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Perth Burghs (UK Parliament constituency)

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Perth Burghs (UK Parliament constituency)

Perth Burghs
Former District of burghs constituency
for the House of Commons
Map of constituency
Major settlements Perth, Cupar, St Andrews, Dundee, Forfar
17081832
Replaced by Perth
and 3 others
Created from Cupar, Dundee, Forfar, Perth, St Andrews

Perth Burghs was a district of burghs constituency of the House of Commons of the Parliament of Great Britain (at Westminster) from 1708 to 1801 and of the Parliament of the United Kingdom (also at Westminster) from 1801 until 1832, representing a seat for one Member of Parliament (MP)

Contents

  • Boundaries 1
  • Member of Parliament 2
  • Election results 3
    • Elections in the 1700s 3.1
    • Elections in the 1710s 3.2
    • Elections in the 1720s 3.3
    • Elections in the 1730s 3.4
    • Elections in the 1740s 3.5
  • Notes 4
  • References 5

Boundaries

The constituency covered five burghs: Perth in the county of Perth, Cupar and St Andrews in the county of Fife, and Dundee and Forfar in the county of Forfar.

For the 1832 general election, as a result of the Representation of the People (Scotland) Act 1832, the burgh of Perth was merged into the new Perth burgh constituency, the burghs of Cupar and St Andrews were merged into the Fife county constituency, the burgh of Dundee was merged into new Dundee burgh constituency, and the burgh of Forfar was merged into the new Montrose Burghs constituency.

Member of Parliament

Election Member Party [1] Notes
1708 Joseph Austin
1710 George Yeaman
1715 Patrick Haldane
1722 William Erskine
1727 John Drummond
1743 by-election Thomas Leslie
1761 George Dempster
1768 William Pulteney Whig later 5th Baronet
1769 by-election George Dempster Independent Whig
1790 George Murray
1796 by-election David Scott
1805 by-election Sir David Wedderburn, Bt Tory Postmaster-General for Scotland 1823–31
1818 Archibald Campbell
1820 Hon. Hugh Lindsay
1830 John Stuart-Wortley-Mackenzie Tory later Baron Wharncliffe
Jan 1831 by-election Francis Jeffrey later Lord Jeffrey
Mar 1831 petition William Ogilvy
May 1831 Francis Jeffrey Whig later Lord Jeffrey
1832 constituency abolished

Election results

The electoral system for this constituency gave each of the five burghs one vote, with an additional casting vote (to break ties) for the burgh where the election was held. The place of election rotated amongst the burghs in successive Parliaments. The vote of a burgh was exercised by a burgh commissioner, who was elected by the burgh councillors.

The normal order of rotation for this district was Perth, Dundee, St Andrews, Cupar and Forfar. However the Court of Session had the power to suspend the participation of a burgh, as a punishment for corruption, which could disrupt the rotation if the normal returning burgh was not able to participate.[2]

At the time of the disputed elections in 1830 and 1831, Dundee was not able to take part in the voting. Although Dundee was not the returning burgh for the 1830-31 Parliament, its absence made the elections less certain and encouraged wrongdoing by candidates.[3]

The reference to some candidates as Non Partisan does not, necessarily, mean that they did not have a party allegiance. It means that the sources consulted did not specify a party allegiance. The sources used were Stooks Smith as well as Namier and Brooke (see the References section for further details).

Elections in the 1700s

General Election 1708: Perth Burghs (election at Perth)
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Non Partisan Joseph Austin Unopposed N/A N/A
Non Partisan gain from new seat Swing N/A

Elections in the 1710s

General Election 1710: Perth Burghs (election at Dundee)
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Non Partisan George Yeaman Unopposed N/A N/A
Non Partisan hold Swing N/A
General Election 1713: Perth Burghs (election at St Andrews)
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Non Partisan George Yeaman Unopposed N/A N/A
Non Partisan hold Swing N/A
General Election 1715: Perth Burghs (election at Cupar)
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Non Partisan Patrick Haldane Unopposed N/A N/A
Non Partisan hold Swing N/A

Elections in the 1720s

General Election 1722: Perth Burghs (election at Forfar)
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Non Partisan William Erskine Returned and seated N/A N/A
Non Partisan Charles Leslie Returned and unseated N/A N/A
Non Partisan hold Swing N/A
  • This election resulted in a double return of both candidates. The House of Commons seated Erskine.
General Election 1727: Perth Burghs (election at Perth)
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Non Partisan John Drummond Unopposed N/A N/A
Non Partisan hold Swing N/A

Elections in the 1730s

General Election 1734: Perth Burghs (election at Dundee)
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Non Partisan John Drummond Unopposed N/A N/A
Non Partisan hold Swing N/A

Elections in the 1740s

General Election 1741: Perth Burghs (election at St Andrews)
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Non Partisan John Drummond Unopposed N/A N/A
Non Partisan hold Swing N/A
  • December 1743: Death of Drummond

Notes

  1. ^ Leigh Rayment's Historical List of MPs – Constituencies beginning with "P" (part 1)
  2. ^ House of Commons 1754-1790
  3. ^ Information about the disenfranchisement of Dundee and the disputed elections is set out in a note in The Parliaments of England

References

  • History of Parliament: House of Commons 1754-1790, by Sir Lewis Namier and James Brooke (Sidgwick & Jackson 1964)
  • The Parliaments of England by Henry Stooks Smith (1st edition published in three volumes 1844-50), second edition edited (in one volume) by F.W.S. Craig (Political Reference Publications 1973)
  • Leigh Rayment's Historical List of MPs – Constituencies beginning with "P" (part 1)
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