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Worcestershire, Mid or Droitwich Division Former County constituency for the House of Commons 1885 (1885)–1918 (1918) Number of members one Droitwich Former Borough constituency for the House of Commons 1554 (1554)–1885 (1885) Number of members two (1554–1832); one (1832–1885) Droitwich was the name of a constituency of the House of Commons of England in 1295, and again from 1554, then of the House of Commons of Great Britain from 1707 to 1800 and of the House of Commons of the Parliament of the United Kingdom from 1801 to 1918. It was a parliamentary borough in Worcestershire, represented by two Members of Parliament until 1832, and by one member from 1832 to 1885. The name was then transferred to a county constituency electing one MP from 1885 until 1918. Contents 1 History 2 Members of Parliament 2.1 Droitwich borough 2.1.1 MPs 1554–1660 2.1.2 MPs 1660–1832 2.1.3 MPs 1832–1885 2.2 Mid or Droitwich Division of Worcestershire 2.2.1 MPs 1885–1918 3 Election results 4 References History The borough consisted of three parishes and parts of two others in the town of Droitwich, a market town which for many centuries depended on the salt trade for its prosperity. When Droitwich's right to return MPs (which had been allowed to lapse) was restored in 1554, there was only one salt pit in the borough, and this became the basis of Droitwich's unique franchise: the right to vote was vested solely in those burgesses (members of the corporation) who owned shares in the pit giving them the right to draw brine. This was finally established by a resolution of the House of Commons in 1690; yet within a few years of this date that salt pit had dried up completely; by 1747 it was accepted that ownership of this property had no function except conferring the vote, and had to be proved by possession of the title deeds since there could be no evidence of an otherwise meaningless right which could not be exercised in practice. Although these details of the franchise were unique to Droitwich, in practice it in many ways resembled a burgage borough, and like most of those came under the influence of a local magnate. The Foley family, Worcestershire industrialists, controlled Droitwich from the middle of the 17th century, although they seem to have allowed the townspeople to choose one of the two members at some periods. There was no contested election between 1747 and 1832, and by the time of the Reform Act it was estimated that only 28 men had the right to vote. In 1831, the population of the borough was 2,487, and contained 533 houses. However, the boundaries were revised by the provisions of the Great Reform Act, taking in the rest of the town and some adjoining villages, so that the new constituency adjoined the borough of Worcester to the south. This increased the population to 5,992, which was enough for Droitwich to retain one of its two MPs, and there were 243 voters on the register for the first election under the reformed franchise, in 1832. There was a further slight enlargement of the boundaries to the east in 1868. However, the constituency was not big enough to keep its MP under the Third Reform Act, which came into effect at the general election of 1885. The borough was abolished, but the town's name was applied to the new county division in which it was placed, formally called The Mid or Droitwich Division of Worcestershire. This was a constituency with a considerable industrial vote, including the heavy industrial town of Stourbridge and the carpet-weaving town of Stourport-on-Severn, but also contained a substantial middle-class residential population, boosted by the votes of the Kidderminster freeholders (who were entitled to a vote in the county division even if they lived within the Kidderminster borough boundaries), as well as agricultural interests. With a popular sitting Liberal MP turning Liberal Unionist in 1886, this was enough to keep Droitwich a relatively safe Unionist seat except in the Liberal landslide of 1906. The constituency was abolished in 1918, being divided between the redrawn Kidderminster and new Evesham constituencies. Members of Parliament Droitwich borough This list is incomplete; you can help by expanding it. MPs 1554–1660 The constituency was re-established during the reign of Queen Mary. The following were members of Parliament during the succeeding period:[1] Year First member First party Second member Second party 4&5 Ph & M Walter Gore Robert Wiche 1 Eliz Francis Newport 5 Eliz Walter Gore 13 Eliz Francis Brace Francis Kinwelmarsh 14 Eliz Gilbert Lyttelton jun. John Talbot 27 Eliz George Wylde Jasper Cholmley 28 Eliz Francis Barre George Lyttelton 35 Eliz Robert Walter George Wyld 39 Eliz John Acton Thomas Baily 43 Eliz John Buck Humphrey Wheeler 1 James George Wyld John Brace 12 James Edwyn Sandys Ralph Clare 1621 Sir Thomas Coventry John Wilde 1624 Walter Blount 1625 John Coventry Thomas Wilde 1625 Thomas Coventry John Wilde 1627 George Wilde 1629–1640 Personal Rule of Charles I: no Parliament 1640 Short Parliament John Wilde Samuel Sandys Royalist 1640 Long Parliament Endymion Porter Royalist Aug. 1642 disabled to sit - seat vacant Mar. 1643 disabled to sit - seat vacant 1647 Thomas Rainsborough Edmund Wylde 1648 George Wylde 1653 Droitwich was unrepresented in the Barebones Parliament and the First and Second Parliaments of the Protectorate 1659 Edward Salway John Wilde 1659 Third Protectorate Parliament - unknown MPs 1660–1832 Year First member First party Second member Second party 1660 Samuel Sandys Thomas Coventry 1661 Samuel Sandys (d. 1701) Henry Coventry[1] 1681 Samuel Sandys 1685 Samuel Sandys (d. 1701) Whig Thomas Windsor Tory 1689 The Lord Coote Whig 1690 Philip Foley Country Whig 1695 Edward Harley Tory Charles Cocks Whig 1698 Thomas Foley Tory 1699 Thomas Foley Tory February 1701 Philip Foley Tory November 1701 Edward Foley Tory 1708 Edward Winnington from 1709 Jeffreys [2] Tory 1711 Richard Foley Tory 1726 Thomas Winnington [3] Whig 1732 Edward Foley Tory 1741 Thomas Foley, later Lord Foley Tory 1742 Lord George Bentinck Whig July 1747 [4] Francis Winnington December 1747 Edwin Sandys Tory 1754 Thomas Foley, later Lord Foley Whig Robert Harley Tory March 1768 Thomas Foley, later 2nd Lord Foley May 1768 Edward Foley April 1774 Andrew Foley Whig May 1774 Thomas Foley, later 2nd Lord Foley Whig 1777 Sir Edward Winnington, Bt Whig 1805 Thomas Foley Whig 1807 Sir Thomas Winnington, Bt Whig 1816 The Earl of Sefton Whig 1819 Thomas Foley Whig 1822 John Hodgetts Hodgetts-Foley Whig 1831 Sir Thomas Winnington Whig 1832 Representation reduced to one member MPs 1832–1885 Election Member Party 1832 John Hodgetts Hodgetts-Foley Whig 1835 John Barneby Conservative 1837 Sir John Somerset Pakington Conservative 1874 John Corbett Liberal 1885 Borough abolished - county division established Mid or Droitwich Division of Worcestershire MPs 1885–1918 Election Member Party 1885 John Corbett Liberal 1886 Liberal Unionist 1892 Richard Biddulph Martin Liberal Unionist 1906 Cecil Bisshopp Harmsworth Liberal Jan. 1910 John Cavendish Lyttelton Liberal Unionist 1916 by-election Sir Herbert Huntingdon-Whiteley Conservative 1918 Constituency abolished Notes ^ a b 1557-1640, 1659, 1681: Treadway Russell Nash, History and Antiquities of the County of Worcester I (1782), introduction, xxxii. ^ Winnington changed his name to Jeffreys during the Parliament of 1708–10 ^ Winnington was re-elected at the election of 1741 but had also been elected for Worcester, which he chose to represent, and did not sit again for Droitwich ^ At the election of 1747 the returning officer made a double return, naming Thomas Foley, Francis Winnington and Samuel Masham as elected; after the consideration the Commons committee declared Winnington and Edwin Sandys (who had petitioned against the result) as the duly elected members Election results This list is incomplete; you can help by expanding it. References D Brunton & D H Pennington, Members of the Long Parliament (London: George Allen & Unwin, 1954) F W S Craig, "British Parliamentary Election Results 1832-1885" (2nd edition, Aldershot: Parliamentary Research Services, 1989) Michael Kinnear, The British Voter (London: BH Batsford, Ltd, 1968) Henry Pelling, Social Geography of British Elections 1885-1910 (London: Macmillan, 1967) J Holladay Philbin, Parliamentary Representation 1832 - England and Wales (New Haven: Yale University Press, 1965) Edward Porritt and Annie G Porritt, The Unreformed House of Commons (Cambridge University Press, 1903) Frederic A Youngs, jr, "Guide to the Local Administrative Units of England, Vol II" (London: Royal Historical Society, 1991) Leigh Rayment's Historical List of MPs – Constituencies beginning with "D" (part 3)