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 the freemen

Number of voters:

about 400


17 Apr. 1754Lord George Manners
 Sir John Cust
30 Mar. 1761Lord George Manners
 Sir John Cust
16 Mar. 1768Lord George Manners Sutton
 Sir John Cust
2 Feb. 1770Francis Cust vice Sir John Cust, deceased
10 Oct. 1774Lord George Manners Sutton
 Sir Brownlow Cust
20 May 1776Peregrine Cust vice Brownlow Cust, called to the Upper House
12 Sept. 1780Francis Cockayne Cust
 George Manners Sutton
1 Apr. 1784 Francis Cockayne Cust
 George Manners Sutton

Main Article

Oldfield wrote about Grantham in 1792: ‘The Duke of Rutland and Lord Brownlow, from their property in the town, the contiguity of their seats, and their personal interest, have the entire command of its representation.’ The same holds good throughout the period. When in 1766 John Calcraft, a friend of Lord Granby and son of a town clerk of Grantham, tried to establish an interest in the borough, obviously against the Custs, he received no encouragement from Belvoir;1 nor did Lord William Manners, when in 1768 he purchased the manor of Grantham with a view to returning his son, John Manners, on his own interest. On the contrary, Granby, talking to John Cust, ‘fell very heavy upon Lord William, who had been long doing him all the mischief he could and that John Manners would be the last person he should think of recommending to Grantham’.2 On 25 Jan. 1768 Granby and Brownlow Cust walked the town together, ‘calling on the voters, not omitting Lord William Manners, while the expenses of the canvass were divided between the Duke of Rutland and Sir John Cust’; the return was unopposed, and the total joint expenses amounted to £1,194 4s. 2d. Still, at all times the borough required careful nursing: as clearly appears from the Cust family correspondence.3

Author: Sir Lewis Namier


  • 1. Recs. Cust. Fam. ii. 84, 249, 253; Add. 17496, ff. 43-44.
  • 2. John to Francis Cust, 11 Jan. 1768, Recs. Cust Fam. ii. 271.
  • 3. Ibid. 83-84, 89, 248-57, 270-4.