Aldborough (UK Parliament constituency)

Former Borough constituency
for the House of Commons
County West Riding of Yorkshire
Major settlements Aldborough
Number of members Two
Replaced by West Riding of Yorkshire

Aldborough was a parliamentary borough located in the West Riding of Yorkshire, abolished in the Great Reform Act of 1832. Aldborough returned two Members of Parliament (MPs) from 1558 until 1832.

Aldborough was a "scot and lot" borough, meaning that any man paying the poor rate was eligible to vote. Nevertheless, it was a small borough (not even including the whole parish of Aldborough, since Boroughbridge, also within the boundaries, was also a borough with its own two MPs), and by the time of the Reform Act it had a population only just over 500 and an electorate of less than 100. This made it a pocket borough and easy for the local landowner to dominate.

In the 18th century, Aldborough was controlled by the Duke of Newcastle. In April 1754 Newcastle, who had just become Prime Minister, selected his junior colleague and future Prime Minister, William Pitt (Pitt the Elder), to sit as its MP. Pitt represented Aldborough for two-and-a-half years, but having fallen out with Newcastle and been dismissed from his ministry, he was forced to find a new constituency when he next needed to be re-elected to the Commons in 1756.

Members of Parliament

MPs 1558–1640

ParliamentFirst memberSecond member
1558 John Gascoigne II John Browne II[1]
1559 Richard Onslow Richard Assheton[2]
1563 William Lambarde Anthony Tailboyes [2]
1571 Thomas Eynns Barnaby Googe [2]
1572 Richard Bunny II Richard Tempest [2]
1584 William Waad David Waterhouse [2]
1586 George Horsey Ralph Hurleston [2]
1588 Thomas Fairfax, 1st Lord Fairfax of Cameron David Waterhouse [2]
1593 Andrew Fisher Edward Hancock [2]
1597 Henry Bellasis Richard Gargrave [2]
1601 Sir Edward Cecil Richard Theakston [2]
1604–1611 Sir Henry SavileSir Edmund Sheffield
1614 Sir Henry Savile George Wetherid
1621 Christopher Wandesford John Carvile
1624 Christopher Wandesford John Carvile
1625 Richard Aldborough John Carvile
1626 Richard Aldborough John Carvile
1628 Henry Darley Robert Stapleton
1629–1640No Parliaments summoned

MPs 1640–1832

YearFirst memberFirst partySecond memberSecond party
November 1640 Richard Aldeburgh Royalist Robert Strickland Royalist
September 1642 Strickland disabled to sit – seat vacant
January 1643 Aldeburgh disabled to sit – seat vacant
1645 Thomas Scott (died January 1648) Brian Stapylton
March (?) 1648 James Chaloner
December 1648 Stapylton not recorded as having sat after Pride's Purge
1653 Aldborough was unrepresented in the Barebones Parliament and the First and Second Parliaments of the Protectorate
January 1659 Francis Goodricke John Lambert[3]
May 1659 No representatives in the restored Rump
1660 Sir Solomon Swale, Bt Francis Goodricke
1673 Sir John Reresby, Bt[4]
1678 Ruisshe Wentworth
February 1679 Henry Arthington
May 1679 Sir Godfrey Copley, Bt[5]
August 1679 Sir Brian Stapylton, Bt
1681 Sir John Reresby, Bt
1685 Sir Michael Wentworth Sir Roger Strickland
1689 Christopher Tancred
1696 Henry Fairfax[6]
January 1698 William Wentworth
July 1698 Sir George Cooke Sir Abstrupus Danby
1701 Robert Monckton Cyril Arthington
1702 William Jessop
1713 John Dawnay [7] Paul Foley
February 1715 James Stanhope[8] Whig William Jessop
April 1715 by-election William Monson
1722 Charles Stanhope
1734 Henry Pelham[9] Whig
1735 by-election John Jewkes Andrew Wilkinson Whig
1743 by-election Nathaniel Newnham
1754 William Pitt Whig
1756 by-election Nathaniel Cholmley
1765 by-election Viscount Villiers
1768 Hon. Aubrey Beauclerk Andrew Wilkinson Whig
1772 by-election Earl of Lincoln Tory
1774 Charles Wilkinson Abel Smith Tory
1777 by-election William Baker
1778 by-election Hon. William Hanger
September 1780 Sir Richard Sutton, Bt[10] Charles Mellish
November 1780 by-election Edward Onslow
1781 by-election Sir Samuel Brudenell Fludyer, Bt
January 1784 by-election John Gally Knight
March 1784 Richard Arden[11] Whig
1790 Richard Trench Chiswell
1796 Charles Duncombe
1797 by-election John Blackburn
1802 John Sullivan
1806 Henry Fynes Tory Gilbert Jones Tory
1812 Henry Dawkins Tory
1814 by-election Henry Gally Knight Tory
1815 by-election Granville Harcourt-Vernon Tory
1820 Gibbs Antrobus Tory
1826 Clinton James Fynes Clinton Tory Sir Alexander Cray Grant, Bt Tory
1830 Viscount Stormont Tory
1831 Michael Thomas Sadler Tory
1832 Constituency abolished


  1. "History of Parliament Online 1509 - 1558".
  2. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 "History of Parliament Online 1558 - 1603".
  3. Lambert was also elected for Pontefract, which he chose to represent. The vacancy was unfilled when the Parliament ended
  4. At the by-election in November 1673, the Returning Officer made a double return of Reresby and Robert Benson; the dispute was decided in Reresby's favour, and he took his seat, in April 1675.
  5. Sir John Reresby was declared re-elected at the general election in February 1679 but unseated on petition, Copley being elected in his place.
  6. Fairfax's election was voided by a resolution of the House of Commons (21 December 1696) for breaking the law in his spending on the election; the writ to hold a new election was not issued until December 1697
  7. A petition was raised against Dawnay's election that had not been resolved by the time the Parliament was dissolved. Dawnay had also been elected for Pontefract and, not being required to choose which constituency he would represent while there was an outstanding petition against one of the elections, sat for both boroughs throughout the Parliament
  8. Stanhope was also elected for Cockermouth, which he chose to represent, and never sat for Aldborough
  9. Pelham was also elected for Sussex, which he chose to represent, and never sat for Aldborough
  10. Sutton was also elected for Sandwich, which he chose to represent, and never sat for Aldborough
  11. Sir Richard Arden from 1788


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