Available from Cambridge University Press
Right of Election:
in the freemen
Estimated number qualified to vote:
about 350 in 18311
Number of voters:
308 in 1830
5,888 (1821); 4,048 (1831)2
|7 Mar. 1820||CHARLES WILLIAM TAYLOR|
|JOHN PAINE TUDWAY|
|23 June 1826||JOHN PAINE TUDWAY||147|
|CHARLES WILLIAM TAYLOR||138|
|5 Aug. 1830||JOHN EDWARDS VAUGHAN||196|
|JOHN LEE LEE||195|
|30 Apr. 1831||JOHN EDWARDS VAUGHAN|
|JOHN LEE LEE|
Wells, a cathedral city situated at the southern foot of the Mendips near the source of the River Ax, was described in 1830 as ‘small and compact, for the most part well built and the streets ... well paved’. Its prosperity depended heavily on the retail trade, which was sustained by ‘the respectable inhabitants and the rural population in the vicinity’. Little significant industrial activity remained, as silk manufacturing had entirely decayed and only one large stocking factory still operated; there were paper mills at nearby Wookey. In fact, Wells was in gradual economic decline, and it was reported in 1833 that the city was ‘not so flourishing as it used to be’, with ‘fewer persons of property now living in it’.3
The constituency boundaries did not coincide with the city limits, incorporating as they did a considerable rural area but excluding the Liberty of St. Andrew, where the cathedral and bishop’s palace were located, and parts of the suburb of East Wells. The corporation, a self-electing body, consisted of a mayor, the returning officer for parliamentary elections, seven masters and 16 capital burgesses. The franchise was in members of the corporation, other freemen elected by them and freemen deriving their privilege through birth, marriage or apprenticeship. All those eligible to vote were required to be ‘admitted to their freedom in one of the seven trading companies. It is sufficient that they should be admitted at any time before polling, and it is oftentimes delayed to the day and even to the hour before tendering their vote’. The key to corporation influence over parliamentary elections lay in its power, established by the outcome of an election petition in 1768, to create honorary freemen. As a result, large numbers of non-residents, often complete strangers to the city, were enrolled solely for electoral purposes, and they and the corporation were seen as forming an increasingly distinct interest from that of the resident freemen. A ‘strange anomaly’ thus existed whereby ‘a body of freemen ... are entitled to vote for their representatives in Parliament, and yet are considered as being excluded from a corporation which is unlimited in its numbers’.4 Control of the ‘burgess engine’, as the corporation was sometimes described,5 had enabled the Tudway family, who owned property in and around Wells, to entrench their political position in the 1760s. Clement Tudway represented the city from 1761 until his death in 1815, when his seat was filled by his nephew, John Paine Tudway, who seldom attended the Commons but usually supported ministers. The other Member was, notionally, brought in by the freemen,6 and from 1796 this had been Charles William Taylor, a Whig, who owned nearby Burcott House. In reality, it was his alliance with the Tudway interest that ensured his return. No contest had taken place since 1802, and in 1820 the re-election of Tudway and Taylor was ostensibly so uneventful as to pass unnoticed in the local press. However, there was an undercurrent of discontent arising from dislike of Taylor’s political principles and disreputable private life. In 1818 Francis Drake, a local resident and long-time critic of Taylor, had intended to offer but been deterred by the solidity of the alliance with Tudway. Taylor’s intervention in the county election of that year against the Tory candidate, Sir Thomas Lethbridge*, had also earned him the latter’s enmity, and soon afterwards, when Lethbridge was made a freeman of Wells, his ally in the city, the attorney Robert Welsh, observed that this would be ‘a dagger to Mr. Taylor but he deserves it’.7 On being elected as county Member in 1820, Lethbridge wrote to Drake regarding some unspecified matter, with the observation that Taylor was ‘very angry with what I said to him ... and has written to me for my authority’. Lethbridge had duly obliged: ‘I recollect a dozen persons told me of his conduct, at the time. Mr. Welsh has done so over and over again’.8
In November 1820 Wells was only ‘very partially illuminated’ to celebrate the news of the withdrawal of the bill of pains and penalties against Queen Caroline, but ‘the inhabitants extended a rope across the principal street’ and hung an effigy of the perjured witness Majocchi ‘in triumph’. At a ‘numerous and respectable’ public meeting summoned by the mayor, 1 Dec. 1820, a loyal address to the king, moved by Admiral Holloway and Tudway, was ‘unanimously agreed’, expressing ‘indignation and disgust’ at the ‘criminal designs’ of radical agitators who were ‘scattering [the] seeds of impiety and sedition’.9 Petitions from the archdeacon and clergy against Catholic claims were presented to Parliament, 26 Mar., 9 Apr. 1821, to the Lords against the Catholic peers bill, 19 June 1822, the Commons against Catholic claims, 17 Apr. 1823, and both Houses on this issue, 17, 29 March 1825.10 The inhabitants petitioned the Commons to repeal the house and window duties, 10 Feb., and suppress the Catholic Association, 18 Feb. 1825.11 They sent anti-slavery petitions to both Houses, 20, 21 Apr. 1826.12 For reasons that are not entirely clear, discontent with the sitting Members had surfaced during the autumn and winter of 1824 and eventually presented a formidable challenge to the established interest. On 23 Sept., 85 freemen were entertained at the White Hart, in the first of a series of opposition suppers which were used to foster a sense of grievance at Tudway and Taylor’s alleged neglect of the freemen’s interests, to protest at the ‘shameful manner’ in which their rights and privileges had been invaded and to proclaim a revived ‘spirit of independence’ in the city. Their object was to ‘confer upon the best mode of restoring the freedom of election’ and thus to ensure ‘a proper representation of the borough in Parliament’. A deputation of freemen, consisting of Francis Drake (the son of Taylor’s old antagonist), Welsh, John Fuller and the carpenter Joseph Dix, consulted their brother freemen residing in London, mostly ‘respectable mechanics’, and an advertisement was published promising the appearance of candidates committed to supporting ‘king, church and constitution’.13 Matters were sufficiently serious for Tudway and Taylor to issue an address in November, signifying their ‘united wish to continue in your confidence and favour’. Next month, letters were sent to the electors expressing regret that some of the freemen had been ‘misled by a transient delusion’, but asserting that the Members possessed the confidence of ‘the corporation, clergy, gentry and principal inhabitants’.14 One burgess, however, wrote to the local press denying that Tudway and Taylor enjoyed such unanimity of support among the corporation and clergy: ‘Is it probable that they would support men who have been negligent of their parliamentary duties, inattentive to the local interests of the borough, and one of them consistently opposed to the measures of government and the avowed supporter of the Popish faction?’ The writer went on to specify some of the grounds for dissatisfaction with the Members, which included their failure to oppose the Wells paving and lighting bill of 1821, sponsored by the county Members, which had conferred greater powers on the turnpike commissioners and ‘not only compromised the best interests of the corporation and abridged their judicial power, but ... entailed a lasting and oppressive burden upon the inhabitants’. They were also accused of ignoring petitions placed in their hands.15 Further encouragement for the opposition movement was provided by Lethbridge’s public reply to Tudway and Taylor’s circular, in which he made it clear that he would not endorse them because of their poor attendance at Westminster. The inhabitants’ meeting which agreed to petition for repeal of the house and window duties, 1 Feb. 1825, pointedly entrusted it to the county Members rather than their own representatives, and later that month Lethbridge also presented the petition for suppressing the Catholic Association. The growing party animosity in the city manifested itself in a fierce battle over the election of the parish surgeon of St. Cuthbert, John Nicholls, an opposition supporter, who was not only re-elected but had his salary raised. He was ‘chaired ... by the populace through the principal streets ... cider was given away in abundance and the most opulent inhabitants kept open houses for the entertainment of the people’.16 In February 1825 a deputation, apparently headed by the landowner William Hanning of Dillington House, approached Sir Roger Gresley* with an invitation to stand on the independent interest, on the basis that ‘you shall not be put to one shilling expense unless returned’; nothing came of this.17 However, in May, John Edwards, a former attorney and Member for Glamorgan, and his friend the London banker Richard Williams accepted a requisition to come forward.18 They arrived to canvass in July and were escorted into the city by ‘about 100 freemen, and 50 gentlemen on horseback’; it was claimed that they had assurances of support from over 140 electors. Their friends adopted the name ‘bricks and mortar’, while the supporters of the sitting Members identified with ‘cement’. At a dinner in their honour, Edwards and Williams affirmed their commitment to the constitution in church and state and ‘the maintenance of popular rights’. Edwards pledged that if elected he would be ‘constantly at his post’ and would consider himself ‘bound ... whenever ... required, to give you a faithful account of my stewardship’. In toasting Lethbridge, John Golding declared that the opposition were determined to prevent Wells from sinking permanently into the state of a rotten borough by defeating ‘corruption and tyranny’, and he denounced the ‘infamous system of oppression’ used against individuals such as Nicholls who had dared to express their opinions. At a later dinner, Alderman Stephen Davies, in an allusion to Tudway’s sugar plantation in Antigua, proposed ‘amid deafening applause, "emancipation to all slaves, particularly the slaves in the corporation of the city of Wells ... may they never be handed down as heirlooms like the slaves of Antigua"’. It was reported that the opposition party now combined members of the corporation with a majority of the freemen, groups that had customarily been kept apart.19 The old interest behind Tudway and Taylor was quite capable of matching their opponents in expenditure on entertainments, and they claimed a successful canvass of the city that summer; 25 new freemen were also created in September to bolster their electoral strength.20 Consequently, by the spring of 1826 the balance of forces in Wells was believed to be fairly even. Tudway and Taylor were endorsed by William Dickinson, the Whig county Member, and they received assistance from a considerable body of non-electors, including many tradesmen, who held regular meetings. It was alleged that the opposition, while claiming to be trying to liberate the city, were in fact degrading it by putting it up for sale to outside ‘speculators’ who had ‘nothing in view but their own pecuniary interest’.21
At the general election in the summer of 1826 Tudway and Williams were absent owing to ill health, the latter being represented by his sons. Tudway and Taylor were nominated by the barrister Thomas Coney and the banker D. Payne, while Edwards and Williams were introduced by Peter Sherston and Nicholls. One oppositionist freeman urged his fellows to
consider that, by your vote on this occasion, you are deciding not only the question of your own rights as freemen of Wells, but the still higher and more serious one, of Protestants and Englishmen. Let church and king then be the word ... Huzza - English bricks and mortar, No Roman cement.22
Polling continued for thirteen days, with voters being fetched from all over the country and each vote being closely scrutinized by counsel. For the first five days, Edwards and Williams headed the sitting Members, but on the sixth Tudway drew level with Williams. He overtook him next day and shared the lead with Edwards on the eighth, by which time Taylor had overtaken Williams. On the ninth day, Tudway secured the outright lead, and on the tenth the sitting Members were clear of their opponents. After the result was declared, Lethbridge condemned Taylor to his face for his poor attendance in the Commons. The opposition immediately announced that the result would be challenged and steps were taken to organize a ‘Blue Club’ in order to keep alive the ‘spirit of independence which has now beamed on the inhabitants’. A banquet was held for the victors, attended by ‘upwards of 250 of the resident clergy, gentry, burgesses, freemen, principal tradesmen and other respectable inhabitants’, to celebrate the result of ‘a contest which stands almost unparalleled, for duration and close scrutiny, in the contested elections that have taken place throughout the United Kingdom’.23 In September, the old interest endeavoured to consolidate its position by swearing in 30 new freemen.24 The opposition petitioned the Commons against the election return, 5 Dec. 1826, alleging that the mayor had rejected the claims of legitimate voters while allowing the claims of others with no legal right to vote, and accusing Tudway and Taylor’s agents of bribery, treating and intimidation. A list of 67 individuals who had been improperly permitted to vote was prepared to substantiate their case, but the election committee decided for the sitting Members, 1 May 1827.25
Anti-Catholic petitions from the archdeacon and clergy were presented to the Lords, 27 Feb., and Commons, 6 Mar. 1827, 10 Mar. 1828, and the inhabitants sent a similar petition to the Commons, 10 Mar. 1829.26 The Protestant Dissenters petitioned the Commons for repeal of the Test Acts, 21 Mar. 1828.27 After the failure of its election petition, the opposition initiated quo warranto proceedings against Tudway and Taylor’s supporters in the corporation. It was established that Henry Hope, Francis Besley and Henry Brookes, who had held the office of mayor since 1823, had all been improperly elected, as only a majority of the existing corporators had been present at their elections rather than a majority of the charter number (24). This verdict had serious implications for corporation officers elected under these mayors, and it appears that at least 63 corporators and freemen were ousted between November 1827 and March 1828.28 The sustained opposition onslaught against the sitting Members put their alliance under increasing strain. In June 1827 Taylor complained about ‘the enormous expenses (double what I was told to expect both in the election and petition)’. Their agreement had been that Taylor should meet all the costs, with Tudway paying interest on his half of the total and repaying ‘the principal by instalments when in my power’. Taylor’s request for immediate repayment meant that Tudway was faced with a bill for ‘nearly £5,000’.29 Additionally, there were the legal costs arising from the quo warranto proceedings brought against freemen elected at the request of the sitting Members, who had a moral claim for financial assistance. In July 1828 Tudway paid £654 14s. 6d. as his share of the final legal bill, although it is possible that this was only a part of the total costs incurred.30 Taylor, who normally resided in Sussex, became exasperated with the apparent lack of energy and direction provided by Tudway’s friends, responsible for organizing the defence of their interest at Wells. He warned his colleague in June 1827 that
if we fail to secure a majority in the corporation our money and labours are thrown away ... we shall be beat and laughed at. We should know our strength and on whom we can depend, immediately ... I have worked hard enough. Do put your shoulder to the wheel in Wells among our friends without an hour’s loss, and remember your family must live in Wells. I need never see it again.
He thought the money spent on contesting the quo warranto proceedings might have been better used in a concerted effort to secure a majority among the ‘old corporators’, some of whom he knew could be ‘got at’. As mutual recriminations set in, Taylor protested that he had been ‘used very scurvily’ by Tudway and his associates, who seldom consulted with him, and he accused his colleague of ingratitude for the support he had provided. Tudway retorted that it was he who had ‘sacrificed myself entirely on your account’ by persevering with their joint interest when, as he now revealed, a deputation during the last election had offered him their votes provided he dissociated himself from Taylor, which, ‘as a friend and a gentleman’, he had refused to do.31 By May 1828 the position of the old interest appeared desperate after the defection of one of their number, Charles Matthias, which gave the opposition a small majority in the corporation. It was alleged that Hanning had used bribery to secure support from certain corporators. Tudway and Taylor’s friends tried to block the election of a new mayor by absenting themselves from corporation meetings, but a peremptory mandamus issued by king’s bench compelled their attendance.32 As the crucial battle for control of the corporation loomed, Tudway seemed anxious to relieve himself of the encumbrance of his connection with Taylor. Encouraged by earlier intimations that Taylor did not wish to stand at the next general election and would happily see his colleague reach an accommodation with the opposition,33 Tudway drafted a letter to the corporation informing them of Taylor’s intention to retire and stating that ‘our political co-operation is therefore at an end’. Since the opposition to him was, he was assured, not the result of personal hostility, but had been provoked mainly by his alliance with Taylor, he hoped that ‘a similar cause of disunion will never again occur’ and declared that if the corporation wished him to continue he was willing to ‘lend my humble aid in restoring unanimity between them and peace to the city at large’. However, Taylor, while ready to ‘absolve you from our mutual partnership’, insisted that it must be made clear that he was making a ‘sacrifice’ for Tudway’s sake, as his own supporters should be left under ‘no misconception as to my sentiments and feelings ... [so that] it may not be said I abandoned their cause, which even now with any probable chance of success I would combat’. Concluding that Taylor was not yet reconciled to the idea of retirement, Tudway withheld his projected letter and indignantly repudiated the implication that he had tried to abandon his ally in order to save his own political skin. His only object, he protested, was to save his friends in the corporation and ‘pave the way for my own retirement’.34 When the decisive corporation meeting took place with Tudway presiding, 16 June 1828, Dr. Edward Spencer was elected mayor by nine votes to seven against Tudway’s candidate, Besley. Five vacancies for capital burgesses, arising from the quo warranto verdicts, were filled by Welsh, Golding, Sherston, Nicholls and Joseph Woollams, all opponents of the sitting Members, and 38 freemen were sworn in during the next three months to consolidate the new interest. As Tudway observed to Taylor, ‘I fear the political interest has been wrested from us - the causes you know, viz., operation of the law and treachery’. Thereafter, he frequently absented himself from corporation meetings in an effort to obstruct business, until he was removed from office in November 1828.35
At the dissolution in 1830 Tudway announced his retirement, while Taylor departed in silence. The candidates brought forward by the dominant group in the corporation were John Edwards Vaughan (formerly Edwards), the unsuccessful challenger in 1826, and Hanning’s son, John Lee Lee. Opposition to them focused on Richard Blakemore, sheriff of Herefordshire, who received a requisition from certain freemen inviting him to stand. In his address, he professed loyalty to king and constitution and presented himself as the champion of the ‘rights and privileges’ of the freemen. One critic of Edwards Vaughan and Lee pointed to the absence from their joint address of any statement of political principles, other than ‘that loose and indefinite cant, so invariably flowing from the lips of every place-hunger and public locust ... "of faithfully discharging their duty"’, and he condemned the way in which the new interest had used its power in the corporation to suppress the freemen’s privileges. Another opponent recalled Edwards Vaughan’s shady business connections with the architect John Nash, observing that the city could do without ‘public peculators or jobbers’, and one freeman urged his fellow electors to show that they were ‘not to be bought or sold for the convenience or profit of a lawyer.36 In a nice reversal of roles, prominent supporters of the old interest aligned themselves with the freemen, as was shown by the attendance at a dinner to Blakemore after the election, which included Robert Tudway, the former Member’s eldest son, Besley, Brookes, John Lovell and Edmund Broderip.37 Nevertheless, on polling day the new interest prevailed and Edwards Vaughan and Lee were returned well ahead of Blakemore; they afterwards proclaimed that ‘the emancipation of your borough is perfected’. Only two of the votes cast for Edwards Vaughan and four of those for Lee were plumpers, compared with 96 for Blakemore (77 per cent of his total), 53 of which came from residents and 43 from non-residents. Edwards Vaughan and Lee shared 178 split votes (approximately 91 per cent of their respective totals), of which 107 were cast by non-residents and 71 by residents. Blakemore shared 16 splits with Edwards Vaughan and 13 with Lee. Forty-nine votes were disallowed.38
Edwards Vaughan’s poor health meant that by November 1830 Hanning, who was described as the ‘influential person and agent who manages the affair’ at Wells, was already anticipating an early vacancy.39 Anti-slavery petitions were forwarded to one or both Houses from the archdeacon and clergy, inhabitants, Wesleyan Methodists and Dissenters between November 1830 and March 1831.40 The householders petitioned the Commons for repeal of the assessed taxes, 15 Dec. 1830.41 The Grey ministry’s reform bill met with much favour in Wells outside the corporation, as it proposed to leave the city’s representation intact but to enfranchise resident £10 householders, while disfranchising non-resident freemen. Certain electors and inhabitant householders petitioned the Lords to prevent the corporation from creating more freemen, 28 Feb., and the inhabitant householders sent up a petition to the Commons in favour of the bill, 22 Mar. The inhabitant householders of the Liberty of St. Andrew petitioned the Lords to ‘restore’ their right to vote in the constituency, 22 Mar., and the inhabitants of the city urged the Lords not to block a bill which would ‘open a new and vigorous stream of life to an exhausted ... nation’, 21 Apr. 1831.42 Edwards Vaughan voted against the bill, but Lee supported it. At the ensuing dissolution Lee reported that Welsh was anxious to ‘keep the interest from splitting’, although ‘Vaughan and I shall perhaps not write a joint address’.43 Edwards Vaughan’s address defended his opposition to a measure which would ‘deprive those freemen of their franchise, who sent me to Parliament pledged to protect their privileges’, and he justified his support for Gascoyne’s wrecking amendment in terms of his determination to ‘prevent a reduction in the number of Members for Protestant England, while those for Catholic Ireland and for Scotland were ... increased’. Lee saw great advantages in the reform bill but acknowledged that important details were objectionable, notably the £10 borough franchise and the reduction in England’s representation, which he hoped to see amended, as he wished to protect ‘all vested interests, as far as could possibly affect the electors of Wells, whose interest I am bound in duty to defend’. Initially, it seemed likely that Blakemore would offer again, but his ambivalence towards the bill meant that he was unable to secure support from local reformers and he eventually withdrew. On nomination day a staunch reformer, Erskine Perry, son of the editor of the Morning Chronicle, arrived in Wells, but the mayor declared the show of hands to be in favour of Edwards Vaughan and Lee. Perry’s decision not to demand a poll was probably influenced by Edwards Vaughan’s statement that he hoped to be able to support a suitably amended reform bill, which was ‘partially applauded’. Lee, who boasted afterwards that had a poll taken place ‘I should have had 9/10ths of the votes of both parties’, believed that Edwards Vaughan’s pledge had ‘saved him’, together with the presence of a ‘very weak enemy’.44
The inhabitant householders petitioned Parliament against the Beer Act, 14, 25 July 1831.45 The tumultuous events of October 1831 in Bristol prompted precautionary steps at Wells, where over 300 inhabitants volunteered as special constables. In addition, a meeting of the Wells Loyal Union Reform Association resolved to form a ‘town guard’ and offer their services to the mayor, which were accepted. In this way, ‘some of the most respectable tradesmen of the city’ were sworn in as a distinct body of special constables.46 Early in December 1831 a Wells Loyal Society was formed, for the purpose of returning ‘independent and efficient representatives to Parliament’; it quickly gathered ‘nearly 100 members’. Local reformers were said at this time to be planning a requisition calling on Edwards Vaughan to retire, as persistent ill health prevented him from attending properly to his duties, and his continued opposition to reform confirmed them in their determination to get rid of him. Meantime, the ‘teeth’ of the corporation were being ‘set on edge against their own Member, Mr. Lee’, because of his support for reform, although many reformers were dissatisfied with his irregular parliamentary attendance.47 In January 1832 the Loyal Society’s request that the mayor should organize a pro-reform petition was rejected on the ground that the society came under the ban on political unions, a label that it always disavowed. Not until 10 Apr. 1832 did the electors and inhabitants petition the Lords for the bill’s speedy passage.48 The inhabitants’ repudiation of violent agitation and emphasis on ‘respectable’ pressure for reform was seen as particularly significant for the way it tended to dissolve the old party distinctions, based on rivalries within the corporation, and to create a new distinction between the ‘great majority of both parties’, who favoured reform, and a narrow ‘boroughmongering faction’ who feared the loss of their privileges.49
Wells retained both its seats under the Reform Act, the boundary commissioners recommending that the Liberty of St. Andrew and the whole of East Wells be united with the city. There were 358 registered electors in 1832. Prior to the general election that December John Wilson Croker* received a requisition to stand, with the ‘concurrence of the majority of the corporation and respectable inhabitants, and of the dean and all the clergy’, but despite observing that ‘there might be a chance of getting in a Conservative’, as ‘Wells is one of the few places in which the two bills (reform and boundary) seem to have left the interest of the gentry and clergy almost in statu quo’, he declined. In the event, Norman Lamont, president of the Loyal Society, was returned with Lee, ahead of Nicholas Ridley Colborne, formerly Member for Horsham and a strong reformer, and Edwards Vaughan. The metamorphosis of the Tudway interest into a pro-reform body was demonstrated by the fact that Lamont was nominated by Brookes and Lovell, while Ridley Colborne was introduced by Robert Tudway and Besley.50 On Lamont’s retirement in 1834 Ridley Colborne was elected in his place, and Blakemore sat as a Conservative after Lee’s retirement in 1837. Thereafter, the representation was shared, with only one contested election occurring in 1852. The registered electorate declined to 295 in 1864 and in the redistribution of 1868 Wells was one of the few boroughs to be totally disfranchised.
Author: Terry Jenkins
- 1. In January 1832 the mayor reported that he had ‘no means of stating the present number of voters ... no registry of the voters being kept, and the number being daily fluctuating’, but he thought there were ‘about 400’; 308 had voted in 1830 (PP (1831-2), xxxvi. 595). A later source estimated the electorate in 1831 at 338 (ibid. (1835), xxiv. 1374).
- 2. The 1821 census figure included the whole of the out-parish of St. Cuthbert, parts of which were beyond the parliamentary boundary (Ibid. (1831-2), xxxix. 228).
- 3. Pigot’s Commercial Dir. (1830), 730, 731; Robson’s Som. Dir. (1839), 215-17; PP (1835), xxiv. 1373.
- 4. PP (1831-2), xxxvi. 595; xxxix. 227; (1835), xxiv. 1365-70.
- 5. Bristol Mirror, 6 Sept. 1828; Keene’s Bath Jnl. 19 July 1830.
- 6. Bristol Mirror, 1 Apr. 1826.
- 7. E. Devon RO, Drake of Colyton mss 1700M/CP 889; Som. RO, Lethbridge mss A/ARW/2/1, Welsh to Lethbridge, 8 Sept. 1818.
- 8. Som. RO, Drake mss DD/NE/12, Lethbridge to Drake, 5 Mar. 1820.
- 9. Bristol Mirror, 25 Nov., 9 Dec. 1820.
- 10. CJ, lxxvi. 203; lxxviii. 213; lxxx. 285; LJ, liv. 181; lv. 251; lvii. 129.
- 11. CJ, lxxx. 23, 96.
- 12. Ibid. lxxxi. 270; LJ, lviii. 214.
- 13. Bristol Mirror, 2, 9, 23, 30 Oct., 11, 25 Dec. 1824, 29 Jan. 1825.
- 14. Ibid. 20 Nov.; Som. RO, Dickinson mss DD/DN/282, circular, 22 Dec. 1824.
- 15. Bristol Mirror, 25 Dec. 1824.
- 16. Ibid. 22 Jan., 5, 26 Feb., 16 Apr. 1825.
- 17. Derbys. RO, Gresley of Drakelow mss D77/36/2.
- 18. Bristol Mirror, 28 May 1825; Som. RO DD/SAS/SE 20/7, address, 27 May 1825.
- 19. Bristol Mirror, 16, 23, 30 July 1825.
- 20. Ibid. 30 July 1825; Wells City RO, convocation bk. 14, 30 Sept. 1825.
- 21. Bristol Mirror, 18 Mar., 15 Apr., 13 May; Taunton Courier, 24 May 1826.
- 22. Som. RO DD/SAS/SE20/7, poster, 8 June; Bristol Mirror, 10 June; Taunton Courier, 14 June 1826.
- 23. Som. RO DD/SAS/SE20/7, ‘state of the poll’; Bath Herald, 24 June, 1 July; Bristol Mirror, 1, 8 July 1826.
- 24. Wells convocation bk. 13, 14, 30 Sept. 1826.
- 25. Som. RO DD/SAS/SE118A/3; CJ, lxxxii. 80, 394, 419.
- 26. CJ, lxxxii. 282; lxxxiii. 150; lxxxiv. 121; LJ, lix. 110.
- 27. CJ, lxxxiii. 189.
- 28. Bristol Mirror, 17 Nov. 1827, 2, 16 Feb., 1, 29 Mar. 1828; PP (1835), xxiv. 1366. The convocation bk. is silent on this matter.
- 29. Som. RO, Tudway mss DD/TD/56/22, Taylor to Tudway, 13 June, Tudway to Taylor, 13 Sept.; 57/37, Broderip to Tudway, 25 Oct. 1827.
- 30. Ibid. 56/22, Vigard to Lovell, 12, 15 July 1828.
- 31. Ibid. Taylor to Tudway, 13 June, 13 July, 1 Sept., to Lovell, 22 July, 19 Sept., Tudway to Taylor, 23 Sept. 1827.
- 32. Bristol Mirror, 17 May, 21 June 1828.
- 33. Tudway mss 56/22, Taylor to Tudway, 16 July, to Lovell, 28 Oct. 1827.
- 34. Ibid. 57/37, Tudway to Taylor, 4, 5 June (with draft), reply, 4 June, 1828.
- 35. Wells convocation bk. 16, 21 June, 25 Aug., 14, 30 Sept., 15 Nov.; Tudway mss 57/37, Tudway to Taylor, 19 June 1828.
- 36. Bristol Mirror, 10, 24 July; Keene’s Bath Jnl. 19 July; Som. RO DD/SAS/SE20/8, ‘a freeman’, 24 July 1830.
- 37. Bristol Mirror, 11 Sept. 1830.
- 38. Som. RO DD/SAS/SE20/8, address, 2 July; Wells City RO 68/C, ms pollbook 1830.
- 39. Lincs. AO, Ancaster mss 3ANC/9/10/40, Grosvenor to Heathcote, 11, 13 Nov. 1830.
- 40. CJ, lxxxvi. 56, 175, 454; LJ, lxiii. 70, 92, 136.
- 41. CJ, lxxxvi. 176.
- 42. Ibid. 415; LJ, lxiii. 266, 356, 501.
- 43. Wells City RO 189/7, Lee to Davies, 23 Apr. 1831.
- 44. Bath Herald, 30 Apr.; Bristol Mirror, 30 Apr., 7 May; Som. RO, Sanford mss DD/SF/4550, Lee to Sanford, 1 May 1831.
- 45. CJ, lxxxvi. 654; LJ, lxiii. 847.
- 46. Bristol Mirror, 12 Nov.; Keene’s Bath Jnl. 14 Nov. 1831.
- 47. Keene’s Bath Jnl. 5 Dec. 1831, 30 Jan., 2 Apr. 1832.
- 48. Ibid. 9 Jan. 1832; LJ, lxiv. 161.
- 49. Bristol Mirror, 12 Nov. 1831; Keene’s Bath Jnl. 30 Jan. 1832.
- 50. Add. 40320, f. 210; Wells City RO 68/C, ms pollbook; Bristol Mirror, 15 Dec. 1832.