William Pirrie Sinclair

William Pirrie Sinclair (1837 – 1 November 1900)[1] was a politician in the United Kingdom who was twice elected to the House of Commons.

Standing as a Liberal Party candidate, he was elected as the Member of Parliament (MP) for the Ulster constituency of County Antrim at a by-election on 21 May 1885, where he won a majority of only 69 votes (less than 1% of the total) over the Conservative Party candidate Robert Torrens O'Neill.[2] He held the seat only until Parliament was dissolved later that year for the 1885 general election, when the two-seat Antrim constituency was divided into four single-member divisions. Sinclair stood in North Antrim, where in a three-way contest he was defeated by the Conservative Edward MacNaghten.[2]

When the Liberal Party split in 1886 over Irish Home Rule, Sinclair joined with the breakaway Liberal Unionist Party, and was elected at the 1886 general election as MP for Falkirk Burghs[3] in Scotland, with a majority of only 19 votes (0.4% of the total) over the Liberal Party candidate.[4] He lost the seat to the Liberals at the 1892 general election,[4] and did not stand for Parliament again.


  1. Leigh Rayment's Historical List of MPs – Constituencies beginning with "A" (part 2)
  2. 1 2 Walker, Brian M., ed. (1978). Parliamentary election results in Ireland, 1801–1922. Dublin: Royal Irish Academy. pp. 129–130. ISBN 0-901714-12-7.
  3. Leigh Rayment's Historical List of MPs – Constituencies beginning with "F"
  4. 1 2 Craig, F. W. S. (1989) [1974]. British parliamentary election results 1885–1918 (2nd ed.). Chichester: Parliamentary Research Services. p. 502. ISBN 0-900178-27-2.
Parliament of the United Kingdom
Preceded by
James Chaine
Edward Macnaghten
Member of Parliament for Antrim
May 1885October 1885
With: Edward Macnaghten
Constituency abolished
Preceded by
John Ramsay
Member of Parliament for Falkirk Burghs
Succeeded by
Harry Smith

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