Published in The History of Parliament: the House of Commons 1690-1715, ed. D. Hayton, E. Cruickshanks, S. Handley, 2002
Available from Boydell and Brewer

Background Information

Right of Election:

in the freemen

Number of Qualified Electors:

about 70

Number of voters:

43 in Jan. 1701


24 Feb. 1690John Burrard 
 Thomas Dore 
 Thomas Jervoise 
 Oliver Cromwell 
29 Oct. 1695John Burrard 
 Thomas Dore 
 John Pitt 
 William Clerk 
30 May 1698William Tulse vice Burrard, deceased 
23 July 1698Thomas Dore 
 George Burrard 
9 Jan. 1701Thomas Dore33
 Paul Burrard I31
 James Worsley11
 Thomas Fullerton101
26 Nov. 1701Thomas Dore 
 Paul Burrard I 
18 July 1702Thomas Dore 
 Paul Burrard I 
12 May 1705Thomas Dore 
 Paul Burrard II 
7 Dec. 1705Charles Powlett, Mq. of Winchester  vice Dore, deceased 
2 Dec. 1707Paul Burrard II re-elected after appointment to office 
6 May 1708Paul Burrard II 
 Richard Chaundler 
7 Oct. 1710Paul Burrard II33
 Lord William Powlett31
 John Walter7
 William Forbes7
28 Aug. 1713Lord William Powlett 
 Sir Joseph Jekyll 

Main Article

Lymington was a borough by prescription, its officers consisting of a mayor, recorder, steward, town clerk and, in theory, an unlimited number of burgesses, although in practice the numbers did not reach above about 70. In this period the controlling interest was exercised by the Burrards of Walhampton. The frequency with which they or their relations held the mayoralty had enabled them to fill the ranks of freemen with their allies and in about 1690 they strengthened their interest by an alliance with the Marquess of Winchester (Charles Powlett I*), later 2nd Duke of Bolton, whose father had been lord lieutenant of the county since 1689. Both the Burrards and the Powletts were Whigs.2

In 1690 John Burrard, the head of the family, was returned with his brother-in-law, Thomas Dore, by the freemen, but an attempt was made to break the Burrard interest by enfranchising the inhabitants at large. Thomas Jervoise* of Herriard, Hampshire, and Oliver Cromwell, grandson of the Protector, stood on the commonalty vote. Jervoise and Cromwell petitioned on 24 Mar. 1690, renewing their petition each session (13 Oct. 1690, 30 Oct. 1691) until the case was heard by the elections committee, who reported on 29 Dec. 1691 that they had resolved that the right of election lay in the freemen only and that Burrard and Dore were duly elected, a decision the House confirmed. The same thing happened in 1695 when John Pitt*, brother of George Pitt* of Strathfieldsaye, stood on the commonalty vote with William Clerk. Their petition, presented on 25 Nov. 1695, was referred to the elections committee and when reported on 18 Feb. 1696 was rejected without a division. At the end of the 1695 Parliament Burrard died and was replaced for a month by William Tulse of Hinton Admiral, Hampshire. Although Tulse came from a Whig parliamentary family (his father and grandfather had both sat for Christchurch), he was clearly only a stop-gap, as at the next general election the seat was filled by John Burrard’s kinsman, George Burrard, a London attorney with property in the borough. The other seat was held as usual by Dore. Although the general election was uncontested the Powletts had to be vigilant in defence of their interest as the subsequent election for the mayoralty saw their candidate emerge victorious by only three votes. In the general election of January 1701 there was a contest. Dore stood with John Burrard’s brother, Paul Burrard I of Walhampton, now head of the family. Their opponents were two Tories, James Worsley* of Pylewell and Thomas Fullerton. After an inevitable defeat, Worsley and Fullerton presented a petition on 14 Feb. 1701 which was never reported.3

Dore and Burrard were returned at the next two general elections, and in 1705 Dore was joined by Burrard’s son, Paul II. Dore died before the Parliament met and at the ensuing by-election was replaced by Charles Powlett II, Marquess of Winchester, son of the 2nd Duke of Bolton. Paul Burrard II continued to hold the seat in 1708, but Winchester transferred to the county, his seat being taken by Richard Chaundler, a Wiltshire landowner and the Duke of Bolton’s nominee. The 1710 election was contested: two Tories, John Walter and William Forbes (apparently a Scot), stood on the popular vote against Burrard and Lord William Powlett, the Duke of Bolton’s brother, who as one of the managers of Sacheverell’s impeachment had retired from Winchester, which he usually represented, to the comparative safety of Lymington. After their defeat, Walter and Forbes petitioned on 1 Dec. 1710, alleging that the mayor had refused ‘to take the petitioners’ legal votes, or to give them a copy of the poll; and he, and divers burgesses, used many illegal practices’. When the elections committee presented their report on 11 Jan. 1711 it was revealed that Walter and Forbes had only received seven votes each from the freemen, but the ‘populace polled themselves out of the Hall, and 87 voted for the petitioners only’. One of the witnesses for the petitioners said there were ‘about 70 burgesses, of which 15 or 16 are inhabitants; and there are near 100 other housekeepers, inhabitants, who are not burgesses, but are generally in as good condition as the burgesses’. The committee decided as usual that the right of election lay in the freemen only and that Powlett and Burrard had been duly elected. After a division on the question of agreeing with the resolution on the franchise had gone in favour of the committee, the House concurred. In 1713 Powlett was returned again, but Burrard stood down to make way for another Bolton nominee, Sir Joseph Jekyll, one of the Junto’s most prominent spokesmen in the Commons. The Powlett–Burrard alliance continued to control the borough after 1715.4

Author: Paula Watson


  • 1. E. King, Old Times Re-Visited, Lymington, 86–87.
  • 2. S. Burrard, Annals of Walhampton, 8–15, 25.
  • 3. Bolton mss at Bolton Hall, D22, Lord William Powlett to Mq. of Winchester, 28 Sept. 1698.
  • 4. SRO, Mar and Kellie mss GD124/15/1020/4, Dunbar to Ld. Grange (Hon. James Erskine†), 19 Dec. 1710.