Newton was a parliamentary borough in the county of Lancashire, in England. It was represented by two Members of Parliament in the House of Commons of the Parliament of England from 1559 to 1706 then of the Parliament of Great Britain from 1707 to 1800 and of the Parliament of the United Kingdom from 1801 until its abolition in 1832.
In 1885 a county constituency with the same name was created and represented by one Member of Parliament. This seat was abolished in 1983.
The borough consisted of the parish of Newton-le-Willows in the Makerfield district of South Lancashire. It was first enfranchised in 1558 (though the Parliament so summoned did not meet until the following year), and was a rotten borough from its inception: Newton was barely more than a village even at this stage, and so entirely dominated by the local landowner that its first return of members described it bluntly as "the borough of Sir Thomas Langton, knight, baron of Newton within his Fee of Markerfylde". By 1831, just before its abolition, the population of the borough had reached only 2,139, and contained 285 houses.
The right to vote was exercised by all freeholders of property in the borough valued at forty shillings or more, or by one representative of joint tenants of any such freeholds; Newton was the only borough where the forty-shilling freehold franchise (which applied in the counties) was the sole qualification to vote. In 1797, the borough's last contested election, 76 electors cast their votes; by 1831 it was estimated that the electorate had fallen to about 52. (As elsewhere, each elector had as many votes as there were seats to be filled and votes had to be cast by a spoken declaration, in public, at the hustings.)
In practice, however, the townsmen of Newton had no say in choosing their representatives: as the owners of the majority of the qualifying freeholds, the lords of the manor exercised total control. During most of the Elizabethan period, Langton seems to have allowed the Duchy of Lancaster to nominate many of the members, which may have been a quid pro quo for Newton's being enfranchised in the first place, but later patrons could regard its parliamentary seats as their personal property. Langton's heir sold the manor to the Fleetwood family in 1594, the sale explicitly including the right of "the nomination, election and appointment" of the two burgesses representing the borough in Parliament, one of the earliest recorded instances of the right to elect MPs being bought and sold. By the first half of the next century it had passed to the Leghs, who owned it for the rest of its existence.
By the time of the Great Reform Act of 1832, Newton was one of the most notorious of all England's pocket boroughs, mainly because the Legh control was more complete than that of the patrons in most other constituencies. It was one of the 56 boroughs to be totally disenfranchised by the Reform Act.
The Redistribution of Seats Act 1885 created a new Newton constituency, as one of twenty-three divisions of the parliamentary county of Lancashire.
Boundaries 1885 - 1918
The constituency, officially designated as South-West Lancashire, Newton Division consisted of a number of townships and parishes around Newton le Willows namely:
The electorate also included the freeholders of the municipal boroughs of St Helens and Warrington who were entitled to vote in the county.
Boundaries 1918 - 1950
The Representation of the People Act 1918 reorganised constituencies throughout the United Kingdom. Boundaries were adjusted and seats were defined in terms of the districts created by the Local Government Act 1894. According to the schedules of the Act, the Lancashire, Newton Division comprised:
Boundaries 1950 - 1983
The Representation of the People Act 1948 redistributed parliamentary seats, with the constituencies first being used in the general election of 1950. The term "county constituency" was introduced in place of "division". Newton County Constituency was redefined as consisting of the following districts:
- Golborne Urban District
- Haydock Urban District
- Irlam Urban District
- Newton-le-Willows Urban District
- Warrington Rural District
The changes reflected the fact that Leigh Rural District had been abolished in 1933, Newton in Makerfield Urban district had been renamed Newton le Willows in 1939. Irlam was transferred from the neighbouring Stretford constituency.
The boundaries were unchanged at the next redistribution of seats in 1970. Although local government was reorganised in 1972, boundaries were unchanged until 1983.
The constituency was abolished by the Parliamentary Constituencies (England) Order 1983, which reorganised seats on the lines of the 1974 counties and districts. The bulk of the seat formed part of the new Makerfield County Constituency. Irlam was included in the Worsley County Constituency, while part of Golborne became part of Warrington North Borough Constituency. The town of Newton itself was incorporated into the St Helens North Borough Constituency.
Members of Parliament
Elections in the 1880s
Cross was appointed Secretary of state for India and was elevated to the peerage, becoming Viscount Cross, causing a by-election.
Elections in the 1890s
Legh is elevated to the peerage, becoming Lord Newton.
Elections in the 1900s
Elections in the 1910s
Elections in the 1920s
Elections in the 1930s
Elections in the 1940s
Elections in the 1950s
Elections in the 1960s
Elections in the 1970s
- ^ "'Newton', Feb 1974 - May 1983". ElectionWeb Project. Cognitive Computing Limited. Retrieved 23 March 2016.
- ^ Seventh Schedule: Counties at Large: Number of Members and Names and Contents of Divisions, Redistribution of Seats Act 1885, (1885 c.23)
- ^ Ninth Schedule - Part II, Parliamentary Counties: England, excluding Monmouthshire, Representation of the People Act 1918 (1918 c.64)
- ^ First Schedule: Parliamentary Constituencies, Representation of The People Act 1948, (1948 c.65)
- ^ F A Youngs Jr., Guide to the Local Administrative Units of England, Vol.II: Northern England, London, 1991
- ^ The Parliamentary Constituencies (England) Order 1970 (S.I. 1970 No. 1674)
- ^ Parliamentary Constituencies (England) Order 1983 (S.I. 1983 No. 417)
- ^ a b c d e f g h i j "History of Parliament". Retrieved 2011-09-26.
- ^ a b c d e f g "The Parliamentary representation of Lancashire". Retrieved 2011-09-25.
- ^ Knighted, June 1783
- ^ On petition, Brooke's election was declared void and Patten was declared to have been duly elected
- ^ a b c d e f g h i j Craig, FWS, ed. (1974). British Parliamentary Election Results: 1885-1918. London: Macmillan Press. ISBN 9781349022984.
- ^ "Liberal Meeting at Rainhill". Wigan Observer and District Advertiser. 1 July 1885. p. 5. Retrieved 5 December 2017 – via British Newspaper Archive. (Subscription required (help)).
- ^ "Newton Election". Kilburn Times. 20 August 1886. p. 2. Retrieved 5 December 2017 – via British Newspaper Archive. (Subscription required (help)).
- ^ "Newton Division Polling". Wigan Observer and District Advertiser. 15 Jul 1892. p. 2. Retrieved 22 November 2017.
- ^ "Mr James Moon adopted as the Liberal candidate". Leigh Chronicle and Weekly District Advertiser. 5 Jul 1895. p. 8. Retrieved 22 November 2017.
- ^ a b c d e British Parliamentary Election Results 1918-1949, FWS Craig
- ^ UK General Election results: November 1935 Politics Resources
- ^ UK General Election results: July 1945 Politics Resources
- ^ UK General Election results: February 1950 Politics Resources
- ^ UK General Election results: October 1951 Politics Resources
- ^ UK General Election results: May 1955 Politics Resources
- ^ UK General Election results: October 1959 Politics Resources
- ^ UK General Election results: October 1964 Politics Resources
- ^ UK General Election results: March 1966 Politics Resources
- ^ UK General Election results: June 1970 Politics Resources
- ^ UK General Election results: February 1974 Politics Resources
- ^ UK General Election results: October 1974 Politics Resources
- ^ UK General Election results: May 1979 Politics Resources
- Craig, F. W. S. (1983) . British parliamentary election results 1918-1949 (3rd ed.). Chichester: Parliamentary Research Services. ISBN 0-900178-06-X.
- J E Neale, The Elizabethan House of Commons (London: Jonathan Cape, 1949)
- J Holladay Philbin, Parliamentary Representation 1832 - England and Wales (New Haven: Yale University Press, 1965)
- Edward Porritt and Annie G Porritt, The Unreformed House of Commons (Cambridge University Press, 1903)
- Frederic A Youngs, Jr, Guide to the Local Administrative Units of England, Vol II (London: Royal Historical Society, 1991)
- Leigh Rayment's Historical List of MPs – Constituencies beginning with "N" (part 2)