Double Member County

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

Number of voters:

about 800


22 Apr. 1754Thomas Noel277
 Brownlow Cecil, Lord Burghley269
 Edward Finch106
18 Dec. 1754George Bridges Brudenell vice Burghley, called to the Upper House 
9 Apr. 1761Thomas Noel366
 Thomas Chambers Cecil324
 Charles Tryon234
30 Mar. 1768Thomas Noel 
 George Bridges Brudenell 
20 Oct. 1774Thomas Noel 
 George Bridges Brudenell 
20 Sept. 1780Thomas Noel 
 George Bridges Brudenell 
20 Apr. 1784Thomas Noel 
 George Bridges Brudenell 
15 July 1788Gerard Noel Edwards vice Noel, deceased 

Main Article

Three families dominated Rutland politics: the Cecils, Earls of Exeter; the Noels, Earls of Gainsborough; and the Finches, Earls of Winchilsea.

In 1754 and 1761 Exeter and Gainsborough joined together to keep out Winchilsea’s candidate. In 1761 both sides angled for the support of Sir Gilbert Heathcote, the one commoner in Rutland of sufficient property to challenge the peers, but Heathcote would not commit himself and had not ambition or energy to push his own interest. In 1768, 1774, 1780 and 1784 one Exeter and one Gainsborough candidate were returned without opposition.

Author: John Brooke