Newtown (UK Parliament constituency)

Last updated

Newtown
Former Borough constituency
for the House of Commons
County Isle of Wight
Major settlements Newtown
1584–1832
Number of membersTwo
Replaced by Isle of Wight
Created from Hampshire

Newtown was a parliamentary borough located in Newtown on the Isle of Wight, which was represented in the House of Commons of England until 1707, then in the House of Commons of Great Britain from 1707 to 1800, and finally in the House of Commons of the United Kingdom from 1801 to 1832. It was represented by two members of parliament (MPs), elected by the bloc vote system.

Newtown, Isle of Wight village on the Isle of Wight, UK

Newtown is a small hamlet on the Isle of Wight, England. In medieval times it was a thriving borough. According to the Post Office the 2011 Census population of the hamlet was included in the civil parish of Calbourne.

Isle of Wight County and island of England

The Isle of Wight is a county and the largest and second-most populous island in England. It is in the English Channel, between 2 and 5 miles off the coast of Hampshire, separated by the Solent. The island has resorts that have been holiday destinations since Victorian times, and is known for its mild climate, coastal scenery, and verdant landscape of fields, downland and chines. The island is designated a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve.

House of Commons of England parliament of England up to 1707

The House of Commons of England was the lower house of the Parliament of England from its development in the 14th century to the union of England and Scotland in 1707, when it was replaced by the House of Commons of Great Britain. In 1801, with the union of Great Britain and Ireland, that house was in turn replaced by the House of Commons of the United Kingdom.

Contents

The borough was abolished in the Great Reform Act of 1832, and from the 1832 general election its territory was included in the new county constituency of Isle of Wight.

Reform Act 1832 United Kingdom legislation

The Representation of the People Act 1832 was an Act of Parliament of the United Kingdom that introduced wide-ranging changes to the electoral system of England and Wales. According to its preamble, the Act was designed to "take effectual Measures for correcting divers Abuses that have long prevailed in the Choice of Members to serve in the Commons House of Parliament". Before the reform, most members nominally represented boroughs. The number of electors in a borough varied widely, from a dozen or so up to 12,000. Frequently the selection of MPs was effectively controlled by one powerful patron: for example Charles Howard, 11th Duke of Norfolk, controlled eleven boroughs. Criteria for qualification for the franchise varied greatly among boroughs, from the requirement to own land, to merely living in a house with a hearth sufficient to boil a pot.

1832 United Kingdom general election

The 1832 United Kingdom general election, the first after the Reform Act, saw the Whigs win a large majority, with the Tories winning less than 30% of the vote.

Isle of Wight (UK Parliament constituency) Parliamentary constituency in the United Kingdom

Isle of Wight is a constituency represented in the House of Commons of the UK Parliament since 2017 by Bob Seely of the Conservative Party.

History

Newtown, located on the large natural harbour on the north-western coast of the Isle of Wight, was the first borough established in the county. A French raid in 1377, which destroyed much of the town as well as other settlements on the island, sealed its permanent decline. By the mid-16th century it was a small settlement long eclipsed by the more easily defended town of Newport. To try to stimulate economic development, Elizabeth I awarded the town two parliamentary seats.

Borough An administrative division in some English-speaking countries

A borough is an administrative division in various English-speaking countries. In principle, the term borough designates a self-governing walled town, although in practice, official use of the term varies widely.

Newport, Isle of Wight county town of the Isle of Wight

Newport is the county town of the Isle of Wight, an island off the south coast of England. The town is in the civil parish of Newport and Carisbrooke. The civil parish had a population of 23,957 at the time of the 2001 census, which rose to 25,496 at the 2011 census. The town lies slightly to the north of the centre of the Island. It has a quay at the head of the navigable section of the River Medina, which flows northward to Cowes and the Solent.

Elizabeth I of England Queen regnant of England and Ireland from 17 November 1558 until 24 March 1603

Elizabeth I was Queen of England and Ireland from 17 November 1558 until her death on 24 March 1603. Sometimes called The Virgin Queen, Gloriana or Good Queen Bess, Elizabeth was the last of the five monarchs of the House of Tudor.

Newtown was a burgage borough, meaning that the right to vote was vested solely in the owners of a specified number of properties or "burgage tenements". At the time of the Great Reform Act of 1832 there were 39 burgage tenements, held by 23 burgesses; however, most of these held only life grants. It was common practice for life grants to be made to friends of the proprietors so as to ensure that the full voting power could be exercised; if these nominees failed to vote as expected, they could be ejected and replaced by somebody more reliable before the next election. These voters were often non-resident – and indeed, it could hardly be otherwise, for although there were 39 burgage tenements, there were only 14 houses. Unlike many rotten boroughs, no single landowner controlled a majority of the burgages: the reversionary rights in them belonged to three families (Barrington, Holmes and Anderson-Pelham), with none having an overall majority. Elections in the borough consequently required careful management and sometimes considerable expenditure to achieve the desired result. In the 1750s and 1760s, the arrangement was that one of the two seats was considered to be in the gift of the Barrington family, while Thomas Holmes negotiated the election of the government's nominee for the other, unless he wanted it for a member of the Holmes family.

Burgage

Burgage is a medieval land term used in Great Britain and Ireland, well established by the 13th century.

Thomas Holmes, 1st Baron Holmes was a British politician who sat in the House of Commons between 1727 and 1774. He managed elections in the government interest in the Isle of Wight during the 1750s and 1760s.

By 1831, the borough had a population of just 68, and it was disestablished the following year by the Reform Act.

Members of Parliament

1584–1640

ParliamentFirst memberSecond member
1584 William Meux Robert Redge [1]
1586 Richard Huyshe Richard Dillington [1]
1588 Richard Huyshe Richard Sutton [1]
1593 Thomas Dudley Richard Browne [1]
1597 Silvanus Scory Thomas Crompton [1]
1601 Robert Wroth Robert Cotton [1]
1604 Sir John Stanhope ennobled
and replaced 1605 by
Thomas Wilson
William Meux
1614 (Mar) George Stoughton (sat for Guildford)
and replaced 1614 by
William Higford
Sir Henry Berkeley
1621 (Jan) John Ferrar (sat for Tamworth)
and replaced 1621 by
Sir William Harington
Sir Thomas Barrington
1624 (Jan) George Garrard Sir Gilbert Gerard, Bt (sat for Middlesex)
1624 (Mar) Sir Thomas Barrington
1625 Sir Thomas Barrington Thomas Malet
1626 Sir Thomas Barrington Thomas Malet
1628–1629 Sir Thomas Barrington, 2nd Baronet Robert Barrington
1629–1640No Parliaments summoned

1640–1832

Year1st Member1st Party2nd Member2nd Party
April 1640 John Meux [2] Royalist Hon. Nicholas Weston
November 1640 Hon. Nicholas Weston Royalist
August 1642Weston disabled from sitting – seat vacant
February 1644Meux disabled from sitting – seat vacant
1645 Sir John Barrington John Bulkeley
December 1648Barrington and Bulkeley excluded in Pride's Purge – seat vacant
1653Newtown was unrepresented in the Barebones Parliament and the First and Second Parliaments of the Protectorate
January 1659 Serjeant John Maynard William Laurence
May 1659 Not represented in the restored Rump
April 1660 Sir John Barrington Sir Henry Worsley
1666 Sir Robert Worsley
1677 Admiral Sir John Holmes
February 1679 John Churchill
August 1679 Lemuel Kingdon
1681 Daniel Finch
1685 Thomas Done William Blathwayt Whig
1689 The Earl of Ranelagh
1695 James Worsley
1698 Thomas Hopsonn
1701 Joseph Dudley
1702 John Leigh
1705 James Worsley Henry Worsley
1715 Sir Robert Worsley
1722 William Stephens Charles Worsley
1727 [3] James Worsley Thomas Holmes Whig
1729 Charles Armand Powlett Sir John Barrington
1734 James Worsley Thomas Holmes Whig
1741 Sir John Barrington Henry Holmes
1747 Maurice Bocland
1754 Harcourt Powell
April 1775 Charles Ambler
December 1775 Edward Meux Worsley
1780 John Barrington [4]
1782 Henry Dundas Tory
1783 Richard Pepper Arden
April 1784 James Worsley
August 1784 Mark Gregory
1790 Sir Richard Worsley Whig
1793 George Canning Tory
1796 Sir Richard Worsley Whig Charles Shaw-Lefevre Whig
1801 Sir Edward Law Whig
May 1802 Ewan Law
July 1802 Sir Robert Barclay Whig Charles Chapman Whig
1803 James Paull Whig
1806 George Canning Tory
1807 Barrington Pope Blachford Tory Dudley Long North Whig
1808 Hon. George Anderson-Pelham Whig
1816 Hudson Gurney Whig
1820 Dudley Long North Whig
1821 Charles Cavendish Whig
1830 Hon. Charles Anderson-Pelham Whig
1831 Sir William Horne Whig
1832 Constituency abolished

Notes

  1. 1 2 3 4 5 6 "History of Parliament". History of Parliament. Retrieved 18 October 2011.
  2. Created a baronet, December 1641
  3. At the election of 1727 Worsley and Holmes beat Barrington and Powlett, but on petition the result was reversed as a result of a dispute over the franchise
  4. Succeeded to a baronetcy as Sir John Barrington in 1792

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References

Lewis Namier British historian

Sir Lewis Bernstein Namier was a British historian of Polish-Jewish background. His best-known works were The Structure of Politics at the Accession of George III (1929), England in the Age of the American Revolution (1930) and the History of Parliament series he edited later in his life with John Brooke.

See also

Newport was a parliamentary borough located in Newport, which was abolished in for the 1885 general election. It was occasionally referred to by the alternative name of Medina.

As a geographical entity distinct from the mainland, the Isle of Wight has always fought to have this identity recognised. The Isle of Wight is currently a ceremonial and Non-metropolitan county and as it has no district councils it is effectively a unitary county. The island is also the highest populated Westminster constituency in the country.

The Isle of Wight, an island off the south coast of England, was part of the historic county of Hampshire, and was linked with it for parliamentary purposes until 1832, when it became a county constituency in its own right as it had also been during the Protectorate (1654–1659). Hampshire, located in the 21st century region of South East England, was represented in Parliament from the 13th century. This article provides a list of constituencies constituting the Parliamentary representation from Isle of Wight.