Available from Boydell and Brewer
Number of voters:
|30 June 1790||LORD EDWARD CHARLES CAVENDISH BENTINCK|
|CHARLES PIERREPONT (formerly MEDOWS)|
|7 June 1796||LORD WILLIAM HENRY CAVENDISH BENTINCK|
|EVELYN HENRY FREDERICK PIERREPONT|
|19 Nov. 1801||HON. CHARLES HERBERT PIERREPONT vice Pierrepont, deceased|
|13 July 1802||LORD WILLIAM HENRY CAVENDISH BENTINCK|
|HON. CHARLES HERBERT PIERREPONT|
|9 May 1803||ANTHONY HARDOLPH EYRE vice Cavendish Bentinck, vacated his seat|
|7 Nov. 1806||CHARLES HERBERT PIERREPONT, Visct. Newark|
|ANTHONY HARDOLPH EYRE|
|13 May 1807||CHARLES HERBERT PIERREPONT, Visct. Newark|
|ANTHONY HARDOLPH EYRE|
|15 Oct. 1812||LORD WILLIAM HENRY CAVENDISH BENTINCK|
|CHARLES HERBERT PIERREPONT, Visct. Newark|
|11 Apr. 1814||FRANK FRANK vice Cavendish Bentinck, vacated his seat|
|8 July 1816||LORD WILLIAM HENRY CAVENDISH BENTINCK vice Newark, called to the Upper House|
|23 June 1818||LORD WILLIAM HENRY CAVENDISH BENTINCK|
|FRANK FRANK (afterwards SOTHERON)|
The Dukes of Newcastle and Portland had most to say in county elections. Portland had returned his brothers since 1775 and Newcastle, with no member of his family available, stood behind Pierrepont, an independent country gentleman, from his first election in 1778. There had been no contest since 1722. During the minority of the 4th Duke of Newcastle, Pierrepont, created Viscount Newark in 1796, secured the return of two sons in succession, as colleagues to Portland’s second son. Portland and the dowager Duchess of Newcastle were resolved to prevent any interference with the arrangement, and Portland’s son was encouraged by Newark not to resign his seat when he was about to be posted to India in 1802. When he did so in 1803, his father had no wish to replace him with a member of the family. His successor was Col. Eyre of Grove, whom his friends had urged to stand against Newark’s younger son in 1801, when there was some grumbling at Newark’s treating the county seat as an ‘inheritance’. Eyre was careful to seek Portland’s support, but it seems that his election was not altogether satisfactory to Portland’s son, who did not mean to give up the county for good and was anxious to stake his claim for the future. The Hon. Henry Sedley, a friend of Eyre’s whom he consulted on this point, reassured him: ‘Your family is more popular than the house of Thoresby’. Sedley added that he was sure the county would not long be content to see ‘both their Members come out of peerage houses: to the entire exclusion of the county gentlemen’.1
In 1804 Eyre became father-in-law to his colleague Pierrepont, whose father was made an earl by the Grenville ministry. On 15 July 1806 the 4th Duke of Newcastle, who was now anxious to assert himself in county affairs, informed Portland that he meant to challenge Eyre at the next election, as he considered himself ‘entitled to recommend or nominate a Member for Nottinghamshire’, having the best interest in the county. Portland begged him to reconsider his intention and declined to co-operate. Newcastle, whose only brother had died in 1804, circularized the county on behalf of an unnamed member of his family, but met with such a discouraging response that he withdrew his pretensions before the election. Eyre had refused to be frightened off, and counted on a preference for a quiet election.2
Newcastle, who supported Portland’s ministry, was mollified on the latter’s death by succeeding him as lord lieutenant, but he still wished to name a county Member.3 Eyre’s retirement in 1812 presented an opportunity, but Lord William Cavendish Bentinck, then on foreign service, was proposed privately by his brother the 4th Duke of Portland to resume his county seat. This took the wind out of Newcastle’s sails and he concurred, but, as Portland eschewed a public canvass for his brother and awaited the sense of the county at the nomination meeting, he encouraged Adm. Frank, a newcomer to the county, to look to his support if Lord William proved unacceptable. On this assumption there were other contenders, such as Messrs Sherbrooke, Knight and Francis Ferrand Foljambe*, but none of them rose to the occasion. Frank was encouraged by a conditional canvass and in the event supported Lord William’s election, at which a hint was thrown out that he would give up his seat if unable to attend. (‘A Freeholder’s’ attack on the aristocratic monopoly was ignored.)4 When he did so in 1814, Frank came in unopposed; and in 1816, when his colleague succeeded as Earl Manvers, the vacancy was filled once more by Lord William. The lapse of the Pierrepont representation guaranteed the peace.
Author: R. G. Thorne
- 1. Portland mss PwV111, Portland to Duchess of Newcastle, 18 Oct. 1800; PwJa 153, 295, 346, 347, 350, 378.
- 2. Ibid. PwH334; Nottingham Univ. Lib. Newcastle mss NeC 5125, 6122, 6201-4; Sidmouth mss, Eyre to Sidmouth, 16 Oct. 1806.
- 3. NLI, Richmond mss 72/1502; Notts. RO, Godfrey mss CP/5/2/29.
- 4. Newcastle mss NeC 6578, 6580, 6584, 6586, 6589a-c, 6590-4, 6596; Godfrey mss CP5/2/5, 12, 14, 15-17, 20, 23, 25, 31, 56.