Available from Boydell and Brewer
Right of Election:
in burgage holders
Number of voters:
|21 Jan. 1715||THOMAS VERNON|
|25 May 1721||FREDERICK TYLNEY vice Vernon, expelled the House|
|CONDUITT vice Tylney, on petition, 26 June 1721|
|22 Mar. 1722||THOMAS VERNON||49|
|2 Feb. 1727||THOMAS FARRINGTON vice Vernon, deceased||52|
|7 Apr. 1727||CONDUITT re-elected after appointment to office|
|18 Aug. 1727||JOHN CONDUITT|
|JOHN SELWYN sen.|
|29 Apr. 1734||JOHN CONDUITT|
|JOHN SELWYN jun.|
|19 Apr. 1735||JOHN MORDAUNT vice Conduitt, chose to sit for Southampton|
|27 June 1737||MORDAUNT re-elected after appointment to office|
|7 May 1741||JOHN WALLOP|
|JOHN SELWYN jun.|
|2 Jan. 1742||WILLIAM SLOPER vice Wallop, chose to sit for Andover|
|31 Jan. 1743||CHARLES CLARKE vice Sloper, deceased|
|18 Feb. 1743||THOMAS WENTWORTH vice Clarke, appointed to office|
|29 Dec. 1746||SELWYN re-elected after appointment to office|
|30 June 1747||CHARLES WALLOP|
|JOHN SELWYN jun.|
|21 Nov. 1751||ROBERT BERTIE vice Selwyn, deceased|
In 1715 the chief burgage owners at Whitchurch were Thomas Vernon, a Tory, who returned himself, and John Wallop, a neighbouring Whig landowner, who returned General Carpenter. On Vernon’s expulsion from the House of Commons in 1721, Wallop, now Lord Lymington, put up his friend John Conduitt, on the understanding that Conduitt should make way for Wallop’s son when the boy came of age. Returned on petition, Conduitt was re-elected with Vernon at the general election of 1722. On Vernon’s death in 1726 much of his property at Whitchurch was bought by John Selwyn, who came to an agreement with Conduitt
that for the future all burgage tenures shall be bought between Mr. Selwyn and Mr. Conduitt in such manner that each may have an equal share of houses. That all charges attending the borough after the next election shall be borne equally by both. That the mayor [the returning officer] and the bailiff shall be chosen by the mutual consent of both. That Mr. Conduitt shall make good his engagement to my Lord Lymington.
This agreement had been suggested by Lord Lymington, who had explained to Selwyn (27 Nov. 1726) that by these means
you will be at an equal expense and just upon the same footing as if my son was of age, for then my security will be from Mr. Conduitt for my family hereafter, and all seeds of either interest or jealousy being removed it will remain a sure and uncontested borough between our families for ever: for far is it from my thoughts that there should be any dispute hereafter who was to quit the borough for my son, Mr. Conduitt having been so kind ever since he was in the borough to promise me a resignation of his interest whenever I should desire it.
He also promised Selwyn that
you and yours should always command my interest at Whitchurch and hereafter when I shall be in possession of Mr. Conduitt’s part, the agreement shall stand upon the same terms between you and yours and me and mine, as it now does between Mr. Conduitt and yourself.
At a contested by-election in 1727 Selwyn, with Conduitt’s consent, returned his kinsman, Thomas Farrington, thereafter nominating one Member. Describing their partnership Selwyn wrote, 15 Dec. 1726:
Among the number of votes, which are about eighty five, Mr. Conduitt and I have about forty-four between us, that is twenty-two each, which makes above half the whole number, supposing everyone could vote whereas some being in infants, others in women, there are seldom above seventy-five, so consequently we have a sufficient majority. The town being thus divided it behoves Mr. Conduitt and me always to join, as it will do those who shall succeed to us, because by being separated we should put it to chance and depend upon the good will of the people who shall get the better, and it ... would infallibly be attended with great trouble and expense, whereas now there is neither.
After Conduitt’s death in 1737, followed by his wife’s in 1739, Lymington secured possession of their Whitchurch property by the marriage of his eldest son to Conduitt’s daughter and heir in July 1740. On 26 July 1740 Lymington and Selwyn in a written agreement plighted
their faith and honour always to join each other and in case of the death of Mr. Wallop and Mr. Selwyn the survivor obliges himself to assist with all his interest and influence the heirs of the deceased equally as though the contracting parties were both alive.
And in case either of them part with their estates at Whitchurch out of their own family the other shall have the first refusal.1
On Selwyn’s death in November 1751 his property and electoral interest at Whitchurch passed to his son-in-law, Thomas Townshend, who continued to cooperate with Lymington, now Earl of Portsmouth.
Author: Paula Watson
- 1. Hants RO 4M51/384.