Available from Boydell and Brewer
Right of Election:
in burgage holders
Number of voters:
|3 Feb. 1715||JOHN DAWNAY||149|
|Sir William Lowther||122|
|LOWTHER and BETHELL vice Dawnay and Frank, on petition, 22 Mar. 1716|
|27 Mar. 1722||SIR WILLIAM LOWTHER|
|22 Aug. 1727||SIR WILLIAM LOWTHER|
|8 Apr. 1729||SIR WILLIAM LOWTHER vice Sir William Lowther, deceased|
|7 Feb. 1730||JOHN MORDAUNT vice John Lowther, deceased|
|29 Apr. 1734||JOHN MONCKTON, Visct. Galway|
|SIR WILLIAM LOWTHER|
|5 May 1741||JOHN MONCKTON, Visct. Galway|
|GEORGE MORTON PITT|
|1 July 1747||WILLIAM MONCKTON|
|GEORGE MORTON PITT|
|5 Jan. 1749||JOHN MONCKTON, Visct. Galway, vice Monckton, appointed to office|
|26 Nov. 1751||ROBERT MONCKTON vice Galway, deceased|
Under George I about half the Pontefract burgages were owned by a few local families, of whom the chief were the Lowthers of Swillington (60), the Moncktons (10), and the Winns (10), Whig; the Blands (40), the Dawnays (20), and the Franks (20), Tory. In 1715 the former Members, John Dawnay and Robert Frank, were re-elected, but on petition the seats were awarded to Sir William Lowther and his friend, Hugh Bethell, on the ground that the mayor, Frank’s uncle, had as returning officer wrongfully rejected a number of their votes. Quelling the Tory elements in the corporation by a threat to impose a new charter,1 Lowther thenceforth nominated both Members without opposition.
After Lowther’s death in 1729 his son concluded an agreement with Robert Monckton, 1st Viscount Galway, who had bought the Bland, Dawnay, Frank and other burgages for £6,000. Under this agreement Galway and Lowther, who between them now owned a majority of the burgages, each nominated one Member.
In 1741 Lowther sold his burgages, then totalling 86, for £9,600 to George Morton Pitt, who thenceforth shared the borough with Galway, owning between them about 180 burgages, of which 22 were held jointly. In the 2nd Lord Egmont’s electoral survey, c.1749-50, Pontefract is put down as ‘in G. Morton Pitt and Lord Galway’.
Author: Romney R. Sedgwick
C. Bradley, ‘Parl. Rep. of Pontefract, Ne