Double Member Borough

Published in The History of Parliament: the House of Commons 1754-1790, ed. L. Namier, J. Brooke., 1964
Available from Boydell and Brewer

Background Information

Right of Election:

in the freeholders

Number of voters:

about 200


16 Apr. 1754Charles Yorke
 Charles Cocks
8 Dec. 1756Yorke re-elected after appointment to office
24 June 1758Cocks re-elected after appointment to office
27 Mar. 1761Charles Yorke
 Charles Cocks
1 Feb. 1762Yorke re-elected after appointment to office
23 Dec. 1765Yorke re-elected after appointment to office
16 Mar. 1768John Yorke
 Charles Cocks
4 Dec. 1772Cocks re-elected after appointment to office
10 Oct. 1774John Yorke
 Sir Charles Cocks
11 Sept. 1780John Yorke
 Sir Charles Cocks
31 Mar. 1784William Bellingham
 Edward Leeds
4 June 1787Reginald Pole Carew vice Leeds, vacated his seat
18 Aug. 1789Samuel Hood, Baron Hood, vice Bellingham, appointed to office

Main Article

The Yorke and Cocks families between them owned most of the freeholds in the borough, and each recommended to one seat. Though there was a good deal of rivalry and jealousy between their respective agents, there was a gentleman’s agreement ‘that each shall continue to bring in one Member for Reigate without contest or dispute from the other’;1 and there was no serious dispute or attempt at outside interference during this period.

Author: John Brooke


  • 1. Philip Yorke to Ld. Sommers, 10 Apr. 1786, Add. 35641, f. 128.