Sandwich (UK Parliament constituency)

Former Borough constituency
for the House of Commons
Number of members two

Sandwich was a parliamentary constituency in Kent, which elected two Members of Parliament (MPs) to the House of Commons from 1366 until 1885, when it was disfranchised for corruption.


Sandwich like most of the other Cinque Ports, was first enfranchised in the 14th century. As a Cinque Port it was technically of different status from a parliamentary borough, but the difference was in most respects purely a nominal one. (The writ for election was directed to the Lord Warden of the Cinque Ports, rather than the sheriff of the county, and its MPs were termed "barons" rather than "burgesses" as in boroughs.). Until 1832, the constituency consisted of the three parishes making up the town of Sandwich; it had once been a flourishing port but by the 19th century the harbour had silted up and there was only a limited maritime trade.

The right to vote was reserved to the freemen of the town, whether or not they were resident within the borough. In 1831 this amounted to 955 qualified voters, of whom only 320 lived in Sandwich. The freedom could be obtained by inheritance, by serving an apprenticeship, or by marrying the daughter or widow of a freeman; the corporation apparently did not, as in some boroughs, have the power to create unlimited numbers of honorary freemen so as to swamp the rights of the genuine freemen. At one period in the 17th century, the town corporation attempted to annex the right of voting to itself (as was the case in many other boroughs) on the grounds of "the avoidance of popular tumults common at elections", and in 1621 the Lord Warden ordered with the consent of the Privy Council that this should be so. However, the inhabitants of the town not only petitioned against the election result, but informed the Lord Warden that they intended to present a bill to Parliament to annul the result of that year's election and to restore their former privileges. In the event the petition against the election result was upheld and the election declared void, and a decision of the Commons in another dispute election, in 1690, confirmed that the right of voting was in the freemen.

For most of its existence, no single interest had a predominant influence in Sandwich so as to reduce it to a pocket borough, but the power of official patronage sometimes exerted some leverage. In Tudor times, the Lord Warden expected to be able to nominate one of the two MPs, but - unlike most of the other Cinque Ports - Sandwich consistently defied him, and made its own choice of both MPs throughout Queen Elizabeth's reign. In the 18th and 19th centuries, though, the influence of the navy (through the employment it provided) was sufficient that the Admiralty could be sure of choosing at least one MP at most elections. Nevertheless, Sandwich fell short of being a true "Admiralty borough", and generally elected members who would benefit the town. (They were, however, no less venal than in other boroughs: the committee investigating a disputed election in 1695 was told that the elected member had promised that if after election he were to gain paid office he would give half his salary to the corporation, that he would contribute £20 a year for the poor of the town and a treat to the corporation on the anniversary of his election.)

In 1831, the population of the constituency was 3,084, and the town contained 610 houses. This would not have been sufficient for the borough to retain both its MPs under the Great Reform Act, but the boundaries were extended so as to include the neighbouring towns of Deal and Walmer, which quadrupled the population. Even so, and despite the extension of the franchise, the revised constituency had only 916 qualified voters for the 1832 general election.

At a by-election in 1880, evidence of widespread bribery in Sandwich emerged. Its writ was suspended, and a Royal Commission appointed to investigate. As a result of its report, Sandwich was abolished as a constituency with effect from 25 June 1885, being incorporated into the Eastern Kent county division.

Members of Parliament


This list is incomplete; you can help by expanding it.
ParliamentFirst memberSecond member
1386 John Godard William Ive[1]
1388 (Feb)William Jordan Stephen Reyner[1]
1388 (Sep) John Berham Peter Cundy[1]
1390 (Jan) John Berham Stephen Reyner[1]
1390 (Nov)
1391 John Edward William Jordan[1]
1393 Stephen ReynerThomas atte Welle[1]
1395 John Godard John atte Nessche[1]
1397 (Jan) Richard Benge John Godard[1]
1397 (Sep)
1399 John Godard Stephen Peyntour[1]
1402 John Godard John atte Nessche[1]
1404 (Jan)
1404 (Oct)
1406 Henry LoverykJohn Norton[1]
1407 Richard Mildenale John Norton[1]
1410 John GyllyngRobert Haddon[1]
1413 (Feb)
1413 (May) John Geldeford John Gyllyng[1]
1414 (Apr)
1414 (Nov) Simon Halle Richard Mildenale[1]
1416 (Mar)
1416 (Oct)
1417 William GaylerRichard Mildenale[1]
1419 Laurence CundyThomas Loveryk[1]
1420 John Bolle Laurence Cundy[1]
1421 (May) Simon Halle Laurence Cundy[1]
1421 (Dec) John Bolle Laurence Cundy[1]
1485 Thomas Overton[2]
1491John Naseby[2]
1510 John WestcliffJohn Cock[3]
1512 John Westcliff John Hobard[3]
1515 John WestcliffJohn Hobard[3]
1523 John SomerRoger Manwood[3]
1529 Vincent EngehamJohn Boys, died
and replaced Dec 1553 by
Thomas Wingfield[3]
1536 Thomas Wingfield Vincent Engeham[3]
1539 Thomas Patche Nicholas Peake[3]
1542 John Lee Thomas Rolfe[3]
1545 John Master Thomas Menys[3]
1547 (first election) Thomas Pinnock John Seer[3]
1547 (second election) Thomas Patche Thomas Ardern [3][4]
1553 (Mar) Thomas PatcheThomas Menys[3]
1553 (Oct) Sir John PerrotSimon Linch[3]
1554 (Apr) John Master Simon Linch[3]
1554 (Nov) John Tysar Nicholas Crispe[3]
1555 Nicholas Peake Sir John Perrot[3]
1558 Roger ManwoodNicholas Crispe[3]
1559 Roger ManwoodJohn Tysar[3]
1562/3 Roger ManwoodRice Perrot[3]
1571 Roger ManwoodJohn Manwood[3]
1572 Roger Manwood, made a judge
replaced Jul 1576 by
Edward Peake
John Boys[3]
1584 Edward Peake Edward Wood[3]
1586 Edward Peake Edward Wood[3]
1588/9 Peter ManwoodEdward Peake[3]
1593 Peter ManwoodEdward Peake[3]
1597 Peter Manwood Edward Peake[3]
1601 Peter ManwoodEdward Peake[3]
1604-1611 Sir George FaneEdward Peake died
replaced by
John Griffith
1614 Thomas Smythe Sir Samuel Peyton, 1st Baronet
1621-1622 Sir Edwin Sandys Sir Robert Hatton
election voided - replaced by
John Burroughes
1624 Sir Robert Hatton Francis Drake
1625 Sir Henry Wotton Sir Robert Hatton
1626 Sir John Suckling
sat for Norwich, replaced by Sir Edward Boys
Peter Peake
1628 John Philipot Peter Peake
1629–1640 No Parliaments summoned


YearFirst memberFirst partySecond memberSecond party
April 1640 ?
November 1640 Sir Thomas PeytonRoyalist Sir Edward PartridgeParliamentarian
February 1644 Peyton disabled from sitting - seat vacant
1645 Charles Rich
December 1648 Rich and Partridge excluded in Pride's Purge - both seats vacant
1653 Sandwich was unrepresented in the Barebones Parliament
1654 Colonel Thomas Kelsey Sandwich had only one seat in the First and
Second Parliaments of the Protectorate
1656 James Thurbarne
January 1659 Richard Meredith
May 1659 Not represented in the restored Rump
April 1660 James Thurbarne Henry Oxenden
1661 Edward Montagu
1665 John Strode
1679 John Thurbarne Sir James Oxenden
1685 John Strode Sir Philip Parker
1689 John Thurbarne Sir James Oxenden
1690 Edward Brent
1695 John Taylor
April 1698 John Thurbarne
July 1698 John Michel
January 1701 Henry Furnese[5] John Taylor
April 1701 John Michel
November 1701 Sir Henry Furnese Sir James Oxenden
1702 John Michel
1705 Josiah Burchett Court Whig
April 1713 John Michel
August 1713 Sir Henry Oxenden
1715 (Sir) Thomas D'Aeth[6]
1720 Sir George Oxenden Whig
1722 Josiah Burchett Whig
1741 John Pratt
1747 John Clevland
1754 Claudius Amyand
1756 The Viscount Conyngham
1761 George Hay
1768 (Sir) Philip Stephens[7]
1774 William Hey
1776 Charles Brett Tory
1780 Sir Richard Sutton
1784 Charles Brett Whig
1790 Sir Horatio Mann
1806 Captain Thomas Fremantle
1807 Admiral Peter Rainier Charles Jenkinson
1808 John Spratt Rainier
1812 Joseph Marryatt Sir Joseph Sydney Yorke
1818 Sir George Warrender
1824 Henry Bonham
1826 Joseph Marryatt Whig Sir Edward Campbell Rich Owen
1829 Lieutenant-General Sir Henry Fane
1830 Samuel Grove Price
1831 Sir Edward Troubridge Whig
1835 Samuel Grove Price Conservative
1837 Sir James Rivett-Carnac Whig
1839 General Sir Rufane Shaw Donkin Whig
1841 Hugh Hamilton Lindsay Conservative
1847 Lord Clarence Paget Whig Charles William Grenfell Whig
May 1852 Lord Charles Clinton Conservative
July 1852 James Macgregor Conservative
1857 Edward Knatchbull-Hugessen Whig Lord Clarence Paget Whig
1859 Liberal Liberal
1866 Charles Capper Conservative
1868 Henry Brassey Liberal
1880 Charles Henry Crompton-Roberts[8] Conservative
1880 Writ suspended and seat left vacant
after evidence of bribery was uncovered.
1885 Following Royal Commission investigation of corruption, constituency abolished and absorbed into Eastern Kent


  1. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 "History of Parliament". History of Parliament Trust. Retrieved 2011-11-26.
  2. 1 2 The English Parliaments of Henry VII. Retrieved 2012-03-17.
  3. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 "History of Parliament". History of Parliament Trust. Retrieved 2011-11-26.
  4. This election was called at request of the borough Mayor, with Patche and Ardern returned but the return was declared invalid by Privy Council after appeal.
  5. Created a baronet, June 1707
  6. Created a baronet, July 1716
  7. Created a baronet, March 1795
  8. On petition the result of the 1880 by-election was declared void

Election results

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Elections in the 1880s

By election,1880: Sandwich (1 seat) [1]
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Conservative Charles Henry Crompton-Roberts 1145
Liberal Goldsmith 705
Conservative Party (UK) hold Swing


  1. "Election News". The Cornishman (97). 20 May 1880. p. 8.
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