1431 voters



In the by-election of Apr 1769, 1431 people voted. There were 3 candidates, with Henry Lawes Luttrell elected.

Poll book data from:
Holding: London Metropolitan Archives
Citation: MR/PP/1768/001
Source: London Electoral History 1700–1850.

Timeline & Key Statistics

Contexts & Remarks

Transcription completed by the London Electoral History 1700-1850 project, undertaken by Penelope J. Corfield, Edmund M. Green, and Charles Harvey.

Date of the closure of the poll: 13 April 1769

Poll book reference: London Metropolitan Archives, MR/PP/1768/001.

Candidates: John Wilkes (Radical), Henry Lawes Luttrell (Tory), and William Whitaker (Whig).

In 1769, Wilkes had been re-elected twice before the April election. In both February and March, he had been expelled from the House of Commons and been consistently re-elected by Middlesex voters in the ensuing by-elections. The Annual Register reported, 'His popularity increased in proportion to his difficulties and his persecution, as it was termed and generally understood, raised him new friends in every quarter'. 

After being declared incapable of re-election, Wilkes campaigned, arguing, 'The question is, whether the people have an inherent right to be represented in Parliament by the man of their free choice, not disqualified by the law of the land ... This contest has now become of the most interesting nature. It is between the present Administration and all the electors of Great Britain'.

Henry Lawes Luttrell of Painshill, Surrey was an Irish army officer who was supported by the Government against Wilkes. Despite a lack of property in Middlesex, he offered to stand for the county if the Government supported him and ensured his return on petition.

William Whitaker was a lawyer who supported the Rockinghamite Whigs.

Whitaker polled 5, Luttrell 296, and Wilkes 1,143. Despite Wilkes' clear majority, Luttrell was returned as Knight of the Shire for Middlesex.

Cultural Artefacts

Poll Book

Below is a digitised version of the poll book for this election: