Thirsk (UK Parliament constituency)

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
For the current constituency, see Thirsk and Malton (UK Parliament constituency).
Former Borough constituency
for the House of Commons
Number of members Two (until 1832);
One (1832-1885)

Thirsk was a parliamentary borough in Yorkshire, represented in the English and later British House of Commons in 1295, and again from 1547. It was represented by two Members of Parliament until 1832, and by one member from 1832 to 1885, when the constituency was abolished and absorbed into the new Thirsk and Malton division of the North Riding of Yorkshire.

The borough consisted of originally of the town of Old Thirsk, and included a population of only 1,378 at the 1831 census. The right to vote was restricted to the holders of burgage tenements, of which there were 50 in 1831. The Frankland family were the local landowners (in 1816 Sir Thomas owned 49 of the 50 burgage tenements), and in effect could nominate whoever they wanted as Members of Parliament; there was no contested election in Thirsk between 1715 and 1832.

The Great Reform Act of 1832 expanded the boundaries to include the townships of Thirsk, Sowerby, Carlton Miniott, Sandhutton, Bagby and South Kilvington, increasing the population to 4,672 and encompassing 1,064 houses, which was considered big enough for the borough to retain one of its two members.

Members of Parliament[edit]

  • Constituency re-created (1547)

MPs 1547–1660[edit]

Parliament First member Second member
1547 Sir William Cavendish Robert Flint [1]
1553 (Mar) Thomas Lee Reginald Beseley [1]
1553 (Oct) Thomas Eynns John Gascoigne [1]
1554 (Apr) Thomas Waterton Reginald Beseley [1]
1554 (Nov) Christopher Lascelles Edward Beseley [1]
1555 Christopher Lascelles Robert Roos [1]
1558 Christopher Lascelles Thomas Eynns [1]
1558/9 Thomas Eynns Francis Wilstrop[2]
1562/3 Thomas Eynns Christopher Lascelles [2]
1571 John Dawney Thomas Layton [2]
1572 (Apr) John Dawney Edward Gates [2]
1584 Sir John Dawney Robert Bowes [2]
1586 (Oct) Sir John Dawney Henry Bellasis [2]
1588/9 Sir John Dawney Henry Bellasis [2]
1593 Sir John Dawney Henry Bellasis[2]
1597 (Sep) George Leycester Thomas Belasyse [2]
1601 (Oct) Henry Bellasis John Mallory [2]
1604–1611 Sir Edward Swift Timothy Whittingham
1614 Thomas Belasyse Sir Robert Yaxley
1620 Thomas Belasyse Sir John Gibson
1624 Thomas Belasyse Sir William Sheffield
1625 Henry Belasyse Henry Stanley
1626 Henry Belasyse William Cholmeley
1628 Christopher Wandesford William Frankland
1629–1640 No Parliaments summoned

MPs 1640–1832[edit]

Year First member First party Second member Second party
April 1640 William Frankland John Belasyse
November 1640 Sir Thomas Ingram Royalist John Belasyse Royalist
September 1642 Ingram and Belasyse both disabled from sitting - seats vacant
1645 William Ayscough Francis Lascelles
December 1648 Ayscough excluded in Pride's Purge - seat vacant
1653 Thirsk was unrepresented in the Barebones Parliament and the First and Second Parliaments of the Protectorate
January 1659 Colonel Thomas Talbot Major General Goodricke
May 1659 Not represented in the restored Rump
April 1660 Barrington Bourchier William Stanley
July 1660 The Earl of Ancram
1661 Sir Thomas Ingram Walter Strickland
1671 Sir William Frankland
1673 Sir William Wentworth
1679 Nicholas Saunderson
1681 Sir William Ayscough
1685 Thomas Frankland Sir Hugh Cholmeley
1689 Richard Staines
1695 Sir Godfrey Copley
1698 Sir Thomas Frankland
1709 Leonard Smelt
1710 Ralph Bell
1711 Thomas Worsley
1713 Thomas Frankland [3]
1717 Thomas Pitt
1722 William St Quintin [4]
1727 Thomas Robinson
1734 Frederick Meinhardt Frankland
1747 Thomas Frankland [5]
1749 William Monckton[6]
1754 Roger Talbot
1761 Henry Grenville
1765 James Grenville
1768 William Frankland
1774 Thomas Frankland
1780 Sir Thomas Gascoigne Beilby Thompson
1784 Sir Thomas Frankland Sir Gregory Page-Turner
1785 Robert Vyner
1796 Sir Thomas Frankland, Bt
1801 William Frankland
1805 Hon. Richard Griffin
1806 James Topping Robert Greenhill-Russell [7] Whig
1807 William Frankland Whig
1815 Robert Frankland [8] Whig
1832 Representation reduced to one member

MPs 1832–1885[edit]

Election Member Party
1832 Sir Robert Frankland Whig
1834 by-election Samuel Crompton [9] Whig
1841 John Bell [10] Whig
1847 Conservative
March 1851 by-election Sir William Payne-Gallwey Conservative
1880 Hon. Lewis Payn Dawnay Conservative
1885 constituency abolished


  1. ^ a b c d e f g "History of Parliament". Retrieved 2011-09-28. 
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h i j "History of Parliament". Retrieved 2011-09-28. 
  3. ^ Succeeded to the baronetcy as Sir Thomas Frankland, October 1726
  4. ^ Succeeded to the baronetcy as Sir William St Quintin, June 1723
  5. ^ Succeeded to the baronetcy as Sir Thomas Frankland, January 1768
  6. ^ Succeeded as 2nd Viscount Galway in the peerage of Ireland in 1751
  7. ^ Created a baronet as Sir Robert Greenhill-Russell, September 1831
  8. ^ Succeeded to the baronetcy as Sir Robert Frankland, January 1831
  9. ^ Sir Samuel Crompton from 1838
  10. ^ In July 1849 a Commission of Lunacy declared Bell to be of unsound mind, but as the law then stood he could not be deprived of his seat on those grounds and remained an MP until his death in 1851


  • 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) [1]
  • F W S Craig, "British Parliamentary Election Results 1832-1885" (2nd edition, Aldershot: Parliamentary Research Services, 1989)
  • J Holladay Philbin, "Parliamentary Representation 1832 - England and Wales" (New Haven: Yale University Press, 1965)
  • Henry Stooks Smith, "The Parliaments of England from 1715 to 1847" (2nd edition, edited by FWS Craig - Chichester: Parliamentary Reference Publications, 1973)
  • 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 "T" (part 1)[self-published source][better source needed]