MANSFIELD was formerly in the North Division of Nottinghamshire for Parliamentary purposes; but under the last Reform Act it became the head of a division, which includes Mansfield, Sutton-in-Ashfield, Blidworth, Heywood Oakes, Eastwood, Brinsley, Kimberly, Watnall Cantalupe, Kirkby-in-Ashfield, Lyndhurst, Mansfield Woodhouse, Selston, Newthorpe, Moor Green, Watnall, Chaworth, Annesley, Felley, Skegby, Teversal, Fulwood, and Hucknall-under-Huthwaite. Prior to the passing of the Reform Act of 1832, two members were returned for the county not included in the East Retford-cum-Bassetlaw Division, and in 1826 Admiral Southeran and Mr. J. Savile Lumley were returned. The last-named gentleman appears, in June of this year, to have entertained a number of his supporters to dinner at the Swan Hotel, Mansfield; and in the account of £41 3s., which was the cost of the proceedings, were some curious items. It was as follows:—

Savile Lumley, Esqre.,
  Swan Inn, Mansfield.
    £ s. d.
1826. 39 dinners 6 16 6
June 20. Ale and Porter 1 3 0
  62 Port 15 10 0
  26 Sherry 3 0
  Punch 4 0 0
  Fruit 0 10 6
  Tobacco 0 3 6
  Brandy 0 12 0
  Broken chairs and glass 4 15 0
    40 13 0
  Waiters 0 10 0
  £41 3 0
  July 16th, by cash, £41 3s.      
  Thomas Martin.

At the general election which took place in July, 1829, Admiral Southeran and Mr. John Savile Lumley were re-elected for the county; and in 1831, King William IV. having, on the recommendation of his ministers, dissolved Parliament with a view of appealing to the country on the great question of Reform, Mr. John Savile Lumley and Mr. John Evelyn Denison were returned for the county without opposition.

At the first election under the Reform Act, in 1832, when a serious riot occurred in the town, Viscount Lumley and Mr. Thomas Houldsworth, owner of the Sherwood Hall Estate, were returned by considerable majorities over Colonel J. G. Cooper Gardiner. Three years later, on the 31st of March, 1835, an election for North Notts, was rendered necessary in consequence of the elevation of Lord Lumley to the Peerage, through the death of his father, John, Earl of Scarborough, when Mr. Galley Knight, of Forbeck, was returned. The decease of William IV., in 1837, caused a dissolution of Parliament; and, after a severe contest, Mr. Houldsworth and Mr. Knight were again elected, Mr. Foljambe being in a minority of 83 below Mr. Knight. The representatives of the division were re-elected without opposition in 1841.

Upon the decease of Mr. Knight, in 1846, Lord Henry Bentinck was elected to fill the vacancy. Mr. Galley Knight was a gentleman possessed of great wealth and of considerable literary ability. He bequeathed a very large sum of money to the disposal of the Charity Commissioners, to be devoted to the building and repair of churches and the augmentation of small livings. Lord Henry Bentinck and Mr. Houldsworth were returned unopposed at the election in 1847. The number of electors in the Northern Division of the county in 1850 was 3,063; in the Southern Division, 3,539. Again, in 1852, Lord Henry Bentinck was returned unopposed ; but the representation of North Notts, underwent a change, Lord R. Pelham Clinton succeeding, by the consent of the electors, to the seat which had been vacated by Mr. Houldsworth. At the following election, in 1857, Lord R. Pelham Clinton and Mr. J. E. Denison were elected unopposed; and the latter had the honour of being selected the first commoner of the land—Speaker of the House of Commons. From 1857 to 1868, the right of these two gentlemen to sit for North Notts, at Westminster was undisputed; and on Lord Pelham Clinton succeeding to the Dukedom of Newcastle, Mr. F. C. Smith, of Bramcote, was, in 1868, elected unopposed to the vacant seat.

In 1872, the Right Hon. J. E. Denison retired from the House of Commons, and, in recognition of the marked ability, firmness, and courtesy with which he had discharged (during a period of fifteen years) the duties of Speaker, was raised to the Peerage under the title of Viscount Ossington. Then, for the first time in twenty-five years, the electors of North Notts, were called upon to vote; the Hon. G. E. M. Monckton (son of Viscount Galway) being selected as Conservative candidate, and Mr. Robert Laycock, of Wiseton Hall, Liberal. The latter was defeated by 1,050 votes. At the election of 1874, Mr. F. C. Smith and the Hon. G. E. M. Monckton were returned unopposed; but in 1880 there was a very keenly contested election in the division, in which the electors of Mansfield played an important part. The Hon. G. E. M. Monckton had become Lord Gal way; and he had as fellow Conservative candidate in this remarkable contest Capt. W. E. Denison, who, with Mr. Saul Isaac, had represented the borough of Nottingham from 1874 to 1880. The Liberal candidates were Mr. F. G. S. Foljambe and Mr. Henry Fox Bristowe, Q.C., brother of the late County Court judge of the district. Mr. Foljambe was returned at the head of the poll by a majority of 68 votes over Lord Galway, who in turn beat Mr. Bristowe by ten votes only. Viscount Galway was subsequently elevated to the Peerage of England, under the title of Baron Monckton of Serlby.

Upon the extension of the franchise and re-distribution of seats in 1885, the old North Notts. Division was cut in twain. It then had an area of 121 square miles; the number of inhabited houses was 28,974; and the value of property assessed to the income-tax was £ 1,006,525. At the general election in 1885, Mr. Cecil G. S. Foljambe (brother of the former member) was returned as a Liberal, beating Mr. John Horne Payne, who fought in the Conservative interest. In the election of July, 1886, Mr. Foljambe was again successful, though his opponent, Mr. Lancelot Rolleston, of Watnall Hall, succeeded in largely reducing the Liberal majority. At the general election in July, 1892, Mr. J. Carvell Williams was elected by a large majority over Mr. Daniel Warde to represent the division in the place of Mr. Cecil Foljambe, resigned. Mr. Warde having informed the Conservative party that he should not again contest the seat, Col. Eyre, C.B., who had represented in the House of Commons the Lincolnshire constituency of Gainsborough for a short period, was accepted as the Conservative candidate.