Burton-upon-Trent: Parliamentary representation

Page 97

A History of the County of Stafford: Volume 9, Burton-Upon-Trent. Originally published by Victoria County History, London, 2003.

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Parliamentary representation

Although the abbot of Burton was summoned to parliament as a baron between 1295 and 1322, and again in 1532, (fn. 7) there was no representative burgess from the borough in the Middle Ages.

A parliamentary division covering east Stafford-shire, created in 1885 as one of seven new divisions for the county, was named Burton. (fn. 8) The first M.P. was a Liberal, Sir Michael Arthur Bass, the brewer. Returned again in 1886, he was succeeded later the same year at a bye-election following his elevation to the peerage as Lord Burton by a fellow Liberal and brewer, Sydney Evershed of Albury House, in Stapen-hill. (fn. 9) Evershed was returned unopposed in 1892 and 1895. Another brewer, R. F. Ratcliff, won as a Liberal Unionist in 1900, and thereafter Unionists or Con-servatives held the seat, except for a Labour victory in 1945, until 1997 when the seat was again won by Labour. After Ratcliff the following were M.P.s: John Gretton, a brewer (1918); his son, also John (1943); A. W. Lyne (1945); Arthur (from 1955 Sir Arthur) Colegate (1950); John Jennings, a schoolmaster (1955); Ivan (from 1992 Sir Ivan) Lawrence, a barrister (1974); Janet Dean, mayor of East Stafford-shire Borough Council (1997).


  • 7. Charters of Burton Abbey, ed. Sawyer, p. 55.
  • 8. V.C.H. Staffs. iv. 43-4, 58-9; below, manor sections in articles on outlying townships.
  • 9. S.H.C. 1916, 212, 215, 217, 219, 238, 240. A change in assessment at Stapenhill may be explained by a re-organization of the abbey's land there: below, Stapenhill, manor.