Beaumaris (UK Parliament constituency)


Beaumaris (/bjuːˈmærɪs/ bew-MAR-is; Welsh: Biwmares [bɪuˈmɑːrɛs]) was a parliamentary borough in Anglesey, which returned one Member of Parliament (MP) to the House of Commons of the Parliament of England from 1553, then to the Parliament of Great Britain from 1707 to 1800 and to the Parliament of the United Kingdom from 1801 to 1885, when the constituency was abolished. After 1832, the constituency was usually known as the Beaumaris District of Boroughs or simply the Beaumaris Boroughs.

Beaumaris
Former Borough constituency
for the House of Commons
1536–1885
Number of members1
Replaced byAnglesey

History


As elsewhere in Wales, the Laws in Wales Acts 1535 and 1542 provided Anglesey with two members of parliament, one representing the county and the other representing a borough constituency named after the county town but including other "contributory boroughs" who were jointly responsible for providing for the upkeep of the MP and, in return, were granted a say in his election. However, at this period two towns, Beaumaris and Newborough, were disputing the right to be considered Anglesey's county town: under Henry VIII, Newborough was the assize town, but early in the reign of Edward VI (1547–1553) this function was transferred to Beaumaris. The new constituency was designated as Beaumaris, with Newborough as its only contributory borough, and first returned an MP in 1542; but at the same time as the assize was transferred, Newborough was also relieved of the obligation to contribute to the wages of the MP for Beaumaris which, under the terms of the relevant statute, also extinguished its right to vote in his election. Porritt, the early 20th century expert on the history of the Unreformed House of Commons, concludes that "the probability is that Newborough broke the connection in a fit of ill-humour" rather than that it was contrived by Beaumaris; but within a few decades, as the desirability of being directly represented in Parliament became more widely recognised, Newborough was trying unsuccessfully to regain its former status. On several occasions until the early 18th century, Newborough's inhabitants attempted to vote, but had their votes refused by the returning officer and his decision was upheld by Parliament whenever they petitioned in objection.

The franchise was further restricted in 1562, when Elizabeth I granted Beaumaris a new municipal charter, which reserved the right to vote in parliamentary elections to members of the town corporation. Thereafter until 1832, Beaumaris was a closed "corporation borough" of a type common in England but unknown elsewhere in Wales; its only voters were the mayor, two bailiffs and 21 "capital burgesses", and since they had the sole right to fill any vacancies arising in their number their power was entirely self-perpetuating, making the constituency a completely safe pocket borough. For the best part of two centuries before the Great Reform Act of 1832, the nomination was in the hands of the Bulkeley family of Baron Hill, and the elections were never contested.

By 1831, the borough of Beaumaris had a population of 2,497 (though, still, only 24 voters). The Reform Act extended the franchise, and also added three contributory boroughs – Amlwch, Holyhead and Llangefni. This raised the population of the revised Beaumaris Boroughs constituency to 8,547, though the number of qualified voters on the register in 1832 was only 329. This was still in practice a pocket borough, and the first contested election did not take place until the further extension of the franchise by the Second Reform Act, which brought the electorate up to almost 2,000 in the elections from 1868.

The constituency was abolished in the redistribution of seats in 1885, being merged into the Anglesey county constituency.

Members of Parliament


1542–1640

Members for Newborough
ParliamentMember
1541Richard ap Rhydderch, of Myfyrion
1545Owen ap Hugh
1547John ap Robert Lloid
Members for Beaumaris
ParliamentMemberNotes
1553 (Mar)Maurice Grifith
1553 (Sep)Rowland Bulkeley
1554 (Nov)William Bulkeley? or William Goodman?name damaged
1555Hugh Goodman
1558–1567William Price
1571William Bulkeley
1572Rowland Kenrick
1584–1593Thomas BulkeleyDied 1593
1597–1598William Jones
1601William Maurice
1604William Jones
1614William Jones
1621–1622Sampson Eure
1624Charles Jones
1625Charles Jones
1626Charles Jones
1628Charles Jones
1629–1640No Parliaments summoned

1640–1885

YearMemberParty
1640 (Apr) Charles Jones
November 1640 John Griffith Royalist
August 1642 Griffith died – seat vacant
1646 William Jones
December 1648 Jones excluded in Pride's Purge – seat vacant
1653 Beaumaris was unrepresented in the Barebones Parliament
and the First and Second Parliaments of the Protectorate
January 1659 Griffith Bodwrda
May 1659 Unrepresented in the restored Rump
April 1660 Griffith Bodwrda
April 1661 Heneage Finch
July 1661 John Robinson
February 1679 Richard Bulkeley
August 1679 Hon. Henry Bulkeley Tory
1689 William Williams
1690 Thomas Bulkeley
1695 Sir William Williams
1698 Owen Hughes
January 1701 Coningsby Williams
December 1701 Robert Bulkeley
1703 Coningsby Williams
1705 Hon. Henry Bertie
1727 Watkin Williams-Wynn[1] Tory
1730 Richard Bulkeley Tory
1739 James Bulkeley Tory
1753 John Owen Opposition Whig
1754 Richard Thelwall Price
1768 Lieutenant-Colonel Sir Hugh Williams
1780 Sir George Warren
1784 Hon. Hugh Fortescue
1785 Lieutenant-Colonel Sir Hugh Williams
1794 Sir Watkin Williams-Wynn
1796 Thomas Wynn
1807 Sir Edward Lloyd
1812 Thomas Lewis
1826 Sir Robert Williams Whig[2]
1831 Sir Richard Williams-Bulkeley Whig[2]
1832 Frederick Paget Whig[2][3]
1847 Lord George Paget Whig[4]
1857 Hon. William Owen Stanley Whig[5][6][7][8]
1859 Liberal
1874 Morgan Lloyd Liberal
1885 Constituency abolished

Election results


Elections in the 1830s

General election 1830: Beaumaris[2][9]
Party Candidate Votes %
Whig Robert Williams Unopposed
Whig hold

Williams' death caused a by-election.

By-election, 8 February 1831: Beaumaris[2][9]
Party Candidate Votes %
Whig Richard Williams-Bulkeley Unopposed
Registered electors c.22
Whig hold
General election 1831: Beaumaris[2][9]
Party Candidate Votes %
Whig Richard Williams-Bulkeley Unopposed
Registered electors c.22
Whig hold
General election 1832: Beaumaris[2][10]
Party Candidate Votes %
Whig Frederick Paget Unopposed
Registered electors 329
Whig hold
General election 1835: Beaumaris[2][10]
Party Candidate Votes %
Whig Frederick Paget Unopposed
Registered electors 218
Whig hold
General election 1837: Beaumaris[2][10]
Party Candidate Votes %
Whig Frederick Paget Unopposed
Registered electors 323
Whig hold

Elections in the 1840s

General election 1841: Beaumaris[10]
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Whig Frederick Paget Unopposed
Registered electors 298
Whig hold
General election 1847: Beaumaris[10]
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Whig George Paget Unopposed
Registered electors 335
Whig hold

Elections in the 1850s

General election 1852: Beaumaris[10]
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Whig George Paget Unopposed
Registered electors 459
Whig hold
General election 1857: Beaumaris[10]
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Whig William Owen Stanley Unopposed
Registered electors 473
Whig hold
General election 1859: Beaumaris[10]
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Liberal William Owen Stanley Unopposed
Registered electors 521
Liberal hold

Elections in the 1860s

General election 1865: Beaumaris[10]
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Liberal William Owen Stanley Unopposed
Registered electors 558
Liberal hold
General election 1868: Beaumaris[10]
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Liberal William Owen Stanley 941 59.1 N/A
Liberal Morgan Lloyd 650 40.9 N/A
Majority 291 18.2 N/A
Turnout 1,591 81.8 N/A
Registered electors 1,944
Liberal hold Swing N/A

Elections in the 1870s

General election 1874: Beaumaris[10][11]
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Liberal Morgan Lloyd 947 61.3 +20.4
Conservative Thomas Lewis Hampton-Lewis 344 22.3 New
Liberal Edmund Verney 255 16.5 N/A
Majority 603 39.0 +20.8
Turnout 1,546 75.5 6.3
Registered electors 2,048
Liberal hold Swing N/A

Elections in the 1880s

General election 1880: Beaumaris[10]
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Liberal Morgan Lloyd Unopposed
Registered electors 2,581
Liberal hold

References


  1. Williams-Wynn was also elected for Denbighshire, which he eventually chose to represent, and did not sit for Beaumaris
  2. Stooks Smith, Henry (1845). The Parliaments of England, from 1st George I., to the Present Time. Vol II: Oxfordshire to Wales Inclusive. London: Simpkin, Marshall, & Co. pp. 176–177. Retrieved 12 August 2019 via Google Books.
  3. Churton, Edward (1838). The Assembled Commons or Parliamentary Biographer. p. 171. Retrieved 12 August 2019 via Google Books.
  4. Bloy, Marjorie (12 January 2016). "Lord George Paget (1818-1880)". A Web of English History. Archived from the original on 19 August 2018. Retrieved 19 August 2018.
  5. The Spectator, Volume 10. F. C. Westley. 1837. p. 177. Retrieved 27 April 2018 via Google Books.
  6. Parliament Commons, Lists (1838). The Assembled Commons or Parliamentary Biographer: 1838. p. 214 via Google Books.
  7. Cragoe, Matthew (2004). "The Problem of Landed Influence". Culture, Politics and National Identity in Wales 1832-1886. Oxford: Oxford University Press. p. 151. ISBN 0-19-820754-9. Retrieved 27 April 2018 via Google Books.
  8. Ollivier, John (2007). "Alphabetical List of the House of Commons". Ollivier's parliamentary and political director. p. 37. Retrieved 15 April 2018 via Google Books.
  9. Escott, Margaret. "Beaumaris". The History of Parliament. Retrieved 4 May 2020.
  10. Craig, F. W. S., ed. (1977). British Parliamentary Election Results 1832-1885 (e-book) (1st ed.). London: Macmillan Press. p. 497. ISBN 978-1-349-02349-3.
  11. "The Anglesey Boroughs". North Wales Chronicle. 25 October 1873. p. 5. Retrieved 27 December 2017 via British Newspaper Archive.

Sources