Caernarvon Boroughs


Published in The History of Parliament: the House of Commons 1820-1832, ed. D.R. Fisher, 2009
Available from Cambridge University Press

Background Information

Right of Election:

in the freemen of Caernarvon, Conway, Criccieth, Nefyn and Pwllheli

Estimated number qualified to vote:

480 in 18311

Number of voters:

538 polled in 1831


(1821): Caernarvon 5,210; Conway 1,400; Criccieth 530; Nefyn 900; Pwllheli 1,900; (1831): Caernarvon 6,877; Conway 1,600; Criccieth 648; Nefyn 1,000; Pwllheli 2,100


12 Feb. 1822PAGET re-elected after appointment to office 
 William Ormsby Gore264

Main Article

Caernarvon (Caernarfon, Segontium) was a castellated borough, port and county town in the parish of Llanbeblig on the eastern side of the Menai Straits. It was the polling town and its annually elected bailiffs were the returning officers for Caernarvonshire’s second seat, a constituency of five boroughs where no uniform franchise qualification applied and the residence required of electors had not been fully determined.2 There was evidence of occasional factionalism and tension between corporators, townsfolk, neighbouring gentry and entrepreneurs at Caernarvon and Pwllheli, where public meetings and petitioning on local and national issues was increasingly common, but hitherto at parliamentary elections each borough had tended to follow the political leadership of its patrons. The last contest in 1784 (a fratricidal struggle in which Glyn Wynn† outpolled Thomas Wynn, 1st Baron Newborough†) marked the eclipse of Glynllifon’s supremacy, and since 1790 the representation had been controlled by the Pagets of Plas Newydd, Anglesey, and Beaudesert, Staffordshire, who found it expedient to return one of their family. The constituency was not named in the 1784 arrangement which secured the representation of Anglesey for a Paget and of Caernarvonshire for Lord Bulkeley of Baron Hill’s half-brother Sir Robert Williams; but the association was clear and Plas Newydd agents paid particular attention to Anglesey squires with Caernarvon votes.3 As constables of Caernarvon Castle (mayors), the Pagets vested power in partisan deputies who conferred the freedom on Plas Newydd’s yeoman tenantry and Amlwch copper miners to produce ready majorities at elections. Mass burgess creation ceased as the threat of opposition waned and stamp duty increased from 4s. to £3, and Caernarvon’s Anglesey out-voters became an ageing, declining group held in reserve for emergencies, partly for financial reasons, but also because of doubts concerning their eligibility as out-voters, which petitions to Parliament in 1713, 1742 and 1784 failed to determine.4 Orders carried in 1824, 1825 and 1831 increased the corporation and grand jury’s powers to collect fees and vet admissions. Those authorized between 1820 and 1832 of 119 residents and 22 non-residents reflected the local importance of merchants, shopkeepers and craftsmen and connections with neighbouring gentry. Municipal improvements, including the 1816 Paving Act, owed much to Paget largesse, but Caernarvon retained an active corporate life and between 1820 and 1832 its disposable annual income increased from £375 to £1,000. Its courts met regularly, and borough officials were concerned in the management of the harbour and customs house.5 The marquess of Anglesey, who had inherited Plas Newydd in 1812, owned less property in Caernarvon than the Wynns and the Assheton Smiths of Vaenol, who sat for Andover; and the influence of Richard Garnons of Plas Llanwnda, Love Parry Jones Parry of Madryn, Nanney of Gwynfryn and Rice Thomas of Coed Helen could not be overlooked.

Conway (Conwy, Aberconway) was a castellated seaport and borough on the western shore of the Conway estuary, 24 miles east-north-east of Caernarvon. Government was vested locally in the constable of the castle (as mayor), two bailiffs, a recorder, coroner, 24 capital burgesses and the burgesses at large, who elected all corporation officers annually except the recorder and mayor.6 Griffith ap Howell Vaughan of Rûg, whose brother Sir Robert Williames Vaughan represented Merioneth, had been appointed constable of Conway Castle in 1810, but the mayoralty remained in abeyance until he was sworn in, 29 Sept. 1831. Sir David Erskine, the lord of the manor of Aberconway, was the largest landowner, Sir Edward Pryce Lloyd*, the Vaughans and Bulkeley’s brother, the Member for Caernarvonshire Sir Robert Williams, had important proprietoral interests and the electorate of 47 was predominantly local. The town prospered after the 2nd Baron Newborough took the lease of the corporation farm in 1824 and Thomas Telford’s suspension bridge replaced the ferry in 1826.7 At Criccieth (Cricieth), a castellated fishing village and market town in the hundred of Eifionydd, 18 miles south of Caernarvon and nine miles east of Pwllheli, the mayoralty was hereditary in the house of Brogyntyn as owners of Ystum Cegid and Clennenau. Mary Jane Ormsby of Porkington, Shropshire, had inherited Ystum Cegid in 1811, but Criccieth’s mayoralty remained in abeyance until her husband William Ormsby Gore, whose own property and political interests were in county Leitrim, claimed it in her right after obtaining a copy of the charter in 1827. No burgesses had been admitted since 1803 and in July 1828 only 43 who lived locally were known to the bailiff.8 Nefyn, a small irregularly built seaport and prescriptive borough on St. George’s Channel, 20 miles south-west of Caernarvon and five miles north-west of Pwllheli, was separated by a narrow peninsula from Porthdinllaen, which its hereditary mayors, the Wynns of Glynllifon (as owners of Bodfean), hoped to develop to take the Dublin steam packet trade from Holyhead. Bailiffs were chosen annually, burgesses were few and generally absentees, and the enclosure of the commons in 1812 during the mayoralty of Thomas Edward Wynn Belasyse had been locally unpopular. Wynn Belasyse was a cousin of the 2nd Baron Newborough*, who inherited the Wynn estates on coming of age in 1823 and was installed as mayor of Nefyn in September 1824.9 The Wynns were also the largest landowners in the ‘well-built town of Pwllheli’, the entrepôt of Lleyn 20 miles south of Caernarvon. Corsygedol and the hereditary mayoralty had however passed to Sir Thomas Mostyn*, who generally appointed a resident deputy and, with Lord Anglesey, gave the town a new market hall in 1820.10 Freedom was by birth, marriage, servitude and presentment, and at least 90 trades and professional men and local squires were admitted, 1781-1831, at an individual cost of 6s. 6d. plus stamp duty. Another 32, including 14 of the local gentry, remained unsworn. Corporation revenues dropped sharply following enclosure, and the harbour works undertaken under the 1811 Act temporarily soured relations between the gentry and townspeople. Pwllheli hunt and races were major county events chaired, as were corporation dinners and meetings, by local squires: Richard Edwards of Nanhoron, chairman of the quarter sessions, Love Parry Jones Parry of Madryn, and Williames Vaughan.11

The sitting Member since 1806, Anglesey’s brother Sir Charles Paget, came in unopposed in 1820, proposed by Garnons and the Rev. Owen Reynolds, rector of Aber, near Bangor. The chief concerns were the coastwise coal duties scheduled for reintroduction in August 1820 and the construction of the Menai and Conway suspension bridges which Thomas Assheton Smith I* had campaigned unsuccessfully against. Paget’s circulars were issued by the Plas Newydd agents and made no political statements, but Reynolds explained that ‘though from his profession [as a sailor] ... he was sometimes unable to attend the active debates of the House, and ... in many cases obliged to give a silent vote’, he revered the dignity of the crown and liberties of the people, and would promote local concerns and seek concessions on the coal duties.12 This satisfied the Tory North Wales Gazette, which encouraged and welcomed Caernarvon, Conway and Pwllheli’s meetings, memorials and petitions on the subject, received by the Commons, 7 June 1820.13 Anglesey supported the king and his ministers over the Queen Caroline affair, and the North Wales Gazette’s partisan coverage of her prosecution provoked comment. There were no celebrations when it was abandoned and the burgesses and inhabitants of Caernarvon and Pwllheli adopted neutral addresses of loyalty to George IV.14 Erskine was compensated for loss of revenue from the ferry and Conway did not meet independently of the county to petition over its suspension bridge; but the inhabitants petitioned concerning the dangerous state of the approach road, 12 May 1824.15 Caernarvon’s new harbour by-laws, 3 Oct. 1820, caused little controversy until used to prosecute David Parry, master of the Britannia, in November 1824.16 Encouraged by Garnons and the rector John William Trevor, a Glynllifon appointee, Caernarvon met and petitioned against Catholic relief, 6 Apr. 1821, and there was support for further petitioning on the coal duties, whose suspension had merely been extended. The coronation in July was marked by civic celebrations at Caernarvon, Conway and Pwllheli, and a deputation from Caernarvon, led by Assheton Smith and the deputy mayor William Roberts, presented a loyal address to George IV when he visited Plas Newydd in August 1821.17

Paget, who had commanded the royal yacht, was appointed to the king’s household in January 1822 and Plas Newydd sought the earliest possible date for a by-election, thus placing pressure on the bailiff, the attorney Richard Williams, who was required in court. Paget made only a perfunctory personal canvass. His circulars and nomination speeches by Garnons and Trevor made much of his status as a courtier; and his return was celebrated with the usual dinner and ball at the Uxbridge Arms.18 After the election Caernarvon and Pwllheli petitioned for permanent suspension of the coastwise coal duties, 5 Mar. (and again, 19 June 1823), while Caernarvon’s tanners petitioned against the leather tax, and the ‘deputy mayor, bailiffs and inhabitants’ against relief for Catholic peers, 29 Apr. 1822. Caernarvon corporation’s land sales that autumn were opposed locally, and the town petitioned for a grant to blast the Swilly rocks to improve navigation on the Menai.19 In 1823, the Anglesey baths opened, the radical surgeon Owen Owen (O.O.) Roberts settled in Caernarvon, Newborough came of age, and the campaign to make the harbour a bonded port got under way. Anglesey attended the Michaelmas meeting to swear in Henry Jones as his deputy and quell opposition to the appointment of Richard Anthony Poole to the offices of recorder and town clerk.20 Paget, who had been knighted in December 1822, presented a Caernarvon licensed victuallers’ petition against excise licences, 1 Apr. 1824. That August, Thomas Clarkson brought the Anti-Slavery Society’s campaign to North Wales and found Caernarvon deeply divided:

All the gentry here are government men to a man, and unhappily some are against us. Captain Parry of the navy, a magistrate and gentleman of fortune in the town, is one of these. He states that to his knowledge the slaves are better off than the British labourers, and Mr. Pennant*, the heir of Lord Penrhyn, a man of £50,000 a year living in the neighbourhood, is quite against us, in virtue of being a very large West India proprietor. The Rev. Mr. Trevor had sounded the gentlemen of the place last year relative to a petition to Parliament, but the gentlemen of the town threw cold water upon it. There was no chance whatever of a committee among these gentlemen ... Mr. Roberts, the surgeon, confirmed this statement, but thought it practicable to form a committee in the town, but this could consist only of respectable tradesmen ... If such a committee were formed, not one gentleman in the town would give support to their views; and if Dissenters were among them no clergymen would countenance such a committee or their plans. Nay ... it would cause the town to be divided into two parties as regarded our cause; and in case of a petition, the gentlemen would exert their influence against it.

Clarkson accepted Trevor’s offer to distribute the society’s literature in Caernarvon and Pwllheli and relied on James Cotton, the bishop of Bangor’s son-in-law, to publicize the cause in Conway.21

Borough meetings in Caernarvon and Pwllheli in March 1825 sent petitions to the Commons for repeal of the house and window taxes, and to both Houses against Catholic relief, which Paget now supported.22 Anticipating a dissolution, at Michaelmas Caernarvon elected William Roberts and Robert Williams as bailiffs, and Newborough, who with Assheton Smith had financed the restoration of the church tower, was sworn in as a freeman. Sir Charles Paget was determined to stand down, Newborough, backed by Assheton Smith and Edwards of Nanhoron, had declared his candidature against Sir Robert Williams in the county and there was talk of opposition to Anglesey’s son Lord Uxbridge in Anglesey.23 The marquess’s agent John Sanderson observed:

Should Lord Newborough persevere in Caernarvonshire your lordship’s support of Sir Robert Williams (which under all circumstances appears unavoidable) may occasion a stir at Caernarvon. There are persons there who talk of Mr. Wynn [Newborough’s brother] as most likely to move if he should be generally invited to offer himself; and at Caernarvon a few attorneys are soon collected to frame a general invitation.24

He added that he had found the borough meeting

composed solely of burgesses - and if noise may be considered a criterion of the strength of parties, the Newboroughs have it in their power, although there was no want of respectful acclamation when the constable of the castle, the Member for the Borough and other branches of the family were proposed as toasts.25

Although loath to publicize his intentions, Anglesey was considering replacing Sir Charles with their brother Berkeley Paget* and replied, 3 Oct.:

My opinion is that Mr. Wynn will offer himself for Caernarvon and if all depends upon Caernarvon he would probably carry it, but I do not think Sir T. Mostyn nor Sir D. Erskine nor Mr. Ormsby Gore would oppose me. Time will show and I have much faith in Berkeley.26

Sanderson, however, realized that although no mass burgess creations had been made in the out-boroughs since 1784, Plas Newydd had more to fear than desertion by Caernarvon’s ‘shopkeeper class, familiar with Glynllifon and its heirs living among them’; and on 7 Oct he warned the marquess:

Pwllheli, Nefyn and Criccieth are in the centre or within the circle of all Lord Newborough’s strongholds in Caernarvonshire, and as to Conway, I hear that Sir David Erskine is one of his strenuous supporters for the county.27

Newborough and Sir Robert Williams had already canvassed Pwllheli, where the deputy mayor Love Parry Jones Parry banned party politics from Michaelmas day speeches. Pwllheli borough meetings also petitioned the Commons for the abolition of colonial slavery, 9 Mar., and total repeal of the coastwise coal duties, 5 May 1826.28 Anglesey had sent his second son Lord William Paget, a naval commander, to North Wales in November 1825 with a view to offering him instead of Berkeley for Caernarvon, but his candidature was not announced and he did not take his freedom. When Parliament was dissolved in May 1826, he had recently sailed for the Mediterranean, and by the time his ship reached Caernarvon, he had been returned, with Berkeley Paget deputizing.29 Poole had advised that Lord William would be lawfully elected but not entitled to take his seat until he had sworn the burgess oath.30 This was accomplished, 27 June 1826, and heralded a second round of entertainments in Caernarvon before the new Member celebrated in each of the out-boroughs. Election festivities alone cost £1,020 12s. 9d.31 Anti-Catholic sentiments had been encouraged in the county to secure Newborough’s return, and Plas Newydd circulars and Lord William’s speeches did nothing to counter the prevailing view that Sir Charles’s retirement was an honourable act of deference to constituency opinion on the issue, and that Lord William shared their views. 32 He presented an anti-Catholic petition from the deputy mayor, bailiffs, burgesses and inhabitants of Caernarvon before voting against Catholic relief, 6 Mar. 1827. The Lords had received the petition the previous day.33

Caernarvon had been under pressure to seek legislation for a water supply and other municipal improvements since 1824; and, while drafting the bill, 1826-7, Poole and his attorneys encountered problems over a ‘saving clause’ to protect the corporation’s rights. The bill was petitioned for in the Commons, 11 Dec. 1826, entrusted to Newborough and Sir Robert Williames Vaughan, 2 Mar., and committed, 2 May 1827. Meanwhile, one of the bailiffs changed his mind about its merits and instigated a petition against it, 14 May. His and O.O. Roberts’s testimony to the Commons committee was supported by Sir Edward Pryce Lloyd, and the bill was defeated. Paget’s failure to deal with it dominated Roberts’s speech at a public dinner in Caernarvon, 30 May 1827, and he was obliged to defend his conduct in a spirited letter to the North Wales Gazette.34 In February and March 1828 both Houses received petitions for repeal of the Test Acts from the Protestant Dissenters of Caernarvon, Nefyn and Pwllheli, where a borough meeting petitioned similarly, 18 Mar.35 ‘No Popery’ remained the emotive issue, and Paget’s speech and vote for Catholic relief in May 1828 unleashed a campaign to force him to resign for allegedly breaking an election pledge.36 His attendance at a Catholic Association meeting, 19 Apr., when he was in Ireland with his father, the lord lieutenant, was widely reported in the Dublin and North Wales press, and was used by ministers to caution Anglesey against taking an independent line. While the Pagets remained in Dublin, partisan accounts of Caernarvon politics were deliberately inserted in newspapers on both sides of the Irish Sea.37 The gentry stayed away from the Caernarvon borough meeting of 27 May 1828. It was instigated by the Glynllifon agent George Bettiss, but dominated by O.O. Roberts, who, deliberately adopting naval idioms, argued that Lord William Paget had ‘like a pirate’ obtained suffrages by means of ‘false colours’ and should be ‘sent about his business’. A resolution formally requesting his immediate resignation was carried and a tempering amendment proposed by David Williams, the recorder of Pwllheli, and seconded by Richard Griffith Jones of that town, was rejected after Simeon Boileau persuaded Bettiss that interference from Pwllheli was unwarranted.38 As Anglesey directed, Paget responded with a letter which implied that his critics were a minority who did not represent ‘the generally expressed opinion of the great body of the electors of Caernarvon and its contributory boroughs’, and asserted that he was sent to Parliament ‘not to forward merely local but national interests ... The Catholic question [was] one involving the security of England and the peace of Ireland’.39 In Dublin, meanwhile, the Catholic Association resolved that

the principles of the burgesses of Caernarvon being directly opposed to the principles of a liberal and enlightened policy; and this borough being distinguished by a stupid and corrupt ignorance of the progress of the mind of the British empire on the great question of civil and religious freedom, we congratulate Lord William Paget, the son of our esteemed and patriotic viceroy, that he has broken the chains by which the political bigots of Caernarvon would dare to bind him, and that we shall seize the first opportunity political changes may give us to demonstrate our respect for his little enemies in Caernarvon by making him the representative of an Irish county, who has been so long dishonoured by being the representative of an insignificant borough in Wales.40

In a bid to recover their popularity, Lord Anglesey’s agents hosted a Michaelmas dinner at Caernarvon, chaired by Lord William Paget. He had absented himself from the guildhall early in the day when Plas Newydd candidates were rejected at the bailiwick elections and Thomas Assheton Smith II*, who had succeeded his father to Vaenol, was sworn in as a burgess amid much anti-Catholic rhetoric, and with a view to dictating the outcome of the next election. At the dinner, Spencer Wynn proposed a toast to Paget simply as ‘a burgess’ and praised Assheton Smith. O.O. Roberts, one of the new bailiffs, challenged Paget to drink to the ‘Protestant Ascendancy’, and he did so, but made it clear in his accompanying speech that he reserved the right to interpret the phrase as he and not his constituents directed, and that he would sit ‘unfettered ... on all vital questions’. Wynn failed to moderate proceedings and Paget departed amid uproar, having earned some respect, but ruined his prospects of a second unopposed return.41 On 7 Oct. Sanderson informed Poole, who on 28 July had resigned as a burgess and relinquished his freedom:

You lost an opportunity of witnessing a display of political democracy at which [Henry] Hunt* might have presided with singular feeling ... Lord William Paget, you may be assured, will reject a seat in Parliament under such influence.42

Anti-Catholic petitioning revived in Caernarvon and Pwllheli, where the free burgesses and inhabitants urged the rejection of emancipation and pledged allegiance to the ‘constitution of 1688’.43 Ormsby Gore, a staunch Brunswicker in Shropshire, established a Brunswick Club in Criccieth, 31 Dec. 1828, with Sir Robert Williames Vaughan as its vice-president, and assumed responsibility for transmitting North Wales petitions to Lords Eldon and Kenyon for presentation. He also purchased the necessary £3 stamps and admitted 114 new burgesses at Criccieth, 29 Jan. 1829, most of them absentees from Dublin and Oswestry who were not formally sworn in; and in February he informed Assheton Smith and Sir Thomas Mostyn that he was prepared to stand against Paget at the next election. The corporation turned down his request for copies of Caernarvon’s burgess lists.44 O.O. Roberts, who styled himself ‘the uncompromising friend of civil and religious liberty’, also rallied support for the anti-Catholic cause through the press, the Bangor hunt, and ‘Protestant meetings’ at Bangor, 20 Mar., Conway, 23 Mar., and Caernarvon, 27 Mar., whose petitions were received by both Houses, 30 Mar. The Caernarvon meeting, addressed by Roberts, Boileau, Jared Jackson, John Russom and Captain Thomas Parry Jones Parry, was attended by upwards of 2,000 and addressed the king ‘seeking a dissolution and dismissal of ministers who have advised the violation of the constitution ... of 1688’.45 Ormsby Gore, like most of the gentry, stayed away, but Ystum Cegid and Criccieth provided him with anti-Catholic petitions from the mayor (himself), bailiffs, burgesses, clergy, and the minister churchwardens, overseers, gentry and inhabitants (presented, 9, 17 Feb., 12, 24 Mar.), and he promoted the adoption at Caernarvon, 11 Apr. 1829, of an address ‘from the county’ calling on the king to withhold his assent from the emancipation bills.46 Anglesey tried to strengthen the Plas Newydd interest and divide the Ultras by allying with Glynllifon, but Newborough’s brother declined appointment as deputy mayor of Caernarvon, 11 Apr., in a letter which referred specifically to the split between the ‘riff-raff and the ‘reputable’ in the town.47 Newborough was already in dispute with Caernarvon corporation over the lease of the customs house and erection of a wharf on the River Seiont to serve his quarries, and this was the reason given by O.O. Roberts for proposing alternative candidates to those endorsed by Plas Newydd and Glynllifon at the 1829 bailiwick elections. Roberts’s nominees were rejected without a poll.48 Caernarvon’s assize town status was threatened by recommendations in the justice commission’s 1829 report and the 1830 administration of justice bill, which proposed hearing Caernarvonshire, West Denbighshire and Anglesey business in Bangor, when the Welsh courts of great sessions and judicature were abolished. Nothing had come of previous suggestions that Anglesey business be heard in Caernarvon to spare the judges from crossing the Straits, and unlike the county, the boroughs kept aloof from the petitioning campaign against the measure. Caernarvon’s assizes were eventually safeguarded by a late government amendment which left the existing assize structure almost intact when the bill was enacted immediately before the dissolution, 23 July 1830.49

Irrespective of problems at Caernarvon, Anglesey had decided against sponsoring Lord William again in July 1829, when he realized the extent of his personal debts and dishonesty. ‘A new patron [Assheton Smith] was expected to put up a candidate whenever it can be demonstrated to him that a preponderating number of burgesses stand forward to assure him of their support’, and the Plas Newydd agents thought their only chance of retaining the seat was by offering Sir Charles Paget.50 He was willing to stand, but his reluctance to travel to Caernarvonshire in the summer of 1830, when his early presence was considered a vital deterrent to opposition as well as a harbinger of success, boded against the attempt. He explained that his household office, which he was anxious to retain, obliged him to be in London for the king’s funeral, and that the navy required him to attend a court martial in Portsmouth.51 Attorneys were retained for him, 22 June. Circulars were dispatched to the gentry and inserted in the newspapers, canvassing arrangements were finalized and contingency plans prepared to bring in the Anglesey out-voters. Support for Plas Newydd was assessed on the assumption that Assheton Smith was the perpetrator of any opposition, and an election committee of 35 was appointed, 6 July, under the chairmanship of Edwards of Nanhoron, a rumoured defector from the Vaenol-Newborough coalition, whose support was vital in Pwllheli.52 Meanwhile David Williams of Pwllheli had offered to obtain details for Plas Newydd’s retainers of the records of Nefyn and Criccieth.53 The latter had been dispatched to Ormsby Gore’s agent William Nesbitt, amid speculation that the borough could provide him with 300 votes, whose validity could only be determined by post-election petitioning, a tactic successfully deployed previously by the Pagets.54 According to legal advice received by Plas Newydd:

In the event of a petition against a return the non-residents would be deemed ineligible. Whoever may become a candidate for the Caernarvon Boroughs should, therefore, if they can, in the first place secure a majority of resident votes; and then take as many of the others as may be expedient to place him at the head of the poll; or if he should be overpowered by the latter, he may safely rely upon being seated by a majority of residents.55

Ormsby Gore delayed announcing his candidature until 7 July, after he and the Vaenol agent Henry Rumsey Williams had discussed matters there with Assheton Smith, who, at the same election, proposed bringing in his cousin, Charles Wynne Griffith Wynne of Cefnamwlch, for the county, where the ailing Newborough was expected to vacate. Assheton Smith had turned down an offer of support in the Boroughs for himself or a nominee, made by a deputation led by O.O. Roberts, and had informed Sir Charles Paget on 2 July that ‘it was his intention not to interfere in any way in the election for Caernarvon Boroughs’.56 The canvass for Griffith Wynne in the county encouraged the anti-Paget party in Caernarvon and highlighted the importance of Caernarvon and Criccieth out-voters. This caused Plas Newydd to fear lest ‘Nefyn, a scrap amongst the boroughs of Caernarvonshire, will give the law to all the rest ... What a "decline and fall" this to Segontium’.57 Paget was secure in Conway and Pwllheli and saw his chances of success increase for the simple reasons that he was not Lord William Paget and not supported by the Caernarvon mob, which strove to overawe the corporation ‘with so much violence, turbulence and party spirit as to drive most respectable persons from public meetings with disgust’.58 He informed Anglesey, who had been critically ill with the tic douloureux:

I am sorry Tom Smith has withdrawn his opposition; because if he had continued it, you would probably have been induced to give up all further views towards Caernarvon, sooner than be led into the expense of a contested election, which is still threatened in the person of Mr. Ormsby Gore.59

He also asked to be released from his promise to stand so that he would not risk losing his household income or feel compelled (if in office) to support the king’s government against his will. Anglesey acquiesced, and declared Caernarvon lost, but recoverable ‘whenever I please’.60 Assheton Smith and Anglesey were both prepared to support Edwards of Nanhoron’s son Lloyd, but Edwards senior, who met Assheton Smith and Poole at Vaenol, 10 July, refused to be tempted.61 Anglesey asked Paget’s committee to back William Wynne of Maesyneuadd, a former candidate for Stafford; but, contrary to Plas Newydd’s wishes, Assheton Smith let it be known that neither Paget nor Edwards was standing, and Wynne arrived too late to prevent defections to Ormsby Gore, whose ‘No Popery’ campaign appealed to the Caernarvon mob. His allusions to Clennenau and the Owens of Brogyntyn did little to deter squib writers from ridiculing him as an Irish adventurer, while his supporters proclaimed the borough’s liberation from Plas Newydd. Ormsby Gore was returned unopposed, proposed by the Anglesey Tory, Holland Griffith of Carreglwyd, and seconded by O.O. Roberts. Toasts were proposed at the dinner to Lord Boston of Llanidan, Assheton Smith, Sir Robert Williames Vaughan, Uxbridge, Eldon and Kenyon, who had all resolutely opposed emancipation in Parliament.62 Plas Newydd agents urged a reluctant Sir Charles Paget to write to Edwards and his son, Erskine, Evans of Henblas, Fuller Meyrick of Bodorgan, Garnons, William Lewis Hughes*, the Jones Parrys, Sir Thomas Mostyn, Rice Thomas, Owen Williams* and Sir Robert Williams and his son to try to minimize the ill feeling caused by his late withdrawal after they had publicly given him their interests.63

The corporations, Dissenters and Wesleyans Methodists of Caernarvon, Criccieth, Nefyn and Pwllheli, and ‘friends of slaves in Conway’ petitioned for the abolition of colonial slavery, 1830-1; and Caernarvon joined the county in petitioning for repeal of the coastwise coal duty and similar taxes on culm and slate, which Newborough now actively promoted.64 Ormsby Gore claimed retrospectively that he had secured the concession made in April 1831.65 He proved to be a useful local Member, but his opposition to the Grey ministry’s reform bill cost him the support of the Caernarvon radicals. The bill proposed to disfranchise Criccieth and added Bangor to Caernarvon’s contributories. The Criccieth decision could not be justified on population criteria alone and lent itself to interpretation as an act of vengeance against the Brunswickers. It was also considered ‘convenient for the political interests of the marquess of Anglesey’, the ministry’s Irish viceroy. When the free burgesses of Caernarvon petitioned with corporation backing for the bill and drew parallels between reform and Catholic emancipation, the Chester Courant congratulated Caernarvon for supporting reform despite the proposed enfranchisement of its rival, Bangor. It was presented to the Commons on the 15th by Ormsby Gore, a diehard opponent of the bill who dissented from its prayer, and received by the Lords, 22 Mar. Ormsby Gore presented and naturally endorsed Criccieth’s 149-signature petition against disfranchisement, 15 Apr. 1831.66

When the reform bill’s defeat (19 Apr.) forced a dissolution, Anglesey wrote from Dublin to his agents expressing alarm at the prospect of ‘Caernarvon and Pwllheli playing second fiddle to Criccieth’ at the general election. Before committing themselves to contesting the seat, they considered the likely impact of the bill on the constituency. They concluded that Dawkins Pennant of Penrhyn Castle (Bangor), Newborough, and Assheton Smith stood to gain and Plas Newydd and Ormsby Gore to lose support. They surmised also that unless they could return a Member this time, when their out-voters could be polled and they had a likely candidate in Sir John Byng* (the father of Anglesey’s son-in-law), they stood little chance of regaining it after the reform bill was enacted. Byng proved unacceptable in Caernarvon. Ormsby Gore refused to be frightened off and Sir Charles Paget, who again suffered through not being able to commence his personal canvass early, endured ‘a fierce contest’.67 A combination of his stance on emancipation, support for reform, and withdrawal in 1830 cost Paget much gentry support, including that of Erskine, Garnons, Rice Thomas and Boston, whose son, George Irby of Llanidan, was mentioned as a possible candidate.68 Sir Edward Mostyn Lloyd Mostyn*, Sir Thomas Mostyn’s heir as mayor of Pwllheli, and Sir Richard Bulkeley Williams Bulkeley* of Baron Hill, who had recently inherited his father Sir Robert Williams’s estate and Conway interest, declared for Paget, though Lloyd Mostyn could not be sworn in as mayor of Pwllheli until after the election. Colonel Richard Edwards of Nanhoron had died, and the stalwarts of Paget’s committee were Jones Parry and the Anglesey squires Henry Rowlands of Plas Gwyn, Lloyd of Llwydiarth and Thomas Williams.69 Assheton Smith professed neutrality and went to France, but his agents became Ormsby Gore’s key supporters, and chaired his Caernarvon committee at the Goat.70 Assheton Smith had instructed his quarry manager, Millington, ‘to give me a detail of all the proceedings at Caernarvon during the elections ... I will positively go to no further expense at present in anything ... I had no time to see Mr. Pennant as I intended before I left town’.71 Ormsby Gore’s sponsors, the Rev. John Kyffin and the merchant John Roberts, urged that ‘political considerations ought to give way to the local interests of the boroughs’ on reform. Paget’s proposer, Jones Parry of Madryn, credited Anglesey and Madocks with securing successive coal duty exemptions, complemented Ormsby Gore on his achievements and wished him well should he sit for Shropshire in the reformed Parliament. Seconding, O.O. Roberts, who spoke in English and in Welsh, praised Ormsby Gore as an individual, but said he had to be ousted because he supported neither the reform bill nor religious and civil liberty. Ormsby Gore defended his parliamentary record on the civil list (he had divided with the Wellington ministry when they were brought down, 15 Nov. 1830), reform, and the slate duties, claimed that he had Newborough’s support, and announced that he no longer blamed Anglesey for the Criccieth decision. Paget professed to be the champion of reform, the king, constitution and empire, and the enemy of ‘unnecessary taxation’. Before the show of hands, which Paget won, Jones Parry intervened to announce that Newborough’s support for Ormsby Gore was purely personal and had been given before he knew that Paget was standing.72 The parties polled evenly until the third day when Paget established a narrow lead, which he retained. The pollbook reveals general adherence to the direction of the borough lords and that Paget owed his victory to the Anglesey out-voters. With them, he won Caernarvon (224-119), Conway (18-4), and Pwllheli (42-10), but lost Criccieth (31-1) and Nefyn (86-3). Without the Amlwch miners he would have lost Caernarvon, where, despite pressure from O.O. Roberts and heavy canvassing, the shopkeepers and craftsmen voted against him by 45-15 (54-27); Conway (13-1), Criccieth (2-0), and Nefyn (15-0); but he would have remained ahead in Pwllheli (20-7). Paget’s supporters later claimed that they were denied access to the out-boroughs’ books, which forced them to rely on their Caernarvon voters ‘and such of the others as had served the office of bailiff, in which case it was not necessary to produce the stamps’. Paget was also supported by the Baptists, Calvinistic Methodists and Independents who favoured reform. A memorial of 29 Apr. from those of Pwllheli, who also advocated temperance, asked Paget to dispense with the practice of plying the lower orders with ale and other pernicious practices and to make charitable donations through themselves. Ormsby Gore’s new burgesses at Criccieth were rejected, ostensibly because the castle had had no constable since Edward II’s reign. However, the votes of Criccieth burgesses polled at previous elections were allowed. This decision provoked a violent clash between Assheton Smith’s quarrymen and sailors from Paget’s yacht, which was quelled only after Plas Newydd called in bludgeon men from the Amlwch copper mines. Williams Bulkeley, his brother Robert, and Paget’s son Charles were injured trying to shield O.O. Roberts from the affray.73 Newborough arrived to vote for Ormsby Gore, but Paget’s counsel, the future Member for Chester and lord chief justice of common pleas John Jervis, objected to his doing so as an Irish peer, and this was sustained. Ormsby Gore ridiculed the decision as ‘a weak invention of the enemy’. The same argument was applied to the use of unauthorized placards urging Newborough’s tenants to vote for Ormsby Gore, a matter on which Uxbridge had already remonstrated with Newborough. Similar handbills had appeared early in the campaign in the Pwllheli area, where they were pulled down by Jones Parry’s men and replaced. Newborough subsequently authorized an address stating that his tenants were free to vote as they pleased. Spencer Wynn voted for Paget. Handbills praised Paget as a reformer and patriotic sailor opposed to slavery, and condemned him for breaking election promises, supporting the enfranchisement of Bangor, visiting the out-boroughs before Caernarvon and relying on Amlwch out-voters. Anti-Catholicism remained an issue, and Gore was lampooned as an anti-reform Irishman and slave owners’ friend, dependent on Criccieth.74 Sanderson informed Anglesey, 25 May:

Ormsby Gore derived his chief support from the influence of three or four landed proprietors, some of whom professed undiminished personal regard toward Sir Charles Paget, and declared that it was the bill only which they opposed ... Sir Charles Paget’s voters, moreover, chiefly residing at a distance, great expense was unavoidable, and it has been rendered more expensive by the boundless licence allowed by both parties.75

Plas Newydd had already spent over £6,000, and Sanderson sought permission to borrow £10,000 from Drummond’s bank, adding, ‘Mr. Ormsby Gore, it is understood, has expended much larger sums’. Both election committees scrutinized accounts and delayed payment until February 1832. Anglesey’s agents warned that £15,000 could ‘easily be spent unnecessarily’ at Caernarvon, and calculated that it would cost at least £16,000 to retain the seat if contested. Gore did not as was expected proceed with a scrutiny or a petition. He disfranchised the new Criccieth burgesses, 20 May 1831, and applied to become constable of Criccieth Castle.76 Criccieth was reinstated as a contributory of Caernarvon before the reform bill was reintroduced.77

Plans had already been made to admit anti-Paget burgesses at Caernarvon. To counter this Sir Charles wrote to Dawkins Pennant, 30 May 1831, requesting support at the first post-reform election, and Plas Newydd agents tried to ensure that the Glynllifon and Vaenol interests did not act in tandem. Jones Parry deputized for Paget at the Caernarvon reform dinner and play, ‘Reform, or John Bull Triumphant’, 14 June 1831.78 Assisted again by Jervis and Plas Newydd’s Amlwch out-voters and bludgeon men, the reformers carried the 1831 bailiwick election by 98-42, and Jervis, who had been installed as recorder, presided over dinner for 300 at the Uxbridge Arms.79 The Michaelmas 1831 admissions were disallowed in May 1832 following successful quo warranto proceedings brought against the bailiffs, O.O. Roberts and Edward Parry. Anglesey had neglected to take his oath as constable of Caernarvon Castle in the new reign, and one of the retiring bailiffs, Thomas Jones, had failed to attend the Michaelmas elections. Assheton Smith, who had recently given Caernarvon a market hall, was credited with sponsoring the case.80 Caernarvon sent a congratulatory address to the king on his escape from an assault at Ascot in June 1832, and the reform bill’s passage was celebrated at Caernarvon, Bangor and Pwllheli.81 ‘Indigent commoners’ had walked out of the Caernarvon borough meeting, 11 June, ‘in high dudgeon’, after a motion to cut the cost of the dinner from 5s. to 2s 6d. was rejected. Plans for an illumination were accordingly shelved, and while O.O. Roberts presided over a dinner for ‘52 gentlemen’ in the guildhall, ‘all the poor women residing in the town’ celebrated the bill’s enactment at a tea party in the market hall.82 Ormsby Gore was expected to launch his election campaign at a dinner at the Goat, 12 July 1832, but he eventually stood for Shropshire North, retaining his Caernarvonshire interests for his sons. The Tories backed Owen John Ellis Nanney of Gwynfryn in the Boroughs against the Liberal Charles Paget, after Jervis and the younger Pagets had been ruled out.83 Slavery, church reform and the need for an active resident Member were the major issues, and only their success at Caernarvon’s bailiwick elections without recourse to a coalition or Amlwch voters and favourable voter registration induced Plas Newydd to proceed.84

As the commissioners had recommended, the Boundary Act made no changes in Caernarvon, Criccieth, Conway and Nefyn. Pwllheli was enlarged to bring in additional £10 houses, and the town and parish were incorporated in the parliamentary borough of Bangor. The designation of returning officers for the out-boroughs proved especially contentious, as did the decision to apply the seven-mile rule from the parish church in Conway and Nefyn, but the castle in Criccieth and the guildhall in Pwllheli.85 In November 1832 the reformed constituency had 855 registered voters: 544 £10 householders (147 in Bangor, 274 in Caernarvon, 43 in Conway, nine in Criccieth, 16 in Nefyn and 55 in Pwllheli); and 311 freemen (160 for Caernarvon, 23 for Conway, 20 for Criccieth, 53 for Nefyn and 55 for Pwllheli, where 67 scot and lot voters were rejected but kept on the books). In December 1832 Paget, standing as a Liberal, defeated the Conservative Nanney, but he was unseated on petition, and his counter-petition succeeded only after the Commons ruled that the franchise in Caernarvon and its former out-boroughs was resident or ‘scot and lot’.86 Caernarvon Boroughs was contested a further six times before 1885. Love Parry Jones Parry defeated Nanney to retain the seat for the Liberals in 1835, but William Bulkeley Hughes (d. 1882) took the seat for the Conservatives in 1837, retained it until defeated by a Liberal Conservative in 1859, and again from 1865 (when he was returned as a Liberal) for life.87

Author: Margaret Escott


  • 1. PP (1831-2), xxxvi. 511. The bailiffs commented: ‘Return for Caernarvon alone. Not Pwllheli, Conwy, Nefyn and Criccieth. We beg to suggest a reference to the municipal officers of those places for information, as to particulars of their respective boroughs’.
  • 2. Parl. Gazetteer of England and Wales (1844), i. 382-3; L. Lloyd Port of Caernarfon, 1793-1900, passim; P.D.G. Thomas, Politics in 18th Cent. Wales, 30.
  • 3. P.D.G. Thomas, ‘Parl. Rep. Caernarvon Boroughs in 18th Cent.’ Trans. Caern. Hist. Soc. xix (1958), 43-48; xx (1959), 81-85.
  • 4. HP Commons, 1790-1820, ii. 484-5.
  • 5. K. Evans, ‘Caernarvon Borough’, Trans. Caern. Hist. Soc. viii (1947), 60-66; ‘Survey of Caernarvon’, ibid. xxxiii (1972), 120.
  • 6. Parl. Gazetteer of England and Wales, i. 496;
  • 7. N. Tucker, Conway, 126; Gwynedd Archives, Caernarfon, Poole mss 5509; PP (1838), xxxv. 237-42.
  • 8. Parl. Gazetteer of England and Wales, i. 526; Samuel Lewis’s Topographical Dict. of Wales (unpaginated); PP (1838), xxxv. 247-52; Bodl. Phillips Robinson mss c.442, ff. 16-17; Poole mss 5515.
  • 9. Parl. Gazetteer of England and Wales, iii. 464; Samuel Lewis’s Topographical Dict. of Wales; PP (1838), xxxv. 321-30; T. Jones Pierce, ‘Old Borough of Nefyn’, Trans. Caern. Hist. Soc. xviii (1957), 52-53.
  • 10. Parl. Gazetteer of England and Wales, iii. 654; Samuel Lewis’s Topographical Dict. of Wales.
  • 11. PP (1838), xxv. 337-48; UCNW, Porth yr Aur mss 12576; P.K. Crimmin, ‘W.A. Madocks and the Removal of Welsh Coal Duties’, Trans. Caern. Hist. Soc. xliii (1982), 122-30; D.G. Lloyd Hughes, ‘Pennod yn Natblygiad Tref Pwllheli’, ibid. xxxiii (1972), 33-56; R.T. Pritchard, ‘Porthdinllaen Turnpike Trust’, ibid. xx (1959), 88-90; Shrewsbury Chron. 18 Feb. 1820.
  • 12. UCNW, Plas Newydd mss i. 17, 202; N. Wales Gazette, 2, 9, 16 Mar. 1820.
  • 13. N. Wales Gazette, 20, 27 Apr., 4 May 1820; CJ, lxxv. 286.
  • 14. N. Wales Gazette, 5 Oct., 16 Nov., 21 Dec. 1820, 4 Jan. 1821; Shrewsbury Chron. 22 Dec. 1820.
  • 15. N. Wales Gazette, 29 June, 20 July 1820; CJ, lxxix. 354.
  • 16. Porth yr Aur mss 12489.
  • 17. N. Wales Gazette, 5, 12 Apr., 26 July, 2, 9 Aug. 1821; Poole mss 849; Gwynedd Archives, Caernarfon, Caernarvon borough recs. 271, 304.
  • 18. Plas Newydd mss i. 204-10; vii. 264; Caernarvon Advertiser, 12 Jan., 9, 16 Feb. 1822; Poole mss 5371.
  • 19. Caernarvon Advertiser, 9 Mar. 1822; Caernarvon borough recs. 947; CJ, lxxvii. 80, 214; lxxviii. 407; LJ, lv. 210; Buckingham, Mems. Geo. IV, i. 334; Shrewsbury Chron. 29 Nov. 1822; Poole mss 850-2.
  • 20. Caernarvon borough recs. 110-18, 270; Poole mss 6408; Shrewsbury Chron. 3 Oct. 1823.
  • 21. NLW ms 14984 A, ii. 33-44.
  • 22. Porth yr Aur mss 12490, 12634; CJ, lxxx. 308, 315; LJ, lvii. 567; Caernarvon borough recs. 950.
  • 23. N. Wales Gazette, 6, 13 Oct. 1825; Plas Newydd mss i. 211-42, 348.
  • 24. Plas Newydd mss i. 223.
  • 25. Ibid. i. 245.
  • 26. Ibid. i. 248.
  • 27. Ibid. i. 265.
  • 28. N. Wales Gazette, 6 Oct. 1825, 23 Feb., 4, 11 May 1826; CJ, lxxxi. 145, 327.
  • 29. Plas Newydd mss i. 262, 277, 289, 296, 301, 307-9, 314-16, 321, 322, 327-9, 333-41, 350-4; Poole mss 5372-8, 5378-95; N. Wales Gazette, 23 June 1826.
  • 30. Poole mss 5377.
  • 31. Caernarvon borough recs. 12; Plas Newydd mss i. 24, 345-8, 355, 356, 359-73; N. Wales Gazette, 6 July 1826.
  • 32. N. Wales Gazette, 8, 15, 23 June 1826, 22 Mar. 1827; G.I.T. Machin, ‘Catholic Emancipation’, Trans. Hon. Soc. Cymmrodorion (1962), 85-86; CJ, lxxxii. 281.
  • 33. N. Wales Gazette, 22 Mar. 1827; CJ, lxxxii. 281; LJ, lix. 126.
  • 34. Porth yr Aur mss 12497, 12498; Caernarvon borough recs. 180-6; CJ, lxxxii. 109-10, 252, 304, 426, 452; Gwynedd Archives, Caernarfon XM 2982/1; N. Wales Gazette, 31 May, 7, 14 June 1827.
  • 35. CJ, lxxxiii. 91, 100; LJ, lx. 79, 118.
  • 36. Patriot, 12 May; N. Wales Chron. 22 May 1828.
  • 37. Patriot, 21 Apr., 26, 28, 30 May; Dublin Evening Mail, 23 Apr.; N. Wales Chron. 29 May; Dublin Evening Post, 23, 28 May, 9, 16 June 1828; Wellington mss WP1/929/6.
  • 38. Patriot, 28 May; N. Wales Chron. 29 May; Cambrian, 7 June 1828.
  • 39. Plas Newydd mss vii. 2004; Dublin Evening Post, 17 May; N. Wales Chron. 12 June; Cambrian, 21 June 1828.
  • 40. Dublin Evening Post, 31 May 1828.
  • 41. Poole mss 5396-8; Plas Newydd mss i. 388, 1892, 1893; vii. 2009-11; N. Wales Chron. 2, 9 Oct.; Dublin Evening Post, 4 Oct; The Times, 7 Oct.; Shrewsbury Chron. 10 Oct. 1828; Machin, Catholic Question in English Politics, 149-50; Trans. Hon. Soc. Cymmrodorion, (1962), 90-92; Seren Gomer, xi (1828), 346.
  • 42. Plas Newydd mss i. 1891.
  • 43. Caernarvon borough recs. 948; N. Wales Chron. 18, 25 Dec. 1828; CJ, lxxxiv. 24, 84; LJ, lxi. 23, 68.
  • 44. N. Wales Chron. 1, 22 Jan. 1829; CJ, lxxxiv. 24, 41, 84; NLW, Brogyntyn mss, uncatalogued 1947 deposit, Criccieth borough recs.; Shropshire Chron. 13 May 1831; UCNW, Mostyn of Mostyn mss 7451; Plas Newydd mss i. 382, 388; v. 245.
  • 45. N. Wales Chron. 26 Feb., 26 Mar.; LJ, lxi. 313;
  • 46. N. Wales Chron. 12, 19, 26 Mar., 2, 9, 16 Apr. 1829; CJ, lxxxiv. 41, 127; LJ, lxi. 15, 270.
  • 47. North Wales Chron. 19 Feb., 12, 26 Mar. 1829; Plas Newydd mss i. 1913.
  • 48. NLW, Henry Rumsey Williams mss 25; Gwynedd Archives, Caernarfon, Glynllifon mss 5879, 5898; Evans, Trans. Caern. Hist. Soc. xxxii. 38-39; N. Wales Chron. 1 Oct.; Chester Courant, 13 Oct. 1829.
  • 49. N. Wales Chron. 23 Apr. 1829; M. Escott, ‘How Wales lost its Judicature: the making of the 1830 Act for the Abolition of the Court of Great Sessions’, Trans Hon. Soc. of Cymmrodorion (2006), 134-59.
  • 50. Lord William Paget mss (privately held at Plas Newydd) 7M/644G/1/1-14A; Plas Newydd mss i. 376; 1901.
  • 51. Poole mss 5424, 5430, 5432, 5441; Plas Newydd mss i. 410.
  • 52. Plas Newydd mss i. 376-95, 397, 401-9, 411, 412, 414-29, 433-5, 439, 440, 443-6, 454, 474, 481, 488, 489; Poole mss 5405-17, 5418-21, 5425-7, 5429-31, 5433-6, 5438, 5440, 5442, 5445-8, 5450-6, 5459, 5460, 5468-70, 5472, 5477; F. O’Gorman, Voters, Patrons, and Parties, 69; UCNW, Mona Mine mss 968.
  • 53. Poole mss 5409.
  • 54. Ibid. 5457; Plas Newydd mss i. 486.
  • 55. Plas Newydd mss i. 493.
  • 56. Poole mss 5434, 5437, 5439, 5443, 5444, 5449, 5459, 5461, 5502; Plas Newydd mss i. 394, 398, 408-10, 412, 413, 415, 437, 491, 493, 494; Chester Courant, 6, 13 July; N. Wales Chron. 8 July 1830.
  • 57. Plas Newydd mss i. 383, 393, 475, 476, 479, 484, 490; Poole mss 5469, 5480; O’Gorman, 90.
  • 58. Poole mss 5509, 5511, 5499; Plas Newydd mss i. 393, 412, 452, 457, 458.
  • 59. Plas Newydd mss i. 466; Ll. Jones, ‘Sir Charles Paget and Caernarvon Boroughs, 1830-32’, Trans. Caern. Hist. Soc. xxi (1960), 109.
  • 60. Plas Newydd mss i. 391, 430, 450, 455, 466; Add. 38758, f. 198; 51568, Anglesey to Holland, 17, 22 July 1830.
  • 61. Poole mss 5462-4, 5466, 5467, 5471, 5473, 5492, 5502; NLW, Nanhoron mss 1057; Plas Newydd mss i. 468, 470, 483-6.
  • 62. Poole mss 5457, 5474-6, 5485-7, 5490, 5492, 5495, 5508; N. Wales Chron. 15, 22, 29 July, 5 Aug.; Chester Courant, 20, 27 July, 10 Aug.; Shrewsbury Chron. 6 Aug.; Add. 51568, Anglesey to Holland, 22 July 1830; Porth yr Aur mss 12561; Plas Newydd mss i. 441, 459-65, 497, 498, 500, 501; Machin, Catholic Question, 188.
  • 63. Plas Newydd mss i. 494; ii. 218; Poole mss 5492, 5494, 5496-8.
  • 64. CJ, lxxxvi. 130, 155, 435, 455; LJ, lxii. 45, 140, 152, 214, 428, 487-8; Caernarvon Herald, 1, 8 Jan. 12, 19 Feb., 5 Mar. 1831.
  • 65. N. Wales Chron. 17 July 1832.
  • 66. D.A. Wager, ‘Welsh Politics and Parl. Reform, 1780-1832’, WHR, vii (1974), 437-8; CJ, lxxxvi. 381, 491; LJ, lxii. 354; Plas Newydd mss i. 500, 560; Chester Courant, 15 Mar.; N. Wales Chron. 5 Apr. 1831.
  • 67. Plas Newydd mss i. 491, 517, 551-4, 558, 564, 567, 585, 590, 591; Jones, Trans. Caern. Hist. Soc. xxi. 113-14.
  • 68. Plas Newydd mss i. 570-2, 583, 592, 593, 603, 608, 635.
  • 69. Mostyn of Mostyn mss 7848, 7851; Plas Newydd mss i. 577, 588, 590, 599, 614; Poole mss 5399; O’Gorman, 69.
  • 70. Plas Newydd mss vii. 282; Gwynedd Archives, Caernarfon, Vaynol mss 2597-2613.
  • 71. Vaynol mss 2607.
  • 72. Caernarvon Herald, 30 Apr., 7 May 1831.
  • 73. Evans, Trans. Caern. Hist. Soc. viii. 62; Caernarvon Herald, 7, 14 May; N. Wales Chron. 10, 17 May; Chester Courant, 17 May; Chester Chron. 20 May 1831; Porth yr Aur mss 12578-84;Poole mss 5401; Plas Newydd mss i. 605, 630, 631; vii. 289-91; Mostyn of Mostyn mss 7849; PRO NI, Anglesey mss D619/28C, p. 113.
  • 74. Plas Newydd mss i. 555, 604; iii. 3951; Ll. Jones, ‘Edition of Corresp. of 1st mq. of Anglesey relating to General Elections of 1830, 1831 and 1832 in Caern. and Anglesey’ (Univ. of Liverpool M.A. thesis, 1956), 508, 512; The Times, 12 May 1831; Porth yr Aur mss 12562, 12565, 12567-73, 12575, 12577.
  • 75. Plas Newydd mss i. 616.
  • 76. Ibid. i. 57, 69, 616, 617, 625, 627; iii. 3662; Jones, thesis, 513; Chester Chron. 20 May; Porth yr Aur mss 12566, 12574; Brogyntyn mss, uncatalogued 1947 deposit.
  • 77. The Times, 28 June 1831.
  • 78. Plas Newydd mss i. 73, 76, 618, 622, 624, 628, 629; iii. 3680; Chester Courant, 21 June 1831.
  • 79. Poole mss 5516-29; Caernarvon Herald, 1, 8 Oct.; Chester Courant, 4, 11 Oct. 1831.
  • 80. Plas Newydd mss iii. 3659, 3660, 3665-7; Henry Rumsey Williams mss 2148-53; Chester Courant, 8 May; N. Wales Chron. 8 May 1832. The 1830 bailiwick and 1831 parliamentary elections took place within 12 months of George IV’s death and so were not thus invalidated.
  • 81. W. Suss. RO, Goodwood mss 1459, f. 504.
  • 82. N. Wales Chron. 19 June; Caernarvon Herald, 23 June 1832.
  • 83. Plas Newydd mss i. 43, 45, 71; iii. 3559, 3562, 3584-93, 3596, 3669, 3676, 3672-80, 3731, 3734; N. Wales Chron. 3, 17 July, 18, 25 Sept., 2 Oct.; Caernarvon Herald, 14 July, 18 Aug., 15 Sept., 6, 13 Oct., 10 Nov. 1832.
  • 84. Plas Newydd mss iii. 3573-80, 3605, 3606, 3608, 3609, 3614-18, 3627, 3631, 3635, 3644, 3645, 3649, 3652, 3655, 3695-9, 3701, 3702, 3706-9, 3712-22, 3736-43; Poole mss 5530, 5531A and B; The Times, 14 Nov. 1832.
  • 85. PP (1831-2), lxi. 45-50; CJ, lxxxvii. 217; Henry Rumsey Williams mss 2145.
  • 86. N. Wales Chron. 18 Dec. 1832; The Times, 5 Jan. 1833; Anglesey mss 27B, p. 138; Poole mss 5545-5623; PP (1835), xxvii. 136; Henry Rumsey Williams mss 2145, 2157; Jones, Trans. Caern. Hist. Soc. xi. 97-98; T.M. Bassett, ‘Y Bedyddwyr yng Ngwleidyddiaeth Sir Gaernarfon’, ibid. xlii (1981), 129-34; Caernarvon borough recs. 197-209; CJ, lxxxviii. 423; Evans, Trans. Caern. Hist. Soc. viii. 64.
  • 87. F. Price Jones, ‘Gwleidyddiaeth Sir Gaernarfon yn y 19ed. Ganrif’, Trans. Caern. Hist. Soc. xxvi (1965), 83-106.