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 1,000


16 Apr. 1754Gabriel Hanger573
 Heneage Finch, Lord Guernsey572
 Abraham Hume352
6 Dec. 1757Savile Finch vice Guernsey, called to the Upper House 
28 Mar. 1761Rose Fuller483
 William Northey452
 Gabriel Hanger440
18 Mar. 1768Charles Marsham697
 Robert Gregory433
 Mr. Annesley331
8 Oct. 1774Sir Horatio Mann541
 Heneage Finch, Lord Guernsey456
 Robert Gregory225
16 May 1777Charles Finch vice Guernsey, called to the Upper House235
 Charles Stanhope, Visct. Mahon28
8 Sept. 1780Sir Horatio Mann558
 Clement Taylor399
 Charles Finch362
2 Apr. 1784Clement Taylor406
 Gerard Edwards393
 William Geary324
14 July 1788Matthew Bloxham vice Edwards, vacated his seat328
 George Byng307

Main Article

At Maidstone Lord Aylesford and Lord Romney both had an old-established interest; there was a strong independent party, nurtured by the Dissenters (in 1809 estimated at nearly half the borough); and a minor Government interest from the dockyards at Rochester, Chatham, and Deptford.

At every election between 1754 and 1777 the Aylesford interest returned a candidate, and the Romney interest in 1754, 1761, and 1768. In 1780 the Aylesford candidate was beaten and both Members were local independent men: Mann a landowner, and Taylor a manufacturer. In 1792 Oldfield described the borough as divided between two parties, ‘the one attempting to compliment the minister with the nomination of its Members, the other equally zealous in maintaining the independence of its constitutional rights’. John Brenchly, a Maidstone brewer and partner in a Southwark bank, led the ministerial party, and Taylor the independents.

Author: John Brooke