Penkridge Parliamentary History, 1867 to 1884

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Elections held under the Second Reform Act, 1867


Lord John Russell’s government fell when the Liberals split over further parliamentary reform.  Benjamin Disraeli, Chancellor of the Exchequer in Lord Derby’s Conservative government introduced the 1867 Reform Act which gave the vote to all male householders, thus enfranchising the working class. Staffordshire was split into 3 divisions: Northern, Western and Eastern. Penkridge was in the Western Division.



General election called by Conservatives to get a majority. The old Liberal stronghold of South Staffordshire had, curiously, been split between the Eastern and Western Divisions.


Western Division of Staffordshire: Abbotts Bromley, Bilston, Brewood, Cannock, Eccleshall, Gnosall, Kingswinford, Kinver, Penkridge, Penn, Rowley Regis, Rugeley, Sedgeley, Stone, Stafford, Tettenhall, Wednesfield, Weston upon Trent and Wolverhampton.


Henry Foley and William Foster decided to fight the Western Division. The Conservatives, invigorated by the addition of northern areas, fielded Hugo Meynell-Ingram and Smith Child. Both sides addressed a public meeting of ironmasters.


Election Day, Tuesday 24th November, 1868


Smith Child Esq.       (C)       3909

Meynall-Ingram        (C)       3773

Foster                         (L)       3295

Foley                           (L)       3244


An unexpectedly large win for the Conservatives. A large number of Liberals who had promised to vote did not do so. In East Staffordshire the Liberals won easily, so Foster and Foley had made a mistake.




A by-election caused by the death of Meynell-Ingram.


Nomination Day, 13th June, 1871


Francis Monckton  (C) returned unopposed

Francis Monckton, b. 1844, eldest son of late Gen. Henry Monckton of Stretton Hall. Educated at Eton and Oxford. Inherited estates of Stretton and Somerford from his uncle, George Monckton.





I feel unable to undertake the fatigue of another contested election in such a widely extended constituency {Smith Child]



Nomination Day, February 10th, 1874


Francis Monckton  (C)

Alexander  Stavely Hill QC (C)

returned unopposed

Alexander  Stavely Hill, of Oxley Manor, previously MP for Coventry.





Stafford Advertiser notices an extraordinary amount of party enthusiasm and expects a high turnout. “The country appears to have made its mind up on a change of government”. The Liberals attacked the supposedly immoral foreign policy of the Disraeli government and secured one of their largest ever majorities in the election, leaving the Conservatives a distant second – but not in western Staffs.


Election, April 9th, 1880


Alex Stavely Hill  (Con)                    4,123

Francis Monckton (Con)                   3,967

Sir William Reynall Anson (Lib)            3,564

James Hall Renton (Lib)                       3,344


Both the Liberal candidates were harmed by being “outsiders”. Lord Lichfield disowned candidature of his near relative. Both parties held their Penkridge meetings at the Littleton Arms. The Hon. E.G. Littleton and the Hon. Rev. C. Littleton supported the Liberal candidates