Published in The History of Parliament: the House of Commons 1715-1754, ed. R. Sedgwick, 1970
Available from Boydell and Brewer

Background Information

Number of voters:

about 7,000


8 Feb. 1715JOHN BLAND 
27 Mar. 1722SIR JOHN BLAND3784
 Sir Henry Hoghton3367
4 May 1736PETER BOLD vice Stanley, called to the Upper House 
26 May 1741JAMES STANLEY, Lord Strange 
14 July 1747JAMES SMITH STANLEY, Lord Strange247
 Peter Bold140
23 Jan. 1750PETER BOLD vice Shuttleworth, deceased 

Main Article

The representation of Lancashire was usually shared without a contest by the Earls of Derby, with the local gentry each choosing one Member. Apparently owing to the 10th Earl’s reluctance to intervene in county elections this practice was interrupted in 1713 and 1715 when two Jacobites, Sir John Bland and Richard Shuttleworth, were returned unopposed.

In 1722 Bland and Shuttleworth standing jointly, were opposed by a Whig, Sir Henry Hoghton, the leader of the Lancashire nonconformists. According to a pre-election report to Sunderland, Hoghton

spoke to Lord Derby, who has interest of his own besides that of being lord lieutenant and his Lordship’s answer was that he would not meddle, but if a right person was chose to set up and those would exert themselves that ought to do it, both the old Members might be turned out.1

‘After a vast expense and fatigue’ Hoghton was narrowly defeated. Sunderland’s informant reported:

Our lord lieutenant is not a little indolent else a pert person would not have carried off some hundreds of his own tenants. Lord Lechmere [the chancellor of the duchy of Lancaster] was very ill used by his people of the duchy ... Most if not all went against Sir Harry.2

In 1727 the normal pattern was restored with the unopposed return of Shuttleworth and Sir Edward Stanley, afterwards 11th Earl of Derby, both of whom were re-elected without opposition in 1734. On Stanley’s succession to the earldom in 1736, when his only son, Lord Strange, was a minor, the vacancy was filled by a Tory, Peter Bold. In 1741 Strange, having come of age, was returned unopposed along with Shuttleworth, though the new Lord Derby, like his predecessors, would ‘not ask anybody for their votes or interest’.3 They were again returned in 1747, when Bold also stood but withdrew on the opening of the poll. On Shuttleworth’s death in 1750 Bold was returned unopposed.

Author: Eveline Cruickshanks


  • 1. E. Hamilton to Sunderland, undated, Sunderland (Blenheim) mss.
  • 2. Hamilton to Sunderland, 6 Apr. 1722, ibid.
  • 3. Ld. Barrymore to Sir Roger Bradshaigh, 18 May 1739, Rylands, Crawford mss.