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 70


18 Apr. 1754Sir Thomas Robinson
 John Mordaunt
21 Nov. 1755Robinson re-elected after appointment to office
31 Mar. 1761Thomas Robinson
 James Harris
28 Dec. 1762Harris re-elected after appointment to office
23 Apr. 1763Harris re-elected after appointment to office
18 Nov. 1766Robinson re-elected after appointment to office
19 Mar. 1768Thomas Robinson
 James Harris
1 Mar. 1770Robinson re-elected after appointment to office
20 Nov. 1770James Harris jun. vice Robinson, called to the Upper House
8 Oct. 1774James Harris sen.
 Thomas Villiers
15 June 1779Thomas Villiers, Lord Hyde, re-elected after vacating his seat
9 Sept. 1780James Harris sen.
 Sir James Harris
29 Jan. 1781John Frederick vice James Harris sen., deceased
2 Apr. 1784Sir James Harris
 Sir John Frederick
23 Oct. 1788Hans Sloane vice Harris, called to the Upper House

Main Article

According to Oldfield, the corporation had arrogated to themselves the right of election, ‘without any opposition from the inhabitants’,1 and Christchurch was in effect a corporation borough. For most of this period it was controlled by Edward Hooper, M.P. for Christchurch 1735-48 and commissioner of customs 1748-93, who returned his cousin, James Harris, and generally placed the other seat at the disposal of Administration. About 1789 George Rose, secretary to the Treasury, who had purchased an estate in Hampshire, succeeded in obtaining control over one seat.

Author: John Brooke


  • 1. Boroughs (1792), ii. 277.