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 corporation

Number of voters:



17 Apr. 1754Robert Herbert
 William Herbert
27 Apr. 1757Nicholas Herbert vice William Herbert, deceased
28 Mar. 1761Robert Herbert
 Nicholas Herbert
18 Jan. 1765Nicholas Herbert re-elected after appointment to office
1 Mar. 1768Nicholas Herbert
 Henry Herbert
7 Dec. 1772Henry Herbert re-elected after appointment to office
8 Oct. 1774Nicholas Herbert
 Henry Herbert
20 Feb. 1775Charles Herbert vice Nicholas Herbert, deceased
14 June 1777Charles Herbert re-elected after appointment to office
11 Sept. 1780George Augustus Herbert, Lord Herbert
 William Gerard Hamilton
2 Apr. 1784Lord Herbert
 William Gerard Hamilton
2 Feb. 1785Philip Goldsworthy vice Herbert, appointed to office
9 Feb. 1788Lord Herbert vice Goldsworthy, vacated his seat

Main Article

Wilton was a pocket borough of the Earl of Pembroke. However, it required care and attention. In September 1783 Lord Pembroke wrote that it stood upon a ‘very ticklish and slender’ foundation,1 but the creation of a batch of new burgesses next month confirmed the Herbert supremacy. In the earlier part of the century most of the burgesses were local men in modest positions (several could not sign their names in the corporation’s minute books). It became Herbert practice to pack the corporation with relatives and friends, who were more reliable. Among the burgesses created in October 1783 were Pembroke’s cousin and natural son, and a number of neighbouring country gentlemen, including Charles Penruddocke, William Pierce Ashe A’Court, and Henry and James Dawkins.

Author: J. A. Cannon


  • 1. Pembroke Pprs. ii. 233.