Double 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

Number of voters:

about 1,500


15 Apr. 1754Sir James Creed731
 Matthew Robinson Morris343
 Thomas Best27
27 Mar. 1761Richard Milles806
 Thomas Best788
 Sir James Creed691
 William Mayne686
17 Mar. 1768William Lynch787
 Richard Milles692
 Robert Maguire585
 Thomas Best544
7 Oct. 1774Richard Milles856
 Sir William Mayne761
 Sir William Lynch438
 Sir Philip Hales177
6 Sept. 1780George Gipps634
 Charles Robinson617
 William Mayne, Baron Newhaven560
 Sir Henry Watkin Dashwood150
 Michael Lade28
30 Mar. 1784George Gipps421
 Charles Robinson418
 James Trotter 
 James Wynch 
 The sheriff refused to accept votes tendered for Trotter and Wynch because they would not swear to their qualifications. 

Main Article

In 1792 Oldfield wrote about Canterbury:1 ‘This city is entirely independent in its election of Members of Parliament, and is neither under the influence or control of any patron or leading man.’ The dean and chapter, the Dissenters, town patricians, and neighbouring squires all had a certain influence in elections; but no one interest predominated, and a seat at Canterbury was held on an uncertain tenure. Most of the electors resided in the town or its neighbourhood.

Eight men sat for Canterbury 1754-90: three (Milles, Lynch and Gipps) lived within six miles of the town, and four (Creed, Morris, Best and Robinson) within the county. Only William Mayne, Lord Newhaven was a complete outsider. When he first stood for Canterbury in 1761 the cry of ‘No Scotch, no foreigner’ was raised against him, and although he was supported by both Newcastle and Bute and by the Duke of Dorset, the leading peer in the county, he was defeated.2

Author: John Brooke


  • 1. Boroughs, ii. 155.
  • 2. Namier, Structure, 99-102.