The Sale of Seats

Published in The History of Parliament: the House of Commons 1820-1832, ed. D.R. Fisher, 2009
Available from Cambridge University Press

The sale of seats. This practice continued, probably more extensively than the patchy evidence suggests. A few patrons are known to have sold seats as a matter of course: Northumberland (Launceston); Lord St. Germans (St. Germans); Lord Hertford (Aldeburgh); Sir Fitzwilliam Barrington (Newtown, Isle of Wight); Joseph Everett (Ludgershall); John Fownes Luttrell (Minehead); Thomas Legh (Newton); Joseph Pitt (Malmesbury); Albany Savile (Okehampton), and Sir Mark Wood (Gatton). Doubtless there were others. The cost of known transactions varied, but the minimum for a Parliament seems to have been £5,000. This is what Northumberland charged at Launceston. Pitt ran to £6,000 at Malmesbury, and Sir Miles