Double Member Cinque Port

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 700


13 Apr. 1754John Clevland 
 Claudius Amyand 
7 Dec. 1756Henry Conyngham, Visct. Conyngham, vice Amyand, appointed to office 
26 Mar. 1761Henry Conyngham, Visct. Conyngham 
 George Hay 
16 Mar. 1768Henry Conyngham, Visct. Conyngham 
 Philip Stephens 
6 Oct. 1774Philip Stephens516
 William Hey455
 Henry Conyngham, Visct. Conyngham68
25 Nov. 1776Charles Brett vice Hey, appointed to office 
11 Sept. 1780Philip Stephens477
 Sir Richard Sutton366
 Charles Brett302
1 Apr. 1784Philip Stephens 
 Charles Brett 

Main Article

Robinson described Sandwich in 1784 as ‘a borough of contests’—no single interest had effective command. Government came nearest to it, and throughout this period named at least one Member—usually connected with the Admiralty. At the dissolution of 1754 the other seat was held by Sir George Oxenden, who had represented Sandwich since 1720. Amyand in 1754 and Conyngham in 1756 were returned on his interest.

After 1761 Oxenden ceased to concern himself with Sandwich —‘Sir George Oxenden has complimented me with his interest in the corporation’, wrote Conyngham to Grenville on 3 May 1765.1 Conyngham now tried to make himself the exclusive channel of Government patronage, but successive Administrations resisted this claim; and in 1774, when Government put up two candidates, he was beaten out of the field. Government earned both seats in 1780 and 1784, and Sandwich was one of the few boroughs where Government influence increased during this period. The credit for this seems to belong to Philip Stephens, of whom Oldfield wrote in 1792:2

The inhabitants of this place are bound to this gentleman by every tie of gratitude, as there is scarcely a single family some part of which has not been provided for by him in the Admiralty, navy, or marines.

Author: John Brooke


  • 1. Grenville mss (JM).
  • 2. Boroughs, iii. 62.