Thursday, November 22, 2007


Members of Parliament

Halifax (UK Parliament constituency) 1832-1918
Representation reduced to one member, 1918


Election results

Elections in the 1910s
John Henry Whitley (Speaker) returned unopposed
John Henry Whitley (Speaker) returned unopposed
John Henry Whitley (Speaker) returned unopposed

Elections in the 1920s

Elections in the 1930s

Elections in the 1940s

Elections in the 1950s

Elections in the 1960s

Elections in the 1970s

Elections in the 1980s

Elections in the 2000s
The parliamentary borough returns two members. The county borough was created in 1888. The municipal borough was under a mayor, 5 aldermen and 45 councillors. Area, 13,967 acres.
At the time of the Norman Conquest, Halifax formed part of the extensive manor of Wakefield, which belonged to the king, but in the 13th century was in the hands of John, earl Warrenne (c. 12451305). The prosperity of the town began with the introduction of the cloth trade in the 15th century, when there are said to have been only thirteen houses, which before the end of the 16th century had increased to 520. Camden, about the end of the 17th century, wrote that the people are very industrious, so that though the soil about it be barren and improfitable, not fit to live on, they have so flourished ... by the clothing trade that they are very rich and have gained a reputation for it above their neighbors. The trade is said to have been increased by the arrival of certain merchants driven from the Netherlands by the persecution of the duke of Alva.
Among the curious customs of Halifax was the Gibbet Law, which was probably established by a prescriptive right to protect the wool trade, and gave the inhabitants the power of executing any one taken within their liberty, who, when tried by a jury of sixteen of the frith-burgesses, was found guilty of the theft of any goods of the value of more than 13d. The executions took place on market days on a hill outside the town, the gibbet somewhat resembling a guillotine. The first execution recorded under this law took place in 1541, and the right was exercised in Halifax longer than in any other town, the last execution taking place in 1650.
In 1635 the king granted the inhabitants of Halifax licence to found a workhouse in a large house given. to them for that purpose by Nathaniel Waterhouse, and incorporated them under the name of the master and governors. Nathaniel Waterhouse was appointed the first master, his successors being elected every year by the twelve governors from among themselves. Halifax was a borough by prescription, its privileges growing up with the increased prosperity brought by the cloth trade, but it was not incorporated until 1848. Since the Reform Act of 1832 the burgesses have returned two members to parliament. In 1607 David Waterhouse, lord of the manor of Halifax, obtained a grant of two markets there every week on Friday and Saturday and two fairs every year, each lasting three days, one beginning on the 24th of June, the other on the 11th of November. Later these fairs and markets were confirmed with the addition of an extra market on Thursday to Sir William Ayloffe, baronet, who had succeeded David Waterhouse as lord of the manor. The market rights were sold to the Markets Company in 1810 and purchased from them by the corporation in 1853.
During the Civil War Halifax was garrisoned by parliament, and a field near it is still called the Bloody Field on account of an engagement which took place there between the forces of parliament and the Royalists.