The windswept and ruined abbey of Old Sarum in Wiltshire was the most notorious rotten borough in Britain. It was the property of the famous Pitt family from the mid-17th century until 1802.

William Pitt the Elder was MP for Old Sarum along with Robert Nedham (1735–1741), Sir George Lyttelton, Bt (1741–1742),
James Grenville (1742 – 1747), and Edward Willes (May–July 1747). The rotton little borough had three houses, seven voters and three MPs.

The 1801 Census of Manchester put its population at 70,409; it had no Parliamentary representation, and neither did Birmingham with a population of 84,711.

In 1802 the Pitt family sold Old Sarum for £60,000, (being a Member of Parliament was a lucrative business even then) the land and manorial rights were worth only £700 a year.

The term ‘rotten borough’ came into use in the 18th century; it meant a parliamentary borough with a tiny electorate that could be controlled by a single landlord. The rotten boroughs were swept away in with the passing of The Parliamentary Boundaries Act in 1832.

The following 56 Parliamentary Boroughs, in England, were entirely disenfranchised by the Act. They had all returned two members except for Higham Ferrers, which was a single member constituency. The voters in these boroughs were then able to participate in County elections.

  • Aldborough, North Riding of Yorkshire, was mentioned in the Domesday Book as Burgh (Old English burh ‘ancient fortification’). By 1145 the prefix ald (old) had been added. The town lost much of its importance when the river crossing was moved to Boroughbridge in Norman times. In the Middle Ages it was made a Parliamentary Borough, and returned two Members of Parliament (MPs) until the seat was abolished in the Great Reform Act of 1832.
  • Aldeburgh, Suffolk, was a Parliamentary Borough from 1571, and returned two Members of Parliament, the right to vote being vested in the town’s freemen.
  • Amersham, Buckinghamshire, Amersham sent two MPs to the unreformed House of Commons from 1625.
  • Appleby, Westmorland, was a parliamentary borough, electing two Members of Parliament, from medieval times. William Pitt the Younger, who was MP for Appleby when he became Prime Minister in 1783 (He stood down at the following general election when he was instead elected for Cambridge University).
  • Beeralston, Devon, had the youngest ever MP. Prior to the Acts of Union, the youngest known person to have sat in the House of Commons of England was Christopher Monck, elected MP for Devon in 1667, “probably without a contest”, at the age of 13. He sat in the House for three years, before being elevated to the House of Lords upon his father’s death. He is said to have been “moderately active during his short period of membership, sitting on seven committees”.
  • Bishop’s Castle, Shropshire. From 1584 to 1832 it was its own parliamentary borough with two MPs.Local landowners, including Robert Clive (Clive of India) expended large sums of cash buying votes, a common practice at the time in some areas to ensure a seat in Parliament. In 1726 one unsuccessful parliamentary candidate was subsequently able to prove that of the 52 people voting for his rival, the incumbent MP, 51 had received bribes and inducements.
  • Bletchingley, Surrey became a borough in In 1225. John St. John (c. 1505 – 5 April 1576), of Lydiard Tregoz, Wiltshire, Farley Chamberlayne, Hampshire and Ewell, Surrey, was MP for Bletchingley in 1529. Parliamentary elections were held from 1733 in what is now the White Hart Inn: a book in 1844 notes this and that 8 to 10 people voted.
  • Boroughbridge, North Riding of Yorkshire, became a borough In 1553 electing two Members of Parliament.It had a burgage franchise, meaning that the right to vote was tied to ownership of certain of property in the borough and had less than 100 qualified voters by the time it was abolished in the Reform Act of 1832: It was a pocket borough under the control of the Dukes of Newcastle. Augustus FitzRoy, who was Prime Minister as the 3rd Duke of Grafton, was elected MP for Boroughbridge in 1756; but never sat for the borough as he preferred to represent Bury St Edmunds where he had also been elected.
  • Bossiney, Cornwall was mentioned in Domesday Book as ‘Botcinnii, a manor held by the Count of Mortain from St. Petroc’s Church (i.e. Bodmin monastery), the manor at this time including Trevena. From ca. 1552 two members were elected to House of Commons by the burgesses of Bossiney and Trevena,Bossiney was the Parliamentary seat of Francis Drake who in 1584 gave his election speech from Bossiney Mound. It was also the Parliamentary seat in 1584 of Sir Francis Bacon.The mace and seal of the borough are still preserved and show the name of the borough as ‘Tintaioel’ (they are thought to be from the 16th century).
  • Brackley, Northamptonshire was incorporated in 1597 by Elizabeth I. It had a mayor, six aldermen and 26 burgesses. In 1602, the metaphysical poet John Donne was elected as Member of Parliament for the constituency.
  • Bramber, Sussex returned two MPs. Amongst the most famous politicians to serve as Member for Bramber was William Wilberforce, the anti-slavery campaigner, and independent Tory politician.
  • Callington, Cornwall. In 1601 Robert Rolle (died 1633) purchased the manor of Callington, thereby gaining the pocket borough seat of Callington in Parliament,which in future served to promote the careers of the Rolles family. Callington is one of a small number of towns to continue to appoint a Portreeve; originally a medieval revenue officer and now an honorary title given to the chairman of the town council.
  • Camelford, Cornwall is one of the manors or the Duchy of Cornwall. Its first MPs sat in the Parliament of 1552.
  • Castle Rising, Norfolk’s most notable member was Robert Walpole, Prime Minister from 1721 to 1742. Samuel Pepys also served as its member.
  • Corfe Castle, Dorset. The former royal status of Corfe meant it could elect  two MPs. During the 17th and 18th centuries it was owned by the Bankes family who controlled most of the votes and who ensured that at least one of the MPs returned to the House of Commons was a member of the family or a Bankes nominee.
  • Downton, Wiltshire returned two MPs and was once the home of William of Wykeham of Winchester College; the house was later leased by Elizabeth I, and was occupied by a brother of Sir Walter Raleigh in the 17th century. Standlynch manor was improved  in 1733 for Henry Dawkins, plantation owner and Member of Parliament. In 1814 the nation bought the estate and gave it to Lord Nelson’s heirs, who changed its name to Trafalgar Park, to commemorate Nelson’s victory at the Battle of Trafalgar.
  • Dunwich, Suffolk was the capital of the Kingdom of the East Angles, but the harbour and most of the town have since disappeared due to coastal erosion. At its height it was an international port similar in size to 14th century London. By the mid-19th century, the population had dwindled to 237 inhabitants and Dunwich was described as a ‘decayed and disfranchised borough’.
  • East Grinstead, Sussex returned  two MPs. The High Street has one of the longest continuous runs of 14th-century timber-framed buildings in England. Other notable buildings in the town include Sackville College, the sandstone almshouse built in 1609 where the Christmas carol “Good King Wenceslas” was written by John Mason Neale.
  • East Looe, Cornwall.  The constituencies of East Looe and West Looe were incorporated as parliamentary boroughs in 1571 and 1553 respectively,  each returning two MPs. In 1625, Barbary pirates devastated Looe, carrying off around 80 mariners and fishermen, and taking them to North Africa to be enslaved. Forewarned of the attack, most of the inhabitants of the town were able to escape, but the town itself was torched.
    Fowey, Cornwall was incorporated in 1702 and returned two MPs. The seal of the borough of Fowey was a shield with a three masted ship, her topsail furled with the legend “Sigillum oppidi de Fowy Anno Dom. 1702”.Fowey was the main port for loading ammunition for the US 29th Division that landed on Omaha Beach on D Day during the Second World War.
  • Gatton, Surrey was taxed as a town from 1332 onward, but by the beginning of the 17th century the antiquary William Camden was able to describe it as “scarce a small village, though in times past it hath beene a famous towne”. By 1831 the parliamentary borough had only seven voters and 23 houses.
  • Great Bedwyn, Wiltshire. The last will and testament of King Alfred the Great contains reference to Bedwyn. The land came to the Seymour family in the Reformation. The execution of Edward Seymour, Duke of Somerset, in 1552 resulted in the temporary return of much of Bedwyn to the crown. The disastrous finances of his descendants resulted in the great sale of 1929, and much of the former Bedwyn estate was purchased by the Crown Estate.
  • Haslemere, Surrey. The town was one of the rotten boroughs, returning two Members of Parliament until the Reform Act of 1832: one was Carew Raleigh the son of Sir Walter Raleigh. Haslemere’s borough expanded into the surrounding Haslemere parish and recovered with the construction of the Portsmouth Direct Line, which connected Haslemere with London Waterloo and Portsmouth Harbour railway stations.
  • Hedon, East Riding of Yorkshire Hedon was given its first charter by Henry II in 1158 and was granted improved ones by King John in 1200 and Henry III in 1248 and 1272. Edward III granted the most important charter which gave the town the right to elect a mayor. The town was a parliamentary borough until it was disenfranchised under the Reform Act 1832.
  • Heytesbury, Wiltshire. The Hungerford family held land at Heytesbury by the 1390s, and reared sheep in the surrounding area in the next century. Family members include Walter Hungerford, 1st Baron Hungerford of Heytesbury. It sent two members to parliament from the time of Henry VI.
    Higham Ferrers, Northamptonshire. The first Charter of 1251 was due to the Lord of the Manor, William de Ferrers, who created the Borough in order to promote a prosperous community at the gates of his castle, where people had begun to settle in numbers and to trade in the ancient market.
  • Hindon, Wiltshire was part of the estate  of the Bishop of Winchester. By c.1250 there were some 150 houses in the village. There were 77 poll-tax payers in 1377. Hindon became a parliamentary borough in the later Middle Ages, In 1801 the population was 793.
  • Ilchester, Somerset began as a Roman town, became a market town with a rich medieval history around the 12th and 13th centuries and was effectively the county town. It had, however, declined in size and importance by the beginning of the 18th century, and the last markets were held in 1833.
  • Lostwithiel, Cornwall The seal of the borough of Lostwithiel was a shield charged with a castle rising from water between two thistles, in the water two fish, with the legend “Sigillum burgi de Lostwithyel et Penknight in Cornubia”. Its mayoral regalia includes a silver oar, signifying its former jurisdiction over the River Fowey.
  • Ludgershall, Wiltshire After the building of Ludgershall Castle in the late 11th century, the village grew to its south and became a medieval borough. The village lay on the old Marlborough to Winchester road, which was an important route in the early 13th century.In 1141 the Empress Maud took refuge in Ludgershall Castle as she fled from King Stephen’s army. She was accompanied by Milo Fitzwalter and escaped disguised as a corpse to Vies (Devizes) and thence to Gloucester. Some 600 years later a seal was found by a ploughman, bearing a knight in armour and holding a lance shield with the inscription “Sigillum Millonis De Glocestria”. It is thought Fitzwalter threw away the seal to avoid identification when he escaped as a beggar. During succeeding centuries the castle was occupied by many distinguished persons and royalty frequently resided there. The village grew around the castle.
  • Milborne Port, Somerset  In the Saxon period Milborne Port was important as a mint town, between 997 and 1035. It is one of at least nineteen mint towns which were neither an Alfredian borough nor an eleventh-century shire town, but a minster site. The market was the most profitable in Somerset in 1086,and the town was eighth in the county tax collection in 1340. It elected two members to the unreformed House of Commons between 1298 and 1307 and again from 1628.
  • Minehead, Somerset was part of the hundred of Carhampton and mentioned in the Domesday Book in 1086. The 1st Earl of Somerset and his descendants administered the area from Dunster Castle, which was later sold to Sir George Luttrell and his family.There was a small port at Minehead by 1380. During the reign of Elizabeth I, the town had its own Port Officer similar to the position at Bristol. In 1559 a Charter of Incorporation, established a free Borough and Parliamentary representation.
  • Mitchell, or St Michael’s, Cornwall The borough encompassed parts of two parishes, Newlyn East and St Enoder. Like most of the Cornish boroughs it was enfranchised or re-enfranchised during the Tudor period. The ranchise in Mitchell became a matter of controversy in the 17th century, but was settled by a House of Commons resolution on 20 March 1700 which stated “That the right of election of members to serve in Parliament for the Borough of St Michael’s, in the County of Cornwall, is in the portreeves, and lords of the manor, who are capable of being portreeves, and the inhabitants of the said borough paying scot and lot”:(a property tax which was the origin of the saying ‘to live scot free.’ this gave the vote to most of the male householders.
  • New Romney, Kent is a small town in Kent, England, on the edge of Romney Marsh, an area of flat, rich agricultural land reclaimed from the sea after the harbour began to silt up. New Romney, one of the original Cinque Ports, was once a sea port, with the harbour adjacent to the church, but is now more than a mile from the sea.
  • Newport, Cornwall is a suburb of the town of Launceston. The town was based around a tucking mill. Fulling, also known as tucking or walking (spelled waulking in Scotland), was a process in woollen clothmaking which involves the cleansing of cloth (particularly wool) to eliminate oils, dirt, and other impurities, and to make it thicker. The worker who does the job is a fuller, tucker, or walker, all of which have become common surnames.
  • Newton, Lancashire The borough consisted of the parish of Newton-le-Willows in the Makerfield district of South Lancashire. It was first enfranchised in 1558 (though the Parliament so summoned did not meet until the following year), and was a rotten borough from its inception: Newton was barely more than a village even at this stage, and so entirely dominated by the local landowner that its first return of members described it bluntly as “the borough of Sir Thomas Langton, knight, baron of Newton within his Fee of Markerfylde”. By 1831, just before its abolition, the population of the borough had reached only 2,139, and contained 285 houses.
  • Newtown, Isle of Wight The town was originally called Francheville (i.e. ‘Freetown’), and only later renamed Newtown. It was probably founded before the Norman Conquest. There is some indication that it was attacked by Danes in 1001.By the mid 14th century, Newtown was starting to mature into a thriving commercial centre. In 1344, it was assessed at twice the value of Newport.In 1584 Elizabeth I breathed some life into the town by awarding it two parliamentary seats. A town hall was built in the 17th century. However, these seats ultimately made Newtown borough one of the most notorious of the rotten boroughs. By the time of the 1832 Reform Act a survey found it had just fourteen houses and twenty-three voters,
  • Okehampton, Devon Like many towns in the West Country, Okehampton grew on the medieval wool trade.[5] Notable buildings in the town include the 15th century chapel of St. James and Okehampton Castle, which was established by the Norman Sheriff of Devon, Baldwin FitzGilbert (d.1090).
  • Old Sarum, Wiltshire See above
  • Orford, Suffolk Like many Suffolk coastal towns it was of some importance as a port and fishing village in the Middle Ages. It still has a fine mediaeval castle, built to dominate the River Ore.
  • Plympton Erle, Devon  Elections in Plympton Erle were normally uncontested. The only contest between the Union of England and Scotland in 1707 and the abolition of the borough in 1832 was at the general election of 1802.
  • Queenborough, Kent  The Port of Queenborough on the Isle of Sheppy still reflects something of its original 18th-century seafaring history, from which period most of its more prominent buildings survive. The church is the sole surviving feature from the medieval period. The town was first represented by two members of parliament in 1572.
  • Saltash, Cornwall The Charter of Incorporation refers to the place as ‘Essa’ (Latin for ‘Ash’). However, the spelling of the town has changed over the years. For example, in Edward the Confessor’s time, it was called and spelt ‘Aysche’. The history of Saltash is linked to the passage, or ferrying place across the Tamar. The original ferry became established by fishermen for those passing to and from the monastery at St Germans and to Trematon Castle.In the 1584 Charter, it is stated that Essa is now commonly called Saltash. A family called Essa lived in the twelfth century at their property near Ashtor Rock, where the Manor Courts were once held. The ‘Salt’ part of the name was added to distinguish it from other places called Ash.
    Seaford, Sussex  In the Middle Ages, Seaford was one of the main ports serving Southern England, but the town’s fortunes declined due to coastal sedimentation silting up its harbour and persistent raids by French pirates. Seaford returned three members of parliament who went on to become Prime Minister: Henry Pelham represented the town from 1717 to 1722, William Pitt the Elder from 1747 to 1754 and George Canning in 1827.
    St Germans, Cornwall  It takes its name from the St. German’s Priory, generally associated with St Germanus, although the church may have been associated initially with a local saint, who was gradually replaced by the 14th century. the franchise in St Germans was restricted to a tiny number of “freemen”, rather than to all residents, but even they were not numerous. By the time of the Reform Bill, the male population of the borough was only 247.
    St Mawes, Cornwall This same Cornish port returned two Members of Parliament from 1562 to 1707 and to the Parliament of Great Britain from 1707 to 1800. The right to vote rested with the portreeve and “resident burgesses or free tenants”, making it essentially a ‘scot and lot borough’ There were 87 voters in 1831 and had a population of 459, and 95 houses.
    Steyning, Sussex elected two Members of Parliament (MPs) to the House of Commons sporadically from 1298 and continuously from 1467 until 1832. There were around 118 voters by the time the borough was abolished. The householders seem to have had the right to vote, but their right the subject of litigation through most of the 18th century. Between 1715 and 1792, the right was instead restricted to occupiers of “ancient houses” and of houses built on the site of ancient houses, in effect a burgage franchise.
    Stockbridge, Hampshire  The place-name ‘Stockbridge’ is first attested in Charter Rolls of 1239. The name means ‘stock bridge’, referring to a bridge constructed from ‘stocks’ meaning tree trunks.The town grew and prospered as an unincorporated mesne borough.By the mid-Tudor era, under Edward VI, the wealthy burgages numbered 58, partly in consequence of this, in 1562 two members of parliament were granted. The population of the parish was 853 in 1871, with 185 inhabited houses.
    Tregony, Cornwall was represented in the Model Parliament of 1295, and returned two Members of Parliament to the English and later British Parliament continuously from 1562 to 1832. Tregony was a ‘potwalloper’ borough, meaning that every (male) householder with a separate fireplace on which a pot could be boiled was entitled to vote. The apparently democratic nature of this arrangement was a delusion in a borough as small and poor as Tregony, where the residents could not afford to defy their landlord and, indeed, regarded their vote as a means of income. Many of the houses in the borough were built purely for political purposes, and the borough itself was bought and sold for its political value on numerous occasions. In the 1760s, Viscount Falmouth, head of the Boscawen family, controlled the nomination to one of the two seats and William Trevanion the other.
    West Looe, Cornwall See Looe above
    Wendover, Buckinghamshire  Wendover first sent members to Parliament in 1300, but after 1308, elected no burgesses for more than 300 years. However, in the 17th century a solicitor named William Hakewill, of Lincoln’s Inn, rediscovered ancient writs confirming that Amersham, Great Marlow, and Wendover had all sent members to Parliament in the past, and succeeded in re-establishing their privileges (despite the opposition of James I), so that they resumed electing members from the Parliament of 1624. Hakewill himself was elected for Amersham in 1624. This market town had a population of 802 people, 171 houses and 130 voters in 1831.
    Weobley, Herefordshire was a parliamentary borough in Herefordshire, which elected two Members of Parliament to the House of Commons in 1295 and from 1628 until 1832.The last man elected was Lord Edward Thynne (1807 – 1884). After a short career as an army officer, he sat in the House of Commons for two periods, separated by 26 years, and opposed parliamentary reform on both occasions. He was a duellist and a philanderer who outlived his two wives.  Thynne gambled away his own wealth and that of his first wife. In 1881, the aged Thynne was described by Vanity Fair magazine as a “hoary old reprobate”.
    Whitchurch, Hampshire  is a town in Hampshire, on the River Test, 13 miles (21 km) south of Newbury, and 12 miles (19 km) north of Winchester. Witcherche received a royal charter in 1285, having become a borough in 1284. The land ownership had by now passed to a form of tenure known as a burgage. As a borough, it was governed by a Court Leet. Meetings were held in the village hall each year, in October, to elect a mayor and burgesses. In the reign of Elizabeth I the town become large and prosperous enough to send its first two members to Parliament in 1586 and send two MPs to Parliament until 1832, when the members were nominated by an absent landlord.
    Winchelsea, Sussex was a Cinque Port, which made it technically of different status from a parliamentary borough, but the difference was purely a nominal.The constituency consisted of the market town and port. In 1831, the town was one and half miles form the sea and the population was estimated at 772,house in 148 houses. The right to vote was exercised by the freemen of the town, of whom by 1831 there were just 11.
    Wootton Bassett, Wiltshire elected two Members of Parliament (MPs) to the House of Commons from 1447 until 1832. At the end of the 17th century, the St John family of Lydiard Tregoze had the predominant influence in the borough, and could usually return their chosen candidates without difficulty, the main competing interest being that of the Hydes. After Henry St John, 1st Viscount Bolingbroke fled abroad in 1715 following the Jacobite Rebellion the St John influence was weakened, and a wealthy local landowner and clothier, Robert Neale of Corsham, was able to secure election in 1741. Wootton Bassett was one of the most expensive to win. Neale paid £1800, his rivals £6000 in 1754. Surprisingly, the corruption at Wootton Bassett never led to a major scandal or to any attempts to disfranchise the borough – unlike nearby Cricklade, which was “thrown into the hundred” for its misdemeanours in the 1770s, or Hindon which nearly suffered the same fate.In 1831, the population was approximately 1,500, the right to vote belonged to those paying scot and lot. At the last election before 1831 there were 309 eligible voters.
    Yarmouth, Isle of Wight  sent two MPs to the House of Commons from 1707 to 1832. It was represented by two members of parliament elected by the bloc vote system,which was a form of proportional voting based on a list of candidates The last elected member under the old system was Charles Compton Cavendish, 1st Baron Chesham ( 1793 – 1863) a Liberal who was the 4th son of George Augustus Henry Cavendish, 1st Earl of Burlington, third son of the former Prime Minister William Cavendish, 4th Duke of Devonshire. The family are most famous these days for Chatsworth House in Derbyshire and Burlington Arcade, a covered shopping arcade in London that runs for 196 yards (179 m) behind Bond Street from Piccadilly through to Burlington Gardens. It is one of the precursors of the mid-19th-century European shopping gallery and the modern shopping mall.It was built in 1818 to the order of George Cavendish, 1st Earl of Burlington, who had inherited the adjacent Burlington House.

Who could vote?

Statutes passed in 1430 and 1432, during the reign of Henry VI, standardised property qualifications for county voters. Under these Acts, all owners of freehold property or land worth at least forty shillings were entitled to vote. This requirement, known as the forty-shilling freehold, was never adjusted for inflation; thus the amount of land one had to own to vote gradually diminished over time. The franchise was restricted to men by custom rather than statute; on rare occasions, women were able to vote in parliamentary elections it was as a result of their property ownership.

In the Boroughs or towns who was entitled to a vote was based on ancient conventions, for example, if you were a graduate of Oxford or Cambridge University, you might be entitled to vote in some towns and in others you got a vote if you lived in a particular property or paid a certain amount of tax. Non-conformists, Catholics and Jews were all barred from voting.

Although Catholics made up most of the Irish population, they were not allowed to become Members of Parliament.

In 1823 an Irish barrister, Daniel O’Connell, formed the Catholic Association which began a mass movement in Ireland demanding full public and political rights which resulted in the 1829 Catholic Emancipation Act.

When the 1829 Catholic Emancipation Act was passed the hopes of the Jewish community securing the same rights rose. In 1830 MP William Huskisson presented a petition signed by 2,000 merchants and others from Liverpool supporting the Jewish cause. Wealthy Jews in Britain had to wait until an agreement was reached between the two Houses of Parliament to on the oath Members and Lords could swear in The Jews Relief Act 1858.

All British men who were householders got the vote in 1871.

Voting in the pre-Reform Act period was regarded as a public duty undertaken on behalf of the community as a whole, and it was quite normal for candidates to reward their supporters in the form of “treating” – usually by providing plentiful free beer, or issuing other victuals to voters and their supporters on production of a ticket.

Less enjoyable were the threats of retaliation that might be made against voters who failed to back the ‘landlord’s favoured candidates. Voting residents of the rotten borough might find their rent increased by a vindictive boroughmonger, or they might even lose their home.

It was hoped that introducing the Secret Ballot in 1872 [which was extended generally in the Ballot Act 1872] might reduce such open corruption, but keeping their own vote secret only encouraged voters to demand treats from both sides, knowing that the chance of reprisals was now much lower.

The pre-reform act arrangements allowed MPs and the party leaders to be much younger than their equivalents today.

William Pitt the Younger was elected MP for the Borough of Appleby at the age of 21, and went on, only two years later, to become the ‘country’s youngest prime minister. His great rival, the Whig leader Charles James Fox, was so young when he entered Parliament that he ‘wasn’t actually old enough to vote! He was elected at the age of just 19, even though 21 was the voting age.

Women who owned property gained the right to vote in the Isle of Man in 1881, and in 1893, the British colony of New Zealand granted all women the right to vote. Most independent countries enacted women’s suffrage in the interwar era, including Canada in 1917; Britain, Germany, Poland in 1918; Austria and the Netherlands in 1919; and the United States in 1920. Women in France got the vote in 1947, and in Switzerland, it was 1973. In 1947, on its independence from the United Kingdom, India granted equal voting rights to all men and women in 1947.

Illustration: Old Sarum by John Constable.

Compiled with the help of Wikipedia.

Julia Herdman lives and works in Leicester, UK. Her latest book Sinclair, Tales of Tooley Street Vol. 1 is  Available on Amazon – Paperback £10.99 and on Kindle

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Leicester and the origin of Parliament