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 the freemen

Number of voters:

about 500


17 Apr. 1754Richard Herbert
 Henry Bridgeman
10 Dec. 1754Edward Herbert vice Richard Herbert, deceased
28 Mar. 1761Edward Herbert
 Henry Bridgeman
18 Mar. 1768Edward Herbert
 William Fellowes
3 Nov. 1770Thomas Herbert vice Edward Herbert, deceased
8 Oct. 1774George Mason Villiers, Visct. Villiers
 Edward Clive
15 Sept. 1780Edward Clive, Baron Clive
 Frederick Cornewall
9 May 1783Somerset Davies vice Cornewall, deceased
2 Apr. 1784Edward Clive, Baron Clive
 Richard Payne Knight

Main Article

Ludlow was entirely under the patronage of Henry Arthur Herbert, 1st Earl of Powis, till about 1770 when he sold to Lord Clive his estate of Oakley Park, adjoining the borough. But the two families closely co-operated, and on 7 May 1784, the 2nd Lord Clive married the sister of the 2nd Lord Powis, whose estate she inherited on his death in 1801. Their joint interest in the borough was challenged in 1780 by Thomas Beale (probably of Heath House, Salop, some seven miles from Ludlow): that the threat was treated as serious is evidenced by the correspondence extant in the Powis mss. But a few days before the poll, Beale declined ‘being any longer a candidate’.1 Lord Clive and Richard Payne Knight, returned unopposed in 1784, voted with the Opposition; and the Rev. A. Blackburne Rudd, claiming that Ludlow was zealous in support of Pitt, wrote to him, 30 May 1789:2

A strong party amongst us wishes to emancipate themselves from the iron sway with which they have long been ruled. ... That we can turn out Clive, I am confident, and Mr. Knight will I believe feel his seat in the saddle a little uneasy.

But Ludlow remained a Clive borough, even after 1832.3

Author: Sir Lewis Namier


  • 1. J. Congreve to John Probert (Clive’s agent), 12 Sept. 1780, and joint address of Clive and F. Cornewall after their election, Powis mss.
  • 2. Chatham mss.
  • 3. Namier, Structure, 244-5.