The 1768 British general election returned members to serve in the House of Commons of the 13th Parliament of Great Britain to be held, after the merger of the Parliament of England and the Parliament of Scotland in 1707.
The election saw the emergence of a new political leadership in parliament, with the dominant figures of the previous parliament; the Earl of Bute, the Earl of Chatham, and the Duke of Newcastle all retiring from political life for various reasons. The new administration centred on the First Lord of the Treasury; the Duke of Grafton, and his leader in the commons; Lord North.
The election also took place during a lull in political conflict, with there being a lack of any real political debate over policy or principle between the main parties. The two opposition parties; the Rockingham Whigs and the Grenvillites, owed their origins to the time when their respective leaders had been in office.
Potentially the most important part of the election was the election of the radical John Wilkes for Middlesex. Wilkes election triggered a major political crisis, and marked the beginning of political radicalism in Britain.
All 558 seats in the House of Commons
280 seats needed for a majority
See British general election, 1796 for details. The constituencies used were the same throughout the existence of the Parliament of Great Britain.
The general election was held between 16 March 1768 and 6 May 1768.
At this period elections did not take place at the same time in every constituency. The returning officer in each county or parliamentary borough fixed the precise date (see hustings for details of the conduct of the elections).
Andrew Wilkinson (1697–1784), of Boroughbridge, Yorkshire, was a British estate manager and Whig politician who sat in the House of Commons for 35 years between 1735 and 1772.
Wilkinson was the son of Charles Wilkinson of Boroughbridge and his wife Deborah Cholmley, daughter of Richard Cholmley of Bramham, Yorkshire.He was admitted at Clare College, Cambridge on 2 July 1715 and at the Middle Temple on 8 July 1719. He married Barbara Jessop, daughter of William Jessop of Broom Hall near Sheffield on 2 September 1723.Wilkinson's father was the Yorkshire estate agent of successive Dukes of Newcastle, and from 1718 was the receiver-general of the land tax for Yorkshire, Northumberland and Durham until he resigned in 1727. Wilkinson then became receiver of the land tax for West Rising. Shortly afterwards it was discovered that Wilkinson's father was in debt to the Government for over £30,000 and consequently spent the rest of his life as a crown debtor in Newgate prison. Wilkinson's own position as receiver was in jeopardy until his father-in-law Jessop offered to stand surety for him.Wilkinson was invited to stand for parliament at Boroughbridge at the 1734 British general election, but the Duke of Newcastle advised him to wait until Aldborough became available. When his father-in-law WIlliam Jessop died in 1735, Wilkinson gave up his post as receiver and was returned as Member of Parliament for Aldborough at a by-election on 19 February 1735. He was returned unopposed as MP for Aldborough at the 1741 British general election and was awarded the post of Clerk of Deliveries in the Ordnance in May 1741. In 1746 he was promoted to Storekeeper of the Ordnance and was re-elected to parliament on the consequential parliament on 23 April 1746. He was returned unopposed again at the 1747 British general election.Wilkinson continued to act as Newcastle's estate agent and electoral manager for Yorkshire and was returned unopposed again for Aldborough in 1754 and 1761. However, he voted against the Government on the peace preliminaries in December 1762 and as a result was dismissed from his post at the Ordnance. He was restored to the post in September 1765, but had to give up his parliamentary seat and was unable to recontest it because it was required for Viscount Villiers. Wilkinson applied to the Duke of Newcastle to be returned to Parliament again and was returned for Aldborough at the 1768 British general election. He was absent for many votes and resigned his seat in May 1772 by applying for the post of Steward of the Manor of East Hendred.Wilkinson died on 29 March 1784, leaving seven sons. Broom Hall was left to his eldest son, Rev. James Wilkinson. His third son, also named Andrew, became a captain in the Royal Navy.Armstead Parker
Armstead Parker (c.1699–1777) of Burghberry Manor, Peterborough, Northamptonshire was a British Tory politician who sat in the House of Commons between 1734 and 1768.
Parker was the only son of Charles Parker MP for Peterborough, and his wife Katherine Wilson. In 1730 his father died and he succeeded to Burghberry and the electoral interest. He married Elizabeth Rogers, daughter of Francis Rogers, keeper of the wardrobe to James II, on 28 January1738. Parker was returned as Tory Member of Parliament for Peterborough at a by-election on 29 January 1734 on his family interest, and followed it up with successful return in a contest at the 1734 British general election. He voted against the Government. He did not stand at the 1741 British general election but was returned unopposed in succession to William FitzWilliam, 3rd Earl FitzWilliam at a by-election on 3 May 1742. He continued to vote against the Government until 1746, when he supported them on the Hanoverians He did not stand in 1747.Parker was next returned unopposed for Peterborough at the 1761 British general election on his family interest. He appears to have supported both the Bute and Grenville Administrations. Lord Sandwich described him to Grenville as a very independent man and advised he should not be neglected. Parker voted with the Opposition against the repeal of the Stamp Act on 22 February 1766. No other vote by him is recorded, and there is no evidence of his having spoken in Parliament. Before the 1768 British general election he decided not to stand in favour of his son who then withdrew before the poll in return for £1000.Parker died on 5 February 1777 leaving a son and two daughters.Edward Kynaston (1709–1772)
Edward Kynaston (6 October 1709–1772), of Garth and Bryngwyn, Montgomeryshire and Hardwick, Shropshire, was a British landowner and Tory politician who sat in the House of Commons between 1734 and 1772.
Kynaston was the son of John Kynaston, MP, and his second wife Anne Harwood, daughter of Thomas Harwood of Tern. He was educated at Eton College in 1725, and was admitted at St John’s College, Cambridge on 3 January 1726 and at Lincolns Inn on 15 June 1726. He married Victoria Lloyd, daughter of Sir Charles Lloyd, 3rd Baronet, of Garth, Montsuc. In 1733 he inherited the greater part of his father’s personal property at the expense of his half-brother, Corbet Kynaston, whom he succeeded at Bryngwyn and Hardwick in 1740. He also succeeded his father in law at at Garth.At the 1734 British general election Kynaston was returned as a Tory Member of Parliament for Bishops Castle on the interest of John Walcot. He voted with the Opposition. He did not stand at the 1741 British general election but at the 1747 British general election he was brought in for Montgomeryshire by Sir Watkin Williams Wynn. He became a trustee for Wynn’s estate, on his death in 1749. When in 1748 Lord Powis, succeeded to the estates of the Marquess of Powis, which carried significant electoral influence in Montgomeryshire, he did not try to dislodge Kynaston, who was a nephew of Powis’s follower, Thomas Hill. Kynasto was used by both Powis and Hill in negotiations with the Shropshire Tories. Kynaston was Recorder of Welshpool from 1750 to 1762.Kynaston was returned as Tory MP for Montgomeryshire in 1754 and 1761. He acted as teller on the Government side in the division on Dowdeswell’s motion on the cider bill on 31 January 1764. He also helped the Government in election matters, and in trying to get his friends to attend over general warrants. He again acted as teller on 25 January and 27 February 1765. On 9 May 1765 during the crisis over the Regency bill, he seconded Morton’s motion to include the Princess Dowager among those capable of being appointed Regents, although he said nothing at all in support of it. He adhered to the Grenvilles after their dismissal from office. On 18 December he voted for the motion calling for American papers and on 22 February 1766 he voted against the repeal of the Stamp Act. He voted against the Chatham Administration over the land tax on 27 February 1767. He was returned again at the 1768 British general election. He left Grenville and voted with Administration over Wilkes and the Middlesex election on 3 February and 8 May 1769. He hardly ever spoke in debate.Kynaston died without issue on 18 May 1772.Elections in Great Britain
Elections in the Kingdom of Great Britain were principally general elections and by-elections to the House of Commons of Great Britain. General elections did not have fixed dates, as parliament was summoned and dissolved within the royal prerogative, although on the advice of the ministers of the Crown. The first such general election was that of 1708, and the last that of 1796.
In 1801, the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland replaced the Kingdom of Great Britain and the Kingdom of Ireland. For the period after 1801, see Elections in the United Kingdom.John Bristow
John Bristow (25 April 1701 – 14 November 1768), of Mark Lane, London, and Quidenham, Norfolk, was an English merchant, financier and politician who sat in the House of Commons from 1734 to 1768.John White (1699–1769)
John White (2 December 1699 – 7 September, 1769), of Wallingwells, Nottinghamshire, was an English politician who sat in the House of Commons from 1733 to 1768..List of MPs elected in the 1768 British general election
List of MPs elected in the British general election, 1768
This is a list of the 558 MPs or Members of Parliament elected to the 314 constituencies of the Parliament of Great Britain in 1768, the 13th Parliament of Great Britain and their replacements returned at subsequent by-elections, arranged by constituency.List of elections in 1768
The following elections occurred in the year 1768.
British general election, 1768Sir John Rushout, 4th Baronet
Sir John Rushout, 4th Baronet (6 February 1685 – 2 February 1775), of Northwick Park, Worcestershire was a British Whig politician who sat in the House of Commons for 55 years from 1713 to 1768. He was a supporter of Pulteney in opposition to Walpole, and was briefly part of an Administration. He was Father of the House from 1762.Sir John Turner, 3rd Baronet
Sir John Turner, 3rd Baronet (1712–1780), of Warham, Norfolk, was a British lawyer and politician who sat in the House of Commons from 1739 to 1774.
Turner was baptized on 19 June 1712, the only son of Sir John Turner, 2nd Baronet, of Warham and his wife Anne Allen, daughter of Thomas Allen, London merchant. He was educated at. Greenwich school and was admitted at Middle Temple on 20 February 1729 and Christ’s College, Cambridge on 9 January 1730. In 1736 he was called to the bar. He succeeded his father to the baronetcy on 6 January 1739.Turner was returned as Member of Parliament for King's Lynn at a by-election on 9 February 1739 in succession to his uncle, Sir Charles Turner, 1st Baronet. He voted with the Government in every recorded division. He was returned unopposed at the 1741 British general election, and won in a contest at the 1747 British general election.Turner married Miss Stonehouse on 20 October 1746. She died in 1749 and he married again to Frances Neale, daughter of John Neale of Allesley, Warwickshire.Turner was returned unopposed for King’s Lynn again at the 1754 British general election, On 3 May 1757 he voted for Townshend’s motion on the Minorca inquiry in opposition to Newcastle and Fox. At the 1761 British general election, he was again returned unopposed. He made his first recorded speech, on 14 December1761, to second Lord Strange’s bill to make the militia permanent. He followed Bute, and in May 1762 was appointed Lord of Treasury when Bute became its first lord. He remained in office under Grenville, and supported the Administration over Wilkes and general warrants, but apparently took no part in the debates. When the Rockingham Administration took over, Turner lost his place in July 1765 and for a while continued to adhere to Grenville. He voted against the repeal of the Stamp Act. He became a bencher on his Inn in 1766. At the 1768 British general election there was a contest at King’s Lynn, and Turner narrowly escaped defeat. He had become unpopular both on personal grounds and because of his attitude on general warrants. He seems to have lost interest in politics, and his only known vote in that Parliament was with Administration over the Middlesex election on 8 May 1769. His interest at King’s Lynn had been seriously weakened, and he decided not to contest the borough at the 1774 British general electionTurner died 25 June 1780, leaving two daughters, and was buried at Warham. On his death the baronetcy became extinct.William Mayne, 1st Baron Newhaven
William Mayne, 1st Baron Newhaven PC (1722 – 28 May 1794), known as Sir William Mayne, Bt, between 1763 and 1776, was a British merchant and politician who sat in the House of Commons from 1774 to 1790.William Rawlinson Earle
William Rawlinson Earle (7 April 1702 - 10 August 1774), of Eastcourt House, Crudwell, near Malmesbury, Wiltshire, was a British politician who sat in the House of Commons for 40 years between 1727 and 1768.
Earle was the eldest son of Giles Earle and his wife Elizabeth Rawlinson, daughter of Sir William Rawlinson of Hendon House, Middlesex and widow of John Lowther of Lowther, Westmorland. He married, with £20,000, Susannah White, daughter of William White of Somerford, Wiltshire on 4 January 1731.Earle was returned unopposed as Member of Parliament for Malmesbury together with his father at the 1727 British general election. He was a strong government supporter, and was appointed Clerk of deliveries to the Ordnance in 1732. He was returned unopposed again with his father at the 1734 general election and was promoted to Clerk of the Ordnance in 1740. At the 1741 British general election he was returned unopposed again with his father for Malmesbury and after the fall of Walpole in 1742 managed to hold onto his post at the ordnance for the rest of his life. At the 1747 British general election he and his father were defeated at Malmesbury but he also stood as a ministerial candidate for Cricklade where he was returned unopposed as MP and continued to support the Administration.Earle was returned unopposed as MP for Cricklade at the 1754 British general election but was defeated after an expensive contest at the 1761 British general election. He had succeeded his father in 1758. He was found a seat at Newport, Isle of Wight, at a by-election on 7 April 1762. He was active in Parliament but apparently inconsistent in his allegiances. He did not stand at the 1768 British general election and resigned from the Ordnance in 1772.Earle died on 10 August 1774 leaving a son and three daughters.William Stanhope (1702–1772)
Hon. Sir William Stanhope (1702–72), of Eythrope, Buckinghamshire, was an English landowner and opposition Whig politician, who sat in the House of Commons for 35 years between 1727 and 1768. Afflicted with deafness and ill-health, he travelled frequently and was often absent from Parliament.