Double Member Borough
Available from Boydell and Brewer
Right of Election:
in the freemen
Number of voters:
|19 Apr. 1754||Sir John Turner|
|24 Feb. 1757||Horatio Walpole vice Horatio Walpole, called to the Upper House|
|27 Mar. 1761||Sir John Turner|
|9 June 1762||Turner re-elected after appointment to office|
|21 Mar. 1768||Thomas Walpole||200|
|Sir John Turner||174|
|8 Oct. 1774||Thomas Walpole|
|11 Sept. 1780||Thomas Walpole|
|2 Apr. 1784||Horatio Walpole||151|
|Brigg Price Fountaine||72|
From 1754 to 1774 one seat at King’s Lynn was held by Sir John Turner and the other by a member of the Walpole family. In 1765 Turner quarrelled with one of his principal supporters, and an opposition developed against him which soon assumed a political character. Turner, who had held office under the Grenville Administration, remained with Grenville in opposition; his opponent, Crisp Molineux, was a friend of Wilkes and admirer of Chatham; while the Walpoles preserved their neutrality. General warrants was an important issue in the contest, but Turner’s victory was more a matter of electoral mechanics. Turner and Molineux had agreed to ask for one vote for themselves and one for Thomas Walpole, and when Turner began to ask for single votes only, Walpole’s position was in danger. He was saved because Molineux honoured the agreement; had Molineux, like Turner, asked for single votes only, he would have been head of the poll and Walpole at the bottom.
Molineux was promised the first vacant seat at a Walpole borough, but he continued to cultivate his interest at King’s Lynn in association with the Walpoles. It was a sign of his influence in the borough that in 1770 he persuaded the corporation to confer the freedom on Wilkes. In 1774 and 1780 Molineux and Thomas Walpole were returned unopposed, and the contest of 1784 demonstrated the strength of their interests.
Author: John Brooke
B. D. Hayes, ‘Politics in Norfolk, 1750-1832’, Cambridge Univ. Ph.D. thesis.