Finsbury Central (UK Parliament constituency)
|Former Borough constituency
for the House of Commons
|Number of members||one|
Finsbury Central was a parliamentary constituency centred on the Finsbury district of North London. It returned one Member of Parliament (MP) to the House of Commons of the Parliament of the United Kingdom, elected by the first past the post system.
The constituency was created when the two-member Finsbury constituency was divided by the Redistribution of Seats Act 1885 for the 1885 general election. It was abolished for the 1918 general election, when it was replaced by a new single-member Finsbury constituency.
The constituency was created, in 1885, as a division of the parliamentary borough of Finsbury, in the historic county of Middlesex to the north of the City of London. The Redistribution of Seats Act 1885 provided that the constituency was to consist of the parish of St James and St John, Clerkenwell.
The seat was mostly located in the Clerkenwell district, with a detached portion at Muswell Hill containing about 5% of the population. The two areas were connected for historic reasons. The Social Geography of British Elections 1885-1910, explains that the Knights of St John had once owned more than half of Finsbury Central, including a deer park at Muswell Hill.
In 1889 Clerkenwell was severed from Middlesex to become part of the County of London.
In 1894, when the lower tier of local government in Middlesex was altered, the Muswell Hill area formed part of the Hornsey Urban District, which became the Municipal Borough of Hornsey in 1903.
In 1900 the lower tier of local government in London was rationalised. The old local boards and parish vestries were replaced, in the Clerkenwell area, by the Metropolitan Borough of Finsbury.
The local government changes did not affect the parliamentary boundaries until the redistribution of 1918, when the Central division ceased to be a separate constituency.
Members of Parliament
|1886||Frederick Thomas Penton||Conservative|
|1895||William Frederick Barton Massey-Mainwaring||Conservative|
|1906||William Charles Steadman||Liberal-Labour|
|1910 (Jan)||Martin Archer-Shee||Conservative|
|1918||constituency abolished: see Finsbury|
Elections in the 1880s
|General Election 1885: Finsbury, Central|
|General Election 1886: Finsbury, Central|
|Conservative||Frederick Thomas Penton||2,245||50.1|
|Conservative gain from Liberal||Swing||+0.6|
Elections in the 1890s
|General Election 1892: Finsbury, Central|
|Conservative||Frederick Thomas Penton||2,956||50.0|
|Liberal gain from Conservative||Swing||+0.1|
|General Election 1895: Finsbury, Central|
|Conservative||William Frederick Barton Massey-Mainwaring||3,588||56.3|
|Conservative gain from Liberal||Swing||+6.3|
Elections in the 1900s
|General Election 1900: Finsbury, Central|
|Conservative||William Frederick Barton Massey-Mainwaring||2,872||53.2|
|General Election 1906: Finsbury, Central|
|Liberal||William Charles Steadman||3,493||55.5|
|Conservative||Edward Alfred Goulding||2,799||44.5|
|Liberal gain from Conservative||Swing||+8.7|
Elections in the 1910s
|General Election January 1910: Finsbury, Central|
|Liberal||William Charles Steadman||3,187||47.2|
|Conservative gain from Liberal||Swing||+8.3|
|General Election December 1910: Finsbury, Central|
- Redistribution of Seats Act 1885, Sixth Schedule
- Boundaries of Parliamentary Constituencies 1885-1972, compiled and edited by F.W.S. Craig (Parliamentary Reference Publications 1972)
- British Parliamentary Election Results 1885-1918, compiled and edited by F.W.S. Craig (Macmillan Press 1974)
- Social Geography of British Elections 1885-1910. by Henry Pelling (Macmillan 1967)
- Leigh Rayment's Historical List of MPs – Constituencies beginning with "F" [self-published source][better source needed]