Double Member County

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

Number of voters:

about 5,000


20 Apr. 1754Robert Vyner
 Thomas Whichcot
1 Apr. 1761Lord Brownlow Bertie
 Thomas Whichcot
23 Mar. 1768Lord Brownlow Bertie
 Thomas Whichcot
26 Oct. 1774Lord Brownlow Bertie
 Charles Anderson Pelham
15 Dec. 1779Sir John Thorold vice Bertie, called to the Upper House
20 Sept. 1780Sir John Thorold
 Charles Anderson Pelham
12 Apr. 1784Sir John Thorold
 Charles Anderson Pelham

Main Article

The leading family in Lincolnshire was the Berties, who could generally command one seat. There was no contest between 1724 and 1807. Whichcot served until 1774, when he declined on account of age and asthma, having sat for thirty-four years.1 His successor, Charles Anderson Pelham, sat for twenty years.

Before the general election of 1761, Sir John Thorold and Robert Vyner, with Tory support and that of a number of gentlemen in the militia, declared themselves candidates against Thomas Whichcot and Lord Brownlow Bertie. Newcastle was concerned at ‘this extraordinary behaviour of the Tory gentlemen’, and wrote to Lord Hardwicke on 3 Oct. 1760:2

This spirit of dictating from that species of gentlemen will spread; and we shall soon feel the effects of this militia in many shapes. This impudent behaviour in these gentlemen ... has raised such a spirit in the Whigs of Lincolnshire that I hope it will turn upon the gentlemen and their friends.

But the Whigs were able to mobilize such support that Thorold and Vyner declined two months before the poll. The only other occasion during the period when a contest threatened was in 1779, after Bertie had succeeded to the dukedom of Ancaster. At the county meeting in August Charles Monson and Sir John Thorold were nominated, but Thorold’s election in December was unopposed.3

Author: J. A. Cannon


  • 1. Lincoln, Rutland & Stamford, Merc. 6 Oct. 1774.
  • 2. Add. 32912, f. 326.
  • 3. HMC Foljambe, 150; Lincoln, Rutland & Stamford Merc. 16 Dec. 1779.