Available from Boydell and Brewer
Right of Election:
till 1724 in inhabitants; thereafter in the corporation
Number of voters:
till 1724 about 60; thereafter 25
|28 Jan. 1715||SIR ORLANDO BRIDGEMAN|
|22 Mar. 1722||BENJAMIN HASKINS STILES|
|Sir Orlando Bridgeman|
|11 Feb. 1723||EDMUND PIKE HEATH vice Stiles, chose to sit for Devizes|
|28 Feb. 1723||MATTHEW DUCIE MORETON vice Duckett, appointed to office|
|19 Aug. 1727||WILLIAM DUCKETT|
|26 Apr. 1734||WILLIAM DUCKETT||25|
|5 May 1741||WALTER HUNGERFORD|
|27 June 1747||WILLIAM NORTHEY|
The principal interest in the borough lay in the Ducketts, who owned the manors of Calne and Calstone, usually returning one Member. Another interest was attached to the prebend manor of Calne, leased by the Stiles family till 1747, when they sold it to the Northeys. Two other neighbouring landowners, Sir Orlando Bridgeman of Bowood and Walter Hungerford of Studley, also had some influence.
Most elections were contested up to 1724, when the House of Commons decided on petition by the inhabitants that the franchise was confined to the ‘ancient burgesses’, i.e. to the corporation. Thenceforth there was only one more contest, in 1734, for over a hundred years. From 1747 the Ducketts and the Northeys jointly had complete control of the borough till Lord Shelburne acquired it by buying their properties in 1763-5.