Published in The History of Parliament: the House of Commons 1715-1754, ed. R. Sedgwick, 1970
Available from Boydell and Brewer

Background Information

Right of Election:

in the corporation

Number of voters:

18 in 17241


26 Jan. 1715SIR PETER MEWS 
9 Mar. 1717FRANCIS GWYN vice Ettrick, deceased 
24 Mar. 1722SIR PETER MEWS 
22 Feb. 1724EDWARD PRIDEAUX GWYN vice Francis Gwyn, chose to sit for Wells13
 Joseph Hinxman5
9 Apr. 1726JACOB BANKS vice Mews, deceased 
 Jacob Banks4
 Edward Hooper5
22 Jan. 1732PHILIP LLOYD vice Wither, deceased 
 John Hodges 
24 Apr. 1734EDWARD HOOPER 
3 Apr. 1740CHARLES ARMAND POWLETT vice Hinxman, deceased 
 Joseph Hinxman 
22 July 1742HOOPER re-elected after appointment to office 
30 Dec. 1748SIR THOMAS ROBINSON vice Hooper, appointed to office 
23 Dec. 1749SIR THOMAS ROBINSON re-elected after appointment to office 
26 Nov. 1751HARRY POWLETT vice Charles Armand Powlett, deceased 

Main Article

In 1715 to the Christchurch corporation returned the former Tory Members, Sir Peter Mews, lord of the manor of Christchurch, and William Ettrick, who had represented the borough since the Revolution. On Ettrick’s death in 1716 he was succeeded unopposed by another Tory, Francis Gwyn, who had represented Christchurch in the previous reign. Re-elected with Mews in 1722 but choosing to sit for Wells, Gwynn was succeeded by his son, also a Tory, against Joseph Hinxman, a local Whig landowner. Hinxman petitioned on the ground that the election was invalid, having been conducted without a legal mayor, and that a number of Gwyn’s voters were ‘new-made illegal burgesses’,2 but no decision was reached on the petition.

In 1726 Mews died childless, leaving his estate to his wife, who appears to have allowed the interest to lapse. At the ensuing by-election the vacancy was filled by a Tory, Jacob Banks, without a contest; but at the general election of 1727 Hinxman, standing with Charles Wither, another government supporter, against Banks and Edward Hooper, an opposition Whig, arranged for the writ to be sent to one of his supporters, who presided at the poll as returning officer. The voting was, for Hooper 9, Banks 8, Wither 7, Hinxman 6. Disallowing four of Hooper’s and Banks’s votes, the returning officer declared Hinxman and Wither to have been elected, for which his son was said to have been presented with ‘a good benefice ... by a great man’.3 A petition was lodged but no decision was reached on it.

In 1734 Hinxman shared the representation with Hooper, whose seat at Heron Court, four miles from the borough, gave him a strong natural interest at Christchurch. On Hinxman’s death in 1740 he was replaced by C. A. Powlett, whose family thenceforth shared the representation with Hooper. In 1748 Hooper gave up his seat in return for a commissionership of customs to accommodate Sir Thomas Robinson, but continued to retain his interest.4

Author: Paula Watson


  • 1. List of Christchurch voters, 22 Feb. 1724, Cholmondeley (Houghton) mss.
  • 2. CJ, xx. 286.
  • 3. Case of Richard Holoway, a burgess of Christchurch, 19, 24.
  • 4. Hooper to Newcastle, 5 Sept. 1757, Add. 32873, f. 486.