Available from Boydell and Brewer
Right of Election:
in burgage holders
Number of voters:
|2 Feb. 1715||HORATIO WALPOLE|
|24 Jan. 1716||CARTER re-elected after appointment to office|
|9 Dec. 1717||EDWARD CARTERET vice Walpole, appointed to office|
|29 Apr. 1721||PHILIP CAVENDISH vice Carteret, appointed to office|
|St. John Brodrick|
|BRODRICK vice Cavendish, on petition, 6 June 1721|
|23 Mar. 1722||SIR JOHN HOBART|
|ST. JOHN BRODRICK|
|4 Feb. 1724||SIR ROBERT RICH vice Hobart, chose to sit for St. Ives|
|23 Aug. 1727||SIR JOHN HOBART|
|SIR FRANCIS HENRY DRAKE|
|2 Mar. 1728||SIR ARTHUR CROFT vice Drake, chose to sit for Tavistock|
|HENRY HOWARD, Lord Walden, vice Hobart, chose to sit for Norfolk|
|22 June 1730||CROFT re-elected after appointment to office|
|5 Feb. 1734||WILLIAM MORDEN vice Howard, called to the Upper House|
|1 May 1734||SIR FRANCIS HENRY DRAKE|
|22 Feb. 1740||SAMUEL HEATHCOTE vice Drake, deceased|
|9 May 1741||WILLIAM MORDEN|
|2 July 1747||SIR FRANCIS HENRY DRAKE|
|SIR WILLIAM HARBORD|
|20 Jan. 1753||DRAKE re-elected after appointment to office|
At George I’s accession the representation of Bere Alston was shared by Thomas Grey, 2nd Earl of Stamford, who was lord of the manors of Bere and Landrake, and Sir Francis Drake, 4th Bt., of Buckland Abbey, three or four miles from the borough. On Stamford’s death in 1720 his interest passed to his nephew, Sir John Hobart.2
On 20 Jan. 1721 Drake wrote to Lord Chief Justice King, a former M.P. for Bere Alston:
Sir John Hobart may assure himself I am sincere in maintaining that interest which ought to be his, otherwise the borough cormorants would soon devour it ... I do again empower your Lordship to assure him I have no other desire than to go on with him to the end of the chapter hand in hand.
But in the following April, when Edward Carteret, a Drake nominee,3 vacated his seat by accepting a disqualifying office, Hobart supported Carteret’s son-in-law, Philip Cavendish, who was returned against Drake’s candidate, St. John Brodrick.4 On petition the affair developed into a struggle between rival ministers, Cavendish’s cause being espoused by Carteret’s kinsman, Lord Carteret, while Walpole engaged all his friends for Brodrick, who was awarded the seat (see under Brodrick, St. John).
There were no more contests between the two families, each returning one Member by mutual agreement, which was confirmed in 1754 when Hobart, now Earl of Buckinghamshire, and Sir Francis Drake, 5th Bt., undertook in writing ‘to support each other during our respective lives in having each one Member for Bere Alston’.5
Author: Shirley Matthews
- 1. Lady F. E. Eliott-Drake, Fam. and Heirs of Sir Francis Drake, i. 219; List of voters as at the last election for Bere Alston , Cholmondeley (Houghton) mss.
- 2. Trans. Dev. Assoc. xli. 155-6.
- 3. Eliott-Drake, 205-6, 220-1.
- 4. St. John Brodrick to Ld. Midleton, 27 May 1721, Brodrick mss v. f. 33.
- 5. Hobart mss, Norwich City Central Lib. N.R.S. 21140, 75 x 2.