Weymouth and Melcombe Regis (UK Parliament constituency)

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Weymouth and Melcombe Regis
Former Borough constituency
for the House of Commons
Number of members four (1570–1832), two (1832–1885)
Replaced by South Dorset

Weymouth and Melcombe Regis was a parliamentary borough in Dorset represented in the English House of Commons, later in that of Great Britain, and finally in the Parliament of the United Kingdom. It was formed by an Act of Parliament of 1570 which amalgamated the existing boroughs of Weymouth and Melcombe Regis. Until 1832, the combined borough continued to elect the four Members of Parliament (MPs) to which its constituent parts had previously been entitled; the Great Reform Act reduced its representation to two Members, and the constituency was abolished altogether in 1885, becoming part of the new South Dorset constituency.

Members of Parliament[edit]

Members for Weymouth (1348–1570)[edit]

Parliament First member Second member
1386 John Gosselyn I John Hughelot[1]
1388 (Feb) John Wake Henry Hert[1]
1388 (Sep) Thomas Dovere John James[1]
1390 (Jan) Philip Brice Robert Gilbert[1]
1390 (Nov)
1391 Philip Brice John James[1]
1393 Henry Badecok John Avery[1]
1394 John Bassingbourne William Glover[1]
1395 John Bassingbourne Stephen Russell[1]
1397 (Jan) Thomas Cole John Fleet[1]
1397 (Sep) William Ford Nicholas Crabbe[1]
1399 John Brice William Clerk[1]
1402 Robert Penne William Faringdon[1]
1404 (Jan)
1404 (Oct)
1406 Peter Dille William Rose I[1]
1407 John Aalday John Bassingbourne[1]
1410 Thomas Payn John Bassingbourne[1]
1413 (Feb)
1413 (May) Robert Penne John Wydeford[1]
1414 (Apr) Thomas Payn John Wodham[1]
1414 (Nov) John James John Wodham[1]
1416 (Mar)
1416 (Oct)
1417 John Brice Robert Penne[1]
1419 Robert Hillary Robert Penne[1]
1420 Robert Hillary Robert Penne[1]
1421 (May) John Bassingbourne Robert Penne[1]
1421 (Dec) William Payn John Penne[1]
1450 John Troutbeck
1472-5 William Twynyho[2]
1510–1523 No names known[3]
1529 William Bond Robert Aley[3]
1536 ?
1539 ?
1542 William Aubrey Richard Jenour[3]
1545 Roger Stourton Richard Duke[3]
1547 John Cornelius alias Johnson alias Welbored John Brace[3]
1553 (Mar) ?Richard Phelips ?[3]
1553 (Oct) Thomas Samways John Jordan alias Blancombe[3]
1554 (Apr) John Wadham John Williams[3]
1554 (Nov) John Phelips William Randall[3]
1555 John Buller Thomas Hobbs[3]
1558 Thomas Keynell John Cattell[3]
1559 Thomas Fitzwilliams John Fowler[4]
1562/3 Robert Eyre Reginald Gray[4]

Members for Melcombe Regis (1319–1570)[edit]

Parliament First member Second member
1386 Henry Ford John Northovere[1]
1388 (Feb) Henry Ford Thomas Russell[1]
1388 (Sep) Thomas Walsh Richard Morys[1]
1390 (Jan) John Northovere Thomas Russell[1]
1390 (Nov)
1391 John Northovere John Kete[1]
1393 John Abboy Robert Veel[1]
1394 Robert Calche Robert Veel[1]
1395 Robert Calche William Helier[1]
1397 (Jan) Robert Calche Henry Ford[1]
1397 (Sep) William Helier William Coventre II[1]
1399 Thomas Cole Eustace Kymer[1]
1402 John Wyot William Fowler[1]
1404 (Jan) Robert Penne William Helier[1]
1404 (Oct)
1406 Richard Hurst William Clerk[1]
1407 Thomas Cole Eustace Kymer[1]
1410 John Ford (_) Lane[1]
1413 (Feb)
1413 (May) Ralph Burnage Thomas Lond[1]
1414 (Apr) Henry Barbour Ralph Burnage[1]
1414 (Nov) William Pyne William Helier[1]
1416 (Mar)
1416 (Oct)
1417 Nicholas Pury John Gardener[1]
1419 Ralph Burnage Walter Reson[1]
1420 William Walkeden Robert Abbot[1]
1421 (May) William Benefeld Robert Abbot[1]
1421 (Dec) William Walkeden or Nicholas Moigne John Alysaundre[1]
1510–1523 No names known[3]
1529 Richard Phelips Oliver Lawrence[3]
1536 ?
1539 ?
1542 ?
1545 Anthony Cokett Thomas Poley[3]
1547 Thomas Phelips John Leweston[3]
1553 (Mar) John Wadham ?Owen Reynolds[3]
1553 (Oct) John Leweston Owen Reynolds[3]
1554 (Apr) Richard Mitchell Thomas Samways[3]
1554 (Nov) Thomas Phelips John Hannam[3]
1555 John Leweston William Crowche[3]
1558 John Mill Richard Shaw[3]
1559 John Maynes Richard Shaw
1563-7 Thomas Colby William Mere

Members for Weymouth and Melcombe Regis (1570–1885)[edit]


Parliament First member Second member Third member Fourth member
Parliament of 1571 Thomas Hussey d. by 1581
Then Laurence Thompson
Richard Tomlinson Ralph Browne Gwyn Reynolds
Parliament of 1572–1581 John Wolley Richard Bedell died
1576 Moyle Finch
Thomas Hanham
Parliament of 1584–1585 Francis Bacon[5]
1586 Edward Bacon
George Grenville Edward Penruddock
Parliament of 1586–1587 William Sprynt Edward Phelips
Parliament of 1588–1589 William Mill Robert Gregory Arthur Messenger William Hody
Parliament of 1593 William Weston Thomas Stafford Thomas Stevens
Parliament of 1597–1598[6] Richard Swayne Francis Leigh John Mockett John Brooke
Parliament of 1601 John Peyton Walter Cope Richard Swayne Edward Reynolds
Parliament of 1604–1611 Thomas Barefoot died
1610 Viscount Cranborne
Robert Myddelton Robert White Vacated seat
replaced 1610 by Barnard Michell
Sir John Hanham
Addled Parliament (1614) Sir Charles Caesar Robert Bateman John Roy
Parliament of 1621–1622 Matthew Pitt[7]
Died 1624
1624 (Sir) Thomas Myddelton
Giles Green John Freke Christopher Erle[8]
Happy Parliament (1624–1625) Arthur Pyne Thomas Giear
Useless Parliament (1625) Barnard Michell (Sir) John Strangways Giles Green[9]
Parliament of 1625–1626
Parliament of 1628–1629[10] Hugh Pyne Sir Robert Napier Lewis Dyve Henry Waltham
No Parliament summoned 1629–1640


Year First member Party Second member Party Third member Party Fourth member Party
April 1640 (Sir) John Strangways Royalist Giles Strangways Royalist Richard King Royalist Thomas Gyard
November 1640 (Sir) Gerrard Napier[11] Royalist Sir Walter Erle Parliamentarian
September 1642 Strangways disabled from sitting – seat vacant
February 1643 King disabled from sitting – seat vacant
January 1644 Napier disabled from sitting – seat vacant
1645 William Sydenham John Bond Matthew Allen
December 1648 Erle, Allen and Bond all excluded in Pride's Purge – seats vacant
1653 Weymouth and Melcombe Regis was unrepresented in the Barebones Parliament
1654 Denis Bond Weymouth and Melcombe Regis had only one seat in the First and
Second Parliaments of the Protectorate
January 1659 John Trenchard Walden Lagoe John Clark Peter Middleton
May 1659 William Sydenham Three seats vacant
April 1660 Edward Montagu Sir William Penn Peter Middleton Henry Waltham
June 1660 Bullen Reymes
1661 Winston Churchill Sir John Strangways
1667 Sir John Coventry
1670 Lord Ashley
1673 John Man
February 1679 Thomas Browne Michael Harvey
August 1679 Sir John Morton
1680 Henry Henning
1685 Francis Mohun George Strangways
1689 Michael Harvey Sir Robert Napier
1690 Nicholas Gould
1691 Thomas Freke
1695 Maurice Ashley John Knight
March 1698 Philip Taylor
August 1698 Arthur Shallett
January 1701 Henry Thynne Charles Churchill Maurice Ashley
November 1701 George St Loe Sir Christopher Wren
February 1702 Anthony Henley
July 1702 Henry Thynne
1705 Maurice Ashley
1709 Edward Clavell
1710[12] James Littleton William Betts
May 1711 Sir Thomas Hardy William Harvey Tory
December 1711 Reginald Marriott
1713[13] John Baker Rear-Admiral James Littleton Lieutenant-General Daniel Harvey Whig William Betts
1714 Sir Thomas Hardy William Harvey Tory Reginald Marriott
1715 John Baker Thomas Littleton Lieutenant-General Daniel Harvey Whig William Betts
1717 Edward Harrison
1722 Sir James Thornhill Thomas Pearce John Ward[14]
1726 John Willes
January 1727 Edward Tucker
August 1727 Thomas Pearce[15]
1730 George Dodington
1734 George Bubb Dodington[16]
1735 John Tucker
1737 John Olmius
1741 Joseph Damer John Raymond James Steuart
1747 Welbore Ellis Richard Plumer George Dodington Edward Hungate Beaghan
1751 Lord George Cavendish
1754 Lord John Cavendish George Dodington John Tucker
1761 Sir Francis Dashwood John Olmius[17] Richard Glover
1762 Richard Jackson
1763 Charles Walcott
1768 The Lord Waltham Sir Charles Davers Jeremiah Dyson
1774 Welbore Ellis William Chaffin Grove John Purling
1778 Gabriel Steward
September 1780 Warren Lisle
November 1780 Gabriel Steward
1781 William Richard Rumbold
1784 Sir Thomas Rumbold
1786 George Jackson
1788 Gabriel Steward
1790 Colonel Sir James Murray[18] Tory (Sir) Richard Bempde Johnstone[19] Andrew Stuart Thomas Jones
1791 Lieutenant-Colonel Sir James Johnstone
1794 Gabriel Tucker Steward Tory
1796 William Garthshore Tory
1801 Charles Adams Tory
1806 Richard Augustus Tucker Steward Tory
1810 Sir John Lowther Johnstone
1811 General Sir John Murray
January 1812 Joseph Hume Tory
October 1812[20] John Broadhurst Thomas Wallace Henry Trail
1813 Viscount Cranborne Tory Christopher Idle Tory Masterton Ure Tory
1817 Adolphus Dalrymple Tory
1818 William Williams Whig Fowell Buxton Whig Thomas Wallace Tory
1826 Colonel John Gordon Tory
1828 Edward Sugden Tory
May 1831 Richard Weyland[21] Whig
August 1831 Charles Baring Wall Tory
1832 Representation reduced to two Members


Year First member First party Second member Second party
1832 Sir Frederick Johnstone Conservative Fowell Buxton Whig
1835 William Burdon Whig
1837 Viscount Villiers Conservative George William Hope Conservative
1842[22] Ralph Bernal Whig[23][24][25][26][27][28] William Dougal Christie Whig[29][23][28]
August 1847 William Freestun Whig[29]
December 1847 Hon. Frederick Child Villiers Conservative
1852 George Butt Conservative
1857 Robert Campbell Whig[30]
1859 Robert Brooks Conservative Viscount Grey de Wilton Conservative
1865 Henry Gridley Liberal
1867 Henry Edwards Liberal
1868 Charles J. T. Hambro Conservative
1874 Sir Frederick Johnstone Conservative
1885 Constituency abolished

Election results[edit]

Elections in the 1830s[edit]

General Election 1832 Weymouth
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Whig Fowell Buxton 238
Conservative Frederick Johnstone 215
Whig William Burdon 214
Conservative George Bankes 176
General Election 1835 Weymouth
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Whig Fowell Buxton 225
Whig William Burdon 206
Conservative George Child Villiers 107
General Election 1837 Weymouth
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Conservative George Child Villiers 291
Conservative George William Hope 268
Whig Fowell Buxton 211
Whig George Stephen 158

Elections in the 1840s[edit]

General Election 1841 Weymouth
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Conservative George Child Villiers 259
Conservative George William Hope 257
Whig Ralph Bernal 254
Whig William Dougal Christie 251

Villiers and Hope, were re-elected, but on petition the result was overturned in April 1842 and the opponents, Bernal and Christie, were seated in their place.

General Election 1847 Weymouth
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Whig William Dougal Christie 274
Whig William Freestun 274
Conservative George Butt 272
Conservative Frederick Child Villiers 271
Weymouth by-election, December 1847
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Conservative Frederick Child Villiers unopposed

The December 1847 by-election followed the resignation of William Dougal Christie.

Elections in the 1850s[edit]

General Election 1852 Weymouth[31]
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Conservative George Butt 386 38.4
Whig William Freestun 336 33.4
Peelite Alexander Haldane Oswald[32] 283 28.2
Turnout 503 (est) 74.0 (est)
Registered electors 679
Majority 50 5.0 N/A
Conservative gain from Whig Swing
Majority 53 5.3
Whig hold Swing
General Election 1857 Weymouth[31]
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Whig William Freestun 446 41.8 +8.4
Whig Robert Campbell 349 32.7 +4.5
Conservative George Butt 272 25.5 −12.9
Majority 77 7.2 +1.9
Turnout 534 (est) 78.3 (est) +4.3
Registered electors 681
Whig hold Swing +7.4
Whig gain from Conservative Swing +5.5
General Election 1859 Weymouth[31]
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Conservative Robert Brooks 341 26.5 +13.7
Conservative Arthur Egerton 340 26.4 +13.6
Liberal William Freestun 311 24.1 −17.7
Liberal Robert Campbell 297 23.0 −9.7
Majority 29 2.2 N/A
Turnout 645 (est) 86.2 (est) +7.9
Registered electors 748
Conservative gain from Liberal Swing +13.7
Conservative gain from Liberal Swing +13.7

Elections in the 1860s[edit]

General Election 1865 Weymouth and Melcombe Regis[31]
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Conservative Robert Brooks 381 47.6 +21.1
Liberal Henry Gridley 378 47.2 +23.1
Conservative Arthur Egerton 28 3.5 −22.9
Liberal Henry Edwards 14 1.7 −21.3
Turnout 759 (est) 83.8 (est) −2.4
Registered electors 906
Majority 3 0.4 −1.8
Conservative hold Swing +10.1
Majority 350 43.7 N/A
Liberal gain from Conservative Swing +12.0

A late compromise between the Conservatives and Liberals, whereby Mr Brooks and Mr Gridley would be elected, came too late to cancel the election.

By-election, 11 June 1867: Weymouth and Melcombe Regis[31]
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Liberal Henry Edwards Unopposed
Liberal hold

The 1867 by-election followed the resignation of Henry Gillett Gridley.

General Election 1868 Weymouth and Melcombe Regis[31]
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Conservative Charles J. T. Hambro 750 39.4 −11.7
Liberal Henry Edwards 701 36.8 −10.4
Liberal John Joseph Powell 452 23.8 +22.1
Majority 49 2.6 +2.2
Turnout 952 (est) 70.8 (est) −13.0
Registered electors 1,343
Conservative hold Swing −11.7
Liberal hold Swing +0.7

Elections in the 1870s[edit]

General Election 1874 Weymouth and Melcombe Regis[31]
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Liberal Henry Edwards 944 49.7 −10.9
Conservative Frederick Johnstone 504 26.5 +6.8
Conservative Charles J. T. Hambro 452 23.8 +4.1
Majority 440 23.2 N/A
Turnout 1,422 (est) 96.9 (est) +26.1
Registered electors 1,467
Liberal hold Swing −10.9
Conservative hold Swing +8.9

Elections in the 1880s[edit]

General Election 1880 Weymouth and Melcombe Regis[31]
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Liberal Henry Edwards 1,156 44.2 +19.3
Conservative Frederick Johnstone 807 30.8 −19.5
Liberal Alexander Coghill Wylie 653 25.0 +0.1
Turnout 1,308 (est) 81.1 (est) −15.8
Registered electors 1,612
Majority 349 13.3 N/A
Liberal hold Swing +14.5
Majority 154 5.9 −17.3
Conservative hold Swing −4.8


  1. ^ 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 ab ac ad ae af ag ah ai aj ak al am an ao ap aq ar as at au "History of Parliament". History of Parliament Trust. Retrieved 15 November 2011. 
  2. ^ Biographical notes by I.S. Rogers, 2005
  3. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s t u "History of Parliament". History of Parliament Trust. Retrieved 15 November 2011. 
  4. ^ a b "History of Parliament". History of Parliament Trust. Retrieved 15 November 2011. 
  5. ^ Francis Bacon was re-elected in 1586, but had also been elected for Taunton, which he chose to represent
  6. ^ Browne Willis, working from the Parliamentary records, gives two names for Weymouth and four for Melcombe, remarking of these "Double return, as it seems to me". But it may equally be that two of the six were recorded against the wrong constituency (especially as, in the same Parliament, he has the same pair of the names with only minor variations for Corfe Castle and Wareham.
  7. ^ Matthew Pitt was re-elected to the Happy Parliament in January 1624, but died on 18 April. (Sir) Thomas Myddelton was returned in his stead on 10 May 1624.
  8. ^ Listed in some sources as Walter Erle; Alumni Oxonienses allocates Christopher to the seat
  9. ^ Sir Thomas Myddelton was re-elected to the Useless Parliament, but had also been elected for Denbighshire, which he chose to represent. Giles Green was returned in his stead.
  10. ^ Browne Willis suggests Thomas Gyard represented the boroughs in this Parliament, but other sources, including the official History of Parliament, confirm Sir Robert Napier was the representative
  11. ^ Created a baronet, June 1641
  12. ^ On petition, the election of Littleton and Betts was declared void, and a writ for a by-election was issued. Both were returned at the by-election, but were once again declared not to have been duly elected.
  13. ^ On petition, Baker, Harvey and Betts were all declared not to have been duly elected
  14. ^ Expelled from the House of Commons 1726 following his conviction for forgery
  15. ^ News Weekly Journal or British Gazetteer, Saturday, February 10, 1728; Issue 142
  16. ^ Dodington was also elected for Bridgwater, which he chose to represent, and did not sit in this parliament for Weymouth & Melcombe Regis
  17. ^ Created The Lord Waltham (in the Peerage of Ireland), June 1762
  18. ^ Major-General from 1793, Lieutenant-General from 1799; adopted the surname Murray-Pulteney on his marriage in July 1794
  19. ^ Created a baronet, July 1795
  20. ^ On petition, the election of Wallace, Broadhurst and Trail was declared void, and a by-election was held; Murray's election was not disturbed
  21. ^ Weyland was also elected for Oxfordshire, which he chose to represent, and never sat for Weymouth & Melcombe Regis
  22. ^ At the election of 1841, the two sitting Conservative members, Villiers and Hope, were initially declared re-elected, by margins of 5 votes and 3 votes respectively, but on petition the result was overturned and the opponents, Bernal and Christie, were seated in their place
  23. ^ a b Stooks Smith, Henry. (1973) [1844-1850]. Craig, F. W. S., ed. The Parliaments of England (2nd ed.). Chichester: Parliamentary Research Services. pp. 94–97. ISBN 0-900178-13-2. 
  24. ^ Farrell, Stephen (2009). "BERNAL, Ralph (1783–1854), of 11 Park Crescent, Mdx". The History of Parliament. Retrieved 2 July 2018. 
  25. ^ "Ralph Bernal". Legacies of British Slave-ownership. University College London. Retrieved 2 July 2018. 
  26. ^ Thompson, Thomas Perronet (1843). Exercises, Political and Others: Vol. IV (2nd ed.). London: Effingham Wilson. p. 222. Retrieved 2 July 2018 – via Google Books. 
  27. ^ Rubinstein, William D.; Jolles, Michael A.; Rubinstein, Hilary L., eds. (2011). The Palgrave Dictionary of Ango-Jewish History (eBook ed.). Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan. p. 84. doi:10.1057/978023034666. ISBN 978-0-230-30466-6. Retrieved 2 July 2018. 
  28. ^ a b "Morning Post". 30 June 1841. pp. 2–3. Retrieved 22 July 2018 – via British Newspaper Archive. (Subscription required (help)). 
  29. ^ a b "Members Returned". Norfolk News. 7 August 1847. p. 2. Retrieved 22 July 2018 – via British Newspaper Archive. (Subscription required (help)). 
  30. ^ "Election Intelligence". Globe. 21 March 1857. p. 4. Retrieved 22 July 2018 – via British Newspaper Archive. (Subscription required (help)). 
  31. ^ 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. p. 327-328. ISBN 978-1-349-02349-3. 
  32. ^ "Bell's Weekly Messenger". 12 July 1852. p. 3. Retrieved 22 July 2018 – via British Newspaper Archive. (Subscription required (help)). 


  • Robert Beatson, A Chronological Register of Both Houses of Parliament (London: Longman, Hurst, Res & Orme, 1807) [1]
  • F W S Craig, British Parliamentary Election Results 1832–1885 (2nd edition, Aldershot: Parliamentary Research Services, 1989)
  • Grey's Debates of the House of Commons: volume 8 (1769), pp. 373–381 [2]
  • Maija Jansson (ed.), Proceedings in Parliament, 1614 (House of Commons) (Philadelphia: American Philosophical Society, 1988)
  • J E Neale, The Elizabethan House of Commons (London: Jonathan Cape, 1949)
  • 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)
  • Leigh Rayment's Historical List of MPs – Constituencies beginning with "W" (part 3)