Three (More) Division Lists from the Ailesbury Manuscripts: On the ‘Church in Danger’ (1705), the Septennial Bill and Forfeited Estates of Jacobites (1716)


  • Charles Littleton

  • I would like to thank Graham Bath, a student of the local history of Savernake Forest, for alerting me during casual conversation at lunch at the Wiltshire and Swindon History Centre of the new deposit of Brudenell-Bruce manuscripts, of which the documents discussed here form part, and to the staff of the History Centre for their help in accessing this volume and allowing me to take many photographs of its pages. I also wish to thank Beverly Adams, Robin Eagles, Stuart Handley and Ruth Paley for their many useful comments on a draft of this note.


The discovery in the manuscript papers of Charles, Lord Bruce, of three lists enumerating the voters in important divisions in the house of lords in the early 18th century – on the ‘Church in Danger’ (1705), the Septennial Bill and the Bill to Resume the Forfeited Estates of ‘Traitors’ after the Jacobite Rebellion (1716) – help to illuminate the state of party allegiances and affiliations in these periods, for which no other division lists are extant. This note provides the voting results from these division lists in tabular form, accompanied by indications of the current state of our knowledge of party affiliations for each of the individuals listed. However, the origin and accuracy of each of these lists are not clear-cut and this note also details the discrepancies and anomalies in each list.