Definition of pocket borough in English:

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pocket borough


(In the UK) a borough in which the election of political representatives was controlled by one person or family. Such boroughs were abolished by the Reform Acts of 1832 and 1867.
Example sentences
  • True, the Tories lost ground significantly at the 1715 general election, but in pocket boroughs rather than in counties and popular urban constituencies.
  • A third of MPs were elected to ‘pocket boroughs’, nominated by a handful of rich landed aristocrats.
  • He was elected in 1807 for a pocket borough in the Isle of Wight and subsequently represented Cambridge University 1811-31, Bletchingley 1831-2, Hampshire South 1832-4, and Tiverton 1835-65.

For editors and proofreaders

Line breaks: pocket bor|ough

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