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 and inhabitants paying scot and lot

Number of Qualified Electors:

about 3001

Number of voters:

at least 260 in 1702


4 Mar. 1690Sir Charles Wyndham 
 Sir Benjamin Newland 
 Arthur Shallett 
1 Nov. 1695Sir Charles Wyndham 
 Sir Benjamin Newland182
 John Smith174
23 July 1698Sir Benjamin Newland 
 John Smith 
27 Dec. 1699Roger Mompesson vice Newland, deceased215
 Mitford Crow33
 Adam de Cardonnel 
4 Jan. 1701Roger Mompesson 
 Mitford Crow 
 Adam de Cardonnel 
26 Nov. 1701Adam de Cardonnel 
 Mitford Crow 
 Roger Mompesson 
21 July 1702Frederick Tylney217
 Adam de Cardonnel245
 Wharton Dunch582
12 May 1705Henry Bentinck, Visct. Woodstock170
 Adam de Cardonnel222
 Frederick Tylney1573
7 May 1708Henry Bentinck, Visct. Woodstock 
 Adam de Cardonnel 
11 Dec. 1708Simeon Stewart vice Visct. Woodstock, chose to sit for Hampshire186
 William Godfrey894
6 Oct. 1710Adam de Cardonnel 
 Richard Fleming 
6 Mar. 1712Roger Harris vice Cardonnel, expelled the House 
27 Aug. 1713Richard Fleming 
 Roger Harris 

Main Article

Browne Willis* recorded that Southampton and the surrounding area was ‘a town and county which has many franchises and privileges granted it by several Kings’, and that the manor of the town and county was ‘vested in the mayor and burgesses’. This description may help to explain why the right of election had been disputed between the corporation and the inhabitants paying scot and lot. After a contested by-election in 1689, the Commons decided in favour of the wider franchise, but the corporation could create unlimited numbers of non-resident freemen to swell the electorate. In 1690 the corporation was a predominantly Tory body and at that election their candidate was the sitting Member, Sir Benjamin Newland, a London merchant, who had represented the borough since 1678 on the strength of local connexions provided by his marriage into the Richbell family. He was opposed by Arthur Shallett*, another London merchant. The third candidate was the other sitting Member, Sir Charles Wyndham, whose seat at Cranbury was some eight miles from the borough. Defeated in 1689, his successful petition following a contested by-election later in the year had been the means of finally establishing the rights of the scot-and-lot voters. This decision had doubtless made Wyndham popular with these electors, and from 1690 to 1698 the recordership of the borough was held by his kinsmen, John and Thomas Wyndham. At the election Wyndham and Newland were returned. Shallett petitioned against Newland on 24 Mar. and again at the beginning of the next session on 17 Oct., but no action was taken.5

Prior to the 1695 election a correspondent of Robert Harley* reported that Wyndham and Newland would be chosen again. Both men stood, though a contest was necessitated by the candidature of John Smith II, probably the local brewer who had served as the borough’s mayor in 1689. Smith was defeated, and petitioned on 29 Nov. against Newland’s return. The case was heard by the elections committee, who reported on 17 Mar. 1696. Smith’s counsel based his case first on the right of election, which he claimed lay in the inhabitants and resident freemen only. By excluding the non-resident freemen, or out-burgesses as they were called, the power of the corporation to determine the composition of the electorate would have been curtailed. Newland maintained that all the freemen were entitled to vote as well as the inhabitants paying scot and lot. It was further alleged on Smith’s behalf that on the day of the election, a Friday, when the poll should have closed with 171 votes for Smith to 170 for Newland, the mayor adjourned the poll until Monday, when several of Smith’s voters were disallowed. One of the tellers, Watts, gave evidence, saying:

the poll was adjourned between two and three of the clock: that before it was adjourned the mayor asked, if there were any more to poll, but none offered, but those who had been disallowed by the mayor: a little before the adjournment he informed the mayor by a paper that Sir Benjamin Newland had lost it by one: that the mayor said he found cause for adjournment.

Finally, counsel claimed that some 11 of Newland’s voters were unqualified and others had been bribed or intimidated. For Newland it was maintained that non-resident freemen had always voted in elections and were capable of holding municipal office. On the question of the adjournment, witnesses claimed that

the poll began on Friday between seven and eight and held till between three and four, during which time the mayor was not off the bench: that before the note given him by Watts [the teller] he spoke of the adjournment and asked Watts how he durst give him any such note before the poll was closed, and one of the clerks said, Sir Benjamin Newland had carried it by two: that the reason the mayor gave for the first adjournment was because of the tumult, by which several were hindered from polling.

After hearing the evidence the committee resolved first that the right of election lay in the inhabitants and the resident and non-resident freemen and secondly that Newland had been duly elected, to which the House agreed.6

Smith was more fortunate at the 1698 election, when Wyndham withdrew to St. Ives, leaving Smith to be returned unopposed with Newland. However the by-election caused by Newland’s death the following year was contested. Roger Mompesson, a lawyer who had recently been appointed the town’s recorder, was one candidate. The other contenders were both Whigs, Mitford Crow, a London merchant, and Adam de Cardonnel, chief clerk to the secretary at war, whose father had been collector of customs at Southampton since 1660. A correspondent wrote to Harley on 9 Dec. 1699:

Registrar Mompesson makes a mighty bustle against Mr Mitford Crow and Mr Adam de Cardonnel, who are likewise candidates. The first stands fairest, having had longer time and better opportunities and higher recommendations than the others. Besides he’s wonderfully obsequious and passionately attentive in his applications, as if his all depended thereon. In what quiver he stands an arrow is well known by the party of his abettors, and I believe he will find considerable rubs in his career.

Mompesson was victorious at the election. The same three candidates stood in the general election in January 1701. Canvassing started early. On 25 Sept. 1700 a treat was arranged for the corporation by the 2nd Duke of Bolton (Charles Powlett I*), the Whig lord lieutenant of the county, who had supplied a buck for the occasion. His candidates were Cardonnel, and presumably the other Whig, Mitford Crow. It was reported on 14 Dec. that Cardonnel had already gone to Southampton ‘to make what interest he can in order to be chosen’. A correspondent informed Harley on 2 Jan. 1701 that ‘there are five who stand at Southampton, but ’tis believed Mr Cardonnel, who belongs to Mr [William] Blathwayt* and Mr Mompesson will carry it’. In fact Mompesson was returned with Crow. Cardonnel had to wait until the following November to oust Mompesson, who was removed from the recordership in 1703 for neglect of his duties and thereafter retired from Southampton politics.7

Cardonnel, now secretary to the Duke of Marlborough (John Churchill†), stood again in 1702. A contest was ensured by the candidature of Frederick Tylney, a wealthy Hampshire landowner who had earlier represented Winchester, and Wharton Dunch*, who no doubt hoped to exploit his ownership of the nearby manor of North Baddesley, which had been in his family since 1622. However, Dunch came a poor third in the poll. After election Tylney presented the corporation with a large silver gilt tankard. In 1705 Cardonnel was again returned, but Tylney was defeated by a Whig, Viscount Woodstock, son and heir of William iii’s favourite, the Earl of Portland. Over a month before the election it had been reported that Woodstock had already spent £500 towards securing his election. Dyer described Tylney’s defeat as being ‘done by this trick: that gentlemen happening to pay his reckoning in that town with about 70 louis d’ores, which he had received there, the Whig party immediately gave out, [that] he was a French Pensioner, which calumny answered their purpose’. Shortly after the election, a local grocer appeared before the mayor ‘to ask pardon of . . . every gentleman of this town that voted for Mr Tylney at the last election for the false and scandalous words which I uttered against Mr Tylney’. Bentinck and the borough’s recorder, Robert Eyre*, presented an address of congratulations on the success of the allied forces to the Queen in June 1706, Eyre presumably standing in for Cardonnel who was away on campaign with Marlborough.8

Bentinck and Cardonnel held the seats in 1708, but when the former chose to sit for the county, his place was taken by Simeon Stewart, a Country Tory from an old Hampshire family, who inherited a baronetcy in 1710. The removal of Bolton from the lord lieutenancy of the county in the political changes of the summer of 1710 caused Cardonnel some anxiety. He wrote to Horatio Walpole II* on 18 Sept.:

You’ll hear we have got two new great men in Hampshire, the Duke of Beaufort, lord lieutenant and Mr [John Richmond] Webb*, governor of the Isle of Wight in the room of the Duke of Bolton, whose friendship I had more reason to depend on in my corporation than either of the other two.

In fact his fears for the safety of his seat proved groundless since he was returned in 1710 with Richard Fleming, a Tory from the nearby manor of North Stoneham, whose family had long connexions with the borough, which his father had briefly represented in 1689. In February 1712 Cardonnel was expelled from the House for accepting an annual gratuity from the army bread contractor. His place was taken by a Tory lawyer from Winchester, Roger Harris. He and Fleming presented an address of thanks to the Queen for the advantageous terms of the peace, in which the town expressed its satisfaction that ‘we have such representatives in Parliament, as heartily concur in asserting your Majesty’s honour and promoting your kingdom’s interest and entirely acquiesce in your Majesty’s great wisdom, for giving us a glorious peace’. Fleming and Harris were returned unopposed in 1713.9

Authors: Paula Watson / Ivar McGrath


  • 1. Bodl. Willis 15, f. 404.
  • 2. Add. 61413, ff. 190–1.
  • 3. Ibid., ff. 196–7.
  • 4. Post Man, 14–16 Dec. 1708.
  • 5. Willis 15, f. 404; J. S. Davies, Hist. Southampton, 185.
  • 6. Add. 70018, ff. 94–95.
  • 7. Davies, 185; HMC Portland, iii. 613; iv. 10–11; Bodl. Carte 228, f. 344; CSP Dom. 1700–2, p. 453; London Gazette, 2–6 Apr. 1702, 27 June-1 July 1706; Southampton RO, Southampton bor. recs. SC2/1/9, p. 276.
  • 8. VCH Hants, iii. 464; Add. 61413, ff. 190–1, 196–7; Davies, 67; Bath mss at Longleat House, Thynne pprs. 18, f. 50; Bodl. Rawl. D.863, ff. 89–90; Strathmore mss at Glamis Castle, box 72, bdle. 4, newsletter 15 May 1705.
  • 9. Add. 38501, f. 85; Davies, 68; London Gazette, 10–12 July 1712; Southampton bor. recs. SC2/1/9, p. 336.