Yarmouth I.o.W.

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:

about 50


19 Apr. 1754Thomas Holmes 
 Henry Holmes 
31 Mar. 1761Thomas Holmes, Baron Holmes 
 Henry Holmes 
28 Dec. 1762Jeremiah Dyson vice Henry Holmes, deceased 
21 Apr. 1763Lord Holmes re-elected after appointment to office 
24 Apr. 1764Dyson re-elected after appointment to office 
18 Jan. 1765John Eames vice Lord Holmes, deceased 
22 Mar. 1768William Strode29
 Jervoise Clarke 29
 Thomas Dummer15
 George Lane Parker15
 DUMMER and LANE PARKER vice Strode and Clarke, on petition, 19 Jan. 1769 
8 Oct. 1774Jervoise Clarke Jervoise 
 Edward Meux Worsley 
6 Feb. 1775James Worsley vice Edward Meux Worsley, vacated his seat 
15 Dec. 1779Robert Kingsmill vice Jervoise, vacated his seat 
8 Sept. 1780Edward Morant 
 Edward Rushworth 
14 Apr. 1781Sir Thomas Rumbold vice Rushworth, vacated his seat 
3 Apr. 1784Edward Morant 
 Philip Francis 
11 Apr. 1787Thomas Clarke Jervoise vice Morant, vacated his seat 

Main Article

During the first ten years of this period Yarmouth was controlled by Thomas Holmes (created in 1760 Baron Holmes in the Irish peerage), and managed by him on behalf of Government. There was an anti-Holmes party in the Isle of Wight, headed by Sir Thomas Worsley and Lord Carnarvon; and when Holmes died in July 1764 they hoped to take over from him. But the appointment of governor of the Isle of Wight was given to Hans Stanley, who was committed to neither side. Stanley wrote shortly after his appointment:1

I think I see very clearly that the governor of the Isle of Wight in elections is but a secondhand interest; either party will be glad to make some sort of terms with him in order to procure favours for their friends, and perhaps it would not have been ill policy to adopt the Irish maxim of joining with the strongest after they had first settled that point amongst themselves.

At Yarmouth after Holmes’s death there was a division of interests between the Rev. Leonard Troughear Holmes, Lord Holmes’s nephew and successor, and Lord Holmes’s brother-in-law, Barnabas Eveleigh Leigh; but this was soon composed by each agreeing to return one Member.2 Holmes then offered his interest in the Isle of Wight to Administration, and Stanley advised Grenville to accept.3

Holmes worked with each successive Administration, and at the general election of 1768 he had Government support in the attack made upon him by the Worsley-Oglander-Jervoise Clarke party in all three Isles of Wight constituencies. At Yarmouth Holmes’s candidates were defeated, but returned on petition; and before the general election of 1774 Holmes and Jervoise Clarke came to an agreement to return one Member each.

Author: John Brooke


  • 1. To Hans Sloane, 6 Aug. 1764, Sloane-Stanley mss.
  • 2. Northington to Grenville, 14 Oct. 1764, Grenville mss (JM); Grenville to Northington, 17 Oct. 1764, Grenville letter bk.
  • 3. Grenville to Holmes, 12 Sept. 1764, Grenville letter bk.; Stanley to Grenville, 9 Dec. 1764, Grenville mss (JM).