Double Member Borough

Published in The History of Parliament: the House of Commons 1754-1790, ed. L. Namier, J. Brooke., 1964
Available from Boydell and Brewer

Background Information

Right of Election:

in burgage holders

Number of voters:

about 90


17 Apr. 1754Sir Kenrick Clayton
 William Clayton
28 Mar. 1761Sir Kenrick Clayton
 Charles Whitworth
9 Mar. 1768Sir Kenrick Clayton
 Robert Clayton
3 Apr. 1769Frederick Standert vice Sir Kenrick Clayton, deceased
10 Oct. 1774Sir Robert Clayton
 Frederick Standert
11 Sept. 1780Sir Robert Clayton
 John Kenrick
23 Nov. 1783John Nicholls vice Clayton, vacated his seat
3 Apr. 1784John Kenrick
 John Nicholls
20 Dec. 1787Sir Robert Clayton vice Nicholls, vacated his seat

Main Article

Bletchingley was a complete pocket borough of the Clayton family, who owned, according to Oldfield, all the burgages. In 1779 Sir Robert Clayton, financially embarrassed and apprehensive of parliamentary reform, sold the reversion of his property at Bletchingley (of which the intrinsic value was about £100 per annum) to his cousin John Kenrick, for £10,000. In June 1785 Clayton filed a bill in Chancery against Kenrick alleging that he had been ‘grossly imposed upon’ in the purchase and that the price was an ‘inadequate consideration’ for the parliamentary interest. Kenrick replied that Clayton had never complained of the transaction until after the defeat of parliamentary reform and in May 1788 Clayton’s bill was dismissed with costs.1

Author: John Brooke


  • 1. State of the dispute between Sir Robert Clayton ... and John Kenrick relative to ... Bletchingley.