Newport (Isle of Wight) (UK Parliament constituency)

For other UK Parliament constituencies of the same name, see Newport (disambiguation) § Constituencies.
Former Borough constituency
for the House of Commons
County Isle of Wight
Major settlements Newport
Number of members 1584–1868: Two
1868–1885: One
Replaced by Isle of Wight
Created from Hampshire
Number of members Two
Type of constituency Borough constituency
Replaced by Hampshire

Newport was a parliamentary borough located in Newport (Isle of Wight), which was abolished in for the 1885 general election. It was occasionally referred to by the alternative name of Medina.

(Prior to the Great Reform Act of 1832 there was also a separate Newport parliamentary borough in Cornwall.)


The borough was first represented in the parliament of 1295, and returned two members of parliament (MPs) from 1584 to 1868. At the 1868 election the Second Reform Act reduced its representation to a single seat, and under the Redistribution of Seats Act 1885 the constituency was abolished altogether with effect from the 1885 general election. Newport's re-enfranchisement in 1584, like that of the other Isle of Wight boroughs (Newtown and Yarmouth) seems to have been at the urging of the new Governor of the island, Sir George Carey, a relative of the Queen. In token of thanks, the borough granted him for life the right to nominate one of the two MPs – which seems to have been the reward he expected and the motive for his petition to the Queen in the first place.

Between 1807 and 1811 its two seats were held by two future Prime Ministers: Arthur Wellesley, later to become the Duke of Wellington (who also found himself elected to two other seats at the same time), and Henry Temple (later Lord Palmerston), who would go on to become one of the United Kingdom's most notable Prime Ministers. Palmerston's late father had been unable to convert his Irish title into a United Kingdom peerage, therefore the young politician was able to enter the Commons. The local patron arranging the deal was Sir Leonard Holmes, who made it a condition that they never visited the borough!

The borough was also represented by two other future Prime Ministers in the 1820s. George Canning was MP for Newport when appointed Prime Minister in 1827; however, under the law as it then stood a minister accepting office automatically vacated his seat and had to stand for re-election to the Commons, and Canning chose to stand at Seaford, a government pocket borough in Sussex, rather than fight Newport again. In the by-election that followed at Newport, the vacancy was filled by the election of the Honourable William Lamb, later 2nd Viscount Melbourne, whose father had also represented the borough in the 1790s. However, Lamb remained MP for Newport for only two weeks before also being elected for Bletchingley, which he preferred to represent.

Before the Great Reform Act of 1832, the right to vote was vested in the Mayor and Corporation (consisting of 11 aldermen and 12 burgesses). For much of the previous century the borough was "managed" for the government by the Holmes family, meaning that ministers could generally secure the election of their favoured candidates, but often only at the expense of considerable "gratuities" to the voters – in 1754, this apparently amounted to a payment of £600 for each candidate. The borough consisted of the parish of Newport and of Castle Hold in the parish of St Nicholas, thereby excluding that part of the town which extended over the boundary into Carisbrooke parish; this gave the borough a population of 4,398 in 1831. The 1832 reforms extended the borough to take in the rest of the town, raising the population to 6,700, though the electorate was still only 421.

Newport's representation was reduced from two members to one by the second Reform Act for the 1868 general election, and abolished altogether in 1885, leaving the town represented as part of the Isle of Wight county constituency.

Members of Parliament

MPs 1584–1660

ParliamentFirst memberSecond member
1584 Sir Ralph Bourchier Edmund Carey[1]
1586 Richard Sutton Richard Hardy[1]
1588 Sir Edmund Carey Richard Hardy[1]
1593 William Cotton Richard Huyshe[1]
1597 William Cotton Richard James[1]
1601 Thomas Crompton Richard James[1]
1604 Richard James John Ashdell
1614 Sir Richard Worsley, 1st Baronet John Searle
1621–1622 Sir Richard Worsley, 1st Baronet died 1621 and replaced by Philip Fleming Sir William Uvedale
1624 Philip Fleming Christopher Brooke, sat for York
and replaced by
John Danvers
1625 Sir Nathaniel Rich Philip Fleming
1626 Christopher Yelverton Philip Fleming
1628–1629 Christopher Yelverton Philip Fleming
1629–1640No Parliaments summoned
1640 (Apr) The Viscount Falkland Sir Henry Worsley, 2nd Baronet
1640 (Nov) The Viscount Falkland
disabled to sit, Sep 1642
Sir Henry Worsley, 2nd Baronet
1645 Sir Henry Worsley, 2nd Baronet
excluded in Pride's Purge, Dec 1648
William Stephens
1653–1659Newport was unrepresented in the Barebones and First and Second Protectorate Parliaments
1659 Thomas Boreman (of Broke) Sir Robert Dillington, 2nd Baronet
1659–1660 Sir Henry Worsley, 2nd Baronet William Stephens

MPs 1660–1868

Election1st Member1st Party2nd Member2nd Party
1660 Robert Dillington William Oglander[2]
1661 William Glascock
1670 Sir Robert Dillington
February 1679 Admiral Sir Robert Holmes
August 1679 John Leigh
1685 Admiral Sir Robert Holmes Sir William Stephens
January 1689 Sir Robert Dillington
June 1689 Edward Dillington
1690 Admiral Sir Robert Holmes
1692 Brigadier Richard Leveson
November 1695 Brigadier The Lord Cutts Sir Robert Cotton
December 1695 Sir Henry Colt
1698 Major-General The Lord Cutts
1699 Henry Greenhill
January 1701 Major-General The Lord Cutts Samuel Shepheard
March 1701 Henry Greenhill
December 1701 Major-General The Lord Cutts of Gowran Edward Richards
March 1702 Colonel James Stanhope Whig
July 1702 Major-General The Lord Cutts of Gowran[3] William Stephens
1707 Sir Tristram Dillington
October 1710 Lieutenant-General John Richmond Webb[4] Tory
December 1710 Lieutenant-General William Seymour
1713 General John Richmond Webb Tory
1715 Anthony Morgan[5]
April 1717 Lieutenant-General James Stanhope Whig
July 1717 Lieutenant-Colonel Sir Tristram Dillington
1721 Thomas Stanwix
March 1722 Earl of March[6] The Lord Whitworth
October 1722 Colonel Charles Cadogan
1726 George Huxley
January 1727 Sir William Willys
August 1727 William Fortescue
1736 The Viscount Boyne
May 1741 Anthony Chute Monoux Cope
July 1747 Captain Bluett Wallop Thomas Lee Dummer
1749 Ralph Jenison
1758 Rear-Admiral Charles Holmes
1762 William Rawlinson Earle
1765 Thomas Dummer
1768 John Eames Hans Sloane
1773 Hon. John St. John
1774 Sir Richard Worsley
1780 Hon. John St. John
1784 Edward Rushworth Captain the Hon. Hugh Seymour-Conway
1786 Hon. John Thomas Townshend
January 1790 George Byng
June 1790 The Viscount Palmerston The Viscount Melbourne
1793 Peniston Lamb
May 1796 Jervoise Clarke Jervoise[7] Edward Rushworth[8]
November 1796 William Hamilton Nisbet Andrew Strahan
1800 Sir George Dallas
1802 John Blackburn Richard Gervas Ker
1806 Isaac Corry Colonel Sir John Doyle
1807 The Viscount Palmerston Tory Sir Arthur Wellesley Tory
1809 Sir Leonard Thomas Worsley-Holmes
1811 Cecil Bisshopp
1812 Richard Fleming Worsley Holmes
1814 John Delgarno
1816 George Watson-Taylor
1818 Charles Duncombe
1825 Hon. John Stuart
1826 George Canning Tory Hon. William Scott Tory
April 1827 Hon. William Lamb[9] Whig
May 1827 Spencer Perceval Tory
1830 Horace Twiss Tory
1831 William Mount Tory James Joseph Hope-Vere Tory
1832 John Heywood Hawkins Whig William Henry Ord Whig
1837 William John Blake Whig
1841 Charles Wykeham Martin Conservative William John Hamilton Conservative
1847 William Plowden Conservative
1852 William Biggs Whig William Nathaniel Massey Whig
February 1857 by-election Robert Kennard Conservative
March 1857 Charles Edward Mangles Liberal Charles Buxton Liberal
1859 Robert Kennard Conservative Philip Lybbe Powys Conservative
1865 Charles Wykeham Martin Liberal
1868 Representation reduced to one member

MPs 1868–1885

1868 Charles Wykeham Martin Liberal
1870 Charles Cavendish Clifford Liberal
1885 constituency abolished


  1. 1 2 3 4 5 6 "History of Parliament". History of Parliament trust. Retrieved 19 October 2011.
  2. Created a baronet as Sir William Oglander, December 1665
  3. Lieutenant-General from 1703
  4. Webb was also elected for Ludgershall, which he chose to represent, and did not sit for Newport in this Parliament
  5. Morgan was also a candidate for Yarmouth, but the election result there was disputed. He sat for Newport until the Yarmouth election was decided in his favour, then chose to represent Yarmouth for the remainder of the Parliament
  6. March was also elected for Chichester, which he chose to represent, and never sat for Newport
  7. Jervoise was also elected for Yarmouth, which he chose to represent, and never sat for Newport
  8. Rushworth was also elected for Yarmouth, which he chose to represent, and never sat for Newport
  9. Lamb was elected at a by-election for Bletchingley two weeks after his election for Newport. He chose to represent Bletchingley.

See also


Parliament of the United Kingdom
Preceded by
vacant. Last was Northampton in 1812
Constituency represented by the Prime Minister
Succeeded by
vacant. Next was Tamworth in 1834
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