The county returned two knights of the shire until 1832 and three 1832-1885. The place of election for the county was at the county town of Aylesbury. Aylesbury replaced Buckingham as the county town in 1529.
The county, up to 1885, also contained the borough constituencies of Amersham (originally enfranchised with 2 seats from 1300, revived 1625, disenfranchised 1832), Aylesbury (originally enfranchised with 2 seats from 1302, revived 1554), Buckingham (2 seats from 1529, 1 seat from 1868), Chipping Wycombe (2 seats from 1300, 1 seat from 1868), Great Marlow (2 seats 1625-1868, 1 seat from 1868) and Wendover (2 seats 1625-1832, disenfranchised 1832).
Preliminary note: The English civil year started on 25 March until 1752 (Scotland having changed to 1 January in 1600). The year used in the lists of Parliaments in this article have been converted to the new style where necessary. Old style dates would be a year earlier than the new style for days between 1 January and 24 March. No attempt has been made to compensate for the eleven days which did not occur in September 1752 in both England and Scotland as well as other British controlled territories (when the day after 2 September was 14 September), so as to bring the British Empire fully in line with the Gregorian calendar.
In multi-member elections the bloc voting system was used. Voters could cast a vote for one or two (or three in three-member elections 1832-1868) candidates, as they chose. The leading candidates with the largest number of votes were elected. In 1868 the limited vote was introduced, which restricted an individual elector to using one or two votes, in elections to fill three seats.
After 1832, when registration of voters was introduced, a turnout figure is given for contested elections. In three-member elections, when the exact number of participating voters is unknown, this is calculated by dividing the number of votes by three (to 1868) and two thereafter. To the extent that electors did not use all their votes this will be an underestimate of turnout.
Where a party had more than one candidate in one or both of a pair of successive elections change is calculated for each individual candidate, otherwise change is based on the party vote.
Candidates for whom no party has been identified are classified as Non Partisan. The candidate might have been associated with a party or faction in Parliament or consider himself to belong to a particular political tradition. Political parties before the 19th century were not as cohesive or organised as they later became. Contemporary commentators (even the reputed leaders of parties or factions) in the 18th century did not necessarily agree who the party supporters were. The traditional parties, which had arisen in the late 17th century, became increasingly irrelevant to politics in the 18th century (particularly after 1760), although for some contests in some constituencies party labels were still used. It was only towards the end of the century that party labels began to acquire some meaning again, although this process was by no means complete for several more generations.'
Sources: The results for elections 1660-1790 were taken from the History of Parliament Trust publications. The results are based on Stooks Smith from 1790 until the 1832 United Kingdom general election and Craig from 1832. Where Stooks Smith gives additional information after 1832 this is indicated in a note.
Note (1784): Poll 13 days. 3,548 voted. Possible classification for Aubrey (T). (Source: Stooks Smith)
An alternative interpretation is that Aubrey was a supporter of Pitt (who called himself a Whig, although retrospectively usually classified as a Tory). Aubrey had very clearly identified himself with the opposition to the Fox-Northcoalition. (Source: Davis)
Note (1802): Identifying a definitive party label for Temple and Titchfield is difficult. Stooks Smith considered Temple a Tory and Titchfield a Whig, but he may not be reliable for Bucks candidates allegiances before about 1818. Both knights of the shire were members of traditional Whig families and were closely related to one or more Whig Prime Ministers. Temple was a member of the Grenville family, which had supported their cousin William Pitt the Younger during his first premiership 1783-1801. Former Bucks MP (and uncle of Earl Temple) William Grenville, 1st Baron Grenville had become closer to Charles James Fox and his faction of opposition Whigs since leaving office with Pitt in 1801. This may have affected the political position of his relatives like Earl Temple. Titchfield was the son of William Cavendish-Bentinck, 3rd Duke of Portland who had been the Whig Prime Minister of the Fox-North Coalition, in office before Pitt. However Portland had split his Whig faction and broken with the pre-eminent opposition Whig leader in the House of Commons, Charles James Fox, over the attitude to be taken to the French Revolution. Portland joined Pitt's cabinet in 1794. Pitt called himself a Whig, although his followers came from both traditional Whig and Tory families. Titchfield, when he was first elected for the county in 1791, had been brought forward as a candidate by the Buckinghamshire Independent Club. This club had supported the late Earl Verney, and were definitely a Whig organisation. At that time Titchfield's father was the leader of the largest Whig faction in opposition to Pitt's Ministry. However Davis does imply that Titchfield himself was a Tory, which is how he has been classified in this article. In the absence of a clear indication of whether Temple considered himself a Whig or Tory at this stage of his career, he has been classified as a Non Partisan member for this article.
Note (1806): As for 1802 save that following Pitt's death William Wyndham Grenville, 1st Baron Grenville, who had not joined Pitt's second Ministry in 1804, become Prime Minister of the Ministry of All the Talents in 1806. This may have led the Grenvilles, in retrospect, to continue to be regarded as Whig when Pitt and other groups of his supporters came to be called Tory after Pitt's death.
Note (1807): As before save that in 1807 the Duke of Portland had formed a Tory administration (although he claimed to be the Whig Prime Minister of a Tory Ministry). In retrospect Portland has been regarded as a Tory at the time of his second Ministry.
Note (1810): Possible party for Selby Lowndes is Whig (source: Stooks Smith), but given his conservative religious views and support for Henry Addington, 1st Viscount Sidmouth's anti-dissenter policy it may be best to regard him as a member of a traditional Whig family who was moving towards being a nineteenth century Tory. He has been classified as Non Partisan for the purpose of this article.
Note (1813): Grenville was the uncle of the 2nd Marquess of Buckingham (formerly Earl Temple MP). The same factors noted for Temple lead to Thomas Grenville being classified as Non Partisan for the purpose of this article. Stooks Smith however classifies him as Tory and he was of the same generation as his brother William Grenville, 1st Baron Grenville classified by Stooks Smith as a Tory and in this article as a Whig.
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