Newport I.o.W.

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:



8 Apr. 1754Thomas Lee Dummer 
 Ralph Jenison 
1 June 1758Charles Holmes vice Jenison, deceased 
30 Mar. 1761Thomas Lee Dummer 
 Charles Holmes 
7 Apr. 1762William Rawlinson Earle vice Holmes, deceased 
26 Dec. 1765Thomas Dummer vice Thomas Lee Dummer, deceased 
21 Mar. 1768John Eames16
 Hans Sloane16
 Sir Thomas Worsley6
 Sir William Oglander6
14 Apr. 1773John St. John vice Eames, appointed to office 
7 Oct. 1774Sir Richard Worsley 
 Hans Sloane 
17 Dec. 1777Worsley re-elected after appointment to office 
1 Feb. 1780Worsley re-elected after appointment to office 
11 Sept. 1780Sir Richard Worsley 
 John St. John 
2 Apr. 1784Edward Rushworth15
 Hugh Seymour Conway13
 John Barrington3
10 Apr. 1786John Thomas Townshend vice Seymour Conway, vacated his seat 
28 Jan. 1790George Byng vice Townshend, appointed to office 

Main Article

During the early part of this period Newport was controlled by Thomas Holmes and its Members were invariably recommended by Administration. On Holmes’s death in 1764, his place was taken by his nephew and heir, the Rev. Leonard Troughear Holmes, who continued to work with successive Administrations in co-operation with the new governor of the Isle of Wight, Hans Stanley. But their interest came under attack in all three Isle of Wight boroughs from a party led by Jervoise Clarke Jervoise, Sir Thomas Worsley, and Sir William Oglander; and at Newport they were particularly vulnerable. ‘I find there is a complaint’, wrote Stanley to Grenville on 9 Dec. 1764, ‘that my Lord Holmes and his friends carried matters too imperiously.’1 He therefore assured Oglander and Worsley that he meant to use his influence at Newport ‘without partiality or oppression’ in favour of all who were disposed to be his friends; but refused their request that the vacancies in the corporation should be filled ‘with two of each party’, which would perpetuate disputes and leave the corporation in a precarious state. ‘Though it is impossible to hold an exact balance here’, he wrote, ‘... I have endeavoured not to disgust the other party’; and he likewise advised Holmes ‘to follow more conciliating measures’ and found him inclined to them.

Nevertheless at the general election of 1768 the Holmes-Stanley group were attacked at Yarmouth by Jervoise Clarke and at Newport by Worsley and Oglander. At Newport Holmes and Stanley were successful, and Holmes retained control of the borough for the remainder of this period.

Author: Sir Lewis Namier


  • 1. Grenville mss (JM).