A view of the House of Commons [in 1741-42] by
Benjamin Cole

Members 1754-1790

Published in 1964

The volumes covering 1754-1790 were the first of the History of Parliament's sets to be published. They were compiled under the editorship of Sir Lewis Namier, who wrote a substantial number of the biographies and constituency surveys, although Namier died before he could begin serious work on the survey, and that task was completed by his former research assistant John Brooke.

During this period 1,964 men were elected to the House of Commons (including John Kirkman, returned for London at the general election of 1780, who died six hours before the conclusion of the poll: technically, however, he was a Member of Parliament, because a writ had to be issued for a by-election). As John Brooke explains in the Members section of his Introductory Survey to these volumes, about one fifth of the Members of the House were sons of peers or were themselves Irish peers: and many of the rest were keen to become peers themselves.

The Members include self-made men such as Robert Mackreth, who started his extraordinary career as a waiter at White's Club, married the daughter and heiress of its owner, be