Great Marlow

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 inhabitants paying scot and lot

Number of voters:

about 250


15 Apr. 1754Charles Churchill81
 Daniel Moore81
 Charles Sloane Cadogan75
25 Mar. 17611William Clayton 
 William Mathew Burt 
 Daniel Moore 
16 Mar. 1768William Clayton150
 William Dickinson113
 William Mathew Burt63
5 Oct. 1774Sir John Borlase Warren190
 William Clayton151
 William Dickinson76
6 Sept. 1780William Clayton142
 Sir John Borlase Warren128
 Paul Benfield122
12 July 1783William Clayton jun. vice William Clayton sen., deceased 
31 Mar. 1784William Clayton157
 Sir Thomas Rich133
 Thomas Keating80

Main Article

Marlow was venal, expensive, and faithless. During this period every election save one was contested; and three out of the eight Members who represented the borough were rejected after having sat for one Parliament only.

The strongest interest was in the Clayton family of Harleyford, two miles from Marlow. ‘Mr. Clayton stands very well here’, wrote Robinson in his survey for the general election of 1780—almost the only Member in this period of whom so much could be said.

In 1787 William Clayton jun. sold his property in the borough to William Antonie Lee, son of William Lee of Totteridge Park. The price asked was £20,000, about half of which was in respect of the electoral interest the property gave at Marlow.2

Author: John Brooke


  • 1. Ld. Fitzmaurice wrote to Bute on 26 Mar. 1761, Bute mss: ‘Marlow election was determined last night for Mr. Clayton by a great majority, and for Mr. Burt, a West Indian, by about 20. Mr. Moore, a West Indian, thrown out.’
  • 2. For details see corresp. of John Fiott and Sir Wm. Lee, mss., Bucks. RO.