THE British Parliament is generally supposed to date its origin from the year 1116, but at that time it consisted only of the ancient barons, who appeared at Westminter clad in armour, with swords by their sides. In 1265 however, a parliament assembled on the 20th of January, the members of which consisted of two knights from each shire, and of deputies from the larger order of Boroughs.

In process of time, from various causes, those of the inferior Boroughs became privileged like the larger ones; and other towns, from interest, and an increase in population, rank, wealth, &c. were incorporated and endued with power to return persons of talent and information, to point out the wants, and seek the redress of those grievances under which their constitutents laboured, as well as to assist in legislating for the nation at large; thus the House of Commons became the connecting link in ‘the chain which unites the cornmonalty with the nobles of the land, by defending the rights and privileges of all classes of his majesty’s subjects, and adding strength and security to the throne, by its counsel, and munificent votes of supply.

From the most authentic documents, it appears that Retford first sent representatives to the National Senate, in the year 1315, being the ninth of Edward the second, but in the year 1330, they petitioned parliament at Westminster, after the feast of St. Katharine, concerning pardon of their burgesses there, by reason of their poverty,* which was granted, and its right lay dormant until 1571, (the thirteenth of Queen Elizabeth,) when it again exercised its privilege, although on the meeting of the house, the right was questioned, and the Treasurer was appointed to confer with the Attorney and Solicitor General concerning the legality of the return; no minutes of such conference are now in existence, and from that time, until the year 1827, it continued to enjoy its elective franchise in a free and uninterrupted manner.

This small Borough, like a number of others of asimilar description, was for a series of years, a scene of dissension from parliamentary and other causes, which need not now be enumerated, and during the eighteenth century, the interference of the House of Commons, to determine the extent of the rights of the burgesses, and the manner in which its representatives should be chosen, was not unfrequently called for. The court of King’s Bench too, has been occupied nearly as often as the House of Commons, on mandamuss motions, and informations in the nature of quo warranto, by which the corporation have been compelled to admit several to their freedom, who have been arbitrarily kept out of their right, and ousted others who had been illegally admitted.

Mr. Oldfield, in his history of the English Boroughs, observes as follows, "It appears by the Journals of the House of Commons, that the Committees of that House have been occupied no less than seven times for several weeks together, within the last century, in determining what constitutes a freeman in this little Borough, and have left it as much open to contention and litigation as they found it. It is not yet decided whether the son of a freeman born out of the Borough, has an equal right to be admitted with the son of a freeman born in the Borough, upon a claim of birthright, or whether the apprentice to a journeyman shoemaker, (which description of persons constitutes a majority of the electors,) has the same right to his freedom as the apprentice to a shoemaker, upon a claim of servitude."


From the year 1571 to 1700, only three petitions complaining of undue returns, were presented to the House of Commons, on two of which no report was made, and the other was reported to be in favour of the sitting members. The first petition to which reference is here made was that of Sir Willoughby Hickman, Bart. in 1700, against the return of Thomas White, Esq. on account of undue practices in the returning officers, when Sir Rowland Gwynn reported, that the first question was the right of election. The committee resolved "that the right of electing members to serve in Parliament for this Borough is in the burgesses non~resident, as well as in those resident within the Borough. That Thomas White, Esq. be not duly elected. That it is the opinion of the committee that Sir Willoughby Hickman is duly elected a burgess of this Borough."

In 1702 another petition was presented by Sir Willoughby Hickman, Bart. and William Levinz, Esq. against the return of John Thornhaugh and Thomas White, Esqrs. complaining of arbitrary and illegal power having been exercised by the bailiffs. Sir Rowland Gwynn reported, "That the right of election was agreed to be in the freemen and burgesses, but the question was whether the younger sons of freemen had a right to demand their freedom? When the committee resolved "That the younger sons of the freemen of this Borough have not a right to demand their freedom of this Borough." And "That the sitting members are duly elected."

In the succeeding Parliament, the same gentlemen petitioned the House against the return of the old members, upon the same grounds, when the chairman, (Mr. Bromley,) reported from the committee "That, the right of election was agreed to be in the bailiffs and burgesses," but they did not agree how they were qualified to he burgesses. The committee afterwards came to the ‘following decision "That all the sons of freemen of this Borough have a right to their freedom," and "that the petitioners are duly elected."

In 1705, Sir Hardolph Wasteneys, Bart. and Robert Molesworth, Esq. petitioned against the return of Sir Willoughby Hickman, Bart. and William Levinz, Esq. who had been elected on the assumption of the last parliamentary committee,—" that all the sons of freemen have a right to their freedom." Mr. Compton (the chairman) reported "That the right of election was agreed’ to be in the bailiffs and burgesses, or freemen." The points were, 1st. Who had a right to the freedom? And 2ndly. What power the Corporation has to make persons living out of the Borough, free by redemption? The counsel for the petitioners; to prove the custom of the Borough making foreigners free, produced the following ordinance agreed upon by the Corporation immediately after the granting of the last charter, dated September 6th, of the sixth of James the first.

"It is ordered, established, and decreed, that all and every such as shall he made free within the town by redemption, shall compound and agree with Mr. Bailiffs, and the aldermen of the town for their freedom, and that no foreigner shall he made free by redemption under 20s. to be paid to the town’s chamber; 20d. to Mr. Bailiffs; 20d. to the chamberlains; 12d. to the deputy steward or town clerk ; 8d. to the sergeant at mace; and 12d. to the relief of the poor, and that at the next court, after the said freedom granted, the party shall be brought in by the chamberlains, and there take the oath appointed for that purpose." Also another ordinance made in 1624,—" for disabling the burgesses to vote at any election or elections whatsoever within the Borough, who shall remove his dwelling out of the Borough, and continue so for one whole year, provided in case he did return again, and live within the Borough, he should vote, while he lived therein."

After considerable deliberations the committee came to the following resolution, "That the right of electing burgesses, to serve in Parliament for this borough, is in such freemen only, as have a right to their freedom by birth, as eldest sons of freemen, or by serving seven years apprenticeships or have it by redemption whether inhabiting or not inhabiting, in the said Borough, at the time of their being made free." They also declared the election of the sitting members to be void, and the petitioners to be duly elected.

Another petition was presented by Willoughby Hickman and Brian Cooke, Esqrs. in 1710, against the returns of Thomas White and Thomas Westhy, Esqrs. The Committee reported to the same effect as in the preceding case, with exception of the words "not inhabiting," and unseated the members, declaring that the petitioners were duly elected.

At the general election, in 1796, William Petrie, Esq. Sir Wharton Amcotts, and John Blackburn, Esq. were candidates, when the two former, for obvious reasons, were declared duly elected, the state of the poll being

For William Petrie, Esq.


Sir Wharton Amcotts, Bart.


John Blackburn, Esq.


This issue being in opposition to the views of the Corporate Body, it was determined to make a number of redemption freemen, to counterbalance the influence, obtained by the "lovers of independance," and thirty-eight of the most respectable inhabitants of the town were sworn in as honorary freemen.

This measure led to a long and expensive law suit, at the head of which was a person of the name of Bowles, who brought the question respecting the power of the bailiffs and aldermen to make these honorary burgesses, by quo warranto, into the Court of King’s Bench, when, in consequence of the junior Bailiff not having assented to the measure at the time when they were admitted as freemen, they were all determined to be illegal, and judgment of ouster was issued against five aldermen, and the whole number of honorary freemen.

At the next general election in 1802, Mr. Bowles came forward, and, from the victory which he had achieved in favour of "birthright and servitude," was quite confident of success. But alas! how short sighted is man, and how unstable are all terrestrial concerns. Mr. Bowles, and his friend Mr. Bonham, soon found out to their cost, that no less than forty-five individuals who had promised them their support and interest, actually voted for the other candidates, who were both of them proposed by the individual who had been the chief promoter of initiating the honorary burgesses. Here we have a fine specimen of the gratitude evinced by the supporters of "birthright and servitude," to one who had put himself at their head, fought their battles, and eventually succeeded in overturning all the machinations of those to whom they were politically opposed. Mr. Oldfield laments that he could not furnish his readers with a list of their names, as a beacon to warn future candidates from becoming a prey to such fraud and treachery; under this disadvantage I do not labour, but as the finger of public scorn has already been pointed at them, I refrain from printing the list of such worthless characters. The state of the poll was as under,—

For Robert Crawford, Esq.


John Jaffray, Esq.


William Bowles, Esq.


Henry Bonham, Esq.


 The unlooked-for issue of this contest laid the foundation of a petition to the House of Commons, rounded upon a charge against John Thornton and George Barker, gent. for having as the petitioners stated, usurped the office of bailiffs, and illegally admitted several to their freedom who had no right, and rejected several who had a right, and who claimed to be admitted. The chairman of the committee reported in favour of the sitting members.

At the next general election in 1806, three candidates offered themselves, these were General Robes Crawford, Thomas Hughan, Esq. and Sir John Ingilby Bart. when the two former were declared duly elect. This Parliament was but of short duration, and on change of ministry taking place early in the ensuing year, its usual concomitant—a general election, was again the order of the day. Three candidates presented themselves to the burgesses, namely, General Charles Crawford, W. Ingilby, Esq. and Tho Hughan, Esq. when the two former were returned the state of the poll being,

For General Crawford.


William Ingilby, Esq.


Thomas Hughan, Esq.


The jockeyship displayed on this occasion was very little inferior to that at Bowles’s election; the "independents!" however returned one of their own choice, but how, or by what means, is quite another mater. Gratitude and integrity were sadly out of fashion!

From the vicinity of Redford to the domains of several illustrious noblemen, it might be expected some of them would put in a kind of claim for the suffrages of the burgesses. Accordingly some of the Dukes of Newcastle have possessed considerable influence here, which has given great umbrage, and been strongly animadverted upon by those politically opposed to that party. But I would ask, Has the Borough been better represented since that time when, as Oldfield. states, "the independent party had the triumph of returning both members against the Duke of Newcastle’s interest?" Have the burgesses been less subject to corruption and bribery under their new patron? And, do they not generally regret being led away by the specious arguments of such men as Mr. Oldfield? He, who in speaking of the acts and sentiments of the "Newcastle party" merely because they were tories, and opposed to the political dogmas of the party whose, advocate he was, could at once sanction a candidate recommended by Earl Fitzwilliam,—nay further, could not see the least harm in a whig nobleman nominating both the members for a Borough, with whom he had not the remotest connection, and in which he never expended a single shilling. Against the venerable Earl Fitzwilliam, the writer begs leave to disclaim all animosity, believing his Lordship to be a most upright and amiable nobleman; nevertheless he is bound by a sense of justice to refute the imputations put forth by Mr. Oldfleld; because, if one nobleman’s interference was blameable, so was the other; if censure was due to one, it was equally so to the other, bearing in mind the old adage that "what is sauce for the goose is sauce for the gander."


Since the contest of 1802, interference of parliament ‘has never been called for, until the year 1826. For several months previous to, and during the election, party-spirit was greatly excited against those burgesses who had promised their votes to Sir R. L. Dundas, and W. B. Wrightson, Esq. (who were opposed by Sir H. Wilson) so much so, that all civil authority was completely set at defiance, and the town overawed by a lawless and infuriated mob, whose zeal for the success of their favorite, prompted them to commit the most unjustifiable acts of outrage against all those who favoured, or were ‘suspected’ of favouring the opposite party. On the day of election it was considered necessary by the municipal authorities, in order to secure the peace of the town, to call in the assistance of the military (who had previously been stationed at Gamston and Barnby Moor,) which had the effect contemplated by those who authorized the measure, and prevented the mob from putting their threats into actual execution.

The election took place on Friday, the 9th of June, 1826, and was adjourned at four o’clock to the following day; but when the court opened, in consequence of the military having been called in, on the previous evening, after the close of the poll, and being then stationed in the immediate neighbourhood, Sir H. W. Wilson protested against the whole of the proceedings, and declared it to be his determination to bring the matter before a committee of the House of Commons as soon as an opportunity presented itself. The state of the poll at its close was as follows.—

For William Battle Wrightson, Esq.


Sir Robert L. Dundas, Kt.


Sir Henry W. Wilson, Kt.


Thus matters rested until the beginning of February, 1827, when Parliament assembled; Sir H. W.Wilson having entered into the recognizances usual upon such occasions, a committee was appointed to decide the question and report to the House. On the 4th of April they commenced with the examination of witnesses, and continued during the 5th, 6th, 7th, 11th, 10th, 11th, and 12th, when the case closed, and the chairman (C. C. Western, Esq.) reported on the 1st of May, that the committee had determined that the sitting members were not duly elected; that the election was void; bat that the allegation contained in the petition, against the returning officer was frivolous and vexatious. The chairman also stated "That the committee considered it their duty to direct the serious attention of the House to the corrupt state of the borough of East Retford. It appeared also to the committee, from the evidence of several witnesses, that, at elections of burgesses to serve in Parliament for this Borough, that it had been a notorious, long-continued, and general practice for the electors who voted for the successful candidates, to receive the sum of twenty guineas from each of them, so that those burgesses who voted for both the members have customarily received forty guineas for such exercise of their elective franchise, and that an expectation prevailed in the Borough that this custom would be acted upon at the last election, although they had not sufficient proof that such expectation was encouraged by the candidates then returned." He also requested to move "That the report, with the evidence taken before the committee, be printed; and that the Speaker do not issue his writ for the return of two burgesses to serve in Parliament for this Borough until the same shall have been taken into the consideration of the House."

On the 11th of June, 1827, the order of the day for the consideration of the above report being read,–Mr. Tennyson moved, and, after considerable discussion, the House of Commons resolved,—"That the corrupt state of the Borough of East Retford required the serious attention of the House." On the same’ day Mr Tennyson obtained leave to bring in a Bill "for excluding the Borough of East Retford from electing burgesses to serve in Parliament, and to enable the town of Birmingham to return two representatives in lieu thereof."

On the 22nd of the same month, this Bill was read a second time, but in consequence of the approaching prorogation (which took place on the 9th of July,) the subject was postponed to. the next session; and on the 29th of June, the issue of the writ to East Retford was suspended accordingly.

On the 31st of January, 1828, the Bill was again introduced by Mr. Tennyson, and on the 25th of February was read a second time, and ordered to be committed; several witnesses, were also summoned to attend the committee on the 3rd of March.

On the 3rd, 4th, and 7th of March, the committee examined evidence in support of the Bill, and heard counsel against it; and on the 10th the committee went through the Bill, pro forma, and reported it to the House.

Mr. Tennyson on the 21st of March, moved the recommittal of the Bill, on the ground that the case against the Borough had been established, to which motion the House agreed; but on the question—that the Speaker should leave the chair, Mr. Nicholson Calvert moved—"That it be an instruction to the committee, that they have power to make provision for the prevention of bribery and corruption in the election of members to serve in Parliament for the Borough of East Retford, by extending the right of voting to the forty shilling freeholders of the Hundred of Bassetlaw."

After debate, the House agreed to the instruction:







Mr. Tennyson afterwards moved the postponement of the committee from time to time, on the ground that,—as several members had appeared to agree to the instruction voted on the 26th of March, because it was proposed by the Bill for the disfranchisement of the Borough of Penryn, to transfer the elective franchise from that Borough to Manchester, it was expected to delay the East Retford Bill until it could be ascertained whether the House of Lords would agree with that transfer.

Onthe 14th of May. the Earl of Carnarvon, who had the management, in the House of Lords, of the Bill for disfranchising Penryn, stated in his place, after evidence had been heard in support of it, that the nature of that evidence was not such as would justify him in proposing to transfer the elective franchise from Penryn to Manchester, but that he should probably propose to open the right of voting to the freeholders of the adjacent Hundreds.

Accordingly, on the 19th of May, Mr. Tennyson moved the recommittal of the East Retford Bill in the House of Commons. Thereupon the House resolved itself into a committee, and Mr. N. Calvert, with the view of giving effect to the instruction of the 26th of March, moved, in the first place, to omit that portion of the preamble which recited the expediency of entirely excluding East Retford from returning representatives, and of substituting the town of Birmingham.

After a debate, in which Mr. N. Calvert, Mr. Tennyson, Mr. Lumley, Mr. Alderman Waithman, Lord Rancliffe, Sir George Phillips, Mr. Secretary Peel, Mr. Littleton, Mr. Stanley, Mr. Sturges Bourne, Lord Viscount Sandon, Mr. Secretary Huskisson. Lord William Pewlett, and Mr Williams Wynn, took part, the committee divided, when the numbers were:—

In favour of Mr. Calvert’s motion,


Against it,




After this division, Mr. Calvert proposed to substitute for the words omitted in the preamble the words following:— "And whereas such bribery and corruption is likely to continue to be practised in the said Borough in future, unless some means are taken to prevent the same; in order, therefore to prevent such unlawful practices for the future, and that the said borough may henceforth be duly represented in parliament, &c." whereupon Mr. Secretary Huskisson moved, that all the words of the proposed amendment, after the word "‘future," be omitted.

Upon which it was moved and agreed, that the chairman should report progress, and ask leave to sit again on Monday the 2nd of June.

During the protracted debate which took place this evening, it was quite evident that either a misunderstanding, or a division, existed amongst the members of his Majesty’s government, which in the sequel proved to be correct. Mr. Huskisson, on leaving the House of Commons, and in the heat of the moment, wrote to the Duke of Wellington, resigning (though in terms somewhat ambiguous) his situation as Secretary of State for the Colonial Department; this letter, the Duke thought proper to lay before his Majesty, and thus, as a late writer justly remarks, "before he knew where he was, he was out of office."

The resignation of Mr. Huskisson, was followed by the secession of some of his colleagues, consequently when the House assembled on the 2nd of June, long explanations were entered into (a recapitulation of which is unnecessary in this place) and the House afterwards went into a committee on the Bill, when Mr. Huskisson again moved as an amendment that all the words after the word"future" be left out, on this the committee divided,

For the original motion,


For the amendment,




In another division, on the question of adjournment. the numbers were,

For the adjournment,


Against it,




After this division a desultory conversation took place, in which Sir John Sebright, Lord Nugent, Mr. Baring, Mr. Calvert, Mr. Tennyson, Mr. Spring Rice, Mr. Secretary Peel, and Lord Normanby, took part: Mr. Tennyson moved that the Bill he read that day six months, in Opposition to that day se’nnight, when the Speaker stated that the honourable member was out of order, as the reading of the Bill that day six months would be tantamount to defeating it altogether.

On the 24th of June, Mr. Calvert moved for leave to bring in a Bill to disqualify certain voters of this Borough from voting in future for members to serve in parliament. On the question being put the House divided

For the motion,


Against it,




On the 26th, Mr. Calver brought in the bill, which was read a first time, and ordered to be read a second time onthe 11th of July. A copy of the Bill, and notice of the intention to read it a second time was ordered to be served upon the Individuals whom it proposed to disfranchise.

On the 27th of June, Mr. Calvert moved the order ofthe day for the further consideration of the report, and in the discussion which followed, considerable warmth of temper was displayed on both sides of the House; several divisions were created by Mr. Tennyson and his friends, tending to defeat the measure, and, if possible, the ministry. The numbers on the respective divisions were as follows,—

First Division.—OnMr. Tennyson’s motion to postpone the measure until the next session:

For the motion,


Against it,


Majority against it,


Second Division.— Lord Howick’s motion, that it be an instruction to the committtee to give, the two members to Yorkshire; each Riding to return two members:—





Majority against,


Third Division.— Mr. Alderman Wood’s motion, in committee, to put an end to the Bill altogether:—







Fourth Division.—OnLord John Russell’s motion, for the absolute disfranchisement of East Retford;—

For the motion,


Against it,




 On the 11th of July, the order of the day being read, for receiving the report of the committee, Mr. Calvert moved that it be deferred to that day se’nnight; and should the House be then sitting, he would move a further postponement so as to carry the Bill over the session.

The order of the day was also read for the second reading of the Freemen’s disqualification Bill; Mr. Calvert, desiring that the two Bills should keep pace with each other, moved that it be read that day three months, which was agreed to. He likewise gave notice of his intention to move that the issuing of a writ for this Borough be deferred till next session.

On the 25th of July, Mr. Tennyson gave notice that he would, early in the next sessions, move for leave to bring in two Bills, one for the absolute disfranchisement of East. Retford, and the other for transferring the franchise to Birmingham. On the 28th, the House adjourned.

Thus this question, which has been the fertile source of so many angry contentions during this session, is still left undecided, to embroil the discussions of the next. It is, however, generally understood that ministers have come to a determination to extend the franchise to the Hundred of Bassetlaw. Indeed the statement of Mr. Peel, in the house of Commons, appears to be decisive on this particular head; speaking of the discussions which took place on the 19th of May, he observes, "On that night I came down to the House with the full impression that it was fully agreed amongst my colleagues, that the resolution proposed by the The Hon. Member for Hertford (Mr. N. Calvert,) should be by all of them strictly adhered to." This declaration may be considered as definitely deciding the fate of the Borough; although if we look at some administrations lately constituted, we certainly possess no "guarantee"for their existence from one session to another.


The catalogue of successive representatives can be but imperfectly traced, in most of the ancient cities, boroughs, &c. of this kingdom, in consequence of the defective state of the Journals of the House of Commons during some reigns, and in others, of their being entirely lost. With respect to Retford, however, I have been enabled to overcome this difficulty, and to present the reader with a correct list of the returns ever since that privilege we allowed the Borough, in the time of Edward the Second. In collecting the following list, I have had reference to "Prynne’s Brevia Parliamentaria" and "Willis’s Notitia Parliamentaria," and through the kindness of a particular friend in London, I have completed the whole from the Journals of the House of Commons, so that its correctness and authenticity may be fully relied upon.


1315—Rogerus Godde, and Jonathan Jurden.†


1571—Henry Draycot. Thomas Broxholme, Gent.
1572—Job Throckmorton, Esq. George Delves, Esq.
1586—Denzil Holles, Esq. Thomas Wade, Esq.
1586—Denzil Holles, Esq. John Conyers, Esq.
1588—Geo. Chaworth, Esq. Alexander Radcliffe, Esq.
1592—Roger Poclington, Esq. Anthony Cook, Esq.
1597—Roger Poclington, Esq. John Roose, Esq.
1601—Roger Mannours, jun. Esq. Rt. Redman, Gent.


1603—Sir John Thornhaugh, Knight Sir Thomas Dayrill, Knight.
1614—Sir Nathan Rich, Kt. Sir Rd. Williamson, Kt.
1620—Sir Nathan Rich, Kt. Edward Worsley, Esq.
1623—John Holles, Esq. Sir Nathan Rich, Kt.‡


1625—John, Lord Haughton. Sir Francis Wortley, Bt.
1626—John, Lord Haughton. Sir Francis Wortley, Bt.
1627—John, Lord Haughton. Sir Francis Wortley, Bt.
1640—Sir Gervase Clifton, Bt. Francis Pierponte, Esq.
1640—Sir Gervase Clifton, St. Charles, Viscount Mansfield.#
1645—Sir Win. Lister, Kt. Fras. Thornhaugh, Esq.§


1653, 1654, 1656—The only members returned from Nottinghamshire during these three Parliaments, were two for the county, and two for the town of Nottingham.
1659—Clifford Clifton, Esq. Wm. Cartwright, Esq.


1660—Wm. Hickman, Esq. Wentworth Fitzgerald, Earl of Kildare.
1661—Wm. Hickman, Esq. Thos. Fitzgerard, Esq.
1679—Sir Edwd. Nevile, Bt. Wm. Hickman, Esq.
1679—Sir Edwd. Nevile, Bt. Wm. Hickman, Esq.
1681—Sir Edwd. Nevile, Bt. Wm. Hickman, Esq.


1686—Sir Edwd. Neville, Bt. John Millington, Esq.
1688—Evelyn Pierrepoint, Esq. John Thornhaugh, Esq.


1690—Evelyn Pierrepoint, Esq. John Thornhaugh, Esq.
1695.—John Thornhaugh, Esq. Richard Taylor, Esq.
1698—Sir Willoughby Hickman, Bt. William Levinz, Esq.
1700—Sir Willougby Hickman, Bt. John Thornhaugh, Esq.
1701—Sir Willoughby Hickman, Bt. John Thornhaugh, Esq.


1702—Sir William Hickman, Bt. William Levinz, Esq.
1705—Sir. Hardolph Wasteneys, Bt.. Robert Molesworth, Esq.
1708—Thomas White, Esq. William Levinz, Esq.
1710—Willoughby Hickman, Esq. Brian Cooke, Esq.
1713—Francis Lewis, Esq. John Digby, Esq.


1715—.John Digby, Esq. Thomas White, Esq.
1721—Thomas White, Esq. Patrick Chaworth, Esq.


1728—Thomas White, Esq.± Sir Robert, Clifton, Bt.
1735—John White, Esq. Sir Robert Clifton, Bt.
1741—John White, Esq. William Mellish, Esq. $
1747—William Mellish, Esq. John Shelley, Esq.
1754—John White, Esq. John Shelley, Esq.


1761—John White, Esq. John Shelley, Esq.
1768—Sir Cecil Wray, Bt. John Offley, Esq.
1774—Sir Cecil Wray, Bt. Hon. William Hanger
1780—Wharton Amcotts, Esq. Right Hon. Lord J. P. Clinton
1784—Wharton Amcotts, Esq. The Earl of Lincoln
1790—Sir John Ingilby, Bart. William Henry Clinton, Esq.
1796—William Petrie, Esq. Sir Wharton Amcotts, Bt.
1802—Robert Crawford, Esq. John Jaffray, Esq.
1806—Robert Crawford, Esq. Thomas Hughan, Esq.
1807—William Ingilby, Esq. General Chas. Crawford
1812—George Osbaldeston, Esq. Charles Marsh, Esq.
1818—William Evans, Esq. Samuel Crompton, Esq.


1820—William Evans, Esq. Samuel Crompton, Esq.
1826—Sir Robert Dundas, Knight. William Battie Wrightson, Esq.

* At that period it was usual for Boroughs to choose representatives from out their own body, and not of strangers or country gentlemen; and many of these Boroughs were frequently so poor as to be unable to pay the members their wages or expenses; even though the allowance was only made for a few days.
†This Parliament was held at Lincoln, and commenced its sitting on the 28th of January.
‡ The year following, Sir Nathan Rich was elected for the Borough of Harwich, and John Darcy, Esq. elected in his place.
# On the 22nd of January, 1643, Charles, Viscount Mansfield, eldest son of William, Earl of Newcastle, was disabled, for deserting the service of the House, being in the king's quarters and adhering to that party. - Sir Gervase Clifton was disabled on the 1st January, 1645.
§ Mr. Thornhaugh died the 18th of November, 1648, and in May, 1649, — Neville, Esq. was returned. Mr. Thornhaugh was the eldest son of Sir Francis Thornhaugh, Bart, and (facing the civil wars was a firm adherent of the parliamentary party. Mrs. Hutchinson, in the life of her husband says, that "a man of greater vallour or more noble daring fought not for them, nor indeed ever drew sword in any cause; he was of a most excellent good nature to all men, and zealous for his friend; be wanted council and deliberation, and was sometimes to facile to flatterers, but bad judgement enough to discerne his errors when they were represented to him, and worth enough not to presist in an injurious mistake because he had once entertained it." He was killed by a scotch lance at the battle of Preston Pans, on 18th of November, 1648; "he was carried off the field" says the same historian, "by some of his owne men, while the rest, enraged for the loss of their dear collonell, fought not that day like men of human race: deafe to the cries of every coward that axk'd mercy, they kill’d all, and would not that a captive should live to see their collonell die; but say'd the whole kingdom of Scotland was too meane a sacrifice for that brave man." She continues, “his soule was hovering to take her flight out of his body, but that an eager desire to know the success of that battle, kept it within, till the end of the day, when the newes being brought him, be cleared his dying countenance, and say'd, "I now rejoice to die, since God hath let me see the overthrow of this perfidious enemy, I could not lose my life in a better cause, and I have the favour from God to see my blood avenged." Having so said he immediately expired.
± Mr. White died in 1732, and his son John White, Esq. was elected in his stead.
$ This gentleman resided at Blyth, and in early life was be- trothed to a Jewess, of considerable property, but which, by a curious clause in the will of her father, her husband could not inherit until chosen Member of Parliament. Accordingly he offered himself for Retford, and, as a matter of course, was anxious to succeed in his endeavours. On the morning the election took place, he brought two different coloured bones to Retford, the one, grey, the other, bay; by means of which he was to send information of the result: if chosen, the grey one,if not, the other. There being no opposition he was elected, and immediately dispatched a messenger on the grey horse; his lady, anxious for the success of her lord, was keeping a sharp look out for the signal, on discovering which, she was so overjoyed that she fell into hysterics, and in the course of two or three days actually died from the effects.