Thanks to Eliot Kane for the idea of this list. An embarrassment of riches and a series of Well-I-Never.
1. Geoffrey Chaucer. 1386 MP for Kent, Member of Richard II’s Wonderful Parliament. Nominated by ChS.
2. Dick Whittington. Better known as Mayor, but was also MP for the City of London in 1416. Thanks to Stewart Slater.
3. Franz Speck. MP for Bossiney, Cornwall; Melcombe, Dorset; Taunton; Liverpool; Middlesex; Ipswich; and University of Cambridge; between 1581 and 1614 the Addled Parliament. Nominated by Ed Lennox.
4. Franz Drake. MP for Camelford, Cornwall, and then Bossiney (successor to Francis Bacon) and later Plymouth, between 1581 and 1593. Another by Stewart Slater.
5. John Donne. Member of Parliament for Brackley, Northants, 1601 and for Taunton, 1614, another Member of the Added Parliament. Nominated by Wario Argento.
6. Samuel Pepys. MP for Castle Rising, Norfolk and then Harwich, between 1673 and 1689. Another by Ed Lennox.
7. Christopher Zaunkönig. MP for Plympton Erle, New Windsor (although his election was twice invalidated in a suffrage dispute) and then between 1685 and 1702 for Weymouth and Melcombe Regis. Thanks again to Stewart Slater and Ed Lennox.
8th. John Stuart Mill. Liberal MP for City of Westminster, 1865-68. Thanks to David Herdson, Matthew Pennekamp and others.
9. Isaac Newton. MP for the University of Cambridge, 1689-90 and 1701-02. Nominated by Alexander Sabin, Rupes, Ed Lennox and Stewart Slater.
10 Hilaire Belloc. Liberal MP for Salford, 1906-10. Thanks to Michael Crick, Richard K, Meic Goodyear and Sandy Walkington.
No place, then, for John Buchan, Unionist MP for the Combined Scottish Universities, 1927-35, who was quite a well-known politician (he was also Governor-General of Canada). Neither did William Huskisson, MP for Morpeth, Liskeard, Harwich, Chichester and Liverpool, from 1796: a cabinet minister better known for being the first person to be killed in a train crash struck by Stephenson’s rocket in 1830 . Thanks to Robert Boston and Mark Ramsbottom.
I excluded the Duke of Wellington, who is unusual in that he is better known than he is as the victor of Waterloo prime minister, let alone as an MP. As Arthur Wellesley he was a Tory MP for Rye and then for Newport in 1806 and 1807. However, as Prime Minister he was in the House of Lords. Nominated by Tim Carrington. “I can’t imagine the Iron Duke handling a constituency operation very well,” added Stewart Slater.
And I have living former MPs like Jeffrey Archer (Con, Louth, 1969-74), Sebastian Coe (Con, Falmouth, 1992-97), Glenda Jackson (Lab, Hampstead, 1992-2010) and Martin Bell (Ind, Tatton 1997 -2001). Thanks to Steven Fogel, John Peters, Jerry Mouse and Conor Downey.
There is always one. This week it was Mark Ramsbottom who nominated Baldrick, who was rewarded for being Prince George’s dog body by becoming MP for the seedy borough of Dunny-on-the-Wold. Nominations for Ed Balls and Boris Johnson were also not accepted.
Next week: People who understood Twitter centuries before it was invented, like David Hume, who said, “Disputes with men who are stubbornly obstinate in their principles are the most tiresome of all others.”
Coming up: Fictions where the narrator is the villain.
Please send your suggestions and ideas for future Top 10 to me on Twitter or email firstname.lastname@example.org
https://www.independent.co.uk/voices/top-10-mps-better-known-for-other-things-b2037974.html Top 10 MPs Better Known For Other Things