(Much) Wenlock (UK Parliament constituency)

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Much Wenlock
Former Borough constituency
for the House of Commons
Replaced by Ludlow

Much Wenlock, often called simply Wenlock, was a constituency of the House of Commons of the Parliament of England until 1707, then of the Parliament of Great Britain from 1707 to 1800, and finally of the Parliament of the United Kingdom from 1801 to 1885, when it was abolished. It was named after the town of that name in Shropshire.

The seat was founded in 1468 as a borough constituency and was represented throughout its history by two burgesses.


Much Wenlock's constituency boundaries ran from Leighton to just west of Dawley, to Ironbridge, and finally to just east of Madeley along the northern border; travelling eastwards, the boundaries ran from just east of Madeley to the bend in the River Severn, following the river thereafter. The far southern border, commencing in the east, travelled along the southern part of the Severn across to Easthope; the western border, running northwards, going from Easthope through to Benthall, and onwards back to Leighton.

Members of Parliament[edit]

  • Constituency created (1468)
Parliament First member Second member
1510–1523 No names known[1]
1529 John Foster Edward Hall[1]
1536 ?
1539 ?
1542 William Blount Reginald Corbet[1]
1545 Richard Cornwall Richard Lawley[1]
1547 Richard Lawley Thomas Lawley[1]
1553 (Mar) John Herbert Thomas Lawley[1]
1553 (Oct) Richard Lee Robert Eyton[1]
1554 (Apr) Thomas Foster Edward Lacon[1]
1554 (Nov) Sir George Blount John Evans[1]
1555 Sir George Blount Thomas Ridley[1]
1558 Sir George Blount George Bromley[1]
1558/9 Roland Lacon George Bromley[2]
1562/3 Sir George Blount Charles Foxe[2]
1571 William Lacon Thomas Eyton[2]
1572 Sir George Blount Thomas Lawley[2]
1584 Thomas Lawley William Baynham[2]
1586 Thomas Lawley William Baynham[2]
1588 William Baynham Robert Lawley[2]
1593 William Baynham Sir John Poole[2]
1597 William Baynham, died
and replaced by
Thomas Fanshawe
William Lacon[2]
1601 John Brett William Leighton[2]
1604 Robert Lawley George Lawley
1614 Rowland Lacon Edward Lawley
1621 Sir Edward Lawley Thomas Wolryche
1624 Henry Mytton Thomas Wolryche
1625 Thomas Lawley Thomas Wolryche
1626 Thomas Lawley Francis Smallman
1628 Thomas Lawley George Bridgmant
1629–1640 No Parliaments summoned
Year First member First party Second member Second party
1640 (Apr) Sir Thomas Littleton Richard Cresset
1640 (Nov) William Pierrepont Sir Thomas Littleton
1645 William Pierrepont Humphrey Bridges
1653, 1654, 1656 Much Wenlock excluded from Barebones and 1st & 2nd Protectorate Parliaments
1659 Thomas Whitmore Sir Francis Lawley
1660 Sir Francis Lawley Thomas Whitmore
1661 Sir Thomas Littleton, Bt George Weld
Feb 1679 Sir John Weld William Forester
Aug 1679 John Wolryche
1685 Thomas Lawley George Weld
1689 Sir William Forester
1701 George Weld
1708 Thomas Weld
1710 George Weld
1713 William Whitmore
1714 Richard Newport
1715 Thomas Newport William Forester II
1716 Sir Humphrey Briggs
1722 Samuel Edwards
1727 John Sambrooke
1734 William Forester II
1739 Brooke Forester
1741 Sir Brian Broughton-Delves, Bt
1744 Isaac Hawkins Browne
1754 William Forester II
1758 George Forester
1761 Cecil Forester
1768 Sir Henry Bridgeman George Forester
Sept. 1780 Thomas Whitmore
Dec. 1780 George Forester
1784 John Bridgeman (later Simpson)
1785 George Forester
1790 Cecil Forester
(from 1811 Weld-Forester)
1794 John Simpson
1820 Francis Forester William Lacon Childe
1826 John Weld-Forester Paul Thompson Whig
1828 George Weld-Forester Conservative
1832 James Milnes Gaskell Conservative
1868 Alexander Brown Liberal
1874 Cecil Weld-Forester Conservative
  • Constituency abolished (1885)

Election results[edit]

Elections in the 1860s[edit]

General Election 1865: Wenlock[3]
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Conservative George Weld-Forester Unopposed
Conservative James Milnes Gaskell Unopposed
Registered electors 961
Conservative hold
Conservative hold
General Election 1868: Wenlock[3]
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Conservative George Weld-Forester Unopposed
Liberal Alexander Brown Unopposed
Registered electors 3,445
Conservative hold
Liberal gain from Conservative

Elections in the 1870s[edit]

General Election 1874: Wenlock[3]
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Conservative George Weld-Forester 1,708 41.4 N/A
Liberal Alexander Brown 1,575 38.1 N/A
Conservative Charles Milnes Gaskell[4] 846 20.5 N/A
Turnout 3,283 (est) 92.7 (est) N/A
Registered electors 3,541
Majority 133 3.2 N/A
Conservative hold Swing N/A
Majority 729 17.7 N/A
Liberal hold Swing N/A

Forester succeeded to the peerage, becoming Lord Forester and causing a by-election.

Wenlock by-election, 1874[3]
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Conservative Cecil Weld-Forester 1,720 55.1 -6.8
Liberal Beilby Lawley 1,401 44.9 +6.8
Majority 319 10.2 +7.0
Turnout 3,121 88.1 -4.6
Registered electors 3,541
Conservative hold Swing -6.8

Elections in the 1880s[edit]

General Election 1880: Wenlock[3]
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Liberal Alexander Brown 2,058 46.5 +8.4
Conservative Cecil Weld-Forester 1,358 30.7 −10.7
Conservative Ralph Augustus Benson[5] 1,013 22.9 +2.4
Majority 700 15.8 −1.9
Turnout 3,244 (est) 93.2 (est) +0.5
Registered electors 3,481
Liberal hold Swing +1.5
Conservative hold Swing −7.5


  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k "History of Parliament". History of Parliament Trust. Retrieved 2011-10-12. 
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h i j "Much Wenlock (1559–1603)". History of Parliament Trust. Retrieved 2011-10-12. 
  3. ^ a b c d e Craig, F. W. S., ed. (1977). British Parliamentary Election Results 1832-1885 (e-book) (1 ed.). London: Macmillan Press. pp. 324–325. ISBN 978-1-349-02349-3. 
  4. ^ "To the Electors of Wenlock". Eddowes's Journal, and General Advertiser for Shropshire, and the Principality of Wales. 28 January 1874. p. 4. Retrieved 22 January 2018 – via British Newspaper Archive. (Subscription required (help)). 
  5. ^ "Wenlock". Dudley Herald. 3 April 1880. p. 5. Retrieved 23 December 2017 – via British Newspaper Archive. (Subscription required (help)). 

See also[edit]