Available from Boydell and Brewer
Right of Election:
in the burgage holders
Number of Qualified Electors:
194 in 17391
Number of voters:
153 in 1705; at least 164 in 1710
|4 Mar. 1690||SIR WILLIAM ROBINSON, Bt.|
|30 Oct. 1695||SIR WILLIAM HUSTLER|
|28 Dec. 1697||RALPH MILBANCKE vice Lascelles, deceased|
|26 July 1698||SIR WILLIAM HUSTLER|
|11 Jan. 1701||SIR WILLIAM HUSTLER|
|25 Nov. 1701||SIR WILLIAM HUSTLER|
|3 Feb. 1702||DANIEL LASCELLES vice Dormer, chose to sit for Buckinghamshire|
|24 July 1702||SIR WILLIAM HUSTLER|
|23 Nov. 1702||ROBERT DORMER vice Hustler, chose to sit for Ripon|
|15 May 1705||SIR WILLIAM HUSTLER|
|3 Dec. 1705||ROGER GALE vice Dormer, chose to sit for Buckinghamshire||84|
|10 May 1708||SIR WILLIAM HUSTLER|
|10 Oct. 1710||ROGER GALE||121|
|Sir William Hustler||883|
|2 Sept. 1713||HENRY PEIRSE|
The bishop of Durham was lord of the manor of Northallerton, at whose court the returning officer was chosen. In the early 18th century Browne Willis* noted that there were 220 houses in the town,
of which all but 23 are borough houses and have votes for Members of Parliament. In the middle of the street is an ordinary sessions house where the Members are chosen who, having bought up considerably the better half of the burgage tenements, thereby secure their elections.
Defoe found the town remarkable for its religious and party-political profile:
I have not concerned this work at all in the debate among us in England, as to Whig and Tory. But I must observe of this town that, except [for] a few Quakers, they boasted that they had not one Dissenter here, and yet at the same time not one Tory, which is what, I believe, cannot be said of any other town in Great Britain.
The main owners of burgages were the Peirses of Bedale, who owned 27 burgages in 1702, and the Lascelles. Lord Wharton (Hon. Thomas*) had influence through a local charity founded by his father and through the ownership of land in the borough (though he does not appear to have held burgages there) and of important lead mines just west of Northallerton.4
In 1690 Sir William Robinson, 1st Bt., a leading Yorkshire Whig, was returned unopposed on his own interest, as was the Whig Dissenter, Thomas Lascelles. Both men had represented the borough in the Convention. In 1695 Robinson decided not to stand, and instead recommended Sir William Hustler, whom the Duke of Leeds (Sir Thomas Osborne†) thought ‘to be a good man’. In the belief that the forthcoming election was ‘of the highest concernment to the Church that such Members should be chosen as are well affected to it’, Leeds wrote to the archbishop of York requesting that ‘your Grace and the bishop of Durham would agree upon another in the room of Mr Lascelles’. However, Archbishop Sharp was not keen to interfere in elections, so that Hustler and Lascelles were returned. In 1697 a by-election became necessary following the death of Lascelles. On 12 Oct. it was reported that Ralph Milbancke had
such an interest as will hardly be withstood, that the chief of the borough would have stood to Mr Peirse [John, father of Henry] o[r] Mr Wastell, but they seeming to decline it the other party had some friend that went and got most of the burghers hands to a note promising to vote for Mr Milbancke.
The report proved true, and Milbancke was returned without opposition. At the general election the following year Hustler and Milbancke were re-elected. Prior to the first 1701 election, the possibility of a contest arose. Robert Byerley* wrote that ‘Milbancke thinks himself secure at Northallerton’, though Sir Godfrey Copley, 2nd Bt.*, reported that there was ‘some dispute’ at the borough between Milbancke and ‘one Lascelles’, probably Daniel Lascelles, nephew of the late Member. However, at the election Milbancke and Hustler were returned unopposed once more.5
The death of Milbancke before the second 1701 election created an opening for a new candidate. In November 1701 Robert Dormer, a protégé of Wharton, was returned with Hustler. However, Dormer, having also been returned for Buckinghamshire, elected to sit for the shire and his place was taken by Daniel Lascelles. However, Lascelles did not appear overly interested in parliamentary politics, so that in 1702 an accommodation was reached whereby John Aislabie, the outgoing member for Ripon, stood in his stead. Aislabie, who had been disabled from standing at Ripon through being elected mayor of that town, was Robinson’s brother-in-law and presumably stood on the latter’s interest, along with Hustler. The two men were returned unopposed, while Hustler was also elected at Ripon on Aislabie’s interest. Hustler then chose to sit for Ripon, enabling Dormer, who had been defeated at the Buckinghamshire election, to come in at the ensuing by-election. At the next general election in 1705, Hustler and Dormer were returned. Once again Dormer chose to represent Buckinghamshire. The by-election in Northallerton was contested by the Whig Roger Gale and Thomas Harrison, a local man, who was defeated and petitioned on the grounds of bribery, although without success. In 1708 Hustler and Gale were returned without opposition.6
After the change of ministry in 1710 Thomas Conyers* reported to Robert Harley* that ‘Sir William Hustler will be out of Northallerton’. This proved correct as Gale and the Whig Robert Raikes, deputy-steward of the borough, were returned, Hustler coming bottom of the poll. Prior to the 1713 election it was reported that Raikes would stand again, as would Henry Peirse, a young Whig, but Raikes did not put up, so that Peirse was returned unopposed with another Whig, Leonard Smelt. Thereafter the Smelt and Peirse families dominated the parliamentary representation of the borough until 1745.7
Authors: Eveline Cruickshanks / Ivar McGrath
- 1. Stukeley’s Diaries and Letters (Surtees Soc. lxxx), 337.
- 2. Bean’s notebks.
- 3. Post Boy, 12–14 Oct. 1710.
- 4. Bodl. Willis 15, f. 127; Defoe, Tour ed. Cole, 629, 656; Quinn thesis, 113; C. J. D. Ingledew, Northallerton, 272.
- 5. Egerton 3337, f. 162; Glos. RO, Sharp mss 4/K27, Leeds to abp. of York, 10 Sept. 1695; Add. 70018, ff. 94–95; T. Sharp, Life of Abp. Sharp, i. 121–6; Pprs. of Sir William Chaytor (N. Yorks. RO publ. 33), 68; Huntington Lib. Stowe mss 58(1), p.18; HMC Cowper, ii. 414.
- 6. Luttrell, Brief Relation, v. 94, 96.
- 7. HMC Portland, iv. 575; Post Boy, 12–14 Oct. 1710; Pprs. of Sir William Chaytor, 269.