Sandwich (UK Parliament constituency)

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search

Former Borough constituency
for the House of Commons
Number of members two
Replaced by Isle of Thanet

Sandwich was a parliamentary constituency in Kent, which elected two Members of Parliament (MPs) to the House of Commons from 1366 until 1885, when it was disfranchised for corruption.


Sandwich like most of the other Cinque Ports, was first enfranchised in the 14th century. As a Cinque Port it was technically of different status from a parliamentary borough, but the difference was in most respects purely a nominal one. (The writ for election was directed to the Lord Warden of the Cinque Ports, rather than the sheriff of the county, and its MPs were termed "barons" rather than "burgesses" as in boroughs.) Until 1832, the constituency consisted of the three parishes making up the town of Sandwich; it had once been a flourishing port but by the 19th century the harbour had silted up and there was only a limited maritime trade.

The right to vote was reserved to the freemen of the town, whether or not they were resident within the borough. In 1831 this amounted to 955 qualified voters, of whom only 320 lived in Sandwich. The freedom could be obtained by inheritance, by serving an apprenticeship, or by marrying the daughter or widow of a freeman; the corporation apparently did not, as in some boroughs, have the power to create unlimited numbers of honorary freemen so as to swamp the rights of the genuine freemen. At one period in the 17th century, the town corporation attempted to annex the right of voting to itself (as was the case in many other boroughs) on the grounds of "the avoidance of popular tumults common at elections", and in 1621 the Lord Warden ordered with the consent of the Privy Council that this should be so. However, the inhabitants of the town not only petitioned against the election result, but informed the Lord Warden that they intended to present a bill to Parliament to annul the result of that year's election and to restore their former privileges. In the event the petition against the election result was upheld and the election declared void, and a decision of the Commons in another dispute election, in 1690, confirmed that the right of voting was in the freemen.

For most of its existence, no single interest had a predominant influence in Sandwich so as to reduce it to a pocket borough, but the power of official patronage sometimes exerted some leverage. In Tudor times, the Lord Warden expected to be able to nominate one of the two MPs, but - unlike most of the other Cinque Ports - Sandwich consistently defied him, and made its own choice of both MPs throughout Queen Elizabeth's reign. In the 18th and 19th centuries, though, the influence of the navy (through the employment it provided) was sufficient that the Admiralty could be sure of choosing at least one MP at most elections. Nevertheless, Sandwich fell short of being a true "Admiralty borough", and generally elected members who would benefit the town. (They were, however, no less venal than in other boroughs: the committee investigating a disputed election in 1695 was told that the elected member had promised that if after election he were to gain paid office he would give half his salary to the corporation, that he would contribute £20 a year for the poor of the town and a treat to the corporation on the anniversary of his election.)

In 1831, the population of the constituency was 3,084, and the town contained 610 houses. This would not have been sufficient for the borough to retain both its MPs under the Great Reform Act, but the boundaries were extended so as to include the neighbouring towns of Deal and Walmer, which quadrupled the population. Even so, and despite the extension of the franchise, the revised constituency had only 916 qualified voters for the 1832–33 general election.

At a by-election in 1880, evidence of widespread bribery in Sandwich emerged. Its writ was suspended, and a Royal Commission appointed to investigate. It was found that out of an electorate of 2115, 1850 voted, of whom 900 admitted they had been bribed and 100 admitted they had bribed.[1] As a result of its report, Sandwich was abolished as a constituency with effect from 25 June 1885, being incorporated into the Eastern Kent county division.

Members of Parliament[edit]


Parliament First member Second member
1386 John Godard William Ive[2]
1388 (Feb) William Jordan Stephen Reyner[2]
1388 (Sep) John Berham Peter Cundy[2]
1390 (Jan) John Berham Stephen Reyner[2]
1390 (Nov)
1391 John Edward William Jordan[2]
1393 Stephen Reyner Thomas atte Welle[2]
1395 John Godard John atte Nessche[2]
1397 (Jan) Richard Benge John Godard[2]
1397 (Sep)
1399 John Godard Stephen Peyntour[2]
1402 John Godard John atte Nessche[2]
1404 (Jan)
1404 (Oct)
1406 Henry Loveryk John Norton[2]
1407 Richard Mildenale John Norton[2]
1410 John Gyllyng Robert Haddon[2]
1413 (Feb)
1413 (May) John Geldeford John Gyllyng[2]
1414 (Apr)
1414 (Nov) Simon Halle Richard Mildenale[2]
1416 (Mar)
1416 (Oct)
1417 William Gayler Richard Mildenale[2]
1419 Laurence Cundy Thomas Loveryk[2]
1420 John Bolle Laurence Cundy[2]
1421 (May) Simon Halle Laurence Cundy[2]
1421 (Dec) John Bolle Laurence Cundy[2]
1485 Thomas Overton[3]
1491 John Naseby[3]
1510 John Westcliff John Cock[4]
1512 John Westcliff John Hobard[4]
1515 John Westcliff John Hobard[4]
1523 John Somer Roger Manwood[4]
1529 Vincent Engeham John Boys, died
and replaced Dec 1553 by
Thomas Wingfield[4]
1536 Thomas Wingfield Vincent Engeham[4]
1539 Thomas Patche Nicholas Peake[4]
1542 John Lee Thomas Rolfe[4]
1545 John Master Thomas Menys[4]
1547 (first election) Thomas Pinnock John Seer[4]
1547 (second election) Thomas Patche Thomas Ardern [4][5]
1553 (Mar) Thomas Patche Thomas Menys[4]
1553 (Oct) Sir John Perrot Simon Linch[4]
1554 (Apr) John Master Simon Linch[4]
1554 (Nov) John Tysar Nicholas Crispe[4]
1555 Nicholas Peake Sir John Perrot[4]
1558 Roger Manwood Nicholas Crispe[4]
1559 Roger Manwood John Tysar[4]
1562/3 Roger Manwood Rice Perrot[4]
1571 Roger Manwood John Manwood[4]
1572 Roger Manwood, made a judge
replaced Jul 1576 by
Edward Peake
John Boys[4]
1584 Edward Peake Edward Wood[4]
1586 Edward Peake Edward Wood[4]
1588/9 Peter Manwood Edward Peake[4]
1593 Peter Manwood Edward Peake[4]
1597 Peter Manwood Edward Peake[4]
1601 Peter Manwood Edward Peake[4]
1604-1611 Sir George Fane Edward Peake died
replaced by
John Griffith
1614 Thomas Smythe Sir Samuel Peyton, 1st Baronet
1621-1622 Sir Edwin Sandys Sir Robert Hatton
election voided - replaced by
John Burroughes
1624 Sir Robert Hatton Francis Drake
1625 Sir Henry Wotton Sir Robert Hatton
1626 Sir John Suckling
sat for Norwich, replaced by Sir Edward Boys
Peter Peake
1628 John Philipot Peter Peake
1629–1640 No Parliaments summoned


Year First member First party Second member Second party
April 1640 ?
November 1640 Sir Thomas Peyton Royalist Sir Edward Partridge Parliamentarian
February 1644 Peyton disabled from sitting - seat vacant
1645 Charles Rich
December 1648 Rich and Partridge excluded in Pride's Purge - both seats vacant
1653 Sandwich was unrepresented in the Barebones Parliament
1654 Colonel Thomas Kelsey Sandwich had only one seat in the First and
Second Parliaments of the Protectorate
1656 James Thurbarne
January 1659 Richard Meredith
May 1659 Not represented in the restored Rump
April 1660 James Thurbarne Henry Oxenden
1661 Edward Montagu
1665 John Strode
1679 John Thurbarne Sir James Oxenden
1685 John Strode Sir Philip Parker
1689 John Thurbarne Sir James Oxenden
1690 Edward Brent
1695 John Taylor
April 1698 John Thurbarne
July 1698 John Michel
January 1701 Henry Furnese[6] John Taylor
April 1701 John Michel
November 1701 Sir Henry Furnese Sir James Oxenden
1702 John Michel
1705 Josiah Burchett Court Whig
April 1713 John Michel
August 1713 Sir Henry Oxenden
1715 (Sir) Thomas D'Aeth[7]
1720 Sir George Oxenden Whig
1722 Josiah Burchett Whig
1741 John Pratt
1747 John Clevland
1754 Claudius Amyand
1756 Henry Conyngham
1761 George Hay
1768 (Sir) Philip Stephens[8]
1774 William Hey
1776 Charles Brett Tory
1780 Sir Richard Sutton
1784 Charles Brett Whig
1790 Sir Horatio Mann
1806 Captain Thomas Fremantle
1807 Admiral Peter Rainier Charles Jenkinson
1808 John Spratt Rainier
1812 Joseph Marryatt Sir Joseph Sydney Yorke
1818 Sir George Warrender
1824 Henry Bonham
1826 Joseph Marryatt Sir Edward Owen
1829 Lieutenant-General Sir Henry Fane
1830 Whig[9] Samuel Grove Price Tory[9]
1831 Sir Edward Troubridge Whig[9]
1835 Samuel Grove Price Conservative[9]
1837 Sir James Rivett-Carnac Whig[9]
1839 General Sir Rufane Shaw Donkin Whig[9]
1841 Hugh Hamilton Lindsay Conservative[9]
1847 Lord Clarence Paget Whig[10][11] Charles Grenfell Whig[10][11]
May 1852 Lord Charles Clinton Conservative
July 1852 James Macgregor Conservative
1857 Edward Knatchbull-Hugessen Whig[12] Lord Clarence Paget Whig[10][11]
1859 Liberal Liberal
1866 Charles Capper Conservative
1868 Henry Brassey Liberal
1880 Charles Henry Crompton-Roberts[13] Conservative
1880 Writ suspended and seat left vacant
after evidence of bribery was uncovered.
1885 Following Royal Commission investigation of corruption, constituency abolished and absorbed into Eastern Kent


  1. ^ "Election Commission At Sandwich". The Cornishman (120). 28 October 1880. p. 4. 
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s t "History of Parliament". History of Parliament Trust. Retrieved 2011-11-26. 
  3. ^ a b The English Parliaments of Henry VII. Retrieved 2012-03-17. 
  4. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s t u v w x y z aa "History of Parliament". History of Parliament Trust. Retrieved 2011-11-26. 
  5. ^ This election was called at request of the borough Mayor, with Patche and Ardern returned but the return was declared invalid by Privy Council after appeal.
  6. ^ Created a baronet, June 1707
  7. ^ Created a baronet, July 1716
  8. ^ Created a baronet, March 1795
  9. ^ a b c d e f g Stooks Smith, Henry. (1973) [1844-1850]. Craig, F. W. S., ed. The Parliaments of England (2nd ed.). Chichester: Parliamentary Research Services. pp. 171–173. ISBN 0-900178-13-2. 
  10. ^ a b c "The General Election". Morning Post. 24 July 1847. p. 3. Retrieved 8 July 2018 – via British Newspaper Archive. (Subscription required (help)). 
  11. ^ a b c "Sandwich and Deal Election". Kentish Gazette. 3 August 1847. p. 2. Retrieved 8 July 2018 – via British Newspaper Archive. (Subscription required (help)). 
  12. ^ McIntyre, W. David (1967). The Imperial Frontier in the Tropics, 1865–75 (eBook ed.). London: Palgrave Macmillan. p. 60. doi:10.1007/978-1-349-00349-5. ISBN 978-1-349-00349-5. LCCN 67-19403. Retrieved 8 July 2018 – via Google Books. 
  13. ^ On petition the result of the 1880 by-election was declared void

Election results[edit]

Elections in the 1850s[edit]

Grenfell resigned in order to contest a by-election at Windsor, causing a by-election.

By-election, 28 May 1852: Sandwich (1 seat)[1]
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Conservative Lord Charles Clinton 460 64.2
Whig John Tracy William French[2][3] 257 35.8
Majority 203 28.3 N/A
Turnout 717 74.7
Registered electors 960
Conservative gain from Whig Swing
General Election 1852: Sandwich (2 seats) [1]
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Conservative Lord Charles Clinton Unopposed
Conservative James Macgregor Unopposed
Registered electors 960
Conservative gain from Whig
Conservative gain from Whig
General Election 1857: Sandwich (2 seats) [1]
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Whig Edward Knatchbull-Hugessen 547 39.2 N/A
Whig Clarence Paget 503 36.0 N/A
Conservative James Macgregor 322 23.1 N/A
Whig John Lang[4][5] 24 1.7 N/A
Majority 181 13.0 N/A
Turnout 847 (est) 84.0 (est) N/A
Registered electors 1,008
Whig gain from Conservative Swing N/A
Whig gain from Conservative Swing N/A
General Election 1859: Sandwich (2 seats) [1]
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Liberal Edward Knatchbull-Hugessen 497 29.5 −9.7
Liberal Clarence Paget 458 27.1 −8.9
Conservative James Fergusson 404 23.9 +12.3
Conservative William David Lewis[6] 328 19.4 +7.8
Majority 54 3.2 −9.8
Turnout 844 (est) 81.9 (est)
Registered electors 1,030
Liberal hold Swing −9.9
Liberal hold Swing −9.5

Elections in the 1860s[edit]

General Election 1865: Sandwich (2 seats) [1]
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Liberal Edward Knatchbull-Hugessen 494 35.7 +6.2
Liberal Clarence Paget 477 34.5 +7.4
Conservative Charles Capper 413 29.8 −14.5
Majority 64 4.6 +1.4
Turnout 899 (est) 85.2 (est) +3.3
Registered electors 1,054
Liberal hold Swing +6.7
Liberal hold Swing +7.3

Paget resigned, causing a by-election.

By-election, 8 May 1866: Sandwich (1 seat) [1]
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Conservative Charles Capper 466 50.4 +20.6
Liberal Thomas Brassey[7] 458 49.6 −20.6
Majority 8 0.9 N/A
Turnout 924 87.7 +2.5
Registered electors 1,054
Conservative gain from Liberal Swing +20.6
General Election 1868: Sandwich (2 seats) [1]
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Liberal Edward Knatchbull-Hugessen 933 36.4 +0.7
Liberal Henry Brassey 923 36.0 +1.5
Conservative Henry Worms[8] 710 27.7 −2.1
Majority 213 8.3 +3.7
Turnout 1,638 (est) 85.9 (est) +0.7
Registered electors 1,906
Liberal hold Swing +0.9
Liberal hold Swing +1.3

Elections in the 1870s[edit]

General Election 1874: Sandwich (2 seats) [1]
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Liberal Henry Brassey 1,035 30.3 −5.7
Liberal Edward Knatchbull-Hugessen 1,006 29.4 −7.0
Conservative Frederic C Hughes Hallett 764 22.4 +8.5
Conservative Hugh Sydney Baillie[9] 611 17.9 +4.0
Majority 242 7.1 −1.2
Turnout 1,708 (est) 83.5 (est) −2.4
Registered electors 2,046
Liberal hold Swing −6.0
Liberal hold Swing −6.6

Elections in the 1880s[edit]

General Election 1880: Sandwich (2 seats) [1]
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Liberal Henry Brassey Unopposed
Liberal Edward Knatchbull-Hugessen Unopposed
Registered electors 2,115
Liberal hold
Liberal hold

Hugessen was elevated to the peerage, becoming Lord Brabourne and causing a by-election.

By-election, 19 May 1880: Sandwich (1 seat) [10][1]
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Conservative Charles Henry Crompton-Roberts 1,145 61.9 N/A
Liberal Julian Goldsmid 705 38.1 N/A
Majority 440 23.8 N/A
Turnout 1,850 87.5 N/A
Registered electors 2,115
Conservative gain from Liberal Swing N/A

A Royal Commission found proof of extensive bribery and the writ was suspended, with the by-election result being voided. The writ was never returned and the constituency was merged into East Kent on 25 June 1885, before that seat was then abolished for the 1885 General Election.[1]


  • Robert Beatson, A Chronological Register of Both Houses of Parliament (London: Longman, Hurst, Res & Orme, 1807) [1]
  • D Brunton & D H Pennington, Members of the Long Parliament (London: George Allen & Unwin, 1954)
  • Cobbett's Parliamentary history of England, from the Norman Conquest in 1066 to the year 1803 (London: Thomas Hansard, 1808) [2]
  • F W S Craig, British Parliamentary Election Results 1832-1885 (2nd edition, Aldershot: Parliamentary Research Services, 1989)
  • Lewis Namier, The Structure of Politics at the Accession of George III (2nd edition - London: St Martin's Press, 1961)
  • J. E. Neale, The Elizabethan House of Commons (London: Jonathan Cape, 1949)
  • 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)
  • Edward Porritt and Annie G Porritt, The Unreformed House of Commons (Cambridge University Press, 1903)
  • Leigh Rayment's Historical List of MPs – Constituencies beginning with "S" (part 2)
  • ^ a b c d e f g h i j k Craig, F. W. S., ed. (1977). British Parliamentary Election Results 1832-1885 (e-book) (1st ed.). London: Macmillan Press. pp. 268–269. ISBN 978-1-349-02349-3. 
  • ^ "West Kent Election". Dover Telegraph and Cinque Ports General Advertiser. 29 May 1852. p. 8. Retrieved 8 July 2018 – via British Newspaper Archive. (Subscription required (help)). 
  • ^ "Election Intelligence". Cambridge Independent Press. 5 June 1852. p. 3. Retrieved 8 July 2018 – via British Newspaper Archive. (Subscription required (help)). 
  • ^ "South Eastern Gazette". 31 March 1857. p. 5. Retrieved 8 July 2018 – via British Newspaper Archive. (Subscription required (help)). 
  • ^ "Canterbury Journal, Kentish Times and Farmers' Gazette". 28 March 1857. p. 3. Retrieved 8 July 2018 – via British Newspaper Archive. (Subscription required (help)). 
  • ^ "The Coming Elections". South Eastern Gazette. 12 April 1859. p. 4. Retrieved 8 July 2018 – via British Newspaper Archive. (Subscription required (help)). 
  • ^ "Sandwich Election". Kentish Chronicle. 12 May 1866. p. 5. Retrieved 17 March 2018 – via British Newspaper Archive. (Subscription required (help)). 
  • ^ "The County Elections". Kentish Gazette. 17 November 1868. p. 4. Retrieved 17 March 2018 – via British Newspaper Archive. (Subscription required (help)). 
  • ^ "Sandwich and Deal". Western Daily Mercury. 27 January 1874. p. 3. Retrieved 19 January 2018 – via British Newspaper Archive. (Subscription required (help)). 
  • ^ "Election News". The Cornishman (97). 20 May 1880. p. 8.