This section is from the book "Bepler's Handy Manual of Knowledge And Useful Infomation", by David Bepler. Also available from Amazon: Bepler's Handy Manual of Knowledge and Useful Information.
The House of Commons dates since Edward II and is called the lower House. The English House of Commons, at the time of the union with Scotland in 1707, consisted of 513 members; 45 were then added for Scotland, and in 1801 100 for Ireland, making the total of 658. This total number was preserved by the Reform Act (1832), as well as by the recent one ('30 and '31, Vict. cap. 102), but in each case the apportionment was altered, and it now stands - England and Wales, 493 members; Scotland, 60; and Ireland, 105 members. By the Reform Act of 1867, 11 English boroughs were totally disfranchised and 23 others lost one member each; but 25 seats were bestowed on new boroughs and universities and 28 on counties. Four boroughs with 6 seats have since been disfranchised for corrupt practices, viz., Beverly, Bridge-water, Sligo and Cashel, and in eight others, representing 12 seats, the writs are suspended, making the present number of sitting members 640 in all.