Finsbury (UK Parliament constituency)

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Finsbury
Former Borough constituency
for the House of Commons
18321885
Number of members two
Replaced by Finsbury Central, Finsbury East, Holborn, Islington East, Islington North, Islington South and Islington West
Created from Middlesex
19181950
Number of members one
Replaced by Shoreditch and Finsbury
Created from Finsbury Central and Finsbury East

The parliamentary borough of Finsbury was a constituency of the House of Commons of the UK Parliament from 1832 to 1885, and from 1918 to 1950. The constituency was first created in 1832 as one of seven two-seat "metropolis" parliamentary boroughs (five in southeast Middlesex and two in northeast Surrey) other than the two which already existed: Westminster and the City of London; the latter until 1885 retained an exceptional four seats. Finsbury was directly north of the City of London and was smaller than the Finsbury division of the Ossulstone hundred but took in land of Holborn division (hundred division) to its southwest in pre-introduction changes by Boundary Commissioners. It included Finsbury, Holborn, Moorfields, Clerkenwell, Islington, Stoke Newington and historic St Pancras (later mainly known as Camden Town). The 1918 constituency corresponded to the smaller Metropolitan Borough of Finsbury (Finsbury, Moorfields, Clerkenwell, and St Luke's, Islington); it was a seat, thus electing a single member, fulfilling a longstanding aim of Chartism which underscored the 1832 reforms.

History[edit]

1832–1885 two-member constituency / parliamentary borough[edit]

The original constituency was created by the Parliamentary Boundaries Act 1832, which carried into effect the redistribution of parliamentary seats under the Reform Act 1832.

Finsbury in the Metropolitan area, 1868–85
Finsbury in the Parliamentary County of London, 1918–50

It was originally proposed that the constituency would comprise the entire Finsbury Division and a number of adjoining parishes in the Holborn Division of Ossulstone, one of the hundreds of Middlesex. The commissioners appointed under the Boundaries Act decided to exclude the northern part of the Finsbury Division, which extended as far as Friern Barnet, some nine miles from London and a largely rural area. They could find no natural boundary to separate "the Rural from the Town District" and suggested that the dividing line should run through the northern section of Islington, following the boundaries formed for Church of England ecclesiastical districts. The seat as eventually created included the whole of Islington, however.[1]

The parliamentary borough was defined in Schedule O of the Boundaries Act as:

The several Parishes of Saint Luke, Saint George the Martyr, St Giles in the Fields, Saint George Bloomsbury, Saint Mary Stoke Newington, and St. Mary, Islington; the several Liberties or Places of Saffron Hill, Hatton Garden, Ely Rents, Ely Place, the Rolls, Glass House Yard, and the Charter House; Lincolns Inn and Grays Inn; the Parish of St. James and St. John Clerkenwell, except that Part thereof which is situate to the North of the Parish of Islington; those Parts of the respective Parishes of Saint Sepulchre and Saint Andrew Holborn and of Furnivals Inn and Staple Inn respectively, which are situated without the Liberty of the City of London.

The Redistribution of Seats Act 1885 divided the constituency, by then highly populated, into seven new single member constituencies. Four were divisions of a new Parliamentary Borough of Islington; while the Finsbury Parliamentary Borough was divided into three, named Central Division, East Division and Holborn Division.

1918–1950 seat[edit]

The Representation of the People Act 1918 created a new single-member Finsbury Parliamentary borough in the County of London, identical to the Metropolitan Borough of Finsbury. In 1950, it was merged with the neighbouring borough of Shoreditch to become Shoreditch and Finsbury.

Members of Parliament[edit]

MPs 1832–1885[edit]

The parliamentary borough returned two members of parliament

Election 1st Member 1st Party 2nd Member 2nd Party
1832 Robert Grant Liberal Robert Spankie Took a Conservative line
1834 by-election Thomas Slingsby Duncombe Radical
1835 Thomas Wakley Liberal
1852 Thomas Challis Radical
1857 William Cox Whig
1859 Liberal Morton Peto Liberal
1861 by-election William Cox Liberal
1865 William McCullagh Torrens Liberal Sir Andrew Lusk Liberal
1885 constituency abolished: see Finsbury Central, Finsbury East and Holborn

MPs 1918–1950[edit]

The borough was a single-member constituency.

Election Member Party
1918 Martin Archer-Shee Unionist
1923 George Gillett Labour
1931 National Labour
1935 George Woods Labour
1945 John Platts-Mills Labour
1948 Labour Independent Group
1950 constituency abolished

Elections[edit]

Elections in the 1910s[edit]

H.E.A. Cotton
General Election 1918: Finsbury[2]
Party Candidate Votes % ±
C Unionist Martin Archer-Shee 8,782 63.8 n/a
Liberal Evan Cotton 4,981 36.2 n/a
Majority 3,801 27.6 n/a
Turnout 13,763 39.5 n/a
Unionist win
C indicates candidate endorsed by the coalition government.

Elections in the 1920s[edit]

General Election 1922: Finsbury[3]
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Unionist Martin Archer-Shee 9,382 44.6 -19.2
Liberal Harry Gilpin 6,384 30.4 -5.8
Labour George Gillett 4,903 23.3 n/a
Independent Labour Christopher Roland Morden 349 1.7 n/a
Majority 2,998 14.2 -13.4
Turnout 21,018 54.3 +14.8
Unionist hold Swing -6.7
A.H. Scott
General Election 1923: Finsbury[4]
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Labour George Gillett 8,907 42.4 +19.1
Unionist Martin Archer-Shee 7,063 33.6 -11.0
Liberal Alfred Scott 5,054 24.0 -6.4
Majority 1,844 8.8 30.1
Turnout 21,024 53.8 -0.5
Labour gain from Unionist Swing +15.0
General Election 1924: Finsbury[5]
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Labour George Gillett 12,363 47.0 +4.6
Unionist Ernest Augustus Taylor 11,643 44.2 +10.6
Liberal Robert Shaw 2,324 8.8 -15.2
Majority 720 2.8 -6.0
Turnout 26,330 66.3 +12.5
Labour hold Swing -3.0
General Election 1929: Finsbury[6]
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Labour George Gillett 17,970 56.5 +9.5
Unionist William Ray 9,026 28.3 -15.9
Liberal William John Pinard 4,855 15.2 +6.4
Majority 8,944 28.2 +25.4
Turnout 31,851 66.0 -0.3
Labour hold Swing +12.7

Elections in the 1930s[edit]

General Election 1931: Finsbury[7]
Party Candidate Votes % ±
National Labour George Gillett 17,292 63.1 n/a
Labour Co-op Thomas Edward Williams 10,133 36.9 -19.6
Majority 7,159 26.2 n/a
Turnout 27,425 58.1 -7.9
National Labour gain from Labour Swing n/a
General Election 1935: Finsbury[8]
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Labour Co-op George Woods 13,408 55.8 +18.9
National Labour George Gillett 10,600 44.2 -18.9
Majority 2,808 11.6 +37.8
Turnout 24,008 56.2 -1.9
Labour Co-op gain from National Labour Swing +18.9

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 and by the Autumn of 1939, the following candidates had been selected;

Elections in the 1940s[edit]

General Election 1945: Finsbury[10]
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Labour John Platts-Mills 9,786 70.8 +15.0
Conservative Frederick Burden 4,029 29.2 n/a
Majority 5,757 41.6 +30.0
Turnout 13,815 63.9 +7.7
Labour hold Swing n/a

Elections in the 1880s[edit]

General Election 1880: Finsbury (2 seats)[11]
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Liberal Andrew Lusk 16,128 36.5 +4.9
Liberal William McCullagh Torrens 15,247 34.5 +1.7
Conservative Francis Duncan[12] 12,800 29.0 +3.8
Majority 2,447 5.5 −0.9
Turnout 28,928 (est) 64.3 (est) +14.0
Registered electors 44,955
Liberal hold Swing +1.5
Liberal hold Swing −0.1

Elections in the 1870s[edit]

General Election 1874: Finsbury (2 seats)[11][13]
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Liberal William McCullagh Torrens 10,099 32.8 −7.0
Liberal Andrew Lusk 9,713 31.6 −6.2
Conservative Charles Wilson Randolph[14][15] 7,737 25.2 +6.6
Lib-Lab Benjamin Lucraft 3,205 10.4 N/A
Majority 1,976 6.4 −12.9
Turnout 18,880 (est) 51.3 (est) −7.0
Registered electors 36,804
Liberal hold Swing −5.2
Liberal hold Swing −4.8

Elections in the 1860s[edit]

General Election 1868: Finsbury (2 seats)[11]
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Liberal William McCullagh Torrens 13,159 39.8 +2.5
Liberal Andrew Lusk 12,503 37.8 +2.8
Conservative Peter Frederick O'Malley[16][17] 6,137 18.6 +14.8
Liberal William Cox 1,238 3.7 −18.7
Majority 6,366 19.3 +6.7
Turnout 19,587 (est) 58.3 (est) +12.0
Registered electors 33,601
Liberal hold Swing −6.2
Liberal hold Swing +10.8
General Election 1865: Finsbury (2 seats)[11]
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Liberal William McCullagh Torrens 8,480 37.3 N/A
Liberal Andrew Lusk 7,959 35.0 N/A
Liberal William Cox 5,100 22.4 +1.0
Conservative William Phillips[18] 866 3.8 N/A
Independent Liberal Philip William Perfitt[19] 316 1.4 N/A
Majority 2,859 12.6 −4.4
Turnout 11,794 (est) 46.3 (est) −2.1
Registered electors 25,461
Liberal hold Swing N/A
Liberal hold Swing N/A
By-election, 17 December 1861: Finsbury (1 seat)[11]
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Liberal William Cox 4,884 50.2 +28.8
Liberal John Remington Mills[20] 4,848 49.8 N/A
Majority 36 0.4 −16.6
Turnout 9,732 43.1 −5.3
Registered electors 22,556
Liberal hold Swing N/A
  • Caused by Duncombe's death.

Elections in the 1850s[edit]

General Election 1859: Finsbury (2 seats)[11]
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Liberal Thomas Slingsby Duncombe 8,538 40.1 +0.2
Liberal Morton Peto 8,174 38.4 N/A
Liberal William Cox 4,556 21.4 −2.3
Majority 3,618 17.0 +0.8
Turnout 10,634 (est) 48.4 (est) +6.3
Registered electors 21,951
Liberal hold Swing N/A
Liberal hold Swing N/A
General Election 1857: Finsbury (2 seats)[11]
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Radical Thomas Slingsby Duncombe 6,922 39.9 −1.3
Whig William Cox 4,110 23.7 N/A
Radical John Humffreys Parry 3,954 22.8 N/A
Whig Joseph Haythorne Reed 2,378 13.7 N/A
Turnout 8,682 (est) 42.1 (est) +1.7
Registered electors 20,626
Majority 2,812 16.2 −12.6
Radical hold Swing N/A
Majority 156 0.9 N/A
Whig gain from Radical Swing N/A
General Election 1852: Finsbury (2 seats)[11][21]
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Radical Thomas Challis 7,504 46.3 N/A
Radical Thomas Slingsby Duncombe 6,678 41.2 N/A
Radical James Wyld[22] 2,010 12.4 N/A
Majority 4,668 28.8 N/A
Turnout 8,096 (est) 40.4 (est) N/A
Registered electors 20,025
Radical hold Swing N/A
Radical hold Swing N/A

References[edit]

  1. ^ Commissioners on Proposed Division of Counties and Boundaries of Boroughs (1832). Parliamentary representation: further return to an address to His Majesty, dated 12 December, 1831. p. 114. 
  2. ^ British Parliamentary Election Results 1918–1949, FWS Craig
  3. ^ British Parliamentary Election Results 1918–1949, FWS Craig
  4. ^ British Parliamentary Election Results 1918–1949, FWS Craig
  5. ^ British Parliamentary Election Results 1918–1949, FWS Craig
  6. ^ British Parliamentary Election Results 1918–1949, FWS Craig
  7. ^ British Parliamentary Election Results 1918–1949, FWS Craig
  8. ^ British Parliamentary Election Results 1918–1949, FWS Craig
  9. ^ Report of the Annual Conference of the Labour Party, 1939
  10. ^ British Parliamentary Election Results 1918–1949, FWS Craig
  11. ^ a b c d e f g h Craig, F. W. S., ed. (1977). British Parliamentary Election Results 1832-1885 (e-book) (1st ed.). London: Macmillan Press. pp. 7–8. ISBN 978-1-349-02349-3. 
  12. ^ "The General Election". London Evening Standard. 31 March 1880. pp. 2–3. Retrieved 20 December 2017 – via British Newspaper Archive. (Subscription required (help)). 
  13. ^ "The Finsbury Election". Islington Gazette. 10 March 1874. pp. 3–4. Retrieved 30 December 2017 – via British Newspaper Archive. (Subscription required (help)). 
  14. ^ "The General Election". London Evening Standard. 30 January 1874. pp. 2–3. Retrieved 30 December 2017 – via British Newspaper Archive. (Subscription required (help)). 
  15. ^ "British Military lists". National Library of Scotland. Retrieved 30 December 2017. 
  16. ^ "Finsbury". Morning Advertiser. 20 October 1868. p. 4. Retrieved 11 February 2018 – via British Newspaper Archive. (Subscription required (help)). 
  17. ^ "Election Intelligence". Manchester Courier and Lancashire General Advertiser. 20 October 1868. p. 3. Retrieved 11 February 2018 – via British Newspaper Archive. (Subscription required (help)). 
  18. ^ "Finsbury Election". Morning Advertiser. 15 June 1865. p. 5. Retrieved 11 February 2018 – via British Newspaper Archive. (Subscription required (help)). 
  19. ^ "Election Intelligence". Berkshire Chronicle. 17 June 1865. p. 2. Retrieved 11 February 2018 – via British Newspaper Archive. (Subscription required (help)). 
  20. ^ "The Finsbury Election". Morning Advertiser. 6 December 1861. p. 6. Retrieved 11 February 2018 – via British Newspaper Archive. (Subscription required (help)). 
  21. ^ "Finsbury". Exeter and Plymouth Gazette. 10 July 1852. pp. 4, 7. Retrieved 29 March 2018 – via British Newspaper Archive. (Subscription required (help)). 
  22. ^ "The General Election". The Morning Post. 8 July 1852. pp. 2–3. Retrieved 29 March 2018 – via British Newspaper Archive. (Subscription required (help)).