Brackley (UK Parliament constituency)

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Former Borough constituency
for the House of Commons
Number of members Two

Brackley was a parliamentary borough in Northamptonshire, which elected two Members of Parliament (MPs) to the House of Commons from 1547 until 1832, when the constituency was abolished by the Great Reform Act.


The borough consisted of the town of Brackley, a market town where the main economic interests were making lace and footwear. In 1831, the population of the borough was 2,107, and the town contained 378 houses. While this by no means put it among the smallest of the rotten boroughs, it was barely the half the size which was eventually required to retain representation after 1832.

Brackley was a corporation borough, the right to vote having been restricted to the Mayor, 6 aldermen and 26 "burgesses" (the remaining members of the corporation), a total electorate of 33, in the reign of James II. The Mayor was appointed by the Lord of the Manor, and the major local landowners or "patrons" had total control over the election of MPs. In the mid 18th century the Duke of Bridgewater was able to nominate both MPs; by the time of the Reform Act, the Earl of Bridgewater nominated to one seat and the Marquess of Stafford to the other.

Brackley lost both its MPs under the provisions of the Reform Act.

Members of Parliament


Parliament First member Second member
1547 Henry Sidney Francis Saunders [1]
1553 (Mar) Robert Saunders  ?Francis Saunders [1]
1553 (Oct) Thomas Fermor Robert Saunders [1]
1554 (Apr) Thomas Onley Richard Ardern [1]
1554 (Nov) George Ferrers Thomas Onley [1]
1555 George Ferrers Thomas Boughton [1]
1558 Robert Saunders Drew Saunders [1]
1558/9 Sir Thomas Knyvet Robert Saunders[2]
1562/3 Christopher Yelverton Richard Lucy, died
and replaced 1566 by
Edward Onley [2]
1571 Thomas Catesby Matthew Mantell [2]
1572 Matthew Mantell Thomas Onley [2]
1584 (Oct) James Croft George Whitton [2]
1586 (Oct) James Croft George Whitton [2]
1588 (Oct) Humphrey Davenport Jerome Fermor [2]
1593 Richard Bowle Sidney Montagu [2]
1597 (Sep) Robert Spencer Ranulph Crewe [2]
1601 (Oct) Edward Montagu John Donne [2]
1604 Sir Richard Spencer William Lisle
1614 Sir William Spencer Arthur Terringham
1621 Sir Thomas Wenman Edward Spencer
1624 Sir Thomas Wenman Edward Spencer
1625 Sir Thomas Wenman Edward Spencer
1626 Sir John Hobart John Crew
1628 Sir Thomas Wenman John Curzon
1629–1640 No Parliaments summoned


Year First member First party Second member Second party
November 1640 John Crew Parliamentarian Sir Martin Lister Parliamentarian
December 1648 Both members excluded in Pride's Purge – seats vacant
1653 Brackley was unrepresented in the Barebones Parliament and the First and Second Parliaments of the Protectorate
January 1659 Thomas Crew William Lisle
May 1659 Unrepresented in the restored Rump
April 1660 Sir Thomas Crew William Lisle
1661 Robert Spencer
February 1679 William Lisle
August 1679 Hon. Richard Wenman [3] Sir William Egerton
1681 William Lisle
1685 James Griffin
1689 John Parkhurst
1690 Sir William Egerton John Blencowe
1692 Harry Mordaunt
1695 Charles Egerton [4]
1698 Sir John Aubrey
1701 Harry Mordaunt
1702 John James
May 1705 John Sidney
November 1705 Harry Mordaunt
1708 William Egerton
1711 John Burgh
1713 Paul Methuen
1714 [5] John Burgh Henry Watkins
1715 William Egerton Sir Paul Methuen
1733 Dr George Lee
1742 Sewallis Shirley
1747 Richard Lyttelton
1754 Marshe Dickinson Thomas Humberston
1755 Sir William Moreton
1761 Robert Wood
1765 Viscount Hinchingbrooke Tory
1768 William Egerton
1771 Timothy Caswall
1780 John William Egerton Tory
1789 Samuel Haynes
1802 Robert Haldane Bradshaw Tory
1803 Anthony Henderson Tory
1810 Henry Wrottesley Tory
1825 James Bradshaw Tory
1832 Constituency abolished


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 1.5 1.6 "History of Parliament". Retrieved 2011-10-02.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 2.4 2.5 2.6 2.7 2.8 2.9 "History of Parliament". Retrieved 2011-10-02.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  3. Succeeded as The Viscount Wenman (in the Peerage of Ireland), 1686
  4. Egerton was initially declared re-elected at the election of 1710, but on petition he was found not have been duly elected and his opponent Burgh was seated instead
  5. At the election of 1713, Methuen and Egerton were initially declared elected, but there was dispute about the franchise. On petition, their seats were given to their opponents, Burgh and Watkins


  • Robert Beatson, A Chronological Register of Both Houses of Parliament (London: Longman, Hurst, Res & Orme, 1807) [1]
  • D Brunton & D H Pennington, Members of the Long Parliament (London: George Allen & Unwin, 1954)
  • Cobbett's Parliamentary history of England, from the Norman Conquest in 1066 to the year 1803 (London: Thomas Hansard, 1808) [2]
  • Lewis Namier, The Structure of Politics at the Accession of George III (2nd edition – London: St Martin's Press, 1961)
  • J Holladay Philbin, Parliamentary Representation 1832 – England and Wales (New Haven: Yale University Press, 1965)
  • Leigh Rayment's Historical List of MPs – Constituencies beginning with "B" (part 4)[self-published source][better source needed]