2.9
Majority 1,270 15.6 −5.8
Turnout 8,132 78.8 +10.7
Registered electors 10,321
Liberal hold Swing −2.9
General Election 1895: Eye [16][13]
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Liberal Francis Seymour Stevenson 4,437 55.2 −2.6
Conservative Frederick John Francis Wootton Isaacson 3,603 44.8 +2.6
Majority 834 10.4 −5.2
Turnout 8,040 77.8 −1.0
Registered electors 10,339
Liberal hold Swing −2.6

Elections in the 1900s[edit]

Harben
General Election 1900: Eye [17][13]
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Liberal Francis Seymour Stevenson 4,664 61.3 +6.1
Conservative Henry Harben 2,947 38.7 −6.1
Majority 1,717 22.6 +12.2
Turnout 7,611 74.9 −2.9
Registered electors 10,162
Liberal hold Swing +6.1
General Election 1906: Eye [18][13]
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Liberal Francis Seymour Stevenson Unopposed
Liberal hold
Harold Pearson
Eye by-election, 1906 [19][13]
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Liberal Harold Pearson 4,568 51.1 N/A
Conservative James Graham 4,371 48.9 N/A
Majority 197 2.2 N/A
Turnout 8,939 87.9 N/A
Registered electors 10,166
Liberal hold Swing N/A

Elections in the 1910s[edit]

General Election January 1910: Eye [20]
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Liberal Harold Pearson 4,991 52.0 +0.9
Conservative James Graham 4,614 48.0 −0.9
Majority 377 4.0 +1.8
Turnout 9,605 90.4 +2.5
Registered electors 10,621
Liberal hold Swing +0.9
General Election December 1910: Eye [21]
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Liberal Harold Pearson 4,927 54.2 +2.2
Liberal Unionist George Borwick 4,157 45.8 −2.2
Majority 770 8.4 +4.4
Turnout 9,084 85.5 −4.9
Registered electors 10,621
Liberal hold Swing +2.2

General Election 1914/15:

Another General Election was required to take place before the end of 1915. The political parties had been making preparations for an election to take place from 1914 and by the end of this year, the following candidates had been selected;

General Election 1918: Eye
Party Candidate Votes % ±
C Liberal Alexander Lyle-Samuel 10,072 61.3 +7.1
Unionist Frederick William French 6,362 38.7 −7.1
Majority 3,710 22.6 +14.2
Turnout 16,434 49.2 −36.3
Registered electors 33,399
Liberal hold Swing +7.1
C indicates candidate endorsed by the coalition government.

Elections in the 1920s[edit]

General Election 1922: Eye
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Liberal Alexander Lyle-Samuel 10,556 60.0 −1.3
National Liberal Gerald Howard 7,025 40.0 N/A
Majority 3,531 20.0 −2.6
Turnout 17,581 54.0 +4.8
Registered electors 32,579
Liberal hold Swing N/A
General Election 1923: Eye
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Unionist William Vanneck 11,172 47.7 N/A
Liberal Alexander Lyle-Samuel 9,244 39.5 −20.5
Labour Charles Wye Kendall 2,984 12.8 N/A
Majority 1,928 8.2 N/A
Turnout 23,400 70.9 +16.9
Registered electors 32,999
Unionist gain from Liberal Swing N/A
General Election 1924: Eye
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Unionist William Vanneck 13,450 53.3 +5.6
Liberal Thomas Bethell 7,441 29.5 −10.0
Labour Charles Wye Kendall 4,329 17.2 +4.4
Majority 6,009 23.8 +15.6
Turnout 25,220 74.5 +3.6
Registered electors 33,841
Unionist hold Swing +7.8
General Election 1929: Eye
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Liberal Edgar Granville 13,944 44.3 +14.8
Unionist Arthur Gilstrap Soames 12,880 40.8 −12.5
Labour Owen Aves 4,709 14.9 −2.3
Majority 1,064 3.5 N/A
Turnout 31,533 78.2 +3.7
Registered electors 40,340
Liberal gain from Unionist Swing +13.7

Elections in the 1930s[edit]

General Election 1931: Eye
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Liberal National Edgar Granville unopposed n/a n/a
Liberal National hold Swing n/a
General Election 1935: Eye
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Liberal National Edgar Granville 21,606 n/a
Labour Harry Leonard Self 7,613 n/a
Majority n/a
Turnout n/a
Liberal National hold Swing n/a

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;

General Election 1945: Eye
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Liberal Edgar Granville 11,899
Conservative Algernon Malcolm Borthwick 10,950 n/a
Labour B Collingson 8,089
Majority 949
Turnout
Liberal hold Swing

Elections in the 1950s[edit]

General Election 1950: Eye
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Liberal Edgar Granville 17,762 37.27
Conservative Harwood Harrison 17,135 35.96
Labour Leslie George Emsden 12,481 26.19
Communist Lee Chadwick 277 0.58 n/a
Majority 627 1.32
Turnout 83.82
Liberal hold Swing
General Election 1951: Eye
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Conservative Harwood Harrison 19,791 40.61 + 4.65
Liberal Edgar Granville 17,602 36.12 - 1.15
Labour Harold F Falconer 11,340 23.27 - 2.92
Majority 2,189 4.49
Turnout 83.28
Conservative gain from Liberal Swing
General Election 1955: Eye
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Conservative Harwood Harrison 21,317 45.04 + 4.43
Labour Edgar Granville 20,428 43.16 + 19.89
Liberal Inga-Stina Robson 5,582 11.79 - 24.33
Majority 898 1.88
Turnout 82.90
Conservative hold Swing
General Election 1959: Eye
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Conservative Harwood Harrison 22,333 47.12 + 2.08
Labour Edgar Granville 19,849 41.88 - 1.28
Liberal Inga-Stina Robson 5,215 11.0 - 0.79
Majority 2,484 5.24
Turnout 47,397 84.04
Conservative hold Swing

Elections in the 1960s[edit]

General Election 1964: Eye
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Conservative Harwood Harrison 21,555 45.74
Labour John Wilson Fear 16,129 34.23
Liberal Donald James Newby 9,437 20.03
Majority 5,426 11.52
Turnout 82.54
Conservative hold Swing
General Election 1966: Eye
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Conservative Harwood Harrison 21,044 44.65
Labour Richard WS Pryke 17,431 36.98
Liberal Donald James Newby 8,661 18.37
Majority 3,613 7.67
Turnout 81.48
Conservative hold Swing

Elections in the 1970s[edit]

General Election 1970: Eye
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Conservative Harwood Harrison 26,099 52.41
Labour Roy Ellison Manley 17,735 35.62
Liberal Ian L Senior 5,962 11.97
Majority 8,364 16.80
Turnout 78.12
Conservative hold Swing
General Election February 1974: Eye
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Conservative Harwood Harrison 23,486 43.61
Liberal D Robinson 15,811 29.36
Labour Roy Ellison Manley 13,937 25.88
PEOPLE Edward Goldsmith 395 0.73 n/a
Independent Democratic Alliance AA Kingham 220 0.41 n/a
Majority 7,675 14.25
Turnout 82.64
Conservative hold Swing
General Election October 1974: Eye
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Conservative Harwood Harrison 22,387 44.01
Liberal D Robinson 14,530 28.57
Labour R Bushby 13,948 27.42
Majority 7,857 15.45
Turnout 77.41
Conservative hold Swing
General Election 1979: Eye
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Conservative John Gummer 28,707 51.96
Labour Paul Koppel 13,686 24.77
Liberal Peter Kemsley 12,259 22.19
Independent JJ Flint 324 0.59 n/a
Anti-Common Market Conservative Norman Rogers 268 0.49 n/a
Majority 15,021 27.19
Turnout 79.10
Conservative hold Swing

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "'Eye', Feb 1974 - May 1983". ElectionWeb Project. Cognitive Computing Limited. Retrieved 22 March 2016.[permanent dead link]
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h "History of Parliament". History of Parliament. Retrieved 2011-10-19.
  3. ^ a b c d Leigh Rayment's Historical List of MPs – Constituencies beginning with "E" (part 2)
  4. ^ Later adopted the surname Phillipson
  5. ^ Rear Admiral from 1793, Vice Admiral 1794, Admiral 1799
  6. ^ Succeeded as baronet, March 1853
  7. ^ Succeeded as The Viscount Barrington (in the Peerage of Ireland), February 1867
  8. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o Craig, F. W. S., ed. (1977). British Parliamentary Election Results 1832-1885 (e-book)|format= requires |url= (help) (1st ed.). London: Macmillan Press. ISBN 978-1-349-02349-3.
  9. ^ "Eye Election". Cardiff Times. 21 March 1874. Retrieved 12 October 2014 – via British Newspaper Archive. (Subscription required (help)).
  10. ^ a b "The Polling at Eye". Diss Express. 2 Apr 1880. p. 5. Retrieved 26 November 2017 – via British Newspaper Archive. (Subscription required (help)).
  11. ^ "The Candidature of Mr Mervyn Hawkes". Sheffield Daily Telegraph. 13 Aug 1885. p. 6. Retrieved 26 November 2017 – via British Newspaper Archive. (Subscription required (help)).
  12. ^ The Liberal year book, 1907
  13. ^ a b c d e f g Craig, FWS, ed. (1974). British Parliamentary Election Results: 1885-1918. London: Macmillan Press. ISBN 9781349022984.
  14. ^ The Liberal year book, 1907
  15. ^ The Liberal year book, 1907
  16. ^ Debrett's House of Commons & Judicial Bench, 1901
  17. ^ Debrett's House of Commons & Judicial Bench, 1901
  18. ^ The Liberal year book, 1907
  19. ^ The Liberal year book, 1907
  20. ^ Debrett's House of Commons & Judicial Bench, 1916
  21. ^ Debrett's House of Commons & Judicial Bench, 1916