Southwark (UK Parliament constituency)

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Southwark
Former Borough constituency
for the House of Commons
County London
1295–1885
Number of members Two
Replaced by Bermondsey
Rotherhithe
Southwark West
Created from Surrey (part of)
19501974 (1974)
Number of members One
Replaced by Bermondsey (abolished 1983)
Peckham (abolished 1997)
Dulwich (absorbed small parts) (abolished 1997)
Created from Southwark Central, Southwark North and Southwark South East
Southwark in London, 1868-85
Southwark in London, 1950-74

Southwark (/ˈsʌðək/)[1] was a constituency centred on the Southwark district of South London. It returned two Members of Parliament to the House of Commons of the English Parliament from 1295 to 1707, to the Parliament of Great Britain from 1707 to 1800, and to the UK Parliament until its first abolition for the 1885 general election. A seat of the same name, covering a smaller area than the last form of the earlier seat in the west of the original and beyond its boundaries to the southwest, was created in 1950 and abolished in 1974.

In its last creation the seat's broad electorate heavily supported the three successive Labour candidates, who won Southwark with a majority of greater than 36% of the votes cast at its eight elections - an extremely safe seat.

Creation, boundaries, abolition[edit]

First creation - or Southwark dual-member constituency

The constituency was created in 1295 as a parliamentary borough (also known as burgh) when its electorate was restricted to the owners of certain properties in its main streets of its burgage, returning two 'burgesses' as they were sometimes called. Its electorate was expanded to a more standard franchise in 1832. In 1833 the electorate was 4,775 adult males and this had risen to 23,472 by 1880.[2]

The Redistribution of Seats Act 1885 replaced the two-member constituency with the seats West Southwark, Rotherhithe and Bermondsey.[3]

Second creation - or Southwark seat

A seat taking the old constituency name was established for the 1950 general election. Its boundaries were unaltered in the 1955 corrective review and it was abolished for the February 1974 general election.

Members of Parliament[edit]

MPs 1295–1640[edit]

Parliament First member Second member
1386[4] Henry Thymelby William Beeche
1388 (Feb)[4] John Northampton William Porter
1388 (Sep)[4] Roger Chandler Richard atte Vine
1390 (Jan)[4] William Wintringham John Mucking
1390 (Nov)
1391[4] William Spalding Walter Segrave
1393[4] John Solas Thomas Solas
1394
1395[4] John Solas John Mucking
1397 (Jan)[4] Thomas atte Gill John Mucking
1397 (Sep)[4] William Derby John Mucking
1399[4] Ralph Spalding John Parker
1401
1402[4] John Gofaire John Mucking
1404 (Jan)
1404 (Oct)
1406[4] John Baker Thomas Spencer
1407[4] Thomas Colman John Deken
1410
1411
1413 (Feb)
1413 (May)[4] William Horton Thomas Spencer
1414 (Apr)[4] John William John Welles
1414 (Nov)[4] John Solas William Kirton
1415[4] William Redstone Thomas Spencer
1416 (Mar)[4] John Solas John Mucking
1416 (Oct)
1417[4] William Kirton John Deken
1419[4] Robert William John Welles
1420[4] William Kirton John Deken
1421 (May)[4] William Redstone John Deken
1421 (Dec)[4] Thomas Dewy Thomas Lucas
1510–1523[5] No names known
1529 [5] Sir John Shilston, died 1530 Robert Acton
1536[5] Thomas Bulla  ?
1539[5] Sir Richard Long Robert Acton
1542[5] Robert Acton Thomas Bulla
1545[5]  ? William Gyllam
1547[5] Sir John Gates,
repl. by Jan 1552 by John Sayer
Richard Fulmerston
1553 (Mar)[5] John Eston John Sayer
1553 (Oct)[5] Humphrey Colet John Sayer
1554 (Apr)[5] John Eston John Sayer
1554 (Nov)[5] John Eston John Sayer
1555[5] John Eston Humphrey Colet
1558[5] John Eston Robert Freeman
1559 [6] John Eston Robert Freeman
1562/3 [6] Thomas Cure Oliffe Burr
1571 [6] Thomas Cure William Wilson
1572 [6] Oliffe Burr Thomas Way
1584 [6] Thomas Way Richard Hutton
1586 [6] Thomas Cure Richard Hutton
1588/9 [6] Richard Hutton William Pratt
1593 [6] Hugh Browker Richard Hutton
1597 [6] Edmund Bowyer Richard Hutton
1601 [6] Mathew Dale Zachariah Locke
1604–1611 Sir George Rivers William Counden
1614 Edward Coxe Richard Yarward
1621 Richard Yarward Robert Bromfield
1624 Richard Yarward Robert Bromfield
1625 Richard Yarward William Coxe
1626 Richard Yarward William Coxe
1628 Richard Yarward William Coxe
1629–1640 No Parliaments summoned

MPs 1640–1885[edit]

Election First Member First Party Second Member Second Party
November 1640 Edward Bagshawe Royalist John White[7] Parliamentarian
January 1644 Bagshawe disabled from sitting – seat vacant
1645 George Thomson George Snelling
1653 Southwark was unrepresented in the Barebones Parliament
1654 Samuel Highland Robert Warcup
1656 Peter De La Noy
January 1659 George Thomson Andrew Brewer
April 1660 John Langham Sir Thomas Bludworth
1661 George Moore
1666 Sir Thomas Clarges
1679 Sir Richard How Peter Rich
1685 Sir Peter Daniel Anthony Bowyer
1689 John Arnold Sir Peter Rich
1690 Anthony Bowyer
1695 Sir Charles Cox Whig
1698 John Cholmley Whig
January 1712 Edmund Halsey[8]
February 1712 Sir George Matthews
1713 John Lade Fisher Tench[9] Whig
1722 George Meggott Edmund Halsey
1724 by-election[10] John Lade
1727 Sir Joseph Eyles
1730 by-election[11] Thomas Inwen
1734 George Heathcote
1741 Ralph Thrale
1743 by-election[12] Alexander Hume
1747 William Belchier
1754 William Hammond
1761 Joseph Mawbey[13] Alexander Hume
1765 by-election[14] Henry Thrale Pro-Government Chathamite/Northite
1774 Nathaniel Polhill Radical
1780 Sir Richard Hotham
1782 by-election[15] Henry Thornton Independent
April 1784 Sir Barnard Turner
June 1784 by-election[16] Paul Le Mesurier
May 1796 George Woodford Thellusson[17] Whig
December 1796 by-election[17] George Tierney Whig
1806 Sir Thomas Turton, Bt
1812 Charles Calvert Whig
1815 by-election[18] Charles Barclay
1818 Sir Robert Thomas Wilson Whig
Aug 1830 John Rawlinson Harris
Nov 1830 by-election[19] Charles Calvert Whig
1831 William Brougham Whig
1832 John Humphery Whig
1835 Daniel Whittle Harvey Radical
1840 by-election[20] Benjamin Wood Whig
1845 by-election[21] Sir William Molesworth Radical
1852 Apsley Pellatt Whig
1855 by-election Sir Charles Napier Liberal
1857 John Locke Liberal
1860 by-election[22] Austen Henry Layard Liberal
1870 by-election[23] Marcus Beresford Conservative
1880 by-election[24] Edward Clarke Conservative
1880 Arthur Cohen Liberal Thorold Rogers Liberal
1885 constituency abolished: creating all of Bermondsey, Rotherhithe and Southwark West

MPs 1950–1974[edit]

Election Member Party
1950 George Isaacs Labour
1959 Ray Gunter Labour
1972 by-election Harry Lamborn Labour
Feb 1974 constituency abolished

Election results[edit]

Elections in the 1870s[edit]

Layard resigned after being appointed British ambassador to Spain.

By-election, 17 Feb 1870: Southwark (1 seat)[25]
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Conservative Marcus Beresford 4,686 38.9
Lib-Lab George Odger 4,382 36.4
Liberal Sydney Waterlow 2,966 24.6
Majority 304 2.5
Turnout 12,034 68.0
Registered electors 17,703
Conservative gain from Liberal Swing
General Election 1874: Southwark (2 seats)[25]
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Liberal John Locke 5,901 32.4
Conservative Marcus Beresford 5,716 31.3
Lib-Lab George Odger 3,496 19.2
Liberal Andrew Dunn[26] 3,121 17.1
Turnout 11,975 (est) 58.6 (est)
Registered electors 23,472
Majority 185 1.0
Liberal hold Swing
Majority 2,220 12.2 N/A
Conservative gain from Liberal Swing

Elections in the 1880s[edit]

Locke's death caused a by-election.

By-election, 14 Feb 1880: Southwark (1 seat)[25][27]
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Conservative Edward Clarke 7,683 50.2 +18.9
Liberal Andrew Dunn 6,830 44.6 −4.9
Lib-Lab George Shipton 799 5.2 −14.0
Majority 853 5.6 N/A
Turnout 15,312 65.2 +6.6
Registered electors 23,472
Conservative gain from Liberal Swing +11.9
General Election 1880: Southwark (2 seats)[25]
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Liberal Arthur Cohen 9,693 27.7 −4.7
Liberal Thorold Rogers 9,521 27.2 +10.1
Conservative Edward Clarke 8,163 23.3 +7.6
Conservative Mark Cattley[28] 7,674 21.9 +6.2
Majority 1,358 3.9 +2.9
Turnout 17,526 (est) 74.7 (est) +16.1
Registered electors 23,472
Liberal hold Swing −5.5
Liberal gain from Conservative Swing +1.3

Elections in the 1950s[edit]

General Election 1950: Southwark
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Labour George Isaacs 35,049 68.27
Conservative James Greenwood 12,671 24.68
Liberal Lionel Fowler 2,950 5.75
Communist Spencer John Bent 668 1.30
Majority 22,378 43.59
Turnout 73.98
General Election 1951: Southwark
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Labour George Isaacs 36,586 72.28
Conservative James Greenwood 14,032 27.72
Majority 22,554 44.56
Turnout 72.32
General Election 1955: Southwark
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Labour George Isaacs 28,174 70.30
Conservative James Greenwood 10,944 27.31
Communist Spencer John Bent 959 2.39
Majority 17,230 42.99
Turnout 60.18
General Election 1959: Southwark
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Labour Ray Gunter 25,036 63.99
Conservative James Greenwood 12,696 32.45
Communist Spencer John Bent 1,395 3.57
Majority 12,340 31.54
Turnout 63.37

Elections in the 1960s[edit]

General Election 1964: Southwark
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Labour Ray Gunter 22,426 68.82
Conservative Anthony Paul R Noble 8,563 26.28
Communist Spencer John Bent 1,599 4.91
Majority 13,863 42.54
Turnout 55.86
General Election 1966: Southwark
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Labour Ray Gunter 21,855 73.55
Conservative Anthony Paul Noble 6,454 21.72
Communist Spencer John Bent 1,404 4.73
Majority 15,401 51.83
Turnout 54.03

Elections in the 1970s[edit]

General Election 1970: Southwark
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Labour Ray Gunter 16,834 67.33
Conservative Jeffrey Gordon 7,040 28.16
Communist Earle Hume 1,128 4.51
Majority 9,794 39.17
Turnout 48.19
Southwark by-election, 1972
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Labour Harry Lamborn 12,108 79.33 +12.00
Conservative Jeffrey Gordon 2,756 18.06 -10.10
Independent Brian McDermott 398 2.61 N/A
Majority 9,352 61.27
Turnout 15,262

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ "Southwark", in The Columbia Lippincott Gazetteer of the World (1952), New York: Columbia University Press.
  2. ^ F.W.S. Craig (ed.), British Parliamentary Election Results 1832-1885 (London: The Macmillan Press Ltd, 1977)
  3. ^ https://archive.org/stream/publicgeneralac01walegoog#page/n141/mode/2up Redistribution of Seats Act 1885 Sch 6. Division of Boroughs.
  4. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s t u v w "History of Parliament". History of Parliament Trust. Retrieved 2011-11-21. 
  5. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m "History of Parliament". History of Parliament Trust. Retrieved 2011-11-21. 
  6. ^ a b c d e f g h i j "History of Parliament". History of Parliament Trust. Retrieved 2011-11-21. 
  7. ^ Died January 1645; the writ to fill both vacancies was issued in August 1645
  8. ^ On petition, Halsey was found not to have been duly elected, and a new election was held
  9. ^ Created a baronet, August 1715
  10. ^ The by-election in January 1724 was caused by death of George Meggott
  11. ^ The by-election in January 1730 was caused by death of Edmund Halsey
  12. ^ The by-election in June 1743 was caused by death of Thomas Inwen
  13. ^ Mawbey was created a baronet in July 1765
  14. ^ The by-election in December 1765 was caused by death of William Hammond
  15. ^ The by-election in December 1782 was caused by death of Nathaniel Polhill
  16. ^ The by-election in June 1784 was caused by death of Sir Barnard Turner
  17. ^ a b Thellusson's election in May 1796 was declared void in November 1796; a by-election was held at which he was re-elected but he was found to be ineligible to sit and Tierney was declared elected in his place
  18. ^ The by-election in February 1815 was caused by death of Henry Thornton
  19. ^ The by-election in November 1830 was caused by death of John Rawlinson Harris
  20. ^ The by-election in January 1840 was caused by the resignation of Daniel Whittle Harvey
  21. ^ The by-election in September 1845 was caused by the death of Benjamin Wood
  22. ^ The by-election in December 1860 was caused by the death of Sir Charles Napier
  23. ^ The by-election in February 1870 was caused by the resignation of Austen Henry Layard
  24. ^ The by-election in December 1880 was caused by the death of John Locke
  25. ^ a b c d Craig, F. W. S., ed. (1977). British Parliamentary Election Results 1832-1885 (e-book) (1st ed.). London: Macmillan Press. pp. 16–17. ISBN 978-1-349-02349-3. 
  26. ^ "Southwark Election". Daily Telegraph & Courier. 28 January 1874. p. 9. Retrieved 21 January 2018 – via British Newspaper Archive. (Subscription required (help)). 
  27. ^ "For the representation of Southwark". Illustrated London News. 14 February 1880. p. 10. Retrieved 22 December 2017 – via British Newspaper Archive. (Subscription required (help)). 
  28. ^ "General Election". John Bull. 20 March 1880. p. 5. Retrieved 22 December 2017. 

References[edit]

  • 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)
  • Leigh Rayment's Historical List of MPs – Constituencies beginning with "S" (part 4)