Chance was from a long-established family of businessmen and politicians in Carlisle. He ran the family's cotton-manufacturing firm in the town, Ferguson Brothers, and served as Mayor of Carlisle in 1904, before becoming a member of Cumberland County Council. Both his grandfather Joseph Ferguson and his uncle Robert Ferguson had been Members of Parliament (MPs) for the borough of Carlisle and he was a brother-in-law of Sir Henry Seton-Karr, the MP for St Helens.
Carlisle's MP since 1886 was William Court Gully, who served as Speaker of the House of Commons from 1895 to 1905. Ill-health forced Gully to resign as Speaker in May 1905, and at the by-election in July 1905 Chance was elected as the Member of Parliament (MP) for Carlisle. He was re-elected unopposed in 1906, and held the seat until the January 1910 general election, when he did not stand again.
- Leigh Rayment's Historical List of MPs – Constituencies beginning with "C" (part 1)[self-published source][better source needed]
- Craig, F. W. S. (1989) . British parliamentary election results 1885–1918 (2nd ed.). Chichester: Parliamentary Research Services. p. 93. ISBN 0-900178-27-2.
- "Election Intelligence. Carlisle". The Times. London. 15 July 1905. p. 7, col E.
- "Political Notes. Resignation Of The Speaker". The Times. London. 31 May 1905. p. 9, col F.
- "No. 27818". The London Gazette. 18 July 1905. p. 4982.
- "No. 27885". The London Gazette. 13 February 1906. p. 1039.
- "No. 29086". The London Gazette. 2 March 1915. p. 2088.
- Hansard 1803–2005: contributions in Parliament by Frederick William Chance
|Parliament of the United Kingdom|
William Court Gully
|Member of Parliament for Carlisle
1905 – January 1910
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