Available from Boydell and Brewer
Right of Election:
in burgage holders
Number of voters:
|19 June 1790||SAMUEL ESTWICK I|
|15 Jan. 1795||SAMUEL ESTWICK II vice Law, vacated his seat|
|27 Nov. 1795||EDWARD WILBRAHAM BOOTLE vice Samuel Estwick I, deceased|
|27 May 1796||SIR HENRY PAULET ST. JOHN MILDMAY, Bt.|
|28 Oct. 1796||GEORGE WILLIAM RICHARD HARCOURT vice Ellis, chose to sit for Seaford|
|18 Apr. 1800||JOHN SIMON HARCOURT vice Harcourt, vacated his seat|
|6 July 1802||WILLIAM BALDWIN|
|31 Oct. 1806||WILLIAM JACOB|
|6 May 1807||HON. EDWARD LASCELLES|
|20 July 1807||HON. HENRY LASCELLES vice Lascelles, chose to sit for Northallerton|
|27 Jan. 1809||FRANCIS WHITTLE vice Wynn, vacated his seat|
|24 Mar. 1810||JOHN DE PONTHIEU vice Whittle, vacated his seat|
|10 Oct. 1812||BENJAMIN HALL|
|5 Dec. 1814||RALPH FRANCO vice Hall, vacated his seat|
|23 June 1818||RALPH FRANCO|
|LORD FRANCIS NATHANIEL CONYNGHAM|
|1 May 1819||WILLIAM LEADER MABERLY vice Franco, vacated his seat|
Westbury was a close borough where Willoughby Bertie, 4th Earl of Abingdon, owned all but one or two of the burgages. Since 1786 he had sold the seats to satisfy his creditors.1 The Treasury noted in 1788 that one of the Members, John Madocks, might be succeeded by his son, who was in opposition: but that did not take place. The new Member in 1790, Ewan Law, was holding the seat for his brother Edward Law*, who intended taking it up when Warren Hastings’s trial was concluded; but upon his deciding not to do so, Ewan vacated.2 In 1796 Charles Rose Ellis*, who had purchased a seat for his cousin George, complained of being ‘flagitiously cheated’ in the matter of his cousin’s ‘re-election’ by Abingdon’s agent William Baldwin*. The result was that George Ellis transferred to Seaford and his cousin washed his hands of Westbury. Of the price paid by Ellis and by his successor St. John Mildmay, Canning was assured that it was ‘the largest ever given’, but believed ‘the exorbitancy of their purchase was accounted for by Mr Billy Baldwin being the agent’.3
Abingdon died in 1799 leaving a youthful heir, for whom Baldwin and Viscount Gage* were appointed trustees. Baldwin himself was returned in 1802. The trustees, who continued the sales of property begun by the late earl, otherwise sold the seats. In 1806 Tierney was quoted 10,000 guineas for them by Baldwin, and in 1807, according to Romilly, he bid £10,000 for them in vain. In that year Baldwin, who no longer had a say in the matter as the 5th Earl was of age, informed Earl Fitzwilliam that the principal creditor of the Abingdon estate had been approached by George Rose* for the Treasury through Viscount Gage, and that as a result Lord Harewood had brought the seats for about £10,000. Harewood brought in his son Edward with Glynn Wynn, the former being soon replaced by his brother Henry, defeated in Yorkshire. Wynn was to have been replaced by Lord Dufferin*, after a negotiation conducted by the Treasury through Charles Long*, but nothing came of it.4 The open sale of seats for Westbury was referred to in debate by William Alexander Madocks on 11 May 1809.
In 1810 Westbury was sold by Abingdon to (Sir) Manesseh Masseh Lopes* for £75,000 This appears to have escaped Lord Liverpool’s notice for he wrote to Lord Harewood, 21 Sept. 1812, complaining that his nominee De Ponthieu had been voting with opposition and that government hoped to see a reliable supporter returned in future.5 Lopes, his nephew Franco apart, took paying guests: as Lord Grenville was assured in 1810, the borough was ‘not to be had on other terms’.6
Author: R. G. Thorne
- 1. J. A. Cannon, ‘The Parl. Rep. of six Wilts. Boroughs 1754-90’ (Bristol Univ. Ph.D. thesis, 1958), i. 294; Oldfield, Rep. Hist. v. 145.
- 2. PRO 30/8/196; 30/12/17/8, Law to Abingdon, n.d.
- 3. Portland mss PwF7423; PRO 30/29/8/2, f. 169; 30/29/9/5, f. 3.
- 4. PCC 336 Adderley; Add. 37880, f. 210; 51585, Tierney to Holland, Tues. [Oct. 1806]; Romilly, Mems. ii. 206; Wentworth Woodhouse mun. E, Baldwin to Fitzwilliam, 1 May; Wellington mss, Long to Wellesley, 11 May .
- 5. Add. 38328, f. 41.
- 6. Fortescue mss, Fremantle to Grenville, Sat. [?Mar. 1810].