Appendix X: Wales

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


Wales differed from Scotland and Ireland in never having had a Parliament of its own. No doubt for this reason its 24 Members did not form a national group in the House of Commons. The nearest they came to acting on national instead of party lines was in 1728, when five habitual government supporters voted with the Opposition against the decision to disfranchise three of the constituent boroughs of Montgomery. Nor were they drawn exclusively from Welsh families: non-Welshmen sitting for Welsh constituencies were Henry Bertie, James Cholmondeley, William Corbet, Francis Cornwallis, Charles Edwin, Thomas Ferrers, Richard Fowler, Herbert Mackworth and Charles Powlett, Marquess of Winchester, several of whom had married Welsh heiresses; conversely a number of English boroughs were represented by Members with Welsh surnames such as Gwyn, Hanmer, Lewis, Mansel, Mostyn, Owen, Powys, Thomas and Trevor. Other Welshmen representing English constituencies were Lewis Barlow, Thomas Corbett, Samuel Edwards and John Jeffreys. Unlike the rest of the country, Wales returned a majority of Tories under George I, though in the next reign the balance was tilted in favour of the Whigs by the manipulation of elections. Three of the Tory leaders during this period, Sir Thomas Hanmer, Sir John Philipps, and Sir Watkin Williams Wynn, were Welshmen. The following table shows the number of Whigs and Tories returned by Wales at the general elections:

Whigs Tories Opposition Whigs

Ref Volumes: 1715-1754

Author: Romney R. Sedgwick

End Notes