Available from Boydell and Brewer
Right of Election:
in the resident freemen of Denbigh, Ruthin and Holt
Number of voters:
(1801): Denbigh 2,391; Ruthin 1,115; Holt 804
|22 July 1790||RICHARD MYDDELTON|
|4 June 1796||RICHARD MYDDELTON|
|12 Jan. 1797||THOMAS JONES vice Myddelton, deceased|
|12 July 1802||HON. FREDERICK WEST|
|3 Nov. 1806||ROBERT MYDDELTON BIDDULPH|
|11 May 1807||ROBERT MYDDELTON BIDDULPH|
|15 Oct. 1812||JOHN HAMILTON FITZMAURICE, Visct. Kirkwall||105|
|Robert Myddelton Biddulph||100|
|20 June 1818||JOHN WYNNE GRIFFITH|
Richard Myddelton of Chirk Castle, whose family had represented Denbigh continuously since 1722, was returned unopposed until his early death in 1796, whereupon the estates and interest devolved upon his sisters and coheiresses, none of whom was then married. In this interregnum a neighbouring landed gentleman Thomas Jones of Carreghwva filled the vacancy, insisting on his independence. In 1798 Maria Myddelton, whose portion included Holt, married Frederick West, who took up residence at Chirk Castle and was returned at the election of 1802.1 In 1801 her elder sister Charlotte, heiress of the Chirk Castle estate proper, married Robert Biddulph, who assumed the additional name of Myddelton, and they decided to live ‘part of the year’ at Chirk Castle. Myddelton Biddulph lost his seat for Herefordshire at the election of 1802 and West, to his indignation, was obliged to make way for him at Denbigh in 1806, explaining in his address that he was withdrawing on this occasion, not having expected opposition from such a quarter.2
When Myddelton Biddulph clung to the seat, the brothers-in-law fell out and in 1810 went to law about the partition of the estates. In 1812 West, who in the previous year had offered to support Francis Richard Price of Bryn-y-pys, put up Viscount Kirkwall, of Llewenny, for whom Price made way, against Myddelton Biddulph. The quarrel also had a political basis, Biddulph being in general in opposition and a friend of Catholic relief, while West, his ally Lord Kenyon and his protégé Kirkwall opposed Catholic relief and supported government, from whom West desired an Irish peerage ‘of the title of Myddelton’.3
The contest was bitter. The corporation of Denbigh created 27 new burgesses at their own expense to facilitate Myddelton Biddulph’s return, spurred on by ‘noisy Griffith of Garn’, a member of the corporation, who led the ‘Popish party’, according to John Lloyd*, acting for West. Attempts had been made both to debauch (by means of feasts) and disqualify (by quo warranto proceedings) the electors of the contributory borough of Holt. Kirkwall was reported to have spent ‘upwards of £1,000’ and Biddulph ‘nearly half as much’ there. The irregularities were exposed in Myddelton Biddulph’s petition against Kirkwall’s return, but it failed.4 Myddelton Biddulph died in 1814 and John Griffith of Garn, recorder of the borough, was put up in 1818 on the Chirk Castle interest. He was returned unopposed, despite rumours of a contest, which put him to the expense of £3,000.5
Author: R. G. Thorne
- 1. Oldfield, Rep. Hist. vi. 60; Salopian Jnl. 10 Feb., 28 July; The Times, 16 Feb., 14 Apr. 1802.
- 2. Salopian Jnl. 22, 29 Oct. 1806.
- 3. Kenyon mss, Price to Kenyon, [Jan.], 20 Jan. 1811; G. Kenyon to same, 11 Feb., Ld. Kenyon to Stockdale, 3 Oct. 1812; Sidmouth mss, Sir H. Taylor to Sidmouth, 19 June 1813.
- 4. J. Williams, Recs. Denbigh, 158; A. N. Palmer, Town of Holt, 137; NLW mss 12418, f. 51; 12424, ff. 31, 32; NLW, Chirk Castle mss C/61-70; CJ, lxviii. 57, 326.
- 5. Chirk Castle mss C/75; Salopian Jnl. 17 June 1818.