Romford (or Southern) division, formed in 1885,
was a large county constituency comprising the
liberty of Havering, Barking, Dagenham, Ilford, and
East Ham. (fn. 1) John Westlake (Liberal) narrowly won
the seat in 1885, but in 1886, standing as a Liberal
Unionist opposed by a Gladstonian Liberal, he
came bottom of the poll, and lost the seat to James
Theobald (Conservative) of Bedfords Park, Havering.
The Conservatives held Romford until 1906, when
it was recaptured for the Liberals by (Sir) John
Bethell (Bt.), later Lord Bethell; he held it in
1910. (fn. 2)
In 1918 the Romford division was altered to
comprise Romford rural district, and the urban
districts of Romford and Barking. (fn. 3) At the general
election of that year the seat was won by a Coalition
Liberal, who held it in 1922 as a National Liberal.
Romford was later held in turn by the Conservatives
(1923–9, 1931–5) and Labour (1929–31, 1935–45).
The Parliamentary borough of Romford, formed
in 1945, was originally coincident with the municipal
borough of Romford. It was enlarged in 1948 to
include Brentwood urban district, but in 1955
Brentwood was transferred to Billericay county constituency. (fn. 4) Romford was held by Labour from 1945
to 1950, and from 1955 to 1970; the Conservatives
held it from 1950 to 1955. Boundary changes, which
took effect in 1974, created three new constituencies
for the borough of Havering: Upminster, Hornchurch, and Romford. The new Romford constituency was won by the Conservatives in February
1974 and held in November 1974.
E.R. iii. 86; Kelly's Dir. Essex (1886), 5.
||For elections to 1910 see McCalmont's Parliamentary
Register, ed. J. Vincent and M. Stenton, 83.
Kelly's Dir. Essex (1922), 5. For elections 1918–66 see
E.J. iii. 179 sqq.; iv. 9 sqq.
||O.S. Maps, Essex, Admin. Areas (1948 and 1955
edns.). For elections 1966–74 see Dod's Parliamentary