Beverley (UK Parliament constituency)

Beverley (UK Parliament constituency)

Beverley has been the name of a parliamentary constituency in the East Riding of Yorkshire for three separate periods. From medieval times until 1869, it was a parliamentary borough, consisting solely of the market town of Beverley, which returned two Members of Parliament to the House of Commons of the Parliament of the United Kingdom. The name was revived for a single-member county constituency created in 1950, but abolished at the in 1955, and again between the 1983 and 1997 general elections, after which the Beverley constituency was largely incorporated into the new Beverley and Holderness constituency.

The Parliamentary Borough

Beverley was first represented in the Model Parliament of 1295, but after 1306 it did not elect members again until 1563. Thereafter it maintained two members continuously until being disfranchised in 1870. The borough consisted of the three parishes of the town of Beverley, and by 1831 had a population of 7,432 and 1,928 houses. The right of election was vested not in the population as a whole, but in the of the borough, whether resident or not; at the contested election of 1826, 2,276 votes were cast. The town was of a sufficient size for the borough to retain its two members in the Great Reform Act of 1832, although its boundaries were slightly extended to include some outlying fringes, increasing the population by roughly 800.

For much of the borough's history, elections in Beverley were notorious for their corruption. In 1727, one of the victorious candidates was unseated on petition, his agents were imprisoned and Parliament passed a new Bribery Act as a result. Between 1857 and 1868 six petitions were lodged against election results, of which three succeeded in voiding the election and unseating one or more of the victors. After the 1868 election, the writ for the borough was suspended and a Royal Commission appointed to inquire into the conduct of elections in Beverley; when it reported that it had found proof of extensive bribery, an Act of Parliament was passed permanently depriving Beverley of the right to return Members of Parliament, abolishing the constituency and incorporating it within the East Riding constituency.

The novelist Anthony Trollope was one of the defeated candidates in the final corrupt election for which Beverley was disfranchised. He drew on his experience directly for his description of the Percycross election in his novel "Ralph the Heir", and also told the story in his "Autobiography". He found that corruption was taken for granted and that the price of a vote was between 15 shillings and £1. His unsuccessful campaign cost him £400.

The modern county constituencies

The Beverley constituency which existed from 1950 to 1955 was a predominantly rural one. Under the boundary revisions introduced by the Representation of the People Act 1948, which came into effect at the 1950 general election, the three existing county constituencies of the East Riding were abolished, and the county was divided into two new constituencies, each named after their biggest towns - Bridlington and Beverley. The new Beverley constituency comprised the western half of the Riding, including in addition to the borough of Beverley itself the town of Norton and the rural districts of Beverley, Derwent, Howden, Norton and Pocklington. This encompassed parts of all three of the county's previously existing constituencies (Buckrose, Holderness and Howdenshire).

The Beverley constituency was abolished in further boundary changes implemented at the 1955 general election, being divided between the new Haltemprice and Howden seats.

Beverley again became a constituency name in 1983, this time for a constituency mostly suburban in character. The new constituency replaced, and strongly resembled, the Haltemprice constituency which had been introduced in 1955: its main components apart from Beverley were the prosperous suburbs to the north and west of Hull, such as Cottingham, Anlaby and Kirk Ella.

The Beverley constituency was abolished in 1997 general election, Beverley itself moving to the new Beverley and Holderness constituency.

Members of Parliament

Beverley borough

1563-1660

"Constituency abolished 1955"

Beverley County Constituency (1983-1997)

*1983 – 1987: Sir Patrick Wall (Conservative)

*1987 – 1997: James Cran (Conservative)"Constituency abolished 1997"

Election results

Elections in the 1990s

Election box candidate with party link
party = Conservative Party (UK)
candidate = James Cran
votes = 34,503
percentage = 53.3
change = +1.1
Election box candidate with party link
party = Liberal Democrats (UK)
candidate = A. Collinge
votes = 17,986
percentage = 27.8
change = -3.5
Election box candidate with party link
party = Labour Party (UK)
candidate = C. R. Challen
votes = 12,026
percentage = 18.6
change = +2.2
Election box candidate with party link
party = Natural Law Party
candidate = D. Hetherington
votes = 199
percentage = 0.3
change = "N/A"
Election box majority
votes = 16,517
percentage = 25.5
change = +4.6
Election box turnout
votes =
percentage = 79.7
change = +3.4
Election box hold with party link
winner = Conservative Party (UK)
swing =

Elections in the 1980s

Election box candidate with party link
party = Conservative Party (UK)
candidate = James Cran
votes = 31,459
percentage = 52.2
change = -4.1
Election box candidate with party link
party = Liberal Party (UK)
candidate = J. Bryant
votes = 18,864
percentage = 31.3
change = 0.0
Election box candidate with party link
party = Labour Party (UK)
candidate = M. Shaw
votes = 9,901
percentage = 16.4
change = +3.9
Election box majority
votes = 12,595
percentage = 20.9
change = -4.1
Election box turnout
votes =
percentage = 76.3
change = +3.1
Election box hold with party link
winner = Conservative Party (UK)
swing =

Election box candidate with party link
party = Conservative Party (UK)
candidate = Patrick Wall
votes = 31,233
percentage = 56.3
change = "N/A"
Election box candidate with party link
party = Liberal Party (UK)
candidate = M. Pitts
votes = 17,364
percentage = 31.3
change = "N/A"
Election box candidate with party link
party = Labour Party (UK)
candidate = E. M. Morley
votes = 6,921
percentage = 12.5
change = "N/A"
Election box majority
votes = 13,869
percentage = 25.0
change = "N/A"
Election box turnout
votes =
percentage = 73.2
change = "N/A"
Election box hold with party link
winner = Conservative Party (UK)
swing =

Elections in the 1950s

Election box candidate with party link
party = Conservative Party (UK)
candidate = George Odey
votes = 27,937
percentage = 59.1
change = +3.4
Election box candidate with party link
party = Labour Party (UK)
candidate = T. Brennan
votes = 12,778
percentage = 27.1
change = +1.2
Election box candidate with party link
party = Liberal Party (UK)
candidate = H. S. Freemantle
votes = 6,522
percentage = 13.8
change = -1.3
Election box majority
votes = 15,159
percentage = 32.1
change = +2.3
Election box turnout
votes =
percentage = 80.0
change = -3.0
Election box hold with party link
winner = Conservative Party (UK)
swing =

Election box candidate with party link
party = Conservative Party (UK)
candidate = George Odey
votes = 26,699
percentage = 55.7
change = "N/A"
Election box candidate with party link
party = Labour Party (UK)
candidate = A. Gray
votes = 12,399
percentage = 25.9
change = "N/A"
Election box candidate with party link
party = Liberal Party (UK)
candidate = H. S. Freemantle
votes = 7,719
percentage = 16.1
change = "N/A"
Election box candidate with party link
party = Independent Conservative
candidate = G. Thorley
votes = 1,121
percentage = 2.3
change = "N/A"
Election box majority
votes = 14,300
percentage = 29.8
change = "N/A"
Election box turnout
votes =
percentage = 83.0
change = "N/A"
Election box hold with party link
winner = Conservative Party (UK)
swing = "N/A"

Elections in the 1860s

Election box candidate with party link
party = Conservative Party (UK)
candidate = Henry Edwards
votes = 1,132
percentage =
change =
Election box candidate with party link
party = Conservative Party (UK)
candidate = Edmund Hegan Kennard
votes = 986
percentage =
change =
Election box candidate with party link
party = Liberal Party (UK)
candidate = Marmaduke Maxwell
votes = 895
percentage =
change =
Election box candidate with party link
party = Liberal Party (UK)
candidate = Anthony Trollope
votes = 740
percentage =
change =
Election box majority
votes =
percentage =
change =
Election box turnout
votes =
percentage =
change =
Election box hold with party link
winner = Conservative Party (UK)
swing = "N/A"
Election box hold with party link
winner = Conservative Party (UK)
swing = "N/A"

References

Bibliography

*F W S Craig, "British Parliamentary Election Results 1832-1885" (2nd edition, Aldershot: Parliamentary Research Services, 1989)
*D Brunton & D H Pennington, “Members of the Long Parliament” (London: George Allen & Unwin, 1954)
*Michael Kinnear, "The British Voter" (London: Batsford, 1968)
*H G Nicholas, "To The Hustings" (London: Cassell & Co., 1956)
*J Holladay Philbin, "Parliamentary Representation 1832 - England and Wales" (New Haven: Yale University Press, 1965)
*Henry Stooks Smith, "The Parliaments of England from 1715 to 1847" (2nd edition, edited by FWS Craig - Chichester: Parliamentary Reference Publications, 1973)
*Robert Waller, "The Almanac of British Politics" (3rd edition, London: Croom Helm, 1987)
* Frederic A Youngs, jr, "Guide to the Local Administrative Units of England, Vol II" (London: Royal Historical Society, 1991)
* Victoria County History of the East Riding of Yorkshire
*Rayment

External links

* [http://www.british-history.ac.uk/report.asp?compid=36430 "Beverley, 1700-1835 - Parliamentary Elections" from the Victoria County History]


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