Available from Boydell and Brewer
A single Member constituency
Right of Election:
in the resident freemen of Monmouth, Newport and Usk
Number of voters:
(1801): Monmouth, 3,345; Newport 1,135; Usk 700
|21 June 1790||HENRY CHARLES SOMERSET, Mq. of Worcester|
|28 Dec. 1790||CHARLES BRAGGE vice Worcester, chose to sit for Bristol|
|27 May 1796||CHARLES THOMPSON|
|27 Mar. 1799||LORD ROBERT EDWARD HENRY SOMERSET vice Thompson, deceased|
|6 July 1802||LORD CHARLES HENRY SOMERSET|
|5 July 1804||SOMERSET re-elected after appointment to office|
|3 Nov. 1806||LORD CHARLES HENRY SOMERSET|
|6 Apr. 1807||SOMERSET re-elected after appointment to office|
|7 May 1807||LORD CHARLES HENRY SOMERSET|
|6 Oct. 1812||LORD CHARLES HENRY SOMERSET|
|30 Dec. 1813||HENRY SOMERSET Mq. of Worcester, vice Somerset, appointed to office|
|29 May 1816||WORCESTER re-elected after appointment to office|
|19 June 1818||HENRY SOMERSET, Mq. of Worcester|
Monmouth Boroughs remained under the control of the dukes of Beaufort throughout the period.1 They were in command of the close corporations of Monmouth and Usk. Although Newport was less amenable and grew considerably in this period, the aldermanic oligarchy there was not hostile as long as the duke did not interfere with their profits; and the Morgans of Tredegar, who owned much property in the borough, were the duke’s allies in county politics. The 5th Duke found, however, that the boroughs preferred to be represented by members of his family: in 1790 he came to an arrangement with Daubeney, the candidate for Bristol, to retire in favour of his heir Lord Worcester, offering Daubeney Monmouth in lieu, ‘but the Welshmen gave his Grace to understand that they would not be compromised but would willingly choose Lord Charles in the place of the marquess. This the duke objected to as Lord Charles is suspected of the sin of Whiggism.’2 Instead Beaufort returned Charles Bragge, whom he had made recorder of Monmouth beforehand and whom his heir introduced there.3
Subsequently the 5th and 6th Dukes returned members of their family. In 1813 Worcester’s return was postponed until he could be present in person, which would ‘make the election go off with more good humour’.4 After the election of 1818, and following some agitation for local improvements in the previous year, opposition to the Beaufort monopoly commenced, led by John Hodder Moggeridge of Llanrumney, a Whig reformer of commercial background.5 In the borough elections at Monmouth in October 1818, the duke’s nominees were opposed and succeeded only by manipulation, which their foes contested by proceedings in King’s bench, obtaining a judgment of ouster early in 1819.6 They did not control the corporation for long, for the duke’s nominees were returned in October 1819 and further lawsuits were necessary to depose them. The struggle, which was accompanied by a similar but independent one at Newport, dragged on until 1831, Moggeridge being unsuccessful in his first attempt in 1820 to contest the boroughs in a parliamentary election: on that occasion the duke’s control of Usk proved crucial and his opponents’ expectations too sanguine.
Author: R. G. Thorne
- 1. E. E. Havill, ‘Parl. Rep. Mon. 1536-1832’ (Univ. of Wales MA thesis, 1949); R. D. Rees, ‘Parl. Rep. S. Wales 1790-1830’ (Reading Univ. Ph.D. thesis, 1962), i. 259.
- 2. NLS mss 11143, f. 167; PRO 30/8/107, f. 137.
- 3. Glos. RO, Bragge Bathurst mss X17/37-39, 42.
- 4. Ibid. X17/53.
- 5. Brougham mss 28702.
- 6. Grey mss, Goodwin to Grey, 17 Oct., 11, 30 Nov. 1818, Moggeridge to same, 15 Jan., 9 Apr. 1819.