West Riding of Yorkshire (UK Parliament constituency)


West Riding of Yorkshire (UK Parliament constituency)

UK former constituency infobox
Name = West Riding of Yorkshire
Type = County
Year = 1832
Abolition = 1865
members = 2

West Riding of Yorkshire was a former UK Parliament constituency in England, returning two Members of Parliament 1832-1865.

Boundaries and History

This constituency comprised part of Yorkshire, the largest of the ancient counties of England. Between 1826 and 1832 the undivided county constituency had returned four Members of Parliament to the House of Commons, instead of the traditional two knights of the shire which the county had sent before then and all other English counties elected up until 1832.

The Reform Act 1832 divided Yorkshire into three county constituencies, which each returned two members. The divisions were based on the three ridings, which were traditional sub-divisions of Yorkshire.

The polling place for the West Riding, at which the hustings were held and the result was declared, was at Wakefield. Unusually for British elections detailed results by polling district are available for a by-election in 1835 and the general elections of 1837 and 1841. These details are given in the Elections section below and provide a list of major towns in the area. Electors had to declare their votes (verbally and in public), as this was before the introduction of the secret ballot. (Source: Stooks Smith).

The West Riding occupied the south western part of the county. The parliamentary constituency covered the whole West Riding, as the non-resident owners of forty shilling freeholds in the Parliamentary boroughs enclaved within the area thereby acquired a county franchise.

Charles Seymour, in "Electoral Reform in England and Wales", commented about the debate in 1832 about the non resident freeholder vote. This was a particularly important issue for the West Riding because the major towns of Bradford, Leeds and Sheffield and the important ones of Halifax, Huddersfield and Wakefield were all to become new Parliamentary boroughs in 1832.

Though the general principle of the freeholder franchise was accepted without debate, one aspect of the question gave rise to much discussion at the time ... . The bill provided that the freeholders in boroughs who did not occupy their property should vote in the counties in which the borough was situated. This clause drew forth a torrent of complaint, especially from the Conservatives. Peel pointed out that it would be far simpler for the freeholders in the represented boroughs to vote in the borough where their property was situate instead of being forced to travel to the county polling place; moreover if the borough freeholders were allowed to vote in the counties he felt that the boroughs would have an unfair influence in county elections and the rural element would be submerged by the urban.

... Althorp ... pointed out that until 1832 freeholders in the unrepresented towns always had voted in the counties, so the Tories could hardly complain that the ministers were introducing new principles to favour urban interests ... .

Stooks Smith confirms the number of electors in the polling districts of the West Riding of Yorkshire constituency named after Parliamentary boroughs, at a by-election in 1835 (see below), which suggests up to two-thirds out of a total electorate of 18,063 might have qualified because of freeholds located in boroughs. However it is not known if all these urban area voters were qualified as non-resident freeholders in the boroughs.

The Parliamentary boroughs in the area, during the period of the existence of this constituency, were Bradford, Halifax, Huddersfield, Knaresborough, Leeds, Pontefract, Ripon, Sheffield and Wakefield.

For the 1865 general election the West Riding was split into two new two member county divisions. Unusually this local redistribution had taken place between the general redistributions of seats, in 1832 and 1868. This was because some seats, taken from boroughs disenfranchised for corruption, were re-allocated to what (by the developing idea that representation should be related to population) were the still under-represented northern English counties. The new divisions were Northern West Riding of Yorkshire and Southern West Riding of Yorkshire.

Members of Parliament

*"Constituency created (1832)"
*"Constituency abolished (1865)"

*Rayment

Elections

"Registered electors are indicated by the abbrieviation reg. Where the exact number of electors casting a vote or votes is unknown, turnout estimated by dividing votes cast by 2. This will underestimate turnout to the extent that electors only used one of their two possible votes."

*"Constituency created (1832)"Election box begin
title=General Election 1832: West Riding of Yorkshire (2 seats)
Election box candidate with party link
party = Liberal Party (UK)
candidate = Viscount Morpeth
votes = Unopposed
percentage = "N/A"
change = "N/A"
Election box candidate with party link
party = Liberal Party (UK)
candidate = Sir George Strickland, Bt
votes = Unopposed
percentage = "N/A"
change = "N/A"
Election box turnout
votes = 18,506 reg.
percentage = "N/A"
change = "N/A"

* "Note 1832: Stooks Smith classified Morpeth and Strickland as Whigs. In accordance with the modern convention, for Whig and Radical candidates from 1832, Craig classified them as Liberals."

Election box begin
title=General Election 1835: West Riding of Yorkshire (2 seats)
Election box candidate with party link
party = Liberal Party (UK)
candidate = Viscount Morpeth
votes = Unopposed
percentage = "N/A"
change = "N/A"
Election box candidate with party link
party = Liberal Party (UK)
candidate = Sir George Strickland, Bt
votes = Unopposed
percentage = "N/A"
change = "N/A"
Election box turnout
votes = 18,061 reg.
percentage = "N/A"
change = "N/A"

* "Appointment of Morpeth as Chief Secretary to the Lord Lieutenant of Ireland" Election box begin
title=By-Election 6 May 1835: West Riding of Yorkshire
Election box candidate with party link
party = Liberal Party (UK)
candidate = Viscount Morpeth
votes = 9,066
percentage = 59.16
change = "N/A"
Election box candidate with party link
party = Conservative Party (UK)
candidate = Hon. John Stuart-Wortley
votes = 6,259
percentage = 40.84
change = "N/A"
Election box majority
votes = 2,807
percentage = 18.32
change = "N/A"
Election box turnout
votes = 18,061 reg.
percentage = 84.85
change = "N/A"
Election box hold with party link
winner = Liberal Party (UK)
swing = "N/A"

Breakdown of vote by polling district
* "Note (1835 be): Discrepancy of 2 in reg. between Craig (result) and Stooks Smith (breakdowb)."

Election box begin
title=General Election 1837: West Riding of Yorkshire (2 seats)
Election box candidate with party link
party = Liberal Party (UK)
candidate = Viscount Morpeth
votes = 12,576
percentage = 34.98
change = "N/A"
Election box candidate with party link
party = Liberal Party (UK)
candidate = Sir George Strickland, Bt
votes = 11,892
percentage = 33.07
change = "N/A"
Election box candidate with party link
party = Conservative Party (UK)
candidate = Hon. John Stuart-Wortley
votes = 11,489
percentage = 31.95
change = "N/A"
Election box turnout
votes = 29,346 reg.
percentage = 80.79
change = -4.06

* "Note (1837): 23,708 voted. (Source: Stooks Smith)."

Election box begin
title=General Election 1841: West Riding of Yorkshire (2 seats)
Election box candidate with party link
party = Conservative Party (UK)
candidate = Hon. John Stuart-Wortley
votes = 13,165
percentage = 26.30
change = -5.65
Election box candidate with party link
party = Conservative Party (UK)
candidate = Edmund Beckett Denison
votes = 12,780
percentage = 25.53
change = +25.53
Election box candidate with party link
party = Liberal Party (UK)
candidate = Viscount Milton
votes = 12,080
percentage = 24.13
change = +24.13
Election box candidate with party link
party = Liberal Party (UK)
candidate = Viscount Morpeth
votes = 12,031
percentage = 24.04
change = -10.94
Election box turnout
votes = 31,215 reg.
percentage = 80.96
change = +0.17

* "Note (1837): 25,273 voted. George Julian Harney and Lawrence Pitkethley were nominated on the Chartist interest, but did not obtain any votes. (Source: Stooks Smith)."
* "Succession of Stuart-Wortley as 2nd Baron Wharncliffe, 19 December 1845"

Election box begin
title=By-Election 4 February 1846: West Riding of Yorkshire
Election box candidate with party link
party = Liberal Party (UK)
candidate = Viscount Morpeth
votes = Unoppose
percentage = "N/A"
change = "N/A"
Election box gain with party link
winner = Liberal Party (UK)
loser = Conservative Party (UK)
swing = "N/A"

* "Appointment of Morpeth as First Commissioner of Woods, Forests, Land Revenues, Works, and Buildings"

Election box begin
title=By-Election 18 July 1846: West Riding of Yorkshire
Election box candidate with party link
party = Liberal Party (UK)
candidate = Viscount Morpeth
votes = Unopposed
percentage = "N/A"
change = "N/A"
Election box hold with party link
winner = Liberal Party (UK)
swing = "N/A"

Election box begin
title=General Election 1847: West Riding of Yorkshire (2 seats)
Election box candidate with party link
party = Liberal Party (UK)
candidate = Richard Cobden
votes = Unopposed
percentage = "N/A"
change = "N/A"
Election box candidate with party link
party = Liberal Party (UK)
candidate = Viscount Morpeth
votes = Unopposed
percentage = "N/A"
change = "N/A"
Election box turnout
votes = 36,165 reg.
percentage = "N/A"
change = "N/A"

* "Succession of Morpeth as 7th Earl of Carlisle, 7 October 1848"

Election box begin
title=By-Election 11 December 1848: West Riding of Yorkshire
Election box candidate with party link
party = Conservative Party (UK)
candidate = Edmund Beckett Denison
votes = 14,743
percentage = 55.55
change = "N/A"
Election box candidate with party link
party = Liberal Party (UK)
candidate = Sir Culling Eardley, Bt
votes = 11,795
percentage = 44.45
change = "N/A"
Election box majority
votes = 2,948
percentage = 11.11
change = "N/A"
Election box turnout
votes = 35,280 reg.
percentage = 75.22
change = "N/A"
Election box gain with party link
winner = Conservative Party (UK)
loser = Liberal Party (UK)
swing = "N/A"

Election box begin
title=General Election 1852: West Riding of Yorkshire (2 seats)
Election box candidate with party link
party = Liberal Party (UK)
candidate = Richard Cobden
votes = Unopposed
percentage = "N/A"
change = "N/A"
Election box candidate with party link
party = Conservative Party (UK)
candidate = Edmund Beckett Denison
votes = Unopposed
percentage = "N/A"
change = "N/A"
Election box turnout
votes = 37,319 reg.
percentage = "N/A"
change = "N/A"

Election box begin
title=General Election 1857: West Riding of Yorkshire (2 seats)
Election box candidate with party link
party = Conservative Party (UK)
candidate = Edmund Beckett Denison
votes = Unopposed
percentage = "N/A"
change = "N/A"
Election box candidate with party link
party = Liberal Party (UK)
candidate = Viscount Goderich
votes = Unopposed
percentage = "N/A"
change = "N/A"
Election box turnout
votes = 37,513 reg.
percentage = "N/A"
change = "N/A"

* "Succession of Goderich as 2nd Earl of Ripon, 28 January 1859"

Election box begin
title=By-Election 21 February 1859: West Riding of Yorkshire
Election box candidate with party link
party = Liberal Party (UK)
candidate = Sir John Ramsden, Bt
votes = Unopposed
percentage = "N/A"
change = "N/A"
Election box hold with party link
winner = Liberal Party (UK)
swing = "N/A"

Election box begin
title=General Election 1859: West Riding of Yorkshire (2 seats)
Election box candidate with party link
party = Liberal Party (UK)
candidate = Sir John Ramsden, Bt
votes = 15,978
percentage = 35.49
change = "N/A"
Election box candidate with party link
party = Liberal Party (UK)
candidate = Francis Crossley
votes = 15,401
percentage = 34.21
change = "N/A"
Election box candidate with party link
party = Conservative Party (UK)
candidate = Hon. James Archibald Stuart-Wortley
votes = 13,636
percentage = 30.29
change = "N/A"
Election box turnout
votes = 36,645 reg.
percentage = 61.42 est.
change = "N/A

* "Constituency abolished 1865"

References

* "British Parliamentary Election Results 1832-1885", compiled and edited by F.W.S. Craig (Macmillan Press 1977)
* "Electoral Reform in England and Wales", by Charles Seymour (David & Charles Reprints 1970) "originally published in 1915, so out of copyright"
* "The Parliaments of England" by Henry Stooks Smith (1st edition published in three volumes 1844-50), second edition edited (in one volume) by F.W.S. Craig (Political Reference Publications 1973) "originally published in 1844-50, so out of copyright"
* "Who's Who of British Members of Parliament: Volume I 1832-1885", edited by M. Stenton (The Harvester Press 1976)


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