Records of members of parliament of the United Kingdom

Records of members of parliament of the United Kingdom



"see also: Baby of the House"

Of those whose age can be verified, the youngest MP since the Reform Act 1832 [Prior to 1832 minors could be elected, despite the fact that they were legally debarred in 1695; precise information on those MPs is often unclear.] was Esmond Harmsworth, elected on 15 November 1919 from Isle of Thanet aged 21 years 170 days. The youngest female MP was Bernadette Devlin, elected on 17 April 1969 from Mid Ulster aged 21 years 359 days.

Christopher Monck, Earl of Torrington was born on 14 August 1653, and was returned as Knight of the Shire for Devon on 8 January 1666/7, at the age of 13 years and 148 days.

It is known that Henry Long (1420-90) was returned to the seat of Old Sarum at the age of 15, although his precise date of birth is unknown.cite book | last = McWhirter | first = Norris
title = Guinness Book of Records | publisher = Guinness Publishing
date = 1996 | pages = pp. 185-6 | isbn = 0-85112-646-4

The youngest current MP is Jo Swinson (born 5 February 1980) who was elected to Parliament in the 2005 general election.


The oldest MP of all time is believed to be Sir Francis Knollys (c.1550-1648) who was re-elected to his Reading seat aged around 90, retaining the seat until his death at 97 or 98. The oldest in modern times was Samuel Young (1822-1918) who was MP for East Cavan until his death at the age of 96 years 63 days.p185]

The oldest ever woman MP was Irene Ward, member for Tynemouth, who was a few days short of 79 when she retired at the February 1974 general election.

The oldest current MP is Ian Paisley (born 6 April 1926), following the death of Piara Khabra who died aged 85 in 2007. [cite web| url= |title=Members FAQ|publisher=UK Parliament]

List of oldest sitting MPs since 1945

(with age at time of retirement/death in service and tenure as oldest MP):Ian Paisley, (born 6 April 1926), aged 82+; 2007- :Piara Khabra, (20 November 1921 – 21 June 2007), aged 85; 2001-2007 1 :Edward Heath F, (9 July 1916 – 17 July 2005), aged 84; 1992-2001 2:Michael Foot, (born 23 July 1913), aged 78; 1987-1992 2:Robert Edwards, (16 January 1905 – 4 June 1990), aged 82; 1979-1987 2:David Weitzman, (18 June, 1898 – 6 May, 1987), aged 80; Feb 1974-1979 2 :Irene Ward, (23 February 1895–26 April 1980), aged 79; Oct 1973-Feb 1974 2:John Rankin, (1 February 1890 – 8 October 1973), aged 83; Feb 1972-Oct 1973 1 :S.O. Davies, (c. 9 November 1886 – 25 February 1972), aged 85; 1970-Feb 1972 1 :Manny Shinwell, (18 October 1884 – 8 May 1986), aged 85; 1964-1970 2:Winston Churchill F, (30 November 1874 – 24 January 1965), aged 89; Feb 1964-Sep 1964 2 :David Logan, (22 November 1871 – 25 February 1964), aged 92; 1950-Feb 1964 1:Murdoch Macdonald, (6 May 1866 – 24 April 1957), aged 83; 1945-1950 2

Notes::F Also Father of the House (not necessarily contemporaneous with seniority):1 Died in office:2 Retired

Longest-lived ex-MP

The longest-lived former-MP was Theodore Cooke Taylor, member for Radcliffe cum Farnworth between 1900 and 1918, who lived to be 102.p186] Other ex-MPs who have reached their centenary are Manny Shinwell, Bert Hazell, Hartley Shawcross, and Edgar Granville.

The longest-lived woman MP was Norah Runge who died aged 93 in 1978.

Period of service


"see also: Father of the House"

Francis Knollys (also the oldest ever MP) was first elected as MP for Oxford in 1575 at the age of around 25 and was MP for Reading at the time of his death in 1648, a period of 73 years. p186] The longest span of service of an MP during the 20th century was Winston Churchill who was first elected on October 1 1900 and left the House of Commons on September 25 1964, a period of 63 years 360 days. His service was not continuous as he was not an MP for a spell in 1908 and between 1922 and 1924.

Charles Pelham Villiers is the longest continuously-serving MP. He was elected in 1835 and remained an MP continuously for over 62 years until his death on January 16 1898, aged 96 years 13 days.

The current (2008) MP with the longest continuous service, at nearly 44 years, in the House of Commons is the current Father of the House Alan Williams, Labour MP for Swansea West, who was first elected in the 1964 general election.

The longest continuous service and longest total service records for a female MP were held by Gwyneth Dunwoody, at over 34 years and 38 years respectively. The longest span of service for a woman was 42 years and 4 months for Irene Ward, first elected in 1931 and an MP until 1974 although she did not hold a seat between 1945 and 1950.


There are cases of MPs being elected posthumously; Edward Legge (1710-47) was elected unopposed as MP for Portsmouth on December 15 1747 until news arrived that he had died 87 days previously in the West Indies. In 1780 John Kirkman was elected as MP for the City of London despite passing away before polls closed.p186]

In more recent times, members have died after polling, but before the declaration of the results. In 1906, Thomas Higgins was declared elected for the seat of North Galway, even though he had died earlier that morning, after polling day. More recently, in 1945 Sir Edward Taswell Campbell at Bromley and Leslie Pym at Monmouth died after polling, but nine days before the declaration of the results. Both were declared elected posthumously, and both had been MPs for a number of years. Noel Skelton is another example in 1935.

The shortest non-posthumous service was that of Alfred Dobbs, who was declared elected MP for Smethwick on July 26 1945 and was killed the following day in a motorcycle accident on the way to take his seat.

hortest total service since 1900

For a comprehensive list of MPs since 1900 with less than 365 days total serviceSee
*List of United Kingdom MPs with the shortest service

Members who never took their seats

*Conor Murphy, 2005-
*Michelle Gildernew, 2001-
*Pat Doherty, 2001-
*Martin McGuinness, 1997-
*Gerry Adams, 1983-92, 1997-
*Owen Carron, 1981-83
*Bobby Sands, 1981
*Philip Clarke, 1955
*Tom Mitchell, 1955
*Alfred Dobbs, 1945
*Joseph Bell, 1922
*Harry Wrightson, 1918-19
*69 Sinn Fein Members elected at the 1918 General Election
*Thomas Higgins, 1906
*Henry Compton, 1905-6
*Joseph Andrews, 1905-6

MPs who never won an election

On rare occasions the election winner may be disqualified, either by an election court or by the House of Commons, and the seat awarded to the runner-up. :Malcolm St. Clair: Bristol South-East, 1961-63:Charles Beattie: Mid-Ulster, 1955-56

MPs who have sat for three or more different constituencies

In modern times, it is unusual for an MP to represent more than one or two constituencies during their career, although prior to the 20th century it was quite common. MPs whose seats were altered purely by boundary changes are not listed.:Michael Ancram: Berwick and East Lothian 1; Edinburgh South 1; Devizes:Kenneth Baker: Acton 1; St. Marylebone 2; Mole Valley:William Clark: Nottingham South 1; East Surrey 4; Croydon South:Roy Jenkins: Southwark Central 2; Birmingham Stechford 3; Glasgow Hillhead:Fergus Montgomery: Newcastle East 1; Brierley Hill 2; Altrincham and Sale:Geoffrey de Freitas: Nottingham Central 4; Lincoln 3; Kettering:Arthur Palmer: Wimbledon 1; Cleveland 1; Bristol Central:Frank Markham: Chatham 5; Nottingham South 1; Buckingham:Geoffrey Lloyd: Birmingham Ladywood 1; Birmingham King's Norton 2; Sutton Coldfield:Ray Gunter: South-East Essex 2; Doncaster 1; Southwark:Frank Soskice: Birkenhead East 2; Sheffield Neepsend 2; Newport:Charles Simmons: Birmingham Erdington1; Birmingham West 2; Brierley Hill:Charles MacAndrew: Kilmarnock 1; Glasgow Partick 4; Bute and North Ayrshire:Richard Kidston Law: Hull South West 1; Kensington South 2; Haltemprice:Hyacinth Morgan: Camberwell North West 5; Rochdale 4; Warrington:Roger Conant: Chesterfield 1; Bewdley 2; Rutland and Stamford:Ralph Assheton: Rushcliffe 1; City of London 2; Blackburn West:John Wilmot: Fulham East 1; Kennington 4; Deptford:Austin Hudson: Islington East 1; Hackney North 1; Lewisham North:Joseph Braithwaite: Hillsborough 1; Holderness 2; Bristol North West:Walter Elliot: Lanark1; Kelvingrove1; Combined Scottish Universities 2; Kelvingrove:Walter Ayles: Bristol North1; Southall 4; Hayes and Harlington:William Jowitt: Hartlepool 1; Preston 4; Ashton-under-Lyne:Charles Lyle: Stratford 1; Epping 5; Bournemouth:Arthur Henderson: Barnard Castle 4; Widnes 1; Newcastle East 1; Burnley 1; Clay Cross:Ramsay MacDonald: Leicester 2; Aberavon 4; Seaham 1; Combined Scottish Universities:Wilfred Paling: Doncaster 1; Wentworth 2; Dearne Valley:Winston Churchill Oldham4; Manchester North West1; Dundee1; Epping/Woodford5

Notes::1 defeated:2 seat abolished:3 resigned:4 sought another constituency:5 retired

MPs who have made more than one comeback

In modern times, it is unusual for an MP who has been defeated (or retired e.g. due to their seat being abolished) to achieve more than one comeback to the House of Commons after a period of absence. Arthur Henderson was exceptional in achieving it on no fewer than four occasions.:William McCrea: 2000 b, 2005:Michael Ancram: 1979, 1992:Tony Benn: 1963 b, 1984 b:Fergus Montgomery: 1967 b, October 1974:Arthur Palmer: 1952 b, 1964:Alec Douglas-Home: 1950, 1963 b:Frank Soskice: 1950 b, 1956 b:Frank Markham: 1935, 1951:Cahir Healy: 1931 b, 1950:Austin Hudson: 1924, 1950:Walter Elliot: 1924, 1946 b:Walter Ayles: 1929, 1945:Somerville Hastings: 1929, 1945:Ian Fraser: 1931, 1940 b:Cuthbert Headlam: 1931, 1940 b:Charles Lyle: 1923, 1940 b:George Isaacs: 1929, 1939 b:William Jowitt: 1929, 1939 b:Ramsay MacDonald: 1922, 1936 b:James Chuter Ede: 1929, 1935:Robert Richards: 1929, 1935:Arthur Henderson, Jr.: 1929, 1935:Manny Shinwell: 1928 b, 1935:Arthur Henderson, Sr.: 1919 b, 1923 b, 1924 b, 1933 b:Tom Smith: 1929, 1933 b:Frank Sanderson: 1924, 1931:Winston Churchill: 1908 b, 1924Notes::b indicates a by-election


The first woman elected to the House of Commons was Constance Markievicz who was elected on December 14 1918 to the constituency of Dublin St Patrick's, but she refused to take her seat as she was a member of Sinn Fein.

The first woman to take her seat as an MP was Nancy Astor, elected November 28 1919. [cite web|url=|title=Women in the House of Commons|publisher=UK Parliament]

Physical attributes

The heaviest MP of all time is believed to be Sir Cyril Smith, MP for Rochdale between 1972 and 1992, who weighed 189.6 kg at his peak in 1976.

The tallest MP of all time is believed to be Louis Gluckstein, MP for Nottingham East between 1931 and 1945, who measured 2.02m (6' 7.5").

Members of Parliament who died on wartime active service

econd World War

*1945: Commander Rupert Brabner was killed in a plane crash near the Azores, while leading a delegation to Canada.
*1945: Lieutenant Robert Bernays was killed in a plane crash in Italy during a fact-finding mission.
*1945: Mr. John Dermot Campbell was killed in a plane crash in Italy during a fact-finding mission.
*1944: Colonel John Macnamara was killed in action fighting in Italy.
*1944: Captain George Charles Grey was killed in action fighting in Normandy, France.
*1944: Colonel Frank Heilgers was killed in a train crash in Ilford.
*1943: Captain Stuart Russell died of fever on active service in Egypt.
*1943: Captain Hubert Duggan died of tuberculosis contracted on active service. a
*1943: Colonel Victor Cazalet was killed in a plane crash in Gibraltar while escorting General Sikorski.
*1943: Brigadier John Whiteley was killed in a plane crash in Gibraltar while escorting General Sikorski.
*1943: Colonel Edward Orlando Kellett was killed in action fighting in North Africa.
*1942: Colonel Somerset Maxwell died of wounds received at the Battle of El Alamein.
*1942: Major Lord Apsley was killed in action in a plane crash in the Middle-East.
*1942: Colonel James Despencer-Robertson died suddenly, apparently from overwork as military secretary at Southern Command Headquarters. b
*1942: Private Patrick Munro died while taking part in an exercise for the Home Guard at Westminster.

*1941: Lieutenant Dudley Joel was killed in action while serving with the Royal Navy.
*1940: Flight-Lieutenant John Rathbone was killed in action on bombing operations over Germany.
*1940: Colonel James Baldwin-Webb drowned when the SS City of Benares was torpedoed.
*1940: Lieutenant Peter Eckersley was killed in action in a plane crash while serving with the Fleet Air Arm.
*1940: Pilot Officer Sir Arnold Wilson was killed in action over northern France while a gunner in Bomber Command.
*1940: Major Ronald Cartland was killed in action during the retreat to Dunkirk.
*1940: Captain Richard Porritt was killed in action fighting in Belgium.
*1939: Lieutenant-Colonel Anthony Muirhead committed suicide owing to his fear that a leg-injury might prevent his service in the War. b

:Notes: The above list is of all those members either mentioned as having died on War Service in a written Commons answer from Prime Minister Winston Churchill on 19 January 1945, or who appear in the "House of Commons Book of Remembrance" unveiled in 1949.

:a Mentioned in the written Commons answer, but does not appear in the "House of Commons Book of Remembrance".:b Not mentioned in the written Commons answer, but does appear in the "House of Commons Book of Remembrance".

First World War

* Captain the Hon Thomas Agar-Robartes
* Lieutenant-Colonel Guy Victor Baring
* Major Francis Bennett-Goldney
* Lieutenant-Colonel Duncan Frederick Campbell, DSO
* Captain Harold Thomas Cawley
* Captain the Hon Oswald Cawley
* Lieutenant-Colonel Percy Clive
* Lieutenant-Colonel Lord Ninian Crichton-Stuart
* Captain John Joseph Esmonde
* Major Valentine Fleming, DSO
* Lieutenant William Glynne Charles Gladstone
* Major Philip Glazebrook, DSO
* Lieutenant Thomas Michael Kettle
* Major the Hon Charles Henry Lyell
* Lieutenant the Hon Francis Walter Stafford McLaren
* Lieutenant the Hon Charles Thomas Mills
* Captain the Hon Arthur O’Neill
* Captain the Rt Hon Neil Archibald, PC, MP
* Lieutenant and Adjutant The Viscount Quenington (Michael Hugh Hicks-Beach)
* Major William Hoey Kearney Redmond, Legion of Honour
* Lieutenant-Colonel Lord Alexander Thynne, DSO & Croix de Guerre
* Lieutenant the Hon William Lionel Charles Walrond


ee also

*Parliamentary records of the United Kingdom
*UK general election records
*UK by-election records
*Records of Prime Ministers of the United Kingdom

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