Rotten Boroughs


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Rotten Boroughs

 

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.

References in periodicals archive ?
Stafford survived, but its reputation as a "rotten borough" - electorally speaking - survived too, in an era when the rotten borough was meant to be a thing of the past.
Peel promised that he would not seek to turn back the tide of political Reform (enacted by the Whigs) that had swept away the rotten boroughs and brought voting rights to the new industrial town.
It's taxation without representation and that went out with rotten boroughs.
I told him what I planned to do and he was prepared to change the law of the land if necessary because we both felt this practice was typical of the old-fashioned rotten boroughs.
One minute they are acting like 18th-century politicians in rotten boroughs by offering voters free victuals.
And we need to emulate their successes in the failing Labour rotten boroughs of the north.
Introducing his Parliamentary Constituencies (Equalisation) Bill, he said: "That catchy title was not my first choice, what I wanted to call the Bill was the Rotten Boroughs Bill - because that's what we have.
It is no wonder that the Labour Government are so reluctant to devolve any meaningful autonomy to local government when England's most rotten boroughs are in Labours' own backyard.
Dr Trystan added, "In some areas, we do not quite live in the era of rotten boroughs, but they are not far off.
If the Tories had always had their way we'd still have rotten boroughs.
THE greatest scandal in British politics used to be the rotten boroughs in which a landowner persuaded a mere handful of electors to vote in the landlord's choice as the local MP.