Published in The History of Parliament: the House of Commons 1820-1832, ed. D.R. Fisher, 2009
Available from Cambridge University Press

Background Information

Right of Election:

in inhabitants paying scot and lot

Estimated number qualified to vote:

770 in 18311

Number of voters:

669 in 1830


5,050 (1821); 5,837 (1831)


 Charles Tennyson314
 Thomas Chaplin302

Main Article

Stamford, a large market town on the Great North Road, had recently been ‘very much improved in its buildings and general appearance’.2 The representation was dominated by its principal landowner, the Tory 2nd marquess of Exeter, who resided at Burghley House just over the county border in Northamptonshire. He controlled the corporation of 12 aldermen and 24 capital burgesses, one of whom served annually as mayor, acted as the town’s recorder, and owned or leased most of the corporation’s property. The members of the corporation and the office-holders were almost without exception supporters of his Red party, and the exclusive rights enjoyed by the local magistrates were reinforced by the selection of Red voting juries. Commenting on the ‘exclusion from the franchise and in the occupation of property’ of Exeter’s political opponents, the 1835 municipal corporations commissioners noted:

Under this exclusive system the administration of justice is suspected, the police totally inefficient, and the town property mismanaged; while the influence of the municipal functionary, in whose interest the council is elected, the magistracy appointed, and every office filled, so far from being exercised in promoting the local interests of the borough, is exercised to check the natural progress of improvement.3

Exeter enjoyed the support of the Stamford Mercury, published by the Red alderman Richard Newcomb. Hostility to his hegemony, however, was widespread and centred around the activities of John Drakard, editor of the Stamford News, who was the mainstay of the Blue or independent party. Although Exeter’s electoral dominance had been tested at the elections of 1809 and 1812, he had managed to retain the upper hand and in 1818 had faced only token opposition to the return of his brother Lord Thomas Cecil and his stepmother’s nephew William Henry Percy. At the 1820 general election Cecil and Percy offered again, issuing a joint address promising to safeguard the electors’ interests. Cecil was absent from the canvass and hustings through illness, but was represented by his fellow officer in the 10th Hussars, Thomas Trollope, son of Sir John Trollope of nearby Casewick, whom the Stamford News lampooned as a ‘beardless boy’. After the unopposed return ‘a numerous party of electors, and some dapper gentry, not electors, were entertained at the town hall’, and in the evening ‘several barrels of ale were given to the populace’. ‘Two guineas and an old hare, once every seven years, amply compensates our townsmen’, sneered Drakard’s paper.4

In November 1820 a Stamford petition in support of Queen Caroline received 1,200 signatures, a number allegedly ‘six times greater’ than for any other that had previously emerged from the borough.5 News of the abandonment of the bill of pains and penalties was greeted by the ringing of the church bells, 11 Nov., and that evening a handbill was circulated announcing an illumination, which the mayor, Newcomb, noted in his Mercury had not come from the corporation. The Stamford News reported that ‘not 20 houses’, mostly inhabited by members of the corporation, ignored the illumination and that many of these had their windows broken. Alarmed by the situation, the magistrates ordered ‘bundles of propsticks’ to be ‘sawed into constable’s cudgels ... and the militia [were] ordered to be in readiness at a moments notice’. The town quietened down without their deployment, but the magistrates met to hear evidence against the rioters, 12 Nov., when ‘four cases were clearly established’.6 The Stamford ‘Friends of the Queen’, chaired by William Ashby, held a celebratory dinner in early December 1820, after which a subscription was opened to help defray the legal costs of those accused of riot.7 One of them, Thomas Rhodes, petitioned the Commons against his arrest, the conditions in Stamford gaol and the deferral of his trial to Lincoln assizes, 16 Feb. 1821.8 On 9 Dec. 1820 the corporation met to prepare a loyal address to the king. The motion for it was seconded by Exeter, but Ashby moved an additional clause requesting that the king ‘would not suffer his ministers to renew their proceedings against the queen’, which was defeated on a show of hands. The Stamford News censured the townsmen, claiming that ‘nothing but your own neglect has brought the disgrace of this address upon the town. The attendance of a few more independent men would have carried the amendment’. Ashby started to collect signatures for an amended address to the king, and another supporting the queen, but he was killed in a riding accident, 16 Dec. 1820, following which Drakard took over.9 The address was presented to the queen by Sir Gerard Noel, Member for Rutland, 26 Jan. 1821, and the same day the Whig 6th duke of Bedford presented the king with a Stamford address urging him to dismiss his ministers. A petition for the restoration of the queen’s name to the liturgy was presented by Henry Grey Bennet, 31 Jan. 1821, but both Members supported ministers over the affair.10

At the 1826 general election Percy retired to take up an excise post. In his place Exeter brought forward Thomas Chaplin, younger brother of Charles Chaplin, the county Member, who had been his nominee for the borough, 1809-12. Cecil offered again and they canvassed together. The Stamford News claimed that there were one or two men willing to come forward as friends of reform if they could be assured of a return free of expense, and urged the electors to pledge themselves to this. One William Elger declared himself a ‘third man’, but his candidacy was not taken seriously, as it appeared to be a ploy to help sell pigs. Talk of an opposition, however, came to nothing and Cecil and Chaplin were returned unopposed. ‘The cheering was of a most enthusiastic description, but we object to Messrs. Beadle [Exeter’s agents] and the town crier keeping it all to themselves’, mocked Drakard’s paper.11 Petitions reached the Commons against any alteration of the corn laws, 2 Apr. 1827, and against the Malt Act, 20 Mar. 1828.12 Petitions from the Dissenters for repeal of the Test Acts were presented to the Commons, 7 June 1827, 26 Feb. 1828.13 Petitions for Catholic relief reached the Commons, 28 Apr., and the Lords, 16 May 1828.14 At a poorly attended meeting, 25 Feb. 1829, a petition against the Wellington ministry’s concession of Catholic emancipation, which both Members opposed, was proposed by the corporation and vigorously supported in a long speech by Torkington, the town clerk. Its petition, containing 1,117 names, was presented to the Commons by Cecil, 9 Mar., and to the Lords by Exeter, 13 Mar. 1829.15 Breaking ranks with Exeter, Newcomb complained in the Mercury that ‘only a small proportion of [the signatures] were those of adult inhabitants of the town’.16 His change of allegiance had repercussions that October, when the annual corporation elections occurred. As the senior capital burgess his son should have been elevated as an alderman on the first vacancy, but the Exeter cabal ensured that he was overlooked in favour of Francis Jelley.17 The municipal corporations commissioners noted that this was the only instance they could discover of the usual procedure being ignored.18 Thereafter Newcomb became a leading opponent of Exeter, although he was initially treated with suspicion by Drakard. In May 1830 the Mercury drew attention to the ‘agitation’ being ‘produced ... by enclosures which ... Exeter is causing to be made in the open common fields, with a view, it is said, of preventing the increase of rateable buildings there (which give the right of voting for Members of Parliament)’. Exeter had rejected the corporation’s recommendation for a proper enclosure, despite the increase in the value of his land that this would have brought, and began to erect fencing to restrict access, in order, as the corporations commissioners remarked, to protect his political influence.19 Lord Morpeth’s bill to alter the route of the Great North road, which passed through the town, caused considerable anxiety. A committee was established, chaired by the mayor, Edward Butt, to co-ordinate efforts against the measure, and five hostile petitions were presented by Cecil and Chaplin, who also voted against it, 3 June.20 On 7 June 1830 Drakard, who also campaigned against the bill, informed the committee that the ‘idea of passing wide’ of Stamford had been abandoned by Morpeth, following which the meeting passed votes of thanks to the Members.21

This brief display of bipartisanship ended abruptly at the 1830 dissolution, when Drakard and his friends resolved to make a determined effort against Exeter. They approached Charles Tennyson of Bayons Manor, near Market Rasen, the independent Member for Bletchingley, who was a native of the county and a severe critic of political abuses. Tempted by the challenge and a promise that his expenses would be met, he agreed to stand, 13 July.22 A few days later the Stamford News reported that ‘the feeling of determination to support the third man, especially as it is known that he is already much respected in the town, is rising higher and higher’.23 Cecil and Chaplin offered again. Tennyson duly came forward, claiming that his sole reason for standing was to release the borough from its thraldom to Exeter, whom he vilified at length. After his canvass Tennyson proclaimed that ‘Stamford is free’, but he warned his supporters against complacency and the tactics of the Reds’ ‘unauthorized partisans’. Shortly afterwards a Purity of Election Society was established.24 On the hustings, 30 July, Cecil and Chaplin were given a hostile reception and hoots of derision accompanied their speeches. After stating their allegiance to the Wellington ministry they were obliged to defend their parliamentary records. Tennyson received a rapturous welcome, reminded the voters that he came at their request, and urged them to renounce their subservience to Exeter. At the close of the first day’s poll he was in second place behind Cecil, but next day the assessor (an Exeter appointee) refused to eject aldermen who were intimidating voters from the polling hall, and Chaplin overtook him. On the third Tennyson again registered a complaint against the attendance of the aldermen, and on the fourth the assessor rejected over 30 of his votes, prompting threats of a petition. After another confrontation with an alderman seeking to influence a voter, the hustings was besieged by a mob. Tennyson managed to call them off briefly, but a sustained attack was soon mounted on the platform, which was entirely destroyed save for the part on which he stood. Tennyson then called for the declaration to be made, at which he asserted that his opponents’ majority was composed of ‘votes which you know to be inadmissible’ and that ‘all sorts of fraud and corruption and bribery’ had been perpetrated. He was treated as the victor by the crowd, and the Stamford News reported that ‘a greater excitement prevailed in the town than was ever before experienced’. Tennyson donated 500 guineas to the Purity of Election Society and promised that either he or his eldest son would contest the borough at the next opportunity.25

Of the 669 who polled, 533 (80 per cent) either voted for both of Exeter’s candidates or plumped for Tennyson. Cecil secured support from 70 per cent (333 as split votes shared with Chaplin, 114 shared with Tennyson and 20 as plumpers), Chaplin from 50 (two as plumpers), and Tennyson from 47 (200 as plumpers).26 On 3 Aug. Tennyson informed his father:

The expenses I should think at the utmost £600 or £700 and the town propose to pay them ... I never witnessed such a state of excitement ... We lost the election by a great admission of Red votes on their part and the refutation of good ones on mine. But even this would have been insufficient if about 30 persons who had assured us that they should give plumpers to Cecil had not been threatened and in many instances I believe bribed to split upon Chaplin. They actually polled their attorneys, poll clerks, etc. in defiance of the late Act of Parliament, yet [had] only a majority of 21 ... As to a petition I have told the party here, who seem ready to undertake anything to overthrow the marquess, that the object would not justify the expense of entering into an investigation of votes unless, indeed, a neat short case of bribery could be established to make it a void election. But you understand that the town make it their own cause and I have already disclaimed it as mine.27

At the Reds’ victory dinner Cecil and Chaplin criticized Tennyson and urged the electors to reflect on what had occurred. Newcomb moved for a dinner to be given to Tennyson at a meeting of the corporation, 26 Aug., but it ‘was met by a determined and tumultuous opposition on the part of the aldermen’ and lost by a majority of 24-3. Tennyson announced his own intention of hosting a dinner for all the electors, 30 Aug., to be followed by a ball a couple of days later. The Blue committee advertised their own dinner for Tennyson at 15s. a head for 9 Sept., following which the Reds promoted their counter-attraction at 12s. a head for the same day, but in the event they only secured 14 attendees compared with their rivals’ 137. Outside the theatre where the Red dinner was being held a crowd gathered, and a ‘near riot’ occurred. The mayor refused to read the Riot Act, but at one point the ‘town sergeant drew his sword against the people’. Gentlemen from the Blue committee went to the theatre and escorted the aldermen present home to protect them from the mob.28

On 17 Sept. 1830 Exeter issued notices of eviction against all his tenants who had voted against his candidates, including those who had split for Cecil and Tennyson. He also demanded that tenants with tenants of their own should issue notices, threatening them with eviction if they did not do so. He rode into the town with his groom, 25 Sept., to thank members of the Red committee. A crowd soon gathered outside Alderman Grape’s house, and when Exeter emerged ‘he was most unmercifully and incessantly hooted and hissed, blue ribbands were waved before his eyes and the face of his horse, and all sorts of epithets of execration and detestation were flung at him’. A call went up to ‘bridge him’, the customary fate after the annual baiting of the bull, which was unceremoniously dumped off a bridge and into the River Welland, but Exeter escaped. That evening a mob ‘mostly [of] women and children paraded a tricolour and proceeded to break the windows of the aldermen’. Exeter returned twice more to continue his round of thanks ‘with an immense posse of special constables’. Although he relented on the instruction to evict tenants of tenants, a new eviction order was imposed on those who had only given plumpers to Cecil. A fund was set up to help to assist those who were evicted, one of the first contributors being Daniel Sykes, Whig Member for Beverley. Further rioting occurred at the annual mayoral election in October, and the grand jury sworn in that month to try those accused of rioting and window breaking was entirely composed of those who had polled for the two Red candidates, except for one who had split for Cecil and Tennyson.29 ‘I am afraid Lord Exeter has got himself into a great scrape at Stamford’, Lord Althorp* informed Lady Spencer, 12 Oct., adding, ‘I am very sorry for [him], but he deserves what will happen to him in the abuse he will meet with’.30 On 23 Oct. the newly established Blue Free and Easy Club, whose 90 members met once a week, entertained Tennyson to dinner. At a public meeting, 30 Oct., the Club secured 400 names to an address to the king complaining of Exeter’s conduct.31 A petition from three Blue supporters against the return, alleging bribery and corruption, was presented by Tennyson, by now Member for Bletchingley, 15 Nov., but the petitioners failed to enter into their recognizances within the required time. On 30 Nov. Tennyson presented another petition pleading for an extension, explaining that because Exeter had retained all the attorneys in Stamford the petitioners had had no legal advice and were therefore unaware of the recently introduced two-day limit. His protests were rejected and the petition was discharged.32 The Stamford News vilified Exeter for hiding behind legal technicalities, but by now Exeter had a new ally, ‘The Bee’ or Stamford Herald, which accused the petitioners of committing a deliberate ‘informality’ in their application because they knew it would fail, and of making Tennyson a ‘stalking-horse’.33 Petitions for the abolition of slavery reached the Commons, 6 Dec. 1830, and the Lords, 15 Apr. 1831.34

Writing to Lord Milton*, 10 Jan. 1831, John Fazakerley* conjectured that events at Stamford would increase the pressure for the introduction of the secret ballot in the reform proposals being drafted by the Grey ministry.35 Exeter, whose coach was pelted with mud whenever it passed through the town, was sufficiently worried to set two cannon on the roof of Burghley House facing towards Stamford lest a mob decided to attack.36 Sir William Amcotts Ingilby, Whig Member for the county, was elected to the Blue Free and Easy Club in early February. On 16 Feb. one of the committee, James Wilson, told Tennyson that ‘your cause stands in a better position than ever’, but advised him not to consider proposals to have Serjeant Thomas Wilde* as a colleague at the next contest. Meanwhile the Herald claimed that three of the Blue committee had travelled to London to try to induce a Mr. Morrison, one of the prosecutors in 1829 of the editor of the Ultra Tory Morning Journal, to offer as a second candidate.37 Over 100 names appeared on a requisition to the corporation to hold a reform meeting, 17 Mar., and although the mayor declined to grant the request, he agreed to let the reformers use the town hall. The meeting was held the following day and its petition in favour of the reform bill, which both Members opposed, reached the Commons, 19 Mar.38 Anticipating a dissolution, both the Blues and Reds were canvassing before the end of March, and on the 25th Tennyson’s land agent William Northhouse reported: ‘The people are very enthusiastic ... You are at present safe, but you must be kept so. [We] shall continue our canvass ... You may be sure of upwards of 300 plumpers and I think ... 100 more split votes’.39 At the end of that month it was rumoured that the sitting Members would retire.40 On 2 Apr. Northhouse advised Tennyson that the final result of their canvass was 411 promises, but warned a couple of days later that if Tennyson was to bring forward a colleague ‘not a moment should be lost’, as it was possible that ‘a fourth man would not get in’. He added that Newcomb, ‘in one of his wild fits’, had solicited Noel, only to be ‘repulsed in the most contemptuous manner’, and then unsuccessfully tried a Mr. Turner, ‘a very rich young man first of age’. He assured Tennyson that he would be returned free of expense.41 On 19 Apr. 1831 Tennyson was informed that at another Blue committee meeting Newcomb had again tried to secure the adoption of a fourth candidate, but that Drakard had carried an amendment that it would be ‘inexpedient’.42

At the ensuing general election Cecil and Chaplin offered again as anti-reformers. In his address Tennyson endorsed the bill and invoked the same cause he had championed in 1830. His arrival in Stamford, 25 Apr., was described by The Times as ‘one of the most magnificent and soul inspiring spectacles ever beheld in this little borough’, but violent clashes soon followed. ‘The spirit of this contest threatens ... to be of a different character from the last’, noted the Stamford News, as ‘the conduct of the marquess of Exeter has so exasperated the people’. Following the arrival of Amcotts Ingilby to assist Tennyson, 27 Apr., the Morning Herald warned ‘that a number of the London bruisers, alias "pugilists", have been hired by a noble marquess and his brother for electioneering purposes’. Despite a final ‘languid canvass’ by both parties, the Stamford Herald boasted that there was no doubt as to the success of the ‘two constitutional candidates’.43 On the day of nomination the hired hands arrived, and their leader Chamberlain approached Tennyson on the hustings and told him that they were special constables sent to maintain the peace. The crowd seized Chamberlain, but Tennyson rescued him, saying that although he thought their swearing-in was illegal, he hoped the crowd would be peaceful. After the arrival of the mayor and the Red candidates, Tennyson objected to the special constables. He spoke in favour of the reform bill and to cheering urged the people of Stamford to free themselves from the yoke of Exeter. Cecil and Chaplin were only given a hearing after appeals by Tennyson, and both proclaimed themselves hostile to the bill. Cecil was forced to abandon his speech, however, after denying that he and Chaplin were returned by Exeter’s influence. They demanded a poll after the show of hands had favoured Tennyson. ‘The contest will be severe’, reported The Times:

Exeter scruples at nothing ... Besides the 36 boxers who were sent from London, 300 men have been hired at 7s. a day. They are armed with large sticks or staves. A regular battle takes place every evening, and hitherto the boroughmonger’s party have been well pummelled. Money, beer, meat, promises and more especially threats are dealt out in profusion by the noble marquess. Confident hopes are nevertheless entertained that he will be signally defeated.44

The local builder Thomas Boyfield provided 250 constables’ staffs, for which Exeter paid him £2 14s. 4d.45 At the close of the first day Cecil headed the poll with 140 votes to Tennyson’s 133 and Chaplin’s 109. At the start of the second Tennyson renewed his criticism of the special constables and demanded a list of their names. The mayor quibbled, and Joseph Parker, Tennyson’s solicitor, told him that they had shut themselves up in the old malt house, and that he should not be surprised if the mob tried to set fire to it and burn them alive. Despite a number of his votes being referred to the assessor, Tennyson remained in second place behind Cecil at the end of the day. On the third Cecil and Chaplin complained that some of their voters had been prevented by the Blues from getting to the poll, and while Tennyson urged the Blues not to disrupt the voting, he alleged that the Reds had no one left to poll. Cecil still topped the poll, and ‘at one o’clock, with a majority of upwards 50 in favour of Tennyson, and only 30 votes on each side being undetermined in the assessors booth’, Chaplin resigned the contest. It was the first time in nearly 100 years that one of the Cecil family’s candidates had been defeated. At the declaration, however, Cecil declared that his victory proved that the majority in Stamford opposed the reform bill. Uproar ensued, and he was forced to abandon his speech. Tennyson’s chairing, observed The Times, was ‘grand beyond description’:

Tennyson’s committee consisted of 100 of the most opulent and active shopkeepers of the town. All the clergy, all the attorneys (Mr. Clay excepted) and most of the other professional inhabitants of this ‘Little Oxford’ were in the interest of the marquess of Exeter, and a more signal victory never was gained by perseverance and patriotic disinterestedness. To the honour of many of the coerced electors, they refused in several instances to vote for the boroughmonger’s candidates, although they could not cast off the fetters and vote for reform.

The Blues celebrated with an illumination the following day.46

Of the 666 who voted, 86 per cent either split for the Reds (45) or plumped for Tennyson (41). Cecil received support from 59 per cent (301 as split votes shared with Chaplin, 81 shared with Tennyson, and eight as plumpers), Tennyson from 53 per cent (275 as plumpers), and Chaplin from 45 per cent (one as a plumper). The pollbook notes that when the result was declared there were 104 votes with the assessor. The candidates agreed to drop their objections to these, but if added to the official result they would have given Cecil 449 votes (58 per cent of those voting), Tennyson 401 (52), and Chaplin 361 (47). The votes of 27 others were rejected.47 Tennyson, accompanied by Amcotts Ingilby, who had succeeded for the county, headed a reformers’ victory procession in Stamford, 23 May, and he hosted a dinner and gave a ball later that week. Exeter again instigated a number of evictions, but on a much smaller scale, and Newcomb assured Tennyson that the purity fund would be sufficient to help them, 3 June.48 That day Cecil demanded an apology from Tennyson for comments he had made about Exeter on the hustings. He obliged, but a few days later refused to apologize for similar remarks he had made at the Rutland reform dinner. Cecil therefore challenged him to a duel, which Tennyson refused. After Cecil impugned his honour at the Red victory dinner, 14 June, Tennyson agreed to meet, and they exchanged shots without injury at Wormwood Scrubs, 18 June.49 On 10 Oct. Northhouse warned Tennyson that a ‘sly cabal had been called together by Newcomb, the object of which was to induce you to throw up the future representation of this place’.50 According to the press, they had agreed to seek a new Blue candidate, and Newcomb had invited Lord Waterpark, Whig Member for Knaresborough. Waterpark, however, declined and told Tennyson of the approach. When Tennyson attended a Blue dinner, 21 Oct. 1831, Newcomb, though uninvited, gained entry and mounted the table to deliver a diatribe against him, alleging among other things that he had neglected his duty towards the borough. The Blue committee met the next day and accepted Newcomb’s resignation. The Herald gleefully reported the episode, but the Blues, concerned that their reputation might be tarnished, made a canvass showing increased support for Tennyson.51

The reform bill, on which the Members took opposite sides, proposed no change in the return of two Members, but Tennyson feared that Exeter would regain total control if St. Martin’s parish, which he entirely owned, was included in the new boundary. Citing it as an example, Tennyson expressed his hope in the House that the boundary commissioners would take local influences into account when determining the new limits, 1 Sept. 1831. The Blues requisitioned the mayor for a reform meeting, 17 Oct., and although he declined to call one, they nevertheless held it, 21 Oct. The Herald alleged that it ‘did not exceed 170 individuals and these, for the most part, were of the very lowest order’, but the Stamford News declared it to have been ‘one of the largest held in Stamford’.52 When the boundary commissioners reported early next year they noted that while the borough was composed of five parishes on the left bank of the Welland, all in Lincolnshire, the parish of St. Martin’s on the right bank in Northamptonshire contained 60 qualifying houses, all of which ‘are in fact part of the town of Stamford’. Although there was no municipal connection between these two parts of the town, they had long been considered as one for the assessed taxes and under the terms of the Militia Acts, and the commissioners concluded that they should be included in the new borough, ‘the only question’ being ‘whether a part or the whole of the parish ought to be taken in’.53 ‘They have as I suspected let in Lord Exeter to sluice Stamford’, Tennyson complained to his father on reading the report, 23 Feb. 1832.54 The Blues organized a petition against the addition, declaring that they would rather forego representation than again be subjugated to Exeter. Tennyson presented it, 19 Mar.,55 and Edward Hatfield, on behalf of the Blues, thanked him for his endeavours, 16 June. Tennyson had asked him if there were any other parishes he could suggest which would counter the addition of St. Martin’s, but Hatfield told him that

the property of Lord Exeter and his immediate friends, such as the Lindsey family, enclose the town ... so much that The Deepings seem the only place likely to be useful in this respect, and I fear there is but little chance of getting them added to us, they probably [being] out of bounds and not immediately joining our domain.56

When the proposed boundary came before the House, 22 June, Tennyson again pleaded Stamford’s case, and moved an amendment against the inclusion of St. Martin’s, which was defeated by 172-19. Ministers then successfully moved an amendment that only that portion of St. Martin’s that was already built on was to be added. Tennyson presented a Stamford petition complaining of the conduct of the corporation and praying that the county magistrates be given jurisdiction over the town, 16 July 1832.57

By the Reform and Boundary Acts the borough had a population of 7,062 and 851 registered electors.58 Despite the addition of St. Martin’s, the Blues hoped that at the first post-reform election they might be able to secure Tennyson’s re-election, but he accepted a requisition to stand for Lambeth.59 Seventy-hundred-and-sixty-six polled at the 1832 general election, when Cecil retired and Exeter again returned Chaplin with a fellow Tory, George Finch* of Burley-on-the-Hill, Rutland, an illegitimate son of the 9th earl of Winchelsea, in a contest against a local Liberal. Thereafter Exeter, who retained control of the borough until his death in 1867, occasionally assigned one seat to senior Conservatives.60

Authors: Martin Casey / Philip Salmon


  • 1. Stamford Pollbook (Johnson, 1831), but PP (1831-2), xxxvi. 589 estimates that there were 898 electors in 1831.
  • 2. White’s Lincs. Dir. (1826), 181.
  • 3. PP (1835), xxvi. 465.
  • 4. Drakard’s Stamford News, 3, 10 Mar.; Stamford Mercury, 10 Mar. 1820.
  • 5. Drakard’s Stamford News, 3 Nov; The Times, 6 Nov. 1820.
  • 6. Stamford Mercury, 17 Nov.; Drakard’s Stamford News, 17 Nov. 1820.
  • 7. Drakard’s Stamford News, 8, 29 Dec. 1820.
  • 8. The Times, 17 Feb. 1821.
  • 9. Drakard’s Stamford News, 15, 22 Dec. 1820.
  • 10. Ibid. 26 Jan., 9 Feb. 1821; CJ, lxxvi. 15.
  • 11. Drakard’s Stamford News, 26 May, 2, 9, 16 June 1826.
  • 12. CJ, lxxxii. 379; lxxxiii. 277.
  • 13. Ibid. lxxxii. 527; lxxxiii. 105.
  • 14. Ibid. lxxxiii. 185; LJ, lx. 450.
  • 15. Drakard’s Stamford News, 20, 27 Feb., 6, 13 Mar. 1829; CJ, lxxxiv. 115; LJ, lxi. 192.
  • 16. Stamford Mercury, 6 Mar. 1829.
  • 17. Ibid. 9 Oct 1829.
  • 18. PP (1835), xxvi. 455.
  • 19. Stamford Mercury, 7 May 1830; PP (1835), xxvi. 463.
  • 20. CJ, lxxxv. 504.
  • 21. Drakard’s Stamford News, 11 June 1830.
  • 22. Lincs. AO, Tennyson D’Eyncourt mss 2Td’E H85/44.
  • 23. Drakard’s Stamford News, 16 July 1830.
  • 24. Ibid. 30 July 1830.
  • 25. The Times, 2 Aug.; Drakard’s Stamford News, 6 Aug. 1830.
  • 26. Tennyson D’Eyncourt mss Td’E H35/67.
  • 27. Ibid. 2Td’E H89/2.
  • 28. Drakard’s Stamford News, 13, 27 Aug., 10 Sept. 1830.
  • 29. Ibid. 24 Sept., 1, 8, 22 Oct. 1830.
  • 30. Add. 75940.
  • 31. Drakard’s Stamford News, 5, 12 Nov. 1830.
  • 32. CJ, lxxxvi. 82-83, 137.
  • 33. Drakard’s Stamford News, 6 Dec.; Stamford Herald, 6 Dec. 1830.
  • 34. CJ, lxxxvi. 147; LJ, lxii. 433.
  • 35. Fitzwilliam mss.
  • 36. V. Leatham, Burghley, 99.
  • 37. Stamford Herald, 11, 18 Feb. 1831; Tennyson D’Eyncourt mss Td’E H36/5.
  • 38. Tennyson D’Eyncourt mss Td’E H27/7; CJ, lxxxvi. 406.
  • 39. Tennyson D’Eyncourt mss Td’E H27/10.
  • 40. Drakard’s Stamford News, 1 Apr. 1831.
  • 41. Tennyson D’Eyncourt mss Td’E H27/12, 13.
  • 42. Ibid. Td’E H27/15.
  • 43. The Times, 28 Apr.; Morning Herald, 28 Apr.; Drakard’s Stamford News, 29 Apr. 1831.
  • 44. The Times, 3 May 1831.
  • 45. Exeter mss Ex72/31.
  • 46. The Times, 5 May; Drakard’s Stamford News, 6 May 1831.
  • 47. Stamford Pollbook (Johnson, 1831).
  • 48. Tennyson D’Eyncourt mss Td’E H27/16.
  • 49. Ibid. Td’E H22, the ‘Duel corresp.’; Stamford Herald, 17 June; Drakard’s Stamford News, 24 June 1831.
  • 50. Tennyson D’Eyncourt mss Td’E H35/69.
  • 51. Stamford Herald, 28 Oct., 4, 11 Nov. 1831.
  • 52. Ibid. 21, 28 Oct; Drakard’s Stamford News, 28 Oct. 1831.
  • 53. PP (1831-2), xxxix. 177.
  • 54. Tennyson D’Eyncourt mss Td’E H111/11.
  • 55. CJ, lxxxvii. 204.
  • 56. Ibid. Td’E H36/36.
  • 57. CJ, lxxxvii. 491.
  • 58. PP (1831-2), xxxix. 178; P. Salmon, Electoral Reform at Work, 260.
  • 59. Tennyson D’Eyncourt mss Td’E H36/41.
  • 60. See N. Gash, Politics in Age of Peel, 224, 227-8, 234.