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 freemen

Number of voters:

about 50


17 Apr. 1754Edmund Nugent
 Philip Stanhope
I Dec. 1759Philip Stephens vice Nugent, appoint to office
30 Mar. 1761Philip Stephens
 Anthony Champion
22 Mar. 1768Edward Eliot
 Samuel Salt
11 Oct. 1774Edward Gibbon
 Samuel Salt
12 July 1779Gibbon re-elected after appointment to office
9 Sept. 1780Wilbraham Tollemache
 Samuel Salt
5 Apr. 1784Edward James Eliot
 John Eliot
6 Feb. 1786Edward James Eliot re-elected after appointment to office

Main Article

The borough interest was in Edward Eliot, but his hold was not as absolute as at St. Germans. Thomas Jones, Lord Edgcumbe’s agent, wrote in June 1760: ‘Mr. Eliot rules there at present, though probably his interest is not so firmly established as to be impregnable from every quarter.’1 Still, nothing more about the alleged vulnerability of Eliot’s interest appears during this period. But when in 1780 Eliot, disagreeing in politics with Edward Gibbon, refused to re-elect him, this was one of the arguments he used:2

The most zealous friends I have in Liskeard declare decidedly against choosing you again, so that if I were ever so desirous of prevailing on them it is out of my power.

Gibbon, on 8 Sept., replied with an ironic reference to the electors of Liskeard ‘whom you so gravely introduce’. And in his Autobiography he remarks: ‘the electors of Liskeard are commonly of the same opinion as Mr. Eliot’.

Author: Sir Lewis Namier


  • 1. Add. 32907, ff. 461-2.
  • 2. Add. 34885, ff. 111-12.