CAMBRIDGE ELECTION (1847)

{This is a transcript of twelve reports in The Times relating to the 1847 election in Cambridge.}.

The Times, Tuesday, June 8, 1847.

ELECTION INTELLIGENCE: CAMBRIDGE.

It has been made known to-day, through Mr. Naylor, the barrister, the President of the Conservative Association, that Sir F. Kelly declines the invitation sent to him by the Association to stand for this borough at the next election. The determination of the learned member is a matter of great regret, and a requisition is in course of signature to induce Sir F. Kelly to reconsider it.


The Times, Monday, June 14, 1847.

ELECTION INTELLIGENCE: CAMBRIDGE.

A meeting called by the committee of the Conservative Association was held last night at the Black Bear Inn, the avowed purpose of which was to pass a resolution declaratory of the objection of the association to any compromise between the two parties in the town as to the candidates at the next election. By an oversight, the committee had summoned a meeting of "the electors," instead of "the members of the association," and through this, a large number of the Whig party and that section of religionists who hold the most extreme opinions as to the Maynooth grant[1] obtruded themselves into the room, and resolutions condemnatory of the political conduct of Mr. Manners Sutton and Sir Fitzroy Kelly were passed, in addition to the one recognized by the committee.


The Times, Monday, June 21, 1847.

ELECTION INTELLIGENCE: CAMBRIDGE (BOROUGH).

This borough is in a somewhat anomalous position as respects the prospects of candidates at the ensuing election, both the great parties of Whigs and Conservatives being divided into sections. The moderate Conservatives are anxious to re-elect Mr. Sutton, and for many reasons they would like to do so without a contest. Of this section Mr. Alderman Fisher, Mr. Ficklin, Mr. Mitchell, Mr. Naylor, a barrister of the Norfolk circuit, and chiefly resident at Cambridge, are at the head. They are determined to take their candidate to the poll, depending on the suffrages of the moderate men of their party, and some of the Whigs. The Protectionist in "religion and trade" are headed by Mr. Alderman Fawcett, a surgeon. With him are associated many gentlemen of influence and character, such as Mr. Pemberton, Mr. Charles Balls, Mr. H. Marshall, Alderman Bishop, Alderman Deighton, Alderman Headly, Colonel Glover, and many others. These gentlemen have had a meeting at which resolutions condemnatory of Sir Fitzroy Kelly and Mr. M. Sutton were passed unanimously. In all probability the candidate brought forward by the high Conservative party will be a Mr. Pemberton, formerly secretary to Mr. Goulburn, and nephew to Mr. Christopher Pemberton, a wealthy and eminent solicitor of Cambridge. Thus stand matters with the Conservatives. On the Liberal side two candidates are already in the field, Mr. A. Shafto Adair, and the Hon. W. F. Campbell, both of Trinity College. But perfect unanimity does not prevail even with the Whigs—some of the principal voters, and a large number of tradesmen, advocating the principle of returning one and one. Among this class are Mr. E. Foster, Mr. Ashton, Mr. Beales, Mr. Cooper, Mr. Finch, Mr. Eadens, Mr. Leapingwell, and many other gentlemen, whose opinions are entitled to every consideration, and who have for many years occupied the most prominent position in their party. They say, that parties are so nearly balanced that neither can carry, nor ought to desire, both members. In 1839 Mr. Sutton beat Mr. Milner Gibson by 100 votes, but was unseated on petition, and several parties were prosecuted. In 1840 Sir A, Grant beat Mr. Starkie by 85 votes; and in 1841 Sir A. Grant was only 27 more than Mr. Richard Foster. In 1843 Sir F. Kelly beat Mr. Foster by 33 only; and in 1845 the same hon. and learned gentleman was returned by 17 votes only over Mr. Adair, who was 35 ahead at 3 o'clock. The number polled on this last occasion was 1,475. Under those circumstances the gentlemen mentioned were anxious to avoid a contest, and let each party return its representative. But the Barnwell voters, headed by Mr. Richard Foster, say "No; we will consent to no compromise; we will have two representatives or none." Consequently, at all the meetings these 10l. voters have always outvoted Mr. E. Foster and his friends, and by refusing on any other grounds to vote for Mr. Adair forced his friends to coalesce with Mr. Campbell, and form a joint committee. The prudence of this step time will show; but from all that can be ascertained after diligent and impartial inquiries amongst all parties, it is most probable that Mr. Adair and the Conservative candidate (should only one be brought forward), will be returned. Mr. Sutton is now here, but no second Conservative candidate has been announced.


The Times, Tuesday, June 22, 1847.

ELECTION INTELLIGENCE: CAMBRIDGE.

Yesterday, at 2 o'clock, a deputation of the electors of Cambridge, headed by Mr. J. T. Deighton, Mr. Charles Balls, and Mr. H. Hazard, waited upon Major-General Sir Harry Smith[2], at Ushers' Hotel, Suffolk-street, Haymarket[3], for the purpose of requesting the gallant general to stand for the representation of that place in the ensuing Parliament. The deputation having stated the object they had in view, and the gratification they should feel at receiving a favourable answer, Sir Harry replied that nothing could be more flattering to him than so high a compliment from his friends in Cambridge, but that for the present, as well as he feared for some time to come, he must depend upon his sword for procuring him the means necessary to enable him to avail himself of so distinguished an honour, and that within a short period, should Providence ordain that his health be restored, he should find it necessary to proceed abroad again in his military capacity. The deputation having urged that he should accept the offer for the period which he might be at home, Sir Harry stated that for the reasons before mentioned he had felt himself compelled to decline a similar offer from the electors of Westminster, adding, that should fortune favour his wishes, and at any future period his fellow-townsmen should think his services desirable, he would feel proud in being their unfettered representative, and endeavour to acquit himself to their satisfaction in the senate, as his country had taught him to believe he had done in the field.


The Times, Wednesday, June 23, 1847.

ELECTION INTELLIGENCE: CAMBRIDGE.

RETIREMENT OF MR. SUTTON.

A meeting of the Conservative electors was held on Monday evening at the Red Lion Hotel, to give Mr. M. Sutton an opportunity of explaining his Parliamentary conduct. The hon. gentleman began by alluding to a meeting which had been recently held, at which a vote of censure upon him and his colleague had been passed, and after denying that this vote expressed the general opinions of the constituency, entered into an elaborate and highly successful defence of the policy of Sir R. Peel's Administration, of his vote upon the Corn Laws, the Maynooth grant, and one or two other subjects upon which he differed from his constituents. He concluded by saying that he had not made this explanation with any view of again soliciting their support, but as a reply to the charges that had been made against him, and that he had then only to bid them farewell. The hon. gentleman was loudly cheered, and immediately left the room. Mr. Alderman Fawcett then commenced a reply, but was shortly after reminded by the Chairman, Mr. Alderman Fisher, that Mr. Sutton was not present. Mr. Fawcett then said he would wait for Mr. Sutton's return. A message was sent to the hon. gentleman, but the answer was that he had retired wholly from the contest, and had bade farewell to his constituency; thereupon the Chairman declared the meeting dissolved.


The Times, Friday, June 25, 1847.

EDITORIAL / LEADER.

It could hardly be expected that an object of so fictitious a value as a seat in Parliament could escape the present vicissitudes of trade. In fact, there has been a complete revolution in the article. In no other instance does the present value of money tell with more depressing effect. The demand for boroughs is becoming daily more languid, and really good customers are everywhere inquired for. The fact does not indeed appear on the face of our pages. Owing to a sort of prudery, which cannot last long if things go at their present rate, there is no trade circular or commercial report in this branch of trade. Were there such, the quotations would be surprisingly low. The first condescension to common sense and the exigencies of the case will probably show itself in our advertising columns, when we shall have such announcements as the following:—

"To Gentlemen desirous of a seat in Parliament.—A body of independent electors are willing to treat on terms of mutual advantage with any gentleman who can command a few thousands. The strictest confidence will be observed."

"The Liberal party at a borough in the south, having been left in a peculiar position by the conduct of a late representative, are willing to treat with anyone who is ready to remove that imputation on the honesty of the cause."

"A few gentleman who are able to turn the election of a midland borough have not yet disposed of the seat. N.B. Ready-money indispensable."

Our readers will be wiser than to look into our election intelligence for any information on such esoteric affairs. Public meetings, deputations, invitations, and addresses, have not much to do with the realities of the case. Simple folk have been a good deal amused lately at some incidents in this quarter. We believe the want of money will go far to account for them. Mr. Manners Sutton has been severely called to account by his constituents, charged with breach of promise, and challenged to a personal controversy. In reply he has made a very able speech, closing it, like another distinguished person on the very same day, with the rather abrupt announcement, that he meant to withdraw his pretensions. Do not be deceived, gentle reader. All this means—"Down with the ready." If the hon. member were only prepared to meet their views in this important particular, the electors of Cambridge would, we fear, be only too happy to be deceived once more. Of course there are Protectionists in Cambridge who still tremble at the thought of New Orleans[4], and dream of wheat settling down to 40s. a quarter[5]. Of course there may also be Protestants who care about the grant to Maynooth. This is not denied. But it is equally undeniable that there exists a body of men, there as elsewhere, numerous and powerful enough to turn the scale, who care more for a long bill, or a long score, or an actual bank-note, than they do for the Church of England or the sliding scale; and that if Mr. Manners Sutton would put two or three thousand pounds into certain hands, he would find Cambridge safe enough. This is the gist of their complaint, that they have not "seen" as much as they wished of the unfortunate official. His representative, in good sterling currency, would satisfy their aching eyes quite as well.

The electors of Maidstone ...


The Times, Thursday, July 19, 1847.

ELECTION INTELLIGENCE: CAMBRIDGE.

Mr Humfrey, queens' counsel, to whose able advocacy we have been often indebted for defence against attempted extortion[6], has announced himself as a candidate for the representation of Cambridge. We annex a copy of his address to the electors, and trust they will be wise enough to appreciate the merits of a candidate in every respect so well fitted to represent them:—

"Having been solicited by a large and influential portion of your body to offer myself as a candidate for your suffrages at the approaching election, I do not hesitate to comply with their request. Five and twenty years spent in a profession which more than any other brings under our view the sober realities of life gives me some claim to think myself competent to understand your interests, and the position which I have the honour to hold in that profession may, perhaps, justify me in believing that I am not incapable of supporting those interests by my voice in Parliament. I have lived to see the watch words of party so changed, that it is difficult to find any which properly describes one's self. I have ever been attached to Conservative principles; desiring to advance with the advancing spirit of the age; but I have learned by experience that it is wiser to correct evils in our social system when they arise, and to remedy grievances when they are shown to exist, than by careless and hasty legislation to create evils, different, indeed, in their nature, but as mischievous in their consequence, as those which are sought to be reformed. I am sincerely and zealously attached to our Established Church and its venerable institutions. A report is current that it is the intention of the present Government to propose in the next Parliament to endow, from our national funds, the Roman Catholic priesthood. This measure, or any other similar in its tendency and character, by whomsoever introduced, shall have my determined and strenuous opposition. To the Poor Law, from its commencement, I have been opposed; and though I confess that it has in some respects worked better than I anticipated, there remain in it such harsh and oppressive provisions unnecessarily cruel to the poor, restraining their liberty, degrading their feelings, and violating the laws of the great God and Father of rich and poor, that I will never cease my exertions until I succeed in erasing them from the pages of our statute book. To your local interests you shall ever find me most attentive; and I trust, when I am your representative, and you want my assistance, that the part which each took in this contest, whether for me or against me, will be for ever forgotten. There are many points of interest to which it is impossible here to advert; but I invite you to come and question me on any subject. Accustomed to cross-examine others, I offer myself for you cross-examination; and whatever you may ask me, whether we agree or differ from each other, shall be answered in a straightforward manner, and in an honest spirit. Let me add one word of earnest and anxious hope, that the contest now about to commence may be conducted with kindness, temper, and moderation. Let us judge with diffidence of ourselves, and with charity of our opponents; and while we refuse to sacrifice any principle which we hold dear, let us not undervalue those of others, because they do not accord with our own; that so when the battle if fought and the victory won both the conqueror and the vanquished may look back on it with feelings of satisfaction, conscious that they have not given a needless wound, or inflicted unnecessary pain.

"I have the honour to be, Gentlemen,

"Your very faithful servant,

"L. C. Humfrey.

"Great Queen-street, St. James's-park, London, July 16."


The Times, Thursday, July 22, 1847.

ELECTION INTELLIGENCE: CAMBRIDGE.

The state of parties in this borough is extraordinary and confused. There are now in reality four candidates in the field. Until Friday there were only two, Messrs. Adair and Campbell, on the Whig interest. It will be remembered that a month since Mr. Sutton voluntarily retired, after addressing a public meeting convened by himself. A few days after the excitement of the installation[7] was over a search for a successor to Mr. Sutton was renewed, and Mr. Humfrey, Q.C., was introduced as the Conservative candidate. He issued his address, which has already appeared in our columns, on Friday, the 16th, and on Saturday received a cordial welcome at a public meeting of the Conservative electors; when the following resolution was carried by an overwhelming majority:—"That this meeting having heard with the greatest satisfaction the sentiments expressed by L. C. Humfrey, Esq., is of opinion that he is a fit and proper person to represent this borough in Parliament. On Monday, the 19th, to the astonishment of all parties, Mr. Sutton reappeared in the field, in consequence of having received a requisition so to do. This requisition has not been published, and the natural inference is that it is not numerously signed. It will thus be seen that Mr. Humfrey has every right and title to be considered as the first Conservative candidate. He is cordially received by the electors, and the most sanguine hopes of his success are entertained.


The Times, Saturday, July 24, 1847.

ELECTION INTELLIGENCE: CAMBRIDGE.

Mr. Humfrey, who had been absent on his circuit both Monday and Tuesday, returned here on Wednesday, and was engaged during the whole of the day, and is now in canvassing the borough. As the election approaches, and the possibility of a contest becomes greater, the feelings of a very large majority of the respectable inhabitants of the town become more apparent and are more publicly expressed. A general sentiment of regret, and something more, is expressed that a few of the personal friends of Mr. Manners Sutton should, contrary to what is considered good faith, have brought him back to create dissension among the Conservative party. To understand his feeling it is necessary to state very briefly the facts:—Mr. Sutton, on the 21st of June, made a public declaration at a large meeting, called by his own friends, at which his conduct was very freely canvassed, that he would not divide his party, and that he retired altogether from the borough. For three successive weeks a notification appeared in the provincial paper that a requisition was prepared to him to return; but as no name was attached to it, and as a sight of it was refused to one of the most influential of the Conservative party, it was looked on as altogether abandoned. On Friday, the 16th inst., Mr. Humfrey, who had been waited on by a deputation of gentlemen possessing the confidence of the whole body of Conservatives, and selected at a meeting of themselves, appeared at Cambridge and published his address. On Saturday morning he was informed, to the astonishment of all parties except the few who were in the secret, that this requisition had been presented to Mr. Manners Sutton, who had not yet accepted it, and that it was uncertain whether he would, but that intimation should be given to Mr. Humfrey of his intentions. Two hours before the meeting of Conservative electors, called together to hear Mr. Humfrey, a note was sent by one of Mr. Sutton's intimate friends to say that an answer had been received by that gentleman which was not considered final. A very large meeting took place. Mr. Humfrey was heard at great length, and a resolution was passed by a very large majority approving of him as the Conservative candidate. Many of Mr. Sutton's friends were present, but not a word was said by one of them, nor was his name even mentioned. Everybody looked on him as entirely out of the field, especially as it was known and avowed by his partizans that he was about to offer himself for another place. At 9 o'clock on Sunday evening intimation was sent to Mr. Humfrey (who had then left Cambridge for Lincoln), at the house of Mr. Pemberton, the chairman of his committee, that Mr. Sutton had finally determined to stand, and on Monday he reappeared. Upon the first intimation of the requisition having been presented to Mr. Sutton, on Saturday morning, Mr. Humfrey made this offer to three of Mr. Sutton's most active friends—one, the chairman of his committee—that if they could show to Mr. Humfrey's committee that Mr. Sutton had a better chance of success than himself, he would, however annoying it might be to his feelings, withdraw, rather than divide the Conservative interest; and moreover, that if, after the unfortunate differences that severed so many of Mr. Sutton's supporters from him, the breach could be stopped and the divided party united, Mr. Humfrey would waive all considerations personal to himself and make way for Mr. Sutton. These facts have been publicly stated both by Mr. Humfrey and his committee during the canvass. No answer has been given to them; and if they are correct, the strong feeling we have alluded to will excite no surprise. Mr. Sutton is a highly honourable man; it is thought that these facts can hardly be known to him. The consequences to the party are most injurious; and the town, which it was hoped would escape the misery of a contest, seems now inevitably forced into it. The mischief, moreover, is this—whatever may be the result of this election, the impression is so strong that it can never be eradicated, that it is to the injudicious friends of Mr. Sutton, who brought him forward after Mr. Humfrey was fairly in the field, that all the venality, all the animosities, all the broken friendships that are to be looked for, are attributable. What the result may be, it is impossible to forsee; what it ought to be, is equally plain to every right-judging man.


The Times, Thursday, July 26, 1847.

ELECTION INTELLIGENCE: CAMBRIDGE.

We believe we are correct in stating that Mr. Manners Sutton and Mr. Humfrey having agreed to refer their respective claims, as between one gentleman and another, to arbitration, such a course was accordingly adopted on Saturday, when, after a lengthened deliberation, it was decided that under all the circumstances Mr. Humfrey should retire. The farewell address of the learned gentleman will be issued this (Monday) morning, and we may add this decision has caused great regret among Mr. Humfrey's numerous supporters.


The Times, Thursday, July 29, 1847.

ELECTION INTELLIGENCE: CAMBRIDGE (BOROUGH).

Mr. Humfrey has just published an address explanatory of his retirement. Mr. Sutton, in an address issued this day (Wednesday), states that he is confident of success.


The Times, Friday, July 30, 1847.

CAMBRIDGE.

(FROM OUR OWN REPORTER.)

The nomination of candidates for this borough took place yesterday, on Parker's Piece.

Mr. Ficklin proposed Mr. Sutton as a stanch supporter of church and state, and a friend of the middle and poorer classes, a gentleman who had, in connexion with Sir R. Peel's Government, done much by the recent adjustment of taxation to throw the burdens of the state on those who were most able to bear them.

Mr. Coward, of Queen's (sic) College, seconded the nomination.

Mr. E. Foster proposed Mr. Adair, recommending him as a gentleman of ability, energy, zeal, wealth, and independence, in every was qualified to assert and vindicate the rights and privileges of the electors. He animadverted with some severity upon the fact that Mr. Coward, the seconder of Mr. Sutton, did not sustain a higher position in Cambridge before he presumed to second a candidate for the borough representation.

Mr. Skrine seconded the nomination.

Mr. R. Foster nominated the Hon. W. F. Campbell, as a young hereditary legislator[8] who, actuated by a laudable ambition, wished properly to qualify himself for the discharge of his parliamentary duties in the House of Peers by a practical acquaintance with the wants and wishes of the people. He hoped they would now usher into public life a young gentleman who he thought was destined to take a high place among the statesman of the day.

Mr. Livett seconded the nomination.

Mr. M. Sutton said this was not the first time that he had had the honour of addressing them as a candidate for the representation of the borough. He was proud to say for himself, and it redounded also to their credit, that on all previous occasions he had received from opponents, as well as friends, the greatest courtesy and kindness. (Cheers.) He doubted not that courtesy would be repeated on the present occasion. He admitted it was most desirable to conduct the contest with good feeling; he went further; he said it was perfectly possible to do so. Without in any way relinquishing their own opinions, and doing their best to return those who would best represent them, there was no necessity for either saying or doing anything which should in any way give rise to angry feelings. Before alluding to topics of general and public importance, he would say that, with regard to the two hon. gentlemen who were his opponents, he could have no bad feeling. With one of them he had been personally acquainted for many years, who would concur in the statement he was about to make, that whatever might be the result of the contest—whether it ended in victory or defeat, they would be ready to shake hands on the morrow. (Cheers.) With regard to the other hon. gentleman, he had not had the honour of knowing him. He had just been introduced to him (a cry of "He has only just left school"[9]); but it was far from his intention or wish to say anything in the slightest degree disrespectful to Mr. Campbell or inconsistent with the station he held and the abilities he possessed. He would now proceed to notice, in a few words, some parts of the speeches delivered by those who had nominated or seconded those hon. gentlemen. The hon. gentleman who proposed Mr. Adair took occasion to say that his hon. friend (Mr. Coward, of Queen's College), who did him the favour of seconding his nomination, was scarcely qualified by station for the task he had undertaken. He thought the hon. gentleman (Mr. Foster) was an ardent defender of popular rights and privileges, and it was the right of any elector, whatever might be his station, however high or humble, either to propose or second the nomination of a candidate. (Cheers.) He esteemed it an honour to have been seconded by his worthy friend, but he repeated, he did not think that a high compliment was paid to the constituency of Cambridge when it was insinuated that men of the highest station alone should take part in these proceedings. (Cheers.) The hon. gentleman explained that his observations referred to the shortness of Mr. Coward's residence in the borough; but his hon. friend had been for upwards of 17 years in Cambridge. (Cheers.) Objection had been taken to a statement made by his hon. friend who proposed him; that he was a stanch supporter of church and state. His hon. friend said so, and he repeated it. He said there was no one on those hustings, in that assembly, or in the empire, more sincerely attached than he was to the established church. By birth, by hereditary recollections, by education, and by conviction, he was a member of the church, and he had never done anything which in his opinion was calculated to impair the efficiency of the establishment. (Cheers, and cries of "Maynooth".) As they mentioned Maynooth, he would tell them, the grant to Maynooth was instituted by that Minister who, above all others, had been rightly considered the champion of the established church (cheers), was considered the most sincerely attached to the Protestant church. (Confusion.) His anxiety was to make a reply to every observation which reached him; but so many were made by his opponents on the left, that the gentlemen who made them only confused themselves, they did not confuse him, and if he left any of them unanswered, it would be because he could not hear them. He now came to a question much agitated in the borough and throughout the country—the endowment of the Roman Catholic priesthood. He would not shrink from that question. He was perfectly prepared to meet it. He would tell them that he would not upon any subject of political importance whatever give a pledge. (Cheers.) He knew there were some who thought that it was right to require such pledges from candidates; and there were others who thought it right to give them. (A cry of "You gave pledges yourself.") Although he stated his opinions frankly and honestly, and, with perhaps the rashness of youth, firmly believed no circumstance would occur to change them, yet if at that time he had been asked for a pledge, he should distinctly have refused to give it. (Cheers.) He admitted, not now for the first time, he stated then, boldly, conscientiously, fully, and explicitly, what his opinions were; he said more; he said he believed that circumstances would not change them; but circumstances did arise to change his views, (A cry, "Yes, you were in office, and did not want to go out!") Did not that gentleman know Sir R. Peel and his Government sacrificed office to repeal the corn laws? (Cheers.) The great complaint made against Sir. R. Peel was, that he sacrificed his party; to which the answer was, if he sacrificed his party, he saved his country. (Cheers.) To say that he voted for the repeal of the corn laws to keep office was the most ridiculous of all charges, because from the moment that Sir Robert Peel in the performance of a great public duty thought it necessary to bring forward a proposition for the repeal of the corn law, it was well known by every man on both sides of the house that the days of his administration were numbered, and their retention of office was merely a question of days or of hours. (Cheers.) What were the sacrifices he had to make? He had to sacrifice political friendships, political station, and what was far more bitter than any pecuniary loss, he had to sacrifice personal friendships. But he did not regret the course he had pursued. If he saw any reason to regret it, his duty would be to make an apology and ask forgiveness. But, as he did not see reason for doing this, he said nothing could be more degrading than to confess a fault which he felt he had not committed. (Cheers.) He now came to that question to which he was about to refer when interrupted, namely, the question of the endowment of the Roman Catholic priesthood. While, then, he would give no pledge either upon that or any other subject, he would say he objected to any such measure. He was told to say, without reservation, he would not vote for it. Why, if a man did so, he gave a pledge. He admitted they had a right to ask what his opinions were, and it was his duty to express them. Well, then, he would say, he thought the endowment of the Roman Catholic priesthood would confer no benefit on any class. They did not ask for it themselves; they declared they would not accept an endowment from the state, and the feelings of the whole country, or nearly the whole country, were arrayed against it. The grand object of those who would advocate such a measure must be that it would promote peace and quiet in the sister country; but he saw the effect of carrying such a proposition would be that discord where it now existed would be immeasurably increased, and where peace existed discord would ensue. (Cheers.) Let it not be said, then, that he was in favour of the endowment of the Roman Catholic Priesthood. (a cry of "What says Sir R. Peel?") Sir R. Peel said the same thing. Of the three great leaders of parties in this country, Sir R. Peel, Lord J. Russell, and Lord Stanley[10], Sir R. Peel alone had not already voted in favour of the endowment of the Roman Catholic priesthood. Lord John Russell had voted for such a measure—he did so in 1825, when a motion distinctly to that effect was brought forward by Lord Francis Egerton. He did not say this to detract from the credit that ought to attach to a man of such talents and station as Lord John Russell; but he wished them clearly to understand the question, and he did not think it quite fair that he, who felt in accordance with the views of a statesman who had always opposed the endowment of the Roman Catholic priesthood, should be taunted on this matter by those who to a certain extent were supporters of a Minister who had already voted in its favour. (Cheers.) Whatever might be the impression with regard to his political conduct, he would say he had never lost sight of what he believed to be the interests of his constituency and the country at large. In all his votes he had never lost sight of those interests. For six years during which he had represented them in Parliament his attendance had been more constant than that of almost any other man on either side of the house; and there the thought he could best discharge his duties. (Cheers.) The object of the late Government had mainly in view was the amelioration of the condition of the great body of the people. (Cheers.) Among all the alterations and reforms introduced by Sir R. Peel they would not find one which did not bear that character. (Cheers.) What was his object in the alterations he introduced into the system of taxation and the tariff? (Cries of "The new system did not emanate from Peel.") The income-tax not emanate from Sir R. Peel? Why, not only did it emanate from him, but it was opposed by the whole Whig party in Parliament. He was not the only man who had changed his opinions; for the Whig Government, who opposed the income-tax, having now been more than 12 months in office, had given no sign of repealing it. What was the object of that tax? Unpopular as it might be with those who were called upon to pay it, its object was to relieve the poorer classes of society from the payment of what he considered the inordinate share of taxation which fell upon them. (Cheers.) It was to remove the burden from those who could hardly earn their daily subsistence by the sweat of their brow, and place it upon the shoulders most able to bear it, that the income-tax was introduced. (Cheers.) In voting for it he consulted the interests of his constituents, and while he was so voting he was doing them the most efficient service. (Cheers.) Such having been the object of Sir R. Peel's Government, much still remained to be done in the same direction. He admitted that frankly. They could not look at the state of the poorer classes in this country without seeing that much remained to be done. A new ray had, he was glad to think, shone in on politics. All parties seemed now to be convinced that it was not only the political, but the social interests of the people that ought to be considered. (Cheers.) When they saw the state of ignorance in which many millions of the people were involved, they must admit that it was the duty of the Government to take every step in their power to dispel ignorance and promote the cause of education. (Cheers.) And here he must be permitted to observe, although he did not arrogate for Sir R. Peel the credit of originating the measure, he did claim for him the credit of making it more extensive than it had been before. They must remember when Lord J. Russell—from whose measures party spirit had not withheld his support,—when Lord John Russell, with a patriotism which did him honour, brought forward a scheme of national education, he received from Sir Robert Peel and his friends the most efficient support. (Cheers.) There was another subject he had been much struck with during his canvass. If they would have the poorer classes content, moral, and virtuous, they must give them employment and education. (Cheers.) A sincere supporter of the institutions of the country, he wished to see them protected by the only bulwark which, in times of trouble, could maintain them,—the affections of a contented, industrious, and loyal people. He believed he proved himself a friend of the institutions of the country by taking every step to improve the condition of the masses. (Cheers.) Such were his objects. He had humbly endeavoured, in his past career, to give effect to these views and wishes, and if, as he trusted, hoped, and believed, it should be his fate again to represent them in Parliament, his utmost energies would be given to promote those objects. (Loud cheers.)

Mr. Adair next addressed the electors. In his speech, which was marked by great ability, and received with much cheering from his supporters, he adverted with much adroitness to the celebrated speech of the late Rev. Sidney Smith, at the Taunton dinner, shortly after the passing of the Reform Bill, when he stated that by some extraordinary coincidence every one then seemed to wear a Reform cockade in his hat or in his pocket, but all, as occasion required, publicly exhibited them, in order to prove that the new-born zeal in favour of popular measures was not, in many instances, to be relied upon. He declared his decided opposition to the endowment of the Roman Catholic clergy, but expressed his determination to do as much as he could, by mutual concession, to promote the great object of national education. He felt convinced, unless the people cordially co-operated with the Government, nothing could well be done on that subject. The first great evil seemed to be that every sect desired to distance its rival; he would have them not suspect each other. They ought rather, as much as possible, to merge special peculiarities in forwarding the general purpose. He avowed his adherence to the system of free trade, while he spoke of the scheme of Sir R. Peel as requiring an apologist at every hustings in the country. He concluded a speech of much popular tact and oratorical skill by calling on the electors to fulfil the promises they had made in his canvass,—to return him, with his hon. associate, as members for the borough.

Mr. Campbell next addressed the electors, in a strain of eloquence rather juvenile, in which he modestly declined combating protectionist principles, seeing that no representative of that creed appeared on the hustings, and, "greatly daring," ventured to criticise a policy which, nevertheless, he substantially approved, because he though from Sir R. Peel and his supporters the Liberal Administration had most to fear. After some further remarks, which left those who observed his somewhat awkward manner doubtful whether he desiderated a bottle of sodawater, which had been uncorked by one of his immediate attendants, or had already finished his not very senatorial address, the Hon. W. F. Campbell retired, amidst the kind cheers of his friends.

The show of hands was then called, and declared to be in favour of Messrs. Adair and Campbell.

The poll was fixed to take place this day (Friday).

The Hon. M. Sutton having proposed a vote of thanks to the Mayor, which was seconded by Mr. Adair, the proceeding terminated.


The Times, Saturday, July 31, 1847.

CAMBRIDGE (TOWN).

CLOSE OF THE POLL.

Mr. Adair 819
Mr. Campbell 734
Mr. Sutton 465

Transcribed by Keith Edkins 2018. Original reports believed to be in the public domain due to their antiquity.

Return to: The Cambridge elections of the mid-1800s.

Notes

[1]

The grant to a Catholic seminary in Kildare was a major political controversy.

[2]

Hero of many military campaigns back to the Napoleonic Wars, and husband of the Lady Smith who gave her name to Ladysmith in Natal. He was born in Whittlesey.

[3]

In London.

[4]

I *think* the reference is that the quays of New Orleans were stacked with foodstuffs waiting to flood British markets if the Corn Laws were relaxed.

[5]

The Corn Laws forbade imports until the domestic price reached 80s. a quarter.

[6]

i.e. Libel suits.

[7]

The university ceremony, attended by the Queen and Prince Albert (chancellor of the university) took place on July 6th.

[8]

His father had been created Baron Campbell in 1841, and later became Lord Chancellor. His mother was Baroness Stratheden in her own right. Women could not sit in the House of Lords, but her title enabled their son so to sit when she predeceased her husband in 1860.

[9]

He was 22 at the time.

[10]

Russell was the Whig Prime Minister at the time; Stanley, later Earl of Derby, led the Conservative Party for 21 years after the split with Peel over the repeal of the Corn Laws.