Sligo Borough (UK Parliament constituency)

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Sligo Borough
Former Borough constituency
for the House of Commons
1801–1870
Number of membersOne
Replaced bySligo County
Created fromSligo Borough (Parl. Irl.)

Sligo Borough is a former borough constituency in Ireland, represented in the House of Commons of the Parliament of the United Kingdom.

It was an original constituency represented in Parliament when the Union of Great Britain and Ireland took effect on 1 January 1801, and returned one Member of Parliament (MP), elected by the first past the post system of election.

Numerous elections were overturned on petition by the losing candidate; after the 1868 election was overturned, a Royal Commission examined the matter and reported that "at the last three elections of members to serve in Parliament for the Borough of Sligo, corrupt practices have extensively prevailed."[1] Parliament therefore passed the Sligo and Cashel Disenfranchisement Act 1870[2] (33 & 34 Vict. c.38) which came into force on 1 August 1870. The act disfranchised Sligo Borough as well as Cashel, another Irish borough. The area of Sligo borough became part of the Sligo County constituency. In 1881 the county's MP, Thomas Sexton, introduced a private member's bill to re-enfranchise the borough, which was defeated on second reading.[3]

Boundaries[edit]

This constituency was the Parliamentary borough of Sligo in County Sligo.

Members of Parliament[edit]

Election Member Party Note
1801, January 1 Owen Wynne Tory[4] Resigned (appointed Escheator of Munster)
1806, July 16 Col. George Canning Tory A cousin of his successor Rt Hon George Canning
1812, November 5 Rt Hon George Canning Tory 1812: Also returned by and elected to sit for Liverpool.
Subsequently Prime Minister 1827.
1813, April 5 Joshua Spencer Resigned (appointed Escheator of Munster)
1815, March 27 Sir Brent Spencer
1818, June 29 John Bent Tory
1820, March 21 Owen Wynne Tory[4]
1830, August 4 John Arthur Wynne Tory[5]
1832, December 21 John Martin Whig[5]
1837, August 5 John Patrick Somers Whig[6][5][7] Re-elected as a Repeal Association candidate. There were many disturbances in the election campaign.[8]
1841, July 9 Repeal Association[9] Unseated on petition - new writ issued
1848, April 11 Charles Towneley Whig[10][11] Unseated on petition - new writ issued.[12]
1848, July 15 John Patrick Somers Repeal Association[9]
1852, July 15 Charles Towneley Ind. Irish[9] Unseated on petition - new writ issued.[13] Henry Stonor, convicted of electoral bribery, was later appointed a judge in Victoria, Australia,[14] The Stonor scandal inspired the character of Mr Romer in Anthony Trollope's Doctor Thorne.[15]
1853, July 8 John Sadleir Whig[16][17] Died.
1856, March 8 Rt Hon. John Arthur Wynne Conservative[9] Election upheld after petitions were rejected.[18]
1857, April 2 John Patrick Somers Whig[5][6][7] Unseated on petition.[19]
1857, July 31 Rt Hon. John Arthur Wynne Conservative[9] Declared duly elected on petition.[19] Resigned
1860, August 9 Francis Macdonogh Conservative[9]
1865, July 15 Richard Armstrong Liberal[9]
1868, November 20 Lawrence Edward Knox Conservative[9] Last MP for the constituency. Election declared void on petition.[20]
1870, August 1 constituency disenfranchised

Supplemental Note:-

  • 1 Walker (like F. W. S. Craig in his compilations of election results for Great Britain) classifies Whig, Radical and similar candidates as Liberals from 1832. The name Liberal was gradually adopted as a description for the Whigs and politicians allied with them, before the formal creation of the Liberal Party shortly after the 1859 general election.

Elections[edit]

Elections in the 1830s[edit]

General election 1830: Sligo Borough[9][5][21]
Party Candidate Votes %
Tory John Arthur Wynne Unopposed
Registered electors 13
Tory hold
General election 1831: Sligo Borough[9][5][21]
Party Candidate Votes %
Tory John Arthur Wynne Unopposed
Registered electors 13
Tory hold
General election 1832: Sligo Borough[9][5]
Party Candidate Votes %
Whig John Martin (Irish politician) 213 53.7
Tory John Arthur Wynne 159 40.1
Whig Gregory Cuffe Martin 20 5.0
Whig Robert Jones 5 1.3
Majority 54 13.6
Turnout 397 95.0
Registered electors 418
Whig gain from Tory
General election 1835: Sligo Borough[9][5]
Party Candidate Votes %
Whig John Martin (Irish politician) Unopposed
Registered electors 694
Whig hold
General election 1837: Sligo Borough[9][5]
Party Candidate Votes %
Whig John Patrick Somers 262 55.7
Whig John Martin (Irish politician) 208 44.3
Majority 54 11.6
Turnout 470 56.2
Registered electors 837
Whig hold

Elections in the 1840s[edit]

General election 1841: Sligo Borough[9]
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Irish Repeal John Patrick Somers Unopposed
Registered electors 821
Irish Repeal gain from Whig
General election 1847: Sligo Borough[9]
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Irish Repeal John Patrick Somers Unopposed
Registered electors 910
Irish Repeal hold

On petition, Somers was unseated, causing a by-election.

By-election, 11 April 1848: Sligo Borough[9]
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Whig Charles Towneley 130 52.6 New
Irish Repeal John Patrick Somers 117 47.4 N/A
Majority 13 5.2 N/A
Turnout 247 29.5 (est) N/A
Registered electors 837 (1847 figure)
Whig gain from Irish Repeal Swing N/A

On petition, Towneley was unseated, causing a further by-election.

By-election, 15 July 1848: Sligo Borough[9]
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Irish Repeal John Patrick Somers 102 36.6 −10.8
Conservative James Hartley 90 32.3 New
Whig John Ball 87 31.2 −21.4
Majority 12 4.3 N/A
Turnout 279 30.7 +1.2
Registered electors 910
Irish Repeal gain from Whig Swing +5.3

Elections in the 1850s[edit]

General election 1852: Sligo Borough[9]
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Independent Irish Charles Towneley 147 57.6 New
Whig John Patrick Somers 108 42.4 N/A
Majority 39 15.2 N/A
Turnout 255 75.9 N/A
Registered electors 336
Independent Irish gain from Irish Repeal Swing N/A

On petition, Towneley was unseated on 6 June 1853 due to bribery by his agents, causing a by-election.[22]

By-election, 8 July 1853: Sligo Borough[9]
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Whig John Sadleir 150 51.4 N/A
Whig John Patrick Somers 142 48.6 +6.2
Majority 8 2.8 N/A
Turnout 292 83.2 +7.3
Registered electors 351
Whig gain from Independent Irish Swing N/A

Sadleir's death caused a by-election.

By-election, 8 March 1856: Sligo Borough[9]
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Conservative John Arthur Wynne 148 55.8 New
Whig John Patrick Somers 117 44.2 +1.8
Majority 31 11.6 N/A
Turnout 265 76.8 +0.9
Registered electors 345
Conservative gain from Independent Irish Swing N/A
General election 1857: Sligo Borough[9]
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Whig John Patrick Somers 150 51.0 +8.6
Conservative John Arthur Wynne 144 49.0 N/A
Majority 6 2.0 N/A
Turnout 294 85.2 +9.3
Registered electors 345
Whig gain from Independent Irish Swing N/A

On petition, the poll was amended due to improperly recorded votes, leaving Wynne with 148 votes and Somers with 147 votes. Wynne was then declared elected on 31 July 1857.[23]

General election 1859: Sligo Borough[9]
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Conservative John Arthur Wynne 177 70.0 +21.0
Liberal John Patrick Somers 73 28.9 −22.1
Liberal Lucas Alexander Treston 3 1.2 N/A
Majority 104 41.1 N/A
Turnout 253 70.1 −15.1
Registered electors 361
Conservative gain from Liberal Swing +21.6

Elections in the 1860s[edit]

Wayne's resignation caused a by-election.

By-election, 9 August 1860: Sligo Borough[9]
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Conservative Francis Macdonogh 160 95.8 +25.8
Liberal John Reilly 5 3.0 +1.8
Liberal John Patrick Somers 2 1.2 −27.7
Majority 155 92.8 +41.7
Turnout 167 46.3 −23.8
Registered electors 361
Conservative hold Swing +26.8
General election 1865: Sligo Borough[9]
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Liberal Richard Armstrong 166 51.7 +21.6
Conservative Francis Macdonogh 155 48.3 −21.7
Majority 11 3.4 N/A
Turnout 321 84.7 +14.6
Registered electors 379
Liberal gain from Conservative Swing +21.7
General election 1868: Sligo Borough[9]
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Conservative Lawrence E. Knox 241 51.3 +3.0
Liberal John Woulfe Flanagan 229 48.7 −3.0
Majority 12 2.6 N/A
Turnout 470 90.4 +5.7
Registered electors 520
Conservative gain from Liberal Swing +3.0

Knox's election was declared void on 2 March 1869, and no writ was issued to find a replacement MP. The seat was then disenfranchised on 1 August 1870, and absorbed into Sligo County.

References[edit]

Sources[edit]

  • The Parliaments of England by Henry Stooks Smith (1st edition published in three volumes 1844-50), 2nd edition edited (in one volume) by F.W.S. Craig (Political Reference Publications 1973)
  • Parliamentary Election Results in Ireland, 1801-1922, edited by B.M. Walker (Royal Irish Academy 1978)
  • British Electoral Facts 1832-1987, compiled and edited by F.W.S. Craig (Parliamentary Research Services, 5th edition, 1989)
  • Commissioners for the purpose of making inquiry into the existence of corrupt practices at the last election for Sligo (1870). Report. Command papers. C.48. Dublin: Alex Thom. Retrieved 23 December 2016.
  • Leigh Rayment's Historical List of MPs – Constituencies beginning with "S" (part 3)

Citations[edit]

  1. ^ Commission 1870, p.viii
  2. ^ "Sligo and Cashel Disfranchisement Bill— [Bill 139.] Second Reading". Hansard. 16 June 1870. HC Deb vol 202 cc309-15. Retrieved 23 December 2016.; "Sligo and Cashel Disfranchisement Bill.—(No. 167.) Second Reading". Hansard. 7 July 1870. HL Deb vol 202 cc1596-1602. Retrieved 23 December 2016.
  3. ^ "Sligo Borough Re-Enfranchisement Bill.— [Bill 62.]; Second Reading". Hansard. 23 March 1881. HC Deb vol 259 cc1782–5. Retrieved 23 December 2016.
  4. ^ a b Salmon, Philip. "WYNNE, Owen (c.1756-1841), of Hazelwood, co. Sligo". The History of Parliament. Retrieved 24 May 2020.
  5. ^ a b c d e f g h i Smith, Henry Stooks (1842). The Register of Parliamentary Contested Elections (Second ed.). Simpkin, Marshall & Company. p. 239. Retrieved 8 October 2018 – via Google Books.
  6. ^ a b The Assembled Commons; Or, Parliamentary Biographer. Scott, Webster and Geary. 1838. p. 210 – via Google Books.
  7. ^ a b "Sligo Borough". King's County Chronicle. 14 July 1852. p. 2. Retrieved 17 March 2018 – via British Newspaper Archive.
  8. ^ Copy of a memorial forwarded to the Lord Lieutenant of Ireland for certain magistrates of the county ... impugning the conduct of Major Browne (government magistrate) during the late contest (Sligo) election. Sessional papers. HC 36, 1837-1838 46 551. 12 December 1837. Retrieved 23 December 2016.; Return of all reports of outrages to Inspector General of Police by Constabulary during late Elections for County and Borough of Sligo. Sessional papers. HC 166, 1837-1838 46 555. 27 February 1838. Retrieved 23 December 2016.;
  9. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s t u v w x y Walker, B.M., ed. (1978). Parliamentary Election Results in Ireland, 1801-1922. Dublin: Royal Irish Academy. ISBN 0901714127.
  10. ^ "Ireland". Norfolk Chronicle. 22 April 1848. p. 2. Retrieved 8 October 2018 – via British Newspaper Archive.
  11. ^ "Durham County Advertiser". 21 April 1848. p. 5. Retrieved 8 October 2018 – via British Newspaper Archive.
  12. ^ Select Committee of Privileges (21 July 1848). Sligo election petitions: petition of John Delaney: report with minutes of evidence. Sessional papers. HC 526, 1847-1848 14 367. Retrieved 23 December 2016.
  13. ^ Select Committee on the Sligo borough election petition (6 June 1853). Report. Sessional papers. HC 572, 1852-1853 18 595. Retrieved 23 December 2016.; Select Committee on the Sligo borough election petition (10 June 1853). Minutes of evidence, proceedings and index. Sessional papers. HC 600, 1852-1853 18 605, 713. Retrieved 23 December 2016.
  14. ^ Select Committee on Appointment of H. Stonor as Judge in Colony of Victoria, after being reported Guilty of Bribery at Election for Borough of Sligo (1 June 1854). Report, minutes of evidence and appendices. Sessional papers. HC 278, 1854 8 681. Retrieved 23 December 2016.
  15. ^ Trollope, Anthony (3 March 2016). Dentith, Simon (ed.). Doctor Thorne. Foreword by Julian Fellowes (TV Tie-In ed.). OUP Oxford. p. 638, fn.156. ISBN 9780191088568. Retrieved 23 December 2016.
  16. ^ "Irish Elections". Drogheda Argus and Leinster Journal. 7 August 1847. p. 2. Retrieved 15 September 2018 – via British Newspaper Archive.
  17. ^ "The General Election". Morning Post. 9 August 1847. pp. 2–4. Retrieved 15 September 2018 – via British Newspaper Archive.
  18. ^ Select Committee on Sligo Borough Election Petition (22 May 1856). Report, minutes of evidence and proceedings. Sessional papers. HC 234, 1856 7 409. Retrieved 23 December 2016.
  19. ^ a b Select Committee on Sligo Borough Election Petition (23 July 1857). Report and proceedings. Sessional papers. HC 227, 1857 8 585. Retrieved 23 December 2016.; Select Committee on Sligo Borough Election Petition (3 August 1857). Minutes of evidence and proceedings. Sessional papers. HC 206, 1857 8 609. Retrieved 23 December 2016.
  20. ^ Minutes of evidence at Trial of Sligo Borough Election Petition. Sessional papers. HC 85, 1868-1869 49 933. 16 March 1869. Retrieved 23 December 2016.
  21. ^ a b Salmon, Philip. "Sligo". The History of Parliament. Retrieved 24 May 2020.
  22. ^ "Tralee Chronicle". 10 June 1853. pp. 3–4. Retrieved 8 October 2018 – via British Newspaper Archive.
  23. ^ "Dublin Evening Mail". 17 July 1857. p. 4. Retrieved 8 October 2018 – via British Newspaper Archive.