Cardigan Boroughs


Published in The History of Parliament: the House of Commons 1715-1754, ed. R. Sedgwick, 1970
Available from Boydell and Brewer

Background Information

Right of Election:

till 1730 in the freemen of Cardigan, Aberystwyth, Lampeter, Tregaron and Atpar, thereafter in the same less Tregaron

Number of voters:



15 Feb. 1715STEPHEN PARRY 
1 Apr. 1725THOMAS POWELL vice Parry, deceased 
 Thomas Pryse 
1 May 1729THOMAS POWELL, vice Cornwallis deceased1224
  Double return. LLOYD declared elected, 7 May 1730 
 Walter Pryse 
29 May 1741THOMAS PRYSE1034
 Richard Lloyd697
20 Mar. 1746JOHN SYMMONS vice Pryse, deceased 
 Walter Lloyd 
10 July 1747JOHN SYMMONS 

Main Article

The chief interest in Cardigan Boroughs was that of the Pryses of Gogerddan, Tories, who controlled Cardigan and Aberystwyth; Tregaron was controlled by the Powells of Nanteos, also Tories; and Lampeter by the Lloyds of Peterswell, Whigs. Up to 1729 Tories were returned without a contest except in 1725, when Thomas Pryse of Dol unsuccessfully attempted to take advantage of a minority in the Gogerddan family to secure his own return by arranging for a mass admission of freemen at Aberystwyth.1 The contest took place in 1729 between Thomas Powell of Nanteos and Richard Lloyd, a local Whig, who was actively supported by Pryse, then mayor of Cardigan and returning officer. There was a double return, the point at issue being whether Tregaron, where Powell had created some 800 freemen immediately before the election, formed part of the constituency. The House of Commons decided that it did not and awarded the seat to Lloyd.2

Lloyd was returned again in 1734, writing to Walpole, 12 June:

I got [the town] by a majority of no less than 300, where we have got more than 1,000 voters, had they been all polled, though Mr. [Watkin] Williams Wynn’s party etc., exerted themselves with all their weight and also supported by the Lord Lisburne’s interest in a very warm manner.3

But in 1741 he was defeated by Thomas Pryse, the heir of Gogerddan, who had come of age. On Pryse’s death in 1745 the seat was filled by another Tory, who was re-elected in 1747 unopposed.

Author: Peter D.G. Thomas


  • 1. W. Powell to Mr. Justice Price, 30 May 1727, Nanteos mss, NLW.
  • 2. CJ, xxi. 571-4.
  • 3. Cholmondeley (Houghton) mss.