Heytesbury (UK Parliament constituency)
|Former Borough constituency
for the House of Commons
|Number of members||Two|
Heytesbury was a parliamentary borough in Wiltshire which elected two Members of Parliament. From 1449 until 1707 it was represented in the House of Commons of England, and then in the British House of Commons until 1832, when the borough was abolished by the Reform Act 1832.
The borough consisted of a small part of the small market town or large village of Heytesbury, in the south-west of Wiltshire. In 1831, when the population of the whole parish was 1,394, the borough had a population of only 81. Already a small settlement, much of Heytesbury burned to the ground in 1765, but this did not affect its right to return members to parliament. The houses lost were subsequently rebuilt.
Heytesbury was a burgage borough, meaning that the right to vote was reserved to the householders of specific properties or "burgage tenements" within the borough; there were twenty-six of these tenements by the time of the Reform Act, and all had been owned by the Lords Heytesbury since the 17th century, giving them control of the choice of the two Members. Shortly before the Reform Act, the head of the family, Sir William Ashe A'Court, was elevated to a peerage as Lord Heytesbury. By 1832 there had been no contested elections for more than half a century.
Heytesbury was abolished as a constituency by the Reform Act. Its residents who were qualified to vote were transferred into the new South Wiltshire county division.
Members of Parliament
- Cavill. The English Parliaments of Henry VII 1485-1504.
- "History of Parliament 1509–1558: Heytesbury". History of Parliament Trust. Retrieved 27 October 2011.
- "History of Parliament 1558–1603: Heytesbury". History of Parliament Trust. Retrieved 27 October 2011.
- William A'Court Ashe from 1768
- Eden was also elected for Woodstock, which he chose to represent, and did not sit for Heytesbury in this Parliament
- Created The Lord Auckland (in the Peerage of Ireland), September 1789
- Abbot was also elected for Woodstock, which he chose to represent, and did not sit for Heytesbury
- Abbot was also elected for Oxford University, which he chose to represent, and did not sit for Heytesbury
- Succeeded as The Lord Bridport (in the Peerage of Ireland), May 1814
- Beatson, Robert (1807). A Chronological Register of Both Houses of the British Parliament, from the Union in 1708, to the Third Parliament of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland, in 1807. Longman, Hurst, Rees, and Orme.
- Cobbett's Parliamentary history of England, from the Norman Conquest in 1066 to the year 1803 (London: Thomas Hansard, 1808)
- Lewis Namier, The Structure of Politics at the Accession of George III (2nd edition – London: St Martin's Press, 1961)
- T. H. B. Oldfield, The Representative History of Great Britain and Ireland (London: Baldwin, Cradock & Joy, 1816)
- J Holladay Philbin, Parliamentary Representation 1832 – England and Wales (New Haven: Yale University Press, 1965)
- Leigh Rayment's Historical List of MPs – Constituencies beginning with "H" (part 3)[self-published source][better source needed]