The Returning Officer: Newmarket

Newmarket was a separate constituency only from 1885-1918, but its MPs were an interesting bunch. The first was the Liberal Sir George Newnes (1885-95), who founded (among many titles) Tit-Bits, the Strand Magazine and Country Life. He invested in early cinema and funded several cliff railways including one in Lynton, where there is still a tearoom named after him. After his defeat he went on to become MP for Swansea (1900-1910).

Harry McCalmont was a soldier who owned racehorses, including a Derby winner, Isinglass. In 1900 he beat another owner, the Liberal Charles Day Rose. Rose won the 1902 by-election but was defeated in January 1910 by the Tory George Henry Verrall, who had been a racing official.

Verrall was a distinguished entomologist and published two books about British dipteria (flies).The result was reversed in December 1910, but Rose died in 1913, shortly after he had taken his first flight at Hendon as president of the British Aero club.

This article first appeared in the 04 April 2011 issue of the New Statesman, Who are the English?