Double Member Borough
Available from Boydell and Brewer
Right of Election:
in the inhabitants
Number of voters:
|16 Apr. 1754||Nicholas Fazackerley|
|31 Mar. 1761||Nicholas Fazackerley|
|11 Mar. 1767||Sir Peter Leicester vice Fazackerley, deceased|
|2 Apr. 1768||Sir Peter Leicester||289||276|
|Sir Frank Standish||276||277|
|Sir Henry Hoghton||239||558|
|Two polls were taken, one of freemen and the other of inhabitants. BURGOYNE and HOGHTON, on petition, 29 Nov. 1768.|
|10 Oct. 1774||Sir Henry Hoghton|
|14 Sept. 1780||Sir Henry Hoghton||487|
|6 Apr. 1784||John Burgoyne||536|
|Sir Henry Hoghton||531|
|Michael Angelo Taylor||225|
By a determination of the House of Commons in 1661 the right of election was in the inhabitants, which was always understood to mean the resident freemen; and the borough was controlled by the corporation and the neighbouring gentry. Lord Strange, son of Lord Derby, had an estate around Preston and cultivated the borough; and in 1768, after one of the most violent elections of this period, wrested control from the corporation.1
Strange’s brother-in-law, John Burgoyne, stood on the Derby interest; and to him was joined Sir Henry Hoghton, of a very old Lancashire family, whose uncle had represented Preston. Hoghton was a Dissenter, and there seems to have been a large Dissenting element in the town. The corporation candidates, Leicester and Standish, were neighbouring gentry.
At first both sides polled freemen only, but as Burgoyne and Hoghton began to fall behind they claimed the right of election to be in the inhabitants, of which they had a majority. The mayor refused to poll any who were not freemen, and declared the corporation candidates elected. A second poll was then taken of inhabitants; Burgoyne and Hoghton petitioned, taking their stand on a literal interpretation of the resolution of 1661; and, with Government backing, won their case.
In 1780 and 1784 the corporation, again relying upon the freeman franchise, tried to win back control; but the joint Derby-Hoghton interest was too powerful.
Author: John Brooke
- 1. W. Dobson, Parlty. Rep. Preston, 33-42.