Liskeard (UK Parliament constituency)

Liskeard (UK Parliament Constituency)

Liskeard (UK Parliament constituency)

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Liskeard was a parliamentary borough in Cornwall, which elected two Members of Parliament (MPs) to the House of Commons from 1295 until 1832, and then one member from 1832 until 1885, when the borough was abolished.


The parliamentary borough was based upon the community of Liskeard in the south-eastern part of Cornwall.

Sedgwick estimated the electorate at 30 in 1740. Namier and Brooke considered it was about 50 in the 1754-1790 period. The right of election before 1832 was in the freemen of the borough. This constituency was under the patronage of the Eliot family, which acquired the preponderent interest by 1722.

There were no contested elections between at least 1715 and 1802. In the early 19th century the Whigs attempted to expand the electorate to include householders. During the 1802 general election, 48 householders claimed the right to vote but their ballots were rejected by the Mayor (see the note to the 1802 election result below). The Eliot family continued to control the borough in the Tory interest, for another thirty years.

The Reform Act 1832 augmented the freemen voters (who retained their ancient right votes), with the beneficiaries of a new householder franchise. The number of voters registered in 1832 was 218. The political effect of the change was that a Whig was elected unopposed to the one remaining seat in 1832, whereas the two Tory candidates had been elected unopposed at the previous seven general elections. Only Whig or Liberal...
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