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Election days: 1868 - No vote, no verger

Updated Wednesday, 10th May 2017
It wasn't just farmers coming under pressure to vote against their interests in 1868, as this letter from the Daily News suggests

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Kent churchyard A Kent Churchyard

During the run-up to the 2017 General Election, we're dipping into the archives to bring you a collection of events from elections past - noteworthy, amusing or just plain bemusing. You can catch up on the 2017 election in our dedicated hub.


Politically I rather favour Conservative principles; morally I detest every action that is mean, shabby and disreputable. But, gentlemen, hear my complaint.

Business called me this morning to a place not 100 miles from Blackheath. When I had finished, as it was West Kent election day, I strolled about, and at last pulled up near a polling-booth.

My attention was immediately directed to a man coming away from it with an air which showed he was a free and independent Briton who had given his vote conscientiously - you can always distinguish such men.

I was rather admiring the man, when suddenly a clergyman presented himself before our free and independent Briton. Mark the conversation.

Clregyman - "Hallo, Horne (or some such name), you're just in time to vote."

Horne - "I've just voted, sir."

Clergyman - "Who'd you vote for?"

Horne (who evidently knows who are the clergyman's candidates) - "For the other side; for Angerstein and Lubbock."

Clergyman (looking sternly) - "Horne! You cease to be a verger! We part from this time!£

A withering glance at Horne, and they part.

I felt interested in this model clergyman, so I kept my eye on him. He bustled about the booth a bit. I'll try and find out who he is, I thought.

Going up to a mild-looking individual, I said, "Pray, who is that clergyman?"

"That, sir - that, sir," said the mild gentleman, starting slightly, "that's the Rev. Mr. Truck [a very appropriate name, thought I]; a very good man, sir."

"Thanks," said I, and left, pondering in my mind the deed of this messenger of good-will to man, this excellent Christian gentleman, and i felt ashamed of my religion.

I felt ashamed of my politics, too. A few more such instances, said I, and I shall become a radical. At present, I feel equal to calling myself a


Brixton, Nov. 28

Originally published by the Daily News, 29-11-1868


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