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depopulated towns and villages of Britain at the end of the 18th and beginning of the 19th century that retained the right of representation in Parliament. A member of Parliament from a rotten borough was usually appointed by its proprietors—the landlords. The system of rotten boroughs, by which important cities such as Birmingham and Manchester had no representation in Parliament, was an obstacle to the penetration into Parliament of the representatives of the industrial bourgeoisie. The majority of the rotten boroughs (56) were deprived of their independent representation by the parliamentary reform of 1832; the remainder by the electoral reform of 1867. As a result, from 1832 to 1867, about 200 members’ seats in Parliament were liberated.