Available from Cambridge University Press
Estimated number qualified to vote:
|20 Mar. 1820||CHARLES WILLIAM WENTWORTH FITZWILLIAM, Visct. Milton|
|JAMES ARCHIBALD STUART WORTLEY|
|21 June 1826||CHARLES WILLIAM WENTWORTH FITZWILLIAM, Visct. Milton|
|HON. WILLIAM DUNCOMBE|
|RICHARD FOUNTAYNE WILSON|
|5 Aug. 1830||GEORGE WILLIAM FREDERICK HOWARD, Visct. Morpeth||1464|
|HENRY PETER BROUGHAM||1293|
|HON. WILLIAM DUNCOMBE||1123|
|7 Dec. 1830||SIR JOHN VANDEN BEMPDE JOHNSTONE, bt. vice Brougham, called to the Upper House||361|
|6 May 1831||GEORGE WILLIAM FREDERICK HOWARD, Visct. Morpeth|
|SIR JOHN VANDEN BEMPDE JOHNSTONE, bt.|
|JOHN CHARLES RAMSDEN|
The 1832 Reform Act split Yorkshire into its constituent Ridings for elections, thereby ending the united representation of Britain’s largest county. By this time its interests had become so diverse as to make it virtually impossible that any one Member could adequately address them all. The predominantly agricultural North Riding, which also encompassed shipping at Scarborough and Whitby, contained 14 per cent of the county’s total population of 1.4 million in 1831 and was home to much of the county’s aristocracy and gentry. It contained five of the county’s 14 boroughs, all more or less dominated by patrons, a number of whom played a significant role in Yorkshire as a whole. Malton was the nomination borough of the Whig 2nd Earl Fitzwilliam, a major figure in Yorkshire politics; one seat at Northallerton was controlled by the Tory 2nd earl of Harewood, and Richmond was the pocket borough of the Whig Dundas family. In addition, Charles Duncombe* (later 1st Baron Feversham), one of the county’s richest Tories, who helped payroll the party, was resident in this Riding, as was the veteran reformer, the Rev. Christopher Wyvill of Constable Burton, whose son Marmaduke, Member for York, took a prominent role in local Whig organization. The East Riding, with 12 per cent of the county’s inhabitants, was the smallest in size and population and was again largely agricultural. Of the three Ridings it was the least politically active and boasted three notoriously venal boroughs, Beverley, Hedon and Kingston-upon-Hull, a nationally important port and commercial town. The Sykes family of Hull (who had assumed control of Fitzwilliam’s interest there) were the most prominent Whigs, Daniel Sykes being Member for the borough (and later Beverley) and a leading protagonist in the county. The most notable Tory was the country gentleman Richard Bethell of Rise. The city of York, a county of itself, was the focal point of county life and the venue for elections, but contained only two per cent of Yorkshire’s total population. Politically it was a battleground between the Fitzwilliam interest and that of the Tory Sir Tatton Sykes of Sledmere, but apart from its ceremonial position it had little impact on county politics. The West Riding on its own would have been the largest county in England in terms of size, and had a population of nearly a million by 1831, some 71 per cent of the county’s total. It contained five boroughs, four of which were nomination boroughs where none of the patrons played any significant part in county elections. The other, Pontefract, was open and venal and the only one located near the manufacturing towns, none of which returned a Member. Industrial and commercial interests dominated the West Riding, although it also had a large agricultural interest. The manufacturing towns in the west of the Riding, whose produce was mostly wool and flax, contrasted with the craftsmen-based industry of the south, and their interests were not always mutual. County politics turned on the attempts of the West Riding towns to be represented through the county Members and later as the vanguard of the parliamentary reform campaign. The overwhelming majority of the county’s freeholders lived in the West Riding and it was therefore potentially in a position to dictate to the rest of the county. Party was of great significance: the Whigs were headed by Fitzwilliam, whose son Lord Milton had represented the county since the monumental election of 1807, and who largely assumed his father’s role in this period; and the Tories by the strenuously anti-Catholic Lowther family, headed by the earl of Lonsdale. Leeds played a pivotal role in this period. Its closed Tory corporation, under the influence of the banking Beckett family (kinsmen of the Lowthers), was instrumental in most of the party’s activities. The Sadler brothers, Benjamin and Michael (later Tory Member for Newark), also took an active role there. Many of Fitzwilliam’s closest confidants and allies were members of the West Riding gentry, including Sir Francis Wood of Hemsworth and Sir William Cooke of Wheatley, and his Leeds agent Thomas Tottie. Perhaps the most significant Whig ally in this period was the Leeds Mercury, whose proprietor Edward Baines†, a Unitarian, was very active in county politics. His newspaper was the leading liberal organ in this period. The Tories were well represented by the equally crusading Yorkshire Gazette, which was ably supported by the Leeds Intelligencer. The county had an abundance of newspapers, but no others matched the importance of these.
Yorkshiremen, whether sons of the county’s aristocracy or country gentlemen, were the favoured candidates, and no one from outside had represented it since Elizabethan times. The last contested election in 1807 cast a long shadow over future elections, with none of the participants wanting a repeat of its enormous expense, totalling almost £250,000. Money mattered, but avoiding a contest was of paramount concern. Neither of the two general elections after 1807 had been contested, the Tories and Whigs being content to split the representation between them. In 1818 Milton, one of the leading opposition Members, had been returned for a third time for the Whigs and the rather independently minded James Archibald Stuart Wortley, a West Riding man, for the first time, for the Tories. Throughout this period, which saw the county gain two additional seats in 1826, elections turned on who held their nerve. As Daniel Sykes informed Milton, 9 July 1830, ‘the representation of our county is like a game of brag, and many who bray loudest and earliest win it’.1 The county still prided itself on its moral stand over slavery, William Wilberforce’s* name being invoked by most candidates, and continued to maintain its opposition to the trade, sending hundreds of petitions to Parliament. Local support for parliamentary reform, another Yorkshire tradition, was also resurrected in this period, leading to the last great campaign under the leadership of Wyvill. The rapid industrialization of the county inevitably led to a large number of bills to promote the development of new canals, roads and railways, concerning which the Members were especially active and the channel for countless petitions. The economic condition of the county, especially its periodic slumps, also accounted for huge numbers on all manner of other topics of local and national significance; the Members usually took charge of their presentation.
During the agitation of 1818-19 a number of popular meetings had been held for repeal of the corn laws and parliamentary reform, which afforded evidence of the growth and activity of the radicals. On 12 Apr. 1819 John Beckett* informed Lonsdale’s son Lord Lowther* that the county was ‘in a most sensitive condition. The Whigs, the Radicals and the Tories form three distinct parties, the largest by far being the Radicals’.2 There was a plan for another large outdoor meeting at Leeds before the Peterloo incident in August forced its cancellation. Whig hopes of drawing mass support away from the radicals were assisted by Fitzwilliam’s decision to chair a county meeting to discuss Peterloo that October, which resulted in his dismissal as lord lieutenant of the West Riding. As Lord Althorp* commented to his father, 31 Oct.:
It is the most fortunate thing for him that ever happened to a man. He loses nothing, and on the other side will gain immense popularity; he will be cried up in all the county ... and his name will be associated with lawful government in opposition to military despotism.3
At the meeting Stuart Wortley had spoken against the resolutions condemning the massacre, but his only supporter was his fellow Tory Richard Fountayne Wilson of Melton (a kinsman of the Becketts). The Six Acts further consolidated support for Fitzwilliam and the Whigs, while Stuart Wortley’s support of them increased his own and the Tories’ unpopularity. The distress that the West Riding manufacturing towns were experiencing at this time was partly blamed on the Wool Act of 1819, and on 18 Jan. 1820 a committee was formed at Leeds to co-ordinate petitions for its repeal.4 These issues were at the core of the 1820 general election. Francis Fenton told Stuart Wortley, 24 Feb., that he had heard that Fitzwilliam intended to put forward two candidates, but in fact he had no plans to try to capitalize on his popularity by disturbing the status quo.5 Equally, speculation that the Tories would start Fountayne Wilson was unfounded, and The Times reported that ‘the approach of the general election has produced little sensation in this county, no opposition being expected to the return of the late Members’, 7 Mar.6 Nevertheless both Milton (who had been unable to canvass in 1818) and Stuart Wortley undertook extensive tours of the towns of the West Riding, starting, as tradition dictated, at the Leeds Cloth Halls. Milton was very well received, telling his father, 5 Mar.:
The wool tax and the late bills were what excited their attention most. Wortley was there with me, but he was very ill received by the crowd, though they were at length prevailed upon to hear him with tolerable attention. Of merchants he did not have a very large body with him; I think not more than I had. I am told they begin to suspect he is not very much in earnest about the repeal of the wool tax.7
On the day of election Milton was again greeted with great enthusiasm, while Stuart Wortley was shouted down and forced to defend his record after a highly critical speech by Baines. On 20 Mar. Milton informed Fitzwilliam, ‘all is over, Wortley having been well baited by Baines. The show of hands was greatly in my favour, though Wortley’s friends had evidently made very great exertions for an attendance’.8 Despite the fears of some manufacturers both Members were united in their efforts against the wool tax in this Parliament, Stuart Wortley speaking in support of Milton’s unsuccessful repeal motion, 26 May 1820.
Soon afterwards the subject was submerged by the deepening depression in trade. The Mercury asserted that the gloom was ‘unprecedented’ and in the first week of April the interception of a parcel of swords and pistols to a known radical at Huddersfield confirmed the civil authorities’ worst fears. Troops were called out, but although a brief skirmish occurred, ‘the town remained tranquil but apprehensive’.9 Rioting occurred in other West Riding towns, such as Barnsley and Sheffield, and confrontations with troops occurred in other places, but a swift show of strength by the military quickly restored order.10 Harewood, the new lord lieutenant of the West Riding, considered calling a public meeting about the disturbances, but as Robert Chaloner, later Member for York, pointed out to his kinsman Fitzwilliam, 21 Apr., the Tories would find it difficult to propose a cure without the cause being discussed; nothing came of the plan.11 A slight upturn in trade in June 1820 alleviated the situation and the attention of all was soon focused on Queen Caroline’s return to England.12
Stuart Wortley seconded Wilberforce’s attempt to secure a compromise between the queen and ministers before they went ahead with the bill of pains and penalties, 22 June. As it proceeded Fitzwilliam’s mind turned to a county meeting. He set about canvassing opinion among the county’s Whigs, telling Milton, 9 Nov.
The eyes of the public are fixed upon Yorkshire and [if] the bill [should be] passed, Yorkshire must be put in motion. Considering the part taken by Lord Harewood, Lord Grantham [and] the archbishop of York, we may look for cooperation from the Tories, or at least no opposition if we confine our measures to the bill.13
The withdrawal of the bill, which was widely celebrated throughout Yorkshire (except in Leeds where the magistrates banned an illumination), made him feel that a meeting would no longer do any good.14 Some of the more radical Whigs wished for one to address the king for the dismissal of ministers and call for parliamentary reform. Fitzwilliam’s closest friends advised against any attempt to hold a meeting that they would be unable to control, and the idea was shelved owing to a lack of agreement.15 On 9 Dec. Lord Grey told Fitzwilliam that the abandonment of a Yorkshire meeting had been ‘fatal as to the general effect of the measures now in progress in other parts of the country’ for county meetings.16 Huddersfield, Hull, Leeds and Sheffield held meetings to congratulate the queen on the abandonment of the proceedings against her and calling for the dismissal of ministers.17 In the last week of December some North Riding Tories sought to arrange a meeting at Northallerton to present a loyal address to the king, but abandoned it when Marmaduke Wyvill enlisted the help of Lord Dundas to mobilize members of his family to pack it. The Tories made another attempt, to stir the district of Richmondshire, 30 Dec. 1820, but were again forced to retreat by the Whig gentry.18
In October 1819 Lord John Russell had succeeded in gaining the government’s approval to disfranchise Grampound. The question of where the seats were to go periodically occupied the attention of the House over the next couple of years. Althorp informed his father, 17 Oct. 1819: ‘We intend to propose Leeds, but it is supposed that government will recommend either two additional Members for the West Riding or ... give the North and East the right of sending Members’.19 Wood informed Milton, 25 May 1820, that the West Riding manufacturers would be delighted with their own Members, but feared the overbearing influence of the united manufacturers, especially with respect to the Sheffield craftsmen and the agricultural interest in the south of the West Riding. Adding another note of caution, he commented, ‘I have heard it observed that the two representatives of our overgrown county had more weight (save as to voting) than four Members representing Ridings would have’, and cited the probable diminution of Fitzwilliam’s influence that the change would occasion.20 However, it was the view of Sir William Strickland of Boynton that
it cannot but be satisfactory ... This county is so widely separated in its agricultural and commercial interests, that it seems very difficult for the same person to represent both with satisfaction ... In the present system ... the influence of the North and East Ridings is done away with by the overwhelming majority of the West Riding, so much so that it can hardly be said to be represented and the business of the whole county is a burden too great to be borne by any two persons ... By this addition of two Members the influence of the county of York in Parliament will be greatly increased.21
Tory and Whig opinion was divided, but all seemed to agree that election costs would be reduced. Leeds corporation opposed the enfranchisement of the town merely out of self-interest. Russell’s bill of May 1820 proposed the transfer to Leeds with a £10 householder qualification, which would have produced an electorate of 8-10,000. Ministers objected, however, and the bill was still in committee when the transfer to the West Riding was proposed by Nicolson Calvert in February 1821. Stuart Wortley opposed this, believing it would give too much influence to the aristocracy, and instead put forward a qualification of £20 for Leeds. Milton viewed this as too exclusive and proposed that Leeds be made a scot and lot borough, but this was defeated and the £20 clause approved. Seeing his bill altered so much led Russell to abandon it and Stuart Wortley to pick up the reins. Fitzwilliam informed Milton, 3 Mar., that the measure must be carried, but he would not be party to a requisition for a county meeting ‘for the loose indefinite purpose’ of creating ‘a more effectual representation’.22 In the Upper House Lord Liverpool, at the prompting of Lord Castlereagh*, successfully substituted the county as a whole for Leeds, and although Stuart Wortley urged rejection of the bill, on its return to the Commons it was approved, 30 May. It received royal assent, 8 June (1 & 2 Geo. IV, c. 47).23 When Milton moved the Yorkshire election polls bill to divide the county for the purpose of taking the poll in consequence of the additional Members, 31 May, Stuart Wortley observed that his scheme was opposed by many gentlemen of all political persuasions and from all the Ridings. Numerous petitions were presented on both sides of the argument, but the bill was lost in June, and Charles Williams Wynn proposed his own polls bill, 3 July 1821. He was a member of the cabinet when he reintroduced his proposals, 3 Apr. 1822, which, as well as dividing the county for polling purposes, would also have given the choice of two Members to the West Riding and two to the North and East Ridings.24 County opinion was again polarized. Petitions on both sides came from all Ridings, but the Whig representatives of Yorkshire and its boroughs who spoke on the issue, as well as Stuart Wortley, were united in their opposition. It was left to the Tory Yorkshiremen Lord Hotham and William Duncombe, who represented boroughs outside the county, to speak in favour.25 On 7 June 1822, however, the bill was defeated by 69-27. A far more basic polls bill, which simply provided for the erection of more polling booths, was introduced by Milton, 20 Apr., and received royal assent, 26 May 1826 (7 Geo. IV, c. 55).26
On 11 Sept. 1821, 3-400 men gathered in Leeds to form a branch of the Northern Union, dubbing themselves the Leeds Central Committee of Radical Reformers.27 Calls for parliamentary reform were being revived in Yorkshire and Milton chaired a meeting in York, 4 Nov. 1822, which decided to requisition the sheriff to call a county meeting to discuss the issue. A subcommittee was also formed to urge other counties to follow their lead. On 9 Dec. 1822 The Times noted that it had had ‘a powerful influence upon the country. Already 15 or 16 of the leading counties of England are in motion’.28 The requisition was circulated throughout Yorkshire, and presented to the sheriff, Bethell, by a deputation headed by Sir William Amcotts Ingilby* of Ripley Castle, 9 Jan. 1823. Bethell asked them to delay their request and to seek the decision of the incoming sheriff, who was due to replace him in February. When they declined, he set 22 Jan. as the date. On 17 Jan. the Whigs had a preliminary gathering in York to prepare for the meeting. The Yorkshire Gazette predicted that William Cobbett†, who had recently acquired a small freehold at Rufforth, near York, would make an appearance, and Thomas Wooler, the radical editor of the Black Dwarf, was also expected.29 Despite the wintry conditions, 5,000 turned up at the Castle Yard. News that Cobbett had been delayed in Hertfordshire ‘put an end to the hopes of the anti-reformers’ and the hustings was packed by the Whig hierarchy of Yorkshire. Stuart Wortley and Fountayne Wilson were the only Tories of any note present. The doyen of Yorkshire reformers Walter Fawkes† moved the resolutions calling for reductions and retrenchment and advocating a reform of Parliament as the best means of securing them. He was seconded by the Catholic Edward Petre of Stapylton Park, who was followed by Milton, Wyvill and Wooler. With great difficulty Bethell managed to secure a tolerable hearing for Stuart Wortley, who was the only speaker to oppose the resolutions. Wood proposed, and George Strickland (son of Sir William) seconded a motion for a petition, and Stuart Wortley and Fountayne Wilson were the only ones to hold up their hands against it.30 The Times had ‘no hesitation in asserting’ that the meeting was ‘one of the most important domestic occurrences that have taken place in our time’.31 Milton presented the petition, containing 17,023 signatures, 22 Apr., when Stuart Wortley again voiced his dissent.32
The wool tax resurfaced as an issue when Stuart Wortley presented a West Riding petition against it, 30 May 1822. After Milton brought up another from Leeds, 4 June 1823, ministers put forward a set of proposals to repeal the duty on imported short wool in return for allowing the free export of long wool (which was the exclusive product of Britain).33 There had been a centuries-old prohibition on such exports and the West Riding manufacturers gathered at Leeds to consider their response, 7 June. The issue divided them, but the producers of fine cloth who relied on imports formed the majority and passed resolutions in favour of the deal. The worsted and stuff manufacturers, who used long wool, therefore held a separate meeting in Leeds, 11 June, and agreed to petition Parliament against the proposals.34 Stuart Wortley demanded that the manufacturers be heard at the bar of the House or be invited to direct talks with the government, 24 Feb. 1824, and presented multiple Yorkshire petitions against the export of long wool before the wool import and export bill passed the House, 24 May. The ministry became embarrassed that October when, as Robert Peel, the home secretary, informed Liverpool, 22 Oct. 1824, Hotham, ‘one of our best supporters’, was overlooked for the vacant lord lieutenancy of the East Riding, as they had not realized that he was a resident. It was offered instead to the Whig Lord Morpeth†, who accepted.35
Rumours of a dissolution in February 1825 focused attention on securing candidates for the additional seats. Thomas Wentworth Beaumont of Bretton Hall, Member for Northumberland, had been repeatedly spoken of as a second Whig and actively promoted by Wyvill and Chaloner, but was deemed unsuitable by Althorp on account of his family ties with Fitzwilliam. ‘None of your colleagues should be related to you’, he had advised Milton, 30 Oct. 1823, adding his belief that George Howard would be ‘out of the question’, since his grandfather Lord Carlisle was ‘disliked’ and his father Morpeth ‘not known’, and concluding that
Sir Francis Wood is the best of those you mention, and [George] Strickland better than [Paul Beilby] Thompson* ... I am glad at all rates that you have taken the thing in hand ... but ... you ought not to appear in it ... Great offence may be taken if a candidate appears to be recommended from Wentworth House, and yet practically, if he is not so recommended, he will probably be a very bad one.36
By 1825, however, the Whig hierarchy were apparently more disposed to support Howard, for Lady Holland reported to her son that ‘George will apparently come in without difficulty’, 18 Mar.37 Meanwhile a number of East Riding Tories attempted to call a meeting in Beverley to promote a requisition to Bethell, but it came to nothing. The Ultra Tory Leeds Intelligencer and the Yorkshire Gazette had been pursuing an anti-Catholic campaign since the last election and, as Lady Carlisle informed Howard, 9 May, because Bethell favoured Catholic relief (as did Stuart Wortley) ‘there was ... discontent ... Wilson is very angry and says he will not suffer such a thing [as four pro-Catholic county Members]. This you see might lead to an opposition’.38 On 6 June Tottie reported to Milton details of a meeting ‘of those who hypocritically call themselves a Pitt Club’ at which Michael Sadler had proposed Fountayne Wilson for the county, although he believed that he was only ‘the puppet put forward ... to try how the pulse beats’. Alluding to the Lowthers he added, ‘I need not tell your Lordship how skillfully and warily a certain family carry on their schemes of aggrandizement’.39 Anti-Catholicism abated over the summer as the West Riding focused on the general deterioration in trade and the series of long and damaging strikes among workers in Barnsley, Bradford, Halifax and Keighley.40 On 24 Aug. John Stuart Wortley*, son of the county Member, informed Henry Edward Fox* that he was ‘sanguine’ about Howard and Bethell’s chances, ‘for the anti-Catholic feeling is not very virulent amongst us’.41 Milton was similarly confident, and told Howard’s father (now 6th earl of Carlisle, Howard himself taking the courtesy title of Lord Morpeth), 18 Sept., that he did not ‘think there is any doubt of a general acquiescence in the two new Members. I have made enquiries in all directions, and I can see no cause for alarm in any quarter’.42 Stuart Wortley, with an eye to his own re-election, had planned to use the Sheffield Pitt Club dinner to explain his pro-Catholic stance, but as Beckett explained to Lowther, 20 Oct., it was cancelled ‘in order to prevent him’ from doing so.43 Morpeth was busy canvassing the West Riding by late October, and Bethell’s friends in the East Riding reactivated their plan to requisition him by holding a meeting in Beverley, 25 Oct. In response the Gazette complained that if Bethell and Stuart Wortley were returned in the Tory interest then ‘not only will a great majority of Tories be unrepresented, but they will positively be misrepresented’.44 Bethell formally accepted the requisition, 25 Nov.45 Speculation about Fountayne Wilson’s candidature was confirmed when a meeting of the Protestant freeholders of Yorkshire, chaired by Henry Hall, mayor of Leeds, was held in the town, 12 Nov. After Fountayne Wilson had received requisitions from Leeds, Bradford and York, he announced his candidature, 1 Dec. Eager for two anti-Catholics, on 22 Nov. the North Riding Tories, headed by Lord Middleton of Birdsall, held a meeting at Malton attended by Sir Tatton Sykes and the Rev. Todd, ‘champion of the high church party’, at which the claims of Charles Duncombe’s son William, Tory Member for Grimsby, were put forward.46 Another meeting at Ripon, 1 Dec., resolved to support only anti-Catholics. On 4 Dec. Althorp lamented to his father:
Yorkshire is now in a dreadful state of agitation ... It does not appear that the Tories object to our having two Members, but they are quarrelling among themselves ... and if they cannot come to some amicable arrangement it may produce a contest. There was to be a meeting at York on Friday [2 Dec.], and I am very anxious to hear the result of it. It is reported that Lord Middleton was to attend it and to put his name down for £30,000 to support Messrs. Wilson and Duncombe, in which case I conclude Wortley and Bethell will fly and Yorkshire will have the credit of electing two men who rest their claims on bigotry and intolerance.47
The meeting in York chaired by Lord Macdonald issued a requisition which Duncombe accepted, 8 Dec.48 It also endorsed Fountayne Wilson and a York central committee was formed to co-ordinate their campaign.49 The Intelligencer urged a formal coalition and Protestant committees were set up in many towns to promote their return.50 Henry Allen, Fitzwilliam’s agent at Malton, reported that ‘their object is decidedly to prevent Lord Morpeth and Mr. Bethell from being returned’.51 Their ‘sole principle is to perpetuate the existing restrictions on the civil rights of all classes of Dissenter’, Tottie complained to Milton, 12 Dec., adding:
Perhaps the declared opinion of the freeholders of Yorkshire on ... Catholic emancipation, would be considered by the king and the anti-Catholic Members of his present cabinet as a truer test than any that could be obtained of the prevailing opinion in this kingdom on the subject of the test laws.52
On 19 Dec. a meeting at Leeds appointed a Committee for the Protestant Cause, but Fitzwilliam assured the duke of Devonshire, Morpeth’s uncle and the patron of Knaresborough, 21 Dec., that although Leeds had taken the lead against the Catholics, ‘even in that respect she is far from unanimity amongst her corporation’. He continued: ‘Firstly I look for assistance from the great landed interest ... secondly from the Catholics, in whose cause we are fighting ... the duke of Norfolk, Lord Stourton, Petre, and numerous others’. The landed interest, he declared, ‘will not suffer itself to be borne down by the commercial, and ... will show itself what it is, a tenfold overmatch for Leeds and the Tory band about Malton’.53
Morpeth had yet to make a formal declaration, having been advised by James Abercromby*, Devonshire’s man of business, to ‘wait upon events, neither pressing nor giving up his ground’.54 The press, meanwhile, speculated that Stuart Wortley, who was said to be aggrieved that many of his former supporters had deserted him, would abandon his pro-Catholic views in order to safeguard his seat, but this was firmly rejected by his committee.55 On 12 Dec. Lord Lansdowne notified Lady Holland that there had been ‘talk of a grand subscription and coalition in Yorkshire to resist the no-Popery cry and bring in the four Members’.56 That day Tottie, who was convinced that Stuart Wortley would be defeated, suggested to Milton that with each elector now having four votes, he and Morpeth should make arrangements with Bethell and Stuart Wortley to ‘give and take split votes on both sides’.57 John Charles Ramsden*, Fitzwilliam’s nominee at Malton, added that the supporters of the two Ultras had very little property and therefore would ‘have no chance I think with all our friends against them’. ‘When the day of nomination comes’, he assured Milton, 6 Dec., ‘all will depend on who has the best pluck’.58 On 13 Dec. 1825 Milton was informed by William Newman that Wilson and Duncombe had engaged agents and were actively canvassing for votes, while Bethell, who had also appointed agents, had only canvassed friends. Milton’s agents were ready, and Newman urged him to issue an address to confirm his intentions.59
The prospect of a contest raised fears of expense. Fountayne Wilson was wealthy, but Althorp confided to Milton, 19 Dec., ‘I had no idea that Mr. Duncombe, though I know him to be rich, was rich enough for such an undertaking’.60 Carlisle could provide no funds for Morpeth and news that Devonshire would probably refuse to subsidize his candidacy initially caused Milton to advocate dropping him in favour of Strickland, 18 Dec. However, when he met the West Riding Whigs at Wheatley, the home of Sir William Cooke, the following week, he agreed to stick by him. It was decided that a joint subscription would be the best means of securing their election, towards which Milton agreed to contribute £30,000 to a target of £70,000. Fitzwilliam asked Devonshire to match this but he declined.61 Whig hopes that they might be able to return both Members without a contest were bolstered by rumours that Stuart Wortley would receive a peerage. Bethell was also said to be concerned about the potential cost and, although he was wealthy, Strickland predicted that he would retire if it came to a contest.62 The Tories, meanwhile, were encouraged by a report in the Gazette that it had been ‘confidently rumoured’ that Milton would decline.63 In gleeful anticipation, Beckett wrote to Lowther that they could expect Duncombe, Fountayne Wilson and Stuart Wortley to be returned unopposed, with Morpeth as the only Whig.64 On 30 Dec. 1825, however, Milton confirmed his intention of standing.65
In the event it was Morpeth, under pressure from his father, who first decided to quit the field.66 The news ‘astounded’ Milton, who confided to Althorp, 27 Dec. 1825, that as a result
the Whig interest in the county will be laid prostrate, and I think it will signify very little whether I succeed or not ... My object in continuing to stand is not to obtain for myself a seat in Parliament (which I can have at Higham Ferrers) but to maintain Whig preponderance or at least Whig equality in Yorkshire ... I should very much prefer any seat or no seat to the one I should occupy as the only Whig Member for Yorkshire ... [but if Morpeth declines] I am satisfied that either Ramsden or Strickland are ready if called upon ... With respect to the anti-Catholic feeling, some [of those who were at Wheatley] were of opinion that it exists in strength, though in a latent form, others that it does not exist, but all are agreed that the outward signs of it are not very formidable. Another opinion was that there are a great many other more important topics by which public opinion in Yorkshire will be very much affected and which may acquire importance before the election.67
The requisition to Morpeth was delayed, to allow time for Carlisle to be persuaded that he could still come in without a contest, but the bid failed and Morpeth duly rejected it. Some North Riding Whigs, headed by Dundas, attempted to lure Morpeth back by advocating an open subscription, but to no avail.68 Hitherto Stuart Wortley, who was probably not wealthy enough to face a contest, had remained quiet, but, buoyed by the news of Morpeth’s withdrawal, which he believed would lessen the chance of a contest, he officially declared his intention of offering again, 13 Jan. 1826.69 Writing to Althorp next day, Abercromby questioned whether, with five declared candidates now in the field, the Whigs and radicals would have
the power of returning two Whigs in a contest and in the face of the no Popery cry? Some doubt that and although it may be true that the feeling of the West Riding is favourable to Milton, it may not be equally clear that it would to be so to a new man.70
That day Wood reported to Milton details of a West Riding meeting at Wakefield where the talk had been of what should be done if Ramsden or John Marshall, a prominent and very wealthy Leeds manufacturer, should offer in Morpeth’s place.71 The following week’s Mercury praised Marshall, who was one of its financial backers, and for the rest of the election campaign stressed the right of the manufacturing towns to have one of the county Members representing their interest.72 Another Whig meeting was held in the North Riding, 30 Jan., but came to no determination. Milton sought the opinion of Althorp, who told him, 11 Feb., that ‘if Marshall’s standing will do you no harm I have nothing to say against it’.73 John Whishaw advised Lady Holland, 14 May, that though pressed hard by Fitzwilliam, Marshall was unwilling to stand, and in any case ‘would not be agreeable to the aristocracy’. The Whig York Herald concurred in this, expressing its amazement at such presumption on the part of a manufacturer.74 The prospect of being the only Whig again made Milton consider his position. Wood, trying to console him, 20 May, told him that his election alone was not necessarily a sign of their weakness, nor of the Tories’ strength, but only indicated that ‘the real power of our opponents ... lies in the prejudice against the Catholic question, and it is not the mob but the yeomanry and middle ranks who are bigoted’. As these formed the bulk of the freeholders, Wood believed that there was little they could do but yield on this occasion, and that either Bethell or Stuart Wortley would go to the wall. However, he thought that only Milton could face the anti-Catholic onslaught, for ‘no other Whig ... can come in without [a] severe contest and incalculable expense’.75 Strickland lamented to James Brougham*, 23 May, that he knew of no one with money who would stand against ‘the rich Tories’.76 Strickland, Wood and a few other leading Whigs had arranged to meet Milton in York, 24 May, and they presumably managed to reassure him before he returned to London for a meeting of Yorkshire Whigs on the 26th. The West Riding was suffering from a severe depression and Tottie’s opinion that Marshall could muster the support of the manufacturing towns encouraged Fitzwilliam to approach him again.77 The meeting of the 26th failed to persuade Marshall, but one next day succeeded, whereupon William Fremantle* gave Lord Grenville his opinion that Stuart Wortley ‘must give way, having the least means of standing the dreadful expense of such a contest’.78 That day Stuart Wortley was informed of the king’s decision to confer a barony on him.79
News of Stuart Wortley’s elevation (as Baron Wharncliffe) was ill received in some quarters, and Beckett predicted to Lowther that he would get no credit from it and be ‘considered a runaway Jack’.80 On 1 June Lady Carlisle advised Morpeth that there was ‘still some talk of opposition as many are anxious for Bethell to stand, I hear that Wortley is particularly so. Some wish for him against Duncombe and some against Marshall’.81 Marshall’s candidacy was especially unpopular with the aristocracy.82 Beckett told Lowther, 3 June, that Lords Harewood, Egremont and Ailesbury were
furious about Marshall, and they have said to Bethell today they will give him third votes if no other anti-Catholic stands. With these, and all that Wortley can do for him and the Catholics also, he stands in a good position.
The only cautionary note he sounded was his question, ‘but where’s the money, for it must be had, or no go for him after all’. Next day Beckett informed Lowther that they were ‘moving heaven and earth’ to oust Bethell.83 By 5 June all the candidates had issued their addresses. Bethell’s was accompanied by news that a public subscription had been opened to help defray his expenses. Milton and Marshall’s committees had agreed in York, 5 June, to a joint canvass, and their committee was chaired by Strickland. The anti-Catholics Duncombe and Fountayne Wilson also agreed to unite, leaving Bethell on his own. On 6 June the candidates addressed a crowd estimated at 20,000 at the Leeds Cloth Halls. All spoke against slavery and for a revision of the corn laws, the main divergence naturally coming over Catholic relief. Fountayne Wilson’s campaign, however, was diverted when Edward Baines junior† of the Mercury reminded him and the crowd of a meeting in Tadcaster the previous year, chaired by Fountayne Wilson, that had objected to any attempt to revise the corn laws. Thereafter Fountayne Wilson was obliged to pay close attention to the issue during his canvass. Marshall advocated parliamentary reform and asserted his claim to a seat as a representative of the commercial classes. Milton supported the right of manufacturers to have a share in the representation. All the candidates extensively toured the West Riding, and Duncombe and Fountayne Wilson also visited Hull, a stronghold of anti-Catholic feeling. The clergy said little, but the Methodists were prominent in supporting Duncombe and Fountayne Wilson while the Dissenters backed Milton and the Unitarian Marshall. Bethell drew most of his support from the West Riding. At the nomination in York, 12 June, the show of hands favoured Bethell, with Duncombe and Fountayne Wilson next and Milton and Marshall ‘equal’ in last place. Both sides, however, had held up their hands for Bethell, who realized that despite Stuart Wortley’s active support, ‘the number of his immediate and staunch supporters was extremely small’. This, together with his lack of funds (the subscription having raised £10,000 and he being unwilling to spend over £40,000), led him to withdraw from the contest that evening.84 On 17 June Beckett advised Lonsdale that ‘although Mr. Bethell has withdrawn himself, there seems every probability that ... county feelings will not be satisfied without an effort to throw Marshall out’.85 Two days later an agitated Strickland informed James Brougham:
We are in a strange state here. Bethell retired ... [but] his ultra zealous friends, and those who want a fifth man are determined to start him again [on the day of election]. Bethell declares that he is neutral, and all his respectable friends declare that they are averse to the proceeding, but the mischief in this state of things is producing a contest. Booths are ordered, and we are preparing for war. The worst is, the expense is enormous ... Bethell would have done best for himself by publishing a fresh declaration that he would not accept a seat upon such terms (as his return is nearly impossible) ... We think the poll will not last more than one or two days.86
Later that day, however, Bethell issued another address confirming that he would not be a candidate, and on the day of election the Members were returned unopposed.87 Despite this the campaign was costly, Milton and Marshall’s joint expenses coming to over £54,000.88 Apologizing for the amount of expenditure, 11 Nov. 1826, Tottie informed Milton that it was mainly owing to ‘the lavish system adopted by Messrs. Duncombe and Wilson’, who also must have spent heavily.89 So appalled was Tottie that he told Fitzwilliam, 15 July, that ‘either a reform of [the] mode of election or an organized support between "opulent and middle classes" to support candidates’ was necessary, otherwise ‘counties will be represented by men with deep pockets and no ability’.90 It was Beckett’s opinion that Bethell’s cause had been mismanaged and that he could have come in. He partly blamed Stuart Wortley, whose peerage had been ‘ill timed’.91
Hostility to the corn laws provoked a number of well-attended meetings in the county in late 1826 to petition for their revision, including in Bradford, 2 Nov., and Leeds, 11 Nov. Milton presented that from Leeds with 5,000 signatures, 29 Nov., and Marshall those from Bradford’s parishes next day.92 Duncombe voiced some support for their revision, 29 Nov., but Fountayne Wilson stayed silent until he presented a number of petitions, including one from Pontefract, for protection of the landed interest, 14, 19, 20 Feb. 1827.93 Duncombe also brought up multiple petitions from the county’s agriculturists against any alteration that month, while Marshall and Milton were equally active in presenting petitions for revision, mostly from the West Riding. The main issue in the county during this Parliament, however, was Catholic relief. Fountayne Wilson presented a North Riding petition against any concessions, 11 Dec. 1826, and another from Wetherby, 5 Mar. 1827, and during the 1828 session hundreds of petitions on both sides of this issue and that of the Test Acts reached both Houses.94 When Duncombe presented one from Leeds opposing concessions, 28 Apr. 1828, Marshall and Milton criticized the method employed for gathering the signatures and disputed Duncombe’s claim that it represented majority opinion, pointing out that it had only 4,000 signatures while the town had 60-70,000 inhabitants.95 Next month the Leeds Pitt Club held its annual dinner, at which the town’s recorder John Hardy argued that true Pittites should support Catholic relief, prompting a strong rebuff from Sadler.96 A meeting was called in Leeds to form a Brunswick Club, 10 Nov., but the Mercury noted that it was to be a private gathering, as they ‘dared not’ summon a public one.97 Two or three hundred attended, and several prominent members of Leeds corporation took a leading part, but The Times observed that ‘the meeting merely represents that small portion of the population who were present. It is observable that none of the persons likely to know the interests of the ministers were present; none of the Beckett family for instance’.98 Another Brunswick Club was formed at Ripon. When the Leeds Club passed a resolution to address the king to the effect that if concessions were granted to the Catholics he would forfeit his right to the throne, the pro-Catholics in Leeds asked the mayor for a public meeting to counter it. Although he refused their request, they organized one regardless.99 ‘The public mind in Leeds’, commented The Times, ‘was worked up to an intensity seldom witnessed even in provincial towns where party spirit is frequently carried so far’. About 18,000 attended the meeting held in the Cloth Hall Yard chaired by Marshall, at which Tottie moved the resolution for a loyal address and in favour of relief, and John Hall, a Tory alderman who had played a leading role in Fountayne Wilson’s election campaign, opposed it. Marshall declared the show of hands to be four to three for the address, which prompted some of the Brunswickers to stone those on the hustings. With 16,000 signatures, it was presented to the king, 11 Dec. The Brunswick Club nevertheless persisted with their own address, which received about 9,800 signatures.100
The drafting of petitions intensified over the winter. The clergy of the deaneries of Boroughbridge, Catterick and Richmond agreed to petition both Houses against relief, 11 Dec. 1828, while meetings in Halifax produced petitions on either side of the question, 26 Jan. 1829.101 Seven-thousand attended a Sheffield meeting and voted overwhelmingly for relief, which ‘only 30 or 40 hands opposed’, 20 Feb., but later that week the Gazette announced that ‘in many places in the North and East Ridings petitions are in course of signature’ against emancipation.102 Their presentation began in earnest at the beginning of the new session, when Members of both Houses challenged the validity of those brought up by the opposing party on the basis of local intelligence. On 14 Feb., for instance, William Allen, Fitzwilliam’s agent, advised him that ‘the petition which the archbishop of Canterbury presented from the clergy of the East Riding was not heard of until it was sent off, and was signed entirely by those under the patronage of Lord Middleton, Sir Tatton Sykes, Mr. Willoughby, Lord Hotham and a few others’.103 The Gazette claimed, 28 Feb. 1829, that at least 35 petitions were in the course of signature in the county against the measure, including at Tadcaster and Wetherby. Rotherham petitioned on both sides of the question. Hostile petitions from the clergy of the archdeaconry of Cleveland, the corporation of Leeds and the town, with 10,000 signatures, were prepared in March, as was a favourable one from the Dissenting ministers of the West Riding. Milton and Marshall, of course, voted for the Wellington ministry’s concession of emancipation and Duncombe and Fountayne Wilson against. A few days before it received royal assent a Protestant meeting at Barnsley secured 7,000 signatures for an address urging the king to grant a dissolution.104
All four Members were united in efforts to raise money for repairs to the fire-damaged York Minster and met to lobby Wellington for government assistance, 26 Mar. 1829.105 A downturn in trade, especially in the Barnsley area, again led to disturbances in the summer and autumn. The weavers refused to accept reduced rates and the house of a manufacturer who attempted to pay the lower sum was attacked by a mob in late June, while 1,000 workmen gathered on Woodhouse moor near Leeds to protest against the corn laws, 8 July. Fitzwilliam and Wharncliffe were contributing £25 and £20 per week respectively to the weavers’ relief committee in Barnsley and the downturn in trade had spread to Huddersfield and Holmfirth by the end of July.106 A meeting of radical reformers in Leeds that September was poorly supported, but one of Barnsley weavers, 14 Sept., agreed a memorial which blamed free trade for their distress, which they presented to Wellington at Doncaster races that week.107 Following more disturbances in Barnsley, Wharncliffe offered to mediate between the weavers and the manufacturers, but to no avail. The agitation continued and a weaver was shot in October by fellow workers for accepting work below the stipulated rate. The five-month struggle ended in November, when the weavers agreed to accept lower rates.108 There was widespread distress throughout the county in early 1830, with petitions for relief coming from the agricultural, manufacturing and shipping interests. Huddersfield, Leeds and Saddleworth held meetings in February to petition against the East India Company’s monopoly.109 Other meetings were held in Sheffield to draw up a petition for its own representation, 19 Feb., and in Leeds for retrenchment and parliamentary reform, under the chairmanship of Marshall, 18 Mar. The latter petition, which received nearly 14,000 signatures, was presented by Milton, 11 May, when Duncombe backed its calls for economy and announced he would consider some reform, but discounted anything radical.110 On 27 Mar. the Mercury reported that a requisition for a county reform meeting had ‘made little or no progress in the East and West Ridings’ and it was therefore unlikely to go ahead; no account has been found.111 On 31 May 1830, however, an outdoor rally organized by the Leeds-based Radical Reform Association was held on Hunslet moor, which, as well as supporting radical reform, voted to establish a Leeds Political Union.112
Preparations for another election had been under way since October 1829, when it seemed likely that a vacancy would be created by Milton succeeding his ailing father. Strickland felt that Morpeth should be his replacement, but also considered other possibilities.113 Writing to Milton, 14 Oct., he listed Ramsden and Charles Wood* (son of Sir Francis) and the moderate Bethell, along with Sadler for the Tories, but noted that although he liked Ramsden personally, his family were unpopular and Sir John Ramsden was unlikely to spend his money on his son’s election.114 Privately, however, he predicted that Milton would prefer Ramsden, a close relation, above any other.115 Although Fitzwilliam rallied, Milton let it be known that he would retire at the next dissolution, probably in favour of his kinsman.116 On 9 July 1830, however, Dundas advised Milton of Sir John’s disinclination to spend and Ramsden’s reluctance to stand.117 By now it was clear that Marshall also intended to retire, despite the entreaties of Sir George Cayley† of Brompton, a leading member of the York Whig Club, who informed Milton, 16 June, that he had written to him ‘as forcibly as I could not to do so’. Emphasizing that they must find two Whigs, he added, ‘I hear of no one yet to be found who can come to the hustings under the imposing shadow of 100 thousand pounds risk for a contest’, and concluded, ‘we must bring Dan Sykes in also, yet he says no most stoutly’.118 Writing in similar terms, Strickland explained to Milton, ‘there is no disinclination to act, but every name being coupled with a determination not to shed any money, no person knows how to act’.119 Charles Wood privately contemplated coming forward, having been encouraged by assurances of a ‘cheap’ return, but realizing this would require the support of the manufacturers he opted to remain at Grimsby.120
On the Tory side Fountayne Wilson was also expected to retire. The brothers Edmund Beckett Denison† and William Beckett†, sons of Sir John, were mentioned, while Strickland advised James Brougham that Wharncliffe had talked of starting his son John Stuart Wortley, Member for his pocket borough of Bossiney.121 It was Strickland’s opinion that Duncombe’s seat was safe.122 On 7 July Wharncliffe informed Milton that his son’s candidature was ‘out of the question’ but that Bethell would come forward if expenditure could be controlled. He therefore hoped that Milton would agree that ‘the leading persons in the county should set their faces against a system of expense which can have no effect but giving the seats ... into the hands of any person foolish enough to buy them at that rate’.123 The Yorkshire papers of 8 July carried public announcements of the retirement of the three Members and listed Cooke, Strickland, Paul Beilby Thompson, three Leeds merchants and a Leeds banker as potential replacements, in addition to those already mentioned. They also announced the candidature of the eccentric Martin Stapylton of Myton, a campaigner for purity in elections.124 The Intelligencer discounted rumours that Marshall’s son William, Member for Petersfield, would replace him.125 Bethell’s friends had a private meeting in Leeds, 12 July, and a public one in Bradford two days later, where they agreed to requisition him, hoping to be able to bring him in free of expense. Strickland informed Milton, 14 July, that he had encountered Stapylton at the Northallerton quarter sessions
in even a wilder state than usual. He made many loud declarations to stand the poll at York to the last day and offered a bet of £1,000 that he would be elected. He then asked the permission of the chairman to canvass Northallerton, and yesterday made a speech to some people collected at Thirsk, and is now somewhere in the West Riding.
Strickland had gone to the sessions to meet Sir John Vanden Bempde Johnstone of Hackness Hall and Wyvill to discuss whom to support. He reported to Milton that Morpeth was ‘generally liked and approved of where known, but the misfortune is that he is little known in the west’. Ramsden was the other man whom they favoured. They devised a plan to call a general meeting of liberal supporters who would invite two candidates to stand free of expense and ‘individually pledge themselves to bring a certain number of freeholders to the polls’. In that way they hoped 10,000 voters could be brought to York with no cost to the party or the candidates, though, as Strickland observed, ‘how far this will be possible, time must show’. He concluded:
Sir John Johnstone is well acquainted with William Beckett, who declares that his party have no intention of attempting to bring out any candidate except Duncombe and Bethell, that they are equally anxious with ourselves, that they should be elected ... at little expense and that they are anxious to join in any arrangements for this object.126
Johnstone and Strickland went to Leeds to meet Marshall, Baines and the other liberals of the manufacturing towns to see what could be done. Although they were not keen on Morpeth they agreed to his candidature, but they rejected all the other names put to them, believing that the West Riding freeholders would not travel to York to vote for any of them in conjunction with Morpeth without payment. They again tried to persuade Marshall not to retire but he resisted all efforts, and a meeting was therefore arranged to settle the matter in York, 23 July. During their discussions in Leeds, Samuel Clapham had mentioned that the anti-slavery societies were keen on the leading Whig lawyer Henry Brougham, whom Marshall also favoured, but Strickland (a close friend of Brougham) had discounted the idea, believing that ‘he not being a Yorkshireman would not do’ and ‘would create jealousies’. As he later told Milton: ‘So little did I think of this proposal that I did not even write to Brougham upon the subject’.127 On 17 July, however, the Mercury ran an editorial strongly advocating Brougham.128 Apparently unaware of this, next day Milton assured Lady Carlisle that he had not the slightest doubt that ‘if Morpeth and Ramsden are called upon ... there will not be a shadow of opposition to them’.129 On 19 July Sir John Beckett advised Lowther that ‘the notion is that Brougham will not try’.130 Before the Whig meeting, Duncombe started his canvass at the Leeds Cloth Halls, 20 July, and Bethell issued his address, 21 July.131
Milton now faced a dilemma. The Fitzwilliam interest would be given to Morpeth, but who they adopted as a second candidate would be decisive in the attempt to return two Whig Members. On 22 July John Nussey, chairman of the trustees of the Leeds Coloured Cloth Hall, reported to Milton that at their meeting two days earlier Brougham had appeared popular. Not knowing Milton’s wishes, Nussey had felt obliged to ‘remonstrate against our giving him our support’, and proposed Johnstone instead. There was, he observed, much talk of Brougham in Leeds, and he had therefore
thought it necessary to come over to York to ascertain whether Mr. Brougham was likely to receive the support of the county or whether a more suitable person belonging to the county ... was likely to be brought forward. I find that Mr. Brougham will not be acceptable and that Sir J.V.B. Johnstone is likely to be acceptable to the county ... I heard at Leeds on my way and again at York ... that your lordship intends to support Mr. Brougham. I could not believe this report but it appears that Mr. Baines and his friends from Leeds intend to make the most of it.
Seeking guidance on how to act, he asked whether or not he should deny that Brougham had Milton’s backing.132 In a carefully worded reply written in the early hours of 23 July, Milton approved of both Johnstone and Ramsden as ‘good liberal candidates’ and stated that the rumour that he intended to support Brougham had no authority:
I cannot say that under certain circumstances, I might not be disposed to support Mr. Brougham, but those circumstances do not appear to me to have arisen as yet ... My notion is that if proper persons can be found in the county, we ought to bring them forward before we have recourse to a stranger, however brilliant his talents may be.133
According to Strickland, it was only shortly before the Whig meeting that it became clear how far the manufacturers’ plans to return Brougham had progressed and ‘how extensively the people of the West Riding were associated to effect this object’. By contrast the Whig gentry seemed to be even more divided than ever.134 Nussey notified Milton, just hours before the meeting, that Cayley, Johnstone, Strickland, Charles Wood and William Battie Wrightson* of Cusworth were all keen to stand, and that Thomas Dundas had a letter from Ramsden (who was abroad) also declaring his interest. ‘There appear to be so many who wish to be candidates that I fear it will give a great advantage to the friends of Mr. Brougham’, he reported.135 The meeting, chaired by Wyvill, started quietly with Morpeth being unanimously adopted.136 Marshall then argued that the manufacturing interest, only represented through the county Members, ought to have someone to express their views. Because there was no suitable candidate within the county, he explained, they wanted Brougham. Sykes seconded the resolution, citing Brougham’s efforts to abolish slavery and discounting a number of theoretical objections to him. Thomas Dundas spoke in support of Ramsden and Milton’s wishes were alluded to, but Baines and Marshall again made out the case for Brougham. Charles Wood then alleged that there was a stronger feeling against Brougham than for him, and Edward Stillingfleet Cayley† of Wydale House said it would be an insult to the county to propose him. This prompted the Leeds Presbyterian, the Rev. Thomas Scales, to advocate Brougham on moral grounds, as no one had done more to try to free the slaves. No matter what the meeting decided, he asserted, Brougham would be nominated. The gentry quickly conferred and Johnstone announced that they had agreed to put aside their differences and propose only one name, that of Ramsden. When Charles Wood formally put this to the meeting deadlock ensued. Wyvill observed that it was clear that Brougham must be nominated. Strickland reminded the meeting that their object was to achieve unanimity and bring in two free of expense and, in a move that proved decisive, admitted that only Brougham could satisfy these requirements as a second Whig. Dundas and Sykes concurred and urged Charles Wood to drop his nomination of Ramsden. At length, and with some ill grace, he agreed after insisting on reserving the right to nominate another Whig later on, which Strickland feared would endanger Morpeth. Wyvill then put Brougham’s name to the meeting and it was carried by a majority of two to one. It was Nussey’s opinion that Brougham had been adopted
for the want of previous unanimity and arrangement among the country gentlemen. If they had previously agreed and made their arrangements accordingly, they must have retained the representation in the county. It appears to me to be for the interest of the landed gentlemen to make themselves better acquainted with the views and feelings and interests of the trading part of the county.137
Next day Brougham, who had arrived in York for the assizes, was told by Strickland that ‘as far as meetings can settle elections you are Member for Yorkshire’.138 Brougham believed that the decision conferred ‘a great weight and power’ on his principles.139 Whether or not his selection would prompt the Tories to run three candidates was unclear, but Morpeth’s sister Caroline Lascelles told Lady Carlisle, 24 July, that there were rumours that her brother-in-law Edwin Lascelles would be invited to stand.140 Dundas reassured Milton, 27 July, that Duncombe’s supporters in the North Riding and Bethell’s in the East ‘would not like to take any step that would endanger their favourite’, but he did not discount their attempting to oust Brougham by giving their third votes to Stapylton.141 The requisition to Brougham and Morpeth from Leeds, signed by 200 freeholders and pledging to bring them in free of expense, was presented, 26 July. Its clear implication was for them to unite, but this posed a problem. Morpeth was seen as the candidate of the aristocracy and landed interest, who did not wish him to be too closely allied with Brougham; but the West Riding regarded them as joint candidates and supported them on that basis. Their respective committees eventually decided to remain formally separate, although local committees in the West Riding were ‘so united ... as to cause some difficulties’.142 Brougham and Morpeth nevertheless jointly opened their canvass at the Leeds Cloth Halls, 27 July, before separately visiting most of the West Riding towns. The Dissenters took a very active part in canvassing for Brougham and Strickland informed Milton, 31 July, that his cause had taken such a hold in the West Riding that ‘any attempt to oppose his return would be quite unavailing’.143 Duncombe and Bethell also undertook extensive canvassing tours, and visited Hull in addition to the towns of the West Riding. Stapylton made only one appearance during the canvassing, at Leeds.144 The aristocracy and gentlemen of both parties remained dissatisfied with Brougham, but as he told Holland, 31 July, with regard to his popular support:
There never was anything like it and I assure you the difficulty is to keep them from setting up Strickland with me. He was actually proposed two or three times on our progress, and not by mobs, for we have all the great merchants and manufacturers with us ... It was necessary to prevent this as it would have driven Morpeth to the wall ... In some places we can’t get our people to split on him, partly from the wish that I should be at the head of the poll, partly because his East Riding squires have shown a silly jealousy of me till Milton took my part.
He added that it was probably the last time that the West Riding would be content with ‘so little as even two Members’, and noted that in some places where Duncombe was strong, his supporters intended to split with him and no one else.145 That day Lord Ellenborough recorded Brougham saying that Yorkshire had been ‘quite radicalized by having four Members’ as ‘no gentleman could bear the expense’ and ‘the middle classes had it all to themselves’.146
At the nomination, 4 Aug. 1830, Brougham and Morpeth (Orange) were rapturously received, and Duncombe (Blue) and Bethell (Pink) warmly greeted, although ‘very few pink cards or favours were seen, but it was justly believed that many of the Blues and some of the Orange would vote for Mr. Bethell’.147 There was no one to nominate Stapylton, who, after proposing himself, declared that he stood solely on grounds of purity of election and pledged to keep the poll open as long as any freeholder remained to vote. Caroline Lascelles reported to Lady Carlisle that his speech was ‘the most ridiculous eulogium upon himself for all his public services and there were shouts of laughter the whole time’.148 The show of hands was overwhelmingly against him, but to the dismay of the others he demanded a poll. By the end of the first day he had only 63 votes, while Morpeth led with nearly 1,300. That evening Stapylton left for London but pledged to keep the poll open. On the second day the other candidates conspired to boycott it, although a few more freeholders did vote. Caroline Lascelles informed Lady Carlisle, 5 Aug.:
The high sheriff was at first in a state of great perplexity, not knowing what to do, as the polling for Stapylton continued in a certain degree. It was very vexatious. At last it was decided that he might close the poll if he had the concurrence of all the candidates, including Mr. Stapylton’s friends, and the freeholders. It was a nervous moment when he addressed the latter, but it was received with cheers.149
Morpeth topped the poll and Brougham, who narrowly avoided a duel with Stapylton after reputedly insulting him on the hustings as ‘a paltry insect’, became the first non-Yorkshireman to represent the county since the Reformation and the first lawyer since the Commonwealth.150 Stapylton threatened to challenge the return, alleging that the sheriff had acted illegally, but in the event he was satisfied with a petition presented by Morpeth, 9 Nov., praying that the Members swear an oath that they had acted only on grounds of purity. The Mercury admired Stapylton’s principles, if not his obstinacy.151 The election cost Bethell, Brougham and Morpeth a share of the £800 required for the sheriff’s fees and the cost of erecting the hustings, but Duncombe spent more, having paid his agents and lawyers and held several dinners for the freeholders. Abercromby told Lord Lansdowne, 17 Aug.: ‘I think the Yorkshire election may carry with it consequences as great as the Irish elections of 1826’.152 Brougham had informed Lady Holland, 14 Aug., that of the 25-30,000 he had addressed in York, ‘half Tories, for that district is their stronghold, not one voice was ever raised for the ministers’.153 The successful candidates attended numerous dinners in their honour over the next few weeks. Tottie chaired a Whig one in Leeds, 28 Sept., when he asserted that Yorkshire had made the first step towards a reform of Parliament. Brougham paid tribute to Leeds and said that now he was Member for the county he would stand forward as the leader of the parliamentary reform movement, ‘which may be said to have taken its rise in Yorkshire’.154 Throughout the election the Tory press, especially the Intelligencer, had baited the Whigs for allowing themselves to be dictated to by a coterie of Leeds liberals, Dissenting ministers and Baines and the Mercury.155 However, Brougham, who had taken the precaution of also coming in for Devonshire’s pocket borough of Knaresborough, had not been fooled by the apparent impotence of the squires and knew that it was only with Fitzwilliam’s acquiescence that he had secured the seat.156
On 7 Sept. 1830 a county meeting was held to vote an address to the king congratulating him on his succession. Three days later Brougham informed Holland that his constituents were also ‘going to meet and address the French people’.157 Reinvigorated by Brougham’s campaign, the anti-slavery societies became more active in petitioning for abolition. Duncombe presented 14 petitions and Bethell 29, 4 Nov., and Morpeth 254 from various places in the county, 11 Nov., as well as one from Leeds with 15,000 signatures, 23 Nov.158 When the Grey administration took office that month, Morpeth declined a place, preferring not to disturb his berth at Yorkshire. It was expected that Brougham, however, would be a member of the new ministry, but when offered the post of attorney-general, he rejected it, telling Devonshire, 18 Nov., ‘I cannot think of giving up Yorkshire after the kind way it behaved to me, and no other place than [that of] the chancellor is any temptation to me’.159 The Mercury echoed Brougham’s assertion that the representation of Yorkshire was the highest summit to which an Englishman could aspire and refuted the taunts of the Tory press that he only wanted the seat as a means to further his career.160 In the event, however, Brougham accepted a peerage and the lord chancellorship, thereby creating a vacancy. The manufacturers of the West Riding were keen to replace him with a like-minded man. Lowther predicted to Lonsdale, 22 Nov., ‘I conclude Leeds will dictate who the Member is’, but the squires were equally determined not to be usurped again.161 Most of the Whig gentry considered at the general election were again mentioned as possible candidates, but it was Johnstone who emerged as the favourite at an initial meeting. He issued an address, 22 Nov., which acknowledged the importance of the commercial interests of the county, and next day visited Leeds, to ‘wait upon several of the most influential supporters of Lord Brougham with a view to conciliate them in his favour’. The Gazette, however, considered that the commercial gentlemen would not ‘acquiesce in Sir John’s election’ and that the radicals would seek Lord John Russell. Meanwhile Stapylton once more declared himself a candidate. For the Tories, Beckett Denison was rumoured, but despite strenuous efforts, he could not be persuaded to stand.162 The Times noted that Sadler had received an invitation ‘from a large body of freeholders’ and promises of support from the ‘earls of Harewood and Mexborough, Lord Feversham and Mr. Fountayne Wilson’. It also reported that Sir Thomas Denman, the attorney-general and Member for Nottingham, had been requisitioned to come forward free of expense by some of the Whig freeholders, but the York Herald considered this ‘exceedingly doubtful’.163 In what amounted to a rebuff for Johnstone, the ‘liberal friends’ in Leeds, chaired by John Marshall junior, son of the former Member, issued a statement declaring their willingness to support any candidate who met their criteria. They circulated this bulletin to the liberal committees in 20 other Yorkshire towns and called on them to attend a meeting in Leeds, 26 Nov., at which it was decided that Sykes was the ideal choice. Baines went to London with the requisition to him. Meanwhile Johnstone’s candidacy had been endorsed by a meeting of North Riding freeholders at Scarborough. When Sykes, not wishing to endanger the Whig hold on his Beverley seat, declined the invitation, the disappointed West Riding liberals reconvened and, having no other candidate to bring forward, reluctantly accepted Johnstone. He immediately returned to Leeds, where he addressed the Cloth Halls, 30 Nov., before going on to canvass the rest of the West Riding. On 2 Dec. Wyvill convened a meeting of freeholders at York, where Johnstone’s candidature was duly endorsed. On learning of these proceedings, Stapylton withdrew.164
At the nomination in York, 7 Dec., Johnstone was accordingly the only candidate. However, Strickland, whose support for Johnstone had only been lukewarm at the York meeting, declared that as a result of reading one of Johnstone’s speeches, he could no longer back him. He complained that Johnstone was not a zealous enough reformer, and as well as criticizing the West Riding liberals for not persevering in their support of Sykes, he attacked nomination boroughs, including Fitzwilliam’s pocket borough of Malton. This provoked Ramsden, one of its Members, to repudiate Strickland’s accusations. Johnstone then delivered his prepared speech, which made no reference to these issues. Responding to Strickland, Sykes explained that he had declined to stand because of the risks to Whig unity in both his current seat and the county, but admitted that he would have preferred a commercial man and a more thorough reformer, though he urged support for Johnstone. Roused by the unexpected turn of events, the crowd called for Strickland’s nomination. As none of his fellow Whigs would oblige, two freeholders from the audience did so. The show of hands greatly favoured Strickland and Johnstone demanded a poll. As no preparations had been made for one, proceedings were adjourned to the following day.165 Strickland issued an address, and Baines and Sykes tried, initially in vain, to persuade him to retire.166 He did so after the poll had only been open for a few hours, with the votes at 361 to 104 in Johnstone’s favour. Johnstone’s victory speech was ‘received with much disapprobation’, while that of Strickland was greeted with cheers. He explained that he had only retired because he could not guarantee his success without the support of the West Riding freeholders, whom he had had no opportunity to address, and promised to come forward at the next opportunity.167 The following week the Leeds Association was formed, under the chairmanship of Marshall, to promote the return of liberal candidates at the next election.168 Johnstone sought to consolidate his position and went on a tour of the West Riding, accompanied by Morpeth.169
On 4 Jan. 1831 a meeting was held in York to establish the Yorkshire Reform Association, at which Petre, Strickland and John Wood, Member for Preston, were among the speakers.170 The Sheffield Political Union decided to petition in support of the ballot, 7 Feb., and three days later a meeting of Leeds reformers, chaired by Marshall, agreed to a petition, which secured 17,000 signatures, for a reform of Parliament.171 Petitions for reform were also got up in Bradford, Doncaster, Halifax, Huddersfield and Sheffield. At a county reform meeting, 22 Mar., letters from Morpeth and Johnstone approving of the ministry’s proposed reform bill were read out, as was one from Bethell conceding the necessity for reform but refusing fully to endorse the measure. (All three voted for the second reading that day, when Duncombe voted against.) A favourable address to the king and petitions to Parliament were then agreed and votes of thanks moved to the two Whig representatives.172 When Morpeth presented the Commons petition, 28 Mar., Duncombe and Sadler severely criticized it, observing that the attendance had only been about 3,000, but Johnstone and Morpeth stoutly defended it, arguing that it had been held so soon after the by-election, when the county had clearly expressed its approval of reform, that most freeholders had not bothered to make the long journey to York.173 In anticipation of a dissolution the Leeds Association requisitioned Johnstone, Morpeth and Strickland, 27 Mar.174 In early April Ramsden also indicated his willingness to stand and received the blessing of Milton.175 The prospect of his candidacy prompted the Leeds Association to issue an invitation to Lord John Russell. Strickland, approving, told Brougham, 16 Apr.: ‘We ought to have four popular candidates or Duncombe will be returned. I wish I could name them and they should be this: Morpeth, Fawkes, Russell, Strickland. D. Sykes has played the fool by giving undecided answers’.176 Delighted at the prospect of four reformers being returned, the Mercury commented that ‘if Mr. Duncombe should appear in the field, we feel that he will be left in a small minority. When that gentleman declared his "uncompromising hostility" to the reform bill, he bade farewell to the representation of Yorkshire’.177 On 23 Apr. a London meeting of Yorkshire gentlemen, chaired by Milton, was held to select the reform candidates for the approaching general election, Russell having already declined. Marshall addressed them and said that there had been several meetings of delegates ‘of those who acted together on the liberal side of politics’ who had decided to support the present two Whig Members and Ramsden and Strickland. He added that although some objections had been raised to Strickland on account of his behaviour at the by-election, he believed that he would have on his side ‘a large majority of the voters in the West Riding who might otherwise be inclined to start someone like Mr. [Henry] Hunt*, who would do mischief to the cause’. Battie Wrightson thought they should give their backing to Bethell, who ‘had as yet voted for the bill in every shape’, but Charles Wood pointed out that Bethell had refused to pledge himself to the whole bill, and the four Whigs were adopted, with only Stapylton dissenting. The same day Bethell issued an address declining to offer again.178 The four Whigs started their joint canvass at Leeds, 26 Apr., and, though conceding that some opposition to reform was ‘sprinkled over Yorkshire’, the Mercury commented:
All the great towns ... have manifested the same zeal and unanimity in favour of reform ... that has been exhibited in Leeds ... a feeling so unanimous, so ardent, and so public spirited, that the like of it has never been known in this county.
They also reported that subscriptions had been opened for the reformers in many places.179 Meanwhile Tory deputations from most of the West Riding towns gathered in Leeds, 25 Apr., and resolved to support Duncombe, Edwin Lascelles and John Stuart Wortley, after which Duncombe issued his address.180 Next day a meeting ‘to adopt counter-resolutions’ to that of the Whigs was held in London, chaired by Lowther and attended by about 40 gentlemen with Yorkshire connections, at which William Morritt of Rokeby said that he had heard from Duncombe that several Members of Parliament were favourable to ‘moderate and practical’ reform, but entirely opposed to the present proposals, and that they ought therefore to adopt four candidates of those views. William Lascelles, Tory Member for Northallerton and son of Harewood, seconded the motion and asserted that ‘a very large portion of the county ... entertained very strong feelings against the reform bill’. Henry Hall said that recent meetings in his town and Barnsley had resolved to bring Duncombe in free of expense, and John Stuart Wortley proposed a committee to co-ordinate the campaign. The meeting was adjourned to the following day, when they agreed that Duncombe, Lascelles and Stuart Wortley should be their candidates and heard from Leeds that an anti-reform subscription had so far raised £3,500 and a committee had been established at the offices of the Intelligencer.181 Commenting on events a few days later, the Mercury warned that Duncombe’s personal safety would be in danger if he went to Sheffield and described how his effigy had been burned in several places.182 Noting that Lascelles and Stuart Wortley had yet to issue addresses, the Sheffield Mercury remarked, ‘If they have any regard for their own fortunes, they will avoid a contest ... A million of money would not secure the return of two anti-ministerial candidates ... and we are greatly mistaken if any sum of money would enable even one’.183 On 30 Apr. Thomas Creevey* reported hearing that Wharncliffe had just ‘withdrawn his son for Yorkshire, and ... Lord Harewood had done the same with his. Duncombe must eventually retire too; so intense and so universal was the feeling for reform’.184 ‘Wharncliffe ... admits that it is hopeless to attempt any opposition in Yorkshire’, Lord Seaford advised Lord Granville, 3 May, adding that a ‘very strong impression has been made [there] by the king having prorogued Parliament in person’.185 (A Sheffield public meeting of 16,000 people had agreed an address to the king to congratulate him on the dissolution, 25 Apr., and others were held in Doncaster and Rotherham.)186 Disappointed at the retirement of two of their hopefuls, the Tories held a meeting in York, 29 Apr., chaired by Macdonald and attended by Sir Tatton Sykes, Hall, the Sadlers and Becketts, and sent Beckett Denison to London to consult Duncombe about what could be done.187 They reconvened, 3 May, when Beckett Denison informed them that Duncombe had pledged to stand to the last and that £10,000 had been raised in London to support him. On Duncombe’s arrival in York next day, however, they held another meeting, which ‘resolved, but not unanimously’, that ‘it was not advisable or expedient’ for Duncombe to continue. In his parting address, Duncombe explained that it would have been too expensive to secure his return and have risked causing ‘serious conflict’.188 This left only the four reformers in the field. After a triumphant canvass, during which they visited most of the towns of the East and North Ridings as well as the West, they were returned unopposed, 6 May. The Times described it as ‘the most decisive answer that could be given by the country to the appeal of our gracious and patriotic sovereign’.189 In the aftermath of victory Ramsden told Milton, 13 May: ‘As to the Tories in this county, they are gone to rest, for the whole of it is one unvarying glow of orange colour and principles; only think of the Lowthers being so discomfited in their strongholds’. But, he added, ‘it is high time to divide the county, for human strength is not sufficiently gifted to bear such an extensive and still increasing canvass as is becoming the fashion’.190 A meeting of Leeds Tories in June 1831 denied that the party was ‘extinct’ in the county, but admitted to ‘a great want of unity and energy of late’.191
Alongside the overriding issue of reform, two other issues had featured during the election: factory reform and the general register of deeds bill. Opinion on the former was divided even within the working and manufacturing classes, but local campaigns had emerged for some form of regulation, most notably among the radical Tories. Both Strickland and Morpeth took an active role in backing John Hobhouse and Sadler’s attempts to introduce factory reform bills, which culminated in Morpeth presenting a mammoth Yorkshire petition of 138,652 signatures, 27 June 1832.192 The general register bill, for a national record of land transactions, met with widespread disapproval in the county, mainly because it already had its own scheme. Numerous petitions reached the Commons against it, and although a few were in favour, it was left to Yorkshire Tories who sat for seats outside the county, such as Hotham, to present and support them. Typifying the attitude of the county was the editorial comment of the Doncaster Gazette, that ‘it is incumbent upon every freeholder and mortgagee instantly to exercise that degree of influence, which the constitution authorizes ... to frustrate the passing of the bill’.193
The reform bill of March 1831 had proposed to divide the county into its three Ridings, each returning two Members, and allocate two Members each to Halifax, Leeds and Sheffield, and one to Bradford and Huddersfield. Wakefield and Whitby were given one seat in April 1831, and Halifax was reduced to one. Of the existing Yorkshire boroughs, Aldborough, Boroughbridge and Hedon were to be disfranchised; Northallerton, Richmond, and Thirsk to retain one Member; and Beverley, Hull, Knaresborough, Malton, Pontefract, Ripon, Scarborough and York to retain both. The modifications of April proposed that Aldborough should keep one Member and Northallerton two, while Halifax submitted a memorial to ministers in June claiming two representatives, as the parish contained 110,000 within a radius of six miles of the town. Similarly, Hedon reckoned that the hundred of Holderness, of which it was the head, was distinct from the East Riding, and as such ought to return its own Members. In support of this claim the petitioners compared the populations of the East and North Ridings to highlight the overrepresentation of the latter.194 The boundary commissioners noted that Saddleworth was one of seven towns in England with a population in excess of 10,000 that were not earmarked for representation and that Yorkshire contained 39 places with populations over 5,000, including Barnsley and Doncaster, that likewise were not to be enfranchised.195 In an unsuccessful attempt to increase the number of Yorkshire Members, Milton moved that those boroughs in schedule D of the bill which were to receive one Member ought to have two, 4 Aug. When it was suggested that the township of Sculcoates, whose population numbered 13,000, should have separate representation, 9 Aug., Morpeth joined ministers in rejecting the idea, doubting that the place had a ‘sufficient separateness or distinctness’ from Hull. It was several times asserted that the population of Yorkshire entitled it to more than six county Members. Strickland firmly believed that each Riding ought to have at least four, claiming, 4 July, that if the same logic used for determining the number of Members for other counties was applied to Yorkshire, it would be entitled to 60. Digby Wrangham unsuccessfully moved for ten, 10 Aug. 1831.
Following the passage of the reintroduced reform bill through the Commons that September, meetings were held in many West Riding towns for petitions urging the Lords to support the measure, which culminated in a county meeting addressed by Milton, Morpeth, Ramsden and Strickland, 12 Oct. Fawkes was sent to present their address to the king and lodge the resulting petitions to both Houses, each of which contained 140,275 signatures.196 One was presented to the Commons by Althorp, 7 Dec., after the Lords had rejected the bill.197 That autumn political unions were established in several places, including Huddersfield (Leeds and Sheffield already had them), and began to campaign for a more radical reform and the secret ballot and universal suffrage.198 The revised bill of December 1831 returned Aldborough to schedule A and Northallerton to schedule B, but reprieved Richmond’s two seats and promoted Bradford and Halifax to return two. The parish of Craike was also annexed from Durham to the North Riding, boosting its population by 605. The boundary commissioners’ reports testified to the general vitality of the West Riding towns and concurred in the opinion expressed by the residents of Huddersfield that the borough should be confined to the town and exclude the largely barren parish. However, they also noted that the majority of the property there was owned by one family (the Ramsdens) and acknowledged that this might cause some difficulty.199 Morpeth presented a petition from Huddersfield complaining of this restriction and expressing the fear that it would become a nomination borough, 5 Mar. 1832. He was supported by Strickland, but the boundary remained unchanged. When Goulburn complained that Whitby was a declining town and therefore did not deserve a seat, 9 Mar., Morpeth defended its reputation and echoed the commissioners’ assertion that it was a significant national seaport. When the Lords again rejected the reform bill in May, most towns held a meeting to petition the Commons to refuse the grant of supplies and voted addresses to the king to create enough peers for the measure to pass. One in Leeds, 14 May, attracted 30,000 (with an estimated 10-20,000 more turned away), but the largest was that convened for the West Riding as a whole (there not being time to call one for the whole county) at Wakefield, 23 May. Despite Grey’s resumption of office it went ahead, and it was estimated that 150,000 people attended. The Times commented:
So much excitement was never before produced by any public meeting in this country ... the scene was truly astonishing ... yet if the duke of Wellington had been in power instead of Earl Grey, it is not extravagant to say that twice or thrice that number would have mustered.
The meeting voted addresses of thanks to the king and Grey.200 News of the revised bill’s passage was celebrated the length and breadth of Yorkshire.
By the Reform Act, Beverley became the principal place of voting in the East Riding, which had a registered electorate of 5,559 in 1832; York in the North Riding, where 9,539 registered; and Wakefield in the West Riding, with 18,056 electors. Of the newly enfranchised towns, Bradford had 1,139 registered electors, Halifax 536, Huddersfield 608, Leeds 4,171, Sheffield 3,508, Wakefield 722, and Whitby 422. This total of 44,260 electors, in addition to the 11,179 registered electors in the 11 boroughs that retained their Members, gave four per cent of the 1,371,966 population of Yorkshire the vote in 1832. Only the North Riding was contested at the 1832 general election, when 8,580 polled and Duncombe was returned as a Conservative alongside the reformer Edward Cayley, defeating the Liberals Ramsden and Stapylton. Cayley survived a Conservative bid for both seats in 1835 and sat until his death in 1862. On succeeding his father in 1841 Duncombe was replaced by his brother Octavius. Bethell and Beilby Thompson were elected unopposed in the East Riding and Morpeth and Strickland in the West, but the Liberals’ dominance of these Ridings was short-lived and by 1841 both had been captured by the Conservatives.201
Author: Martin Casey
- 1. N. Gash, Pillars of Government, 81.
- 2. Lonsdale mss.
- 3. Le Marchant, Althorp, 92.
- 4. The Times, 5, 21 Jan. 1820.
- 5. Sheffield Archives, Wharncliffe mun. WhM/449a.
- 6. The Times, 7 Mar.; Leeds Mercury, 11 Mar. 1820.
- 7. Wentworth Woodhouse mun. F48/171.
- 8. Fitzwilliam mss.
- 9. The Times, 5 Apr.; Leeds Mercury, 8 Apr. 1820.
- 10. The Times, 17, 24 Apr. 1820.
- 11. Wentworth Woodhouse mun. F48/153.
- 12. Leeds Mercury, 1 July 1820.
- 13. Fitzwilliam mss 102/11.
- 14. Leeds Mercury, 18 Nov.; Add 51593, Fitzwilliam to Holland, 6 Dec. 1820.
- 15. Fitzwilliam mss 102/8, R. Chaloner to Fitzwilliam, 6 Dec.; 102/4, D. Sykes to Fitzwilliam, 14 Dec.; Wharncliffe mun. Stuart Wortley to Liverpool, 18 Dec. 1820.
- 16. Fitzwilliam mss 102/5.
- 17. The Times, 1, 4, 27 Dec. 1820.
- 18. Ibid. 1, 4 Jan. 1821.
- 19. Le Marchant, 96.
- 20. Fitzwilliam mss.
- 21. Ibid. Sir W. to G. Strickland, 31 May 1820.
- 22. Ibid. 104/1.
- 23. H.S. Smith, Parliaments of England, ii. 137-8; CJ, lxxvi. 398, 425.
- 24. The Times, 4 Apr. 1822.
- 25. Ibid. 30 Apr., 3 May, 8 June 1822.
- 26. CJ, lxxvii. 326; lxxxi. 268, 376.
- 27. The Times, 17 Sept. 1821.
- 28. York Herald, 9 Nov.; The Times, 3, 9 Dec. 1822.
- 29. Yorks. Gazette, 18 Jan. 1823.
- 30. Sheffield Mercury, 25 Jan. 1823.
- 31. The Times, 25 Jan. 1823.
- 32. CJ, lxxviii. 236.
- 33. Ibid. lxxvii. 301; lxxviii. 365.
- 34. The Times, 10, 17 June 1823.
- 35. Add. 40304, f. 269.
- 36. Fitzwilliam mss 114/2.
- 37. Lady Holland to Son, 40.
- 38. Castle Howard mss J19/1/3/4.
- 39. Fitzwilliam mss.
- 40. The Times, 26 July, 8, 20, 27 Aug., 20, 24 Sept., 1 Oct. 1825.
- 41. Add. 52011.
- 42. Castle Howard mss.
- 43. Lonsdale mss.
- 44. Yorks. Gazette, 22 Oct. 1825.
- 45. E. Baines, Yorks. Election 1826, p. 8.
- 46. Fitzwilliam mss 123/11, H. Allen to Milton, 29 Nov. 1825.
- 47. Le Marchant, 127.
- 48. Yorks. Election 1826, p. 13.
- 49. Ibid. 15.
- 50. Ibid. 42.
- 51. Fitzwilliam mss 123/11, Allen to Milton, 29 Nov. 1825.
- 52. Ibid. Tottie to Milton, 12 Dec. 1825.
- 53. Castle Howard mss.
- 54. Ibid. Abercromby to Carlisle [Nov. 1825].
- 55. York Chron. 24 Nov.; Yorks. Gazette, 26 Nov. 1825.
- 56. Add. 51690.
- 57. Fitzwilliam mss. The 1821 Act giving two extra seats to Yorkshire does not mention this alteration to the number of votes possessed by each elector, but in the token poll of 1830 the number cast by electors ranged from one to four (E. Riding RO, Yorks. Pollbook 1830).
- 58. Fitzwilliam mss, 123/7.
- 59. Ibid.
- 60. Ibid. 123/1.
- 61. Ibid. 123/6; Castle Howard mss J19/1/3/33,34, Fitzwilliam to Devonshire [Dec.], with reply, 17 Dec. 1825.
- 62. Fitzwilliam mss, Tottie to Milton, 12 Dec.; Castle Howard mss, Abercromby to Carlisle, 22 Dec. 1825.
- 63. Yorks. Gazette, 24 Dec. 1825.
- 64. Lonsdale mss.
- 65. Yorks. Election 1826, p. 16.
- 66. Fitzwilliam mss 124/16, Carlisle to Milton, 29 Dec. 1825.
- 67. Add. 76379.
- 68. Ibid. Abercromby to Althorp, 14 Jan; Leeds Mercury, 21 Jan. 1826.
- 69. Yorks. Election 1826, p. 21; Wharncliffe mun. WhM/T840, Stuart Wortley to Lady Caroline Stuart Wortley, 15 Jan. 1826.
- 70. Add. 76379.
- 71. Fitzwilliam mss 124/14.
- 72. Leeds Mercury, 24 Jan. 1826.
- 73. Fitzwilliam mss 124/8.
- 74. York Herald, 20 May 1826.
- 75. Fitzwilliam mss.
- 76. Brougham mss, Strickland to J. Brougham, 23 May 1826.
- 77. The Times, 6, 15 May 1826; Wentworth Woodhouse mun. F137.
- 78. BL, Fortescue mss.
- 79. Yorks. Election 1826, p. 80.
- 80. Lonsdale mss.
- 81. Castle Howard mss.
- 82. Leeds Intelligencer, 1 June 1826.
- 83. Lonsdale mss.
- 84. Leeds Intelligencer, 15 June; Leeds Mercury, 16 June 1826.
- 85. Lonsdale mss.
- 86. Brougham mss, Strickland to J. Brougham, 19 June 1826.
- 87. Leeds Mercury, 24 June 1826.
- 88. Wentworth Woodhouse mun. E 215.
- 89. Fitzwilliam mss.
- 90. Ibid. 126/2.
- 91. Add. 40387, f. 207.
- 92. CJ, lxxxii. 44, 46.
- 93. Ibid. 82, 167, 191, 198.
- 94. Ibid. 110, 273.
- 95. Ibid. lxxxiii. 277.
- 96. Leeds Intelligencer, 31 May 1828.
- 97. Leeds Mercury, 8 Nov. 1828.
- 98. The Times, 12 Nov. 1828.
- 99. Yorks. Gazette, 29 Nov. 1828.
- 100. The Times, 1, 8, 22 Dec.; Leeds Mercury, 13 Dec. 1828.
- 101. Yorks. Gazette, 20 Dec. 1828, 31 Jan. 1829; Leeds Mercury, 27 Dec. 1828.
- 102. Leeds Mercury, 21 Feb.; Yorks. Gazette, 21 Feb. 1829.
- 103. Wentworth Woodhouse mun. F107/341.
- 104. Yorks. Gazette, 28 Feb., 7, 14, 21, 28 Mar., 11 Apr. 1829.
- 105. Wellington mss WP1/1004/35.
- 106. Leeds Intelligencer, 27 June; Leeds Mercury, 11, 25 July 1829.
- 107. Leeds Mercury, 19 Sept. 1829.
- 108. Ibid. 17 Oct., 7 Nov. 1829.
- 109. Ibid. 6, 20 Feb. 1830.
- 110. CJ, lxxxv. 404.
- 111. Leeds Mercury, 20 Feb., 20, 27 Mar., 12 Apr. 1830.
- 112. Leeds Intelligencer, 3 June 1830.
- 113. Borthwick, Hickleton mss, Strickland to Sir F.L. Wood, 10 Oct. 1829.
- 114. Wentworth Woodhouse mun. G83/95.
- 115. Hickleton mss, Strickland to Sir F.L. Wood, 10 Oct. 1829.
- 116. Ellenborough Diary, ii. 313.
- 117. Wentworth Woodhouse mun. G3/32.
- 118. Ibid. G2/1.
- 119. Ibid. G2/23.
- 120. Hickleton mss, C. to Sir. F.L. Wood, 29 June, 3 July 1830.
- 121. Brougham mss, Strickland to J. Brougham, 4 June 1830.
- 122. Wentworth Woodhouse mun. G2/23.
- 123. Ibid. G3/29.
- 124. Leeds Mercury, 8 July 1830.
- 125. Leeds Intelligencer, 15 July 1830.
- 126. Wentworth Woodhouse mun. G2/8; Gash, 81.
- 127. Wentworth Woodhouse mun. G2/23a, Strickland to Milton, 31 July 1830.
- 128. Leeds Mercury, 17 July 1830.
- 129. Castle Howard mss.
- 130. Lonsdale mss.
- 131. Leeds Intelligencer, 22 July; Yorks. Gazette, 24 July 1830.
- 132. Wentworth Woodhouse mun. G2/12.
- 133. Ibid. G2/15.
- 134. Ibid. G2/23a.
- 135. Ibid. G2/15.
- 136. Unless otherwise indicated this account of the Whig meeting is based on Leeds Mercury, 24 July 1830.
- 137. Wentworth Woodhouse mun. G2/15.
- 138. Add. 51562, Brougham to Holland [24 July 1830].
- 139. Chatsworth mss 6DD/1960, Brougham to Devonshire [24 July 1830].
- 140. Castle Howard mss.
- 141. Wentworth Woodhouse mun. G2/19.
- 142. Ibid. G2/23.
- 143. Ibid.
- 144. Leeds Mercury, 31 July 1830.
- 145. Add. 51562.
- 146. Ellenborough Diary, ii. 329.
- 147. Unless otherwise stated this account of the 1830 general election is based on Leeds Mercury, 7, 14 Aug., and Yorks. Gazette, 7, 14 Aug. 1830.
- 148. Castle Howard mss.
- 149. Ibid.
- 150. The Times, 17 Aug. 1830; Gash, 77.
- 151. Leeds Mercury, 31 July 1830.
- 152. Lansdowne mss.
- 153. Add. 51564.
- 154. Leeds Mercury, 2 Oct. 1830.
- 155. Leeds Intelligencer, 29 July, 12 Aug. 1830.
- 156. Gash, 90.
- 157. The Times, 9 Sept. 1830; Add. 51562.
- 158. CJ, lxxxvi. 35, 55, 130.
- 159. Chatsworth mss.
- 160. Leeds Mercury, 14 Aug., 14, 21 Nov. 1830.
- 161. Lonsdale mss.
- 162. Yorks. Gazette, 27 Nov., 4 Dec. 1830.
- 163. The Times, 26 Nov.; York Herald, 27 Nov. 1830.
- 164. Yorks. Gazette, 4 Dec. 1830.
- 165. Ibid. 11 Dec. 1830.
- 166. Brougham mss, Strickland to Brougham, 12 Dec. .
- 167. Leeds Mercury, 11 Dec. 1830.
- 168. Ibid. 18 Dec. 1830.
- 169. Brougham mss, Strickland to J. Brougham, 22 Dec. 1830.
- 170. Leeds Mercury, 8 Jan. 1831.
- 171. Doncaster Gazette, 11 Feb.; Leeds Mercury, 12 Feb. 1831.
- 172. The Times, 24 Mar. 1831.
- 173. CJ, lxxxvi. 446.
- 174. Leeds Mercury, 23 Apr. 1831.
- 175. Fitzwilliam mss, Ramsden to Milton, 10 Apr. 1831.
- 176. Brougham mss, Strickland to Brougham, 16 Apr. 1831.
- 177. Leeds Mercury, 23 Apr. 1831.
- 178. The Times, 25 Apr.; Yorks. Gazette, 30 Apr. 1831.
- 179. Leeds Mercury Extraordinary, 27 Apr. 1831.
- 180. Sheffield Mercury, 30 Apr. 1831.
- 181. The Times, 27, 28 Apr. 1831.
- 182. Leeds Mercury, 30 Apr. 1831.
- 183. Sheffield Mercury, 30 Apr. 1831.
- 184. Creevey mss, Creevey to Miss Ord, 30 Apr. 1831.
- 185. TNA 30/29/9/5/80.
- 186. Sheffield Mercury, 30 Apr.; Doncaster Gazette, 6 May 1831.
- 187. Leeds Mercury, 30 Apr. 1831.
- 188. The Times, 7 May; Yorks. Gazette, 7 May 1831.
- 189. The Times, 9 May 1831.
- 190. Fitzwilliam mss.
- 191. Doncaster Gazette, 17 June 1831.
- 192. CJ, lxxxvii. 436.
- 193. Doncaster Gazette, 25 Feb. 1831.
- 194. PP (1831), xvi. 35, 42.
- 195. Ibid. (1831), xvi. 357; (1831-2), xxxvi. 304.
- 196. Leeds Mercury, 15 Oct., 5 Nov. 1831.
- 197. CJ, lxxxvii. 10.
- 198. Leeds Mercury, 3 Dec. 1831.
- 199. PP (1831-2), xl. 254-353.
- 200. The Times, 25 May 1832.
- 201. P. Salmon, Electoral Reform at Work, 174-82, 257-64.