Available from Cambridge University Press
Right of Election:
in inhabitants paying scot and lot
Estimated number qualified to vote:
Number of voters:
9,280 in 1820
182,796 (1821); 202,460 (1831)
|25 Mar. 1820||SIR FRANCIS BURDETT, bt.||5327|
|JOHN CAM HOBHOUSE||4882|
|Hon. George Lamb||4436|
|9 June 1826||SIR FRANCIS BURDETT, bt.|
|JOHN CAM HOBHOUSE|
|31 July 1830||SIR FRANCIS BURDETT, bt.|
|JOHN CAM HOBHOUSE|
|2 May 1831||SIR FRANCIS BURDETT, bt.|
|JOHN CAM HOBHOUSE|
|8 Feb. 1832||(SIR) JOHN CAM HOBHOUSE, bt. re-elected after appointment to office|
Westminster, the most prestigious borough constituency in the United Kingdom, was, in the words of its most recent historians, ‘the hegemonic centre of political, professional, consumerist and cultural life’.2 Its northern boundary was Oxford Street and its southern the Thames. The western border was partly marked by the course of the River Westbourne, but the existence of a detached portion of the parish of St. Margaret in Knightsbridge and an out-ward of St. George between the Serpentine and Uxbridge Road made it somewhat vague. The eastern boundary ran north from Essex Wharf to Temple Bar, through the New Square of Lincoln’s Inn and thence west between Portugal Street and Lincoln’s Inn Fields to Drury Lane and in a north westerly direction to Oxford Street.3 The constituency contained the parishes of St. Anne (Soho), St. George (Hanover Square), St. James, St. Margaret and St. John, St. Martin-in-the Fields, St. Mary-le-Strand and St. Paul (Covent Garden), and part of St. Clement Danes. The last two had declined in wealth as the more prosperous inhabitants began to migrate westwards. The Duchy Liberty, which comprised Savoy precinct, two wards forming part of St. Mary and a portion of St. Clement, was technically in Middlesex constituency, but in practice its ratepayer householders polled in Westminster.4 The constituency contained the royal residence and Court at St. James’s, the Houses of Parliament, the offices of government in and around Whitehall, the law courts in Westminster Hall, the rapidly developing exclusive residential areas of Mayfair and the theatre area and market of Covent Garden, the site of elections. The borough had no charter or corporation, and local government by the end of the eighteenth century was in the hands of parish vestries and magistrates. While a significant proportion of the electorate were members of the leisured classes, including many of the social and political elite, and of the legal profession (probably about 19 per cent in total), it has been calculated that by 1820 about 66 per cent were tradesmen, craftsmen, skilled artisans and shopkeepers involved in the production or sale (sometimes, of course, in both) of consumer goods for a thriving market. There were comparatively few poor labourers and menials, but the potentially violent mob was a factor in Westminster politics.5 In 1807 the traditional aristocratic faction fight between Tories and Whigs which had dominated the constituency’s electoral affairs for over 20 years had been spectacularly interrupted by the return of the wealthy radical hero and martyr Sir Francis Burdett, who had stood on a freedom of election platform, neither canvassing nor appearing on the hustings, and been returned through the efforts of a committee of local tradesmen, which operated through parish committee and was headed by the indefatigable radical tailor, Francis Place. Place explained to a Commons select committee on borough polls, 15 May 1827, that at the Covent Garden hustings, where there were seven booths (St. Clement and St. Mary polled at one, as did St. John and St. Margaret), the reformers had never employed paid inspectors, rate collectors, overseers, counsel or constables, on account of the cost; that a number of dubious or bad votes were in consequence cast, and that the commonest forms of corruption by Tories and Whigs was the payment of rates and the threat (real or apprehended) of a withdrawal of custom from recalcitrant electors.6 Although Burdett’s relations with Place became strained and distant in 1810, he was elected unopposed in 1812, and in 1818 was returned in second place behind the Whig legal reformer Sir Samuel Romilly after a fierce contest with a ministerialist. At the February and March 1819 by-election which followed Romilly’s suicide, Place and the Westminster reformers, having discarded the banker and Scottish peer’s son Douglas Kinnaird†, had put up his friend and fellow member of the Rota club of gentleman reformers John Cam Hobhouse, the son of a Tory baronet and, like Kinnaird, a close friend of Byron. He espoused a programme of radical reform but (like Burdett) had good personal relations with a number of leading Whigs. With the Liverpool ministry not disposed to start a candidate, all seemed well until Hobhouse and the reformers between them provoked, by their spoken and written attacks, the Whigs to intervene. Their man George Lamb*, the younger son of Lord Melbourne (though report had it that he was a bastard of the prince regent) and brother of William Lamb*, defeated Hobhouse in a bitter contest by 604 votes in a poll of 8,364, receiving considerable support from the government, Court and Tory interests. Their tactical blunders apart, the reformers learnt that at a by-election, when, unlike at general elections, the elite were present in Westminster in numbers, popular support was not quite enough to carry the day.7
By the time the death of George III in late January 1820 precipitated a dissolution, Burdett, Hobhouse and the reformers were in an advantageous position. Burdett’s written denunciation of the authorities as ‘bloody Neros’ immediately after the Peterloo massacre enabled him to regain the leadership of metropolitan radicalism, the more so as the government served him with an ex-officio information for seditious libel. Hobhouse had also become a radical martyr, having been committed to Newgate prison in December for a breach of privilege in his pamphlet A Trifling Mistake. The mob orator Henry Hunt*, who, with the rural radical and journalist William Cobbett†, had latterly been denouncing Burdett, Place and the Westminster committee as a self-appointed and dictatorial ‘Rump’, was out of harm’s way in gaol after his arrest at Peterloo. The capture and exposure of the Cato Street conspirators, 23 Feb., a few days before the dissolution, further cowed the extremists. In addition, the outcome of the important Westminster test case of Cullen v. Morris, in which the high bailiff’s arbitrary right to disqualify electors who had not paid their rates was challenged, was in favour of the reformers, and henceforth householder claimants could only be rejected if they had refused to pay.8 Hobhouse, who received a public letter of support as a champion of free speech from a meeting of electors in mid-December 1819, moved for a writ of habeas corpus. His unsuccessful argument at the hearing, 5 Feb., was prepared with the assistance of the legal reformer Henry Bickersteth and Joshua Evans, a bookseller, of the Westminster committee. It was widely suspected (not without foundation) that Hobhouse had deliberately provoked the government with a view to enhancing his electoral prospects in Westminster.9 He had kept in touch with the Whigs through Sir Robert Wilson*, who on 3 Feb. sent to Place through the activist Robert Service news that Henry Brougham* and some other leading Whigs, being anxious to conciliate Burdett and the reformers, were against Lamb’s seeking re-election. (Brougham claimed next day that he himself had had ‘many applications to come forward for Westminster, with the assurance that the Burdettites would agree to that arrangement’, but had ‘at once put an end to all such measures’ by declaring his renewed candidature for Westmorland.)10 Service told Wilson that as far as he knew the reformers intended to support Burdett and Hobhouse, and reassured him that the Whigs need not fear that the reformers would ‘crow over’ Lamb if he withdrew. Place instructed Service to tell Wilson that while he and his associates did not trust the Whigs an inch, they were willing if the Whigs resolved not to field a candidate to promise that ‘we would take no notice of the Whigs as a party or of any individual among them in respect of the election, but that we were more desirous of a contest than to shun one, because we were quite confident that we could now return two, and that even if we lost one a protracted election would greatly assist the cause of parliamentary reform’. Place meanwhile made various preliminary arrangements, and on 9 Feb. heard from Service that Wilson ‘says that what he before related was only his and Brougham’s opinion and Lamb’s coincidence’, and that Lamb, who had apparently been assured by George Tierney, the Whig Commons leader, that there would be ‘a show of a contest and no more’, ‘now says he must start’. Wilson confirmed this to Place and Hobhouse on 11 Feb. 1820. That evening the glazier Samuel Brooks chaired a meeting of two dozen reformers at their habitual meeting place, the Crown and Anchor in the Strand, when it was proposed to put up Burdett and Hobhouse. The veteran reformer William Sturch declined to endorse Hobhouse, whom he considered a lightweight, but said he would never vote for Lamb and did not obstruct proceedings. (Hobhouse wondered if Sturch had an eye on the seat for himself.) Resolutions for the nomination of the pair were carried. A subscription was opened and a managing committee of Brooks, Place, George Puller and two others was appointed to arrange a meeting next day to consider the steps to be taken. At this gathering, at Brooks’s house, matters were set fully in train. Place and Puller called on Hobhouse in Newgate to present him with the resolution in his favour: he accepted it, but claimed in his diary to be ‘not much elated’, having ‘my apprehensions, and ... being much more indifferent than formerly to the honour’.11
The reformers considered a plan to organize a triumphant procession from Newgate when Hobhouse was released on the day of dissolution, but this was abandoned. They went ahead with a scheme for a public dinner in his honour, though it was postponed to take place several days after his liberation. Hobhouse suggested naming a dozen advanced Whig or radical Members of Parliament, including Kinnaird, Wilson, Joseph Hume, David Ricardo and the City Members Matthew Wood and Robert Waithman as stewards, thinking that such a move might yet deter Lamb. Place liked the idea in principle, but thought it unlikely that many of those proposed would agree to be named. He assured Hobhouse that he was doing what he could to expedite affairs, but lamented the absence of ‘one man of leisure who will give his mind to the thing with a few others who would occasionally supply small sums of money and who would not opposes and vex him’. He reckoned that neither he nor Brooks was now able to devote all their attention and energies to the management of an election, though in the event he worked himself into the ground. He remained optimistic of success. He was somewhat concerned about how to defray the ‘probable expenses’ of the election, which he estimated at a maximum of £1,670, especially as he and Brooks between them were still liable for about £440 arising out of the 1818 and 1819 elections; and he asked Hobhouse and Burdett for a contribution. Hobhouse guessed that his share would amount to £800, and noted that it was important that the payments should be made ‘without the fact being generally known’: ‘For although these expenses are wholly for legal objects and although it is nothing wrong for the candidates to disburse them, yet as it has been the usage to do otherwise in Westminster, it is for the public good that the transaction should remain a secret’. He asked his father to raise a loan for him, but his father gave him a gift of £500. In the week before his release on 28 Feb., Place oversaw the appointment of a general committee, which included John Richter, drawn from delegates from the parish committees, and the issuing and publication of formal invitations to Burdett and Hobhouse to stand as champions of reform, and their addresses of acceptance. Place now received ‘from every quarter ... the most gratifying intelligence’.12 On 2 Mar. Hobhouse and Burdett went to the Crown and Anchor dinner of ‘the friends of parliamentary reform, trial by jury and liberty of the press’ got up to mark his release and to rally their supporters. Hobhouse, who was received with ‘thunders of applause’, appealed from his ‘prosecutors’, who had denied him justice, to ‘the people of England’, denounced the spy system, military oppression and Peterloo and welcomed the fact that Whigs at Bristol, Edinburgh, Newcastle, Norwich and York had ‘declared their determination to exert themselves in the cause of a thorough reform of Parliament’, though he argued that the impetus had come from below. Burdett extolled Hobhouse and denigrated Lamb as candidates for Westminster before delivering a wideranging review of the advance of liberalism in the civilized world, in which he pointed out that there was ample scope for effective reform between the proposal to disfranchise Grampound and the demands of extreme democrats. Hobhouse was pleased with the proceedings:
Everything passed off most agreeably. No individual great folks there, but a great many strangers, all most respectable. This dinner gave an auspicious prospect of the event of the ensuing election.13
Next day he found the general committee ‘in great activity, and assisted by more friends than usual’, and during the following days he canvassed in person, chiefly in Pimlico and Chelsea, and visited parish committees in the evenings.14 Meanwhile, the Whigs had been getting Lamb’s campaign under way, though Lord Carlisle’s son Lord Morpeth† had feared from the start that Burdett would ‘carry [Hobhouse] through unless the Whigs exert themselves’, but that ‘many of the Whigs very near approach to Burdett’s principles, and they would therefore consider it a sort of civil war’. By the first week of March Tierney could not ‘feel comfortable about Westminster, which depends a good deal upon what government choose to do, and some of their people I know declare they will give Lamb no assistance’. In a late address, 6 Mar., Lamb claimed to have supported in the House all propositions for reform, but refused to be ‘provoked to enter into a theoretical controversy, especially with those who themselves declare no definite opinion upon that subject’.15 At the nomination, 9 Mar., when Burdett appeared in person on the hustings for the first time, he was nominated by Sturch and seconded by E. Purse, an elector. Hobhouse, who reluctantly accepted Lamb’s proffered handshake, was sponsored by Thomas Clark and Thomas De Vear. Lamb was nominated by Messrs Wishart and Evans. Burdett, whose election was assured, spoke in his usual terms and attacked Lamb, particularly noticing his speech when seconding Burdett’s reform motion of 1819, in which he had supported moderate reform but denounced the dangerous ‘absurdities’ of the extremists. Lamb claimed to have ‘helped Burdett as much as anybody on that occasion’, but Hobhouse seized the initiative by contrasting his speech then with the contents of his letter to a government contractor, which Joshua Evans had put into his hands, with the recipient’s permission to read it, in which Lamb had referred to Hobhouse’s supporters as ‘the lower orders’, approved of his imprisonment and called his pamphlet ‘a flagrant insult and libel’. This had a great impact and did the Whigs considerable damage, as Grey later admitted, though Morpeth thought at the time that while it ‘was certainly not very prudent’, it ‘may do no harm in some quarters’, namely among the ‘respectable part of Westminster’. The show of hands was overwhelmingly for Burdett and Hobhouse, but Evans demanded a poll for Lamb: at the close of the first day, when polling lasted only an hour and the reformers’ ‘friends came up with unexampled alacrity’, the numbers were Burdett 167, Hobhouse 163 and Lamb 44. Hobhouse reckoned that Lamb, on this and later days, ‘performed very ill indeed’, being caught between his wish to ‘say nothing to offend the Court, whose help he wanted’, and ‘nothing to offend the Burdettites, whose second votes he wanted’, which made him ‘never profess one public principle and ... truckle to Burdett’. The reformers’ committee, who were ‘working like horses’, with Place and Richter at the helm, distributed thousands of copies of Lamb’s letter, to ‘great effect’, according to Hobhouse, ‘for it completely foiled his pretensions to conduct the contest in a candid and liberal manner’.16 Burdett was clear at the head of the poll throughout and Hobhouse, who wrote in his diary that Lamb’s ‘strength lies in the aristocracy generally rather than any particular party amongst them’, outpolled him for five consecutive days, to lead by 2,412 to 1,551 on the sixth (15 Mar.). On that day they had a furious exchange on the hustings, where Hobhouse gave the lie to Lamb’s assertion that he had deliberately contrived his imprisonment as ‘an electioneering trick’. Lamb called him out next day, but the affair was settled without violence by mutual apologies after the intercession of intermediaries.17 On 14 Mar. William Lamb applied to Charles Arbuthnot*, the government’s patronage secretary, for their assistance for his brother to prevent the success of Hobhouse on ‘distinct principles of revolution’, or at least for an intimation that electors friendly to or under the influence of government were ‘at liberty to vote’ for Lamb. Arbuthnot, as he told the prime minister, informed Lamb that ‘it was quite impossible for me to interfere’, though Lamb got the impression that he was sympathetic. Lamb also approached the duke of Wellington, a member of the cabinet, but found him ‘very much irritated and offended at George’s speeches’. However, Lamb thought that he had ‘made some impression upon him’, though the official government line was that ‘not setting up a candidate of their own they did not see why they should bring upon themselves the odium and obloquy of interfering at all’.18 On the seventh day Lamb outpolled Hobhouse by 353 to 281 and, bolstered by what Tierney, who visited Lamb’s committee and found them ‘in better spirits and humour with one another’, called ‘an active and vigorous canvass’, in which split votes for Lamb and Burdett were solicited, began to gain on Hobhouse. There were ‘complaints ... at different parishes that the electors would not come up to the poll’, and by the 17th Hobhouse was becoming a little alarmed, though he told himself on the ninth day (18 Mar.) that his lead of 562 would take some eroding with only five days to go. On 20 Mar., a Monday, he went to London ‘in a hurry to go to several places to meet electors’, but ‘found none’ and, by his own admission, had a tantrum and ‘behaved for the first time in this election foolishly’. He did, however, poll 411 to Lamb’s 281, giving him a margin of 692, which Place thought was enough. Lamb reduced his lead by 171 votes on 21 and 22 Mar., when Evans, alluding to his outburst on the previous day, told him that ‘nothing but myself could lose the election’, Lord John Russell* appeared on the hustings for Lamb, and ‘the whole aristocracy of both sides’ was ‘in motion as before’. The reformers had redoubled their efforts, and while Tierney believed on the 22nd that all was not lost for Lamb, Place reckoned that it was over bar the shouting.19 Burdett had to leave the scene to attend his trial at Leicester assizes, 23 Mar., when he was found guilty of seditious libel. Hobhouse, who heard that day ‘many stories of threats and influence’ by peers on behalf of Lamb and that ‘a government department had been canvassed’ for him, said a few words about the verdict on the hustings next day (the fourteenth), which closed with the poll at Burdett 5,073, Hobhouse 4,658 and Lamb 4,211. On 25 Mar. 1820 Burdett, just back from Leicester, joined Hobhouse on the hustings, where the reformers had taken precautions against any last minute Whig ‘tricks’. The final poll stood at Burdett 5,327, Hobhouse 4,882 and Lamb, who did not turn up, 4,436.20
Burdett and Hobhouse shared 4,692 votes (88 and 96 per cent of their respective totals). Lamb’s 3,763 plumpers made up 85 per cent of his total. There were 608 splits (seven per cent of those who voted) for Burdett and Lamb (14 per cent of Lamb’s total). Only 27 of the 9,280 men who voted plumped for Burdett, and 125 for Hobhouse, while 65 split for Lamb and Hobhouse. The voters polled for Burdett, Hobhouse and Lamb in the proportions of 57, 53 and 48 per cent respectively. The only parishes in which Burdett fared worse than average were St. Martin (54 per cent) and, notably, wealthy St. George (37), which was Lamb’s stronghold: he received a vote from 70 per cent of the voters there and 61 per cent of them plumped for him. Lamb also exceeded his average in St. Margaret (50 per cent), but this parish was very closely divided. Burdett and Hobhouse drew their strongest support from St. Anne (81 and 68 per cent respectively), St. Martin (67 and 64), St. Paul (64 and 54) and St. Clement (61 and 58). Lamb received a vote from 65 per cent of those who polled for the more prosperous and fashionable western parishes of St. George, St. James and St. Margaret. The parishes of St. George, St. James, St. Margaret and St. Martin supplied 74 per cent of those who polled.21 There was a very striking consistency of voting behaviour among electors who had polled in the 1819 by-election: almost 90 per cent of the returning Whig voters from 1819 voted for Lamb in 1820, while over 95 per cent of Hobhouse’s returning 1819 voters polled for him and Burdett. Fewer than five per cent of returning voters changed sides. The once narrow electoral appeal of Burdett and the reformers had, with growing constituency prosperity and the essential moderation (in the broad spectrum of contemporary radicalism) of Burdett and Hobhouse, broadened to touch the prosperous artisans and tradesmen of Westminster.22 The reformers subsequently issued their account of the electoral struggle, Westminster Election, 1820, which portrayed events since 1806 as a struggle for freedom of election frustrated by but ultimately triumphant over the ‘boroughmongers’.23 The Whig whip Edward Ellice*, who like others of the party favoured a rapprochement with Burdett and the parliamentary radicals, argued to his sceptical brother-in-law Lord Grey, the leader of the party, that it had been foolish for Lamb and his backers to rely ‘upon the continuance and active assistance either of the government or the Court’, as it was ‘quite clear that even with it he had a doubtful chance, and without it none’. He judged that ‘the Westminster contest was foolish in its commencement and disgraceful in its conclusion’.24 William Lamb expounded to his brother Frederick, 3 May 1820, his view of the business:
We lost the Westminster election, certainly with a majority of good votes, and I believe with a majority of all the persons who could pretend to have any votes at all, and we lost it for causes which it was very difficult if not impossible to counteract. In the first place and mainly we lost it for want of personal exertion in canvass, etc. The general election had taken everybody out of town ... Secondly we lost it from the temper and conduct of the high bailiff ... [who] admitted almost everything that was offered for Burdett and Hobhouse ... Thirdly we lost it from the neutrality of the whole government and the absolute hostility of many connected with it ... Fourthly, we lost it from want of money and mismanagement in our committee ... The Whigs were upon the whole cool and seemed anxious to get rid of a business into which they had only been stimulated by irritation and which they found very burdensome.25
The postponed chairing of Burdett and Hobhouse took place on 6 Apr., when, in pouring rain, they were accompanied by an elaborate procession of bands, parochial committees and electors along a crowd-lined route from Sloane Street to the Crown and Anchor. At the dinner there, they congratulated the independent electors of Westminster and advocated reform and as the only cure for the country’s problems.26 At the same venue, they again rallied their supporters at the 13th anniversary dinner of the triumph of purity of election in Westminster, 23 May.27 On 11 May 1820 a petition against Hobhouse’s return was lodged with the Commons in the name of Boyce Combe of St. Clement, claiming a majority of legal votes for Lamb and accusing Hobhouse of bribery and treating. This caused Hobhouse very considerable anxiety for a fortnight, but the Whigs disowned it and it lapsed for want of sureties, 26 May 1820.28 Place, meanwhile, had calculated the reformers’ expenses at £1,577, of which £239 remained to be paid.29
On 5 July 1820 inhabitant householders of St. George petitioned the Commons against the ‘secret combination’ of the New River, Chelsea and Grand Junction Water Companies in establishing a monopoly in the supply of water to the metropolis; and a similar petition was presented from the householders of St. James, 2 Mar. 1821.30 Some inhabitants of London and Westminster petitioned the Commons for inquiry into the right of judges arbitrarily to fine defendants in court, 7 Mar. 1821.31 The dean and chapter of Westminster petitioned both Houses against Catholic relief (which the Members of course supported) in 1821, and the Lords against the Catholic peers bill in May 1822, when the ministers and inhabitants of the parish of St. John did likewise.32 There were a number of Westminster petitions to Parliament against relief in 1825, when Burdett took charge of the campaign in the Commons.33 Protestant Dissenting ministers of London and Westminster petitioned both Houses for relaxation of the penal code in May 1821.34 The magistrates of St. James petitioned the Commons for revision of the licensing system and free trade in beer, 15 Mar., and curriers of London and Westminster and other interested parties did so against repeal of the leather tax and for the continuance of drawback, 16 May, 15 July 1822.35 Inhabitants of St. Anne petitioned the Commons for repeal of the assessed taxes, 4 Mar. 1823, inhabitants of St. Paul did likewise for repeal of the house and window taxes, 26 Mar. 1824, and inhabitants of St. Martin and some electors of Westminster again sought repeal in 1825.36 Manufacturers, merchants and tradesmen of Westminster petitioned the Commons for reform of the procedure for the recovery of small debts, 25 Apr., 21 May 1823.37 The journeymen of various trades petitioned the Commons for repeal of the Combination Acts, in which successful campaign Place was very active, in 1824; and the following year sawyers, carpenters and boot makers petitioned the Commons against the government’s reinstatement of the regulations.38 Inhabitants of St. George petitioned the Lords for further legislation against cruelty to animals, 22 Mar. 1824, as they did again, 20 June 1825, following the example of the inhabitants of Westminster, 5 May 1825.39 Inhabitant householders of Westminster petitioned the Commons for reform of the libel laws, 9 Apr. 1824.40 The Equitable Loan Company bill of 1825 drew petitions to the Lords both for and against it from householders and tradesmen throughout the constituency.41 Mechanics, labourers and inhabitants of St. Margaret, St. John and St. George petitioned the Commons for repeal of the beer duty, 5 May 1825.42 In 1826 the makers of women’s shoes and carpenters and joiners of Westminster petitioned both Houses for repeal of the corn laws.43 Protestant Dissenting ministers of London and Westminster petitioned the Lords, 17 Feb., and the Commons, 7 Mar. 1826, for the abolition of slavery.44 Westminster improvement bills, dealing with the area around Westminster Hall and Whitehall, became law in 1821, 1822 and 1826.45 A bill for the erection of a new bridewell, which Hobhouse piloted through, was enacted on 5 May 1826.46
Burdett, whose parliamentary attendance in this period was spasmodic, was beyond Place’s control, but he had hopes, which were fairly soon disappointed, of coaching and directing Hobhouse and turning him into an efficient and effective constituency Member. Both Members attended and addressed a Westminster inhabitants’ meeting in Covent Garden which adopted an address of support for Queen Caroline, 4 July 1820; they and the high bailiff, Morris, presented it to her in person on the 6th. Hobhouse alone was present at similar meetings of the ladies of London, Westminster and Southwark, 26 Sept., and parish meetings of St. James and St. Paul, 27 Nov., following the government’s abandonment of her prosecution.47 On 26 Nov. William Benbow, the publisher of Cobbett’s Political Register, showed Place a requisition for a Westminster meeting in support of the queen which had been drafted by Cobbett and answered by Morris with the designation of 6 Dec. for the event. On 3 Dec. Place was informed by one of Benbow’s associates that it was proving more difficult than anticipated to stage the meeting effectively, and was offered an advance sight of Cobbett’s proposed petition to Parliament, which he was given permission to submit to the Members. Place agreed, but warned that an alternative set of resolutions would be prepared in case Cobbett’s proved to be too extreme. When he received this material next day, he arranged with Brooks and another activist to summon two or three men from each parish to a morning meeting on the 5th. Place himself could not attend, being obliged to appear in court as a witness in the case of Cleary v. Cobbett, and nothing was achieved. At an evening meeting of 50 men from all the parishes, Benbow and his friend West, a wine worker, were told that the reformers would pay for erecting a platform in Covent Garden but cede them control over the proceedings in return for a number of admission tickets. They agreed to this, but said that Cobbett had still not put the finishing touches to his address and petition. The reformers then resolved that Place, Brooks and Gardener should prepare alternatives, though it was Place, as usual, who did the drafting. Cobbett sent none of ‘the promised matter’, and the inhabitants’ meeting adopted Place’s resolutions. Place believed that Cobbett’s plan had been to promote a chaotic meeting and to pin the blame on ‘the rascally Burdett and his despicable scamp’; and Cobbett did attack in the Register ‘the little knot of persons’ who controlled affairs in Westminster. Ellice attended the meeting, but, considering the reformers’ address to be ‘a very foolish one’, left before he was voted thanks for his attendance.48 The Commons received petitions for restoration of the queen’s name to the liturgy from sawyers, bookbinders and bricklayers of London and Westminster, 26 Jan., 13 Feb. 1821.49 When Burdett was sentenced to three months’ imprisonment in February 1821, Hobhouse chaired on the 12th a Crown and Anchor meeting which resolved to address him in the name of the electors and to open a subscription to pay his fine. Hobhouse led the delegation which presented the address to Burdett on the steps of Newgate prison, 21 Feb. He was at liberty in time to speak powerfully at the anniversary dinner, 23 May 1821, when he was rapturously received.50 Place, anticipating Hobhouse, oversaw the promotion of a meeting of the inhabitants to petition for reform of Parliament as the essential step towards relief from national distress, 13 Feb. He organized a preliminary gathering of parish electors on 4 Feb., and another, larger one on 11 Feb., when the resolutions and petition were ratified. Sturch took charge at the public meeting, which was attended and addressed by Burdett and Hobhouse, and by a few Members from the Commons ‘Mountain’, including Henry Grey Bennet and Samuel Whitbread, as well as Hume. The petition, which was in the name of Morris as high bailiff, was presented to the Commons by Burdett and endorsed by Hobhouse, 15 Feb.51 Hobhouse annoyed Place later in the year by pressing him to bring forward the date of the anniversary dinner by a day to enable a number of mainstream Whigs, in addition to the more advanced members of the party, to attend. He reported that Burdett (who showed an interest in a fanciful concurrent scheme of the duke of Bedford’s son Lord Tavistock* to install him as Whig Commons leader) was to raise the matter with Brooks and observed that at a time ‘when the scoundrels [ministers] are tottering, it might be worth while to strain a point in order to show a union between public men’. Place would have none of it, replying that there was nothing to be gained and much to be lost by truckling to the Whigs: by and large they were no better than the men in power, whose continued follies were calculated to ‘bring the nation to its senses, when the people may work out their salvation’. On the eve of the dinner Place remonstrated with Puller for paying attention to Hobhouse’s apparent warning that to drink a toast to ‘radical reform will be to offend the Whigs’: ‘the time for such humbuggery to be successful is gone by, and the attempt if it be made will bring nothing but disgrace’. He also deplored the plan to toast ‘the House of Russell’ as a return to ‘feudality’:
As ... Hobhouse objects to radical reform as a toast, he of course will not make a radical reform speech. If the toast be an insult, so will be the speech ... Oh dear, our Members, our radical reform Members, are to talk poor drivelling party stuff to please the Whigs, while other [radical] Members not our number come to the dinner on purpose to talk ... boldly ... of radical reform, and thus leave our Members, or at least one of them, far behind ... If you permit yourself to be cajoled tomorrow, you will strongly repent it.
In the event, not many Whigs were in the score of Members who attended. Tavistock stayed away, thinking, according to Hobhouse, ‘it better not to appear just now as a partisan of Burdett’. No toast to ‘radical reform’ was proposed, but several were to the visiting Members and the reformers of their respective areas of influence. To Hobhouse’s ‘surprise’, the Whig Lord Ebrington*, son of Earl Fortescue, gave his health and ‘prefaced it with a handsome encomium, owning he had opposed me in Westminster, had been in error and would never be in error again and trusted Westminster would never be divided again’. Hobhouse replied in equally conciliatory terms, and surmised privately that ‘this meeting will prevent a Whig candidate except under circumstances not now to be foreseen’ and might ‘also assist Tavistock’s project’ for Burdett. This, however, ended in smoke a week later.52 About a dozen Whig or radical Members attended the anniversary dinner in May 1823, when Burdett was absent through illness and was represented by his brother Jones Burdett, and Hobhouse took the chair.53 In 1824, when there were only nine Members present, and ‘all’, as Hobhouse recorded, were ‘dreadfully put to it for speeches’, Burdett paid tribute to the recently dead Byron and, like Hobhouse following him, spoke much about the struggle for liberty in Greece and Spain. Quizzed about his recent poor attendance, he argued that assiduous attendance was futile.54 On 24 Mar. 1825 Hunt hijacked a Covent Garden meeting of the inhabitants called to petition for repeal of the house and window taxes by moving and carrying, after a speech in which he ranted against pensioners and sinecurists (among whom he wrongly included Hobhouse’s father, chief commissioner for Carnatic debts), an additional resolution deploring the current bill to pay Irish Catholic priests, one of the ‘wings’ of the relief bill which Burdett had steered through the Commons. This vitiated the petition. Hunt subsequently acquiesced in the vote of thanks to Burdett, but not in that to Hobhouse. Burdett condemned Hunt’s ‘unhandsome’ trickery, and Hobhouse, who claimed that in his six sessions he had ‘never given a vote contrary to the interests of his constituents’, repudiated the charge against his father. When Hunt and his companion left the hustings they were jostled and threatened by the crowd.55 Hobhouse later wrote that ‘our Westminster friends had some apprehension that the annual dinner ... would be turbulent and lead to difficulties’, as Burdett had ‘made enemies in Westminster by his conduct on the Catholics’. At the behest of the stewards, he tried to persuade the Irish agitator Daniel O’Connell*, who had been working with Burdett on the relief bill, to stay away. O’Connell did appear, but the event, 23 May 1825, when 15 or so Whigs, including their champion of reform, Lord John Russell*, were present, ‘went off well’. Burdett concentrated on the prospering struggle for liberty abroad and the ‘great cause’ of religious toleration, especially Catholic emancipation. His toast to the home secretary Peel, for his bill to reform the procedures for jury trial, was well received. Hobhouse also commended this step in the right direction, and dwelt much on events in Greece and South America. O’Connell ‘spoke shortly and well’ in response to his health, and reported to his wife that the dinner, at which ‘about 500 persons’ were present, ‘proves that the electors of this city are decidedly favourable to the Catholics’.56 Three weeks later Place urged Hobhouse to say something in the House about building ‘encroachments’ on the parks of St. James, a subject of ‘much anxiety and apprehension’ among ‘some residents’; and on his 39th birthday, 27 June 1825, Hobhouse noted in his diary, ‘I have been more employed in private business connected with my constituents than at any former period’.57 In April 1826 Place told him that he was reasonably pleased with the government’s Charing Cross improvement bill, though he thought more might have been done to eradicate the rookery behind St. Martin-in-the-Fields church, which ‘harbours the most degraded and infamous people’. He was not surprised to learn that the local vestry, ‘the most silent and close of any in the kingdom’, against which he had set his sights, was opposed to it. The measure received royal assent on 31 May 1826.58 The 19th anniversary dinner on the 23rd was, as Hobhouse noted, ‘thinly attended, but went off well’. He and Burdett, who was crippled with gout, reaffirmed their belief in the need for extensive reform of the ‘corrupt’ Commons.59
After the 1820 success Place had told Hobhouse that he would ‘never again conduct a Westminster election, nor go out of my own house to assist [in] one’, but he took on the task of trying to settle outstanding debts incurred since then. The attorney Richard Hayward had not been paid for his work in the Cullen v. Morris case, but in 1822 had settled with Hobhouse for a sum of £320 to cover his expenses. After his death in 1824 Place, as one of his co-trustees, had obtained from Hobhouse a sum of £200. In late 1825 Place pursued Kinnaird and Robert Knight* for sums of £50 and £100 promised respectively at the 1820 election, but apparently without success. In the second week of April 1826 he submitted the problem to Burdett and Hobhouse, explaining that all hopes of raising the money by voluntary subscription were now dead, and seeking £96 to settle the 1820 account.60 On 30 May 1826, only four days before the dissolution, Hobhouse was told by an elector that ‘nothing was doing in Westminster towards the election’ and had his attention drawn to ‘a violent attack on Burdett and me’ in the Morning Herald, accusing them of ‘remissness of attendance’. This Hobhouse deemed ‘absurd in the extreme’, at least as far as he himself was concerned. He called on Joshua Evans and Kinnaird to discuss the situation, and wrote to Bickersteth.61 That day, according to Place, Charles Smith of Piccadilly called on him (partly, Place believed, at the behest of Hobhouse) and tried to persuade him to take an active part in the impending election. This Place declined to do, even though, after the death of Samuel Brooks in 1822 and Richter’s appointment as chairman of a public company and his own retirement, he admitted that ‘the whole of the efficient people must of necessity be absent at the next election’. However, when Smith told him that Kinnaird had agreed to chair any meeting that might be required, Place ‘wrote an address’ of invitation to Burdett and Hobhouse for a small private meeting of activists planned for that evening. Next day Place settled with Kinnaird and Evans the address and its attendant resolutions for the opening of a subscription and the establishment of parish committees of 21, from which five delegates would be sent to a general committee. On the evening of 1 June Kinnaird chaired a meeting at the Crown and Anchor, which adopted Place’s resolutions. By prior arrangement a deputation of De Vear, Henry Jackson, Smith and Samuel Clark waited on Burdett and Hobhouse at the former’s house in St. James’s Place. The Members were perturbed to learn that there had been no more than 15 men present and also that Kinnaird had allowed reporters from The Times and the Representative to remain in the room throughout, thus leaving the reformers open to charges of operating as a secret cabal. Burdett and Hobhouse promised to send an answer in due course, but when the deputation had left they were further chagrined to read that the resolutions opened with an attack on ‘the two great political factions’ that had dominated Westminster elections before the triumph of 1807. They both agreed that they ‘would not attack the Whigs and would say so publicly if required’. Hobhouse was sent to Kinnaird and Place ‘to see what could be done to prevent the resolution and the publication of the proceedings at this insignificant meeting doing any mischief to the cause’. Near midnight he found Kinnaird reading Peregrine Pickle and had ‘some sharp words’ with him. He went on to Place’s house at 16 Charing Cross, arriving, as Place saw it, ‘in great agitation’. According to Hobhouse’s account, Place was ‘very angry at the proceedings having been made public’, but said ‘nothing was to be done’; they agreed that he would give Hobhouse a mollifying note to send to Burdett, who was planning to leave early next morning for Southampton in order to sail with his wife and daughters for France to set them on their way to the south, for the sake of Lady Burdett’s health. Hobhouse ‘went to Brooks’s and wrote to Burdett, much annoyed’. Place, who described Hobhouse as ‘half crazy, half foolish’, confirmed in his own account that he had ‘condemned the folly of Kinnaird and others in suffering reporters to be present’, but that he had argued that ‘little mischief’ would result, as his resolutions had contained the proposal to set up parish committees and then a general one, and that therefore the meeting could fairly be passed off as ‘merely preliminary’. On the morning of 2 June Hobhouse received two notes from Burdett, one saying the he had decided not to go to France, the other that ‘he would not be lugged into a contest with the Whigs’. He also received a letter from Place telling him that ‘out of evil cometh good’, in that the Representative had presented the meeting as ‘a hoax’, but also indicated that it ‘was only preliminary, and that it recommended the parishes to appoint committees’. At the same time, it was ‘absolutely necessary’ that he and Burdett should send an appropriate public answer to the 1 June address. Unaware of Burdett’s change of mind, he urged Hobhouse to have him intercepted on his road, for
unless you both reply ... and say that referring the business to the electors in their respective parishes is the right way, meetings in the parishes may not be held, for what is everybody’s business is nobody’s business, and when no particular cause for excitement exists, people are apt to be torpid and this may give encouragement to them and others to produce a crisis.
Hobhouse went to Burdett and composed ‘an address to De Vear and his committee which said that we waited for the expression of the sentiments of Westminster in the parishes, and concluding with a sort of recommendation to reformers not to revive old stories against the Whigs’. Burdett approved, while Kinnaird, to whom Hobhouse showed it, ‘thought no notice need be taken of the resolution’ about the ‘two factions’. Hobhouse then went to Place, who ‘approved the first part of the letter, but decisively condemned the latter sentence, saying that if it stood thus all our reformers would turn on us’. He failed to persuade Place to accompany him to Burdett’s to ‘debate the point’. Hobhouse went alone, and he and Burdett agreed to omit the ‘recommendation’ but ‘still to refer to the electors at large, so as not to commit ourselves with the small meeting at the Crown and Anchor’. He took the new version to Place, who ‘said it would do very well’, and thence to De Vear, who ‘liked the thing’. Thus it was ‘finally determined that we should be satisfied with this line of conduct’. Hobhouse blamed the ‘whole difficulty’ on Kinnaird’s ‘imprudence in not keeping the meeting private as it was intended to be’. At Brooks’s later that day he ‘found my Whig friends had not started at the resolutions’: ‘so far, so good, no thanks, however, to our impracticable friends’. Place’s interpretation of the exchanges of 2 June showed his disillusionment with Burdett and Hobhouse, especially the latter. He recorded that he had called, ‘still greatly agitated’ and ‘dwelt upon the attack on, he called it upon his friends, and said that Burdett complained that he was placed in an awkward situation with the Whigs, whom he had praised, as he should be accused of using one kind of conduct to their faces and another behind their backs’. Place considered their proposed reply to De Vear as ‘absurd in the extreme’, for neither of them appeared to understand that a disclaimer of hostility to the Whigs was ‘not only unnecessary but that it was a declaration that the Whigs were his friends and that the reformers were not’; that ‘the reply if sent would cause every man of them to retire and that it would prevent any parish meetings being held; that in fact it was putting an end to the interference of the electors and inviting a contest’. Eventually, according to Place, Hobhouse got the message, and agreed to omit the reference to the ‘factions’ remark. Reflecting on this episode, Place wrote privately that Burdett and Hobhouse were ‘little if any better than mere drawling Whigs, but the influence of the people in their own affairs was assisted and maintained in 1820, and the fear of the reformers still remains’. He admitted that their ‘leaning ... towards the Whigs’ and ‘their inefficiency in Parliament’ had motivated him to include the reference to ‘factions’ in the resolutions. He considered Hobhouse and Burdett’s revised reply to De Vear ‘a poor spiritless performance’, but let it pass, and it was duly published in the press. Late on 2 June De Vear and Jackson got Place to draw up an advertisement for subscriptions; and when they confessed that ‘they had neither hired a room nor engaged a clerk, nor had anyone joined them’, he advised them to act immediately. He gave instructions to the hired clerk next day, when he reassured a ‘somewhat disconcerted’ Burdett, who lamented that ‘all those who used to be active, all the intelligent men, had either left Westminster or were dead’. Place supervised from home further essential arrangements on 4 and 5 June, with the election scheduled for the 9th.62 The Tory press continued to try to ‘get up an opposition’, but an abortive attempt by one Robert Harris of Barton Street to try through the anti-Catholic peer Lord Kenyon and the home office under-secretary Henry Hobhouse to entice Peel, Member for Oxford University, to stand as a champion of ‘the Protestant ascendancy in church and state’ seems to have remained a secret.63 Although there were persistent stories of a move to put up Canning, the foreign secretary, by 6 June, when Place (who forbade Hobhouse to go to Ascot races, as ‘there is no time’) took the necessary steps to ensure the speedy publication of the formal invitation to Burdett and Hobhouse from the general committee appointed by the parishes, giving the candidates a preview of the invitation and taking a copy of their reply and election addresses, Hobhouse thought that ‘everything wears a good aspect’. On 7 June, when the reformers’ formalities were completed, The Times promoted Canning’s pretensions and alleged that Burdett ‘wished to let his popularity die a natural death and would be sorry if anyone interposed to prevent his rejection for Westminster’. Next day it was reported that there was to be a meeting that evening of Canning’s friends to take steps to nominate him and return him free of charge: the prime movers were Charles Pitt of the Adelphi, a ‘cracked brained attorney’, and the ‘swindler’ Molloy Westmacott, who claimed to be a bastard of the eminent sculptor. The meeting ended in ‘farce and confusion’, but a deputation waited at 10.30 pm on Canning, who declined to have anything to do with Westminster, having given up Liverpool in 1822 on account of its heavy burden of constituency business. Hobhouse soon got wind of this, and had been assured earlier at Brooks’s that Canning had no intention of standing; but, according to Place, he called late at night with De Vear and Jackson, ‘most absurdly’ alarmed. Place assured him that he and Burdett, who was reported to be ‘exceedingly fidgety’, only had to ‘be tranquil and leave the matter to those who had it in their hands’.64 At the nomination, 9 July, ‘a fine day, very hot’, Burdett was nominated by Messrs. Langham and Purse, and Hobhouse by De Vear and Clerk. There were a few jocular shouts about Canning, but ‘no cry of No Popery’, and they were declared elected. Returning thanks, Burdett advocated reform, as usual, but paid particular attention to the farcical Scottish electoral system. Hobhouse claimed to have entitled himself by his parliamentary conduct to the continued support of his constituents, dismissed two minor ‘complaints’ against him and, like Burdett, defended their absence from the division on Russell’s resolutions outlawing electoral bribery, 26 May 1826, on the ground that such declarations were meaningless as long as the current ‘corrupt’ electoral system prevailed. The proceedings were over in 45 minutes. As they made their way home, Hobhouse and Burdett ‘could not help confessing ... that it was almost incredible that the election for Westminster could be managed with so much real independence’, which few of their friends could credit, preferring to ‘suppose an influence and a contrivance which do not exist’. Place observed privately that if there had been a contest, ‘there would have been no one to conduct the election and people must have been hired and paid for their services as usual’. He reckoned that the cost of this ‘would have been enormous’, but did not ‘think that any person whatever would have had any chance of success against Burdett and Hobhouse, inefficient and almost useless as they are as representatives now’.65 On 2 Dec. 1826 he sent Hobhouse a long letter in which he put in writing what he had earlier mentioned on conversation, namely the ‘repeated observation’ of many in Westminster that he was ‘not a man of business’ (to which Place subscribed), but offering him a chance to prove himself by putting in his hands rather than the indefatigable Hume’s the case of an aggrieved merchant, if he would promise to ‘be patient in hearing the party’, to ‘fully understand it’ and ‘resolutely and uncompromisingly go through with it’. Hobhouse wrote a spirited defence of his conduct, mentioning not only his dedicated attendance and fine voting record, but also his assiduity in dealing with constituency business, which he felt had satisfied most rational electors, and asking Place why, if he had so low an opinion of his worth as a Member, he had drawn up the address of 1 June 1826 extolling his virtues. He had never, in any case, pretended to be ‘a man of business’, and had not been elected as such. He showed his reply to Burdett, who approved it and ‘told me I would do without Westminster much better than Westminster could do without me’. On ‘second thoughts’, he did not send the letter to Place. He did, however, preside at the inaugural meeting of the Western Literary Institution, as Place had requested, 7 Dec. 1826.66 In February 1827 Place obtained from Burdett and Hobhouse £108 each to settle all outstanding election debts, noting that ‘this was the first time Sir Francis Burdett was ever applied to to pay any money on all of Westminster election business and other Westminster proceedings’. He informed Hobhouse that the cost to the reformers since 1807 of seven elections, six chairings, over 30 public meetings, 24 public dinners, two elections petitions and many publications, had been £10,000, ‘a smaller sum than was spent by the two candidates who appeared in 1818’.67
Inhabitants of London and Westminster and women’s shoemakers petitioned both Houses for repeal of the corn laws in 1827.68 Local owners and occupiers petitioned the Commons against the erection of buildings in St. James’s Park, 7 June 1827.69 Dissenting congregations and ministers petitioned for repeal of the Test Acts in 1828.70 Inhabitant householders of St. James petitioned the Commons for inquiry into parish expenditure and rate assessments in 1828 and 1829.71 Catholic emancipation in 1829 drew only a handful of Dissenters’ petitions both for and against.72 In 1830, stonemasons of London and Westminster petitioned the Commons for parliamentary reform, 7 Apr.; merchants and tradesmen did so for abolition of the death penalty for forgery, 24 May; bakers of London, Westminster and Southwark petitioned the Commons for repeal of the restrictions on Sunday labour, 25 May; inhabitants of London and Westminster sought the end of the East India Company’s trade monopoly, 20 July, and members of the Metropolitan Political Union (London, Westminster and Southwark) petitioned against the Greek loan, 8 June, and for the secret ballot, 21 June.73 A bill for the improvement and regulation of Covent Garden market became law on 27 June 1828.74 After an abortive attempt by Lord William Russell* in 1828, a bill to reform the vestry of St. Paul was steered through by Hobhouse to royal assent on 22 May 1829; but his measure to regulate the vestry of St. James was defeated by 83-61 on its third reading in the Commons, 21 May.75 On 28 Apr. that year Hobhouse, coached and encouraged by Place, proposed the appointment of a select committee on parish vestries in a speech which included examples of abuses from the closed parochial governments of St. James, St. Margaret and St. John and St. Martin, but noted the good record of the self-elected vestry of St. George. He obtained the inquiry, although the government restricted its remit, and had it renewed on 10 Feb. 1830. His remedial bill of 12 May 1830 was emasculated in committee and overtaken by the dissolution. There was petitioning both for and against a bill to authorize the construction of a new road northwards from Waterloo Bridge in 1830; none was introduced that session.76
In late April 1827 Pitt tried to get up a meeting (in Westminster Hall) to address the king on the change of ministry, but the high bailiff refused permission. On 14 May Pitt and his cronies went ahead in Covent Garden, but as soon as their hustings had been erected a large body of constables took them down. Pitt went to nearby Bow Street magistrates’ court to seek permission for the meeting, but the presiding justice ruled against him. Meanwhile a large crowd had congregated in Covent Garden, where they amused themselves by throwing refuse and cabbage stalks. A little later appeared Hunt and Cobbett, but in front of St. Paul’s church they fell foul of the high constable, who had Hunt arrested and dragged away. After much confusion, Hunt’s ‘blacking wagon’ was parked in Wellington Street, where a meeting of sorts took place. A motion of censure (later embodied in a petition) against the high bailiff was carried, and an address adopted which expressed regret at the king’s appointment to power of Canning, the avowed enemy of reform, of whose administration Burdett had declared his support in the House. Place noted that of the principals, only the ‘crazy’ Pitt and Dr. Andrew Tucker were electors of Westminster. Pitt was subsequently found guilty of assault and fined.77 At the 20th anniversary dinner, 23 May, when a number of Whigs and parliamentary radicals were present, Cobbett, who was the worse for drink, created turmoil by denouncing Burdett as ‘a traitor to the cause of the people’ and moving a resolution to that effect. Burdett defended himself, arguing that the exclusion of the old Tory reactionaries from power was a step towards the establishment of ‘liberal principles’. Hunt joined in the attack on Burdett, and the meeting degenerated into chaos. Hobhouse, who could not obtain a hearing in the turmoil, did not think Cobbett had ‘attained his object of putting down Burdett and the Westminster reformers’, but conceded that ‘he did gain his object of creating a disturbance which reflected little credit upon the skill or courage of the worthy stewards’. But when he heard Cobbett ‘calling me names’ he threatened to flatten him with a steward’s wand. The visiting Whigs were heard ‘in comparative quiet’. Hobhouse reckoned it ‘a partial defeat’, but Burdett next day cautioned him against giving the impression to those who were not there that Cobbett (whose wife had recently tried to kill herself) had ‘beat the meeting’.78 Burdett renounced his support of the feeble Goderich administration at the turn of the year, when Hobhouse corresponded with Place on the state of political affairs, but found him dismissive of all ‘party politicians’. In March 1828 he sent Hobhouse a mass of material on petty crime, immorality and drunkenness in the metropolis, through the study of which his ‘talents’ and ‘quickness’ would enable him to reach ‘the truth’, if only he also possessed ‘the doggedness which I lament you have not’.79 Hobhouse thought there were ‘no more than 200 present’ at the anniversary diner, 26 May 1828, when he and Burdett were ‘very well received’, but Hunt declared his opinion that Catholic emancipation would not solve Ireland’s problems and in any case would never be carried.80 Soon afterwards Place, who continued to try to keep Hobhouse up the mark on parliamentary matters affecting his constituents, told him that the borough polls bill, which was about to be read a third time, would empower the high bailiff to erect ‘as many booths as he pleases’ and ‘increase the expense tenfold’, and advocated his own recommendations to the 1827 select committee as to how, with the ballot, Westminster elections might be completed in four hours.81 In the House, 19 Mar. 1829, when Pallmer, Member for Surrey, presented a London and Westminster petition against Catholic relief, Hobhouse commented that its signatories amounted to ‘more than double the number of householders to be found in London and Westminster’, and added that if the electors of Westminster were against emancipation, he ‘was not fit to be their representative’.82 Illness kept Burdett from the anniversary dinner, 25 May 1829, when Hunt, responding to the toast to ‘a full fair and free representation of the people in Parliament’, observed that Burdett used to deliver ‘gallant and bold speeches ... on the subject ... without the House of Commons’, but had ‘latterly’ been silent on it inside the House. Sturch’s toast to Burdett was received with ‘great applause mingled with some hisses’; and when a steward threatened to eject one of the hecklers, another guest complained that this was ‘improper’ conduct, and Hobhouse felt obliged to endorse this view. Hunt then opposed the toast, criticizing Burdett (and Hobhouse) for acquiescing in the expenditure of £2,000,000 on royal palaces and public buildings and, more pointedly, in the disfranchisement of Irish 40s. freeholders. Defying a noisy uproar, ‘in a posture of vulgar defiance’, Cobbett took up the same theme, adding an attack on Burdett’s support for the anatomy bill (which drew shouted allusions to Cobbett’s own ‘grave robbery’ in bringing back Tom Paine’s bones from America). The motion to propose the toast from the chair was carried by an overwhelming majority, and Hobhouse did so: he read a letter from Burdett congratulating the meeting on the enactment of Catholic emancipation; pointed out that he himself had in fact opposed the palaces expenditure; explained that he had acquiesced in the Irish franchise bill (which he, unlike Burdett had opposed in 1825) in order to secure emancipation; dismissed as ‘ridiculous’ hostility to the anatomy bill; denied having grown lukewarm on reform, and placed his seat at the disposal of the electors if they were dissatisfied with his conduct. Cobbett returned to the attack, but was little heard, and O’Connell denounced the franchise bill as ‘a canker and gangrene’ on emancipation.83 In early May 1830 Hobhouse had to intervene to get Place and De Vear to legitimize a meeting, purportedly of the electors of Westminster, which had been promoted by James Silk Buckingham† to air his grievance against the East India Company and which Burdett had sanctioned unilaterally. When Burdett fell conveniently ill, Hobhouse had to chair this ‘farce’, 8 May.84 At the anniversary dinner, 24 May 1830, when anticipation of George IV’s death was blamed for the ‘thin attendance’, Burdett welcomed Catholic emancipation, spoke forcefully in favour of the removal of Jewish disabilities, praised the recently formed Birmingham Political Union and paid lip service to Hume’s tireless efforts to promote economy, but insisted that reform was the key to all beneficial change. He promised to vote for O’Connell’s impending radical reform motion, but said he would settle for something short of universal suffrage, namely a ratepayer suffrage, if that was what the majority of reformers preferred. Hobhouse claimed that he and Burdett had not raised reform in the House recently because they had wished to defer to new Members, specifying the Ultra Lord Blandford, who had declined an invitation to the dinner. Shortly before the end of O’Connell’s long speech for reform and civil and religious liberty, Burdett fainted; he was led from the room by his brother, apparently ‘very ill’.85 This prevented him from voting for O’Connell’s motion on 18 May 1830, but Hobhouse was in the favourable minority.
Their support for the sale of beer and anatomy bills and Hobhouse’s misunderstood attempts to promote vestry reform were unpopular with some of their constituents, and there were rumours of opposition at the 1830 general election. Hobhouse removed one potential challenger, Hume, by promoting his successful candidature for Middlesex.86 On 2 July 1830 De Vear and Jackson presented Hobhouse with resolutions passed at a Crown and Anchor meeting of about 15 men inviting him and Burdett to be put in nomination. He gave them ‘a formal answer as before, acceding to their request in terms very measured and without any expressions of gratitude, which I cannot say I feel’. Next day, at De Vear’s, Burdett showed Hobhouse his own answer, which described William IV as ‘a patriot king’ (‘a sort of manifesto against the foolish conduct of Brougham and Lord Grey’ in Parliament) and was besides, as Hobhouse thought, far too long. He persuaded Burdett to cut out the reference to the new king and drafted a revised version on the model of his own. Jackson undertook to ‘recover the original letter from The Times office and substitute’ Hobhouse’s. On 8 July Sir Edward Codrington, Hobhouse’s ‘Navarino hero’, sent him a message assuring him that there was no truth in the story of ‘his being about to stand for Westminster’, and the radical Colonel Leslie Grove Jones did likewise. A notion later in the month of starting Tavistock’s son Lord Russell* (of which Tavistock himself disapproved) came to nothing, but rumours of a challenge persisted. Less than a week before the election, 31 July, Burdett was in Birmingham, coquetting with Thomas Attwood† and the Political Union.87 Hobhouse described the proceedings at Covent Garden on ‘a fine hot day’:
The crowd [was] not great, but the attendance of our friends at the Grand Hotel [was] very full. I hardly missed a man of the old or young Westminster reformers except one or two politicians who have left us on account of our votes for the beer bill ... Of old Cobbett there was no appearance, but we were told that a great many opponents were in the crowd ready to assail us ... So soon as we were on the scaffolding we found that the publicans had been on the alert, for our reception was anything but flattering, at least for us who had been so long accustomed to unanimous applause. There were two or three little knots of malcontents yelling and making faces and occasionally flinging a cabbage which, however, seemed done more in sport than malice ... Burdett was shortly proposed [by Messrs. Lindon and Purse] amidst much confusion, as also was myself by De Vear and another householder [Roberts]. Then Burdett spoke, and certainly was not well received, and not at all heard. Nevertheless the great majority, I think, were for him, and the account in the Courier and other hostile papers as to the confusion and cabbage pelting was very much exaggerated. When I addressed the assembly there was very little if any disturbance, and it is true that the opposition was chiefly directed against my colleague for several reasons besides the vote for the beer bill. As an instance, however, of the folly of these poor fellows, some of them cried out against us for supporting Warburton’s anatomy bill, and some addressed me with ‘No select vestries!!’ ... When I had done speaking the high bailiff read our names to the people, and as no one else was proposed, declared us duly elected. We then withdrew into the church to witness the signing of the return. Some proposed that we should retire by a back way, but I dissented from this and walked to our hotel, amidst the same partial applause as before ... Burdett made light of all this. So did our friends, who said that all had gone off very well. I can’t say I thought so. A good deal of the disturbance was doubtless to be attributed to the disappointment at not raising an opposition, but we cannot in the common sense of the word be called the popular Members for Westminster, and we shall hear of these cabbages in Parliament, that’s certain, and shall never have another unopposed election, that’s equally certain.
According to The Times, Burdett asserted that ‘the cause of reform appeared to be making great strides’, took Brougham to task for telling the electors of Yorkshire that holding that seat would expose him to ‘much more labour, care and exertion’ than the nomination borough one he might have had and expressed his support for Hume’s Middlesex candidature. Hobhouse proclaimed that ‘the beacons of ... liberty were to be seen blazing in every part of this land, and ... to him it appeared impossible they should ever be extinguished’.88 News of the French revolution had arrived on the eve of the election. In his draft address of thanks Hobhouse initially inserted ‘something about France’, but subsequently deleted it, ‘on reflection’ and the advice of his wife. On 4 Aug., however, when the address did not appear in the papers, De Vear came to him with one from Burdett, which was ‘all about France and all rhodomantade’. Hobhouse sent De Vear back to Burdett, with a request that he might recast it, but Burdett would not do so, and Hobhouse ‘restored my original address, and added that I had sent £100 to Lafayette for French families of those who fell in these last days’. He reflected that ‘it is difficult dealing with friend Burdett, though he is the best of men’, for he had previously agreed to be silent about France. The publication of Burdett’s address, 5 Aug., drove down the funds; and at the Middlesex election dinner next day Burdett complained of the abuse which it had generated among ‘Tories’. Hobhouse went to his wife at Eastbourne, but on 11 Aug. discovered from the papers that Burdett had acquiesced in the project of Silk Buckingham to get up a meeting to commemorate the French revolution ‘without a word to our Westminster friends who are in great perplexity’. He remonstrated with his colleague and De Vear by letter, but was unable to avert the meeting. He went up to attend it on 18 Aug. 1830, and agreed beforehand with a contrite Burdett that they should ‘confine ourselves to the good conduct of the French and say nothing about punishing the ministers’. In the event, the gathering, which was attended by only three other Members (Josiah Guest, Charles Fyshe Palmer and Henry Warburton), but had the sort of ‘respectable’ participants ‘as might be expected from guinea tickets’, ‘went off admirably’. The potentially mischievous Colonel Jones was silenced, and Hobhouse and Burdett were ‘much satisfied’ with the outcome.89
A few Dissenters’ petitions for the abolition of slavery were sent to the 1830 Parliament.90 Inhabitant householders of St. Clement petitioned the Commons for repeal of the window tax, 22 Nov. 1830, and those of St. Anne for repeal of the whole assessed taxes, 3, 8 Feb. 1831.91 Inhabitants of St. Anne petitioned the Commons for the ballot, 26 Feb., and those of London and Westminster did so for repeal of the newspaper stamp duty, 29 Mar. 1831.92 The Grey ministry brought in a new bill to authorize construction of the Waterloo Bridge New Street road, 11 Mar. 1831, but it was overtaken by the dissolution.93 Hobhouse was privately annoyed when a deputation from the metropolitan parishes expressed their hostility to ‘the essential clause’ of his revised vestry reform bill, 3 Dec. 1830. He introduced it and had it printed, 8 Feb. 1831. It provoked both favourable and hostile petitions from Westminster, the metropolitan area and elsewhere, was referred to a select committee, 14 Mar., and lapsed with the dissolution.94 On 4 Feb. Burdett chaired a meeting of the inhabitants of Westminster at the Crown and Anchor which sent an address to the king applauding his support for the government’s intention to bring in a measure of reform and a petition to the Commons for the inclusion of triennial parliaments and the ballot in the scheme.95 He and Hobhouse were pleasurably surprised to find that Place and, as he said, ‘all our supporters’ were ‘charmed’ with the ministerial reform scheme, revealed on 1 Mar. A meeting to endorse it was fixed for 4 Mar. Place drafted resolutions and a petition calling for the inclusion of shorter parliaments and the ballot, but, amid a certain amount of disorder, these proposals were disregarded, and the meeting merely expressed full support for the government’s plan. Hobhouse’s part in this damaged him irreparably him in the eyes of several Westminster activists.96 He presented the meeting’s petition, 15 Mar., and similar petitions from most of the Westminster parishes reached the Commons and the Lords between then and the dissolution.97 On that day, 22 Apr., De Vear and two others called on Hobhouse with ‘a resolution passed at a very large meeting of electors last night requesting again to put me in nomination’. Place assured him that ‘we shall have no contest, and little to do’. Burdett received an identical invitation, and they both signified their assent. At a meeting in Covent Garden called to thank the king for agreeing to the dissolution, 26 Apr., Burdett and Hobhouse, as the latter noted, were ‘received as in the old time, and gave the boroughmongers a dressing’: they called for united support from reformers for the ministerial proposals. Subsequently a resolution was carried urging the electors in open constituencies throughout the country to combine and subscribe for the purpose of returning committed reformers.98 A late report that the surgeon and reformer Thomas Wakley† was to be put in nomination was privately contradicted by his pupil and lodger at 35 Bedford Square.99 On election day, 2 May, as Hobhouse recorded, he and Burdett
went in procession, attended by all the ... parishes, with banners, etc., and the high constable from Burdett’s house to Covent Garden. We were in an open barouche. All others on foot. A great crowd attending. Our reception very pleasing. Covent Garden absolutely covered with spectators. At one o’clock we ascended the hustings amidst thunders of applause. The rumours of opposition turned out unfounded, indeed no opposition would have been safe. We were chosen and returned thanks. The rain fell in torrents, and whilst I was speaking was so violent as absolutely to drown my periods, but the utmost good humour prevailed throughout the vast assemblage ... Burdett and I retired through the church and returned home in a hackney coach quietly.100
The anniversary dinner, 23 May 1831, when there were, Hobhouse thought, ‘about 300 guests’, was carried off ‘with a spirit and effect to be expected from the prospect of an immediate triumph for the cause of which ... Burdett and the Westminster reformers had been the principal, and, for a time, were the only promoters’. At the end of the evening Burdett gave the health of the veteran reformer Thomas Hardy, who ‘expressed, as well he might, his amazement at living to see the king and his ministers propose to do that, for attempting which he had been tried for his life’.101
The Waterloo Bridge New Street bill was reintroduced on 23 June and received royal assent on 27 Sept. 1831.102 The chairman and secretary of the Westminster Union of the working classes petitioned the Commons, 8 Aug., to complain of the disrespect shown by the foreign secretary Lord Palmerston* to their memorial urging intervention on behalf of the Poles. The Union petitioned for radical reform, 30 Aug. On 7 Sept. the Commons received a petition from the householders of St. Martin accusing the parish vestry of wasteful expenditure, and on 18 Oct. one from inhabitants of London and Westminster for repeal of the corn laws.103 On 21 Sept. ‘several thousand’ resident householders assembled by requisition in Covent Garden to petition the Lords to pass the reform bill. Burdett persuaded Dr. Bainbridge to withdraw his proposal to address the king for the creation of enough peers to force the measure through. The radical George De Lacy Evans* moved a vote of thanks to Burdett and Hobhouse, but the bookseller Robert Fenn of Charing Cross intruded some harsh comments on the wastefulness of the vestries and accused the Members of paying ‘little attention’ to the ‘wants’ of the inhabitants. Burdett expressed confidence that the Lords would pass the bill, while Hobhouse, who alluded to the presence on the balcony opposite the church of the Tories George Dawson* and Robert Adam Dundas*, ‘come to spy out the nakedness of the land’, repudiated Fenn’s charge of neglect and urged the electors to display ‘prudence, temperance and wisdom’ in support of reform. The meeting’s petition was presented to the Lords, 26 Sept.; and the parishes met and petitioned in the same sense in the following two weeks.104 After the bill’s defeat in the Lords, an overcrowded meeting, chaired by Burdett, was held at the Crown and Anchor, 10 Oct., to address the king in support of the government and reform. Hobhouse, who thought ‘everything passed off with the greatest spirit and propriety’, urged the audience to ‘adopt the motto patience, patience, patience’, and Evans declared, ‘Let peace be their watchword, and it would be found that the result would be success’. When Hobhouse went to St. James’s to present this and other metropolitan addresses, 12 Oct., he was disturbed to find shops shut and ‘many ill-looking and ill-dressed people standing about’. He tried unsuccessfully to persuade a Bond Street shoemaker to remove a provocative placard from his premises, and noted the presence of ‘a strong force of police and of Horse Guards’ near the Palace, to keep at bay the crowds with banners who were parading in the vicinity. Next day, when ‘the streets were quiet, and the crowds had disappeared’, he chaired a meeting of the inhabitants of St. George in Farm Street, Berkeley Square, called to address the king for reform and intended, as Hobhouse recorded, ‘to test the truth of an assertion made by [the Tory ‘Waverer’] Lord Wharncliffe, in the Lords, that the shopkeepers in Bond Street and St. James’s Street were opposed to reform’. Wharncliffe himself was present, but he stayed silent; he later told Hobhouse that ‘a man, dressed like a gentleman, shook a rope at him’. A number of reforming Members attended, including Lord Robert Grosvenor and Thomas Slingsby Duncombe, and the sense of the gathering was unanimously for reform.105 The inhabitants of St. Clement petitioned the Commons for reform, 10 Oct.106 To Hobhouse’s frustration and displeasure, Place, De Vear and other Westminster activists, not willing entirely to trust ministers to bring in a new and ‘equally efficient’ reform bill, drew up a memorial demanding a creation of peers and a speedy recall of Parliament, and on 12 Oct. sent a deputation of 17, which included ‘some evil-looking fellows’, to Grey, who was civil but non-committal and inwardly exasperated. Hobhouse, who foresaw ‘a squabble amongst our Westminster friends’, which might cost him his seat (about which he claimed to be ‘more than indifferent’), attributed the motives of ‘most’ of the deputation to ‘over zeal and officiousness’, but suspected that ‘some ... had projects of a very decisive nature’.107 Burdett, who was in direct contact with Grey in these weeks, also tried to restrain Place and his associates. In an attempt to keep control of proceedings, he agreed to chair the inaugural meeting of the planned National Political Union, 31 Oct., when there was much chaos and a rift developed between the middle class Westminster reformers and the extremists of the Rotunda, led by Wakley. When the latter carried a resolution that at least half the union’s council should be working men, the Westminster reformers resolved to form their own association with the defined object of supporting the government and the reform scheme and preserving the peace. It had little success, and dissolved itself on 23 Nov. in the face of the government’s proclamation against the military organization of unions. Burdett resigned the presidency of the National Union in February 1832.108 On 14 Nov. inhabitants of St. James, under the chairmanship of Evans, met to form a ‘Loyal Association to aid the cause of Reform’ and to adopt measure to effect the provisions of Hobhouse’s Vestry Act, which had become law on 20 Oct. 1831. Some ‘metropolitan delegates unanimously passed a vote of thanks’ to Hobhouse for it the following month; and the Westminster parishes of St. George, St. James and St. John later took advantage of the measure.109
On 31 Jan. 1832 Hobhouse was offered the vacant war secretaryship. He was inclined to accept, but asked for a short time to consider, not least on account of the possible reaction of his leading supporters in Westminster. Grey informed the king that day that Hobhouse probably feared ‘the chance of an opposition’ from ‘Place and the violent party, who are very angry with him for having refused to belong to the [National] Union’. De Vear and Place, whom he saw later on the 31st, had no objections: the former was keen, while the latter ‘hesitated’ at first, but concluded that it was a matter ‘for personal consideration’ and that Hobhouse would be justified in accepting if, as he claimed, he had received assurances that the ministry would carry reform. He decided to accept, and on 1 Feb. told his wife that if there was ‘an attempt at an opposition ... we shall give the rogues a sound beating’. A meeting of electors to issue a formal endorsement of his decision and inviting him to stand for re-election was arranged for that evening, and on 2 Feb. De Vear brought him this resolution. He drafted a formal reply, but before giving it to De Vear submitted it to Althorp, who advised him to strike out a reference to the government’s being ‘able’ to secure reform; this he did. His re-election on 8 Feb 1832, when he was proposed by De Vear, seconded by Pouncey the stationer, of Long Acre, and supported by Burdett, Ebrington, Hume and a few other Members, passed off with ‘very little excitement’. He promised to support his new colleagues as long as they promoted an undiluted reform scheme. Burdett described his appointment and re-election as ‘one grand step towards the success of the reform bill and the final extinction of the boroughmongers’ and was ‘much cheered’. Hobhouse recorded that during his speech ‘one man called out "select vestry"’, and that after the dignitaries had retired into the church an individual mounted the hustings and ‘abused us all amidst hissings and groanings’.110 On 11 May 1832, following the defeat of the reform bill in committee in the Lords and the resignation of ministers over the king’s refusal to create peers, the electors of Westminster were convened under Burdett’s chairmanship at the Crown and Anchor. Burdett explained that it had been decided that it would be inappropriate for Hobhouse as an ex-minister to attend and advocated firm but peaceful expression of support for the Grey ministry and their reform plan. Other speakers were Evans, Bainbridge, who caviled at details of the reform bill but saw it as a beneficial measure, O’Connell, and Colonel Jones. A deputation from the Birmingham Political Union arrived towards the end of proceedings, and one of their number, Joshua Scholefield†, addressed the gathering. A petition in favour of the reform scheme was adopted and thanks voted to Burdett and Hobhouse.111 In the debate on the attack on the king at Ascot races, 20 June, Burdett, at the suggestion of Edward Littleton*, ‘denounced the conduct of the Westminster rabble towards the queen on many recent occasions’.112 The 25th purity of election dinner, 27 June, which became a celebration of the enactment of reform, was announced by Burdett to be ‘the last’, as their object had been achieved. O’Connell, according to Hobhouse, was ‘the hero of the evening’.113 Inhabitants of St. James petitioned the Lords in favour of the government’s Irish education proposals, 15 June.114 On 11 Aug. 1832 the Commons received a petition from De Vear as chairman of a meeting of Westminster electors for an amendment to the Reform Act to avoid the threat of large-scale disfranchisement of claimants to the vote who had not paid their rates, a subject which Evans in particular had conspicuously taken up in the Commons.115
The Boundary Act ratified the inclusion in Westminster of the Duchy liberty.116 The constituency had a registered electorate of 11,576 at the time of the 1832 general election. Burdett and Hobhouse refused to pledge themselves, as Place and other radical electors wished, to support universal suffrage, the ballot and repeal of the house and window taxes, and the radicals put up Evans against Hobhouse, but he came a poor third. Hobhouse could see, however, that his days as Member for Westminster were numbered and, after being returned unopposed on his appointment as Irish secretary in April 1833, he was defeated by Evans the following month when he put himself forward for re-election following his refusal to join his ministerial colleagues in voting against repeal of the house and window taxes.117 Burdett was in practice a Conservative by 1835, when he came in again with Evans. He defeated a Liberal at a by-election in May 1837 after seeking re-election in deference to a clamour from hostile electors, but he removed himself to Wiltshire North at the general election months later. A Conservative won one seat in 1841, but two Liberals were returned at the next five general elections. Both seats were held by the Conservatives from 1874.
Author: David R. Fisher
See J. M. Main, ‘Radical Westminster, 1807-1820’, Hist. Stud. xii (1965-7), 186-204; W. Thomas, The Philosphic Radicals, 46-94; C. Harvey, E. M. Green and P. J. Corfield, The Westminster Historical Database and its associated CD-Roms; E. M. Green, ‘Social Structure and Political Allegiance in Westminster, 1774-1820’ (London Univ. Ph.D. thesis, 1992).
- 1. PP (1826-7), iv. 1119; Green, 177.
- 2. Harvey, Green and Corfield, ‘Continuity, change and specialization within metropolitan London: the economy of Westminster, 1775-1820’, EcHR (ser. 2), lii (1999), 490.
- 3. Green, 65.
- 4. PP (1831-2), xxxix. 123; R.E. Zegger, John Cam Hobhouse, 13-14.
- 5. Harvey, Green and Corfield, `Economy of Westminster’, 478-80; HP Commons, 1790-1820, ii. 267.
- 6. PP (1826-7), iv. 1120-5.
- 7. HP Commons, 1790-1820, ii. 278-81; Thomas, 62-89.
- 8. HP Commons, 1790-1820, ii. 281-2; Thomas, 90-91; G. Wallas, Francis Place (1908), 148-50; D. Miles, Francis Place, 133-4; Add. 27843, f. 25.
- 9. J.A. Hone, For the Cause of Truth, 342-3; Lincs. AO, Tennyson d’Eyncourt mss TdE H108/5.
- 10. Chatsworth mss, Brougham to Devonshire [4 Feb. 1820]; Add. 56541, f. 4.
- 11. Add. 27843, ff. 9-11; 56541, ff. 3-4; Broughton, Recollections, ii. 118; Castle Howard mss, Lady to Lord Morpeth [Feb. 1820]; Main, 197; Thomas, 91-92.
- 12. Add. 27843, ff. 10, 16-19, 22, 27-30, 43, 46, 47, 49, 51; 36458, ff. 133, 180, 182, 184, 185; 56541, ff. 4, 6-9; Broughton, ii. 120-1.
- 13. Add. 27843, f. 60; 56541, f. 9; Broughton, ii. 121-2; The Times, 3 Mar.; Morning Post, 3 Mar. 1820.
- 14. Add. 56541, ff. 9-10.
- 15. Castle Howard mss, Morpeth to wife, 9 Feb.; Grey mss, Tierney to Grey, 4 Mar. 1820; Add. 27843, ff. 8, 18, 80.
- 16. Add. 27843, ff. 82-87; 56541, ff. 10-12; Northants. RO, Agar Ellis diary, 9 Mar.; The Times, 10 Mar.; Castle Howard mss, Morpeth to wife [13 Mar.]; Bessborough mss f 138, Grey to Duncannon, 9 Apr. 1820.
- 17. Add. 27843, ff. 91, 92, 103, 108, 111; 56541, ff. 11-16; The Times, 11, 12, 14-17 Mar. 1820.
- 18. Add. 38458, ff. 321, 323; Arbuthnot Jnl. i. 10; Herts. Archives, Panshanger mss F 78, W. to F. Lamb, 3 May 1820.
- 19. Add. 27843, ff. 113, 117, 120, 128, 133, 134, 144; 56541, ff. 16-18; The Times, 18, 20, 21 Mar.; Grey mss, Tierney to Grey, 17, 22 Mar. 1820.
- 20. Add. 27843, ff. 164, 182, 189; 56541, ff. 18-19; Broughton, ii. 122-3; The Times, 24, 25, 27 Mar. 1820.
- 21. Analysis based on Place’s figures in Add. 27843, ff. 229-58. For a fuller examination of polling, see Green, 408, 428 and Harvey, Green and Corfield, Historical Database.
- 22. Green, 55, 264, 331-3, 379.
- 23. Hone, 352.
- 24. Grey mss, Ellice to Grey, 31 Mar., 7 Apr. .
- 25. Panshanger mss F 78.
- 26. Add. 27843, f. 213; 47222, f. 26; The Times, 7 Apr. 1820.
- 27. The Times, 24 May 1820.
- 28. CJ, lxxv. 186, 239; Add. 56541, ff. 35-37.
- 29. Add. 27843, f. 220.
- 30. CJ, lxxv. 402; lxxvi. 129.
- 31. Ibid. lxxvi. 146.
- 32. Ibid. 163; LJ, liv. 176; lv. 200, 203.
- 33. CJ, lxxx. 314, 321, 325, 364, 384, 396; LJ, lvii. 590, 665, 777, 787, 794.
- 34. CJ, lxxvi. 368; LJ, liv. 428.
- 35. CJ, lxxvii. 269, 271, 286, 426.
- 36. Ibid. lxxviii. 90; lxxix. 216; lxxx. 133, 427.
- 37. Ibid. lxxviii. 253, 327.
- 38. Ibid. lxxix. 173, 294, 211, 253, 272, 395; lxxx. 391, 434, 469.
- 39. LJ, lvi. 95; CJ, lxxx. 380, 574.
- 40. CJ, lxxix. 272.
- 41. LJ, lvii. 164, 489, 539, 609, 661, 646, 740, 769.
- 42. CJ, lxxx. 380.
- 43. Ibid. lxxxi. 130, 254; LJ, lviii. 58, 95.
- 44. LJ, lviii. 44; CJ, lxxxi. 134.
- 45. CJ, lxxvi. 274, 320; lxxvii. 362, 359, 379; lxxxi. 268, 317, 354, 375; LJ, liv. 400, 435, 436, 445, 470; lv. 274, 279, 283, 286, 293; lviii. 285, 303, 519.
- 46. CJ, lxxxi. 156, 58, 150, 179, 262, 277, 290; LJ, lviii.247, 256, 277, 280, 293.
- 47. The Times, 5, 7 July, 27, 30 Sept., 28 Nov. 1820.
- 48. Add. 27843, ff. 271-85, 290, 294-37; The Times, 7 Dec.; Statesman, 7 Dec.; M. W. Patterson, Sir Francis Burdett, ii. 520-1; Grey mss, Ellice to Grey, 7 Dec. .
- 49. CJ, lxxvi. 13, 67.
- 50. The Times, 13, 22 Feb., 24 May 1821.
- 51. Add. 27843, f. 331-45; 36459, ff. 213, 215, 221; The Times, 14 Feb. 1822; CJ, lxxvii. 30.
- 52. Add. 27843, ff. 347-50; 56545, ff. 4-7, 12; The Times, 24 May 1822.
- 53. The Times, 24 May 1823.
- 54. Ibid. 25 May 1824; Broughton, iii. 37, 44; Add. 56548, f. 93.
- 55. Add. 27843, f. 364; The Times, 25 Mar. 1825.
- 56. Broughton, iii. 101; The Times, 24 May 1825; O’Connell Corresp. iii. 1236; Add. 56549, ff. 122-4.
- 57. Add. 36461, f. 119; Broughton, iii. 110.
- 58. Add. 36462, f. 67; CJ, lxxxi. 196, 197, 203, 223, 290, 304, 391.
- 59. Add. 56550, f. 79; The Times, 24 May 1826.
- 60. Add. 27843, ff. 224, 352, 396; 36459, f. 213; 36460, f. 353; 36462, f. 75.
- 61. Add. 56550, f. 84.
- 62. Add. 27843, ff. 390-1, 396-7, 399, 403, 404, 407; 36462, f. 235; 56550, ff. 84-85, 88-91; The Times, 2, 5 June 1826.
- 63. Add. 40387, ff. 71-76.
- 64. Add. 27843, ff. 391-3, 408-13; 36462, ff. 238, 241; 56550, ff. 91-94; Canning Official Corresp. ii. 201, 206-7; The Times, 7, 9 June 1826.
- 65. Add. 27843, f. 393; 56550, ff. 94-95; Broughton, iii. 137; The Times, 10, 14 June 1826.
- 66. Add. 36463, ff. 66, 75, 79, 83; 37950, f. 1; 56550, ff. 118-19.
- 67. Add. 27843, ff. 375, 376; 36463, f. 267, 288.
- 68. CJ, lxxxii. 133, 292; LJ, lix. 157.
- 69. CJ, lxxxii. 529.
- 70. Ibid. lxxxiii. 18, 100, 105; LJ, lx. 65, 71, 118, 250.
- 71. CJ, lxxxiii. 282, 413; lxxxiv. 12.
- 72. Ibid. lxxxiv. 24, 115, 145; LJ, lxi. 104, 114.
- 73. CJ, lxxxv. 275, 463, 471, 528, 572, 650.
- 74. Ibid. lxxxiii. 50, 159, 166, 214, 258, 309, 392.
- 75. Ibid. 60, 86, 112; lxxxiv. 67-68, 126, 137, 185, 221, 236, 241, 309, 324; LJ, lxi. 493.
- 76. CJ, lxxxv. 381-2, 404, 422, 511.
- 77. Add. 27843, ff. 382-5; 36463, f. 376; 37949, f. 456; Morning Chron. 15 May 1827; CJ, lxxxii. 478.
- 78. The Times, 24 May 1827; Add. 47222, f. 191; 56550, ff. 176-7; Broughton, iii. 195.
- 79. Add. 36464, ff. 173, 179, 185, 283.
- 80. The Times, 27 May 1828; Broughton, iii. 271.
- 81. Add. 36464, f. 356, 363, 369.
- 82. Broughton, iii. 312.
- 83. The Times, 26 May 1829; Add. 56554, ff. 17-20.
- 84. Add. 56554, ff. 95-98.
- 85. The Times, 25 May 1830; Add. 56554, f. 104.
- 86. Broughton, iv. 28-30; Add. 56554, f. 113.
- 87. Add. 56554, ff. 127-9, 131, 138; 56555, f. 1; Russell Letters, i. 142.
- 88. Add. 56555, ff. 2-4; The Times, 2 Aug. 1830.
- 89. Add. 47222, f. 253; 56555, ff. 5-7, 8, 10, 12-14; Broughton, iv. 44, 46; The Times, 5, 19 Aug. 1830.
- 90. CJ, lxxxvi. 53, 445, 456; LJ, lxiii. 181, 474.
- 91. CJ, lxxxvi. 127, 209; LJ, lxiii. 213.
- 92. CJ, lxxxvi. 310, 460.
- 93. Ibid. 367-8, 390-1, 458, 492, 507.
- 94. Broughton, iv. 75; Add. 37950, f. 103; CJ, lxxxvi. 210, 360, 375, 381, 405, 442, 440, 492.
- 95. Add. 27844, f. 9.
- 96. Add. 27789, ff. 276-88, 279, 318, 319; 56555, ff. 100-2; Wallas, 257; London Radicalism ed. D.J. Rowe (London Rec. Soc. v), 13-14; The Times, 5 Mar. 1831.
- 97. Add. 56555, f. 110; CJ, lxxxvi. 381, 406, 415, 416, 446; LJ, lxiii. 354, 364, 439; Creevey mss, Creevey to Miss Ord, 4 Mar.; The Times, 19 Mar. 1831.
- 98. Add. 27844, ff. 13-15; 36466, f. 316; 56555, ff. 131-2; The Times, 27 Apr. 1831.
- 99. Add. 36466, f. 318.
- 100. Add. 56555, f. 133; Broughton, iv. 109; The Times, 3 May 1831.
- 101. Broughton, iv. 113; Add. 56555, f. 140; The Times, 24 May 1831.
- 102. CJ, lxxxvi. 550-1, 576, 622, 634, 641, 756-7, 853, 865, 871.
- 103. Ibid. 735, 798, 831, 929.
- 104. Broughton, iv. 131; The Times, 22 Sept., 3 Oct. 1831; LJ, lxiii. 1008, 1026, 1037, 1047, 1048, 1052, 1067.
- 105. Broughton, iv. 138-40; The Times, 11, 14 Oct. 1831.
- 106. CJ, lxxxvi. 901.
- 107. Broughton, iv. 144, 148-9; The Times, 18 Oct; Morning Chron. 19 Oct. 1831; M. Brock, Great Reform Act, 248-9, 373.
- 108. Broughton, iv. 146-7, 152; London Radicalism, 48-64; Grey-William IV Corresp. i. 400-5; Brock, 256.
- 109. The Times, 16 Nov. 1831; CJ, lxxxvi. 709, 935; Add. 56556, f. 24; Zegger, 154-5.
- 110. Broughton, iv. 165-9, 172-3; Add. 36464, f. 137; 56556, ff. 52, 55, 59-60; Wilts. RO, Hobhouse mss 145/2/b, Hobhouse to wife, 31 Jan., 1 Feb.; The Times, 9 Feb. 1832.
- 111. Broughton, iv. 223; The Times, 12 May 1832.
- 112. Hatherton diary, 20 June .
- 113. Broughton, iv. 244; The Times, 28 June 1832.
- 114. LJ, lxiv. 297.
- 115. CJ, lxxxvii. 585.
- 116. PP (1831-2), xxxix. 123.
- 117. Broughton, iv. 259, 263-4; The Times, 6-8, 11-13 Dec. 1832.