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Lancashire Constituency 1290 to 1832.

Lancashire was a county constituency of the House of Commons of the Parliament of England from 1290, then of the Parliament of Great Britain from 1707 to 1800, and of the Parliament of the United Kingdom from 1801 to 1832. It was represented by two Members of Parliament, traditionally known as Knights of the Shire until 1832.

The ancient county of Lancashire covered a much larger area than the modern county of Lancashire. The county town of Lancaster was in the north of the county. The county boundary was further north beyond Carnforth and followed approximately the same boundary as the modern county. The old county of Lancashire also included land on the opposite side of Morecambe Bay. Barrow and Furness and the area between Lake Windermere and the River Duddon, and the area west of the River Winster were considered parts of Lancashire. Most of the modern district of Ribble Valley was at this time part of Yorkshire. In the south the county extended to the River Mersey and Liverpool and followed the Mersey and the River Tame to Ashton-under-Lyne. Most of the southern area of the ancient county now forms the modern metropolitan counties of Merseyside and Greater Manchester.

The people of the ancient county of Lancashire had been represented in Parliament since at least the 13th Century. It was this period that saw the practice of returning two knights from the shire counties to Parliaments summoned by writ to meet. These were generally regarded as the first assemblies of representatives. At that time Westminster, within the county of Middlesex, had yet to become the permanent home of Parliament. It was the King who decided when and where a Parliament should assemble, and although Westminster was the usual venue, sometimes special circumstances in this period meant Parliaments were summoned to other cities. Early returns have not survived, but the first named representatives of Lancashire, Mattheus de Redman and Johannes de Ewyas are shown in the returns to the Parliament of England summoned to meet at Westminster on 27 November 1295 in the reign of Edward I.

In this early period of Parliamentary history not all Parliaments summoned just shire Knights. Some also required the presence of two representatives of each city and borough. In the 1295 Parliament the two county Members for Lancashire were joined by two Members from each of the four boroughs of Lancaster, Liverpool, Preston and Wigan. Lancaster and Kenneth O. Morgan, ‘Greenwood, Arthur William James , Baron Greenwood of Rossendale (1911â€"1982)

Preston occasionally sent Members to subsequent Parliaments but it was not until the sixteenth century that all four boroughs regularly returned Members to Parliament. At this time Clitheroe and Newton-le-Willows also gained the status of Parliamentary boroughs with each returning two Members. Manchester was granted a town charter in 1301 but had no municipal authority and did not achieve the status of a Parliamentary borough. This was despite the parish of Manchester having a population larger than Liverpool parish by over 100,000 by 1831. Manchester appears in the returns once in the Parliament 1656. This was the second Protectorate Parliament that followed Oliver Cromwell’s Instrument of Government that declared Cromwell Lord Protector. The Instrument was an attempt to redistribute seats on a more equitable basis and towns such as Leeds and Manchester gained representation as a result, but this ended following the Restoration.

Lancashire had a total of fourteen Members in the unreformed House of Commons, and this remained the pattern.


Parliament Date Name
 1294 Mathew de Redman
 1295 Mathew de ?Sechnan
 1297 Henry de Keighley
 1298 Henry de Keighley
 1300 Gilbert de Singleton
 1301 Henry de Keighley
 1302 William de Clifton
 1305 William de Clifton
January1307 Gilbert de Singleton
October1307 Mathew de Redman
 1311 William le Gentil
 1312 Henry de Trafford
March1313 William de Bradshaigh
July1313 Ralph de Bickerstaff
September1313 Henry de ?Vegherby
 1314 Thomas Banastre
January1316 William de Bradshaigh
June1316 John de Lancaster
July1316 Sir Roger de Pilkington
October1318 Edmund de Neville
 1319 William de Walton
 1320 Gilbert de Haydock
 1321 John de Hornby
 1322 Sir Richard de Hoghton, 3rd Baronet
January1324 Edmund de Neville
 1325 William de Bradshaigh
 1326 Edmund de Neville
September1327 Michael de Haverington
February1328 William de Bradshaigh
April1328 Thomas de Thornton
January1324 Edmund de Neville
October1324 William de Slene
 1330 William de Bradshaigh
July1328 William Lawrence
October1328 Nicholas de Norreys
February1329 Nicholas de Norreys
March1330 William de Saperton
 1331 William de Bradshaigh
 1332 Robert de Dalton
September1332 John de Hornby, jnr
January1333 Edmund de Neville
February1334 Edmund de Neville
 1334 Robert de Radcliffe
May1335 Robert de Sherburne
March1336 John de Sherburne
September1336 John de Hornby, jnr
March1337 Robert de Ireland
September1337 Sir Richard de Hoghton, 3rd Baronet
February1338 Robert de Billisthorpe
July1338 John de Hornby
 1339 Robert de Clyderhowe
October1339 Nicholas de Hulme
January1340 Sir John de Radcliffe
March1340 Sir John de Dalton
April1343 John de Haverington
 1344 Nicholas le Boteler
 1346 John de Clyderho
January1348 Sir Adam de Hoghton
April1348 Robert de Plesington
 1351 Otho de Halsall
August1352 John de Haverington
 1353 William Cables
April1354 William Cables
 1355 Robert de Hornby
April1357 John de Haverington
February1358 Robert de Farington
 1360 William de Hesketh
January1361 William de Radcliffe
October1362 Edmund Lawrence
October1363 Sir Adam de Hoghton
January1365 Sir Adam de Hoghton
May1366 Sir John le Boteler
 1368 Sir Roger de Pilkington
June1369 Sir John de Dalton
February1371 John de Ipres
June1371 John de Ipres
November1372 Sir Nicholas Haryngton
November1373 William de Atherton
April1376 Sir John le Boteler
January1377 Sir John le Boteler
October1377 Sir John le Boteler
 1378 Sir Ralph de Ypres
 1379 Sir Nicholas Haryngton
January1380 Sir John le Boteler
November1380 Sir John le Boteler
September1381 William de Atherton
May1382 Sir Roger de Pilkington
October1382 Sir John Atherton
February1383 Sir Richard de Hoghton, 3rd Baronet
October1383 Sir John de Holcroft
April1384 Sir Roger de Pilkington
November1384 Sir Robert Urswyk
 1385 Sir Robert Urswyk
October1386 Sir Nicholas Haryngton
February1388 Sir John le Boteler
September1388 Sir John de Assheton
January1390 Sir John de Assheton
November1390 Sir Robert Urswyk
 1391 Sir Robert Urswyk
 1393 Sir Robert Urswyk
 1394 Sir Robert Urswyk
 1395 Sir Robert Urswyk
January1397 Sir Robert Urswyk
September1397 Sir John le Boteler
 1399 Sir Robert Urswyk
 1401 Sir Robert Urswyk
 1402 Sir Richard de Hoghton, 3rd Baronet
January1404 Sir Robert Laurence
October1404 Sir James Haryngton
 1406 Sir Robert Laurence
 1407 Sir Henry Hoghton
 1411 Sir John de Assheton
May1413 Sir John de Assheton
April1414 Sir Ralph Radcliffe
November1414 Sir Robert Laurence
March1416 John de Ashton
 1419 Nicholas le Boteler
 1420 Richard Shuttleworth
May1421 Sir Thomas de Radcliffe
December1421 Sir Richard Shirburne
November1422 Thomas Urswick
October1423 Sir Thomas de Radcliffe
April1425 Ralph Fitz Nicholas
February1426 Sir John le Boteler
October1427 Sir Ralph Radcliffe
September1429 Sir John Byron
January1421 John Morley
May1432 William de Atherton
July1433 Sir Thomas Stanley
October1435 Henry de Halsall
January1437 Thomas de Harrington
November1439 Sir Thomas Stanley
January1442 Sir Thomas Stanley
 1447 Sir Thomas Stanley
 1448 Sir Thomas Stanley
 1450 Sir Thomas Stanley
 1455 Sir Thomas Stanley
 1459 Sir Richard Harrington
 1460 Sir Richard Harrington
June1467 Sir James Haryngton
October1472 Robert Harrington
January1478 Sir George Stanley
 1483 Not Known
 1523 Not Known
 1529 Henry Farington
 1536 Not Known
 1539 Not Known
 1542 Not Known
 1545 Sir Thomas Holcroft
 1547 Thurstan Tyldesley
March1553 Sir Richard de Hoghton, 3rd Baronet
October1553 Sir Richard Shirburne
April1554 Sir Thomas Stanley
November1554 Sir Thomas Stanley
 1555 Sir Thomas Stanley
 1558 Sir Thomas Talbot
January1559 Sir John Atherton
 1562 Sir Thomas Gerard, 1st Baronet
 1563 Sir Thomas Gerard, 1st Baronet
 1571 Sir John de Radcliffe
 1572 Sir John de Radcliffe
November1584 Sir Gilbert Gerard
 1586 Sir John Atherton
October1588 Sir Thomas Gerard, 1st Baronet
 1593 Sir Richard le Molyneux, BT
November1597 Sir Thomas Gerard, 1st Baronet
 1601 Sir Richard de Hoghton, 3rd Baronet
 1604 Sir Richard le Molyneux, BT
 1614 Sir Thomas Gerard, 1st Baronet
 1621 Sir John de Radcliffe
 1622 Sir John de Radcliffe
 1624 Sir John de Radcliffe
 1625 Sir Richard le Molyneux, BT
 1626 Robert Stanley
 1628 Sir Richard le Molyneux, BT
 1629 Sir Richard le Molyneux, BT
 1629 No Parliaments summoned
 1640 No Parliaments summoned
April1640 Sir Gilbert Hoghton, 2nd Baronet
April1640 Sir Ralph Assheton, 2nd baronet
 1645 Sir Ralph Assheton, 2nd baronet
 1648 Sir Ralph Assheton, 2nd baronet


Parliament First member Second member Third Member (1653â€"1659) Fourth Member (1654â€"1659)
1653 William West John Sawry Robert Cunliffe
1654 Richard Holland Gilbert Ireland Richard Standish William Ashurst
1656 Richard Holland Gilbert Ireland Richard Standish Sir Richard Hoghton, 3rd Baronet
1659 Sir George Booth Bt Alexander Rigby

1660 â€" 1831.

Parliament Date Name
17 March1685 Sir Roger Bradshaigh, 2nd baronet
9 September1679 Sir Charles Hoghton, 4th baronet
25 Febuary1679 Charles Gerard
17 January1689 Charles Gerard
17 April1660 Sir Robert Bindlosse, 1st baronet
16 April1661 Sir Edward Stanley, 5th baronet
17 January1665 Thomas Preston
11 March1690 James Stanley
6 February1694 Sir Ralph Assheton, 2nd baronet
16 August1698 Fitton Gerard
4 February1701 Richard Bold
11 January1703 Richard Assheton
18 April1704 Richard Fleetwood
15 May1705 Charles Zedenno Stanley
22 September1713 Sir John Bland, 5th baronet
5 September1727 Sir Edward Stanley, 5th baronet
4 May1736 Peter Bold
23 January1750 Peter Bold
26 May1741 James Stanley
14 April1761 James Shuttleworth
5 April1768 Lord Archibald Hamilton
23 July1771 Charles William Molyneux
4 February1772 Sir Thomas Egerton, 7th baronet
11 October1774 Edward Geoffrey Smith-Stanley
26 March1776 Sir Thomas Stanley
22 February1780 Sir Thomas Stanley
13 April1784 John Blackburne
14 October1812 Edward Geoffrey Smith-Stanley
5 August1830 John Wilson-Patten
10 May1831 Benjamin Heywood
17 December1832 Edward Geoffrey Smith-Stanley
  • Constituency abolished (1832)

North Lancashire Constituency 1832 to 1867.

The constituency was split into two two-member divisions, for Parliamentary purposes, in 1832. The county was then represented by the North Lancashire and South Lancashire constituencies : the latter representing the hundreds of Salford and West Derby, and the former the hundreds of Amounderness, Blackburn, Leyland and Lonsdale.

North Lancashire was a county constituency of the House of Commons of the Parliament of the United Kingdom. It was represented by two Members of Parliament. The constituency was created by the Great Reform Act of 1832 by the splitting of Lancashire constituency into Northern and Southern divisions.

Great Reform Act of 1832

The Representation of the People Act 1832 reformed the distribution of seats in England and Wales. It introduced the principle of splitting the shire counties into divisions and returning two Members for each division rather than for the whole county and it also reformed the Parliamentary boroughs that were entitled to send Members to Parliament.8 Schedule A listed boroughs that were to be abolished and it included Newton. Schedule B listed boroughs to return a single Member to subsequent Parliaments and Clitheroe was listed.

Schedules C and D of the Act listed the newly created Parliamentary boroughs. Those in Schedule C were to return two Members and these included Manchester, Bolton, Blackburn and Oldham in Lancashire. Those in Schedule D were to become single seat boroughs and included Ashton-under-Lyne, Bury, Rochdale, Salford, and Warrington.

Schedule F of the Act listed the counties to be divided into two divisions, both of which would return two Members. Lancashire was one of those listed. The Boundary Commission proposals that followed the Act, published in 1832, made recommendations on the boundaries of the Parliamentary boroughs and divisions of counties that had been listed in Schedule F.9 These were then implemented by the Parliamentary Boundaries Act 1832.

The divisions of the county were based on the hundreds of Lancashire. The hundreds of Amounderness, Blackburn, Leyland and Lonsdale were allocated to the Northern division, and the Salford and West Derby hundreds were allocated to the Southern division. The boundary of the two divisions extended approximately from Southport to Wigan, north to Chorley, and then east, passing south of Haslingden, to the Bacup area.

The result of these changes meant the total Parliamentary representation for Lancashire in the reformed House of Commons was 26, an increase of 12. Lancashire benefited more than any other county as a result of these reforms.

1832 - 1867

Parliament Date Name
17 December1832 Edward Geoffrey Smith-Stanley
20 September1844 John Talbot Clifton
3 August1847 James Heywood
31 March1857 Spencer Compton Cavendish

North East Lancashire Constituency 1867 to 1885.

North East Lancashire was a county constituency of the House of Commons of the Parliament of the United Kingdom. The constituency was created by the Reform Act of 1867 and replaced the North Lancashire Parliamentary constituency, a county division with two seats.

It was represented by two Members of Parliament. The new North East division of Lancashire comprised the hundred of Blackburn, apart from the areas included within the Parliamentary boroughs of Burnley and Blackburn. The area of the modern Hyndburn constituency, which lies between the two towns of Burnley and Blackburn, was therefore represented by the two MPs for the North East Lancashire division as a result of these changes.

Boundary Commission Review 1868

The 1868 review carried out by the Boundary Commission followed the Representation of the People Act 1867. This Act appointed the Commission to inquire into the boundaries of the new boroughs created by the Act; the counties the Act had newly divided, and to review all other existing boroughs that had not been disenfranchised by the Act. In inquiring into existing boroughs, the Commission had the power to recommend extension of borough boundaries if it thought this was appropriate. This Act also increased the number of Members representing each of the growing industrial cities of Birmingham, Manchester, Liverpool and Leeds, from two to three.13 The Commissioners conducted local inquiries and reported in 1868.

In Lancashire, as well as the additional Members for Liverpool and Manchester, Salford also gained an extra seat, taking it to two Members. Burnley was created as a Parliamentary borough with the right to return a single Member. Lancaster was abolished as a Parliamentary borough as a result of corrupt practices at the previous general election. The boundaries of the following Parliamentary boroughs were altered but the number of Members remained the same as constituted by the 1832 reforms: Ashton-under-Lyne, Blackburn, Bolton, Oldham, Preston and Rochdale.

The county divisions of Lancashire were further divided. From 1868 there were four divisions of the county, each returning two Members. The boundaries were first used in the election that occurred in the November and December of 1868 and they gave Lancashire a total of 32 Members of Parliament across the county. (In this review Stalybridge, which was partly in Cheshire and partly in Lancashire, was granted the status of a Parliamentary borough but is not considered part of Lancashire for this note).

The constituency was abolished by the Redistribution of Seats Act 1885, being divided into the single member divisions of Accrington, Darwen and Rossendale.

1867 to 1885

Parliament Date Name
17 November1868 Frederick Arthur Stanley
26 March1874 Thomas Henry Clifton
14 April1880 Randle Joseph Feilden
 1868 James Maden Holt
 1875 Spencer Compton Cavendish
28 November1885 Frederick William Grafton

Date Elected




1868 James Maden Holt and
John Pierce chamberlain Starkie
18 Oct 1829
19 Sep 1911
12th June 1888.
1880 Spencer Compton Cavendish, styled Marquess of Hartington, ,later [1891] 8th Duke of Devonshire and
Frederick William Grafton
23rd July 1833
24th March 1908
27th January 1890

North East Lancashire, Accrington Division 1885 to 1918.

From 1885 to 1918, The constituency, officially named North East Lancashire, Accrington Division consisted of the Municipal Borough of Accrington, and the parishes of Altham, Church, Clayton-le-Moors, Hapton, Huncoat, Oswaldtwistle, and Rishton.

1885 to 1918

Parliament Date Name
28 November1885 Frederick William Grafton
7 July1886 Robert Trotter Hermon-Hodge
July1892 Joseph Francis Leese
19 January1910 Harold Trevor Baker

Harold Trevor Baker, Member of Parliament for Accrington and District from 1910 to 1918. (Picture supplied by Ron Grenier (via email) and used with Permission).

The Accrington Borough Constituency, 1918 to 1948.

The Representation of the People Act 1918 reorganised constituencies throughout Great Britain. Constituencies were defined in terms of the districts created by the Local Government Act 1894.

The Parliamentary Borough of Accrington consisted of the Municipal Borough of Accrington and the Urban Districts of Church, Clayton-le-Moors, Oswaldtwistle, and Rishton. The three parishes of Altham, Hapton and Huncoat passed to the Clitheroe constituency.

The Representation of the People Act 1948 replaced the term "parliamentary borough" with "borough constituency". The Accrington Borough Constituency was defined in the same terms as in the 1918 legislation. However there were boundary changes reflecting local government changes in the 1930s: the Huncoat area rejoined the constituency as the parish had been absorbed by the Borough of Accrington.

1918 to 1948

Parliament Date Name
14 December1918 Ernest Gray
15 November1922 Charles Roden Buxton
6 December1923 John Hugh Edwards
30 May1929 Tom Snowden
27 October1931 Major Henry Adam Procter
26 July1945 Walter Travers Scott-Elliot

An enlargement of the county borough of Blackburn took away part of Rishton. These boundaries were first used in the 1950 general election.

1950 to 1983

Parliament Date Name
23 February1950 Henry Hynd
31 March1966 Arthur Davidson

Hyndburn Borough Constituency, 1983 to Present (2019)

In 1983 the Accrington constituency was abolished, and the newly formed Hyndburn Borough created. In 1974 local government in England and Wales was reorganised. However parliamentary boundaries were not altered until 1983. The Parliamentary Constituencies (England) Order 1983 created new constituencies based on the new districts. A new Hyndburn Borough Constituency was formed. The new seat included the whole of the Accrington constituency with the addition of Altham and Great Harwood.

1983 to Date

Parliament Date Name
9 June1983 Joseph Kenneth Hargreaves
9 April1992 Gregory James Pope
6 May2010 Graham Peter Jones
12 December2019 Sara Alice Britcliffe

1886 - Robert Hodge, born Newcastle.

1892 - Sir Joseph Francis Leese, born London.

1910 - Harold Trevor Baker, born Porsea Island.

1918 - Sir Ernest Gray, born London.