Double Member Borough

Published in The History of Parliament: the House of Commons 1754-1790, ed. L. Namier, J. Brooke., 1964
Available from Boydell and Brewer

Background Information

Right of Election:

in the corporation

Number of voters:



16 Apr. 1754John Griffin Griffin 
 Francis Blake Delaval 
30 Mar. 17611Sir John Griffin Griffin19
 Sir Francis Blake Delaval12
  Benjamin Lethieullier5
21 Mar. 1768Sir John Griffin Griffin17
 Benjamin Lethieullier15
 Sir Francis Blake Delaval9
5 Oct. 1774Benjamin Lethieullier18
 Sir John Griffin Griffin13
 John Pollen7
8 Sept. 1780Sir John Griffin Griffin 
 Banjamin Lethieullier 
30 Mar. 1784Sir John Griffin Griffin 
 Benjamin Lethieullier 
11 Aug. 1784William Fellowes vice Griffin, called to the Upper House 

Main Article

The chief parliamentary interest was in the Earl of Portsmouth, whose seat at Hurstbourne was five miles from the borough: John Griffin Griffin, whose aunt was married to the 1st Earl, sat on his interest; and after him, William Fellowes, whose sister was married to the 2nd Earl. But when in September 1760 Francis Blake Delaval tried through Newcastle for a juncture with Griffin, Portsmouth replied:2

When I recommended Major-General Griffin to my friends at Andover I promised them that I would not interfere farther in the election, so that your Grace sees the impossibility of my serving Mr. Delaval.

Another interest gradually became established in the borough: that of Joshua Iremonger of Wherwell (3½ miles from Andover). Matthew Fetherstonhaugh, married to a half-sister of Iremonger and sister of Benjamin Lethieullier, in 1754 unsuccessfully tried to secure a seat at Andover, and apparently declined the poll; but Lethieullier in 1768 ousted Delaval though supported by the Duke of Northumberland, who also had influence in the borough. John Pollen, defeated in 1774, was a local candidate; his father had represented the borough 1734-54. ‘I am told’, wrote John Robinson in his survey for the general election of 1780, ‘that Sir John Griffin does not stand well there, and is open to attack by a proper man.’ But the hold of the two dominant interests on the borough remained unchallenged to the end of this period. A letter from Elizabeth Iremonger to her friend Mary Heber, 13 Dec. 1790, prettily sums up the position:3

The Andover ball ... was confined entirely to the two families who support an interest there, Lord Portsmouth’s and my father’s, and the town of Andover. Little indeed therefore is there to relate but that the corporation was gratified and in good humour.

Author: Sir Lewis Namier


  • 1. Ms poll sheet, Hants RO.
  • 2. Add. 32912, f. 193.
  • 3. Dear Miss Heber, ed. Bamford, 94.