Corfe Castle (UK Parliament constituency)

Corfe Castle
Former Borough constituency
for the House of Commons
Number of members Two

Corfe Castle was a parliamentary borough in Dorset, which elected two Members of Parliament (MPs) to the House of Commons from 1572 until 1832, when it was abolished by the Great Reform Act.


Corfe Castle was made a borough by Queen Elizabeth I, through the influence of Sir Christopher Hatton, who had been granted the manor. The borough consisted of the town of Corfe Castle on the Isle of Purbeck, once a market town but by the 19th century little more than a village, where the main economic interests were clay and stone quarrying. In 1831, the population of the borough was approximately 960, and the town contained 156 houses.

The right to vote was exercised by all householders (resident or not) paying scot and lot; in 1816 this amounted to only 44 voters, and all but 14 of those were non-resident. The local landowners were able to exercise almost total influence. In the late 18th and early 19th century, the Bankes family (who had owned the castle since 1640) nominated the member for one of the seats and the Bond family for the other.

Corfe Castle was abolished as a separate constituency by the Reform Act; however, the nearby borough of Wareham kept one of its MPs, and Corfe Castle was included within the expanded boundaries of the revised Wareham constituency.

Members of Parliament


ParliamentFirst memberSecond member
Parliament of 1572-1581 Edmund Uvedale Charles Matthew
Parliament of 1584-1585 John Clavell Francis Hawley
Parliament of 1586-1587 Sir William Hatton
Parliament of 1588-1589
Parliament of 1593 William Tate Francis Flower
Parliament of 1597-1598 Francis James [1][2] John Foyle[3]
Parliament of 1601 John Durning John Davies
Parliament of 1604-1611 Edward Dackombe Sir John Hobart
Addled Parliament (1614) John Dackombe James Whitelocke Chose to sit for Woodstock
Elected in his place Sir Thomas Tracie
Parliament of 1621-1622 Sir Thomas Hatton Sir Thomas Hammond
Happy Parliament (1624-1625) Sir Francis Nethersale Sir Peter Osborne
Useless Parliament (1625)
Parliament of 1625-1626 Edward Dackombe Sir Robert Napier
Parliament of 1628-1629 Sir Francis Nethersale Giles Green
No Parliament summoned 1629-1640


YearFirst memberFirst partySecond memberSecond party
April 1640 Thomas Jermyn Henry JermynRoyalist
November 1640 Sir Francis Windebank [4]Royalist Giles GreenParliamentarian
1641 John Borlase [5]Royalist
March 1644 Borlase disabled from sitting - seat vacant
1645 Francis Chettel
December 1648 Chettel not recorded as sitting after Pride's Purge Green excluded in Pride's Purge - seat vacant
1653 Corfe Castle unrepresented in the Barebones Parliament and the First and Second Parliaments of the Protectorate
January 1659 Sir Ralph Bankes John Tregonwell
May 1659 Corfe Castle was not represented in the restored Rump
April 1660 Sir Ralph Bankes John Tregonwell
1677 Viscount Latimer
February 1679 Viscount Osborne [6]
April 1679 Sir Nathaniel Napier
September 1679 Nathaniel Bond
1681 Richard Fownes
1689 William Okeden
1690 William Culliford [7]
1698 John Bankes
1699 Richard Fownes
1715 Denis Bond William Okeden
1718 Joshua Churchill
1721 John Bond
1722 John Bankes
1727 John Bond
1741 Henry Bankes
1744 Thomas Erle Drax
1747 John Bond
1761 Viscount Malpas
1762 John Campbell
1764 John Bond
1768 John Jenkinson
1780 John Bond Whig Henry Bankes Tory
1801 Nathaniel Bond Whig
1807 Peter William Baker Tory
1816 George Bankes Tory
1823 John Bond Tory
1826 George Bankes Tory
1828 Nathaniel William Peach Tory
1829 Philip John Miles Tory
1832 Constituency abolished


  2. Browne Willis gives the same names, with only the slightest variation (John Frankland or Frank and Samson or Sampson Hussey), as having been elected for both Wareham and Corfe Castle, which he unsurprisingly queries.
  4. Expelled from the House of Commons, December 1641
  5. Created a baronet, May 1642
  6. On petition (in a dispute over the franchise), Osborne was found not to have been duly elected and his opponent, Napier, was declared elected in his place
  7. Following a petition against Culliford's re-election in 1698, he was found by the Commons Committee to have secured his election by illegal practices, and was declared not duly elected. A by-election was held.


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