From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
|Former Borough constituency|
for the House of Commons
|Number of members||1832–1868: Two|
|Replaced by||Birmingham Bordesley, Birmingham Central, Birmingham East, Birmingham Edgbaston, Birmingham North, Birmingham South and Birmingham West|
Birmingham was a parliamentary constituency of the House of Commons of the Parliament of the United Kingdom for the city of Birmingham, in what is now the West Midlands Metropolitan County, but at the time was Warwickshire.
The 1832 Reform Act introduced a uniform borough franchise on top of ancient franchise rights in existing Parliamentary boroughs: (see the Unreformed House of Commons for a list of the different franchises in each borough). As new boroughs, like Birmingham, had no ancient franchise holders only the new franchise rules applied to them. Seymour explains that:-
Only one class of new rights was created by the act of 1832. This was the £10 occupation qualification. According to the act, the franchise was granted to all male persons who for a year before registration had occupied as owner or tenants "any house, warehouse, country house, shop or other building, either separately or jointly with any land" of a clear yearly value of £10. The land must be within the electoral limits of the borough; and in order to qualify, the occupier must have been rated in respect of such premises, to all rates for the relief of the poor; and he must have paid at the time of registration all rates and taxes due from him the preceding April.
This occupation franchise was the characteristic of the borough franchise after 1832. As ownership furnished the ordinary qualification for franchise in the counties, so in the boroughs, occupation, actual or constructive, was the basis of the suffrage. While however, in the counties no provision was made for ascertaining the true value or bona fide rent which was to qualify for the franchise; in the boroughs, assessment to the taxes was embodied with the condition of value, and actual payment was super-added. There was another difference between the character of the county and borough franchises, as determined by the Reform Act. In the latter no claimant could be registered as a voter if he had received parochial relief within the past twelve months; in the counties, no disqualification was attached to the receipt of poor-relief. ...
From 1832 to 1868 the constituency returned two members, but the Representation of the People Act 1867 conferred a third seat from the 1868 United Kingdom general election. However the 1867 Act also introduced the limited vote restricting electors in three member constituencies to casting a maximum of two votes.
A way in which the limited vote system may fail to achieve its end of minority representation, is if the largest party is very well organised and is able to arrange the distribution of its supporters vote for maximum advantage. Charles Seymour explained the reaction of the Liberals of Birmingham after the limited vote was enacted.
The Liberals of Birmingham realized that if they were to retain the third seat, their vote must be divided economically between the three candidates. To prevent waste of votes, an organization must be built up which could control absolutely the choice of the elector; and each elector must vote invariably as he was told. The success of the Birmingham organization, which soon became known as the Caucus was unbroken and no Conservative candidate was returned. It was copied in many other constituencies and inaugurated a new era in the development of party electoral machinery, the effect of which upon the representative system has been profound.
The area was split into seven single-member constituencies in 1885; Birmingham Bordesley, Birmingham Central, Birmingham East, Birmingham Edgbaston, Birmingham North, Birmingham South and Birmingham West.
- Constituency created (1832)
|Year||First member||First party||Second member||Second party|
|1832||Thomas Attwood||Radical||Joshua Scholefield||Radical|
- Third member added (1868)
|Year||First member||First party||Second member||Second party||Third member||Third party|
|1868||George Dixon||Liberal||Philip Henry Muntz||Liberal||John Bright||Liberal|
- Constituency abolished (1885)
Note: When the exact number of electors voting is unknown, turnout is estimated on the basis of dividing votes cast by two. To the extent that electors did not use both their possible votes, turnout will be underestimated.
|Radical win (new seat)|
|Radical win (new seat)|
- Resignation of Attwood by accepting the office of Steward of the Chiltern Hundreds
- Death of Scholefield
|Conservative gain from Radical||Swing||+23.8|
- Note (1847): 5,110 electors voted. Scholefield was classified (for this election) as a Radical, as was Allen. (Source: Stooks Smith)
- Death of Muntz.
|Conservative||Thomas Dyke Acland||1,544||15.1||N/A|
|Turnout||5,898 (est)||64.0 (est)||N/A|
- 'Death of Scholefield
|Liberal||Philip Henry Muntz||14,614||24.3||N/A|
|Turnout||22,685 (est)||54.0 (est)||N/A|
|Liberal win (new seat)|
- Appointment of Bright as President of the Board of Trade
- Appointment of Bright as Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster
|Liberal||Philip Henry Muntz||Unopposed|
- Resignation of Dixon
|Liberal||Philip Henry Muntz||22,969||24.3||N/A|
- Appointment of Bright as Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and Chamberlain as President of the Board of Trade
- Constituency abolished 1885
- Mosse, Richard B. (1838). The Parliamentary Guide: a concise history of the Members of both Houses, etc. p. 239. Retrieved 10 April 2018 – via Google Books.
- "Political Reform: Constituencies: Birmingham". The History of Parliament. Retrieved 10 April 2018.
- Moss, David (1990). Thomas Attwood: The Biography of a Radical (Illustrated ed.). McGill-Queen's Press. ISBN 9780773507081. Retrieved 10 April 2018 – via Google Books.
- "Thomas Attwood, 1783-1856". The History of Economic Thought. Retrieved 10 April 2018.
- Stephens, W. B., ed. (1964). "Political and Administrative History: Political History to 1832". A History of the County of Warwick: Volume 7, the City of Birmingham. London: Victoria County History. pp. 270–297. Retrieved 10 April 2018.
- Davis, R. W. (2004). "Scholefield, Joshua (1774/5–1844)". Oxford Dictionary of National Biography (online ed.). Oxford University Press. doi:10.1093/ref:odnb/24814. (Subscription or UK public library membership required.)
- Urban, Sylvanus (1844). The Gentleman's Magazine: Volume XXII. 1844: John Bowyer Nichols and Son. p. 431. Retrieved 10 April 2018.CS1 maint: location (link)
- Burke, Edmund (1842). The Annual Register of World Events: A Review of the Year, Volume 83. Longmans, Green. p. 65. Retrieved 10 April 2018 – via Google Books.
- Upton, Chris (14 March 2014). "Muntz family distinguished themselves in industry and politics". Birmingham Post. Retrieved 10 April 2018.
- Timmins, Samuel (2004). "Muntz, George Frederick". Oxford Dictionary of National Biography (online ed.). Oxford University Press. doi:10.1093/ref:odnb/19551. (Subscription or UK public library membership required.)
- Timmins, Samuel (2004). "Scholefield, William". Oxford Dictionary of National Biography (online ed.). Oxford University Press. doi:10.1093/ref:odnb/24815. (Subscription or UK public library membership required.)
- Craig, F. W. S., ed. (1977). British Parliamentary Election Results 1832-1885 (e-book) (1st ed.). London: Macmillan Press. pp. 47–48. ISBN 978-1-349-02349-3.
- Stooks Smith, Henry (1845). The Parliaments of England, from 1st George I., to the Present Time. Vol II: Oxfordshire to Wales Inclusive. London: Simpkin, Marshall, & Co. p. 97. Retrieved 27 October 2018 – via Google Books.
- "Birmingham". Birmingham Daily Gazette. 5 November 1868. p. 5. Retrieved 28 January 2018 – via British Newspaper Archive.
- British Parliamentary Election Results 1832–1885, compiled and edited by F.W.S. Craig (Macmillan Press 1977)
- Electoral Reform in England and Wales, by Charles Seymour (David & Charles Reprints 1970) originally published in 1915, so out of copyright
- The Parliaments of England by Henry Stooks Smith (1st edition published in three volumes 1844–50), second edition edited (in one volume) by F.W.S. Craig (Political Reference Publications 1973) originally published in 1844–50, so out of copyright
- Who's Who of British Members of Parliament: Volume I 1832–1885, edited by M. Stenton (The Harvester Press 1976)
- Leigh Rayment's Historical List of MPs – Constituencies beginning with "B" (part 3)
Text is available under the CC BY-SA 4.0 license; additional terms may apply.
Images, videos and audio are available under their respective licenses.