Dingle was incorporated by a charter of 1607, 4 James I, and comprised a sovereign, 12 burgesses and an indefinite number of freemen. It also had, not mentioned in the charter, a recorder, town clerk, two serjeants-at-mace, weighmaster and poundkeeper. In 1731 John Perceval (1665) was elected for Dingle without opposition, although not yet of age. The election involved £87 for 'treating', of which it was considered that Perceval should pay £37, as a 'great deal more treating has been done than it is fair that he should pay for'. 'Treating' was synonymous with elections and the voters would probably have felt deprived had it been otherwise. Dingle belonged to the FitzGeralds, Knights of Kerry, although they were always watchful for any attack on it - the Mullins showed an unwelcome interest in it from time to time.
In 1783 the town was estimated to comprise 200 houses and there were 200 electors, but only two were resident in the town and ten in the county. Richard Boyle Townsend (2101) inherited it from his mother Elizabeth, the daughter and heiress of John Fitzgerald, Knight of Kerry (0737) and sister of Maurice Fitzgerald (0738), who died childless on 24 June 1779. Maurice was succeeded as Knight of Kerry by his uncle Robert (0744), but the borough of Dingle was inherited by his nephew Richard Townsend (2100), although in 1778 Robert Fitzgerald was incorrectly thought to have half of the borough. Richard Townsend received the £15,000 for its disfranchisement at the Union.