Available from Boydell and Brewer
Number of voters:
|16 Feb. 1715||LANGHAM BOOTH||3059|
|SIR GEORGE WARBURTON||3053|
|4 Apr. 1722||CHARLES CHOLMONDELEY||3443|
|JOHN OFFLEY CREWE||3178|
|30 Aug. 1727||SIR ROBERT COTTON||3353|
|John Offley Crewe||2600|
|15 May 1734||CHARLES CHOLMONDELEY||3817|
|JOHN CREWE jun.||3710|
|Sir Robert Cotton||3005|
|6 May 1741||CHARLES CHOLMONDELEY|
|JOHN CREWE jun.|
|22 July 1747||CHARLES CHOLMONDELEY|
|JOHN CREWE jun.|
|7 Feb. 1753||CHARLES CREWE vice John Crewe jun., deceased|
The principal Whig families in Cheshire were the Cholmondeleys of Cholmondeley, who held the lord lieutenancy, the Booths of Dunham Massey, and the Cottons of Combermere. The majority of the country gentlemen were Tory, including the Cholmondeleys of Vale Royal, the Warburtons of Arley, and the Grosvenors of Eaton, who represented Chester.
In 1714 the sitting Members were Sir George Warburton and Charles Cholmondeley, both Tories. At the general election Warburton was returned but Cholmondeley lost his seat to a Whig, Langham Booth, the younger brother of the 2nd Earl of Warrington. In 1722 Lord Warrington wrote to Sunderland:
I take the liberty to write to your Lordship concerning the approaching election for Cheshire, which has lately taken a new turn by Sir George Warburton’s breaking through his agreement with my brother and quitting him; which though but newly-declared, has been a long concerted matter too intricate to tell your Lordship particulars in a letter, but intended to give the Tories the whole sway in this county. My brother [Langham Booth] however intending under this disadvantage to try his election single, as the only means to support the Whig interest from being wholly brought under, and which I presume the Government is desirous to have supported everywhere; if your Lordship pleases to give such intimation as you think fit to my Lord Cholmondeley not to countenance the Tories in the election, but such as are and have ever been firm to this government, it may do some service here, where as lord lieutenant and both himself and family in great favour at court, must needs on that account have some influence in the country. And I can assure your Lordship that both Mr. Cholmondeley and Mr. Crewe stand on the Tory interest backed by the nonjurors of this county.
After the election he reported:
Although the endeavours of the nonjurors, and others no better affected to the government have succeeded to carry the election in Cheshire for Mr. Cholmondeley and Mr. Crewe, yet my brother has had the honour of making an effort for the support of the Whig interest, for that was the whole of the contest ... I hope to have the honour of waiting on your Lordship very soon, and acquainting you with the particulars of the scheme to throw my brother out, and rivet the Tory power here laid with so much more artifice than honour, that some even of the nonjurors would not come in to the whole of the project. In the meantime I shall only add, that our lord lieutenant’s interest has gone (as usual) the same way as that of the nonjurors, however he may colour it over to your Lordship.1
In 1727, after an expensive contest,2 Sir Robert Cotton, a Whig, was returned with Charles Cholmondeley, defeating John Offley Crewe, a Tory. At the county meeting in Chester before the 1734 election
the gentlemen and freeholders present unanimously agreed to vote at the next election for Charles Cholmondeley and John Crewe jun. [s. of John Offley Crewe] Esqrs., against Sir Robert Salusbury Cotton, Bt., who was for the tobacco [i.e. the excise] bill.3
Cholmondeley and Crewe, both Tories, were returned, and re-elected unopposed in 1741 and 1747.