It had become a parliamentary borough in 1832.
Shaftesbury was the first great party leader in the modern sense, and the founder of modern parliamentary oratory.
It was taken by the parliamentary forces in 1645 after a desultory siege of three years.
During the next fourteen years he was one of the most conspicuous figures in the parliamentary history of the time.
The events of these three years taught the Labour leaders that a parliamentary party was of little practical influence unless it was able to cast on all important occasions a solid vote, and to meet the case a new method was devised.
He retired to Wimborne and urged upon his parliamentary followers the necessity of securing a new parliament.
His rivals saw how his intense personal ambition and egoism led him always to assume the chief place, and to use his parliamentary position to establish himself as leader of the nation.
But he was now destined to learn that his enemy Francis, whom he had discomfited in the council chamber at Calcutta, was more than his match in the parliamentary arena.