Published in The History of Parliament: the House of Commons 1690-1715, ed. D. Hayton, E. Cruickshanks, S. Handley, 2002
Available from Boydell and Brewer

Background Information

Number of Qualified Electors:


Number of voters:

at least 2,119 in 1698; 4,745 in 1710


10 Mar. 1690Charles Powlett I, Mq. of Winchester 
 Richard Norton I 
16 Nov. 1691Sir Robert Henley vice Norton, deceased 
9 Jan. 1693Richard Norton II vice Henley, deceased 
11 Nov. 1695Charles Powlett I, Mq. of Winchester 
 Richard Norton II 
20 July 1698Thomas Jervoise1646
 Richard Norton II1638
 Charles Powlett I, Mq. of Winchester9541
14 Jan. 1701Thomas Jervoise 
 Richard Chaundler 
3 Dec. 1701Thomas Jervoise 
 Richard Chaundler 
30 July 1702Richard Norton II 
 George Pitt 
16 May 1705Thomas Jervoise2135
 Richard Chaundler1981
 Thomas Lewis15712
12 May 1708Charles Powlett II, Mq. of Winchester2620
 Henry Bentinck, Visct. Woodstock2335
 Thomas Jervoise20263
21 Dec. 1709Thomas Jervoise vice Visct. Woodstock, called to  the Upper House 
25 Oct. 1710George Pitt2625
 Sir Simeon Stewart, Bt.2581
 Charles Powlett II, Mq. of Winchester2147
 Thomas Jervoise21374
30 July 1712Stewart re-elected after appointment to office 
26 Aug. 1713Thomas Lewis2043
 Sir Anthony Stewart1951
 Charles Powlett II, Mq. of Winchester1877
 John Wallop18455

Main Article

The chief electoral magnate in Hampshire was the Duke of Bolton (Charles Powlett†), the lord lieutenant and owner of considerable estates in the county. At the 1690 election Bolton’s son, the Marquess of Winchester (Charles Powlett I), was returned with Richard Norton I of Southwick, an army officer who commanded one of Bolton’s regiments. Norton’s death in May 1691 necessitated a by-election. Initially, Sir Robert Worsley, 4th Bt.†, was

very much importuned by several gentlemen who have engaged to me that I shall carry it, but the great satisfaction I now find in a private life as well as the incapacity these taxes have put me in of throwing away five or six hundred pounds has made me decline it. Sir Robert Henley stands and will I believe if any one opposes him lose it.

However, no other candidates put up, so that Henley, a former Exclusionist, was returned unopposed. Henley died the following year, and was succeeded by Richard Norton II, grandson and heir of the 1690 Member. Prior to the 1695 election a correspondent of Robert Harley* correctly predicted that Winchester and Norton would be re-elected without opposition. During the 1695–6 session a clause was added to the bill for further regulating elections to enable the sheriff of Hampshire or his deputy, at the request of one or more of the candidates, to adjourn the poll for county elections from Winchester, after every freeholder there had voted, to Newport on the Isle of Wight ‘for the ease of the inhabitants of the said Island’.6

The 1698 election was contested by three Whig candidates, Powlett, Norton and Thomas Jervoise, a wealthy Hampshire landowner whose father had sat for Hampshire in 1680 and 1689. Prior to the election, Bolton grew concerned over rumours that Jervoise and Norton were to join together in order ‘to supplant’ his son as knight of the shire. Although Bolton thought little of Jervoise, the fact that the latter appeared to have the support of all the ‘parsons’, together with Winchester’s absence in Ireland, where he was serving as one of the lords justices, ensured that the Duke canvassed actively on his son’s behalf. On 28 Apr. Bolton wrote to his son that

I believe I have secured your election, that there will be no doubt of it, though it is good to be prepared and to let your friends know of your intention to stand . . . When the election draws nearer I shall be better able to judge whether your presence will be necessary. I hope not . . . [but] if I find your presence necessary (of which I will give you due notice), and his Majesty’s affairs will not suffer in your absence, you will then ask the King’s leave to come over. I will . . . take all the care I can of your election in your absence. I sent my daughter [Lady] Bridgwater to my Lady Russell and Mr Coward to Madam Wallop, and they have promised me their first voices for you, and I am sure of the other sides of the county.

However, it was evident that Norton and Jervoise were not standing jointly, while in the run-up to the election Jervoise faced several problems in his campaign, most notably the belief on the part of some gentry that he had been a keen supporter of the ‘forest’ bill, which may have referred to the bill for sale of woodlands in Hampshire, which had been before the House in 1693. At the same time it was reported to Jervoise that a story had been spread among the Dissenters that he ‘should in some company drink prosperity to the Church of England and confusion to Dissenters’, though this rumour was dismissed by his supporters as ‘foolish’. Following the election a correspondent wrote to Lord Cutts (John*), governor of the Isle of Wight, from Newport:

Since my last the election for the county hath been finished here . . . and my lord Marquess hath lost it by upwards of 700 votes. The day before that of the county election the commissioner of the Duke [of Bolton] was here and treated again, but I do not see that he gets any ground, for the same that were with him have been with me and I find there are a number of them that love treating. After the election Mr Norton was made a burgess of the town . . . but my Lord William [Powlett*] and Mr Jervoise went away that very night, which shows that Mr Norton hath acted a more prudent and politic part than the other two in endeavouring to secure the freeholders of this town for another time.

Following Winchester’s defeat Bolton tried to find evidence of bribery on the part of Jervoise, in the hope of getting the election result changed in Winchester’s favour. However, his endeavours proved fruitless and the return went uncontested.7

It would appear that by as early as December 1698 Bolton began to make plans for the next election, when he ‘received him [Norton] into my favour’. Norton in turn promised to ‘serve me and you [Winchester] upon all occasions’. However Bolton’s death on 27 Feb. 1699 altered circumstances, as Winchester succeeded as the 2nd Duke and lord lieutenant of Hampshire. The new Duke’s eldest son was still too young to stand for Parliament, and although it was initially suggested that the Duke’s brother, Lord William, would stand for the county in the first 1701 election, he chose to continue as Member for Winchester. Prior to the election Jervoise applied to Bolton, on his own behalf and on that of an unnamed friend, for support in what appears to have been an endeavour to come to an accommodation. Bolton, who had decided to support the candidature of the Whig Richard Chaundler, a Wiltshire landowner who had recently bought an estate in Hampshire, seems to have had a fairer opinion of Jervoise than his father had had. On 28 Dec. 1700 Bolton informed Jervoise that

everybody that I have written to in relation to the county has been in your favour, together with Colonel Chaundler, who I hope will have your assistance to avoid all disputes, he having very considerable interest for him besides my own. And I hope this is the person you mean, though you do not name him, which will make everything go easy on both your sides.

It would appear that the unnamed friend of Jervoise was Sir John St. Barbe, 1st Bt.†, though the latter was not keen to contest the election. St. Barbe wrote to Jervoise on the 29th expressing his view on Chaundler: ‘it will not be very much to the reputation of the county to choose a man who has no estate in it and very little anywhere else, and I think [he is] the first of his family that was ever looked upon as a gentleman’. St. Barbe believed that a ‘Mr Chute’ would be a much better candidate. Similar views were expressed by a Colonel Fleming, who also thought that the Tories Frederick Tylney* or George Pitt* should be asked to stand. However, both men chose to defend their seats at Winchester and Wareham respectively. Despite the views of Fleming and St. Barbe about Chaundler, they both agreed that he would be a better choice than the Whig Anthony Henley*, whom Norton seemed keen to set up. However, Norton, who had decided against defending his seat, gave his support to Chaundler. The latter wrote to Jervoise at the end of December in the hope that they might join interests. In January 1701 it still appeared that Chute intended on standing, but the main interests in the county were clearly decided upon Chaundler and Jervoise. In the end Chute did not stand, and Chaundler and Jervoise were returned unopposed.8

In August 1701 Norton and Henley presented an address from the Hampshire grand jury, requesting that the King return from Holland to

work out another deliverance for them, from oppressions the powerful conjunction of France and Spain threatens them with.
They attribute their great dangers to the late meeting of Parliament, and they promise when another Parliament is called, they will choose such Members as shall promote his Majesty’s great designs for the good of Europe.

Twenty signed this address, with the three dissenting said to be ‘men of very small estates’. The address was part of the Whig campaign to press the King to call a new election, and was one of the addresses mentioned in the Commons as in breach of the privilege of the House. Prior to the second 1701 election Mrs Burnet informed the wife of Sir Joseph Jekyll* that

I hear some suspect the Duke of Bolton will set up Mr Norton and Mr Chaundler for Hampshire, if so Mr Jervoise . . . will be much disobliged, and I believe as most do who know the county, he will carry it notwithstanding . . . Disobliging men of estates and interests is always dangerous, especially in time of war when they must carry us through and he has a good interest in many places, so I beg you will take a little care about it, that the Duke may not disoblige him if possible or set up others against him.

It appeared that Norton was planning on standing. St. Barbe hoped that Jervoise and Norton would join together, to ensure that Chaundler was ‘thrown out’. Bolton seemed to favour Chaundler and Norton, though by the end of November Norton desisted ‘out of compliance (for in these dangerous times as few differences might be amongst those who go right above as might be)’, so that at the election Jervoise and Chaundler were returned unopposed. In 1702 Chaundler was found a seat on the Bolton interest at St. Ives, while Jervoise was returned for Plympton Erle. This left the field to Norton and Pitt, who also stood for Wareham once again. They were returned unopposed.9

Prior to the 1705 election there were the usual uncertainties over who was going to stand, though as early as April 1704 Jervoise had made it clear that he would contest the county. Initially it appeared that Pitt would stand again, though by early 1705 it was reported that he declined defending his seat, and that the Tory Thomas Lewis I* was making a ‘great interest and it is believed will carry it. He is secure of the clergy.’ At the same time Bolton, who was keen to see Lewis defeated, was believed to be intending ‘to set up several’ candidates, of whom one would appear to have been Jervoise. The actual election was a straight contest between the two Whigs, Jervoise and Chaundler, and the Tory Lewis. The poll started at Winchester on 16 May and was completed at Newport on the 24th. The two Whigs were successful. There was another contest in 1708, with Jervoise defending his seat in a three-way competition with two other Whigs, Bolton’s son, the Marquess of Winchester (Charles Powlett II), who was now of age and had already represented Lymington, and Viscount Woodstock (Henry Bentick), the son of the Earl of Portland, William iii’s former favourite. The latter two had the support of Bolton, who was reported to be in Hampshire ‘taking care of the poll for that county’. Winchester and Woodstock were returned. However, in 1709 Woodstock succeeded his father, and took his seat in the Lords, thereby necessitating a by-election, at which Jervoise was returned unopposed.10

Like much of the country, the 1710 election was affected by the fall-out from the Sacheverell affair. It was evident early on that there would be a party contest at the election. In July Rachel, Lady Russell wrote:

I heartily desire those wise folks that think the Parliament shall sit out their time may be right; but we in the county do not proceed as if we thought so. Last week at the assizes at Winchester another address was sent up, such a one as our sheriff thought good . . . the reverse I suppose to the others, and it being concluded a new election is near, the gentlemen . . . agreed Mr Pitt and Sir Nicholas Steward must stand. Pitt a great estate, and the other a very good one, young and newly in possession. At the same time Lord Winchester and Mr Jervoise declared themselves would stand; and now all [are] mad to secure friends.

Lady Russell made a mistake in naming the second Tory as Sir Nicholas Stewart, 1st Bt. He had died in February leaving his grandson and heir, (Sir) Simeon Stewart (2nd Bt.) as the candidate. Before the election significant changes were made in the county lieutenancy, which were to be reflected in the eventual outcome of the election. In early September it was reported that the lieutenancy had been ‘settled’ and ‘put into the hands of the esquire Pitt, Lewis, Tylney, and others, the greatest men’ of the county, all of whom were Tories. However, the most significant change was the replacement of Bolton as lord lieutenant by the Tory 2nd Duke of Beaufort. Beaufort was very active in Hampshire in the preparations for the election, writing to Harley on 23 Sept. that

everything has a good face here, and every face full of joy to see themselves delivered from the management of the Duke of Bolton, whose interest has been carried on more by that and the fear of suppression, by the help of his authority, than by any love or personal affection . . . there is no lie that is possible to be invented that they do not use, they are descended so low as to bully and threaten to stick people to the wall, if they will not vote for them, and tell them that they are confident, Robin the Trickster, which is the epithet they give you, will be turned out and his gang, in a few months, and then they will hang and ruin all those that are not of their side, especially if they vote for Sir Simeon Stewart or Mr Pitt . . . as it is their business to bully and lie, so I and my friends here make it our business to show all the candour, good humour and condescension to all people, which takes so well amongst them, that I may venture to say the returns will be better out of this county than we ever expected.

On the same day Beaufort wrote to the Duke of Shrewsbury in a similar vein, while on the 25th he informed Henry St. John II* that he would ‘answer that this county will return as many men of the same opinion as ever they did of the contrary at one time . . . everything goes here to our satisfaction and loyalty abounds in both gentry and commonalty. Money and time runs away fast.’ However, the following day George Brydges* expressed different sentiments:

We begin to think in the country there will be no dissolution, but come when it will we are prepared for them in this county, which the extraordinary parts of our new lord lieutenant will not be able to give a turn to and now they think they have swept the county clear they preach us moderation, but we believe that proceeds rather from fear than inclination.

The Powletts and Jervoise had now joined forces. In the Post Man for 19–21 Oct., the Whigs inserted an advertisement advising the voters that

the election for knights of the shire for the county of Southampton will be at Winchester on Wednesday, 25th instant, when the Rt. Hon. the Marquess of Winchester and Thomas Jervoise esq. stand candidates, being both gentlemen of known loyalty and affection to her Majesty and the succession in the illustrious House of Hanover. All persons are desired to use their utmost endeavour to promote the election of the said gentlemen.

However, the Tories won the election, being returned on the ‘Church interest’. During the summer of 1712 Stewart, who was obliged to stand for re-election after appointment to office, inserted no less than three advertisements in the columns of the Tory Post Boy to mobilize his supporters, and was reported by that paper to have been ‘unanimously elected’.11

In 1712 Pitt made it known that he would not contest the next general election for the county. Beaufort immediately began recommending Lewis as the best Tory candidate to stand in his place. Initially Lewis was to stand jointly with Stewart, but in early 1713 the latter decided not to defend his seat. On 9 Apr. two other Hampshire Tories, Tylney, who had sat for four different Hampshire boroughs during the period, and Sir Anthony Sturt, who had previously sat for Stockbridge, were put forward as potential candidates to stand alongside Lewis. It appears that by June or July it had been decided ‘by the gentlemen of this county at several meetings in London and at the quarter sessions at Winchester’, that Sturt should stand jointly with Lewis. Jervoise, who was in financial difficulties, dropped out, leaving Winchester to contest the election with John Wallop†, a fellow Whig. On 2 June the Flying Post informed its readers that

it having been falsely reported that . . . John Wallop hath desisted, these are to satisfy all electors of the . . . county, that the said John Wallop doth stand and doth join his interest with the Marquess of Winchester and requests the gentlemen, clergy and freeholders to oblige the said Marquess and myself with their voices and interest.

Beaufort was once again involved in the campaigning, informing Harley (now Lord Oxford) on 23 July that he had good hopes for all the elections in Hampshire, ‘finding the Church interest increases’. In relation to the county his promise was made good, and the Tories were returned. However, following the Hanoverian succession the domination of Bolton and the Whigs was re-established.12

Authors: Paula Watson / Ivar McGrath


  • 1. Bodl. Carte 233, f. 74a.
  • 2. A True Copy of the Poll, 1705 (IHR).
  • 3. Post Man, 5–8 June 1708.
  • 4. The Poll at the election for a Knight of the Shire, 1710 (IHR).
  • 5. A True Copy of the Poll, 1713 (IHR).
  • 6. Speck thesis, 290; Bath mss at Longleat House, Thynne pprs. 18, f. 1; Luttrell Diary, 27, 365; Add. 70018, ff. 94–95.
  • 7. Bolton mss at Bolton Hall, D/11, 14–15, 30, 32, Bolton to Winchester, 22 Nov. 1697, 7 Jan., 28 Apr., 19 Nov., 2 Dec. 1698, D/18, Thomas Cobbe to same, 6 May 1698, D/19, Ld. Bridgwater [John Egerton†] to same, 11 Sept. 1698; Hants RO, Jervoise mss, J. Browne to Jervoise, 30 Mar., 5 Apr., 25 July 1698, [?] to Worsley, 29 July 1698; HMC Astley, 94.
  • 8. Bolton mss, D/32, 38, Bolton to Winchester, 2 Dec. 1698, 9 Jan. 1698/9; Jervoise mss, Jervoise to Bolton, 28 Dec., Bolton to Jervoise, 28 Dec., St. Barbe to same, 29 Dec., Fleming to same, 29 Dec., Pitt to same, 30 Dec., Chaundler to same, 30 Dec., Winchester to same, 31 Dec. 1700, Norton to same, 1 Jan., Holdsworth to same, 4 Jan., Henry Greenhill* to same, 18 Jan. 1701.
  • 9. Add. 40775, f. 61; Vernon–Shrewsbury Letters, iii. 154–5; Yale Univ. Beinecke Lib. Osborn coll. Blathwayt mss, box 20, Robert Yard* to William Blathwayt*, 8 Aug. 1701; Luttrell, Brief Relation, v. 79; H. Horwitz, Parl. and Pol. Wm. III, 295; Surr. RO (Kingston), Somers mss 371/14/01/1, Mrs Burnet to Lady Jekyll, [n.d.]; Jervoise mss, St. Barbe to Jervoise, [?18 Mar. 1701], Edward Pyle to same, 19 Aug., 18 Nov., E. Burnet to same, 29 Nov. 1701.
  • 10. Jervoise mss, St. Barbe to Jervoise, 15 Apr., Bolton to same, 20 Apr. 1704, Chute to same, 27 Feb. 1707, Woodstock to Hants freeholders, 6 Mar. 1707; Thynne pprs. 18, f. 29; PRO 30/24/21/54–55.
  • 11. HMC Rutland, ii. 190–1; Scots Courant, 11–13 Sept. 1710; K. Feiling, Tory Party, 420; Beaufort mss at Badminton House, Beaufort to Harley, 23 Sept., same to Shrewsbury, 23 Sept., same to St. John, 25 Sept. 1710; Add. 38501, f. 85; Huntington Lib. Stowe mss 58(6), p. 242; Bodl. Ballard 15, f. 21; EHR, lvi. 82; Post Boy, 15–17, 19–22, 22–24 July, 2–5 Aug. 1712.
  • 12. Beaufort mss, Beaufort to Edward Lisle, 28 Mar. 1712, same to Oxford, 25 July 1713, same to ?, 1713, Richard Fleming* to [?Beaufort], 9 Apr. 1713, ‘Southamton’ [?engagement], [n.d.]; Flying Post, 30 May–2 June 1713; W. A. Speck, Tory and Whig, 46.