Available from Boydell and Brewer
Right of Election:
in burgage holders
Number of voters:
|19 June 1790||HON. BARTHOLOMEW BOUVERIE||52|
|SIR WILLIAM SCOTT||52|
|28 May 1796||HON. EDWARD BOUVERIE II||52|
|SIR WILLIAM SCOTT||52|
|6 Dec. 1798||SCOTT re-elected after appointment to office|
|25 Mar. 1801||WILLIAM PLEYDELL BOUVERIE, Visct. Folkestone, vice Scott, vacated his seat|
|7 July 1802||HON. JOHN WILLIAM WARD|
|HON. EDWARD BOUVERIE II|
|18 June 1803||JOHN BLAQUIERE, Baron de Blaquiere [I], vice Bouverie, vacated his seat|
|13 Aug. 1803||CHARLES MARSHAM, Visct. Marsham, vice Ward, vacated his seat|
|3 Nov. 1806||HON. BARTHOLOMEW BOUVERIE|
|HON. DUNCOMBE PLEYDELL BOUVERIE|
|8 May 1807||HON. BARTHOLOMEW BOUVERIE|
|SIR THOMAS PLUMER|
|3 July 1812||PLUMER re-elected afterappointment to office|
|8 Oct. 1812||SIR THOMAS PLUMER|
|CHARLES HENRY BOUVERIE|
|26 Apr. 1813||SIR THOMAS BROOKE PECHELL, Bt., vice Plumer, appointed to office|
|27 Apr. 1813||EDWARD GOLDING vice Bouverie vacated his seat|
|20 June 1818||WILLIAM PLEYDELL BOUVERIE, Visct. Folkestone|
|SIR WILLIAM SCOTT|
|20 Feb. 1819||HON. BARTHOLOMEW BOUVERIE vice Folkestone, chose to sit for Salisbury|
|22 Feb. 1819||SIR THOMAS BROOKE PECHELL, Bt., vice Scott, chose to sit for Oxford University|
Since 1774 there had been a struggle for control of this close borough between Robert Shafto† and the earls of Radnor, as coheirs of the Duncombe interest.1 The contenders were evenly balanced: Shafto owned a slight majority of the burgages, but the 2nd Earl of Radnor secured the right to name the returning officer and this gave him the edge in the contests of 1790 and 1796. On both occasions petitions hinged upon the partiality of Radnor’s nominee as returning officer. The first was narrowly defeated in May 1791 and the second eventually given up.2 On 1 June 1796 Shafto’s lawyer proposed a compromise of one Member each, which would be a matter of ‘justice as well as policy’, but was informed: ‘If the relinquishment of the defence of the present seats is the foundation of the present treaty Lord R[adnor] cannot think of it’.3 A week before this another manoeuvre had been attempted, to secure a ministerial nominee on the Shafto interest,4 but nothing came of this either: William Wrightson† stood again and was joined by John Motteux. Shafto himself was hors de combat and it seems that management of his interest passed to his trustee Thomas Bernard and his 20-year-old son Robert Eden Duncombe Shafto*. The latter was suspected of a bid to keep out a Foxite by separating Wrightson and Motteux when they prepared to petition following their defeat. Motteux, the intended victim, thwarted the attempt, but the pair were stymied, 18 Feb. 1797, when Shafto’s agents were instructed to admit defeat.5 Before Shafto’s death, later that year, the Earl of Radnor had bought him out.
Radnor usually returned his relatives for one seat and a friend of government for the other, which was much sought after. In 1818 he was said to have ‘refused bringing in the Members that were returned for Downton last Parliament’.6 He returned his son and Sir William Scott instead, but they found seats elsewhere. On 22 Feb. 1819 Lord Shaftesbury informed Lord Liverpool:
My relation Lord Radnor is a comical fellow but a very honourable one. I am now authorized to tell you that his brother Barti Bouverie is returned for Downton but that he is willing to resign his seat whenever it can [be] of use to you, and that Lord Radnor is ready to return in his stead any friend whom you will recommend to him provided that he is a good Protestant and an enemy to reform of Parliament. These two conditions are indispensable.7
Author: R. G. Thorne
- 1. J. A. Cannon, ‘The Parl. Rep. of six Wilts. Boroughs 1754-90’ (Bristol Univ. Ph.D. thesis, 1958) i. 143-68.
- 2. CJ, xlvi. 27, 54, 582; lii. 18, 23, 291; Windham Diary, 226; Colchester, i. 83.
- 3. Wilts. RO 490/1372, Grey to Blake, 1 June 1796.
- 4. PRO 30/8/107, ff. 84, 86.
- 5. Blair Adam mss, Wilbraham to Adam, 19 Sept. 1796, Wrightson to same, Sat. [Feb. 1797].
- 6. Wentworth Woodhouse mun. G1/31.
- 7. Add. 38458, f. 277.