Page:Notes and Queries - Series 12 - Volume 10.djvu/516

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422 NOTES AND QUERIES. [i2S.x-j.nra3, 1022. references day by day to the General Election of 1826 ; while, what is more singular, there is sisimilar absence of allusion to the Stephen- son candidature in The West Briton of T|ruro, an |^old-established and still nourishing county paper. All that it said was on June 9 : Borough Election, Newport. An attempt has been made to oppose the [Tory] nominees of the Duke of Northumberland for this place, by a canvass in favour of Sir H. Willoughby, but it is believed the interest of His Grace is too strong to be shaken. And a week later it simply recorded the return of the Duke's nominees, without any note of a contest. Sir Henry Willoughby of Baldon House, Oxford, sat, I may add, for Yarmouth (Isle of Wight) as a Whig in the short Parliament of 1831. In face of this important evidence, I might have been tempted lo distrust the memory of my father though it was one of the most precise, especially in regard to political events, I have ever known if it had not been for the discovery of a piece of contemporary evidence which proves that a Eoll at Newport did take place. During the 3W months immediately covering the preparation for and the conclusion of a con- test for Launceston (in which borough New- port, by the Reform Act, had been merged) there was issued in that town a weekly journal called The Reformer, for the printers of which my father as a lad worked. In its issue for Oct. 13, 1832, there was the following precise statement : At the time when Roland [sic] Stephenson opposed the Duke of Northumberland's interest in the Borough of Newport ; one of the voters named Ball, who was in the receipt of a weekly stipend from the Duke, and who appeared emaciated from sickness, and almost at Death's door, came forward to tender his vote for the Duke's nominee. Mr. Sergeant [sic] Wilde demanded that the bribery oath should be adminis- tered to him, which was done accordingly by the late Mr. C. Lethbridge, as the deputy returning Officer. On his requesting Ball to kiss the Gospels, the Book fell from his hand. A s'econd time was the oath administered to him, but with like effect. We shall never forget the piercing look which Mr. Lethbridge gave him, as if he would have crtished the poor fellow into the earth, and walked round the Table, where the voter was standing and says to him, " You are to swear that you have received no bribe to vote at THIS Election." THIS Election, mind I ! ! With this salve to his conscience the poor dying creature swallowed the oath. Serjeant Wilde afterwards Chief Justice of the Common Pleas and (asLord Truro) Lord Chancellor was the well-known Whig lawyer of the day, who was afterwards in turn Mr. Gladstone's opponent and colleague n the representation of Newark ; and his appearance on the scene can be accounted

or by the fact that he went the Western

Circuit. " Mr. C. Lethbridge " was Christo- pher Lethbridge, Deputy Recorder for Launceston (successive Dukes of Northum- aerland being the Recorder) at various periods from the closing years of the eigh- teenth century, his last term being from 1820 until his death on Oct. 15, 1830, at the age of 69. He was succeeded in the office by tiis son, John King Lethbridge, who was the most active agent for the Duke in the 1832 contest, and the constant subject of Whig attack as " King John." In view of The Reformer's precise assertions, the fact that there was a poll for Newport in which Stephenson was concerned cannot be dis- puted. The mystery, however, is deepened by the fact that the two contests in counties far apart in which he was engaged took place contemporaneously, the return for Newport and Leominster being the same date, June 14, 1826, those of a number of boroughs in which no poll was taken being given as that of nomination day, which in various instances was as early as June 9. Any further light would be welcome on this very curious electoral incident, involving what appears to be singular trickery by one who was so soon to prove himself to the world a thoroughly tricky man. ALFRED ROBBINS. MARAT IN ENGLAND. (See ante, pp. 381, 403.) FROM the foregoing, then, we may gain a fairly accurate notion of the status, pro- fessional, financial and social, of Jean Paul Marat in England during the years 1766 to 1776. Thrown entirely on his own resources, we find him dividing his energies between abstract science, anonymous political propa- ganda and unlicensed traffic in human and veterinary medicine, in none of which spheres is he able to make any appreciable headway. Indeed, shackled, as we have seen, by a heavy load of debt, his books having proved costly failures and his medical efforts insufficient to provide either recog- nized professional qualifications or even anything very definite in the shape of " a local habitation and a name," Jean Paul must, about this time, have been hard put to it to keep the wolf from the door. It is true, he still possessed the more modest