Dorchester (UK Parliament constituency)

Dorchester (UK Parliament constituency)

Dorchester was a parliamentary constituency centred on the town of Dorchester in Dorset. It returned two Members of Parliament to the House of Commons of the Parliament of the United Kingdom from 1295 to 1868, when its representation was reduced one member.

The constituency was abolished for the 1885 general election.


Members of Parliament


Parliament First member Second member
Second Parliament of 1553 Christopher Hoole William Holeman
Parliament of 1554 Owen Heyman
Parliament of 1554-1555 John Davy
Parliament of 1555 ? Robertson Ralph Perne
Parliament of 1558 Christopher Hoole John Hayward
Parliament of 1559 William Holeman John Lewston
Parliament of 1563-1567 Thomas Marten Lewis Montgomery Chose to sit for Northampton
By-election John Gardener
Parliament of 1571 Henry Macwilliams William Adyn
Parliament of 1572-1581 George Carleton George Trenchard
Parliament of 1584-1585 Robert Beale Thomas Freake
Parliament of 1586-1587 Robert Napier
Parliament of 1588-1589 Noel Sotherton
Parliament of 1593 Dr Francis James Robert Dabridgecourt
Parliament of 1597-1598 Robert Ashley Richard Wright
Parliament of 1601 Francis Bronker Matthew Chubb
Parliament of 1604-1611 John Spicer
Addled Parliament (1614) (Sir) Francis Ashley[1] George Horsey
Parliament of 1621-1622 John Barkins
Happy Parliament (1624-1625) William Whitby Richard Bulstrode
Useless Parliament (1625) Sir Francis Ashley William Whiteway
Parliament of 1625-1626 Michael Humphreys Nicholas Bulstrode
Parliament of 1628-1629 Denzil Holles John Hill
No Parliament summoned 1629-1640


Year First Member First Party Second Member Second Party
April 1640 Denzil Holles[2] Parliamentarian Denis Bond Parliamentarian
November 1640
December 1648 Holles excluded in Pride's Purge - seat vacant
1653 Dorchester was unrepresented in the Barebones Parliament
1654 John Whiteway Dorchester had only one seat in the First and
Second Parliaments of the Protectorate
1656 John Whiteway
January 1659 James Gould John Bulstrode
May 1659 Dorchester was not represented in the restored Rump
April 1660 Denzil Holles John Whiteway
March 1661 James Gould
May 1661 John Churchill
1677 James Gould
1679 Sir Francis Holles Nicholas Gould
1680 James Gould
1681 Nathaniel Bond
1685 Edward Meller William Churchill
January 1689 Gerard Napier Thomas Trenchard
December 1689 Thomas Chafin
March 1690 James Gould Sir Robert Napier, Bt
December 1690 Thomas Trenchard
1695 Nathaniel Bond Nathaniel Napier
1698 Sir Robert Napier, Bt
1701 Thomas Trenchard
1702 Sir Nathaniel Napier, Bt
1705 Awnsham Churchill
1708 John Churchill
1709 Denis Bond
1710 Sir Nathaniel Napier, Bt Benjamin Gifford
1713 Henry Trenchard
April 1720 Robert Browne [3]
May 1720 Abraham Janssen
1722 Edmund Morton Pleydell [4] Joseph Damer
1723 William Chapple
1727 John Browne
1737 Robert Browne
1741 Nathaniel Gundry
1751 George Damer John Pitt
1752 George Clavell
1754 The Lord Milton
1761 Thomas Foster
1762 John Damer
1765 William Ewer
1780 Hon. George Damer [5]
1789 Thomas Ewer
1790 Hon. Cropley Ashley
1790 Francis Fane
1791 Hon. Cropley Ashley
1807 Robert Williams
1811 Charles Henry Bouverie
October 1812 Robert Williams
December 1812 William A'Court
1814 Sir Samuel Shepherd
1819 Charles Warren
1826 William Ashley-Cooper
1830 Henry Sturt
1830 Lord Ashley Tory
1831 Hon. Anthony Henry Ashley-Cooper Tory
1835 Conservative Robert Williams Conservative
1841 Sir James Graham, Bt Conservative
1847 Hon. George Dawson-Damer Conservative Henry Sturt Conservative
1852 Richard Brinsley Sheridan [6] Liberal
1856 Charles Napier Sturt Conservative
1868 representation reduced to one member


Election Member Party
1868 representation reduced to one member
1868 Charles Napier Sturt Conservative
1874 William Ernest Brymer Conservative
1885 constituency abolished


  1. ^ Cobbett gives Ashley as having been re-elected in 1621; however, Browne Willis lists Sir Thomas Edmunds as MP
  2. ^ Disabled from sitting January 1648 but re-instated June 1648
  3. ^ On petition (in a dispute over the franchise), Browne was declared not to have been duly elected and his opponent, Janssen, was seated in his place
  4. ^ On petition, Pleydell was declared not to have been duly elected and his opponent, Chapple, was seated in his place
  5. ^ Damer was declared re-elected in 1790, but on petition was found not to have been duly elected and his opponent, Ashley, was seated in his place
  6. ^ Sheridan was the grandson of his celebrated namesake Richard Brinsley Sheridan


  • 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]
  • F W S Craig, British Parliamentary Election Results 1832-1885 (2nd edition, Aldershot: Parliamentary Research Services, 1989)
  • Maija Jansson (ed.), Proceedings in Parliament, 1614 (House of Commons) (Philadelphia: American Philosophical Society, 1988)
  • J E Neale, The Elizabethan House of Commons (London: Jonathan Cape, 1949)
  • M Stenton (ed), Who's Who of British Members of Parliament: Volume I 1832-1885 (The Harvester Press, 1976)
  • Browne Willis, Notitia Parliamentaria (London, 1750) [3]
  • Leigh Rayment's Historical List of MPs – Constituencies beginning with "D" (part 2)

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