Bere Alston

Double Member Borough

Published in The History of Parliament: the House of Commons 1754-1790, ed. L. Namier, J. Brooke., 1964
Available from Boydell and Brewer

Background Information

Right of Election:

in burgage holders

Number of voters:

below 30


22 Apr. 1754Sir Francis Henry Drake
 John Bristowe
31 Mar. 1761Sir Francis Henry Drake
 George Hobart
18 Mar. 1768Sir Francis Henry Drake
 George Hobart
29 Jan. 1771Francis William Drake vice Sir Francis Henry Drake, appointed to office
8 Oct. 1774Sir Francis Henry Drake
 George Hobart
9 Sept. 1780Lord Algernon Percy
 George Macartney, Baron Macartney
2 Dec. 1780William Robert Feilding, Visct. Feilding, vice Percy, chose to sit for Northumberland
14 Feb. 1781Laurence Cox vice Macartney, vacated his seat
3 Apr. 1784Richard Wellesley, Earl of Mornington
 William Robert Feilding, Visct. Feilding
1 Feb. 1787Charles Rainsford vice Mornington, appointed to office
23 Dec. 1788John Mitford vice Rainsford, vacated his seat
29 July 1789Mitford re-elected after appointment to office

Main Article

The borough was shared by the Drake and Hobart families. Under proper management the number of burgages was kept down, and the creation of faggot votes was prevented. By 1754 only extreme neglect could have lost the borough to the two families. Sir Francis Henry Drake of Buckland Abbey, within three or four miles of Bere Alston, managed it for both; and when he sold his share in it to Hugh, 1st Duke of Northumberland, the Earl of Buckinghamshire did likewise. Northumberland, dying 6 June 1786, left Bere Alston to his second son, Lord Algernon Percy.

Author: Sir Lewis Namier