Available from Boydell and Brewer
Right of Election:
in inhabitants paying scot and lot
Number of voters:
|2 Feb. 1715||CHARLES CECIL|
|24 Mar. 1722||BROWNLOW CECIL|
|24 Oct. 1722||WILLIAM NOEL vice Cecil, called to the Upper House|
|19 Aug. 1727||WILLIAM NOEL|
|25 Apr. 1734||WILLIAM NOEL||339|
|13 Feb. 1738||NOEL re-elected after appointment to office|
|6 May 1741||WILLIAM NOEL|
|29 June 1747||BROWNLOW CECIL, Lord Burghley|
|JOHN PROBY jun.|
|8 Dec. 1747||ROBERT BARBOR vice Burghley, chose to sit for Rutland|
In 1715 the representation of Stamford was shared between two Tory families, each returning one Member: the Berties of Uffington, two miles from the borough; and the Cecils, earls of Exeter, ‘of Burghley House by Stamford town’. By 1727 the Earl of Exeter had increased his interest sufficiently to capture both seats, ousting the Berties in the person of Charles Bertie. In 1734 the Exeter interest was challenged by Savile Cust, the uncle of Sir John Cust, whose family formerly had considerable influence in Stamford.1 Before the election Lord Exeter, in alliance with the Earl of Gainsborough, who also owned property in the borough, took steps
to introduce into the town near two hundred foreigners chiefly tenants or dependents on Lord Exeter and Lord Gainsborough; to lodge them in garrets, closets and cellars; to build them extempore chimneys, under pretence of making them voters.
The two Earls threatened to turn out any of their tenants who did business with the inns or trades-people in Cust’s interest. The mayor, who was Exeter’s steward, and the corporation, which was ‘entirely under the direction of Lord Exeter’, gave loans at low interest, hospital places and the leases of corporation lands to those who promised to vote against Cust. Two days before the election
Mr. Noel and Mr. Proby led their riotous mob in person ... and made a formal attack upon Mr. Cust’s house ... When Mr. Cust’s friends came out into the courtyard, they discharged a shower of stones at them and wounded many.
Thirty people were hurt.2 After Noel and Proby had been returned Cust petitioned, claiming that the right of election lay only in householders, but the House of Commons accepted the sitting Members’ contention that it lay in all the inhabitants paying scot and lot.3 Thenceforth Lord Exeter’s candidates were returned unopposed.