Published in The History of Parliament: the House of Commons 1715-1754, ed. R. Sedgwick, 1970
Available from Boydell and Brewer

Background Information

Number of voters:

about 360


10 Feb. 1715OWEN MEYRICK 
11 Apr. 1722RICHARD BULKELEY, 4th Visct. Bulkeley217
 Owen Meyrick148
10 Apr. 1725HUGH WILLIAMS vice Bulkeley deceased194
 Thomas Lloyd162
7 Sept. 1727HUGH WILLIAMS 
 Thomas Lloyd 
28 May 1741JOHN OWEN232
 Sir Nicholas Bayly127

Main Article

At George I’s accession Anglesey was dominated by the Bulkeleys of Baron Hill, a Tory family, whose tenure of the seat had been challenged in Anne’s reign by the local Whigs under Owen Meyrick of Bodorgan. In 1715 Lord Bulkeley, to avoid the trouble and expense of a contest, came to an agreement with Meyrick, under which Meyrick was returned unopposed for the county, on an undertaking to resign at Lord Bulkeley’s request. But in 1722, when Lord Bulkeley decided to stand again, Meyrick refused to honour his pledge and was defeated after a bitter and expensive contest.

On Lord Bulkeley’s death in 1724 Meyrick put up his nephew at the ensuing by-election. The new Lord Bulkeley being a minor, his family decided that ‘the most prudent step to check the growing interest of Mr. Meyrick’1 was to put up a rival Whig in the person of Hugh Williams, who was returned then and again in 1727. In 1733, however, Lord Bulkeley declared against Hugh Williams for voting for the excise bill, giving his interest to Nicholas Bayly of Plas Newydd, an opposition Whig, who was also supported by Meyrick. At the general election Hugh Williams gave up before the poll.

Bayly stood again with the support of the sixth Lord Bulkeley in 1741, when Meyrick supported John Owen of Presaddfed, an opposition Whig, in return for an undertaking from Owen to support Meyrick’s son at the next election. Returned after a contest, Owen in 1747 at first supported young Meyrick against Bayly, once more backed by Lord Bulkeley. Three days before the poll Meyrick’s manager proposed to Lord Bulkeley that Bayly should desist from standing in return for an undertaking from the Meyrick party to assist his return at the next election.2 Owen, indignant at an arrangement which would have excluded him from Parliament for fourteen years, offered his interest to Lord Bulkeley, whereupon Meyrick, finding himself ‘fairly bit by the Tories, who ran over from their engagements’,3 gave up, leaving Bayly unopposed.

Author: Peter D.G. Thomas


  • 1. UCNW, Baron Hill mss 5737, 5710.
  • 2. UCNW, Penrhos mss 1362-3, 1099, 1378.
  • 3. Morris Letters (ed. Davies), i. 115-17.