Hackney (UK Parliament constituency)

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Former Borough constituency
for the House of Commons
Number of members two
Replaced by Bethnal Green North East, Bethnal Green South West, Hackney North, Hackney Central, Hackney South, Hoxton and Shoreditch Haggerston
Created from Tower Hamlets

Hackney was a two-seat constituency in the House of Commons of the Parliament of the United Kingdom created under the Representation of the People Act, 1867 from the division of the Tower Hamlets constituency and reformed under the Redistribution of Seats Act, 1885 as Hackney North, Hackney Central and Hackney South.

The constituency existed in this two seat form for three general elections and returned two Liberal Party Members at each until its abolition and division into one seat constituencies.


Hackney in the Metropolitan area from 1868 to 1885.

The vestry of the civil parish of Hackney became a local government authority in 1855. The parish had a population in 1871 of 115,110 and in 1881 of 163,681.

The parliamentary borough of Hackney was established in 1868 and its area formed part of the eastern half of the historic county of Middlesex. It was situated to the north of Shoreditch and Tower Hamlets (although Hackney itself was accounted the northernmost of the Hamlets in the nineteenth century). The area was to the east of Islington and Hornsey, south of Tottenham and west of Walthamstow in the historic county of Essex.

In 1885 the parliamentary borough was split into Central, North and South divisions. In 1889 the area, for administrative purposes, became part of the London County Council local authority. In 1900 the civil vestry was dissolved and the Metropolitan Borough of Hackney was created (with the same boundaries as before). Since 1965 it has been part of Greater London.

Members of Parliament[edit]

Election First member [1] First party Second member [1] Second party
1868 Sir Charles Reed Liberal John Holms Liberal
1874 by-election Henry Fawcett Liberal
1884 by-election James Stuart Liberal
1885 Constituency abolished. See Hackney North, Hackney Central and Hackney South


Turnout, in multi-member elections, is estimated by dividing the number of votes by two. To the extent that electors did not use both their votes, the figure given will be an underestimate.

Change is calculated for individual candidates, when a party had more than one candidate in an election or the previous one. When a party had only one candidate in an election and the previous one change is calculated for the party vote.

General Election 1868: Hackney (2 seats)
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Liberal Charles Reed 14,785 35.95 N/A
Liberal John Holms 12,243 29.77 N/A
Liberal Charles Salisbury Butler 6,825 16.59 N/A
Conservative C.L. Webb 2,633 6.40 N/A
Liberal L.S. Dickson 2,575 6.26 N/A
Liberal J.J. Homer 2,021 5.04 N/A
Turnout 41,132 50.64 N/A
Registered electors 40,613
General Election 1874: Hackney (2 seats)
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Liberal John Holms 6,968 34.54 -4.77
Liberal Charles Reed 6,893 34.17 -1.78
Conservative W.J. Gill 6,310 31.28 +24.88
Turnout 20,171 24.68 -25.96
Registered electors 40,870
  • Election declared void on petition
By-Election 25 April 1874: Hackney (2 seats)
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Liberal John Holms 10,905 35.90 +1.36
Liberal Henry Fawcett 10,476 34.49 +34.49
Conservative W.J. Gill 8,994 29.61 -1.67
Turnout 30,375 37.16 +12.48
Registered electors 40,870
General Election 1880: Hackney (2 seats)
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Liberal Henry Fawcett 18,366 40.19 +5.70
Liberal John Holms 16,997 37.20 +1.30
Conservative G.C.F. Bartley 10,332 22.61 -7.00
Turnout 45,693 52.19 +15.03
Registered electors 43,773
By-Election 7 May 1880: Hackney (2 seats)
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Liberal Henry Fawcett Unopposed N/A N/A
Liberal John Holms Unopposed N/A N/A
  • Death of Fawcett
By-Election 20 November 1884: Hackney
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Liberal James Stuart 14,540 62.99 N/A
Conservative A. MacAlister 8,543 37.01 N/A
Majority 5,997 25.98 N/A
Turnout 23,083 48.01 N/A
Registered electors 48,076
Liberal hold Swing N/A



  • Boundaries of Parliamentary Constituencies 1885-1972, compiled and edited by F.W.S. Craig (Parliamentary Reference Publications 1972)
  • British Parliamentary Election Results 1832-1885, compiled and edited by F.W.S. Craig (Macmillan Press 1977)
  • Social Geography of British Elections 1885-1910. by Henry Pelling (Macmillan 1967)
  • Who's Who of British Members of Parliament: Volume I 1832-1885, edited by M. Stenton (The Harvester Press 1976)
  • Who's Who of British Members of Parliament, Volume II 1886-1918, edited by M. Stenton and S. Lees (Harvester Press 1978)