New Windsor


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 inhabitants paying scot and lot

Number of voters:

about 280


26 Jan. 1715Christopher Wren141
 Sir Henry Ashurst136
 Samuel Travers135
 ASHURST and TRAVERS vice Wren and Gayer, on petition, 14 Apr. 1715 
20 Mar. 1722Charles Beauclerk, Earl of Burford249
 William O'Brien, Earl of Inchiquin211
 — Proctor80
 Robert Gayer3
31 May 1726Lord Vere Beauclerk vice Burford, called to the Upper House 
16 Aug. 1727Lord Vere Beauclerk247
 George Cholmondeley Visct. Malpas244
 Francis Oldfield53
15 May 1732Beauclerk re-elected after appointment to office 
16 May 1733Lord Sidney Beauclerk vice Malpas, called to the Upper House 
23 Apr. 1734Lord Vere Beauclerk 
 Lord Sidney Beauclerk 
10 Mar. 1738Lord Vere Beauclerk133
 Richard Oldfield133
  Double return. BEAUCLERK declared re-elected after reappointment to office, 27 Mar. 1738 
28 Apr. 1740Lord Sidney Beauclerk re-elected after appointment to office 
2 May 1741Lord Sidney Beauclerk 
 Henry Fox 
26 Dec. 1743Fox re-elected after appointment to office 
3 Dec. 1744Lord George Beauclerk vice Lord Sidney Beauclerk, deceased. 
31 May 1746Fox re-elected after appointment to office 
26 June 1747Lord George Beauclerk 
 Henry Fox 

Main Article

The principal interest at Windsor lay in the castle. From 1722 to 1761 the Beauclerk dukes of St. Albans, lords lieutenant of Berkshire 1714-51, who owned Burford House in the borough, always held one of the seats, the 2nd Duke being constable of the castle 1730-51. According to the Duchess of Marlborough, George II said at his levee in 1738, 'Lord Vere [Beauclerk] should have the seat in Parliament, for Windsor was his [i.e. the King's] borough'.1 Members returned were always agreeable to the Crown and supporters of the Administration, except in 1715, when two Tories were returned thanks to the support of the displaced constable, the Duke of Northumberland, the partiality of the mayor as returning officer, and the power to influence workmen at the castle by their positions at the office of works. Their Whig opponents, who were supported by the new constable, the Duke of Kent, were seated on petition.2

In 1738 Lord Vere Beauclerk

was most warmly opposed by the Duke of Marlborough and the old Duchess [the ranger of Windsor Great Park], in favour of one Mr. Oldfield of the town, a person of no great merit, and by very ill management on the part of the St. Albans family, Lord Vere was in great danger of losing it. But in the event the votes were equal, 133 each. The Commons, who have often made a minority a majority, you will easily believe could do it on an equality ... They declared Lord Vere duly elected by 240 to 160.3

In 1741 Henry Fox, then surveyor of the works, took the second seat, which he retained for 20 years. Though four times returned unopposed, the expense of maintaining his interest was considerable. He wrote in December 1743: 'The company which I treat every Wednesday increases excessively. So I am in a fair way to be very poor and very successful'; and in May 1746 he estimated his expenses at a by-election to be 'something under £400'.4

Author: R. S. Lea


  • 1. Mems of Sarah, Duchess of Marlborough, ed. King, 328.
  • 2. CJ, xviii. 26, 62-64.
  • 3. HMC 14th Rep. IX, 239.
  • 4. Ilchester, Lord Holland, i. 104, 133.