Caernarvon Boroughs

Single Member Borough

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 of Caernarvon, Conway, Criccieth, Nevin, and Pwllheli

Number of voters:

about 1,000


20 Apr. 1754Sir William Wynn 
16 Dec. 1754Robert Wynne vice Sir William Wynn, deceased 
1 Apr. 1761Sir John Wynn 
28 Mar. 1768Glyn Wynn 
13 Oct. 1774Glyn Wynn 
12 Sept. 1780Glyn Wynn 
16 July 1781Wynn re-elected after appointment to office 
9 Apr. 1784GLYN WYNN490
 Thomas Wynn, Baron Newborough410

Main Article

By 1754 Caernarvon Boroughs was firmly under the control of the Wynn family of Glynllivon. They held the constableship of Caernarvon castle; the mayoralty of Nevin was hereditary in the family; that of Pwllheli in their allies the Vaughans of Corsygedol; but Criccieth was controlled by the Owens of Brogyntyn. The Wynns were unchallenged until a family dispute opened the way for a rival interest. After the general election of 1780 Glyn Wynn realised that his elder brother, Lord Newborough, who had been defeated for the county, would demand the borough for himself. The brothers quarrelled; Glyn Wynn allied himself with Lord Paget; and in June 1782 obtained the appointment of his nominee Richard Howard as constable of Caernarvon castle in place of Lord Newborough. During the next two years Paget created over 750 new voters in Caernarvon, most from his own tenantry.1

Lord Bulkeley, however, hostile to both Wynn and Paget, secured the agreement of Robert Godolphin Owen of Brogyntyn to the creation of over 400 new freemen in Criccieth; and in December 1783 sponsored the candidature of Lord Newborough, despite his absence in Italy, for the forthcoming general election. When Glyn Wynn went over to Pitt early in 1784 Bulkeley, a strong supporter of the Administration, agreed to drop his opposition; and his defection lost Lord Newborough the election. This fratricidal conflict cost the Wynn family control of the constituency, which towards the end of this period was passing into the hands of Lord Paget (created in May 1784 Earl of Uxbridge).

Author: Peter D.G. Thomas


P. D. G. Thomas, ‘Parlty. Rep. Caern. 1749-84’, Trans. Caern. Hist. Soc. 1959.

  • 1. Caernarvon borough arhives, D1/6-8.