Available from Boydell and Brewer
Right of Election:
in inhabitant householders
Number of voters:
|25 Jan. 1715||GEORGE WADE||86|
|6 May 1720||JOHN PITT vice Calthorpe, deceased|
|24 Mar. 1722||HENRY LUDLOW COKER|
|16 Aug. 1727||GEORGE HEATHCOTE||62|
|27 Apr. 1734||STEPHEN FOX|
|28 Feb. 1735||HENRY FOX vice Stephen Fox, chose to sit for Shaftesbury|
|22 June 1737||HENRY FOX re-elected after appointment to office|
|4 May 1741||HENRY CALTHORPE|
|27 June 1747||VALENS COMYN|
|4 May 1751||FRANCIS BLAKE DELAVAL vice Comyn, deceased|
Hindon was a notoriously venal borough. The chief interest was that of the Calthorpes of Elvetham, who as lessees of the manor of Hindon from the bishop of Winchester nominated the returning officer. Until 1734 all Members were elected as supporters of the Administration.
The hardest and most violent contest was in 1727, when Henry and George Fox, standing as Tories, were narrowly defeated by George Heathcote and Townsend Andrews, who had the support of the returning officer. On petition Heathcote and Andrews were confirmed in their seats, though their opponents were ‘generally supposed to have the fairer right’.1 Before the next election Henry Fox had been brought over to the Government by Lord Hervey, who wrote to him, 13 Sept. 1733, that ‘in my last conference with Sir Robert I insisted on nothing but the returning officer [at Hindon] being secured to you’.2 In the event Henry’s elder brother, Stephen, was returned unopposed with George Fox, but elected to sit for Shaftesbury, putting up Henry for the vacancy. An opposition was threatened by Lord Perceval, whose father, Lord Egmont, notes on 17 Feb. 1735 that
Lord Shaftesbury, Lord Weymouth, Mr. George Heathcote and Mr. [Philip] Bennet ... design to give him letters to the voters, who are 113 in all, and my son counts upon 70 of them.
But two days later he wrote:
My son being informed that Hindon is a more mercenary borough than he at first imagined and that the returning officer is under the direction of a government man, wisely resolved to quit his intention of standing there.3
In 1745 William Beckford bought the nearby Fonthill estate and began to develop an interest in Hindon rivalling that of the Calthorpes. In the 2nd Lord Egmont’s electoral survey, c.1749-50, it is described as ‘to be bought’.