North Lancashire (UK Parliament constituency)

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North Lancashire
Former County constituency
for the House of Commons
Number of members two
Replaced by Barrow-in-Furness, Blackpool, Chorley, Lancaster, and North Lonsdale
Created from Lancashire

North Lancashire was a county constituency of the House of Commons of the Parliament of the United Kingdom. It was represented by two Members of Parliament. The constituency was created by the Great Reform Act of 1832 by the splitting of Lancashire constituency into Northern and Southern divisions.

Great Reform Act of 1832

The Representation of the People Act 1832 reformed the distribution of seats in England and Wales. It introduced the principle of splitting the shire counties into divisions and returning two Members for each division rather than for the whole county and it also reformed the Parliamentary boroughs that were entitled to send Members to Parliament.8 Schedule A listed boroughs that were to be abolished and it included Newton. Schedule B listed boroughs to return a single Member to subsequent Parliaments and Clitheroe was listed.

Schedules C and D of the Act listed the newly created Parliamentary boroughs. Those in Schedule C were to return two Members and these included Manchester, Bolton, Blackburn and Oldham in Lancashire. Those in Schedule D were to become single seat boroughs and included Ashton-under-Lyne, Bury, Rochdale, Salford, and Warrington.

Schedule F of the Act listed the counties to be divided into two divisions, both of which would return two Members. Lancashire was one of those listed. The Boundary Commission proposals that followed the Act, published in 1832, made recommendations on the boundaries of the Parliamentary boroughs and divisions of counties that had been listed in Schedule F.9 These were then implemented by the Parliamentary Boundaries Act 1832.

The divisions of the county were based on the hundreds of Lancashire. The hundreds of Amounderness, Blackburn, Leyland and Lonsdale were allocated to the Northern division, and the Salford and West Derby hundreds were allocated to the Southern division. The boundary of the two divisions extended approximately from Southport to Wigan, north to Chorley, and then east, passing south of Haslingden, to the Bacup area.

The result of these changes meant the total Parliamentary representation for Lancashire in the reformed House of Commons was 26, an increase of 12. Lancashire benefited more than any other county as a result of these reforms.

The constituency was abolished by the Redistribution of Seats Act 1885, being divided into five single member divisions of Barrow-in-Furness, Blackpool, Chorley, Lancaster, and North Lonsdale.


1832-1868: The Hundreds of Lonsdale, Amounderness, Leyland and Blackburn.[1]

1868-1885: The Hundreds of Lonsdale, Amounderness and Leyland.[2]

Members of Parliament[edit]

  • Constituency created (1832)
Election 1st Member 1st Party 2nd Member 2nd Party
1832 John Wilson-Patten Conservative Hon. Edward Stanley[3] Whig
1837 Conservative
1844 by-election John Talbot Clifton Conservative
1847 James Heywood Liberal
1857 Lord Cavendish of Keighley[4] Liberal
1868 Hon. Frederick Stanley Conservative
1874 by-election Thomas Henry Clifton Conservative
1880 Joseph Feilden Conservative
1885 Constituency abolished (1885)


Elections in the 1870s[edit]

General Election 1874: North Lancashire[5]
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Conservative John Wilson-Patten Unopposed
Conservative Frederick Stanley Unopposed
Registered electors 14,690
Conservative hold
Conservative hold

Patten was elevated to the peerage, becoming Lord Winmarleigh, causing a by-election.

By-election, 26 Mar 1874: North Lancashire[5]
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Conservative Thomas Henry Clifton Unopposed
Conservative hold

Stanley was appointed Secretary of State for War, requiring a by-election.

By-election, 8 Apr 1878: North Lancashire[5]
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Conservative Frederick Stanley Unopposed
Conservative hold

Elections in the 1880s[edit]

General Election 1880: North Lancashire[5]
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Conservative Frederick Stanley 8,172 36.8 N/A
Conservative Joseph Feilden 7,505 33.8 N/A
Liberal Thomas Storey[6] 6,500 29.3 N/A
Majority 1,005 4.5 N/A
Turnout 14,672 (est) 86.0 (est) N/A
Registered electors 17,057
Conservative hold Swing N/A
Conservative hold Swing N/A

Stanley was appointed Secretary of State for the Colonies, requiring a by-election.

By-election, 2 Jul 1885: North Lancashire[5]
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Conservative Frederick Stanley Unopposed
Conservative hold


  1. ^ "The statutes of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland. 2 & 3 William IV. Cap. XLV: An Act to amend the Representation of the People in England and Wales". London: His Majesty's statute and law printers. 1832. pp. 154–206. Retrieved 2017-07-27. 
  2. ^ "Representation of the People Act 1867" (PDF). Retrieved 2017-07-27. 
  3. ^ Styled Lord Stanley from 1834.
  4. ^ Styled Marquess of Hartington from 1858.
  5. ^ a b c d e Craig, F. W. S., ed. (1977). British Parliamentary Election Results 1832-1885 (e-book) (1st ed.). London: Macmillan Press. pp. 408–409. ISBN 978-1-349-02349-3. 
  6. ^ "North Lancashire Liberal Association". Lancaster Gazette. 25 December 1880. p. 5. Retrieved 20 December 2017 – via British Newspaper Archive. (Subscription required (help)).