Corfe Castle


Published in The History of Parliament: the House of Commons 1715-1754, ed. R. Sedgwick, 1970
Available from Boydell and Brewer

Background Information

Right of Election:

in inhabitant householders paying scot and lot

Number of voters:

279 in 1718


2 Feb. 1715DENIS BOND  
 John Bankes  
 Richard Fownes  
1 Dec. 1718 vice Okeden, deceased  
  Double return. CHURCHILL declared elected, 21 Jan. 1719  
25 Feb. 1721JOHN BOND vice Churchill, deceased  
26 Mar. 1722JOHN BANKES  
19 Aug. 1727JOHN BANKES  
30 Apr. 1734JOHN BANKES  
7 May 1741JOHN BOND  
7 Dec. 1744THOMAS ERLE DRAX vice Bond, deceased  
29 June 1747HENRY BANKES  

Main Article

Corfe Castle was dominated by the Bonds of Creech Grange, three miles distant, Whigs, and the Bankeses of Kingston Lacy, lords of the manor and castle of Corfe, Tories. In 1715 the Bonds were able to capture both seats, probably through William Ockeden who owned a small property in the borough, out of which he granted 35 leases. A petition alleging ‘that multitudes of pretended votes [presumably these leaseholders] were allowed by the mayor’ as returning officer, was withdrawn. On Okeden’s death in 1718 the legality of these leases was challenged at the ensuing by-election, on which the mayor compromised by making a double return, ‘the difficulty being too weighty ... to take upon him to determine’. Without these votes John Bankes had a majority of two, but the House of Commons upheld their validity and Joshua Churchill was declared elected by 21 votes.1 Thereafter, by amicable arrangement, the Bankeses and Bonds each took one seat, without a contest.

Author: R. S. Lea


  • 1. CJ, xviii. 31, 372; xix. 47, 63.