Cockermouth was the name of
a constituency of the
Commons of the Parliament
of England in 1295, and again from 1641, then of the Parliament of Great Britain from
1707 to 1800 and of the Parliament of the United
Kingdom from 1801 to 1918.
It was a parliamentary borough
two Members of Parliament
1868, and by one member from 1868 to 1885. The name was then
transferred to a county
electing one MP from 1885 until 1918.
The borough constituency (until 1885)
Great Reform Act of 1832, the
constituency consisted solely of the market town of Cockermouth in Cumberland.
It first returned members to the Model Parliament
of 1295, but its franchise
then seems to have lapsed until 1641, when the Long Parliament
passed a resolution
to restore its ancient privileges.
The right of election in Cockermouth was vested in the burgage
tenants of the borough, of whom there were
about 300 in 1832. Cockermouth was considered a pocket borough
, with the vast majority of the
voters being under the influence of the Lowther
At the time of the 1831 census, the borough included just over
1,000 houses and had a population of 4,536. The Reform Act
expanded the boundaries to bring in the neighbouring parishes of
Eaglesfield, Brigham, Papcastle and Bridekirk, and part of Dovenby, increasing
the population to 6,022 and encompassing 1,325 houses.
made the borough big enough to retain both its members. However, in
the next wave of reform, introduced at the 1868 general election
, one of
Cockermouth's two seats was withdrawn, and in 1885
the borough was abolished
altogether, although the name was transferred to the surrounding
The county constituency (1885-1918)
Cockermouth constituency created in 1885, strictly speaking
The Cockermouth Division of Cumberland,
was a compact division stretching westwards from Cockermouth to the
sea, and including the much larger town of Workington.
There was a significant Irish vote, and the
Conservative victory in 1885
and subsequent Liberal gain
of the seat in 1886
been attributed to Parnell's
shift of support from the one party to the other.
constituency was divided between the new Workington and Penrith and
Cockermouth divisions of Cumberland from 1918.
Members of Parliament
Cockermouth Division of Cumberland
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England and Wales" (New Haven: Yale University Press, 1965)
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1847" (2nd edition, edited by FWS Craig - Chichester: Parliamentary
Reference Publications, 1973)
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of England, Vol II" (London: Royal Historical Society,
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