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Heytesbury (UK Parliament constituency)


Heytesbury (UK Parliament constituency)

Former Borough constituency
for the House of Commons
1449 (1449)1832 (1832)
Number of members Two

Heytesbury was a parliamentary borough in Wiltshire which elected two Members of Parliament. From 1449 until 1707 it was represented in the House of Commons of England, and then in the British House of Commons until 1832, when the borough was abolished by the Reform Act 1832.


The borough consisted of a small part of the small market town or large village of Heytesbury, in the south-west of Wiltshire. In 1831, when the population of the whole parish was 1,394, the borough had a population of only 81. Already a small settlement, much of Heytesbury burned to the ground in 1765, but this did not affect its right to return members to parliament. The houses lost were subsequently rebuilt.

Heytesbury was a burgage borough, meaning that the right to vote was reserved to the householders of specific properties or "burgage tenements" within the borough; there were twenty-six of these tenements by the time of the Reform Act, and all had been owned by the Lords Heytesbury since the 17th century, giving them control of the choice of the two Members. Shortly before the Reform Act, the head of the family, Sir William Ashe A'Court, was elevated to a peerage as Lord Heytesbury. By 1832 there had been no contested elections for more than half a century.

Heytesbury was abolished as a constituency by the Reform Act. Its residents who were qualified to vote were transferred into the new South Wiltshire county division.

Members of Parliament


Parliament First member Second member
1491 John Kingsmill [1]
1510–1523 No names known[2]
1529 Sir John Seymour Robert Seymour[2]
1536  ?
1539  ?
1542  ?
1545 William Sharington Edward Chamberlain[2]
1547 Thomas Throckmorton Thomas Eynns[2]
1553 (Mar)  ?
1553 (Oct) Fulk Mounslowe alias Langley Thomas Hill[2]
1554 (Apr) Richard Forsett Christopher Dymars[2]
1554 (Nov) Henry Unton ?Thomas Chaffyn[2]
1555 Thomas Hungerford Fulk Mounslowe alias Langley[2]
1558 Christopher Sackville Henry Partridge[2]
1559 Sir Ralph Hopton Richard Pallady[3]
1562/3 Richard Kingsmill Richard Cabell[3]
1571 Thomas Wroughton Richard Cabell[3]
1572 Sir John Thynne, died
and replaced 1580 by
Jasper Moore
Edward Stafford[3]
1584 John Thynne Lawrence I Hyde (died 1590)[3]
1586 John Thynne John Bennett[3]
1588 Francis Zouche Joshua Elmer[3]
1593 John Thynne Thomas Thynne[3]
1597 John Thynne Lawrence Hyde[3]
1601 John Thynne Richard Smythe[3]
1604–1611 Sir William Eyre Walter Gowen
1614 Sir Henry Ludlow Walter Gowen
1621–1622 Sir Thomas Thynne Sir Henry Ludlow
1624 Sir Thomas Thynne Sir Henry Ludlow
1625 Sir Charles Berkeley Edward Bysshe
1626 Sir Charles Berkeley William Blake
1628–1629 Sir Charles Berkeley William Rolfe
1629–1640 No Parliaments summoned


Year First member First party Second member Second party
April 1640 Sir John Berkeley Thomas Moore
November 1640 Edward Ashe Parliamentarian Thomas Moore Parliamentarian
December 1648 Moore excluded in Pride's Purge – seat vacant
1653 Heytesbury was unrepresented in the Barebones Parliament and the First and Second Parliaments of the Protectorate
January 1659 John Ashe Samuel Ashe
May 1659 Not represented in the restored Rump
April 1660 Thomas Moore John Jolliffe
1661 Sir Charles Berkeley
1668 William Ashe Whig
February 1679 Edward Ashe
August 1679 Edward Ashe
1689 William Sacheverell Whig
1690 William Trenchard
1695 Edward Ashe
1701 Sir Edward Ernle
1702 William Monson
1708 William Ashe
1713 Pierce A'Court
1715 William Ashe
1722 Pierce A'Court
1725 Lord Charles Cavendish Whig
1727 Horatio Townshend
1734 Pierce A'Court-Ashe
1747 William Ashe
1751 William A'Court[4]
1768 Charles FitzRoy-Scudamore
1774 Hon. William Gordon
September 1780 William Eden[5]
December 1780 Francis Burton
1781 William Pierce Ashe A'Court
1784 William Eden[6]
1790 Michael Angelo Taylor
1791 The Earl of Barrymore
1793 Charles Rose Ellis
1793 The Viscount Clifden
1796 Sir John Leicester, Bt
February 1802 William Wickham
July 1802 Charles Abbot[7] Viscount Kirkwall
December 1802 Dr Charles Moore
1806 Charles Abbot[8] Sir William Pierce Ashe A'Court
January 1807 Dr Charles Moore Michael Symes
May 1807 Viscount Fitzharris
1812 Samuel Hood[9] Charles Duncombe
1818 George James Welbore Agar-Ellis William Henry John Scott
March 1820 Edward Henry A'Court Charles Ashe A'Court
August 1820 Henry Handley
1826 Henry Stafford Northcote
1830 Sir George Staunton
1832 Constituency abolished



  • Robert Beatson, "A Chronological Register of Both Houses of Parliament" (London: Longman, Hurst, Res & Orme, 1807) [1]
  • D Brunton & D H Pennington, Members of the Long Parliament (London: George Allen & Unwin, 1954)
  • Cobbett's Parliamentary history of England, from the Norman Conquest in 1066 to the year 1803 (London: Thomas Hansard, 1808) [2]
  • Lewis Namier, The Structure of Politics at the Accession of George III (2nd edition – London: St Martin's Press, 1961)
  • T. H. B. Oldfield, The Representative History of Great Britain and Ireland (London: Baldwin, Cradock & Joy, 1816)
  • J Holladay Philbin, Parliamentary Representation 1832 – England and Wales (New Haven: Yale University Press, 1965)

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