Available from Boydell and Brewer
Right of Election:
in the corporation
Number of voters:
|1 Feb. 1715||SIR EDWARD NORTHEY|
|24 Mar. 1722||THOMAS BERE|
|27 Jan. 1726||GEORGE DEANE vice Bere, deceased|
|23 Aug. 1727||SIR WILLIAM YONGE|
|1 Mar. 1728||JAMES NELTHORPE vice Yonge, chose to sit for Honiton|
|27 Apr. 1734||ARTHUR ARSCOTT|
|10 Feb. 1737||RYDER re-elected after appointment to office|
|7 May 1741||SIR DUDLEY RYDER||22|
|Sir John Barnard||2|
|2 July 1747||SIR WILLIAM YONGE|
|SIR DUDLEY RYDER|
|26 Dec. 1747||HENRY CONYNGHAM vice Yonge, chose to sit for Honiton|
|William Peer Williams|
Tiverton was managed for the Government by Sir William Yonge, recorder of the borough 1725-48, in alliance with Oliver Peard, four times mayor. Martin Dunsford, historian of the town and prominent in its politics, writes that Yonge ‘had great influence over the leading members of the corporation of Tiverton for many years and generally directed their choice of burgesses in Parliament’. He describes Peard as ‘the most considerable merchant that ever lived in Tiverton’.
His influence was so great over the members of the corporation, that every important measure of that body was dictated by him many years. The burgesses for Parliament were chosen by his direction solely, and every vacancy of the corporation filled with his nomination. By an extensive mercantile business, and the peculiar circumstances of his situation, he accumulated a very great fortune, obtained universal influence, and almost unbounded power, in every public concern of the town and parish, to the end of his life.1
Peard ran the corporation, while Yonge obtained for them government patronage, which was channelled exclusively through him.
On Peard’s appointment in 1744 to be receiver general of taxes for Devonshire, Sir Dudley Ryder, M.P. Tiverton since 1734, raised with Henry Pelham the question of sharing the government patronage with Yonge. Pelham said that
Sir W. Yonge had told him that if the favours of the Government to Tiverton did not flow through him alone the interest of the Government would be lost. He [Pelham] blames him for this, thinks I ought to have a share in it. I told him of what Sir William had lately as I suppose done by getting an application to him alone for a receivership to be granted to Peard in opposition to my having anything to do with it. He said he could put that into a proper way by his writing a letter promising a receivership in case of good security to Mr. Peard by the application of Sir William and me, and advised me to go down.2
With the help of government patronage Ryder built up an interest which gave his family permanent control of one seat, the other being conceded to the Government.