1768

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The 1768 Booklet forms a possible basis of the 250th anniversary book and provides an index to the online, source documents.

Documents concerning the 1768 election

A complete view, from before the election through to the final House of Commons ruling, can be found in the Harris Scrapbook. The original articles appeared in the Preston Guardian between 1878 and 1881 written by W. A. Abram. These articles were extracted and pasted into a scrapbook which is held in the Harris Library. It is probably the most complete view of the election with a number of primary sources being quoted. Abram produced a short biography of several of the "good & true" in these sketches and tended not to be interested in those in the "lower" strata of society.

The Historical Background contains information on previous elections and the personalities in the 1768 election.

A Canvas was taken several times before the actual election and was recorded by street name and contains the voting intention of the individual. The occupation and status of the voter was often included. It seems that the canvases were organised by the different candidates; the earliest being in June 1767. The last canvas of voters is probably the last one since it contains the name of Sir Henry Hoghton who only joined Colonel Burgoyne in the last week or ten days before the election. Also, in this period, the candidates seems to make various dubious attempts to "persuade" voters to vote for them or brought voters in from outside the town. Before long this led to factions going around the town frightening opponents voters away - see Riots. A similar situation took place in Lancaster in the early months of 1768 - see Lancaster Riots - also in Northampton Riots.

The legal opinion of George Kenyon was sought as to the validity of Papist votes and this is dated the 14th March 1768. Colonel Burgoyne and his "friends" are mentioned but not Sir Harry Hoghton so, perhaps, this narrows down the time for Hoghton to enter the fray.

Before the election there was a long debate regarding Who should vote?. This includes non-freemen, outburgesses, papists, military, etc. The corporation authorized the collection of an alphabetical list of Foreigners who had appeared in the town shortly before the election.

Even at the election itself there was veiled pressure put on the voters. The Register of Tallies 1768 (DDPD/11/50) states that "barmen" were appointed on both sides to ensure voters were not intimidated. See Lord Strange minutes for his take on this. A slight variation on on this poll can be found in DP 523/2 which appears to be a copy of the voters with some extra details. This is a mid-Victorian copy of an earlier document - possibly produced for one of the other candidates.

The officers canvassing for Burgoyne & Hoghton only canvassed the freemen (as did Leicester & Standish) and only brought freemen in to vote until the seventh day of the election.

During the election potential voters were examined as to their validity - Register of Voters 1768 - DDPD/11/51. This is an astonishing document and contains information regarding occupation, workhouses, charities, bribery, domestic issues, movement of labour... the list goes on.

The votes (including a record of the votes of those whose votes were originally discounted) is to be found in Register of Tallies 1768 - DDPD/11/50. This seems to be the same resource used by Abram in his "Sketches". In the middle of DDPD/11/50 there is a long & complex argument regarding the rights of different groups to vote - particularly Inhabitants not Freemen. The notes are scribbled, difficult to read and disjointed.

A variation on the above, which uses as it's basis the canvas mentioned above, is DDKe Box 87_6. The majority of the differences occur in the early pages of the document.

A copy of different poll book was made around 1860. This contains slightly different information to other sources.

Examples of the more interesting cross-examinations can be found in The Election.

There are multiple examples of corruption.

Some of the voters had to take oaths concerning the supremacy, allegiance and bribery. In the Kuerden Book some earlier examples could be found. Kuerden Oaths - taken significantly earlier than 1768. In the "stubbs" there appears to be the official oaths for the election.

The petitions from Hoghton & Burgoyne are to be found in ddpr_131_8.

John Nabb kept accounts surrounding the election. What I suspect is the original Nabb_original is very difficult to read but there seems to be an edited version Nabb_edited. It does contain names of some of the rioters! Another, probably the final document, can be found in Nabb_final.

The newspapers around the country cover the build-up through to final House of Commons decision.

There were several trials after the election with most of the prosecutions against Burgoyne.

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