Available from Boydell and Brewer
Right of Election:
in the freemen
Number of voters:
|3 Feb. 1715||THOMAS FOLEY||787|
|JAMES SCUDAMORE, Visct. Scudamore||777|
|Herbert Rudhale Westfaling||575|
|12 Mar. 1717||HERBERT RUDHALE WESTFALING vice Scudamore, deceased||634|
|27 Mar. 1722||HERBERT RUDHALE WESTFALING|
|2 Apr. 1723||JAMES WALWYN vice Mayo, deceased||majority c.400|
|22 Aug. 1727||HENRY BRYDGES, Mq. of Carnarvon|
|1 May 1734||THOMAS FOLEY||693|
|SIR JOHN MORGAN||555|
|Herbert Rudhale Westfaling jun.||522|
|11 May 1741||EDWARD COPE HOPTON||506|
|THOMAS GEERS WINFORD||504|
|Herbert Rudhale Westfaling jun.||479|
|3 July 1747||HENRY CORNEWALL||742|
|Herbert Rudhale Westfaling||337|
Hereford was an independent borough, usually represented by local country gentlemen. Owing to the size of the electorate the borough was regarded by the Duke of Chandos as ‘extravagantly expensive’. In 1727 he reckoned that it would be necessary to pay at least 500 voters 5 or 6 guineas a head to secure the return of his candidates.1
After George I’s accession Chandos, then Lord Carnarvon, who as James Brydges had shared the representation with Thomas Foley, a Tory, in the previous reign, proposed a renewal of the compromise, recommending his cousin, Nicholas Philpott, as his successor. The Tories, however, put up a second candidate, who with Foley defeated Philpott and another of Chandos’s cousins, Herbert Rudhale Westfaling.2
In 1722 Chandos arranged a compromise between Foley’s son and Westfaling. This attempt to dispose of the seat antagonized the local gentry, who put up William Mayo, a Whig, ‘under pretence of opposing Africanus’,3 i.e. Chandos, a director of the Royal African Company. In Foley’s words:
My election was thought to be out of danger, and had been so had not some gentlemen, who professed themselves my friends and appeared with me at first, thought fit to set up a third man in opposition (as they pretend) to Mr. Westfaling, but the storm must necessarily fall upon me, at least a great many ill-consequences.4
Foley withdrew before the poll, leaving Westfaling and Mayo to be returned unopposed.
In 1727 both sides agreed to a compromise under which Chandos’s son, Lord Carnarvon, and a local Tory, Thomas Geers, were returned, despite the last minute intervention of an independent candidate. In 1734, Chandos’s interest having ‘quite gone’,5 the Tories won both seats as they did again in 1741; but in 1747, when they appear to have been unable to find a local candidate,6 the borough returned Henry Cornewall, a government supporter, and Daniel Leighton, a Leicester House Whig.
Author: R. S. Lea
- 1. Chandos to Capt. Oakeley, 12 July 1727, to H. R. Westfaling, 8 Aug. 1727, Chandos letter bks.
- 2. Brydges to Thos. Foley, 16 Sept.,to mayor and corporation of Hereford, 18 Oct., Carnarvon to Westfaling and Ld. Coningsby, 31 Dec. 1714, ibid.
- 3. Chandos to Major Crosbie, 22 Dec. 1721, ibid; HMC Portland, vii. 318-19.
- 4. 17 Mar. 1722, Portland mss.
- 5. Chandos to Sir R. Walpole, 19 Aug. 1727, to Westfaling, 27 Oct. 1733, Chandos letter bks.
- 6. Duncombe, Herefs. iii. 169.