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

Background Information

Right of Election:

in the freemen

Number of voters:

about 2,000


1 Feb. 1715THOMAS WYLDE 
 Richard Lockwood 
11 Oct. 1715WYLDE re-elected after appointment to office 
7 Mar. 1718SAMUEL SANDYS vice Swift, deceased 
30 Mar. 1722THOMAS WYLDE 
29 Aug. 1727SAMUEL SANDYS1703
 Thomas Wylde720
3 May 1734SAMUEL SANDYS1628
 John Willes609
 John Ravenhill1009
9 Mar. 1742SANDYS re-elected after appointment to office 
27 Dec. 1743WINNINGTON re-elected after appointment to office 
10 Jan. 1744SIR HENRY HARPUR vice Sandys, called to the Upper House 
 John Willes 
13 May 1746THOMAS VERNON vice Winnington, deceased 
1 July 1747THOMAS VERNON1557
 Robert Tracy1024
 TRACY vice Winford, on petition, 11 Feb. 1748 

Main Article

Worcester was an independent borough. The main influence lay with the mayor, as returning officer, and the corporation, through their power of creating honorary freemen. All the Members returned came from city or neighbouring families, except Richard Lockwood, a London merchant, and Sir Henry Harpur, a Derbyshire baronet.

In 17I5 the former Members, Thomas Wylde, a Whig placeman, and Samuel Swift, a Tory, who had shared the representation throughout the previous reign, were re-elected. On Swift’s death in 1718 he was succeeded by Samuel Sandys, a Whig, who held the seat for the next 26 years, from 1725 to 1742 opposing the Government as Pulteney’s chief lieutenant. In 1727 Wylde was ousted by another government supporter, Sir Richard Lane, who was succeeded in 1734 by Lockwood, a Tory.

In 1741 Worcester returned its recorder, Thomas Winnington, who had gone over to the Government, re-electing Sandys, who after Walpole’s fall became chancellor of the Exchequer. Shortly before the opening of the 1742-3 session, the mayor, aldermen, and citizens of Worcester addressed the following remonstrance to their Members:

As to You Mr. Winnington, when you was chose recorder of this city, we conceived great hopes that you would have persevered in that uniform and unshaken spirit of public liberty which you then professed; but sorry are we to say, and with the utmost concern do we tell you, that we think you have greatly deviated from the principles which, at that time, were thought to be the rule of your actions; and though at the last election you gained a seat for this ancient and loyal city, yet give us leave to say that unless you pursue the instructions we now send you, vain will it be for you to make another attempt.

As to You Mr. Sandys, that have so long represented us, and in whom our expectations were in some degrees raised; You! that have made so many, and so solemn declarations against evil ministers and their indue influence; You! that have exclaimed so loudly against corruption and the misapplication of public treasure; that You should so greatly fall off, and without the concurrence of the friends of the public, greedily embrace the first opportunity of getting into place; and, by your subsequent behaviour, contribute to disappoint the nation of that justice and security which You yourself had so often and so peremptorily declared to be so indispensably necessary to its preservation and support, to us seems very inconsistent. Let us yet, for You, hope better things the ensuing session.

They went on to instruct them to oppose the grant of supplies till they had secured the renewal of the secret committee of inquiry into the late Administration and

procured some effectual bills to reduce and limit the number of placemen in the House of Commons; to restrain the abuse of power in returning officers; to restore the frequency of elections, as well as the ancient economy of the Crown, and thereby serve the landed interest, which has so long suffered.1

Though neither Member complied with these instructions, Winnington was re-elected unopposed on succeeding Henry Pelham as paymaster general in 1743; but when Sandys was made a peer in 1744 his nominee was defeated by a Tory, Sir Henry Harpur.2 On Winnington’s death in 1746 the vacancy was filled by Thomas Vernon, an opposition Whig, who was re-elected in 1747, when the corporation secured the election to the second seat of Thomas Geers Winford, a Tory, by making over a hundred honorary freemen. On petition these votes were disallowed, whereupon Winford gave up, leaving Robert Tracy, a government supporter, to be awarded the seat by the Commons.3

Author: Romney R. Sedgwick


  • 1. Gent Mag. 1742, pp. 581-2.
  • 2. Owen, Pelhams, 204.
  • 3. CJ, xxv. 452, 509-10.