Sligo Borough (UK Parliament constituency)

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Sligo Borough
Former Borough constituency
for the House of Commons
Number of members One
Replaced by Sligo County
Created from Sligo Borough (Parl. Irl.)

Sligo Borough is a former borough constituency in Ireland, represented in the House of Commons of the Parliament of the United Kingdom.

It was an original constituency represented in Parliament when the Union of Great Britain and Ireland took effect on 1 January 1801, and returned one Member of Parliament (MP), elected by the first past the post system of election.

Numerous elections were overturned on petition by the losing candidate; after the 1868 election was overturned, a Royal Commission examined the matter and reported that "at the last three elections of members to serve in Parliament for the Borough of Sligo, corrupt practices have extensively prevailed."[1] Parliament therefore passed the Sligo and Cashel Disenfranchisement Act 1870[2] (33 & 34 Vict. c.38) which came into force on 1 August 1870. The act disfranchised Sligo Borough as well as Cashel, another Irish borough. The area of Sligo borough became part of the Sligo County constituency. In 1881 the county's MP, Thomas Sexton, introduced a private member's bill to re-enfranchise the borough, which was defeated on second reading.[3]


This constituency was the Parliamentary borough of Sligo in County Sligo.

Members of Parliament[edit]

Election Member Party Note
1801, January 1 Owen Wynne Tory Resigned (appointed Escheator of Munster)
1806, July 16 Col. George Canning Tory A cousin of his successor Rt Hon George Canning
1812, November 5 Rt Hon George Canning Tory 1812: Also returned by and elected to sit for Liverpool.
Subsequently Prime Minister 1827.
1813, April 5 Joshua Spencer Resigned (appointed Escheator of Munster)
1815, March 27 Sir Brent Spencer
1818, June 29 John Bent Tory
1820, March 21 Owen Wynne Tory
1830, August 4 John Arthur Wynne Tory
1832, December 21 John Martin Liberal 1
1837, August 5 John Patrick Somers Liberal 1 Re-elected as a Repeal Association candidate. There were many disturbances in the election campaign.[4]
1841, July 9 Repeal Association Unseated on petition - new writ issued
1848, April 11 Charles Towneley Liberal 1 Unseated on petition - new writ issued.[5]
1848, July 15 John Patrick Somers Repeal Association
1852, July 15 Charles Towneley Liberal 1 Joined the Independent Irish Party
1852 Independent Irish Unseated on petition - new writ issued.[6] Henry Stonor, convicted of electoral bribery, was later appointed a judge in Victoria, Australia,[7] The Stonor scandal inspired the character of Mr Romer in Anthony Trollope's Doctor Thorne.[8]
1853, July 8 John Sadleir Liberal 1 Died.
1856, March 8 Rt Hon. John Arthur Wynne Conservative Election upheld after petitions were rejected.[9]
1857, April 2 John Patrick Somers Liberal 1 Unseated on petition.[10]
1857, July 31 Rt Hon. John Arthur Wynne Conservative Declared duly elected on petition.[10] Resigned
1860, August 9 Francis Macdonogh Conservative
1865, July 15 Richard Armstrong Liberal
1868, November 20 Lawrence Edward Knox Conservative Last MP for the constituency. Election declared void on petition.[11]
1870, August 1 constituency disenfranchised

Supplemental Note:-

  • 1 Walker (like F. W. S. Craig in his compilations of election results for Great Britain) classifies Whig, Radical and similar candidates as Liberals from 1832. The name Liberal was gradually adopted as a description for the Whigs and politicians allied with them, before the formal creation of the Liberal Party shortly after the 1859 general election.




  • The Parliaments of England by Henry Stooks Smith (1st edition published in three volumes 1844-50), 2nd edition edited (in one volume) by F.W.S. Craig (Political Reference Publications 1973)
  • Parliamentary Election Results in Ireland, 1801-1922, edited by B.M. Walker (Royal Irish Academy 1978)
  • British Electoral Facts 1832-1987, compiled and edited by F.W.S. Craig (Parliamentary Research Services, 5th edition, 1989)
  • Commissioners for the purpose of making inquiry into the existence of corrupt practices at the last election for Sligo (1870). Report. Command papers. C.48. Dublin: Alex Thom. Retrieved 23 December 2016. 
  • Leigh Rayment's Historical List of MPs – Constituencies beginning with "S" (part 3)[self-published source][better source needed]


  1. ^ Commission 1870, p.viii
  2. ^ "Sligo and Cashel Disfranchisement Bill— [Bill 139.] Second Reading.". Hansard. 16 June 1870. HC Deb vol 202 cc309-15. Retrieved 23 December 2016. ; "Sligo and Cashel Disfranchisement Bill.—(No. 167.) Second Reading.". Hansard. 7 July 1870. HL Deb vol 202 cc1596-1602. Retrieved 23 December 2016. 
  3. ^ "Sligo Borough Re-Enfranchisement Bill.— [Bill 62.]; Second Reading.". Hansard. 23 March 1881. HC Deb vol 259 cc1782–5. Retrieved 23 December 2016. 
  4. ^ Copy of a memorial forwarded to the Lord Lieutenant of Ireland for certain magistrates of the county ... impugning the conduct of Major Browne (government magistrate) during the late contest (Sligo) election. Sessional papers. HC 36, 1837-1838 46 551. 12 December 1837. Retrieved 23 December 2016. ; Return of all reports of outrages to Inspector General of Police by Constabulary during late Elections for County and Borough of Sligo. Sessional papers. HC 166, 1837-1838 46 555. 27 February 1838. Retrieved 23 December 2016. ;
  5. ^ Select Committee of Privileges (21 July 1848). Sligo election petitions: petition of John Delaney: report with minutes of evidence. Sessional papers. HC 526, 1847-1848 14 367. Retrieved 23 December 2016. 
  6. ^ Select Committee on the Sligo borough election petition (6 June 1853). Report. Sessional papers. HC 572, 1852-1853 18 595. Retrieved 23 December 2016. ; Select Committee on the Sligo borough election petition (10 June 1853). Minutes of evidence, proceedings and index. Sessional papers. HC 600, 1852-1853 18 605, 713. Retrieved 23 December 2016. 
  7. ^ Select Committee on Appointment of H. Stonor as Judge in Colony of Victoria, after being reported Guilty of Bribery at Election for Borough of Sligo (1 June 1854). Report, minutes of evidence and appendices. Sessional papers. HC 278, 1854 8 681. Retrieved 23 December 2016. 
  8. ^ Trollope, Anthony (3 March 2016). Dentith, Simon, ed. Doctor Thorne. Foreword by Julian Fellowes (TV Tie-In ed.). OUP Oxford. p. 638, fn.156. ISBN 9780191088568. Retrieved 23 December 2016. 
  9. ^ Select Committee on Sligo Borough Election Petition (22 May 1856). Report, minutes of evidence and proceedings. Sessional papers. HC 234, 1856 7 409. Retrieved 23 December 2016. 
  10. ^ a b Select Committee on Sligo Borough Election Petition (23 July 1857). Report and proceedings. Sessional papers. HC 227, 1857 8 585. Retrieved 23 December 2016. ; Select Committee on Sligo Borough Election Petition (3 August 1857). Minutes of evidence and proceedings. Sessional papers. HC 206, 1857 8 609. Retrieved 23 December 2016. 
  11. ^ Minutes of evidence at Trial of Sligo Borough Election Petition. Sessional papers. HC 85, 1868-1869 49 933. 16 March 1869. Retrieved 23 December 2016.