Although the abbot of Burton was summoned to
parliament as a baron between 1295 and 1322, and
again in 1532, (fn. 7) there was no representative burgess
from the borough in the Middle Ages.
A parliamentary division covering east Stafford-shire, created in 1885 as one of seven new divisions
for the county, was named Burton. (fn. 8) The first M.P.
was a Liberal, Sir Michael Arthur Bass, the brewer.
Returned again in 1886, he was succeeded later the
same year at a bye-election following his elevation to
the peerage as Lord Burton by a fellow Liberal and
brewer, Sydney Evershed of Albury House, in Stapen-hill. (fn. 9) Evershed was returned unopposed in 1892 and
1895. Another brewer, R. F. Ratcliff, won as a Liberal
Unionist in 1900, and thereafter Unionists or Con-servatives held the seat, except for a Labour victory in
1945, until 1997 when the seat was again won by
Labour. After Ratcliff the following were M.P.s: John
Gretton, a brewer (1918); his son, also John (1943);
A. W. Lyne (1945); Arthur (from 1955 Sir Arthur)
Colegate (1950); John Jennings, a schoolmaster
(1955); Ivan (from 1992 Sir Ivan) Lawrence, a
barrister (1974); Janet Dean, mayor of East Stafford-shire Borough Council (1997).
Charters of Burton Abbey, ed. Sawyer, p. 55.
V.C.H. Staffs. iv. 43-4, 58-9; below, manor sections in
articles on outlying townships.
S.H.C. 1916, 212, 215, 217, 219, 238, 240. A change in
assessment at Stapenhill may be explained by a re-organization of
the abbey's land there: below, Stapenhill, manor.