Constituencies 1790-1820

Published in 1986

Between 1790 and 1801 the House of Commons consisted of 558 Members elected by 314 constituencies. The 245 English constituencies (40 counties, 203 boroughs, 2 universities) returned 489 Members; the 24 Welsh constituencies and 45 Scottish constituencies returned one Member each. In 1801 the addition of 100 Irish Members elected by 66 constituencies made an Imperial Parliament of 658 Members.

The total electorate in the 40 counties is estimated in R.G. Thorne's Introductory Survey at little more than 190,000, an increase over the preceding period of no more than 8 or 9 per cent. In the counties contests were relatively uncommon: of the possible 362 county contests (280 at general elections and 82 at by-elections) only 63 went to a poll, about one in six.

The introductory survey classifies the 203 English boroughs by six types of franchise: householder or 'potwallop