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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

Kent churchyard Creative commons image Icon John Salmon under Creative Commons BY-SA 4.0 license 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.

Gentleman,

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

LIBERAL CONSERVATIVE

Brixton, Nov. 28

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

 

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