Kinross-shire

County

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

Background Information

Alternated with Clackmannanshire

Number of voters:

about 25

Elections

DateCandidate
28 Feb. 1715WILLIAM DOUGLAS
 James Murray
9 Nov. 1727JOHN HOPE
21 May 1741SIR JOHN BRUCE HOPE
 Alexander Bruce

Main Article

Kinross-shire was controlled by its hereditary sheriff, John Hope, from 1729 Sir John Bruce Hope, who was accused of using his office ‘to engross to himself the whole power of electing as well as returning the representatives of that shire’. When in 1715 William Douglas was returned after a contest, his defeated opponent, in a petition that was withdrawn, claimed that all the freeholders except one had voted for him, but that Hope, as sheriff, had returned Douglas by accepting the votes of ‘several persons who were never admitted into the roll of freeholders nor had the least pretensions to vote’. In 1727 Hope himself was returned unopposed presumably after temporarily divesting himself of his office. He did so again at the next election in 1741, when he is said to have been returned ‘by his own son, who took it upon himself to act as principal sheriff’; to have thrust his opponents ‘with force and violence out of the meeting’ of electors, knowing that there was no legal roll of freeholders, because for several years no Michaelmas head court had been held; and to have ‘taken upon himself to expunge in an arbitrary manner the names of the freeholders inserted in the roll’. The petition against him was withdrawn after the fall of Walpole.1

Author: Paula Watson

Notes

  • 1. CJ, xviii. 39, 66; xxiv. 21-22.

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