Tower Hamlets (UK Parliament constituency)

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Tower Hamlets
Former Borough constituency
for the House of Commons
County Middlesex
18321885
Number of members Two
Replaced by Bow and Bromley, Limehouse, Mile End, Poplar, St George, Stepney and Whitechapel
Created from Middlesex

Tower Hamlets was a parliamentary borough constituency in Middlesex, England from 1832 to 1885. It elected two Members of Parliament (MPs) to the House of Commons of the Parliament of the United Kingdom. The constituency was one of five new parliamentary boroughs in the metropolitan area of London enfranchised by the Reform Act 1832.

The constituency consisted of a number of communities in the East End of London, between the City of London and the eastern boundary of Middlesex.

Boundaries[edit]

Boundaries 1832–1868[edit]

The boundaries of the parliamentary borough were defined by the Parliamentary Boundaries Act 1832 as "The several Divisions of the Liberty of the Tower, and the Tower Division of Ossulston Hundred".[1]

It comprised the following civil parishes and places:[2]

Boundaries 1868–1885[edit]

Tower Hamlets in the Metropolitan area, showing boundaries used from 1868 to 1885.

The Representation of the People Act 1867 widened the parliamentary franchise and also effected a redistribution of seats. This, along with a rapidly increasing population in the East End, resulted in the existing parliamentary borough of Tower Hamlets being reduced in size, with the parishes of Bethnal Green, Hackney and Shoreditch forming a separate Hackney constituency. The reformed Tower Hamlets was defined as comprising:[3]

  • The Parish of St. George's-in-the-East
  • The Hamlet of Mile End Old Town
  • The Poplar Union (Bow, Bromley and Poplar)
  • The Stepney Union (Limehouse, Ratcliffe, Shadwell and Wapping)
  • The Whitechapel Union (Holy Trinity Minories, Mile End New Town, Norton Folgate, Old Artillery Ground, St Botolph Without Aldgate, St Katherine by the Tower, Spitalfields, Whitechapel.)
  • The Tower of London.[2]

Redistribution[edit]

In 1885 the parliamentary borough was split into seven single-member divisions. These were Bow and Bromley, Limehouse, Mile End, Poplar, St George, Stepney and Whitechapel.

Members of Parliament[edit]

Election First member [4] First party Second member Second party
1832 Stephen Lushington Liberal Sir William Clay, Bt Radical[5][6]
1841 Charles Richard Fox Liberal
1847 George Thompson Radical[7][8][9]
1852 Charles Salisbury Butler Radical[10]
1857 Rt Hon. Acton Smee Ayrton Radical[11][12][13]
1859 Liberal Liberal
1868 Joseph d'Aguilar Samuda Liberal
1874 Charles Ritchie Conservative
1880 James Bryce Liberal
1885 Constituency abolished

Elections[edit]

Turnout, in multi-member elections, is estimated by dividing the number of votes by two. To the extent that electors did not use both their votes, the figure given will be an underestimate.

Change is calculated for individual candidates, when a party had more than one candidate in an election or the previous one. When a party had only one candidate in an election and the previous one change is calculated for the party vote.

Elections in the 1850s[edit]

General Election 1852: Tower Hamlets[14]
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Radical William Clay 7,728 32.3
Radical Charles Salisbury Butler 7,718 32.3
Radical George Thompson 4,568 19.1
Radical Acton Smee Ayrton 2,792 11.7
Radical William Newton[15] 1,095 4.6
Majority 3,150 13.2
Turnout 11,951 (est) 50.8 (est)
Registered electors 23,534
Radical hold Swing
Radical hold Swing
General Election 1857: Tower Hamlets[14]
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Radical Acton Smee Ayrton 7,813 35.9 +24.2
Radical Charles Salisbury Butler 7,297 33.5 +1.2
Radical William Clay 6,654 30.6 −1.7
Majority 643 3.0 −10.2
Turnout 10,882 (est) 38.9 (est) −11.9
Registered electors 27,980
Radical hold Swing N/A
Radical hold Swing N/A
General Election 1859: Tower Hamlets[14]
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Liberal Charles Salisbury Butler Unopposed
Liberal Acton Smee Ayrton Unopposed
Registered electors 28,843
Liberal hold
Liberal hold

Elections in the 1860s[edit]

General Election 1865: Tower Hamlets[14]
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Liberal Charles Salisbury Butler Unopposed
Liberal Acton Smee Ayrton Unopposed
Registered electors 34,115
Liberal hold
Liberal hold
General Election 1868: Tower Hamlets[14]
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Liberal Acton Smee Ayrton 9,839 28.0 N/A
Liberal Joseph d'Aguilar Samuda 7,849 22.3 N/A
Conservative Octavius Coope[16] 7,446 21.2 N/A
Liberal Edmond Beales[17] 7,160 20.4 N/A
Lib-Lab William Newton 2,890 8.2 N/A
Majority 403 1.1 N/A
Turnout 17,592 (est) 54.1 (est) N/A
Registered electors 32,546
Liberal hold Swing N/A
Liberal hold Swing N/A

Ayrton was appointed First Commissioner of Works and Public Buildings, requiring a by-election.

By-election, 8 November 1869: Tower Hamlets[14]
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Liberal Acton Smee Ayrton Unopposed
Liberal hold

Elections in the 1870s[edit]

General Election 1874: Tower Hamlets[14]
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Conservative Charles Ritchie 7,228 29.7 +9.5
Liberal Joseph d'Aguilar Samuda 5,900 24.2 +1.9
Liberal Edmund Hay Currie 5,022 20.6 N/A
Liberal Acton Smee Ayrton 3,202 13.2 −14.8
Liberal Frederick Maxse 2,992 12.3 N/A
Majority 1,328 5.5 N/A
Turnout 15,786 (est) 47.9 (est) −6.2
Registered electors 32,937
Conservative gain from Liberal Swing +8.0
Liberal hold Swing −1.4

Elections in the 1880s[edit]

General Election 1880: Tower Hamlets[14]
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Liberal James Bryce 12,020 30.6 N/A
Conservative Charles Ritchie 11,720 29.9 +0.2
Liberal Joseph d'Aguilar Samuda 10,384 26.5 +2.3
Lib-Lab Benjamin Lucraft[18] 5,103 13.0 N/A
Turnout 28,025 (est) 68.3 (est) +20.4
Registered electors 41,042
Majority 300 0.8 N/A
Liberal hold Swing N/A
Majority 1,336 3.4 N/A
Conservative hold Swing −1.1

References[edit]

  1. ^ Parliamentary Boundaries Act 1832 (2 & 3 Will.4 c.64), Schedule O
  2. ^ a b Youngs, Frederic A, Jr. (1979). Guide to the Local Administrative Units of England, Vol.I: Southern England. London: Royal Historical Society. p. 749. ISBN 0-901050-67-9. 
  3. ^ Representation of the People Act 1867 c.102, Schedule C
  4. ^ Leigh Rayment's Historical List of MPs – Constituencies beginning with "T" (part 2)
  5. ^ Hawkins, Angus (2007). "Conservative Consolation: 1835-1841". The Forgotten Prime Minister: The 14th Earl of Derby: Volume I: Ascent, 1799–1851 (Illustrated ed.). Oxford: Oxford University Press. p. 193. ISBN 9780199204403. Retrieved 6 April 2018. 
  6. ^ Dod, Charles Roger; Dod, Robert Phipps (1847). "Members of the House of Commons". Dod's Parliamentary Companion, Volume 15. Dod's Parliamentary Companion. p. 145. Retrieved 6 April 2018. 
  7. ^ Spychal, Martin (December 12, 2017). "MP of the Month: George Donisthorpe Thompson (1804–1878)". The Victorian Commons. Retrieved 6 April 2018. 
  8. ^ Hawkins, Angus (2015). "The Dynamics of Voting". Victorian Political Culture: 'Habits of Heart and Mind' (First ed.). Oxford: Oxford University Press. p. 193. ISBN 9780198728481. Retrieved 6 April 2018. 
  9. ^ Bayly, C. A. (2012). "The invention of class in India". Indian Thought in the Age of Liberalism and Empire (First ed.). Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. p. 112. ISBN 9781107013834. Retrieved 6 April 2018. 
  10. ^ Weinstein, Benjamin (2011). Liberalism and Local Government in Early Victorian London. Boydell & Brewer. p. 91. ISBN 9780861933129. Retrieved 20 March 2018. 
  11. ^ Hawkins, Angus (1987). "Reform Deferred". Parliament, Party and the Art of Politics in Britain, 1855–59 (Illustrated ed.). Basingstoke: Macmillan Press. p. 83. ISBN 9781349089253. Retrieved 6 April 2018. 
  12. ^ Jarvis, Adrian, ed. (2016). Port and Harbour Engineering. Routledge. ISBN 9781351909914. Retrieved 6 April 2018. 
  13. ^ Crawford, Elizabeth, ed. (1999). The Women's Suffrage Movement: A Reference Guide 1866-1928. London: UCL Press. ISBN 184142031X. Retrieved 6 April 2018. 
  14. ^ a b c d e f g h Craig, F. W. S., ed. (1977). British Parliamentary Election Results 1832-1885 (e-book) (1st ed.). London: Macmillan Press. pp. 18–19. ISBN 978-1-349-02349-3. 
  15. ^ Alastair J. Reid. "Newton, William", Oxford Dictionary of National Biography
  16. ^ "The Elections". Chelmsford Chronicle. 6 November 1868. p. 3. Retrieved 20 March 2018 – via British Newspaper Archive. (Subscription required (help)). 
  17. ^ Newcastle Chronicle. 21 November 1868. p. 4 https://www.britishnewspaperarchive.co.uk/viewer/bl/0000865/18681121/047/0004. Retrieved 20 March 2018 – via British Newspaper Archive. (Subscription required (help)).  Missing or empty |title= (help)
  18. ^ "Marylebone". Daily News. 3 April 1880. p. 5. Retrieved 23 December 2017 – via British Newspaper Archive. (Subscription required (help)). 

Sources[edit]

  • Boundaries of Parliamentary Constituencies 1885-1972, compiled and edited by F.W.S. Craig (Parliamentary Reference Publications 1972)
  • British Parliamentary Election Results 1832-1885, compiled and edited by F.W.S. Craig (Macmillan Press 1977)
  • Who's Who of British Members of Parliament: Volume I 1832-1885, edited by M. Stenton (The Harvester Press 1976)
  • Who's Who of British Members of Parliament, Volume II 1886-1918, edited by M. Stenton and S. Lees (Harvester Press 1978)