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Title: The Curiosities of Dudley and the Black Country, From 1800 to 1860
Also an Account of the Trials and Sufferings of Dud Dudley with his Mettallum Martis: Etc.
Author: C. F. G. Clark
Contributor: Dud Dudley
Release Date: January 11, 2015 [EBook #47943]
[Most recently updated: December 23, 2020]
Language: English
Character set encoding: UTF-8
Produced by: Chris Curnow and the Online Distributed Proofreading Team

Transcriber’s Note: I can do no better than to refer the reader to the author’s own words: “This Work is an exact reprint from the original, and the errors in spelling and the peculiar Grammar of the Author have been faithfully followed.”


Advert for Charles Hale (Furnishing)
Advert for A. J. Baird & Co. (Drapers)
Advert for C. F. G. Clark & Son (Chemists)
Adverts for William Smith (Wine and Spirit Merchant), W. C. Wood & Son (Grocers)
Advert for Squire Knight's Celebrated Purifying Family Pills
Advert for James Wood (Wines and Spirits)
Adverts for Grainger & Smith (Woollen Merchants), Joseph Guest (Confectioner)
Adverts for Abraham Green (Vet), Alfred Langham (Ironmonger)
Adverts for E. Long (Accountant & Auditor), A. Whitford (Grocer)
Adverts for Steam Brewery (Wine and Spirit Stores), Thomas Plant (Brewer)
Adverts for Joseph Stevenson (Clothier), Matthew Smith (Brewer)
Adverts for Joseph Eld (Cigar Merchant), Whelpton's Pills
Adverts for the Dudley Herald and Wednesbury Borough News, Samuel Waring (Tailor)
Adverts for E. Hollier (Chemist), R. U. Dudley (Mercer)
Adverts for R. Dickinson (Timber and Slate Merchant), Joseph Gwinnutt (Lemonade, Soda Water, Potass and Seltzer Water Manufacturer)
Advert for Crosswells Ales
Adverts for W. Davey (Photographer), Duff and Son (Glass, China and Earthenware Merchants)
Adverts for J. B. Higgins (Plumber and House Decorator), J. B. Higgins (The American Oil and Lamp Stores)
Adverts for Arthur G. Knapp (Chiropodist), Jas. Goffe & Sons (Mineral Water Manufacturers)
Adverts for J. F. Timmins (Glass, Lead and Paper Hanging Warehouse), S. J. Perks (Silversmith and Jeweller)
Advert for Squire Knight's Eye Ointment
Adverts for Dr. Macann's Tincture, Thomas Reynolds (Manufacturer)
Advert for The People's Family Life Assurance and Sick Benefit Society
Adverts for Joseph Alfred Brooks (Bottler), William Edward Rudge (Cooper)
Advert for S. F. Turner (Manufacturer of Brass & Iron Bedsteads)
Advert for Queen's Cross Works, Dudley

A chiel’s amang ye takin’ notes,
And, faith, he’ll prent it.”—Burns.

The Curiosities of Dudley
Black Country,
From 1800 to 1860:

Also an Account of the Trials and Sufferings of
The First Artificer in Iron,
Pit Coale and Sea Coale, in 1618:

Being some lively and instructive Traits of the Peculiarities
of the Inhabitants and their Doings in the
Coal and Iron District: also


C. F. G. CLARK, Carr Villa, Dudley.

PRICE 2/6.


[Pg 1]

Entered at Stationers’ Hall.

[Pg 2]

Dudley Castle from Burnt Tree Road, 1810


[Pg 3]


“Yea, it becomes a man
To cherish memory where he had delight,
For kindness is the natural birth of kindness,
Whose soul records not the great debt of joy,
Is stamped for ever an ignoble man.”


In placing the following pages before the attention of the inhabitants of Dudley and its vicinity, I am actuated by the desire that the memories of the past generation, with all its fierce struggles for social and political predominance, and its efforts to promote local progression, may be faithfully portrayed in the mirror of its own doings, reproducing many forgotten scenes and events enacted in this Borough, which to the writer of these pages, and many others, afforded then as it will afford now a fund of amusement and reflection, such as is only to be obtained at the fountain of memory and observation.

The fact of being myself the collector of this large pile of printed information for the last 40 years, emboldens me to chronicle the Events and Curiosities of Dudley in such a succession of past years as will at once convey to my few remaining contemporaries a lively recollection of once stirring events, which the present generation of active public men in our midst may perhaps deign to learn therefrom a lesson of experience and profit. These curious events having been written at the time they occurred, removes the historian out of the region of fancy and speculation, giving a clear and unbiassed insight into the ways and doings of the past generation of our active townsmen.

When this history of events began, Dudley was comparatively a small country town, separated from Birmingham by the Horseley Fields and Bromwich Heath; it was governed by a Court Leet of the Manor of Dudley, which body annually elected a Mayor and High Bailiff, &c. There was also in force a “Local Town Improvement Act,” of some[Pg 4] considerable date, administered by townsmen of property and position in the town; but this Commission always fought shy of any Sanitary or Drainage improvements, but contented itself by levying town rates up to a very circumscribed area in the town. Periodically, as the funds accumulated, important improvements were occasionally made in the Market Place, by buying up and removing entirely what was then known as the Old Middle Row, of all descriptions of tenements and old and dilapidated buildings, resulting in our now possessing the most spacious Market Place in the county. Both Bush Street and Upper Vicar Street, leading into King Street, were widened by this local Authority. The town rate varied from 1s. to 2s. in the pound annually, but is now extinct.

My book closes with the Life and Trials of Dud Dudley, whose narrative I have printed in its entirety. If ever a public inventor deserved some public recognition for his inventions as “the first Artificer in Iron made with Pit Coale,” that man was the renowned Dud Dudley, who lived and died in our midst.

The Ironmasters, Coal Masters and inhabitants of Dudley and its district could not perform a more enduring and graceful act than by placing an iron column in our midst to commemorate the inventions of Dud Dudley, the great Ironmaster.

C. F. G. C.

[Pg 5]

Curiosities of Dudley
Black Country.

1820. In these days Dudley could boast of its vigilant “Pitt Club,” and there were very bitter rival factions of Whigs and Tories in the town, the miserable affairs existing betwixt the Prince Regent and his discarded and illused Consort led to much heat and animosity amongst parties in the town, which tended to sever some of those social bonds which add so much to the good feeling of any locality.

On October 1st, 1819, a large public meeting was held in the Town Hall, under the auspices of the Mayor and leading inhabitants of the town, for the purpose of adopting a dutiful and loyal Address to “His Royal Highness George Prince of Wales, Regent of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland.” The Mr. Francis Finch, so prominently figuring in this debate, was a highly respectable merchant, resident in the town. Being a gentleman of superior intelligence to his compeers, he was looked upon as the leader of the Whig party in the town, and, accordingly, fought their political battles.

The most notable event which occurred at the commencement of our recital was the Coronation of George IV., 1821. Dudley, though breathing a strong and hard pulsation for the unhappy Queen Caroline’s “Stuart-like stains of human weaknesses,” was not behind neighbouring towns in loyal demonstrations toward the Royal Family of England. On July 17th, 1821, we find it recorded that “a numerous meeting was held at the Town Hall, to inaugurate the coming Festivities;” The Right Honourable Viscount Dudley and Ward sent fifty guineas towards carrying into effect the loyal purposes of the meeting, “which was accomplished by a public subscription. Divine Service was performed at 10 a.m., at the Parish Church. All the school children in the town were marshalled into the Castle Yard and regaled with suitable eatables; each child received a Coronation Medal, furnished by Messrs. Chinner and Payton. Four sheep and a due proportion of ale were distributed at the Town Hall. Each publican was to provide a dinner, at two o’clock, for poor men and women, and it was ordered that any man or woman obtaining more than one dinner should be prosecuted for fraud. Captain Hawkes, with the Himley and Enville Troop of Yeom[Pg 6]anry, was met with a brass band of music by the principal gentlemen and escorted to the Town Hall. Luke Booker, chairman.” “The principal inhabitants dined together with great goodwill, and much festivity:” and the first gentleman in Europe had around the festive boards in Dudley many a hearty congratulation on that memorable occasion. 1816. October 25th. St. Thomas’ New Church. The Foundation Stone of this noble Church was laid this day by the Rev. Luke Booker, D.D., Vicar of Dudley. This spacious Gothic structure cost upwards of £24,000, and it was restored and beautified by a public subscription in 1861, at a cost of £1,750. The Parish Register attached to this Church is very ancient, commencing in 1520. The early Registers were written by the Monks (Scribes) of St. James’ Priory Church, long since demolished.

On January 30th, 1823, we find that most indefatigable Radical, and energetic townsman, Mr. Samuel Cooke, Draper, issuing the following startling announcement: “Whereas, on Friday, June 24th, 1822, I, Samuel Cooke, of Dudley, did apply to Messrs. Bourne, Solicitors, for an inspection of the Vestry Book, appertaining to this parish, and was by them refused an inspection, unless accompanied by a Churchwarden. I hereby give notice, that in consequence of the difficulty attending this mode of access to the Vestry Book, I shall at the next Vestry meeting propose that the said Vestry Book, containing the alleged Secret Order to Mr. Brookes for plans and estimates of Netherton Church, be delivered into the hands of the Churchwardens, to be kept by them for general inspection of ratepayers.” Dudley, January 23rd, 1823. It was quite clear that Mr. Cooke was not consulted about the erection of St. Andrew’s Church at Netherton; nevertheless, that Church was erected, and has been a great blessing to many souls in that part of the parish.

February 2nd, 1823. “One Guinea Reward: Whereas, on Thursday last, about four o’clock, a party of young men (well-known in the town for their nocturnal exploits) was at that unseasonable hour riotously assembled to the disturbance of the peaceable inhabitants; were heard knocking at Surgeons’ doors, breaking of lamps and windows, and to threaten the life of an inhabitant; whoever can identify which of the party it was, who maliciously broke the windows of Mr. Samuel Cooke, shall receive the above reward.”


Died, April 25th, 1823, the highly esteemed Viscount Dudley and Ward, of Himley Hall, acknowledged to be “The rich man’s model and the poor man’s friend.” This benevolent nobleman spent his truly valuable life at his estate and amongst his numerous friends and tenantry, dispensing with rare judgment and true benevolence his continual benefactions. The noble lord was not only mindful of the well-being and interests of the rich, “but he ne’er forgot the poor;” and the thousands of colliers working in his extensive coal mines, and adding so much to his wealth and greatness, were at all times special objects of his fostering care.

In the obituary of a provincial newspaper was inserted at the time this just memorial:—“At his seat, Himley Hall, died on Friday evenin[Pg 7]g, the Right Hon. William, Lord Viscount Dudley and Ward, Baron Ward of Birmingham, and Recorder of Kidderminster. Though we hope we shall be the last to burn incense at the shrine of mere worldly greatness, yet we feel that it would be unjust to withhold from this departed nobleman the tribute of our sincere respect and gratitude. He did not suffer himself to forget that it belongs to those who are placed on an eminence, and entrusted with a superior portion of the goods of fortune, to be the almoners of Heaven; for it was his delight to encourage honest industry, to provide for the destitute, and to befriend every charitable institution in his neighbourhood. While he lived, his name, wherever it was mentioned, was accompanied with the poor man’s benediction; and now his honourable career is finished, his memory will be embalmed in the tears of the widow and the orphan; and he will sleep in that noblest of mausoleums—the bosom of the virtuous and the good.”

This good nobleman’s character was illustrated in a remarkable manner, which truly developed the gentleman and the kind hearted father of his people, in an event which well-nigh caused “a strike” amongst his numerous colliers. “Strikes,” such as we are periodically subject to in our day and generation, (too often projected and fostered by idle designing knaves,) had no existence in those times of a proper respect and feeling existing between master and man. This incident is worth recording if it be for no other purpose than showing that the noble master and his colliers were brought face to face without any underlings to distort the facts or prejudge the grievance. The person who then superintended his extensive collieries, judging it expedient to adopt a different mode of working them, introduced, from Lancashire, a certain number of miners to carry his plan into execution, which so exasperated the native workmen, that, shortly afterwards, not fewer than 3000 of them suddenly assembled and proceeded to the gates of his lordship’s park at Himley; thence deputing some of their body to state their supposed grievance to him in person, and obtain an order for the aliens’ dismissal. At the same time several of the neighbouring gentry resorted with all speed to the Hall, accompanied by magistrates to render their assistance. After the deputation was admitted and had stated their case, which his lordship desired they would do fearlessly and explicitly, he requested the attendant gentlemen would individually give their candid opinion “whether his agent had acted prudently or not in bringing the foreigners, as they were termed, into the neighbourhood.” The opinion being unanimous “that the mines in the strangers’ country being very different to the mines in this, the mode of working them is consequently different, and, however competent the men might be to work there, it was conceived that so utterly incompetent would they be to work here, that accidents to themselves might be apprehended, and great loss to their employer.” “Well then, gentlemen,” said his lordship, “from your judgment I must infer that the strangers in question have no business here.” Then turning to the deputies, in a firm and dignified tone he thus addressed them:—“go and tell those who sent you that the foreigners, as you please to style them, shall depart to-morrow, and if any injury be done to them the injurers will suffer for it. Tell them, also, that I concede the point in deference to the opinions of these gentlemen. Had their opinion coincided w[Pg 8]ith that of the person who brought the men hither I would have ordered them to remain, even if the mob now at my gates should proceed to pull down my hall over my head, and to bury me in its ruins.” Accordingly, the next day, the strangers departed in peace and safety, carrying with them an ample remuneration for their journey and loss of time. His lordship’s love of true liberty was most emphatic, for on one memorable occasion when importuned to allow his mighty influence to be used in controlling the civil freedom of some of the inhabitants of Dudley, he strenuously resisted the suggestion, and on being reminded that he had only to make his wishes known to ensure a compliance by his numerous friends, he nobly replied, “I believe I have many friends at Dudley, but I have no vassals there;” a sentiment that will honour his name when his monument shall be crumbled into dust. The venerable nobleman attained the good old age of 73 years.

“Thus, bow’d with age, must thou, O man! become
A time-worn ruin, on life’s beaten shore,
At last to moulder in the darksome tomb;
But, summon’d thence, thou shalt decay no more.”

This benevolent nobleman left one son (John William), who became a famous statesman, and was raised in the Peerage, as the first Earl of Dudley.

On November 11th, 1826, Messrs. Bourne and Sons, Solicitors to the Commissioners under the Town Act of 31st of George III, issued a notice to apply to Parliament for an amended Town Act, giving more definite power to the Town Commissioners to remove nuisances, obstructions, &c., and to supply the town with a good supply of pure water, and to further light and pave the same. A Ratepayer issued a placard on November 26th, 1826, condemning in strong terms the intended expense to the ratepayer, and “the unnecessary application for power to supply pure water to the then 15,000 inhabitants.” He says, “Water will never be brought to this town but at a great expense; if report be true, the estimate already given in is £17,000; he objected to have a rate levied for the purpose of supplying the town with water, of better lighting it, and of establishing a watch.” Poor benighted ratepayer, one would be tempted to think that he belonged to the nocturnal marauders complained of by Mr. Cooke above, for it is clear that he objected to a night watch; water at all events was supplied to the people of Dudley then at a reasonable price, and better quality and quantity than since the ratepayer ventilated his worldly wisdom.

“Grand Fracas between ‘Rough Joe and Nimble Dick.’ This was a turn up arising out of a misunderstanding o’er a bottle; Rough Joe was in his cups, or rather had given his twine an extra twist, and Nimble Dick had just received a load (not of barley) but of John Blewnose’s best. Rough Joe having something to do with rope, fancied he was calculated to rig; now rigging is too knotty a point for Joe, and altho’ he squared his yards as if used to pitch into ’em, yet it was evident to all present that Joe’s rigging was too coarse to stand long. Nimble Dick, who by the bye, has lately signalised himself in several skirmishes, one in particular, wherein he unfortunately fell foul of a lee shore; on this occasion he was all afloat, and advised Rough Joe to get off[Pg 9] his jawing tack, but instead of altering his course, he struck not his flag, but his fist straight ahead into the chops of his would-be pilot, which of course no chap could stand, so clearing the deck and doffing their dabbs, they duly prepared for a broadside, with plenty of seasover room. Joe rushing to work like a tiger, pawed, pinned, and played away, but ’twas all over, his puff was gone, and his friend the Nailer cried out bellowes to mend. ‘Its a spike to a sparrowbill.’ Dick, seeing his advantage, fought home, sent in a finisher that proved a closer to the Rough one, for his eye struck fire so vividly that a wag begged permission to light his cigar from the effect. All was now up. Joe weighed anchor, wished all rigging, and the lawyer to-boot, in a hotter place, and in answer to numerous inquiries, he replied ‘I’ll ha’ no more.’ We wish for the honour of the town they were better men; they ought to be so considering their condition.”

“N.B.—The profits arising from the sale of these are intended for the purchase of a pair of Asses’ Ears, to be carried in the procession of all our future Mayors.”—Vide Gornal Journal.

Future Mayors looked in vain for the asses’ ears, but alas for broken promises the ears never turned up; and as the author of the above recital doubtless was the owner of a pair of ears, it was at last charitably supposed that the ears were not forthcoming without the ass; and an exhibition of the ass would expose the author of this “squib” to what a donkey often gets—“a good thrashing.” Rough Joe and nimble Dick having no remedy, shook hands, and became better friends than ever.

June 24, 1826. “Five Guineas Reward.—Whereas late on the evening of the 19th some person or persons did wantonly break and pull down the lamp irons in front of the Independent Chapel, King Street. A certain young man of the name of F——s, and two of his foolish associates, were seen committing various depredations on that evening, compared with such persons colliers and miners are complete gentlemen.”

The constant practices of horse-play then so much in vogue with the young gentlemen of the period arose in a great measure from the very lax administration of public duty by the “Night Watches,” for the “Jarvy” of that period preferred a quiet snooze in his watch box to the solemn, lonely realities of a midnight perambulation of our then unlighted streets, lanes, and alleys; better days have dawned upon us, making our worthy citizens proof against such senseless follies.

Died, August 9th, 1826 (aged 60 years), Mr. Edward Guest, of New Street, Nail Master. This gentleman was a very zealous Churchman in his time, and it was mainly through the Rev. Dr. Brookes, Vicar of Dudley, and himself, that the old Parish Church (of St. Thomas) was pulled down and the present edifice erected on its site. Mr. Edward Guest was Churchwarden from 1815 to 1821, during the erection, and he had many discordant feelings to assuage, and regrets to palliate, arising from desecrations of the dead and disturbances in the old Church and Church yard. A mysterious disappearance of stone slabs and gravestones occurred at this time, and it has often been rumoured since “those good old times,” that a certain court yard at Dixon’s Green, is laid with grave slabs, “spirited away” from the Parish Church yard[Pg 10], and “Here lieth the remains” &c., on slabs is to be seen misrepresenting the supposed dust of departed souls, and doing duty in a private court yard as a footpath. Where, “Sacred to the Memory of Mary Jane——,” is a myth and a snare, for the slabs cover nothing but earthworms and mother earth. Who was the sacrilegeous sinner? August 14th, 1828. We find that a Ratepayer issued a placard, giving a copy of the Acts of 37, Geo. III. and 5, Geo. IV., in reference to unjust “Scales and Weights,” and says, “A demand has been made upon the Overseers of this Parish for £193 5s. for Scales and Weights, Interests, &c. In order that you may form a legal opinion upon this subject, and be the better prepared to discuss its merits at the examination of the Overseers’ Accounts, the annexed extracts, from the two Acts of Parliament, are submitted for your consideration by a Ratepayer.” The gist of the Ratepayer’s anxiety appeared to be, that it was wrong to charge the Ratepayers (through the medium of the Overseers) with the expenses of searching out evil doers (employers of short weights and measures), for the Acts enforce not only fines to the offenders, but that their weights and measures “shall be seized and broken up, and rendered useless,” and the materials thereof sold; and the money arising from such sale, with the fines, shall be paid to the County Treasurer. The fact, that £193 5s. having been expended in Dudley for that year would lead us to the conclusion that rather an extensive raid had been then made upon this class of public cheats, and the money was well expended if the evil was stopped, and the poorer classes afterwards got their legal weight and measure.


1829. This commodious Chapel was built and opened in 1829. The cost of the structure and land was £4100, and in 1866 the Chapel was considerably enlarged and beautified at an additional cost of £2094. Previous to the erection of this long-needed edifice, this section of the Wesleyan Congregation worshipped in a small Chapel in Chapel Street. This zealous body (of New Connexion Wesleyans) has largely increased of late years. They have also an excellent School in Rose Hill in connection with their tenets.

Died Nov. 24th, 1829, Mr. Squire Knight, Chemist and Druggist, of this town, (Aged 87 years.) This was a remarkable self-made man. Born of poor parents at Coseley in 1742, he succeeded in educating himself to an eminent degree, and in early life he was a Medical Botanist, collecting medicinal herbs himself and selling them in the Market Place on Saturdays. He eventually opened a Druggist’s shop in Queen Street, where he passed a long and eventful life. Mr. Knight belonged to the Wesleyan Methodists, and became an energetic local preacher. On the occasion of the Rev. Jno. Wesley, M. A., his brother Charles Wesley, and a Dr. Patterson’s visits in their itinerancy and preachings in the Black Country to the Collier population, they were joyfully entertained by Mr. Squire Knight. Mr. Knight was not only a diligent student of medicines, but he was also an amateur Astronomer, and left behind him at his death some very carefully prepared observations on the starry regions. Mr. Knight was both a successful and a benevolent old townsman, and much esteemed for his uprightness and integrity, and was followed to the grave by an immense concourse of people.

[Pg 11]


1830. July 16th. This new Church was consecrated and opened by the Lord Bishop Folliott this day. It was built at the cost of the Ecclesiastical Commissioners. The first Incumbent was the Rev. Arthur Miller, M. A. The body of this spacious Church was built to accommodate 1500 people, and the galleries contain 1000 free sittings. The foundation of this Church was laid by Dr. Booker, the Vicar of Dudley, on November 30th, 1827. On the awful visitation of the Asiatic cholera in England, (in 1831 and 1832) Dudley did not escape this dreadful affliction, which raged for eighteen months with awful violence and fatality in this parish. By the order of the authorities the cholera corpses dying in the parish were all buried in the north east side of St. Andrew’s Burial Ground, Netherton.

From this time to the period of the agitation on the great Reform Bill of (1832) we find no events worthy of record. The burning question of Catholic Emancipation received at the time its petitions to Parliament for and against the measure, in accordance with the expanded or contracted views of the petitioners; but the Vicar of Dudley (the Rev. Dr. Booker) failed not in his episcopalian views occasionally to denounce the contemplated innovation upon our glorious constitution, and to predict the evils that must follow the introduction of Roman Catholics into Parliament. The Doctor was an eloquent preacher and a noble, attractive figure in the pulpit, with a fine voice; during his many years’ ministrations amongst us, he upheld the true dignity of the Church, and endeavoured zealously to promote the glory of God and the salvation of the souls committed to his charge. A fine portrait of the Doctor is to be seen in the drawing room at the Hotel, Dudley.


During this period the agitation for Reform was monthly assuming larger proportions, and the mighty voice of the then unrepresented masses was knocking at the doors of the Houses of Parliaments with miles of petitions from all parts of the country, for “a Reform in the Representation of the People.” Dudley joined its neighbours at Birmingham and Wolverhampton in the cry for Reform (neither of which important centres of industry had any share then in parliamentary representation, save through their county members.) The serious aspect of passing events and political agitation, which was evoking most persistent demands for “Reform,” stimulated the great and eloquent leaders of that movement to introduce a “Reform Bill” into the House of Commons by Lord John Russell, on the 1st of March, 1831, “For leave to bring in a Bill to amend the representation of the people in England and Wales.

This sweeping measure was to disfranchise 60 “Rotten Pocket Boroughs” of most diminutive numbers of voters holding their rights under all sorts of curious conditions. These Boroughs then sent 120 members to Parliament; besides 47 Boroughs were to lose one member each, making 168 old members to be ejected from the House; this annihilation of “vested rights” was to be supplied by 34 new members to be selected by manufacturing towns, most of which had no Boro[Pg 12]ugh representation at all, and 55 additional members were to be added to the counties. Such a startling measure as this necessarily created a wild and frantic torrent of indignation amongst all classes concerned in maintaining the unjust and vicious system of mis-representation and jobbery, whilst those large towns (of which Dudley was one) were jubilant at the prospects of a new feature in those local privileges, “a Borough representation.” This marvellous debate extended over a period of thirteen long nights in the House of Commons, and was carried by a majority of votes.

It is almost needless to say that Lord John Russell’s speech, as published in the political life of the Earl, has become history, and was one of the most telling and searching exhibitions of close, clear, and comprehensive reasonings ever uttered in the British Parliament.


Mr. Joseph Hume says,—“But I must submit that in whatever way you view the question it is one of immense difficulty, because in the established institutions of this country any change from the worse to the better must always be attended with great difficulty, so far as individual interests and contending parties are concerned. It is with this view His Majesty’s Ministers have done wisely. I candidly confess that when the noble lord stated yesterday that it was not the intention of the Ministry to introduce any clause respecting altering the duration of Parliament, or Vote by Ballot, it struck me that the measure was defective in that respect.”

Lord Newark “Did not suppose at a moment’s warning it would put an end to all corruption, but it was the vainest of all possible expectations to imagine that reformed Parliament would not do more than anything else to abate the evil. He confessed that he had not been prepared for so sweeping a measure, and he hoped that they might be induced to modify it before it was passed.”

Lord Darlington “Thought the rotten Boroughs ought to be carefully observed, and when they were detected, should be deprived of their Charter, but he could never agree with those who sought to demolish the social structure for the purpose of erecting their own temple in its stead.”

Lord Stormont “Would not agree to the Ministerial Budget of Reform. He represented ‘Aldborough’ in Yorkshire. Now that borough happened to be surrounded with walls, and as the place was as fully occupied now as it was formerly, it was evident that no alteration had taken place in the constituency. According to the noble Lord’s statement, 163 members were called upon to pronounce civil death to their constituents; he, however, thought that there were not 168 gentlemen to be found anywhere who would be ready to vote their own damnation.” (Sensation.)

Mr. Macaulay. “For himself he could only say, that so far as he was able to consider the proposition of the noble lord during the last twenty-four hours, he thought it a great, noble, and comprehensive measure, a medicine most skilfully prepared for removing a dangerous distemper, a plan excellently contrived for uniting and permanently knitting together all orders in the State. They had forgot the attempts made to put down emancipation, and how fruitless those attempts had p[Pg 13]roved. Did they wait for a time when demagogues demanded again to divide the power in the Cabinet of the Government of this country? or did they wait for that worst of all resources in a conflict with public opinion, the fidelity of the military? If they did not, let them concede Reform, while yet concession could be made with advantage to the country. It was yet time to save the property of the country from risk, to save the multitude (who demanded reform) from its own ungovernable power and passion, to save it from that danger, which even a few days might expose them and the country to.”

Mr. Hunt. “The people of England had for many years past been anxious for reform, and in 1816, 1817, and 1819, had loudly expressed their wishes for some measure to amend the state of representation. He did not condemn the ministers for not going the full length (universal suffrage) of his views; on the contrary, if they had only gone for disfranchising one rotten borough, they would have had his support on principle.”

Lord Morpeth said, “If the House was prepared to say that the demand for reform was not proper, that the evil was not manifest, that the corruption was not glaring, that they might with perfect consistency determine not to give up a stone of Gatton, and to die in the ditch at Old Sarum, where there was nothing left now but a ditch to die in. He believed that the House would not so far outrage the sense of the community as to say that they would not so much as entertain the question of reform. Two extreme parties (Tories and Radicals) were now agitating the country; one was opposed to all amelioration, and the other advocated the worst species of reform, with a view of subverting the existing institutions of the country, and all the gradations of rank, society, and order. Between those two extremes the only safe path was the Conservative principle to which the measure led that was now submitted to the House; to that let them hold fast. By conceding what was just, wise, and honest, they would be armed with tenfold power to resist the dangerous principles of some now promulgated, which were unjust, unwise, and unsafe.”

Sir Charles Wetherell said, “It appeared then by this Bill 60 boroughs were to be deprived of their franchise, and the time-honoured right of sending 120 members to Parliament, and that 47 were to lose one member each, and in the whole 168 members were to be ejected from that honourable house. He did not wish to call this by an offensive name, but as a great man (Mr. Locke) said that things should be called by their proper names, he would call it by the name of “Corporation Robbery”—(sensation). The present Cabinet of the noble lord, and his associates, seem to have proceeded upon the precedent in the history of England which had been set by Cromwell, Fairfax, Milbourne, and Co. Those worthy regicides set about reducing the number of members of Parliament in their day, and this plan of cutting off the boroughs, and confining the number of members, had not the merit of originality, for it was almost the same in form, in substance, and in principle, as the Radical system of reform, which has been introduced by regicides when they established a Commonwealth in England. Did gentlemen recollect how many experimental governments were now afloat? Did they recollect that there was a smithy of political blacksmiths, where constitutions were constantly on the [Pg 14]anvil which was at work in making new fangled governments for all Europe. Let him be permitted, as he was in extremis, to utter the last expiring expressions of a dying member that Great Britain might not be added to the catalogue of experimental states, and that those visionary projects of His Majesty’s Ministers might not be realised. He had taken the liberty to call this measure a corporation robbery, and as there had lately been special commissions sent down into the country to enquire into the breaking of thrashing machines, he wished there could be a special commission issued from the Crown for preventing the breaking up of ancient and independent Corporations. There being no precedent for this confiscation of corporate property, he should be glad to hear from the Attorney-General upon what principle of law he would justify the present audacious attack upon the corporate rights of so many of those ridiculed places called small ‘rotten boroughs.’ He defied whether even he could lay his finger on a single page of the journals of that house which would at all warrant such an act of wholesale confiscation, aye of civil sacrilege. Then what he asked was the mode by which this amorphous body proposed to carry out their iniquitous measure? Why neither more nor less than a most audacious threat to dissolve Parliament in the event of their failure. The man who would be influenced by this audacious menace on the present momentous occasion would be nothing less than a rebel to his country—the man, he repeated, whom such a threat (uttered by any government) would influence, was a man wholly unworthy the name of a British Senator; was a recreant in morals; wholly deaf to the calls of conscience and English liberty. Within the last three days the house had been promised with a ‘purge,’ to which, as no name had been given to it, he would attach the name of ‘Russell’s Purge.’ Yes, he would call this bill ‘Russell’s Purge of Parliament.’ He held that the principle of the bill was Republican in its basis; it was destructive of all property, of all right, of all privileges; and that the same arbitrary violence which expelled a majority of the members from that house in the time of the Commonwealth, was now, after the lapse of a century from the Revolution, during which time the population had enjoyed greater happiness and security than was ever enjoyed by any population under the heavens, proceeding to expose the House of Commons, and the country again to the nauseous experiment of Pride’s Purge.”

The Attorney-General. “Surely his honoured and learned friend (Sir Chas. Wetherell) did not mean to say that Colonel Pride’s Purge had anything to do with Cromwell’s system of reform, for the periods of time at which they occurred were quite different. He would, however, ask his honourable friend and those who were acting with him, whether there was to be any reform at all? He had said that he was no enemy to representative improvement. When, where, how, and in what shape had his learned friend ever expressed himself a friend to reform? He had never heard such a sentiment proceed from him before. If they were advocates for reform to any extent, would they inform him of the plan, and how far it went? His learned friend had never brought forward a plan of reform, or expressed such a sentiment before that night. Corruptions abundantly had been proved, and the people of England had at length discovered that the evils which gave rise to such corruptions were no longer to be tolerated. The House of Commons[Pg 15] was called upon to redress it; and he was satisfied that the members of that House, as English gentlemen, would not hesitate to pursue their enquiries into the practicability of redressing it, by passing the present bill. If hon. gentlemen were inclined to say that no reform ought to be had, or only such reform as could be effected by an ex post facto law, or a detestable bill of pains and penalties, the country knew what it had to expect from them; but, if they said that reform was necessary, but that this plan of reform was not satisfactory, then he would ask them to try their hands at producing a scheme which would give them less annoyance, and would prove more beneficial to the public at large. He had the authority of Burke, Pitt, Fox, and Lord Chatham in his best and proudest days, that reform in the House of Commons was absolutely necessary for the preservation of the internal quiet of the country. Mr. Pitt had said, “that without reform no honest man would be, or could be, an upright minister.” It was the mere accident of Peers having purchased Boroughs, which made it worth while to consult them as to matters which ought to appertain only to members of that House, properly so called. He contended that this measure, far from being unconstitutional, was in strict accordance with the spirit of the constitution; to take the elective franchise from decayed and corrupt Boroughs, and send them to more populated and healthy places. He knew that there were some gentlemen who thought that the Attorney-General ought to be a sort of censor over the press; but let him tell those gentlemen that he could find occupation far more advantageous to the country than proceeding against those whose very violence prevented them from doing mischief, and only disgusted the people whom it was their object to excite and exasperate. There were other violators of the law who were much more dangerous to the public weal. Let them hear no more about vested rights, for now if a Peer chose to interfere, by bargaining and influence, to return members to the House of Commons, that Peer was not only guilty of a gross breach of the privileges of that House, but subjected himself also to indictment at law. The character of the people of England was well known, and it was not their character to approve and applaud acts of spoliation and robbery. It was not consistent with the fact to say that the people of this country had been a happy and contented people for the last century, for, on the contrary, it was true that during that time they had suffered much and severely from unjust measures of that House, which would never have passed into law if the people had been fairly represented in Parliament. Much had been said by hon. members about revolutionary measures, he believed in his conscience that this Bill was strictly within the constitution of the land, and the only measure that is calculated to allay the outside clamour for reform, and prevent revolution. His learned friend might quit this house a martyr to the cause he has espoused, but he would have the satisfaction of reflecting, that on one great question he had been the advocate of intolerance, and on another the last champion of corruption.”

Mr. G. Bankes. “The learned Attorney-General had referred to the plan of reform which had been introduced by Oliver Cromwell in his parliament, and had stated that Lord Clarendon had given it his opinion “that it was well worthy of imitation by other parties.” Now, let them but just see how it had worked. Every thing that was[Pg 16] absurd, futile, and ridiculous, it would appear from their debates, had taken place in this reformed parliament. As a test, however, of the merits of that reformed parliament, he should quote to the House the opinion of the parent of the measure after he (Cromwell) had tried it by experiment. On dissolving this reformed parliament the Protector Cromwell said, ‘My Lords and Gentlemen of the House of Commons, I had every comfortable expectation that God would make the meeting of this Parliament a blessing, and the Lord be my witness, I desired the carrying on the affairs of the nation to that end. Having proceeded upon these terms, and finding such a spirit as is too much predominant, everything being too high or too low, where virtue, honesty, piety and justice are omitted, I thought I had been doing my duty, and thought it would have satisfied you. You have not only disjointed yourselves but the whole nation, which is in the likelihood of running into more confusion in these 15 or 16 days that you have sat, than it hath been from the rising of the last Session to this day. And if this be the end of your sitting; and if this be your carriage, I think it high time that an end be put to your sitting, and I do dissolve this Parliament, and let God judge between you and me.’ (Cries of hear, hear.) Cromwell had given that parliament two trials, in the first instance five months, and the second 16 days; at the end of which he was compelled to dissolve it.”

Mr. Hobhouse. “He had listened to all that had been said on both sides on the subject of this debate, and he had not heard one single argument to show that there was any danger whatever that could arise, or was likely to arise, from adopting the project of the noble lord. Mr. Horace Swiss had expressed himself very much alarmed lest the present plan of reform should throw the elective franchise into the hands of shopkeepers and attorneys. He should like to ask where the elective franchise voted now? By the bill of the noble lord, the franchise would be thrown into the hands of that class which ought to possess it—namely, of people of a certain degree of property, and of those who had the greatest hold upon the higher classes. This was as good and proper a basis as could be proposed. It was scarcely possible to believe that any gentleman was sincere, when he expressed an apprehension, that a system of public rectitude and intelligence in electors would give vice and ignorance an ascendancy in the choice of representatives, and that a system of perjury, bribery, and corruption was essential to the attainment of virtue and knowledge. If those with whom he agreed in opinion had been accused of appealing to the fears of the people, he must accuse gentlemen opposite not of appealing to the fears of the people, but of doing what was infinitely worse,—they had appealed, by the worst of artifices, to the fears and selfish passions of those whom they called the aristocracy of the country. Could the gentlemen who now opposed the Ministry so violently make up a Government amongst themselves? A Ministry can only be formed on one of two principles—Anti-Reform or Reform—and so long as Ministers attempted to go on without a majority in the house in their favour, and the people outside against them, it was hopeless to expect tranquillity or security in the State. He asked the right hon. gentlemen and the house in the words of Poet Waller, in his famous speech on Episcopacy, ‘to Reform, that is not to abolish the Parliament.’”

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Mr. Baring. “He had sat in that House a many years; he had approved of many acts of his hon. friends, but when a question of this magnitude was brought forward he would state his opposition to it without apology. Those who supported this measure said, ‘let the king stand by himself; let the lords stand by themselves; let the people stand by themselves; let there be no mutual connection between them.’ Such was their doctrine, but such was not the constitution of this country. What grievance, he would ask, did any man suffer in this country from the action and conduct of the other House? Did they find those Peers pressing on them in any way? Did they find them making laws which were directed against the popular branch of the legislature? Did they not find that their rights and liberties were as well secured as those of the House of Lords? He knew of no such interference, and he was firmly of opinion that the mixture of different powers and interests in that House had been the great protector and promoter of public liberty. It was certainly right and just that large popular bodies should be represented; but could they, he would ask, allow that principle to be put in force without having something to counter-balance it? His noble friend had gone on a reforming tour, but he had taken care to make no stay at the Borough of Tavistock, (which he represented). By this plan Boroughs containing less than 2000 inhabitants were to be disfranchised, and 47 Boroughs, having 4000 inhabitants, were to retain one member. Would not Tavistock, which was to be retained, belong as much to the Duke of Bedford as before? He would have the same influence that he now possesses. If, however, great changes must be made, he should regret it, and he must say that all the intelligent portion of the country would view its progress with the greatest concern. Much of the excitement was caused by this being announced as coming from the crown, but he felt satisfied that, but for such announcement, the people would be satisfied with a much less sweeping, and much more moderate, plan of reform.”

The Marquis of Tavistock said, “It appeared to him that the government of this country had for years been carried on on principles of most unjustifiable and wasteful extravagance; that patronage had been kept up for the purposes of maintaining the influences of the Crown, and that which was known as Parliamentary influence, for the purpose of carrying on measures against the sense of the country. The people felt now that they had not their just influence in the councils of the nation, and they naturally sought for that change which would give it to them. He sincerely believed that the measure now before the House would give them all they reasonably could desire. He hoped it would curb the monopoly so long maintained by the higher orders, and give a fair expression of the sense of the middle classes. With this view he should give it his cordial support.”

Lord Palmerston. “Fondness for change he must say was not the character of the English people. They had always been remarkable for a tenacious attachment to their national institutions, affording in this respect a striking contrast to their neighbours, the French nation. We well know the difficulty of bringing the people to consent to any change in their laws, how long and difficult was the struggle which brought them to give up first the traffic in human beings, the accursed Slave Trade, and at a later period those laws which condemned a large[Pg 18] portion of the people to political degradation—he meant the penal laws against Roman Catholics. He contended that the people of this country sought for a change because the state of the country was such as to require it. The rock which the late government had split upon was their defiance of public opinion. They went on spreading wide the canvas of patronage as they proceeded—but that patronage, and the use they made of it, did not accelerate their progress, or increase their power, but proved to be their ruin. Taunts had been thrown out during the debate against those who like himself were great admirers of the late Mr. Canning. They had been taunted for abandoning the principles which that great man had adopted with respect to the important question of reform. He thought that the events that had taken place in that House since the death of that illustrious man might have taught those who had indulged in such taunts that public men might change their opinions on questions of deep national concernment without being influenced by any but honest and honourable motives. If any man took a great and enlarged view of human affairs—without doubt that eminent statesman did—he would venture to say that had Mr. Canning lived in these days, and stood in the same circumstances as he (Lord Palmerston) did, his great genius would at once have comprehended the necessity of the occasion, and would have stated in that House his well-known convictions of the necessity for a reform of the representation of the people. If any hon. member wanted to learn the opinions of Mr. Canning let him refer to his speech delivered in February, 1826, on the freedom of the silk trade, when he said ‘that those who resisted improvements because it was innovation upon old worn systems, might find themselves compelled to accept innovation when it had ceased to be improvement.’ He believed that the proposition would prove satisfactory to the country; he believed that there did not exist in any country in the world a body of men more entitled to respect and confidence than the middle classes of this country. He would venture to say that there was not a class of men more distinguished for morality and good conduct; for intelligence and love of order; for true loyalty to the king; for affection for the constitution; and in case of need for devotion to the country. To the manufacturing towns it was intended to give thirty-four members, and to preserve the just preponderance of the landed interest, it was proposed to add fifty-five new members to the counties. He would add that it was not talents under the present system that procured a man a seat in that House, but length of purse, the ability to pay agents and post-horses up to the fourteenth day. This was a great and practical evil, and this evil the Bill would do away with, for it would alter the distribution of the different classes, and bring the middle classes into communion with others.”

Sir Robert Peel. “He begged his noble friend to believe that he did not join in the taunts against him. He never could think that public men did not look to higher motives than a desire to retain their places when they were induced to change their opinions, and the character, the views, and the conduct of his noble friend afforded a sufficient guarantee for the purity of his motives. In his anxiety to find cause for blaming the administration which had preceded the last, his noble friend had said, that if in 1828 that Government had consented [Pg 19]to transfer the elective franchise from the rotten borough of East Retford to Birmingham, the House would not now be discussing the necessity for a general reform, for that single measure would have quieted the apprehensions of the people. But, if from such small events such mighty results would spring, it was incumbent upon the House to enquire what was the paramount considerations under those circumstances which now rendered it imperative to change the constitution of the country. Why did they not consent to the disfranchisement of East Retford? His noble friend had lamented that the voice of Mr. Canning could not now be heard in that House, and had assumed that his voice would have been raised in favour of this Reform Bill. God grant that voice might now be raised in that House, convinced as he was, that it would be raised to confound the fallacies and sophistries by which the public mind was deceived. He regretted that the name of the King should be obtruded upon the house day by day; and he could not dismiss from his mind doubts and fears as to the justice and expediency of this extreme measure of disfranchisement; but, granting that they did not exist, still it was a harsh measure towards the loyal bodies who were called upon to sacrifice privileges which they had long exercised; and even if it was justly introduced, why should the King be held out as the special author of the plan. Then, the House was threatened with a dissolution; in his opinion the chances of a dissolution were as strong if the measure were carried as if it failed. They did not think that if they rejected that bill it implied an aversion to all measures of reform! Upon the same principle those gentlemen rejected the ballot, and why was he not at liberty to discuss this bill? He had never been the person to excite the people to a pitch of frenzy, to spur their lazy indifference into an emulation of revolutionary clamour. If, therefore, this measure which common prudence would have forborne introducing at such a crisis in our foreign and domestic relations, when fresh causes of excitement ought to be very cautiously avoided; if, he said, this extraordinary measure should be defeated he would never allow that the responsibility of the disappointment could attach to him, or those honourable members who acted with him in that House. Some disparagement had been made upon the middle classes, but he did not participate in that sentiment; on the contrary, he should ever repudiate it from his heart, for he (personally) desired his strength from that order of society; he was one of themselves, and should always be proud of his connexion with the middle classes of this country. He had heard frequent allusions to Burke and Canning, and other authorities whose opinions had been advanced in the course of the debate, but he would quote a passage from a speech of the noble member for Tavistock (Lord John Russell), in the session of 1819, which he considered much more to the purpose, and was, besides being apposite to the question, one of the most beautiful specimens of eloquence ever uttered in that house. The discussion related to the disfranchisement of a corrupt borough in Cornwall. When asked what he would do with the unconvicted boroughs, he replied that he would consider a general disfranchisement of the unconvicted boroughs a reconstruction of the House of Commons altogether. He has therefore the noble lord’s own authority for so designating the present plan of reform. He then observed that ‘Old Sarum’ had existed when Montesquieu pronounced[Pg 20] the constitution of England the nearest to perfection of any which the most enlightened States had ever before experienced. When Lord Somers, and the other great legislators who flourished with him, bore attestation to its merits, it was open to the same objections which have since been urged against it, and when Hampden lost his life Rutland returned the same number of members as Yorkshire. Such was the noble lord’s judicious, and at the present moment timely, warning against the danger of rashly departing from the practical wisdom of mankind during the centuries of historic experience, proffered at the critical junction of 1819. With respect to the question before the House, he could not but declare that he saw in it but the instrument of men endeavouring to retain power. It was the inevitable tendency of the Bill to sever every link of connexion between the poorer classes, and that class from whom the representatives were now chosen. Now, this severing of the ties which connected the highest and the lowest classes was opposed to the practical working of the present system of representation, which enabled every class, in some way or other, to have a voice in the election of the members of that House. With regard to the influence of the oligarchy, he would ask hon. members to point out to him any attempt to subject the people of England to the sway of an oligarchy, or to establish any laws of exclusion or distinction among them. Up to this time no practical advantage had been held out to the House, as to the natural consequences of the change now proposed. All the reason that had been urged that it was necessary to conciliate public opinion. No better way of conciliating public opinion had been devised, than that of adding half a million of electors to the constituency of the country; but if that were a good way of conciliating public feeling, then, if another Government, wishing to participate in this popular favour, should add another million of electors to the constituency, would that argument meet with the same favour and success? Look at the question of reform in all its bearings—look at the parliamentary debates, and you will find that whenever the question was agitated some dire misfortune lurked behind. It was brought forward with great pomp of circumstances in the year of the rebellion in 1745; it was brought forward during the American war; it was brought forward at the commencement of the French war; and, to come to our own times, it was prominently brought forward in 1817, 1819, 1822, in a word, at every period in which there was either commercial or great agricultural distress in the country. Then, it was sure to find great favour with the people. It was brought forward also at the periods when the excitements of foreign revolutions misled the judgment of the British public, and, deluding them with a false love of liberty, rendered them discontented with the moderate freedom they enjoyed. Let us therefore be content with the well-tempered freedom that we now enjoy, and which we have the means of securing if we act with ordinary discretion. I lament exceedingly that the Government should have determined to have agitated such a vital question, as that of reform, at this particular crisis; it would have been wiser in my opinion to have avoided these new causes of excitement, for depend upon it by this process throughout the land the first seeds of discontent and disunion are sown. Oh, sir, I lament beyond measure that the Government had not the prudence to adhere to that course of policy, which, if they[Pg 21] did think it necessary to propose a plan of reform in this excited state of the public mind, they did not confine it within those narrow limits which are consistent with the safety of the country and the dignity of their own characters. They have sent through the land a firebrand of agitation; and it is easy so far to imitate the giant enemy of the Philistines as to send 300 firebrands carrying danger and dismay in all quarters, but it is not so easy when the mischief is done to find a remedy for it. In the present difficulty you should have the powers of summoning all the energies of life, and should take care that you do not signalize your own destruction by bowing down the pillars of the edifice of your liberty, which, with all its imperfections, still contains the noblest society of freemen known to the habitable world.”

Mr. Calcraft. “Solemnly declared his opinion that this measure must, in the end, convert this country into a Republic; and the trifling difference that existed between his noble friend, the opposition and himself, was this—that he was for reform, and the noble lord was for revolution.”

Mr. Wm. Duncombe. “He had listened to the proposition of the noble Lord, and in taking a retrospect of the whole debate he was compelled to acknowledge that there was much more of declamation in it than of argument, much more of assertion than of fact, and much more of fear than of resolution. He deemed it to be revolutionary with respect to the Constitution and Government of the country, and as it affected the people of England it was tyrannical and unjust. He had never consented to the disfranchisement of the Irish 40s. freeholders, nor would he ever consent to the disfranchisement proposed by this Reform Bill.”

Mr. Stanley. “Had anxiously listened to the discussions that had taken place in that House the last eight years upon the all-absorbing question of Reform, without having ventured to give more than a silent, though cordial vote in favour of the great principles which it involved. He confessed that he had heard the right hon. baronet (Sir R. Peel) with some sorrow, use, he would not say inflammatory language, when speaking of this measure, but declare that it would lead to revolution. It was not a revolutionary measure, no, but it was a new constitution. Now, his idea of revolution was this, that revolution was a great change effected in the constitution of a country by the use of unconstitutional means, and force, called by the extraordinary circumstances of the time into operation, and enabled, in consequence of the operation of those circumstances, to overthrow the constitution. When this was the case, let those who had always on principles of justice and of policy maintained and upheld this great question of Parliamentary Reform,—let them in bringing their proposition forward, without being told that they were endeavouring to overawe and intimidate the House, be allowed to advert to the situation of the country as a collateral argument in favour of the measure they advocated. He regretted as much as any man that the name of the Sovereign had been used in that House. He was sorry that that name had been brought forward in a manner which might be supposed likely to influence their decision. But the name of the Sovereign had been made use of in the public press, and to that he could only answer that the House had no influence over the public press. The hon. Baronet said, ‘Why has Government brought this Bill forward?[Pg 22] It is a bad time and ought not to be introduced now.’ In answer to this we would ask, what was the conditional pledge upon which Ministers came in and without which his noble friend (Lord John Russell) would not have accepted office. It was this, that they would bring in a measure of Reform. Now, with this pledge on their lips, with those principles in their hearts, which they had always maintained, they entered office. Now, what is the kind of advice the hon. Baronet gives them, he said, ‘Now, that you are in office, tell the people that the time is not convenient for Reform!’ If the Government acted on such a principle as that, then indeed a fearful responsibility would rest upon their shoulders. Dreadful would be the consequences arising from disappointed hopes, and high expectations blighted and falsified by the mean conduct of those upon whom the people had relied. But let the House look back for the last few years and mark the time, the money, and the talents which had been wasted in discussing useless questions with respect to boroughs charged with malpractices, inquiring, for instance, whether one voter received one guinea and another five, when it was notorious that boroughs were commonly bought and sold in the market by the proprietors. And, after all this labour and enquiry, what had been gained in the shape of any reform, not one great town, not one great district, had been added to those represented in that House. Not one corrupt borough had been deprived of the means of corruption. It was the opinion of Mr. Pitt, when he attempted to effect a reform in Parliament, that a certain line should be fixed to the disfranchisement of rotten and corrupt boroughs, and asserted, that in the earlier periods of the constitution, ‘That as one borough decayed and another arose, the one was abolished, and the other was invested with the right.’ He had been told some curious circumstances connected with the proceedings at Wareham. His hon. friend had informed him that on the occasion of his being chaired as one of the members for Wareham, he heard one elector say to another, ‘Pray, which is the new member.’ Why, answered the other, ‘Calcraft is one, and a friend of his is the other; but I never saw him, and I don’t know who he is.’ Doubtless any person recommended by his hon. friend would be highly respectable but he was elected without being at all known by the electors. For his own part he felt no alarm for the results of the Bill. By that Bill would be upheld the influence of the aristocracy as it was before; he meant that legitimate influence which they ought to possess, not the influence of bribery and corruption, nor the influence of direct nominations, for the only influence which the Bill would remove was that which was notoriously illegal. Ministers had come into office pledged to economy, retrenchment, and reform; these pledges they had redeemed. They had cut off from themselves and their successors for ever that corrupt patronage upon which heretofore so much of the Government depended. With these views of the measure before the House, he earnestly implored hon. members, by their sense of justice to the country, by their respect of what was due to the people, by their regard for the maintenance of that glorious constitution, what had been handed down to them by their ancestors, by their regard for the permanency of our institutions, and the peace and security of the state; he called on them by all these considerations, by their respect for the petitions of the people, for what might be lawfully asked and could not be constitutionally refused, to support His Majesty’s Government in their endeavour to[Pg 23] uphold and cement the legitimate rights of the Crown, the aristocracy, and the people, and, by so doing, to fix the whole as well as their own fame on the imperishable basis of the affections of the people.”

Mr. H. Seymour. “This measure proceeded not from fear, but from a desire to court popularity. It was an unjust attempt to reduce the power of the aristocracy, as well as of the lower classes. He contended that if the House was the corrupt body it was represented to be, it was incompetent to settle this great question. It was a measure devoid of principle, or if principle was asserted in some parts of the plan it was violated in others. It was broken through for some portion of the aristocracy to court popularity; if the constitution was to be violated in this manner, he would rather have no constitution at all. The whole measure was, in his opinion, one of deceit; it removed the direct influence which was seen, and left that which was much worse, the influence which it could not see, yet of which it complained. To a measure of that kind he could not give his consent.”

Mr. G. W. Wynn. “The constitution of this country was one of constant innovations and perpetual amendments; but admitting this, he thought such amendments ought to be gradual. Many changes which might be made with great advantage, would, if made at once, be found highly beneficial to the country. It was on this principle that he, from time to time, supported motions for the disfranchisement of boroughs which had been found guilty of gross corruption, and without any personal vanity, he might say, that he it was that drew the transfer clause to give the franchise of the corrupt Borough of Helstone to Yorkshire. He was aware that it had been said that the present measure, if agreed to, would preclude any further change; but if the measure was rejected, demands for greater changes would be made by the people. He had always thought that those great towns ought to have representatives, and he believed their possessing the elective franchise would be beneficial to the country.”

Mr. Tennyson said, “That he would support the measure of his noble friend (Lord John Russell), for he believed that it would put the representation upon a permanent and, he hoped, everlasting standing. The sacrifice he should make by losing his seat was nothing to him, but he felt bound to refer to his relative, Mr. Wm. Russell. That hon. member, by this present Bill, would be called upon to make a sacrifice of three of what are termed nomination boroughs; boroughs not purchased by him, but which had descended to him by inheritance; and he was willing to offer this £100,000, the value of these nominations, upon the altar of his country, in order to ransom her from that oligarchy which has too long held her destinies in their merciless and unhallowed power.”

Mr. Daniel O’Connell said, “That he looked upon the plan as large, liberal and wise, and he should give it his most decided and anxious support, for in fact it was an effectual measure of reform. It was well known that he was a Political Reformer, and that he was in favour of Universal Suffrage and shorter Parliaments; yet, though the measure did not embrace these points, it was still very liberal, and would be an experiment to prove whether any further extension was necessary. He was delighted with the mode in which the noble lord had treated the[Pg 24] close boroughs; he had applied the pruning knife to the rotten boroughs with a thorough masterly hand. Every part of the constitution was violated by their existence. We could venture to say that the mound of Sarum was a Constitutional Borough? Why should noble lords have the right to send members to sit in that House? Good God, was it to be sounded in their ears that the Lords were to send their members, one after another, in the most open and avowed manner into that House for these rotten and close boroughs; and was he to be told that they were about to commit robbery; that they were guilty of an unjust seizure of franchises? But who were the robbers? He never heard of a grant of a Charter from the Crown, or any Parliament, empowering any individual to send members to Parliament. No, the franchises were granted to them, and it was not that this act seized and destroyed them; but this act was intended to lay hold of the spoliaters of them. That House had no right to question the privileges of the House of Lords, but it had as good a right to do it as the lords had to spoliate the privileges and liberties of the House of Commons. The people out of doors talked good sense, they say, ‘you have got our property, you have spoliated our liberties, but you must disgorge them.’ God help those members who could crawl into that House and then talk of coming in without stooping. He would ask the hon. members for Bowbridge and Aldborough, if they could stand forward and advocate that system, which in the rotten boroughs gave annual debaucheries, and every six years (for 14 days) all that bribery, and corruption, and robbery could inflict,—was it fit that such a system of misrepresentation should stand any longer? Were not the nomination boroughs openly sold, and was not the price of them as well known as cattle in Smithfield? In 1822, the votes against Reform and Retrenchment gave a return of 19 votes out of 20, by members representing places not containing an average population of 500 persons. When they talked of the excellent working of the present Constitution, he would whisper a single word into their ears, ‘Ireland,’ that country, of whose people perennial starvation was the lot; he would call upon them to secure to that country the blessings of good Government, and to give to that House a fair and honourable representation.”

Mr. Coke said, “That he had been a member of that House for more than half-a-century, and during that long time he had watched the proceedings of parties, and the results of great questions, and he must say that every day he was more and more convinced of the necessity for reform. When he had heard that the noble Lord had made a resolution to do away with rotten boroughs he felt great confidence in the measure, and was convinced of the necessity of giving the administration his warmest support.”

Colonel Tidthorp. “Although there were many blemishes in the existing representative system of the country, he could never bring himself to consent to a remedy by the means of taking away the franchise, at one whole sweep, from so many people who had never abused the constitutional trust reposed in them. He could not but pronounce the measure in this respect to be most unjust and tyrannical.”

Mr. R. Grant said, “That they were told that the Reformers entertained the most extravagant expectations, and that the only use that they intended to make of the present concessions was to render them[Pg 25] subservient to the attainment of objects, remote, dangerous, and undefined. Had not the history of mankind assured them that the most effectual mode of resisting unreasonable demands was, to concede everything which reason and justice could claim. The people of England were entitled to the whole House of Commons, but in the debate they had been told that they were not to look for any such thing, that the Commons House of Parliament had never existed in the British Constitution, and that the House they had was not the House of Commons, but was something belonging to the Three Estates, it was the House of the King, of the Lords, and the Commons!!! In noting this argument he considered that he gave it its most complete refutation; the House to which he belonged was the Commons House, and nothing else, Peers and Bishops could not sit in it. It was vain to talk of maintaining the doctrines which had been broached in this discussion, in the present diffused state of knowledge throughout England, with the immense number of schools in every part of the kingdom, with the prodigious increase in Mechanics’ Institutions, and with all that could give an impetus to the human mind, it was vain to talk of arresting progress, or of blinding men to what interested them so deeply. The present state of the popular enlightenment demanded an improved legislature, and it would be at once dangerous and absurd, and unjust, to resist such a demand.”

The main features of this great Reform Bill were the disfranchisement of rotten small towns and places which had fallen into insignificance, and confer such franchise upon large towns and populations which hitherto had not any representation. The 40s. freehold vote for counties had existed for upwards of three centuries, but it was supplemented with a £50 occupation clause, and all borough votes were fixed at a £10 rental.

The effect of this sweeping measure was that 56 small towns and places, having a population of less than 2000, were entirely disfranchised. Thirty towns, having a population under 4000, hitherto sending two members to parliament, were reduced to one member; twenty-two large towns, not having had a representative, were supplied with two members each; twenty other smaller towns were allotted one member each. The remainder of the seats were added to the counties, some of which obtained two additional members, and others only one member.

The Reform Bill passed the House of Lords, on June 4th, 1832.

The debate on the Reform Bill in the House of Lords was of a very excited character, considering the usual gravity of the lords, and the following recital may be worth perusal:—

“The death of George IV. occurred on the 26th June, 1830. The question of Parliamentary reform belongs probably to the succeeding reign of William IV., at the opening of which—after the dissolution and general election—public feeling ran so high, in consequence of the declaration of the Duke of Wellington against reform, that the King was warned not to venture into the city to dine with the Lord Mayor. The scene in the House of Lords on the occasion of the King coming down to dissolve parliament is described as being ‘riotous.’ Lord Wharncliffe rose to propose his motion affecting the estimates; the Duke of Richmond was determined to defeat the motion, and inte[Pg 26]rrupted the noble lord by calling attention to the fact—on a point of order—that noble lords were not in their places, and moved that standing Order No. 1 be read, which renders it necessary that noble lords ‘shall sit in their proper places.’ The opportunity seized for this intentional interruption arose out of a noble earl having sat next to one of the junior barons of the House. Lords Londonderry and Clanricarde simultaneously rose to ‘order,’ Lord Wharncliffe protested, and Lord Lyndhurst delivered a violent attack on the Duke of Richmond, to which the latter retorted by threatening that if this ‘tone’ were repeated he would move that Standing Order No. 1 should be read, and further, ‘that the order should also be read which forbids the use of intemperate and offensive language in the House.’ Violent rage and angry gesticulation, it is reported, ensued. Lord Wharncliffe again attempted to resume his address, when the Lord Chancellor cut short his remarks by clutching the seals and darting out of the House. As the King advanced the noise of the altercation became distinctly audible to him, and he asked, ‘What’s that, my Lord Chancellor?’ To which the Chancellor replied, ‘Only, may it please you, sir, the House of Lords amusing themselves.’ The King having ascended the throne, the ‘Commons’ were summoned to the Royal presence. The Usher of the Black Rod (Sir Thomas Tyrwhit) on proceeding to fulfil the Royal command, found the Commons in a ‘state of turbulence and disorder.’ On the presentation of a petition for reform Sir Richard Vyvyan arraigned Ministers in an ‘offensive speech.’ Uproar ensued, amidst which Sir Francis Burdett rose to order. The Speaker declared Sir Richard in order, when Mr. Tennyson disputed the propriety of the Speaker’s decision. The Speaker decided that Sir Richard was in order. The latter then remarked upon the proceeding of any member questioning the decision of the ‘chair.’ What followed is very remarkable. Lord John Russell at once rose ‘to complain that any member should be blamed for so doing,’ and ‘denying that the decision of the chair was necessarily imperative in the House.’ The entrance of the Usher, above mentioned, put a stop to these turbulent proceedings, and the King informed his ‘faithful Commons,’ in a shrill angry voice, that he came down with a view to the ‘instant dissolution’ of Parliament. After all, our Parliamentary ancestors were not the orderly beings now-a-days represented; nor is it deemed desirable that their turbulent example should be imitated. The ancient Borough of Dudley obtained one member by the Reform Bill, but in Charles I.’s time it had two Members of Parliament.”

Dudley, like most rising towns, was keenly observing these great political movements, and as far as its influence went in the county elections on the reform question, it was considered that the reformers of Dudley were mainly instrumental in unseating Colonel Lygon at the county election on May 11th, 1831.

In anticipation that the town of Dudley was to have a representative in Parliament under the Reform Bill, efforts were made by both political parties to secure a preponderance of power and influence in this question, and we quote a requisition to the Mayor, in 1831, to hold a public meeting to consider this business.

To J. C. BRETTELL, Esq.,

Mayor of Dudley.

We, the undersigned, request you will convene an early meeting of the principal inhabitants of this town for the purpose of petitioning for a Moderate Reform in Parliament, and at the same time praying that any reform that may be[Pg 27] adopted may not include Vote by Ballot, Universal Suffrage, or Annual Parliaments.

Also to petition that our ancient privilege of returning two members to Parliament may be restored to us.

L. Booker, Vicar

P. Robinson

Wm. Lewis

John Booth

A. Hawkes

Thomas Badger

C. H. Molineux

John Roberts

Wm. Fellowes

Thomas Fear

B. Leadbetter

John Smart

Chas. Lucas

Jos. Windsor

John Owen

Wm. Izod

Thos. Griffiths

Edward Hollies

Joseph Guest

Edward Guest

Walter Williams

Sept. Badger

John Rhann

Wm. Fellowes, Jun.

John Williams

Whitehouse & Sons

William Chinner

J. S. Turner

Thos. Pitt Stokes

Richard Lakin

Chas. Homer

John Bagott

Alex. Gordon

Wm. Self

John Darby

Edward Foley

B. Dudley

Jos. Payton

Jos. Haden

Isaac Badger

C. F. Hewitt

Geo. England

Thomas Lester

Edward Terry

Edward Blakeway

Stephen Bullas

James Griffin

Samuel Paskin

Chas. Bunn

John Hodgetts

Joseph Cox

Thos. Cox

Edward Marsh

Joseph Royle

with seventy-four other signatures.

Dudley, Feb. 7th, 1831.

This highly respectable requisition to the Mayor seems to have awakened the indignation of “An Inhabitant,” for the following hand bill appeared!


Some Gentlemen, having signed a Requisition to Mr. Brettell (the Mayor), but doubtless in ignorance of its real contents, to call a Meeting of the principal Inhabitants to support a Moderate Reform in Parliament, that is in effect, no Reform at all.

Arouse!!! and assert your dignity of character and right to Independence, and your abhorrence at tampering with Vice, for no honest men would wish the partial but entire Reform of vicious habits and principles.

Attend then the Meeting, which is to take place to-morrow morning, at the Town Hall, at 11 o’clock precisely, and by your Vote avenge the insult offered to you by this impudent Requisition, and shew the arrogant few that the many constitute the principal inhabitants of this Town, and at the same time do your duty to yourselves, your families, and your country, by demonstrating by your voice and votes that nothing short of the removal of the whole of the evils which oppress us will satisfy the just demands of an insulted and suffering people.

[Pg 28]


Dudley, Feb. 9th, 1831.


Fellow Townsmen,

As some of you may not be aware of the essential importance of the Vote by Ballot, I take this opportunity of stating a few of its advantages:—

It will effectually destroy bribery and corruption, as it will be in vain for any candidate to purchase votes when he cannot possibly know on which side the elector will vote.

Vote by Ballot is the only means by which we shall get the House of Commons filled with men of principle, who will manage the affairs of the Nation in a way so as to relieve us from oppressive Taxation, and eventually to secure prosperity to every class of the community.

If we exclude Vote by Ballot we are giving up our own right of choosing a representative to persons who, from some local circumstances, may have influence over us.

Beware of signing any petition for MODERATE REFORM, which excludes Vote by Ballot, as a Reform of that nature will only increase our present burdens, and our National sins, inasmuch as it will cause Bribery to be still more extensively practised, and render still more universal those appalling scenes of Electioneering dissipation.


Dudley, February 8th, 1831.

This Townsman little dreamt that Vote by Ballot, which we now enjoy, would be the very means of encouraging bribery and corruption continually.

Both Colonel Lygon, M.P. for the County of Worcester, and Mr. Abiathar Hawkes, Glass Manufacturer of Dudley, appeared to have anticipated an election, for they issued their addresses.



In the event of the Ministerial Bill of Reform being carried into a Law, this Town and Parish will enjoy the distinguished privilege of returning a Member to Parliament.

Should that be the case, I beg to announce to you my intention of offering myself as a Candidate, and if I am deemed worthy of your kind support, and obtain through your Suffrages the high object of my wishes, I pledge myself to serve you faithfully, diligently, and honestly.

I have the honour to remain,


Your faithful and obedient Servant,


Kingswinford, March 12th, 1831.

[Pg 29]Mr. Hawkes having signed the Requisition to the Mayor in favour of a moderate Reform Bill, was then looked upon as a moderate Reformer, but a stern advocate for Church and State; he eventually came out as a decided anti-reformer.

Colonel Lygon, M.P., was already one of the Members for Worcestershire, but his recent Votes on the Reform Question, had created much disunion amongst his supporters.



When I had lately the Honour of being returned one of your Representatives in Parliament, I little expected that it would be necessary so soon to address you again; but seeing in the County Newspapers, that an Opposition is preparing against me, I feel it an imperative Duty to come forward with an Avowal of my Sentiments, and in Vindication of my public conduct. The Accusation is that I voted against Lord John Russell’s Reform Bill. Gentlemen, my Conscience and my best Judgment revolted at this Bill; so violent in principle, so hazardous to our well-balanced Constitution, the envy of other countries, the safety of our own. I am by no means an enemy to such Reform as Time and change of circumstances may have rendered necessary; but let calm, and deliberate caution attend the Measure, neither spoliating the Property of some, nor destroying the Privileges of others; such a Measure shall have my best support. I can, with truth say, that the retrospect of my public life, whether in a Military or Civil capacity gives me no reproach; I have served my Country independently, honestly, and faithfully, to the best of my judgment, ever anxiously promoting the wishes of my Constituents, never asking favour for myself. Let, then, the trial with my Opponents come when it will, I will meet it fearlessly; resting on the Integrity of my own intentions, and on the support of those numerous friends, who now voluntarily offer me their Services.

With the greatest Gratitude and Respect,

I am, Gentlemen,

Your very faithful and obedient Servant,


Grosvenor Place, April 19th, 1831.

This ambiguous address of Colonel Lygon’s created a vehement outburst of opposition from the reformers against him, thus—[Pg 30]


Brother Freeholders,

A factious opposition, and the intrigues of the selfish Boroughmongers, have postponed that highly beneficial and absolutely necessary measure of Reform introduced into the House of Commons by His Majesty’s Ministers. Our patriot king, however, highly approving of the principles of his ministers, and determined that the Bill shall not be crushed, or his own and his people’s rights longer withheld by the vile machinations of the Wetheralls, the Lygons, and the other partizans of corruption, has exercised his undoubted right of dissolving the Parliament, and “England now expects every man to do his duty.”

On every occasion when Col. Lygon has voted he has opposed Reform in every shape—however bit by bit—however moderate—and now he adds to his political delinquencies, Insult and Hypocrisy. In his Addresses, “he begs most explicitly to declare that he is friendly to moderate and constitutional Reform, to remove any abuse or improper innovations which time may have introduced.”

Yet he voted against transferring the Elective Franchise of East Retford (convicted of gross bribery and corruption) to Birmingham!

He is friendly to a moderate and constitutional Reform, yet he opposed the Marquis of Blandford’s Bill!

He is friendly to a moderate and constitutional Reform, yet he voted against Lord John Russell’s motion to transfer the Elective Franchise from boroughs (convicted of corruption) to Leeds, Birmingham, and Manchester! Is not this hypocrisy? If not, what is it? With these facts before the public—facts known to every individual in the county—he insults them by sending forth An Address, of which the assertions above quoted form a part, imagining that the Freeholders in the County of Worcester have minds so contracted, and understandings so degraded and debased, that a shallow hypocritical device like this would dupe them for a moment.

Freeholders, this Colonel Lygon again solicits your votes, that he may again oppose the beneficent and patriotic intentions of His Majesty’s Ministers—again oppose every measure beneficial to the people. You know your answer.


Dudley, April 23rd, 1831.

[Pg 31]

Read! Mark! Learn! and Inwardly Digest!



An Address to you from Mr. Mytton has just now been published. He has an equal Right with myself upon your notice; though in this act of his it has not my participation—it however obliges me to declare my intention of setting forward a Canvass, which otherwise, on account of the immediate day for collecting the sense of the County at the Nomination, I had forborne to do.

Your obedient,

Faithful servant,


Buildwas Bridge, Sunday Evening, May 1, 1831.



First Lesson.

And it came to pass in the days of a mighty Monarch, that he called forth his mighty men and Counsellors, and said unto them, “Go forth every man unto his place, and if ye are approved of, return ye; and if ye have not served my people faithfully, return ye not. But let my people choose for themselves, those that will counsel with my people, that they speak their will before me, and plead for them to the intent that I may make them a great and happy nation.”

And of the two men who represented the ancient and loyal County, even that great County, Worcester, one was not found faithful, and the people murmured greatly, but the Elders and Rulers of the County said, “We will return those Men, let us make haste,” they said, and they did so; and in the morning, when they were in the Judgment Seat, going to return those men, the men of the County said one to another, “Will no one deliver us from the man we dislike?” and they were overwhelmed with despair, for fear of that awful Man which some of the Elders had elected, having £50,000, lest he should destroy their liberties, and bring them to bondage for ever! And there was sojourning that way a MAN OF WAR, and the people ran unto him within a few minutes of the expiration of the last hour, and said unto him, “Deliver us from our oppressors,” and the MAN OF WAR said, “I will deliver you;” and suddenly there was a shout of joy which rended the air, and those of the Judgment Seat were sore afraid, and said one to another, “What meaneth this?” And when he appeared, the Elders and Rulers of the County were struck dumb, and the hand of oppression withered at his presence, and the MAN OF WAR said, “I am come to offer myself to represent you in the Great Assembly, in the place of the man who is not approved of,” and the people shouted,

[Pg 32]




Second Lesson.

After these things the MAN OF WAR passed over and came unto a place called the HUSTINGS, in the land of the LYGONITES, over against WORCESTER, and great multitudes followed him.

And the children of the land rejoiced greatly because of him, for he was a mighty man of valour.

And the Chief of the LYGONITES went forth to meet him, and asked him, saying,—

Wherefore art thou come?

And the MAN OF WAR answered and said, for deliverance of the needy am I come, that the poor may rejoice, and the heart of the humble be glad.—

Then the LYGONITISH leader asked him again, knowest thou not that this country is mine? that I am chosen of the Elders of the Land?

But he answered Verily I say unto you, though the Elders have chosen thee, thou hast purchased them with Bribes;—yea, they have received the wages of iniquity.

And when the Chief of the LYGONITES saw, that by words he could prevail nothing, he set his army in array against the MAN OF WAR,—and the battle joined.

And lo, the Chief of the LYGONITES, caused men of foolish minds to enlist under his banners, and they fought till the going down of the sun.

And on the morrow they hasted to the Battle, and the army of the MAN OF WAR gained the VICTORY!

After these things there were great commotions and troubles; and the noise of their tumult was heard afar off.

For the Chief of the LYGONITES gathered other servants together, and fought against the MAN OF WAR:—But he could not prevail.

Then was heard great rejoicing, for the people were glad.

And they sung—“Rejoice, and be exceeding glad!—break forth into singing, for the victory is won!”

“For the enemy came forth like a flood; and terrible was his army of banners!”

“But he has fallen from his high estate, and his name shall sink into the dust.”

“Yea; now are the mighty fallen; and the doom of the oppressors is sealed!”


Down with the Boroughmongers.


[Pg 33]

Chapter I.

And George the King died and was buried with his forefathers, and King William the Fourth reigned in his stead, over the Land of Great Britain.

2 And this King William did that which was just and right in the eyes of the wise and prudent, and was to his people as a blessing from heaven.

3 He opposed robbers of the public treasury, the plunderers of the people, the oppressors of mankind, the sacrilegeous—hypocrites, and evil doers, and all such as did succumb to them, and brought on them shame and confusion.

4 And it was on this wise:

5 A certain man of ancient extraction, and of great repute, an Englishman, called John Bull, from various causes fell sick, and was grievously ill-treated by those to whom he trusted to be preserved, and from their machinations was become as one going down to the Grave; for many of his Members were exceedingly filthy and corrupt—disgusting to the eyes of men to behold.

6 Now it came to pass there were certain good ministers of the people, who beheld with horror the state of this man, and shuddered at the contemplation of the baseness and iniquity of the workers thereof.

7 And they straightway proceeded to the King, and he giving audience, they reported unto him what they knew concerning this matter.

8 And the King was wrath and sore displeased at what he had heard.

9 Then the King commanded them, saying, call me an assembly together, both of the good and the bad, and set this man’s case before them, so that searching diligently into the truth, we may relieve his affliction and punish the aggressors.

10 They went forth from the King’s presence and did according as he had commanded them.

11 And when that which had passed was made known to the evil doers, they consulted amongst themselves how they might repel the attack, and still hold on in the system of hypocrisy and plunder: and they, with one accord, cried what law is there to prevent the continuation of our practices, and who shall say unto us, “so far shalt thou go and no farther:” and they went forth, hardened in their sin, to attend the assembly.

12 And the people cried, lo! behold them bold in their iniquity, for shame hath not tinged their cheeks.

13 And the assembly being met, the man’s case was commanded to be heard: And the man groaned bitterly and cried unto the good ministers “Save me or I perish.”

14 And one of the good men arose, and said unto the assembly, hearest thou what this man sayeth, and addressing himself unto the evil doers, he saith, this thing needeth amendment, for the life of the man standeth in jeopardy.

15 And this good man with the assistance of another, like unto himself, who had grown Grey in the service of mankind, prepared a remedy, and he stood up and declared it aloud unto the[Pg 34] assembly, saying,

16 Let the Members of this man that are become so filthy and impure, so corrupt and nauseous to the sight, and so poisonous to the man’s whole body be forthwith severed therefrom, that the more wholesome part may not be endangered; for without this he cannot be saved.

17 And he, proceeding, said let us make him a draught that might purge him of the filth within him, so shall he once more enjoy health.

18 And this draught is called “Russell’s Purge” unto this day.

19 When he had thus spoke the good men rejoiced exceedingly and approved of his counsel.

20 But the workers of iniquity, who sought their own gain, though at the life of the man, cried most vehemently against it and said, shall our places be taken from us and given unto others? Shall we lack our fees which we were wont to receive? Shall those Members be cast away that afforded us such profit and source of peculation? Shall the rottenness be purged away on which we and our understrappers feed? Oh! unjust sentence.—Alas! our hope is withered.—And Oh! ye our faithful Servants, who like fattened maggots have so gloriously gorged upon this man’s body, thy day of Short Commons is come.

21 And the Debate was of long continuance, for seven successive nights rested they not from their labours: and the hopes and wishes of mankind were great:

22 But the wicked dwelt not so securely as they in their vanity imagined, for the good men prevailed, and this was made known unto the King and the People.

23 And the King was wonderfully well pleased, and the people shouted their gladness.

24 And John Bull failed not in giving honour and praise to the King and his ministers; But he said unto the workers of iniquity—

O! ye hypocrites whom I have cherished with my substance,
And who have polluted my body,
Thy day of Punishment—the day of retribution, is at hand.
Thy baseness and cupidity are made known to all men,
And for these thy works,
Know that Tribulation treadeth hard upon thy heels,
And mankind shall curse thee with the curse of bitterness.

25 And the people cried Amen. So be it.

26 And they went to their homes rejoicing—praising the Saviours of their Country, and crying aloud—

Heaven’s blessings on our Ministers and supporters—

“God save the King.”

(Thus endeth the First Chapter.)

£50,000 REWARD.


[Pg 35]

At St. Stephen’s, Westminster, on the 19th of April last, an OLD MILITARY CLOAK BAG, containing Colonel Lygon’s Popularity; the Tie by which it was held had been long weak and flimsy, and it finally gave him the slip at the above spot, along with that of an Old Trooper, one General Gascoyne.

The advertiser cannot but deeply lament the loss of this Garment, as although much soiled and worn, he had hoped with a little occasional patching it might have proved a good strong covering for himself and family, for many generations, and as he valued it more for the facility it afforded him of forwarding his own Views at the Horse Guards (in which he found it highly serviceable) than for any application he made to the service of the


he is very desirous of being reinstalled in possession, or of procuring some other Garment that may enable him again to enter St. Stephen’s, he therefore offers the above Handsome Reward for its discovery, which will be paid on application to LADY BEAUCHAMP!!

He more particularly appeals to the Attorneys of this and the adjoining Counties, and he trusts from the large Reward offered, they will exert themselves to the utmost to effect the restoration either of the lost Garment, or to procure him another that may pass for the original, and which from their known fertility of expedient, and the abundance of Funds at their disposal, he hopes they will have little difficulty of doing; but as he apprehends that in future more attention to DECENT APPAREL and CLEAN HANDS will be required at St. Stephen’s than heretofore, he requests that any counterfeit Garment may be made of decent stuff, as he wishes to sit near Sir ROBERT PEEL; Rat-skin will do provided the Fur is tolerably disguised and the smell removed.

N.B. It is strongly suspected that the said Garment has been picked up and converted into a SPENCER by a Sailor who has been much about the County lately, and who wears an old Whig, with a placard with REFORM stuck in it; he may be easily discovered as he has grown a great favourite with the FREEHOLDERS, and is followed all over the County with shouts of


Dudley, May 11th, 1831.



A voluntary resolution of upwards of 360 Workmen in Stourbridge and its Neighbourhood has been entered into for the purpose of having no further communications with those persons who were in opposition at a Meeting, held in this Town on the 2nd of April, 1831, against LORD JOHN RUSSELL’S REFORM BILL.

The BILL, the Whole BILL, and Nothing but the BILL!!



I come among you as a stranger, and having certainly no personal pretensions to the honour of your representation; but I am informed that no approved second Candidate, belonging to your County, has offered himself to you on the principle of an unqualified support of the great measure of REFORM, proposed to the late Parliament by His Majesty’s Ministers. This Bill I am assured, you deem to be of vital importance to the state, and are anxious to secure, as far as depends upon you, its success, by returning two Members equally and fully pledged to it. My political principles being those of my brother LORD ALTHORP, I am emboldened to aspire to the high distinction of representing you, for this Parliament only, under the unequivocal pledge of voting for that most indispensable measure of Reform, to its full extent, whenever it shall again be brought forward. I hope that in taking this step for the attainment of such an object, I am not justly chargeable with presumption; and allow me to add, that it is only in consequence of the deep conviction I entertain of the necessity of the constitutional Reform, which His Majesty’s Ministers have brought forward, that I venture at all, under these circumstances, to offer my services to your notice.

I shall with the least possible delay pay my respects to you personally; and have the honour to be

Your humble Servant,


Althorp, April 26th, 1831.


In your election of a County Representative, you are called upon to shew yourselves to assert your Independence, by affording your support to a Man who will endeavour to promote your Interests by a conscientious discharge of his Parliamentary Duties. Tell the self-styled Aristocratic Supporters of COL. LYGON, that you will not compromise your Birthrights; that you will not be intimidated, and that

Gold shall not prevail;”

but that by unanimity and the identity of your cause with yourselves, you will Stand or Fall. Tell them again, and tell them [Pg 37]too, you use no undue influence, but that the justice of your cause constitutes its strength. Tell the partisans of oppression (who lament their Candidate’s loss of Interest less than their own) that you will return a Man who will bring to maturity the Plant nursed by your Patriotic Monarch and his Ministers.

Rise then, Brother Freeholders, and by your energy preclude the everlasting stigma being attached to your County of its representation being any longer considered the PATRIMONIAL INHERITANCE of the LYGONS!

Let me, I conjure you, by all the ties which bind Man to Man, to give effect to the great and glorious Cause in view; let it be your pride that you have defeated the Machinations of Party, and that you have given to your Country a Member who will emancipate you from the thraldom of Family Influence! let then our cry be “God for England, Spencer, and our Cause.”

I am, Brother Freeholders, Yours Faithfully,




Why?—BECAUSE Captain Spencer’s BROTHER is CHANCELLOR of the EXCHEQUER; and a Place in the Treasury, with a Salary of a Thousand Pounds a Year, will be no inconvenient or disagreeable REFRESHMENT after the Expense of a contested Election.

So much for Mr. Foley’s INDEPENDENCE and INTEGRITY.

Kidderminster, May 10th, 1831.



FIRST DAY191131206
SECOND DAY370301288
THIRD DAY361321200
FOURTH DAY323280263
FIFTH DAY279252178
Majority in favour of389150

Committee Room, Bush Inn, Dudley, Wednesday, May 11th, 1831.


Oh dear, what can the matter be,
Dear Oh, what can the matter be,
Oh dear, what can the matter be,
Tories are dying away.
They flatter’d, they promis’d, they pledg’d, and intreated,
The Whigs to let Sutton the turn-coat be seated,
But brave Abercrombie their forces defeated,
In spite of all Bobby could say.
Chorus.—So it’s Oh dear, &c.
Though Francis was absent, and Stanley was praising
The Tories, whose Gridiron was fearfully blazing,
Yet brave Abercrombie with prowess amazing,
Soon drove them all out of his way.
Chorus.—So it’s Oh dear, &c.
Their Captains and Corporals so fond of excess,
Bet great odds on their Manners, their Speech and Address
But the brave Abercrombie soon left them to guess,
How to finish their comical play.
Chorus.—So it’s Oh dear, &c.
Old Billy the Emp’ror who stood far away,
Expecting the Vict’ry was struck with dismay,
When the brave Abercrombie’s men shouted Huzza!
Huzza for Old England, Huzza!
Chorus.—So it’s Oh dear, &c.
Poor old Billy who never could fight nor yet preach,
Expected that day to have read a long speech,
But the brave Abercrombie whom none can impeach,
Made Billy and Bob run away.
Chorus.—So it’s Oh dear, &c.
So frighten’d was Billy and “Buy-a-Broom” too,
That his Speech for a few days he couldna’ get through,
But the brave Abercrombie and all his brave crew,
On Tuesday forc’d Billy to bay.
Chorus.—So it’s Oh dear, &c.
Great numbers of Tories who join’d the retreat,
Of Old Sutton, refus’d with old Billy to meet—
Abercrombie for fear of another defeat,
So they wisely kept out of the way.
Chorus.—So it’s Oh dear, &c.
Their flag they have “hoisted and nail’d to the mast,”
’Twill suddenly ’neath the proud ocean be cast,
But brave Abercrombie’s for ever shall last—
And Reformer’s shall carry the sway.
Chorus.—So it’s Oh dear, &c.
As for Nosey who acted supreme for a week,
The Bold Hero of Ney and the friend of Old Nick,
’Gainst the brave Abercrombie is worse than a stick,
And Old Nick will soon take him away.
Chorus.—So it’s Oh dear, &c.
Then let’s stick to our colours and give ten-times-ten,
To the Members who’ve prov’d themselves true Englishmen
To brave Abercrombie again and again—
[Pg 39]Success and a hearty Huzza.
Chorus.—So it’s Oh dear, &c.

Town Hall and High Street, Dudley, 1832.


To the Editor of the Birmingham Journal.

Sir,—I was much surprised on receiving your paper of last Saturday, to find a most impudent statement made by Mr. John Williams of this town, relative to his exclusion from the Bowling Green. In my opinion, he only met with his deserts, for it is an invariable rule with us to cut any person who differs from us in politics. It was our wish that Colonel Lygon should have been again returned to Parliament for the County of Worcester, and of course expected no opposition; it was, therefore, with feelings of the deepest indignation, that we saw Mr. Williams’s name announced as Chairman of the Committee of a rival Candidate, in direct opposition to Lord Dudley’s agent, the meek and amiable Chairman of Colonel Lygon’s Committee. Yes, Sir, Mr. Williams is right, in saying it was the election and that alone, which was the cause of his expulsion, and surely it was enough to rouse the blood of Englishmen (accustomed as we have been to rule the town) to find our power gone, and our influence laughed at by the party which Mr. Williams espoused. Our feelings are so tremblingly sensitive on this point, that one of the gentlemen whose names have been so unwarrantably exposed, actually dined with Mr. Williams, at his own table, and from it walked down to the Bowling Green Committee, and voted for his expulsion, so that we do not allow private friendship to interfere with public duty; and as we have, besides, the sanction of two intelligent County Magistrates, we have little to fear.

It is a source of poignant regret to us, that none of the other members of the Reform Committee could be punished in the same way, for although for the most part composed of highly-respectable individuals, yet as we wished to keep the “Green” select, we did not send them any invitation to join us, for we have been long accustomed to love unanimity, and if persons thinking differently from ourselves on public matters, were to be admitted, there would be no end of discussion, which we much dislike, having but few talkers amongst us, and others not choosing to give their opinions to be carped at by their opponents.

We have been taunted with having signed the Reform Petition a few months since; but what of that? Surely we have as much right to support and vote for an anti-reform candidate, as we had to sign a petition praying for reform. And, moreover, what has supporting a candidate to do with our having signed a petition? What if Colonel Lygon has opposed all reform? What if he be an enemy to Civil and Religious Liberty? What if he has been the undeviating supporter of the reckless expenditure of the [Pg 40]people’s money? What is all this to us? We could always afford to pay the taxes! We have thriven under the old system! and yet we are to be told, forsooth, that we have forfeited our consistency, in supporting a man, than whom a more consistent being does not breathe. He subscribes a few pounds annually to our charitable institutions, and we are really fearful lest these should be discontinued now that his political connexion with us has ceased. Such are the consequences to be dreaded from this new state of things. It was very strange Mr. Williams could not take his dismissal quietly, without publishing his disgrace in the newspapers, as it never was intended, out of a sincere regard for his feelings, that it should be known beyond our own circle.

I am, Sir,


Dudley, June 9th, 1831.

(From the Birmingham Journal of June 11th.)


March to the battle field,
The foe is now before us,
Each heart is Freedom’s shield,
And vict’ry’s smiling o’er us;
The great St. Paul, with tripe and all,
We quickly made surrender,
In proud disdain we’ll break again
Each Tory link asunder.
Who for a Campbell brave
Would shrink ’neath Tory power?
Who our just cause to save
Would rest e’en for an hour?
Our noble cause,
Our homes and laws,
’Gainst Tory power sustaining;
We’ll hold in spite
Of Tory might,
Or die our rights maintaining.
Haste to the poll, my boys,
The foe is near expiring,
The Tories all have lost their joys,
And homeward are retiring.
[Pg 41]The great St. Paul,
With tripe and all,
You quickly made surrender;
In proud disdain,
Then break again,
Each Tory link asunder.

The old town of Dudley, with the outlying hamlets of Netherton and Woodside, having been created into one of the New Reform Parliamentary Boroughs (allotted to send one Member to Parliament), the whole town became awakened to its newly endowed responsibilities, and many an ardent admirer of his native town rejoiced in the fact that Dudley had been restored to its ancient Parliamentary honours and privileges, which had been taken from it, viz.: disfranchised by Oliver Cromwell’s Parliament for its fidelity to the Royal Stuarts. As a matter of course, Dudley proclaimed for Reform, and there was no gainsaying the opinion that the new Reform Bill had made Dudley into a real borough; therefore, we must have a Reformer to sit for Dudley. The old Tory party thought different, and considered that the world was going wrong, that revolution and the destruction of Church and State was near at hand, despite the exuberance and hilarity of the Reformers; and they succeeded in inducing Mr. Abiathar Hawkes, a local Glass Manufacturer, to issue his moderate Reform Address, conveying the impression that the man was to be elected for some virtue in himself, not for his pronounced political opinions.

However, Mr. A. Hawkes soon retired from the attitude that he and his too zealous friends had strung him up to, for he retired before the first election came on in 1832, and his place was supplied by the well-known Tory, Sir Horace St. Paul, Bart. The Reformers in the new borough were far from falling asleep, and after one or two futile efforts to procure a local candidate, they succeeded in inducing plain Mr. John Campbell, Q.C., from Edinburgh, to fight the first battle of Reform in the maiden borough of Dudley. Sharp and fierce was the contest, but as the majority of the 800 electors were somewhat raw and green at electioneering adventures and tactics, they did not come up to the style and vigour of electioneering “pleasure and relaxation” which was witnessed at our hustings and in our streets in later years. The close of the poll shewed Mr. John Campbell the winner.

1st. ELECTION, 1832.

1. Mr. John Campbell, Reformer318
2. Sir Horace St. Paul, Bart., Tory229
Majority for Campbell89

Thus the Reformers of Dudley distinguished themselves at their first effort at electioneering, and happened to secure the election to St. Stephen’s Hall of one of the soundest lawyers of his day, besides becoming one of the most accomplished Historians of his country, for Lord Campbell’s “Lives of the Lord Chancellors of England,” can never die in historical readings.



Delivered on the Hustings, on Monday Dec. 10th, 1832, being the day of Nomination of a Candidate for that New Borough.

On MONDAY last the election for this borough commenced. The candidates are Sir HORACE St. PAUL, a high Tory, and Sir JOHN CAMPBELL, the Solicitor-General. A great proportion of the houses in the town were decorated with laurel, and exhibited the colours of the Solicitor-General; and on Monday morning public enthusiasm was wound up to a great pitch in favour of Sir John. The hustings were erected immediately in front of the Town hall, and at 9 o’clock Sir John Campbell, accompanied by his committee and numerous other friends, made his appearance, amidst the loud cheering of the populace. Sir H. St. Paul shortly afterwards arrived from the Hotel, and was greeted with mixed sounds of approbation and displeasure. The latter, however, greatly predominated. The applause appeared to proceed from, perhaps, some 200 special constables and the more immediate friends of the hon. baronet. The necessary oaths having been administered to Mr. Cornelius Cartwright, the Returning Officer, and other formalities gone through,

Mr. Cartwright expressed a hope that the electors would discharge the duty imposed upon them with temper and moderation; and, by doing unto others as they should wish to be done by, display a truly Christian spirit. If they did this, whatever might be the issue of the contest, they would secure the reward of an approving conscience, and though then divided, the town would again subside into a state of peace and happiness. (Hear, hear.)

Mr. Dixon, on rising to nominate Sir Horace St. Paul, congratulated the electors of Dudley on their being now qualified to return members to the representative branch of the Legislature, and he hoped, for the credit of the town, they would send that man who, from knowledge, connexion, and political principles, would prove their most faithful representative. He was about to propose as a candidate for their suffrages, a gentleman who had large property in the neighbourhood, and who was in every way a fit and proper person to return as their representative to Parliament. He begged to nominate Sir Horace St. Paul. (Great hooting, with slight cheers, and cries of “No tripe.” Sir Horace, we believe, nightly treats the supporters with tripe suppers.)

Mr. Salisbury had great pleasure in seconding the nomination of Sir Horace St. Paul, as a gentleman, from his well known honour and high integrity, well qualified to represent the borough of Dudley in Parliament. (Groans.)

Mr. Twamley, who was received with loud cheering said, however inadequate he might be to perform the task he had undertaken, he solicited their attention while he offered a few words on the glorious, happy, and momentous occasion on [Pg 43]which they were then assembled. (Cheers.) He had to introduce to their notice a gentleman as a candidate for their suffrages, who had long been before the public, a gentleman of great talent and commanding eloquence, and who was competent to do every good to the country which it was possible for any individual man to do. (Cheers.) It gave him, Mr. Twamley, supreme felicity and pleasure to propose Sir John Campbell, as the representative of the borough of Dudley in Parliament. (Loud cheers.)

H. Braidley, Esq. then presented himself to second the nomination of the Solicitor-General, when he was vehemently opposed by the friends of Sir Horace St. Paul, on the ground that he was not properly entered in the register. It appeared that by mistake his Christian name was stated on the register to be John instead of Henry. Being thus disqualified as a voter, it was contended that he had no right to take part in the election proceedings. The point was argued at length before the returning officer, by Mr. Whitcomb the barrister, on behalf of Sir J. Campbell, and by Mr. Hildyard, on behalf of Sir Horace St. Paul. Mr. Whitcomb contended that the act had provided for any misnomer and wrong description, and that it was merely necessary when such a mistake occurred that the party claiming a vote should swear at the time of election that he was the person described “as A B” in the registration. The returning officer, after receiving a protest from the friends of Sir Horace, allowed Mr. Braidley to proceed.

Mr. Braidley, again presented himself, and was again assailed by the interruptions of the Paulites and the cheers of his friends. Having at length obtained a hearing, he began by observing the glorious cause having triumphed, he then came forward to second the nomination of Sir John Campbell. (Loud cheers.) Who was his opponent? Sir Horace St. Paul,—a Tory, who during the 20 years he had had a seat in Parliament, had on all occasions given his silent vote in favour of all the wasteful and extravagant expenditure incurred by successive Tory Governments. (Groans.) Within the last few months, as far as the scope of his abilities would permit, he had done all in his power to destroy the elective franchise, which the people panted for, and which they now enjoyed; and yet had now the daring assurance to ask the electors of Dudley to exercise their new privileges in his favour, and return him as their representative. (Groans and hisses directed at Sir Horace.) The time was now arrived when the electors must honestly perform their duty to themselves, to their children, and to posterity. Let them throng early and eagerly to the poll, and the triumph of Sir John Campbell, whose nomination he seconded, was secure. (Loud cheers.)

Sir H. St. Paul was received with loud cheers by his friends, and the most uproarious disapprobation by his opponents. It then became his duty to address the electors of Dudley, and would preface what he was about to say, that he should not offer any observations of a personal nature as regarded his hon. [Pg 44]and learned opponent. He bore no enmity to the learned gentleman nor to any of his supporters; and he hoped the contest would be conducted, and if possible concluded, in perfect good humour on both sides. The political principles he had hitherto entertained he still adhered to, and should ever continue to maintain them. (Loud disapprobation.) He had held those principles when they were in good report, and now, when they were for a short time out of favour, he should not cowardly abandon them. (Groans, with applause from the Paulites.) His principles had ever been those of practical economy, and it was upon these principles he acted when he opposed the present Ministry in the grant of 5,500,000l. to pay the Russian Dutch loan. (Cries of “Oh, oh.”) He recollected, and they would all bear in mind, that this sum came out of the pockets of the industrious labourers. (Cheers from the Paulites.) Again he had opposed the sum of 800,000l. guaranteed to the new King of Greece. What, he would ask, were all the trifling savings effected by the present Government compared with those enormous items of expenditure? Upon the same principle, when Parliament assembled, and he was returned as their representative, of which he had not the slightest doubt, when His Majesty’s servants came down to the house—a most disgraceful war—(immense uproar, shouts from the Paulites, and groans from their opponents,)—he claimed fair play—he said a most disgraceful war, for it could lead to no good, but at the same time occasion great depression and ruin to the English trade. Many who now heard him already felt its disastrous effects. If the trade of the manufacturer by this war—this damnable war—(great uproar,) They must excuse him, he could not but speak strongly because he felt strongly. He could not but think of the sufferings of the inhabitants of Antwerp, forced to leave shelter and property, subject to the peril of foreign and intestine war. He was, however, about to state, that if in England, the merchant and manufacturer suffered from this disgraceful war, the sufferings of the artisans and the industrious working classes must be much greater. Formerly, the man who opposed the Government was deemed an independent man. He who now opposed the present Administration might, he hoped, claim the same character. (Laughter.) Before he concluded, he might be allowed to allude to one other circumstance. Englishmen had hitherto been considered as being particular lovers, and particularly proud, of their country. They were always proud of the flag under which they had fought and conquered—a flag respected throughout the whole habitable globe,—he alluded to the old English union jack, which, by the bye, was their English tricolour. Why, then, should an Englishman borrow the colours of the French? (alluding to many tricolour flags waving from the windows of the houses in the opposite street.) It was bad enough to think what had occurred within a few weeks under that flag, without being publicly insulted by its exhibition in the streets of an English [Pg 45]town. Formerly, the English navy knew nothing of a French ship in her ports except at the tow of an English ship; but recently, to the disgrace of the British Government, her fleet had been placed under the command of a French admiral, in fact, under the auspices of the French flag. It was for wars like these their pockets were drained, and the national character humbled. The Government and its supporters might talk of economy,—but while they merely talked of economy they practised extravagance. Under the British flag their heroes had fought, and conquered, and had died,—and God forbid that Englishmen should ever be ashamed of it. The hon. candidate retired amidst most conflicting demonstrations of opinion.

Sir John Campbell presented himself amidst the most deafening cheers, which lasted some minutes. He was proud to present himself before the electors of Dudley, and solicit their suffrages as their member in the first reformed Parliament. (Cheers.) It had been said by his enemies that he was only supported by the rabble. Let them look at the rabble that stood around him. (Cheers.) First, he was proposed by a venerated inhabitant of the town, than whom a more respectable individual did not exist in the world. He alluded to his friend Mr. Twamley, who for half a century had lived respected and beloved in the town, and who was now enjoying an ample fortune as the reward of his industry and integrity. (Cheers.) The next of the rabble (laughter) by which he was surrounded was his friend Mr. Braidley, against whom a strong effort had been made by a quibble (and it was only from such quibbles that any doubt could be entertained of his, Sir J. Campbell’s, success) to deprive him of the power of taking any part in their proceedings. Through the impartiality of the returning officer that attempt had failed, and he (Sir J. Campbell) had been honoured with the support of Mr. Braidley. Another of his rabble was his friend Mr. Foster, (cheers) a gentleman at the very head of the most important manufacturing concerns in the district, and who employed more men than all the rest of Sir Horace St. Paul’s friends put together. (Loud cheers.) Indeed, he believed he had the good opinion and suffrages of the vast majority of the respectable inhabitants of the borough of Dudley. The individual who now presented himself to them was no stranger; they had known him, and he them, for a long course of years, accustomed as he had been to practise among them in that profession to which his studies had been chiefly devoted. In the course of his practice in that profession he had been called to defend his friend Mr. Cooke, whom he saw near, who was prosecuted, or rather persecuted, by the Tories of Dudley, for doing that only which he thought it his duty to do, (cheers) and through his instrumentality he might assert he escaped unmerited punishment. He (Sir J. Campbell) was not, however, alone known to them by his professional practice, but also as a public man. He Would defy any man to produce, during the time he had the honour of a seat in two successive Parliaments to find a single sentiment or a single vote he ever gave against the rights and liberties of his country. His friend, Mr. Foster, one of the rabble (laughter) [Pg 46]had sat side by side—many a weary hour they had spent within the walls of the House of Commons. They invariably supported the interests of the people. (Cheers). But where was Sir Horace St. Paul? He would take care to say not one word discourteous of the hon. baronet, but as a public man he had a right to comment on his political conduct. Never then, when the ayes or the noes went, were his friend Mr. Foster, and himself, to be found in company with Sir Horace St. Paul. His hon. opponent was always against the bill, and anything but the bill. He (Sir J. Campbell) had been much amused with an expression of Mr. Dixon on moving the nomination of his opponent. The gentleman set out by congratulating the electors of Dudley on the obtainment of the elective franchise. Now this struck him as singular, for having anticipated such dreadful consequences from the bill, instead of terms of congratulation he should have expected terms of condolence. (Laughter and cheers). Mr. Dixon ought to have commenced—“Electors of Dudley, I condole with you on this melancholy occasion,” and instead of the brilliant colours now exhibited by his opponents they ought to have been habited in mourning and crape. They who thought the constitution had been overturned ought not to make it a subject of congratulation, but of condolence. In the language of defeated men they ought to say “We are beaten, but we will do all in our power to restore Old Sarum and Gatton, and the rest of the rotten boroughs, and perpetuate every abuse, both in church and state.” Sir John, after indulging in a strain of happy ridicule, said if Dudley, at the present time, returned an acknowledged Tory, the town would be for ever memorable in the annals of infamy, for he believed that there was not one new borough in either England, Scotland, or Wales, except Dudley, where an Anti-reformer had dared to show his face. In some of the old boroughs, where corruption in a degree existed, Anti-reformers had presented themselves as candidates; but he believed Dudley was the only new borough in which a candidate professing such principles had offered himself. He could not believe that the electors of Dudley would stain themselves and posterity with such unspeakable discredit (Cheers). It could not be, for he knew that, with few exceptions, it was with the electors of Dudley “Campbell and Reform.” (Loud cheers). If they were ashamed of the franchise which had been conferred upon them, they would return Sir Horace St. Paul. (Cheers). He (Sir Horace St. Paul) had told them, as a honourable man, that he entertained the same principles that he had always professed; that he was the advocate of again enslaving and enthralling them under the mastery of those under whom they already smarted. Sir Horace was for the old state of things, although he claimed their suffrages under the new bill. He (Sir Horace St. Paul), to be consistent, would say, reform being bad, the sooner we revert to the old state the better. He would support a bill to disfranchise Dudley, and support another to enfranchise Old Sarum. (Cheers). The repeal of the Reform Bill was considerably too desperate a measure ever to be expected, and the object of the Tories was therefore directed to the [Pg 47]destruction of its objects, and if possible to render it a mere dead letter. It would indeed be a dead letter if the constituency of England returned anti-reformers—men who had exerted all their power to prevent reform in the church, the law, and the state. The Reform Bill would prove no good to the country unless they returned to Parliament, which the King’s writ had just issued to assemble, men prepared to carry out into beneficial effect ulterior measures, which its framers and supporters contemplated, when by their efforts it became the law of the land. (Cheers.) The learned gentleman went on to state, that when he first offered himself for the representation of Dudley, he was induced to do so by a highly respectable body of requisitionists, and that, although since that time he had been requested to stand for other boroughs, both in England and Scotland, where it was supposed he would be returned with less difficulty, he had declined doing so, because every day brought with it fresh reasons for his rejoicing in his original determination to stand for that borough. After once pledging himself to the electors of Dudley, he should have considered himself the basest of mankind had he deserted them. (“Why don’t you go to Stafford?”) Some gentleman called out Stafford. He could only say, that he had no doubt if he had gone to Stafford, he should have been returned, as well as other places, with little trouble. He had already contested that borough with a gentleman whom he saw standing near him, and one of his present opponents (Mr. Hawkes), although that gentleman then went to Stafford under the colours of reform, and he (Sir J. Campbell) had in both cases defeated him. (Cheers). He repeated he had no doubt that he should have been returned for Stafford without difficulty, but he considered he should be more honoured in being returned as the first member for the virgin borough of Dudley. (Loud cheers). The resolution he had formed he had no doubt would be crowned with a glorious victory. (Cheers). The learned gentleman was about to enter into certain charges of intimidation he had to prefer against a supporter of Sir Horace St. Paul, but first wished to be informed by the returning officer whether, if he mentioned the name of a person, the accused would be allowed to reply.

The Returning Officer, said, any gentleman whose name might occur in the discussion should certainly be heard in explanation.

Sir John Campbell was glad to hear that declaration from the worthy Returning Officer, as he could then have no difficulty in naming the gentlemen to whom he alluded, and calling upon him to explain the circumstance he (Sir J. Campbell) was about to detail.

The Returning Officer said if Sir J. Campbell was about to bring forward any matters of accusation against private individuals, he would rather that he refrained from so doing. He did not think the present the time for discussions of that matter.

Sir John Campbell said he purposely and advisedly put the question to the Returning Officer, as he was unwilling to [Pg 48]mention the name of any gentleman, as connected with certain transactions, unless the party accused had an opportunity of defending himself. He should certainly, under such circumstances, not mention the names of those who had been guilty of the most disgraceful intimidation; but if the ballot should be introduced, he could with safety predict that it would mainly be owing to the exertions of the Tories. (Cheers.) Supposing it should be introduced at the next election, they would doubtless then congratulate the people of Dudley upon the ballot as they now did upon the elective franchise. The learned gentleman said he knew of many acts of intimidation, but he was happy to say that in several instances they had proved unavailing. He then went on to state, that since the last time he had presented himself before the electors of Dudley he had accepted office under the Crown. Enjoying the confidence of His Majesty’s Ministers, and the favour of his Sovereign, he had been appointed his Majesty’s Solicitor-General. He thanked God, however, that he believed he lived in times when no collision was likely to occur between the duties of the King’s Solicitor-General and the electors of Dudley. (Cheers.) The British constitution, when in healthy operation, worked harmoniously together, the privileges of the Crown and the rights of the people being equally for the protection of both. Could any charge be brought against him for accepting office under Lord Grey? Did the people of Yorkshire censure Lord Brougham, after his election for that county, for accepting the Lord Chancellorship? No; when in office he laboured only still more efficiently to carry into effect the measures he had advocated and promoted when out. He (Sir John) assured the electors of Dudley that he would not hold office one moment longer when he found by so doing he was compromising the liberties, interests, and happiness of the people. (Cheers.) The moment he found he could not hold it consistent with his principles he would resign. (Cheers.) The learned gentleman next proceeded to reply to Sir Horace St. Paul on the Russian-Dutch Loan, and to defend, in eloquent terms, the Government on that question, of which he gave a succinct history. The fact was, when Lord Grey with his ministry came into power, they found a treaty in existence, made by their predecessors the Tories, and which they found they could not fail to fulfil without a complete breach of national faith. Almost the whole of the Tories admitted that according to the spirit they were bound to pay the guarantee to Russia, and it was only by a quibble such as had been brought against his friend Mr. Braidley, that they attempted, for the purpose of embarrassing the ministry, to set it aside. As to the Greek Loan, that, too, was a job of the Tories; but he confessed, unlike most Tory jobs, he approved of it, for it was nothing more than a guarantee, if necessary, to enable the Greeks to withstand the Tories of Turkey and the Conservatives of Constantinople. Every nation of Europe that possessed one spark of liberty was anxious that the Greeks should be [Pg 49]emancipated from the slavery of Turkish tyranny. Sir John next entered into the Belgian question, and defended the policy of the British Government at great length. He described the present state of affairs in Holland and Belgium as the result of Conservative influence in this country. With regard to the colours which the hon. baronet remarked were so conspicuous in the distant vista before him, he (Sir John Campbell) was not surprised at his consternation. The banners of the Solicitor-General were to be seen at almost every house in the long street opposite the Market-hall. He had no doubt, though he was the last man to inflict pain, that the hon. baronet was literally appalled at the fearful exhibition which then presented itself before his astonished eyes. (Cheers.) If they could walk through the streets of Dudley, they would find 200 similar flags; flags all bearing the emblem of British loyalty—the crown; all denoting respect and admiration to King William IV. (Three cheers for the King.) The learned gentleman, after a long and eloquent speech, called upon the electors of Dudley to come speedily to the poll. He assured his opponent he should not make any vexatious opposition, nor demand the administration of any unnecessary oaths. Sir John Campbell concluded a speech of about an hour and half in length amidst the most vehement cheering.

After a few observations from Mr. Hawkes, a late opponent of Sir J. Campbell for Stafford, the Returning Officer put the question as to the nomination of the two candidates, when it was decided by a large majority for Sir John Campbell. The friends of Sir Horace St. Paul immediately demanded a poll, which was fixed to commence at 8 o’clock on Tuesday morning.

The meeting then broke up, and the supporters of the Solicitor-General walked in procession through the town.

(From the Times, December 12th, 1832.)

1832. At the time the late Mr. Thomas Hawkes won his first political spurs, as M.P. for old Dudley; he was the head of the glass trade in this town, and we could then boast of having five large glass houses in full operation in our midst, employing at the time upwards of 1,000 hands. Since that time the glass trade has nearly departed from Dudley, and we have now only one glass works amongst us—viz., that highly respectable firm of Messrs. John Renaud and Son, at the foot of Tower Street, once the celebrated firm of Messrs. Guest, Wood, and Guest. The glass trade seems to have migrated to Wordsley and Brettell Lane, for that is now a large centre of glass manufactory.

The establishment of a Mechanics’ Institute in Dudley during the last fifty years has undergone many phases of decline and prosperity, for at thi[Pg 50]s early period a feeble effort for securing and maintaining a Mechanics’ Institute was made by holding a Reading and Lecture Room, with a touch of political debate, in New Street; and the late Rev. John Palmer, A.B., Unitarian Minister, took great interest in its promotion, and his subjoined lecture, delivered to the Institute on Monday, October 14th, 1833, testified his energetic efforts in its promotion.


The circumstances under which the mechanic is usually brought forward in life, are in a national point of view, as well as regards the individual, deeply to be deplored.—England has obtained celebrity all over the world for the skill and ingenuity of her workmen; but her reward has not ended in a mere name: she has experienced the more gratifying testimonials of seeing the wealth of the world in her ports, to pay her for her superiority in Arts and Manufactures. Indeed, if we trace England’s greatness to its source, we shall find it issuing from the labour and ingenuity of her operative classes. Her agriculture is adequate to the support of a small portion of her population only, and it is to her manufactures she must look for the maintenance of the remainder. It is from the same inexhaustible source that her armies have been sent to every shore, and her fleets to every sea; it is from the same source that her power and energies are everywhere seen rising in such gigantic forms, and executing such incredible operations; it is from this, too, that her philosophers are wise, her poets eminent, her statesmen eloquent: this is her universal spur to industry; remove it, destroy the manufactures of England, and her greatness is annihilated by the act; a universal palsy seizes on her powers, her resources, her genius, her name. Is it not then of the first importance that she should look on her mechanics, those who hold the germ of her eminence, with a favourable eye? Is it not the duty of her statesmen to view their country’s greatness in its cradle, and to anticipate the means best calculated to bring it forward to the best and most vigorous maturity? Yes, it may be replied, and this is already done; have we not schools in abundance for the children of all classes, have we not schools national, schools congregational, army schools, navy schools, public schools, private schools, was ever country so be-schooled as this is?—Alas! the education of our youth is miserably defective. I do not desire to put down the schools that now exist, but I should wish to see others of a much different kind established. The education now universally afforded is merely mechanical. The intellect is but little taxed, and, less still, amused by it. What is the amount of instruction [Pg 51]penuriously dealt out to the children of our mechanics?—why, to know how to read, to mind their stops and emphasis in proper places, to write and make up pecuniary calculations, and this being done, their education is finished; they are then sent to learn their trades; the system of mechanical instruction goes on; the hands and feet and fingers must practise such and such motions by which such and such results are produced; and after all it is often found that a better workman may be constructed out of materials of wood and iron.

It is melancholy to reflect how large a field of literature has been thus left uncultivated. I lately wanted information respecting the iron trade; I desired to know what internal or chemical change takes place in the metal in its progress through various states: and I have not been able to discover that more than one simple and popular treatise on the subject has ever issued from the British press. The French have been more inquisitive on these important subjects, and some English chemists have noticed them in a desultory manner. But a full, familiar, and popular treatise on this great source of our country’s wealth is a desideratum reflecting the greatest disgrace on the system of education pursued throughout the country. It is impossible that the philosopher who sits down in his study to propound theories on subjects connected with arts and manufactures should be able to bring as much information to the task as is known to the practical man; and it is equally useless to hope that the latter can turn his experience to the same account as if he were acquainted with the peculiar knowledge of the theorist. At the first meeting of this society, I mentioned an anecdote of two individuals employed in the humble but useful calling of stone breakers; one struck each stone as it happened to lie before him; the other observed that stones broke easiest in certain directions; he applied this observation to his employment, and was thereby enabled to earn considerably more than his companion. Now this fact was known to the theorist long before, and under a proper system of education, should have been more especially known to him whose bread so materially depended on it.

I constantly observe in the streets and highways, as strong an instance as need be adduced to point out the necessity of a better national instruction. Waggons are drawn by teams of horses to the number of four or even five, placed one after the other. Now a knowledge of mechanical forces would shew, that the nearer the exerting force is placed to the draught, the greater the power; to speak in technical language, the power is inversely as the square root of the distance—thus, if one horse be nine feet distant and another sixteen (the two horses applying equal strength) the horse nearer the draught will draw four pounds for every three drawn by the more distant; for these numbers 4 and 3 are the square roots of the numbers expressing the distances 16 and 9 feet: or in other words, three horses at 9 feet distance will do as much as four 16 feet, or as 5 at 25 feet. Horses then in draught should always be put in pairs; there is an obvious inconvenience [Pg 52]in increasing the breadth of the team; and besides those stationed too far on the side, may be as far from the centre of gravity of the draught, as if they were placed in front of the others. The want of scientific knowledge occasioned our ancestors incalculable trouble and expense. I will explain this by their aqueducts: should we require to convey water from the top of a hill or mountain to another of equal elevation, the object may be easily and at little cost effected by placing united pipes through the intermediate space, and allowing the water to enter at one end. It is obvious that it will find its level, it will run through the pipe where it has entered, and having filled the lower portion, will rise on the opposite side until it has attained the elevation at which it entered the pipe on the first hill; but before this simple principle was known, it was deemed necessary to find a level for the water; immensely high and broad walls were raised from mountain to mountain, while to save some labour and to afford some convenience, arches of proportionate magnitude were built, spanning the valley below, and on the top of this structure a canal was formed, over which a stream of water, dearer in many instances than Setin or Falernian wine was conveyed. The Architects in those days could not have been more uselessly and absurdly employed, if their genius were exercised in inventing diving bells, to secure the sea horse from drowning, or in constructing steam paddles to assist the whale; their employment was more preposterous than that of “painting the lily, or flinging fresh perfume o’er the violet.” Scientific knowledge can be a burden to none, and there are few indeed that it may not benefit. Even the frugal house-wife, who with her family partakes of the evening cup of tea, may practise a little useful economy by knowing a simple chemical principle. Some alkalis have a superior power of extracting the colouring matter from vegetables. In the tea plant, the essence which we extract by infusion is identified with this colouring matter; hence, if I put into the tea pot, during the process of infusion, a small quantity of the carbonate of soda, I shall draw forth a larger quantity of the essential tea-principle, and, of course, I shall have my tea stronger; or if I have a respect for my nerves, a less quantity of tea with a little carbonate of soda will answer my purpose.

In performing operations in certain manufacturing processes, all the assurance of success in the mind of the operator proceeds from the knowledge that, by the same means, such results have been produced before. How exceedingly slow then must be the progress of discovery and improvement. It is almost impossible in some trades, that some fortunate combination of circumstances should not occasionally take place, and that a discovery of importance should not thereby follow. It was thus that the telescope was invented. Some glasses happened to be placed by the hands of children, in such a disposition as to magnifying or reflecting powers, as that the peculiar telescopic qualities were observed. The hint was acted on, and after repeated trials and disappointments, some clumsy and inefficient telescopes were formed. But had the science of [Pg 53]optics been known, the secret must have instantly followed; or had the construction of the human eye been previously considered (for the eye is a perfect and beautiful telescope) the hint for making an external and auxiliary eye would have been suggested by the study. But let it not be supposed that all important discoveries are already made, and that there is no opportunity for new Watts and Arkwrights to take their illustrious positions in society. Genius still has many harvests to reap, and men of common sense and common ingenuity have many opportunities of rising to wealth and respectability. Even a simple discovery in candle-making is at this moment realizing a fortune for the inventor. Many of you know the argand lamp; the burner, whether for oil or gas, is circular, and through it is a passage for a current of air; while this is freely open the volume of flame is large, and the colour of the light white, but when obstructed the flame is smaller and of a bluish colour. Most of the gas burners in the shops are on the argand principle, where the fact now stated may be brought to trial. The inventor of the patent candles had nothing to do but to transfer this well known principle to materials used in candle making; the wick is tubular, and the passage secured from obstruction by the melted wax or tallow. This was almost the whole improvement. Candles thus made, burn with a purer and larger flame, and the protection afforded to inventors by the patent laws, will I doubt not, be the cause of an abundant reward to the observer. Thousands of these discoveries will yet be made, and thousands will derive fortunes from the discoveries.

In the very same useful article, I knew an attempt made to produce improvement, which was unsuccessful, because the individual was poor, and his fellow tradesmen ignorant. Had he the means of continuing experiments, or could he have found any individual in the candle trade wealthy enough to assist him, and possessing sagacity enough to appreciate the intended improvement, I am confident the effort alluded to would have issued in merited success. The case was this. It may not be known to you, that generally, no flame can be produced without a quantity of a certain gas which is always in the atmosphere, called oxygen; if a portion of air be deprived of this gas, you can get nothing to burn in it; if you increase the quantity of oxygen, you thereby augment the flame of any substance burning in it; if you fill a vessel with pure oxygen, almost any thing will burn in it; even iron first touched with lighted tinder, will burn in it, with a light intense and beautiful. An individual in the candle trade conceived the idea of infusing this oxygen gas into tallow; his ingenuity enabled him to overcome some obstacles; the tallow was saturated with this supporter of flame, and candles were formed from it; but when the candle was lighted, it was discovered that the tallow all round was possessed with the quality of wick; it was beautifully inflammable, but the candle burned away very rapidly. From circumstances noticed above the inventor could not follow up his experiments to the point he had [Pg 54]so nearly attained success. The art of dyeing is very imperfectly understood by those who profess it. A dyer possesses merely an imperfect art when he ought to command a perfect science. I know few, if any, trades so completely scientific, and so abounding with pleasing investigation. But there is not only the absence of this pleasure but absolute loss of money to the dyer in the composition of various dyes. This may be shewn in several ways; I shall now notice one. The science of chemistry has unfolded a singular fact, which is that bodies will not always unite in any proportions we might desire; we may take salt and water, and mix them in any proportions up to the period when the water becomes saturated, but it then finds a limit. Thus we can make water more or less salt.

Now common vitriol is a compound formed of sulphur and oxygen; two parts of the former being mixed with one of the latter; but if one unacquainted with this principle should attempt to make vitriol, and should put three parts of the sulphur to one of the oxygen, or two of sulphur to two of oxygen, there would either be a positive waste of a considerable portion of ingredients, or a new article would be formed essentially different from the desired acid. A want of knowing this valuable truth costs many an humble dyer a fortune. How evident is it then, that “Ignorance is a heavy tax.”

In the operation of tanning it might be shewn, and I trust will be shewn by gentlemen connected with this institution, both by lectures and experiments, that the exhausted tan, as it is called, contains much more of the tanning principle than has been extracted from it. Our British-oak bark is approaching a final exhaustion, and when we are driven to use the foreign only, the secret will I doubt not be discovered. When I look around me, and consider the several trades, arts and manufactures, in which many in this district are engaged, I cannot help expressing my astonishment that an Institution of this nature was not established before. Instances of the beneficial purposes it would serve, multiply on me so fast, that I might expend the time of many lectures on the subject of this evening. I do not wish to encourage fraud, but a fact now strikes me, in reference to the gold, silver, and jewellery trade, too curious to omit. I shall prepare my way by explaining a few principles respecting weight. I dare say you are aware that the air we breathe possesses weight. If you weigh a bottle under ordinary circumstances, containing air, and nothing else, and afterwards pump the air from it and weigh it again, you will find that its weight is reduced; it weighs less than when filled with air. Now if I weigh two bodies of different sizes, but of equal weights, in the open air, and then dip balance and all into water, I shall find that they are no longer equiponderant. Each article in weighing loses as much weight as is equivalent to its own bulk of the medium in which it is weighed. For instance, if I weigh a piece of timber shaped like a quart bottle and of the size of one, and in the other scale have copper weights, the timber will lose as much weight as the size of the [Pg 55]bottle of air would weigh, and the copper loses as much weight as its own size of air would weigh. Now if I weigh them both in water, the timber will lose as much weight as a bottle of water would weigh, and the copper weight will lose as much as its bulk of water would weigh. It is evident then that the disproportion in the latter case must be much greater than in the former. This is the reason why boys lift stones in the water they could not raise on land. And this is the reason that we often find, that a commodity balances a certain weight at one time, which it will not balance at another.

The cases of air and water, as media for weighing, I have adduced as extreme cases, to explain the effects of the different states of the atmosphere; some times it is light and thin, at others dense and heavy. When air is light, bodies weighed lose little, but when it is heavy, they lose proportionably. It is then of importance in purchasing precious articles by weight, to know the state of the weather as indicated by the barometer, and to observe the same index when we sell again; the difference in silver would not be much, that of gold would be of more importance, but in the purchase of diamonds the difference in value may be very considerable. But you must observe, that as each body loses according to its bulk, so the greater disproportion in this respect, the better; a fraudulent jeweller should then have weights of wood, and he should buy when the atmosphere is light, and sell when it is heavy; the rule also will be of service with common weights to the dealers in feathers, &c. So much for honesty!

In connexion with the silversmith’s business, I shall now illustrate my subject by a reference to the art of gilding. Many of our shopkeepers are proud of having their names and callings over their shops, glittering in golden letters; and Dudley has many artists well qualified to gratify the taste. We also gild our frames for pictures and mirrors; but the gilding soon wears off, particularly that exposed to the air. The artist cannot prevent this, he has no control over the air, but the man of science has. I think I shall best illustrate my subject, by noticing the discovery of the truly beautiful principle it is now my object to unfold.

The atmosphere acts with various corroding effects on different metals, and it will, under certain known circumstances, often pass by one to seize upon another. Some years since the lords of the admiralty, struck with the amazing expense of coppering ships’ bottoms every year, (for one year, or rather one long voyage, effectually corroded and destroyed one sheathing) applied to Sir H. Davy, to know if any plan could be devised for remedying this serious evil. It would be useless for me now to enter into minute details; suffice it to say, that Sir H. Davy was fully aware of the principle noticed above, and he applied it; he connected here and there very small portions of metals, more liable under certain influences to be rusted, than the copper of the vessels; the metals he used were iron and zinc; the latter placed inside the ship, the former connecting it to the copper outside. The process was most simple,—the cost very trifling,—the success truly gratifying. [Pg 56]It was then found that the corrosive qualities of both air and sea water were neutralized; and, fortified with this simple protection, vessels afterwards completed the whole extent of the India voyage, without the copper sheathing being tarnished. True, other difficulties made their appearance. Rust of copper is pernicious to water-worms and small marine animals, that do great injury to the bottoms of ships; and when the copper was kept free from rust, by means of Sir H. Davy’s galvanic contrivance, those little reptiles came in vastly increased numbers and strength, and achieved as much mischief as was prevented. But while ship’s bottoms are thus exposed, the principle on which it was attempted to secure them, may be applied to other purposes; amongst those is gilding. By drawing a very simple galvanic circle, made of small morsels of zinc and iron from the gilded letters or ornaments outside a shop window, the gilding may be made to retain its brilliancy for many years. Indeed simply driving a nail in the wood-work under every letter, will keep the metallic lustre outside distinct and beautiful for a much longer time, than if this were not done.

Whenever a new principle unfolds a law of nature, its applications are almost innumerable; and things buried in mystery before, become simple and obvious. I some time since visited the Cradley Salt Wells, and on entering the bath room, saw a man busily and laboriously employed in removing the rust from the inside of the boiler; he told me he had to repeat this job very often; for that the dust formed very fast, and quickly became exceedingly hard. This was obvious to me from the difficulty of removing it with a large and heavy knife. I instantly saw a method by which the man’s labour might be altogether saved; or the task much more easily accomplished. This was by the application of chemical re-agents. I do not profess to know these, because my acquaintance with that beautiful science is too limited; but such as it is, I doubt not, that after a few experiments, I could discover it. But I do know a principle, that if applied, would not only have made the task an easy one, but would, absolutely, have rendered it unnecessary; and that is, the principle noticed above in reference to ship’s bottoms, and gilding. Were a portion of zinc placed, according to the galvanic principles, in connection with the inside of the boiler, the rust would not accumulate, at least on the boiler; the same agency that in the former case kept the coppers clean, and the gilding bright, would in this case also, prevent the incrustation from adhering to the boilers of the Salt Wells at Cradley.

It must be acknowledged, that there is in the human mind a very great repugnance to that which is new. The march of knowledge is always considerably in advance of the march of improvement; a philosophical principle of the greatest value, is sometimes ascertained a long time before it is profitably employed. It was suggested long since that the principle here noticed ought to be used in the construction of steam boilers of all descriptions, all being subject to rust; but particularly those of ships, in which the water is generally from the sea. [Pg 57]This has not been done; and I am confident that if it had, many explosions would have been prevented, and many lives saved. But the time is fast approaching, when no useful discovery will be rejected, merely from the fact of its being new. Many a fortune to future mechanics and artists in the form of philosophical theories are already stored up in the studies of men of science. They want the knowledge of how they should be applied, and men who could employ them knew nothing about them.

One of the latest triumphs of Science is of a nature too interesting, and too appropriate for my present purpose, to be omitted. I refer to the cure of dry rot in timber. This malady, the scourge of houses and builders, long engaged the attention of the literary world; and recently was nearly abandoned in despair. Success and perseverance are however closely allied. The eye of the chemist was brought to bear somewhat more closely on the subject. It was observed that in the pores of some timbers a little globule of fluid was contained, which further examination proved to be a substance called albumen, precisely the same as the white of the egg. This substance, belonging more to the animal than to the vegetable world, was more liable to putrefaction or rottenness; and when in this state, it naturally imparted the principle of decay to the surrounding woody fibre. This was the true nature and cause of dry rot. The knowledge of the disease is, proverbially, considered half the cure. Here it was the whole cure. It was known that corrosive sublimate united to albumen formed a substance not liable to this species of corruption. The timber then was deposited in tanks containing a solution of corrosive sublimate, and it was discovered that albumen was immediately destroyed; and, of course, the dry rot effectually prevented. The discovery is truly beautiful, and not less so than valuable and important.

A question is sometimes asked by persons in this neighbourhood, whose querulous propensities cause them to anticipate evils, centuries removed,—what will become of the iron trade when all the coal pits are worked out? The question brings to mind the old lady who, on being told that a certain comet would in the year 3,000 and odd burn the world, absolutely lost her senses through fear.

The man who from past improvements relies on human ingenuity sees no cause for apprehension in the question. For what is the fact,—the same question was just as seriously asked a couple of centuries back in reference to timber, what shall be done for iron manufacturing when all the timber in the neighbouring woods shall be exhausted? It appears that the woods about Dudley were very extensive at the time. Of these but little remains at present; but the manufacture of iron has experienced no obstruction.

The idea of applying coal to the purpose would have appeared preposterous. This valuable combustible was known to exist abundantly, but it was believed to be impracticable to apply it to the manufacture of iron, till a Mr. Dud Dudley, in the year 1619, tried the experiment and tried it successfully.

[Pg 58]

Had I time I should gladly read the life of this singular man. It may be found in Shaw’s History of Staffordshire; but I have not time even to condense it. The obstacles he had to encounter for forty years, from a want of scientific knowledge—from those who detested innovations—from those who saw that his success would be prejudicial to their interests—from natural causes (such as floods, &c.)—and his final and complete triumph over all, evince a mind gifted with no ordinary endowments. I think it would interest many were this life read in the society some evening of meeting.

But the question may be asked, do you see any probable substitute for coke, when the coal is exhausted? I answer, yes I do; and you will smile when I tell you that it is by burning water; for the fact is undeniable, that water is, in its elements, a most combustible body. This discovery has been long within sight; the only obstacle was, that the expense of other materials, necessary for preparing water for fuel, was too great to make the discovery practically useful; this it is said has been overcome by a gentleman at Leamington[1] and we may shortly expect to see coal and timber superseded by this more abundant article. Cooks will then light up their fires by heaping upon it masses of ice, and the rivers will be in constant danger from the impudence of cigar smoking boatmen.

But, seriously, while we laugh, a proper question is, why should such anticipations excite laughter? An article appeared last year in Tait’s Magazine, on reading which, we may have cause to suspect, that in the abundance of our laughter, there may be much folly. As the article is short, amusing, and to my purpose, I shall read it. “About this time five hundred years ago, Anno Domini 1340, gunpowder and guns were invented.” Now the following (setting aside the mode of language, which is not essential to our purpose) is the way in which one of these gentlemen, a few months previous to that event, would have expressed himself in reference to some other impossibility. Somebody would be speaking of alterations in the mode of warfare, upon which our contemptuous antivicissitudinarian would thus break out:—

“A change like that! Why you might as well say that people by-and-by will fight with fire and smoke, and that there will be arrows as round as plum-puddings, and made of lead, as thick as your skull!”—(A laugh among the Hon. Gentlemen of that time.)

In nine months after this speech, gunpowder is invented, and the art comes up by which round leaden arrows are shot out of cannon, darting fire as they come, and filling the air with [Pg 59]smoke.

Anno Domini 1440—The great grandson, or other representative of the above gentleman, exclaims, on some fresh subject of innovation amidst the honours of the laugh.—“A change like that! Why, you might as well say that by-and-by there will be books without being copied out, and that we shall have a hundred of those impossible books in the course of a day.”

Next year the art of printing is invented, which was thought at first a thing magical and devilish, and by which we can now have a thousand copies of a book in a day.

Anno Domini 1534.—The great-great-great-great-grandson or now representative as aforesaid, is treating some other novelty with the usual happy contempt of his race:—“A change like that! Why, you might as well say, that the people will all be permitted to read the Bible, and that nunneries, and even Abbots will be put down!!”—(Shouts of laughter, in which the Reverend Abbots present were observed to join.)

The same year the Bible is printed and read openly, and upwards of six hundred religious houses suppressed.

Anno Domini 1666.—“A change like that!” quoth the representatives, “Why you might as well say that Englishmen will leave off taking a steak and a cold tankard for their breakfast—(A laugh)—or that they will go to the other end of the world to pluck it off a gooseberry bush.”—(Great laughter.)

The same year tea is brought into England, not indeed off a gooseberry bush, but off a bush of no greater importance, and (in common parlance) at the other end of the world.

But what ridicule would the man have excited who would have presumed to prophesy the use of the compass, the application of the giant steam, and the rising of gas light over the manufacturing and the civilized world! What more interesting task than to sit down with our fathers and hear them tell how things were done formerly; with what time, trouble, expense, and uncertainty operations were then performed, that now cost but little delay or uneasiness. There is not a single mechanic amongst us who, in the course of his study, will not see hints towards an improvement that future times will develope, doubtless far greater than what has already taken place.

And let me urge it on you, the pursuits that will lead to these ends belong peculiarly and immediately to you. The philosopher goes out of his way to pursue them. When we find Dr. Lardner furnishing the world with practical treatises on manufactures, we are surprised to think where he got the information. You, the mechanics, ought to be the discoverers of all improvements in your several trades, and ought to enjoy the reward of such discoveries. Talk not of want of time, anticipate not difficulties. When you feel disposed to make such apologies, call to mind Sir R. Arkwright, when a barber’s boy, kicked and cuffed by his master for chalking the wig blocks over with figures, that were to him fully as intelligible though not so pretty as the hieroglyphics of Egypt. Poor [Pg 60]Arkwright had the most difficult obstacles to surmount; and yet he lived to be honoured, and died full of years and possessions.

And call to mind the profound Bonnycastle, who commenced his literary career in the situation of shoe-boy, an inferior kind of John Boots in the Military College of Woolwich; where he afterwards became deservedly the principal. And look to honest Jamie Ferguson, making a heaven and an earth for himself while he tended the flocks and herds of his agricultural employer. Many a cold night did this poor boy lie on his back to watch the motions of the stars, and to imitate them by his ingenious contrivances; and who that then saw him could have supposed that he was destined to become the light and pride of science, the friend and favourite of kings and philosophers. And is there nothing inciting in the story of Benjamin Franklin, the printer, entering Philadelphia unknowing and unknown in his 17th year, eating his plain morsel under the portico of that proud mansion that afterwards gave him a wife?—And is there no magic to rouse to exertion in the names Marmontel, Kelper, Johnson, Linnæus and Simpson, men whose genius no poverty could blight, and “being dead yet speak?” But where do I run?—Is not the delight of pursuing science an ample recompense? if not, is there not a golden reward in reversion. Truly has it been said of wisdom, that “she has in her right hand riches and honour.”




Lord WARD rose and said: For the first time, and perhaps for the last, I now address your Lordships. I beg to know from his Majesty’s Ministers whether they have advised an Honourable Friend of mine, the member for Dudley (Mr. T. Hawkes), to present an Address from that place to his Majesty, in favour of his Majesty’s present Ministry.

[The Duke of WELLINGTON, and the other Members of the Government who were on the Treasury Bench, appeared for some seconds in consultation; but no answer was given.]

Lord WARD: Am I to infer from the silence of the noble Lords opposite, that such is the case, that the Honourable Member for Dudley has presented such an address to his Majesty? because, if he has, I feel myself called on to say that [Pg 61]it was not founded on fact—that that address was got up at a hole-and-corner meeting—that it did not express the opinions of the people of the town of Dudley—that his Majesty has been deceived and cajoled by the Chancellor of the Exchequer and the first Lord of the Treasury; and I think it high time that his Majesty’s confidence should be disabused, and that he should be informed that such are not the sentiments of my Honourable Friend’s constituents.

The Duke of WELLINGTON: I understand that the Noble Lord has inquired if any Members of his Majesty’s Government in this House have advised the presentation to his Majesty of an address from the town of Dudley in favour of his Majesty’s present Ministers. In reply, I beg to assure the Noble Lord, that I have no knowledge whatsoever of the presentation of any such address.

Morning Chronicle, April 7.

From the Courier, April 7.

Among the things which occurred worthy of notice, last night, in the House of Lords, the short speech of Lord Ward must not be overlooked. He asked the Ministers whether they had advised his Hon. Friend the Member for Dudley to present an address from that town in favour of his Majesty’s Ministers. No doubt they willingly accepted that or any other little help to eke out their popularity and make a show to the King; and no doubt, as Lord WARD stated, his Majesty was cajoled to believe that his Ministers were very popular in the country. Sir ROBERT PEEL seems to have the same opinion, for he appealed the other night from the majority in the House to the majority out of doors; but he and his friends have so little confidence in his popularity, that they carefully exclude, as yesterday at Westerminster, all but their invited supporters from the little clubs which they call public meetings. Lord WARD stated a plain fact in a bold and manly manner.

Borough and Neighbourhood of Dudley


The Non-Electors of the Borough and Neighbourhood of Dudley have felt much gratified at your Lordship’s spirited conduct in the House of Lords on the 6th instant, and at your generous and unsolicited vindication of the Borough of Dudley [Pg 62]from the suspicion of entertaining sentiments like those imputed to them in the hole and corner Address emanating from the Tory faction of Dudley, so calculated to mislead the Sovereign and induce him to retain a Ministry whose design was to lead the Country into Slavery and Ruin. This, my Lord, is the way in which Kings have been so often deceived, always to the Country’s prejudice, and sometimes, as History proves, to the destruction of the Throne.

Thank you, my Lord, for standing up for the plain Truth, so necessary at this time both to King and Country and that you have not suffered a faction whose personal objects are of a most base and selfish character, and whose political objects are the destruction of all popular influence and the establishment of an aristocratic tyranny.

We, my Lord, are anxious to maintain the constitutional rights of King, Lords, and Commons, these can be supported only by doing Justice to the long outraged Millions, who by delusions like those attempted in the Address so justly condemned by your Lordship, have long been the victims of unprincipled Courtiers and corrupt Statesmen, supported heretofore by an abandoned Majority of the House of Commons.

Considering your Lordship at once as a Peer and a Clergyman, and what is still more honourable, a friend of Truth and an enemy of Deception and Cajolery—we feel ourselves bound thus to express our sentiments of respect and admiration, and our hope that your Lordship’s sagacity and patriotism will detect any attempts which may hereafter be made to deceive the King and misrepresent the People.

We have the honour to be

Your Lordship’s most obedient Servants,

The Non-Electors of Dudley and its Neighbourhood.

To the Right Hon. and Rev. Lord Ward, Himley.

Dudley, Monday, April 20, 1835.

DUDLEY, August 1833.

We, the undersigned, Inhabitants of the Town and Parish of Dudley, and its Vicinity, having heard with surprise and Indignation of the Gross and Unmanly attack made by Sir John Campbell, on the acting Magistrates of this Town and Neighbourhood, in the House of Commons, in the following Words,

That in this Town, Justice is not administered to the satisfaction of the Public, and that the most serious discontent prevails, and that the Magistrates are such, as in their absence he should not like to describe”—

Take the earliest opportunity of bearing our voluntary Testimony to the upright, independent, and praiseworthy [Pg 63]conduct of the Magistrates acting for this Town and Neighbourhood; and of asserting that they have uniformly conducted themselves to the perfect satisfaction of the Inhabitants and public in general, and we deny that “serious discontent prevails.”—To Gentlemen of high respectability and character who have sacrificed so much valuable time (each of them being extensively engaged in business) we consider ourselves deeply indebted; and we beg to tender to them our most sincere and grateful thanks for their unwearied exertions in the administration of Justice and the preservation of the public Peace.

Luke Booker, Vicar of Dudley

Proctor Robinson, M.A.

Edward Harper Wainwright, B.A.

John Booth, B.A.

Joseph Bennitt,

John Williams,

} Churchwardens

William Taylor,

P. V. Swanwick,

Henry Harper,

Tho. Shorthouse,

} Overseers of the Poor

J. G. Bourne, Mayor

Edward Dixon, Banker

Cornelius Cartwright, Surgeon

Thomas Wainwright, Surgeon

W. Bennitt, Capt. of the D.Y.C.

William Bennitt

Joseph Guest, Glass Manufacturer

James Bourne, Solicitor

Francis Downing, Gent.

H. D. Bourne, Coal Master

James Bourne, jun. Solicitor

W. E. Davies, Glass Manufacturer

William Masefield, Draper

Joseph Smith, Innkeeper

Edward Terry, Grocer

John Bagott, Tailor

Stephen Bullas, Ironmonger

J. M. Capewell, Dentist

John Harper, Grocer

John Standish, Hairdresser

John Orme Brettell, Land Agent

Thomas Brettell, Coal Master

O. G. Shaw, Maltster

James Johnson, Grocer

Richard Bourne, Organist

Eber Patten, Hatter

John Tompson, Mine Agent

W. H. Tompson, Stone Master

Samuel Johnson, Agent

George Payton, Coal Master

Thomas Griffiths, Shoedealer

Richard Wilcox, Innkeeper

Henry C. Brettell, Solicitor

Joseph C. Brettell, Engineer

Joseph Payton, Auctioneer

Richard Lakin, Hatter

William Fellows, jun. Solicitor

John Roberts, Surgeon

John Rann, Gent.

Charles Homer, Wine Merchant

Hartil Dudley, Nail Ironmonger

Benjamin Dudley, Silk Mercer

Cornelius C. Brettell, Surveyor

Geo. Sep. Tompson, Shoemaker

Samuel Pemberton, Coal Master

John Leake, Chemist and Drysalter

J. S. Jeavons, Iron Merchant

J. S. Turner, Chemist

John Pritchard, Grocer

Samuel Dunn, Flour Dealer

Henry Darby, Book-keeper

James Bloomer, Fendermaker

James Grigg, Wheelwright

Benj. Woolley, Nail Ironmonger

Samuel Lewis, Nail Ironmonger

James Yates, Agent

William Fellowes, sen. Solicitor

John Vaughan, Accountant

W. R. Baker, Draper

[Pg 64]John Owen, Confectioner

Richard Timmings, Ironmonger

William Mills, Grocer

Benjamin Prince, Town Clerk

Josegh Whitehouse, Fishmonger

James Ashton, Innkeeper

John Henly, Glass Cutter

Joseph Gardener, Tailor

John Raybould, Paviour

John Timmins, Broker

John Leech, Grocer

John Oakey, Gent.

Joseph Bate, Ironmonger

J. Newbold, Chemist and Druggist

Thomas Cox, Nail Ironmonger

William Haden, Ironmaster

Joseph Haden, Ironmaster

William Shedden, Gent.

James Bullas, Gent.

Thomas Fereday, Surgeon

William Smith, Accountant

Joseph Lear, Innkeeper

Samuel Whyley, Blacksmith

Charles Cox, Innkeeper

William Whyley, Butcher

Edward Kimberley, Fishmonger

Thomas Pearsall, Attorney’s Clerk

Benjamin Shaw, ditto

Thomas Allen, Parish Clerk

John Eld, Baker

William Brown, Victualler

Samuel Payne, Innkeeper

Thomas Gray, Draper

Benjamin Jordan, Innkeeper

William Jordan, Shoemaker

Joseph Dudley, Shoemaker

George Fellowes, Carpenter

William Adams, Victualler

John Nock, Draper

John Smart, Fishmonger

B. Woolley, jun. Chain Manufacturer

Thomas Fehr, Spirit Merchant

Edward Blakeway, Grocer

Francis Baker, Grocer

Joseph Salt, Stonemason

William Self, Butcher

W. J. Cruchley, School-master

Edward Bill, Builder

Richard Thomas, Sheriffs’ Officer

Thomas Steedman, Maltster

Richard Whitehouse, Dealer

William Robinson, Solicitor

James Darby, Book-keeper

Thomas Thomas, Nail Factor

William Howells, Clerk

Edward Foley, Maltster

Edward Marsh, Surveyor

James Fullwood, Wheelwright

Jos. Hartill, Fender Manufacturer

Daniel Shaw, Surgeon

Joseph Whitehouse, Glazier

Joseph Cooke, Saddler

William Whatmore, Innkeeper

Barnabas Willcox, Currier

John Powell, Painter

William Deeley, Iron Founder

John Share, Upholsterer

William Round, Timber Merchant

John Rann, Printer

John Sherman, Draper

Thomas Lewis, Agent

Charles Bunn, Butcher

Joseph Cox, Nail Ironmonger

John Holland, Builder

Daniel Parker, Builder

Jeremy Parker, Timber Merchant

William Herbert, Engraver

Samuel Herbert, ditto

James Bill, Builder

Matthew Houghton, Coal Master

Edward Creswell, Iron Master

Thomas Rhodes, Banker’s Clerk

George Bennett, ditto

William Smitheman, Innkeeper

[Pg 65]Robert Martin, Iron Founder

Thomas Eves, Coach Proprietor

Edward Guest, Glass Manufacturer

Zechariah Round, Builder

William Power, Farrier

Edward Challingsworth, Saddler

Thomas Stokes, Builder

John Stokes, ditto

Joseph Anslow, Plumber

John Cheshire

Luke Price, Shoemaker

William Hollies, ditto

Edward Robinson, Gent.

Robert Garratt, Innkeeper

Sheld. Gray, Wine and Spirit Dealer

Thomas Whitehouse, Book-keeper

J. W. Pain, Teacher of Gymnastics

Thomas Irwin, Glass Cutter

Joseph Lear, Glassman

George Lear, Clothier

A. Power Steedman, Maltster

William Richardson, Engineer

Joshua Harvey, Iron Founder

John Sturmey, Grocer

George Fryer, Seedsman

Thomas Woodall, Blacksmith

John G. Derecourt, Carpenter

Joseph Pearson, Builder

Mark Boden, Excise Officer

John Perry, Locksmith

Thomas Bradley, Grocer

James Brewin, Accountant

Mark Bond, Gent.

John Allen, Cordwainer

John Hobson, Victualler

John Fullard, Hairdresser

Elijah Hillman, Butcher

Joseph Haxeltine, ditto

Thomas Worrad, Innkeeper

Thomas Hines, Staymaker

Charles Lucas, Butcher

Richard Dudley, Surveyor

Samuel James, Victualler

Samuel Hudson, Corkcutter

John Hughes, Clerk

George Evans, Clerk

Joseph Bradley, Clerk

William Morrall, Upholsterer

Humphrey Hartle, Victualler

Samuel Fisher, Victualler

George Lloyd, Glasscutter

Samuel Chavasse, Accountant

Thomas Davidson, Accountant

And others, making upwards of 300 persons who signed this Address.


(From the John Bull Newspaper, of August 18th, 1833.)

Sir John Campbell, the Solicitor-General, has ‘put his foot into it,’ as the old wives have it.

“It seems that Sir John—a most unpopular man at best—has been for some time getting out of the good graces of his supporters at Dudley, by having, upon every occasion, voted with Ministers, which, as Solicitor-General, appears to us to be nothing more than might be expected; not so, however, because he had publicly and repeatedly pledged himself to his constituents to do no such thing.

“Although Sir John—we speak advisedly—has not the remotest chance of being again returned for Dudley, he felt that he ought to do something to brush up his radical friends there, and accordingly decided upon attacking the characters of the Magistrates acting for the town and neighbourhood. [Pg 66]As it turns out, nothing could have been more unjust, and as it will turn out, nothing so foolish.

“The population of the circle of four miles, of which Dudley is the central point, exceeds one hundred thousand; and if the purest integrity, patience of investigation, strict impartiality, and Christian lenity, are requisite for the Bench, these qualifications the Dudley Magistrates in an eminent degree possess.

“In making an enquiry of Lord Althorp whether Government intended to grant charters to the new boroughs, Sir John Campbell stated that no place more needed one than Dudley; ‘for,’ said he, ‘the people have no voice in the election of their Magistrates. Justice is not administered to the satisfaction of the public; serious discontent prevails there, and the Magistrates are such as in their absence I should not like to describe.

“It is by no means difficult to point out the party to whom the administration of justice in Dudley is not satisfactory. Some time since, a considerable number of the friends and supporters of Sir John Campbell, who voted for him at the last election, were brought before the Magistrates, and convicted of using short weights and false measures, and accordingly fined for their rascality; others of Sir John’s supporters have been in ‘durance vile;’ and to these, and such as these, ‘justice is not satisfactorily administered;’ and amongst these ‘the most serious discontents prevail,’ but among none else.

“Sir John, not content, however, with denouncing the existing Magistracy of the town he represents, proceeds to observe, that there are several enlightened persons in Dudley who could, under a new charter, administer justice in a manner creditable to themselves and satisfactory to the public.

“Now let us look at some of Sir John Campbell’s objections to the present Magistrates. He objects to them because they are in trade—one being a banker, and the other two first-rate manufacturers in independent circumstances, and employing hundreds of hands. Sir John’s friends, with two or three exceptions, are retail tradesmen who, by their education and habits, are not qualified for the Bench, and who, through fear of offending their customers, would not be likely to give unprejudiced judgments.

“The next charge brought by Sir John Campbell against the Magistrates is somewhat comical; he not only charges them with being active partisans, but with being all on one side.

“Sir John shews somewhat of the simpleton here. He proclaims to the world, if the world happen to care anything about him one way or another, that all the respectable part of the constituency of the place he represents, is zealously and unanimously opposed to him. Certain it is that all the respectable portion of the population voted against Sir John; but to shew that political feeling had but a small share in their disinclination to him, the very same people voted for Mr. Littleton, who is also a Whig, and now also a placeman.

[Pg 67]

“One cannot wonder at Sir John’s soreness, but that he should permit it to be seen seems extremely curious—for he is a Lawyer, and hath a reputation for ‘cunninge;’ yet when the Magistrates petitioned the House of Commons on Monday, although Mr. Littleton, the Secretary, and (as he says himself) de facto Lord Lieutenant of Ireland, and Sir Oswald Moseley, the Chairman of the Quarter Sessions, gave those gentlemen the highest character, founded not only on their public conduct, but upon their own personal knowledge, Sir John Campbell, would not retract a word of what he had said, but only, as Sir Oswald Moseley observed, ‘made his attack worse by his explanation.’

“This stubbornness in his calumny is easily to be accounted for. Sir John knows that his doom at Dudley is sealed, and therefore imagines, perhaps, that it will look manly, and bold, and patriotic, not to flinch. The effect of his venom, however, has been rather different from what he anticipated. Addresses, expressive of their best thanks and high admiration of the manner in which the Magistrates have discharged their public duties, and preserved the public peace upon every occasion, have been spontaneously prepared, and are already signed by hundreds of the Clergy, Bankers, Merchants, Manufacturers, and Farmers. Never did there appear more unanimity in an insulted town—insulted and libelled by its own Representative—and never was insult more keenly felt.

“We have now shewn who the persons are whom Sir John Campbell ventures to stigmatise and abuse—now let us exhibit some of those to whom he is obliged to truckle. One case will do for the present.

“It seems that a radical bookseller at Birmingham, of the name of Russell (no relation we believe to the Bedfords) published a libel upon the Street Commissioners. Sir John was retained to move for a criminal information against him—‘it was in his vocation, Hal!’ of course he took the Gaus and did his work. Will it be believed, that because he did this, his constituents in Dudley write to him—to Sir John the Knight—the Parliament man!—the King’s Solicitor General, to know how ‘he came to do such a thing as move for a criminal information against a libeller?’

“Will it be believed, that this Solicitor General—the denouncer of Magistrates—the representative of independence, wrote the following letter to Mr. Samuel Cooke, a small draper, and Chairman of a Political Union, in his vindication against so heavy a charge:—

“London, 17th May, 1833.

My Dear Sir,

“I was actually on the point of writing to you about Russell’s case, when I had the pleasure of receiving your letter. I had been told that you, and many of your friends in Dudley, were under a mistake, which I am desirous of clearing up, in supposing this was an official or a Government prosecution. [Pg 68]Government has nothing to do with it, nor had I any power or discretion respecting it. I merely, as a private barrister, received a brief to move the Court of King’s Bench for a criminal information, and I could not refuse the application. What I said upon the occasion, I really do not recollect; but I was not speaking in my own person, or my own sentiments. I spoke from my brief, according to the instructions I received, as any other gentlemen of the bar might have done. The freedom of the press I have ever maintained, and ever will maintain.—

I remain, yours faithfully,


To Mr. Cooke, Draper, Dudley.

“This is an agreeable display of the state of servility to which the vote-hunters of the “great unwashed” are reduced. Would it have been credited, until now, that the King’s Solicitor General could so far sacrifice his dignity of character—or rather of the character of his office—as to condescend to explain to a huckstering Chairman of a Political Union, cried down by the King’s Proclamation, how and why he took a fee in the way of business? But the best of the joke is to come. This very Cooke—this ‘My dear Sir’ o’ the King’s Solicitor General, was himself tried for a libel at Worcester, and paid ten guineas, fine or fee, to enable his dear friend, the King’s Solicitor General, to defend him; the which proved a useless outlay on the part of the draper, for he was, in spite of all the talent and eloquence of his learned advocate, CONVICTED.

“Having shewn the sort of people in Dudley with whom Sir John corresponds, we are not surprised that he should know so very little of the respectable portion of its inhabitants. We are inclined therefore to attribute to ignorance his conduct towards the Magistracy, which certainly can find no other earthly excuse.”

1833. March 6th, died, John William, the First Earl of Dudley, having been created an Earl, on September 24th, 1827. Aged 52 years.

This nobleman was a distinguished classical writer, for his letters to the Bishop of Llandaff are replete with profound learning, and show the evidences of a very elevated mind. He was appointed Secretary of Foreign Affairs in Mr. Canning’s Administration, and also a short time under the Duke of Wellington’s Government. The nobleman never married, and the title became extinct.

In 1834, Mr. Jno. Campbell having so well disclosed his profound abilities was made Solicitor General, and came down to Dudley to seek re-election. The old Tories girt up their loins, and at once determined to oppose “the aspiring Scotchman,” for they little relished the idea of a foreigner and a stranger “representing their old town.” Mr. Thomas Hawkes, a native of the town and an extensive glass manufacturer, a proclaimed Moderate Reformer was selected by the Tory party to dispute the envied seat with Sir John Campbell. Mr. Hawkes was too glad of the opportunity of showing his zeal and ambition for those high and distinguished honours which had so recently bee[Pg 69]n showered upon Sir John; and he was induced to contest the seat against Her Majesty’s Solicitor-General. This election was especially characteristic as being most violent and riotous, ending in the defeat of Sir John Campbell by a majority of 68 votes. Towards the close of the poll, (4 o’clock) when it became evident that Sir John was beaten, a serious riot arose in the town and it was deemed expedient by the Justices to read the Riot Act, and send off to Birmingham for military assistance; the Dragoons arrived in hot haste, but not before much mischief and violence had been done to both property and persons. It was always alleged that Mr. Foster’s workmen from Shutt End began this senseless destruction of the property of the innocent inhabitants, by tearing down the shutters of the shops in the High Street and Market Place, and smashing the shop windows with the same. Mr. Foster was a strenuous supporter of Sir John Campbell, and was much chagrined at his friend’s defeat. Sir John had to make his escape from the fury of the mob by a rapid and circuitous flight down a dark passage in Hall Street, which to this day is known as “Campbell’s Flight.” The broken heads and bruised bodies of all sorts and conditions of men on this memorable occasion, testified to the intensity of the conflict. The soldiers were quartered upon us for some time for this unruly piece of business.

The result of this election was—

1. Mr. Thomas Hawkes, (Tory)322
2. Sir John Campbell, Knt. (Reformer)254
Majority for Mr. Hawkes68

In 1832, the year of the great Reform Bill, Campbell, who had previously been member for Stafford, became member for Dudley. In reference to this he writes—“What a deliverance from Stafford! There has been more bribery there than ever, and the new part of the constituency is worse than the old.” And this after the passing of the Reform Bill! No wonder that every right-thinking man is disgusted with a system which to a large extent perpetuates this state of things. In 1834 Campbell became Attorney-General, and had to seek re-election. He was defeated by Major Hawkes. On this he remarks “I was very generously received by Lord Grey and the Chancellor, but I find that I was blamed by subordinate members of the Government, who said that I ought to have carried the seat at any cost. I would sooner have lost my office and seen the party at once driven from power than have attempted to corrupt such a constituency. The incipient danger of corruption I find to arise from publicans and keepers of beer-shops who were electors, and, without any notion of receiving bribe or voting money, were eager to have their houses opened with a view to the profit on the sale of liquor, and I fear would be thereby influenced in their votes.” This second extract certainly reveals a better state of things, but also gives a glimpse of much that still remains to be remedied.

In 1835, Dudley was doomed to have another election. A Captain Forbes offered his feeble services, and he was floated by the Reformers amid many fears and doubts, because it was fully understood that Mr. Thomas Hawkes was again to run the Tory ticket against all comers, and by the hard exertions of his friends, and the personal regard in which he was held by the townspeople, he was returned the second time M.P. for Dudley.

1. Mr. Thomas Hawkes, Tory327
2. Captain Forbes, Reformer250
Majority for Mr. Hawkes77

The spirit of Reform, branching out into every thing we had to deal with, awakened in this borough a lively sense of its own backwardness and commercial[Pg 70] ease and security. The neighbouring hamlets and villages were beginning to show signs of much vitality; new coal mines were opened out; new iron works erected; branches, or arms, of our canal routes were extended, and a great impetus was given to the development of the coal and iron trades in every direction. The shops and shop windows in our then narrow Market Place began to look antediluvian, weird, and shabby; thus a spirit of rebuilding and renovation set in, and many of our old familiar shops began to change faces. The increase of gas lamps in our main streets and an improved effort made by the Town Commissioners to better our bye-ways and highways, all tended to convince the occasional visitor to Dudley that the old Dudley town had caught the flame of Reform and regeneration and was going ahead in progress and civilisation. The old Middle Row of shops and dwelling houses had long been deemed a nuisance and an encumbrance on the ground, and strenuous, and ultimately successful, efforts were made by both the inhabitants and those then high in authority to pull down and remove the same, resulting in giving Dudley the largest and most commodious Market Place in the County.

1835. May 14th. This day and night, a violent and boisterous snow storm visited this town and neighbourhood; the snow remained on the ground for some days, the thermometer standing at 30 degrees. Great damage was done to the buildings, grass lands, and gardens, and the like severe weather had not been witnessed before by the oldest inhabitants.

Died, October 1st, 1835, Rev. Luke Booker, M.A., LL.D., many years vicar of the valuable living of St. Thomas’s, the Parish Church of Dudley. Aged 73 years.

Dr. Booker came to Dudley as a young curate of great promise, and was for some time the Incumbent of St. Edmund’s Church. On the death of the Rev. Doctor Cartwright, M.A., the then vicar, his friend and patron, the good Viscount Dudley and Ward, presented Dr. Booker to the living of St. Thomas, and a long life friendship existed between him and his noble patron. Dr. Booker was a gentleman of great classical learning and erudition, and being favoured with a commanding person, his appearance both in and out of the pulpit always commanded attention and respect. He was a sound theological preacher, exercising great energy and zeal, and secured a large share of church attendants. He contributed largely as a writer to many of the leading Christian periodicals of the day; and his firm adhesion to the national principles of Church and State, made him at all times a powerful and welcome advocate on the platform. In politics the Doctor was a pronounced Tory, and at times his persistent interference in political questions did not add to his dignified position as Vicar of Dudley. He was also a poet of considerable beauty of thought and enunciation, a few remains of which are still extant; he also published an History of Dudley Castle and the genealogy of the noble owners. Among the varied remarkable acts that he did was to write a voluminous social and political Diary of the leading events of Dudley and its people in his day, which he did not [Pg 71]live to put in print.

Dr. Booker was a great favourite amongst the weaker sex, for he embraced the privilege of leading four blushing brides to the hymeneal altar during his long and excitable life. The unhappy drawback in the Doctor’s character was the thorough hatred of Dissenters, and his unswerving abhorrence of all Reformers and Radicals, to whom he ascribed all kinds of inconceivable mischief against King, Lords and Church, by their unlawful machinations at the time of the Great Reform Agitation to obtain their political freedom. The Rev. Doctor was the main motive power in the destruction of the commodious and historic Old St. Thomas’s Church, and the erection of the present handsome Gothic Parish Church, at a cost of upwards of £20,000. Great opposition was raised by the Parishioners at this time to the demolition of their Parish Church, which was known to be quite large enough for its audience, and which might have been restored to answer all parochial purposes at a much less cost.

The laying of the foundation stone of this new church took place on October 25th, 1816, by the Bishop of Worcester, (The Right Rev. Dr. Folliott,) occasioned an immense Public Procession of School Children, Clergymen, Merchants, Shopkeepers and Inhabitants of the town and neighbourhood, with the Reverend Doctor at their head, which presented such a motley group, as to become a subject of much comment and ridicule by some of the witnesses of that vainglorious ceremony.

The following amusing description of the procession by an eye-witness, who happened to be on a visit to Dudley at the time, will repay a perusal.

Inscribed to the


“The morning came, nor find I that the sun,
As he on other great events hath done,
Put on a brighter robe than that he wore
To go his journey in the day before.”


Thursday was fine beyond expression,
And augur’d well for the Procession:
At eventide, the sun’s last ray
“Gave promise of a golden day.”
The D—ct—r went to bed at ten,
Lay for an hour, then rose again:
With half clos’d eyes he kept awake,
Anxious to see the morning break.
His best black brigs, and eke his shoes,
His long-tail’d coat and silken hose;
His buckles bright, and broad-brimm’d hat,
His finest shirt, and best cravat.
He’d told the servant to prepare,
And all were plac’d upon the chair.
The thought of what’s at hand forbids,[Pg 72]
Sound sleep to light upon his lids.
Three times he rose, with anxious eye,
The beams of morning to descry—
Three times he rose,—but all in vain;—
Three times he went to bed again.
At length, according to report,
He slept, and dreamt he was at court,
Sceptres and mitres seem’d to rise
Before the D—ct—r’s wond’ring eyes:
Orders of knighthood, stars, blue ribbons,
Were plenteous as the notes of Gibbons.[2]
And sooth, he wish’d that he possess’d
A mitre finer than the rest:
But, as he reach’d to catch the prize,
He snor’d aloud and op’d his eyes.
“At length he from his bed arose,—
Thrice did he spit, thrice wiped his nose;
Thrice strove to smile, thrice strove to frown,
And thrice look’d up, and thrice look’d down;”
And then forthwith his speech he wrote,—
His breakfast hurried down his throat;
With eager haste stalk’d through the street,
The B——p’s Reverence to meet;
And anxious still to see his Grace,
Chided the coachman’s tardy pace,
Whose stupid, senseless, dull delay,
Might spoil the pleasures of the day.
But now, behold, the prelate comes!
“Sound, sound the trumpets, beat the drums!”
From street to street the blast makes way;
All hear the summons, and obey.
Hundreds on hundreds flock to meet him,
With open mouths, as if they’d eat him.
“A B——p! aye! that ne’er can be
A human thing like you or me,”
Says one: “No, no,” replies a second,
“A B——p’s more than human reckon’d;
He consecrates, Sir, he ordains,
Gives orders, if he gives not brains:
He keeps beneath his watchful eye
The clerical fraternity;
Reads them a pious charge, and sees
They don’t neglect——their surplice fees.
Sometimes he lays his oily hand
Upon the crowds that round him stand;
Who, though they feel the unction come,
From ’twixt his finger and his thumb,
Will never in this world of sin,
Take all its blessed influence in;
Will never know the good that’s done,[Pg 73]
Until their mortal race is run!”
Pardon, my friends, this short digression;[3]
We hasten now to the Procession.
All points of etiquette discuss’d,
And gravely fix’d,—a task which must
Require no little time and pains,
And rack the reverend vicar’s brains,—
All points of moment now decided,
The parties class’d, the ranks divided,
From Bl—w—tt’s to the Church they go,
Arrang’d in many a martial row;
Each, you may naturally suppose,
Adorn’d in his best Sunday clothes.
Muslin cravats, as white as milk;
Nay even stockings made of silk;
Capes, black, brown, blue, green, red and grey,
Cut out in the most stylish way:
And “Day and Martin,”—wond’rous sight!
Sent from each foot a blaze of light!
Ribbons and medals,—what profusion!
Beggars and bankers,—what confusion!
Vicars and curates, cobblers, tinkers,
Socinians, Churchmen, and Free-thinkers.
Carpenters, bellows’-menders, nailors;
Glaziers and maltsters; grocers, tailors;
And truant from their desks and shops,
Spruce journeyman and ’prentice fops;
Tatterdemalions, long and short,
Big, little, some of every sort.
Poor children first,—a woeful sight!—
March’d on in pitiable plight,
Though ill provided to sustain
The howling wind and pelting rain.[4]
Huddled together, see, they go;
Collected but to make a show;—
Their warmest, neatest, only dress,
A rag to hide their nakedness!
“Billy the tailor, a brisk fellow,”
Came next, beneath a huge umbrella;
Sharp as a needle, blithe and gay;
He led the band and shew’d the way.
No Churchman; but, ’twas best to go;
’Twould get him many a job you know[5]
Then came his troop, big, strapping men,
Who made the streets resound again.
Serpents and clarionets they blew[Pg 74]
Bassoons and flutes, and hautboys too;
And humouring the D—ct—r’s whim,
Tried to perform “the German Hymn.”
But stay,—who’s next?—Some farmer’s wife?
O no! the B——p, on my life,
In lawn up to his very chin,—
Emblem of purity within![6]
Now order ceases first who can,
The D—ct—r or his servant man.
But chief our Reverend Pastor see,
Rigg’d as aforesaid cap-a-pie:
Yes, burning with the sacred flame,
Among the foremost B—k—r came;
By Nature form’d to make a show
Above all those who are below:
For, to the wonder of the people,
He look’d just like a moving steeple.
Bombastes all his pomp display’d,
In this august processionade,
With such a sanctimonious air,
With such a face of solemn care.
As might import him to contain
A world of——room within his brain.
His hollow jaws indeed bespeak
How deeply read he is in Greek;
His hanging eyebrows also tell
He construes Latin full as well:
For, though he never was at college,
Who doubts he has these stores of knowledge[7]
Much more my Muse could tell in rhyme,
The will she has but not the time.
Suffice it then,——he stalks along
A giant in the motley throng;
With all that empty consequence
Which fools adopt instead of sense;
And, as he stalks, he seems to say,
“For all the labours of this day,
A something whispers I shall not
In Church preferment be forgot.[8]
I’ll hasten down to H—ml—y Hall,
And on my noble patron call:
From my poetic pan shall rise,[9]
Again to blind my Lady’s eyes,
Thick clouds of incense, till she see
All that is excellent in me!
Who knows, but, mighty and ador’d,[Pg 75]
I may become Right Reverend Lord;[10]
And spite of all his vast pretences,
My rival great Wigorniensis?
A mitre,—yea, perhaps the best,
May crown my toil and make me blest.
If I can get a mitre—now
I care not where I go or how.
I’ll hug this hope of future joys,
And heed nor rain, nor mire, nor noise.”—
These words he had no sooner said
Than thrice he shook his sapient head,
And thrice determined to pursue
The pious end he had in view.
Next to his giantship, the D—ct—r,
With humbler step, came hobbling Pr—ct—r,
He hobbled,[11] but his will was good;
Could he go better than he could?
He raised his legs with mighty pain,
And then,—he set them down again.
’Tis whisper’d—but my cautious muse
Will not forget her P’s. and Q’s.:
I’ll not indulge in retrospections,
But leave him to his own reflections:
The darling babe of grace I’ll spare;
For other holy souls were there.
Mark, then, the next, another priest,
Starv’d a whole month for this day’s feast;
A little fellow, black his gear;
Sharp as the blast which blew him here.[12]
His fine-spun coat, as good as new,
His trowsers—wide enough for two.
His cheek-bones and his jaws declare
Oat-cake has been his daily fare.
The hat he bought for ordination,
New-brushed, he sports on this occasion.
His dress though threadbare, now ’tis wet,
Looks fresh, and good, and black as jet.[13]
Now, helter-skelter, all rush on,
Stiff Ned, long Dick, and gaping John,
Isaac and Tom, as all admit,
Two gentlemen of equal wit,
Of equal polish, equal grace:
The same in modesty of face.[Pg 76]
I know the town will give it credit,
Or else my Muse would not have said it;
For all confess that either brother
Is just as wise and great as t’other:
Each so demure, so meek, so mild,
As gentle as a new-born child.
These pious patriots were drest
Each with a token on his breast,[14]
Of copper wrought, and brighter far,
Than Venus or the Morning Star,
A female figure took the place
Britannia would, in other case;
Whilst, by her side, in small, portray’d
A cask of Dudley nails was laid;
Containing, we may well suppose,
Sparrow-bill, Ten-penny and Rose;
Clasp, Flat-points, Flemish-Tack and Clout,
Of strictly honest tale no doubt:
For as my muse can only guess,
She won’t presume to call them less.
Enough:—the curious if they please
May find a nobler pair than these.
Now, Tom, an Unitarian true,[15]
And strange to say, a Churchman too,
Like Janus with a double face,
Among our heroes found a place.
’Twas plain enough how pleas’d the elf
Was with that paltry thing, himself;
Proud of his intellect and clothes,
He felt himself the first of beaux.[16]
And, pretty creature, strutted more
Than ever peacock did before.
The ladies very loath to miss[17]
An opportunity like this,
Stretched forth their necks to catch a sight
Of one so spruce and so polite.
“There goes the charming man,” they cry;
And then they laugh, I know not why!
And then, all wonder and amaze,
At him and at each other gaze.
The thing’s confirm’d beyond a doubt,
Although the cause is not found out,—
The modest ninny thinks his worth[Pg 77]
Has not his parallel on earth;
And justly: for, without a crime,
I can’t describe it e’en in rhyme:
So nobly bred, so nobly taught,
In speech as lib’ral as in thought:
News he can tell, untold before,
All that he knows, and ten times more:
And yet, upon his magpie tongue
Truth, sense, and wit alike are hung:
His honor——I recall the word,
Of that my muse has never heard;
Of facts alone I fain would sing,
A joke’s a very serious thing!
A man may see with half an eye
What treasures in his head-piece lie:
Why then, dear Sir, such wond’rous pains
To shew the world your lack of brains?
Then little Dick, and waddling Tim,
And bawling Joe, and long-legg’d Jem;
And hundreds more in couples came,
The which my muse disdains to name:
I’m certain none of Hogarth’s sketches
E’er formed a set of stranger wretches.
Among the rest see Doctor Slop,[18]
An emblem of a physic shop:
So sour, so nauseous, so splenetic,
A bolus, blister, or emetic;
Decoction, julep, pill and drop
Are typified in Doctor Slop.
His bones with flesh how poorly clad!
How like a map his visage sad![19]
Lavater would at once declare,
The “City of the Plague” was there:
And e’en a less discerning eye
The “Lake of Brimstone” might descry,
Where all those naughty rebels pop,
Who don’t agree with Doctor Slop.
If sick,—engage him,—give him time,
He’ll send you to another clime;
For change of air is understood
By sons of physic to be good.
But, oh! my pulse is stopp’d; enough
Of Doctors and of Doctors’ stuff:[20][Pg 78]
Though half his worth is yet unsung,
My muse would rather hold her tongue.
Last came the scarlet troop, as gay
As new-scrap’d carrots for the day:
C—w—ll, and all his comrades too:
Hibernian H—gh—s, and Dicky Dr—we:
Great captains in the fighting trade,
Who serv’d their time upon parade.[21]
But of such Gentlemen no more:
I bless my stars I see the shore!
At length, attain’d the sacred spot,
Where, side by side, their fathers rot,
Half rising from their tombs to see
What alter’d things their children be;
The massy portal open flies,
And each to gain admission tries:—
But watchful sentries guard the door,
T’admit the great, and drive the poor;
For treason ’twere, and deadly sin,
To let the herd of vulgar in.
No matter how they enter: each
Is thrust against his neighbour’s breech.
One loses half his coat, and one
Feels that his hat or shoe is gone.
Another wild with fury, hoots,
“Stop, scoundrel, stop,—I’ve lost my boots.”
Another fall’n, for mercy cries,
And prays to heav’n they’ll let him rise,
But, ah! for naught their lungs they strain:
They cry, “Hayloo!” and “stop,”—in vain;
The crowd more anxious, forward press
To catch a glimpse of holiness;
And see what ne’er before was known,
A Reverend Mason lay a stone,
In solemn silence see him stand,
The silver trowel in his hand;
The ponderous mass at his desire,
Descends into the yielding mire;
And many a cracking human bone,
Confess’d it was a mighty stone,
At length, the task perform’d, His Grace
Made his best bow, and left the place;
And, anxious only to be gone,
Stepp’d in his coach, and cried,—“Drive on.”—
The boy then smacks his whip, and lo!
The B——p’s horses scampering go:
The party gaze with wild dismay
To see the chariot roll away!
Now, as their breasts with anger burn,
Behold the muddy group return;[Pg 79]
And, as they pace along the street,
Resolve each joint themselves to eat,—[22]
Their bellies, judging from their faces,
As empty as some other places.
At Bl—w—tt’s many a dainty dish
Of beef and mutton, game and fish,
Arrang’d upon the table stood;
For Dudley’s sons know what is good.
But soon each dainty dish was clear’d,
And only fleshless bones appear’d,
Each vied with each,[23] and seemed to say,
“I’ll have my belly full to-day.”
The dinner o’er each takes his glass,
And tries his neighbour to surpass:—
“For, where’s the use of wine,” say they,
“Except to banish care away?”—
Forgive my Muse,—her task is o’er;
She recollects but little more,
She saw the polish’d table shine,
With blushing fruit and sparkling wine;
She heard the lofty ceiling ring
With three times three, “God save the King.”
She look’d again,—one sleeping snor’d,
And one was sunk beneath the board;
And one, as well as he was able,
Was speechifying on the table,
A moment pass’d,—again she gaz’d,
And saw each arm in contest rais’d[24]
The glass in fragments strew’d the floor:—
She hung her head, and saw—no more.

Qui capit, ille facit.


By Dr. Booker, on Reading the above.

A certain junto, sore dismay’d
Our Christian Church to think on;
Look’d on her strong foundation laid,
As the Devil look’d o’er Lincoln.

A twig from a rod in pickle.

[Pg 80]


On Reading the Doctor’s Impromptu.

A junto, Doctor? No, ’tis one
Who makes,—though hundreds share—the fun;
He heeds you not. Your “rod” provide:
’Twill serve to sting your own b-cks-de.
Yourself shall be “dismay’d” and “sore,”
As from your breech descends the gore;
And, as I flog with stroke uncivil,
I shall be “Lincoln,” you the “Devil.”
Again, Sir!—you know where to place it,—
I say “Qui capit, ille facit.”


The Doctor raves, and storms, and vows,
And looks as wretched as his cows![25]
With straining pericranium tries
To write impromptus and replies;
But, like his cows and ass profound,
His region is the burial ground,
Be calm, dear Doctor! Stay your pen!
The poet, perhaps may write again!
He knows you;[26] every word betrays it;
But still, “Qui capit, ille facit.”



Written by a certain learned Doctor, November, 1817.

The Maiden’s Bell.

Many a maiden fair gave me,
Whose wedding peal I ring with glee:
May they in all their future lives,
Be happy mothers, happy wives.[27]

The Matron’s Bell.

Many a matron, grave and good,
Or wedded, or in widowhood,
Bade me the time of holy pray’r
To many a list’ning flock declare.

[Pg 81]The Glassman’s Bell.

Many a gen’rous man of glass
Bade me in sound all bells surpass;
Bright as their ware be all their days,
And bright through time be Dudley’s praise.

The Mineman’s Bell.

Many a truly gen’rous soul,
Men of iron, men of coal,
Men of metal bade me sound
Sweetly to all the hills around.

The Vicar’s Bell.

For me the vicar preach’d aloud
To many a kind and godly crowd,
Who, with a heart devout and willing,
Gave their bright guinea and their shilling.

The Bishop’s Bell.

I, the gift of mitred sage,
Sound his praise to many an age:
Reverend name! of ancient line;
And long on me may Folliot shine.

The Patron’s Bell.

Me did the manor’s Lord bestow,
Who loves to lighten human woe:
To doomsday may the name descend,
Of Dudley’s and the poor man’s friend.

The Regent’s Bell.

A princely gift! a prince gave me,
The prince of princeliest land and sea—
England! His name I nobly ring,
And bid thee cry, “God save the King.”


Premising that DIVINE POETA! is to be literally rendered POETIC DIVINE, we address Dr. Booker in the words of Virgil,—

“Tale tuum nobis carmin, divine poeta!
Quale sopor—”

See Rev. of Dr. Booker’s Calista, Ann. Rev. 1803, p. 564.

It has been said, we know, there but appears
One Epic Poet in a thousand years:
[Pg 82]But B—k—r lives to prove the thing untrue;
And to demonstrate that there may be two.
Th’ immortal Milton still the first is reckon’d;
The thrice immortal B—k—r is the second;
And Dudley’s bells eternally shall toll
In matchless notes for his poetic soul.
To future ages shall his name be given,—
“The saint-like priest who shew’d the way to heav’n,”
Yes! children’s children as they drink their liquor,
And pay Church levies still—shall bless the Vicar.

Qui capit, ille facit.

Nov. 26, 1817.


“N.B.—Though dated Nov. 26, the preceding precious farrago, with characteristic piety, was sent on Sunday, the 7th of December, no doubt with a charitable hope that it would make the Vicar’s mind, on that day, very composed and comfortable. Its authors will be sorry to know that the effect they hoped for was not produced. The delectable performance did not excite a single thought till the next morning, when the following notice was taken of it, certainly more than it deserves.”[28]


Stripes for the back of fools.”—Prov.

A few weak infidels dismay’d
Our Christian Church to think on,
Look on her strong foundations laid,
“As the Devil look’d o’er Lincoln.”
But though they look as black as he,
And gall for ink he sends them,
[Pg 83]In which to write their ribaldry,
And inspiration lends them:
The church her glory shall display,
Defended from each evil,
In spite of all such fools can say
Or their sage friend the D——l.[29]
Yea, she shall have her merry peal,
To fill their hearts with sadness;
While Christians, at such music, feel
An honest English gladness.
Nay, she shall have a lofty spire
With weathercock surmounted,
That they may, if ’tis their desire,
See what they are accounted.
Puff’d here, puff’d there, puff’d every where,
Save in a right direction,
Or now the culprits would not share
A whipping post correction.
Will ye be good, ye scurvy rogues,
Ere more your hides I tickle?
Well then—put up your dirty brogues;
Rod! sleep again in pickle.

No snake[30] in the grass.



He would an elegy compose
On maggots squeezed out of his nose;
In lyric numbers write an ode on,
His mistress eating a black pudden;
And when imprisoned air escaped her,
It puffed him with poetic rapture.
A carman’s horse could not pass by,
But stood tied up to poesy:
No porter’s burthen passed along
But served for burthen to his song.—Hudibrass.

Qui capit, ille facit.

Repress your fury, sage Divine!
Perdition breathes in every line.
Dagger and staff in hand you fight,
Like Falstaff, Shakespeare’s valiant knight,
How like him though in form and dress
I leave your Reverence to guess:—
How far like his your maxims too
[Pg 84]Of honour, Sir, I leave to you.
You would attempt in canting strain.
My short effusion to explain;
And wielding your tremendous birch,
To say I stigmatize the Church.
That, Sir, in toto, I deny:—
In your own style, Sir, ’tis a lie.
The Church I honour:—I admire
The holy roof, the lofty spire,
The pealing song, the hope sincere,
The pray’r of virtue I revere,
The Church, with an affection true,
I love,—[31]I stigmatize but you.
Yes! give the Church a lofty spire,
Like your tall self, Sir, I desire:
And like your ci-devant chapeau,
Give it a weathercock also:—
But make it fast, dear Sir, because
It may be lost as Gilpin’s was[32]
“In judgment,”—(’tis an ancient line,)
“Remember mercy,”—O Divine!
And, when your enemy lies low,
Desist,—strike not another blow.
But, since you deign to wield your pen,
Achilles-like, and fight again:—
But since you deign, O sage divine!
Again to court the tuneful Nine;
And since, in acrimonious style,
You dare my verses to revile,
And raise a laugh at my expense,
Dear Doctor! take the consequence.
“Brave knights are bound to feel no blows
From paltry and unequal foes.”
The pages of all history shine
With poets, heathen and divine;
Whose numbers are so highly priz’d,
Their memories are immortaliz’d.
The first, whose poems still are saved,
Was he who wrote the Psalms, King David.
Homer and Virgil, and a score
Of Greek and Latin poets more,
Have sung in such melodious measure,
That verses still are read with pleasure.
The moderns too have sung their share,
Voltaire, Racine, and Molière;
And many on Italia’s shore;
In Germany a thousand more.
In Britain, too, are poets found,
[Pg 85]For Britain is poetic ground,
Milton and Shakespeare are her pride,
And Pope and hundreds more beside.
E’en now we’ve Southeys, Scots and Byrons,
And Moore, whose songs are sweet as syrens’!
Another poet, too, have we;
The Great L-ke B—k—r, LL. D.!!!
When all the rest shall be forgotten;
Their poems, like their bodies, rotten;
When spills are made of leaves of Pope,
And Lalla Rookh shall wrap up soap;
When even David’s sacred rhyme
Shall be destroyed by ruthless time;
Thy name, O! B—k—r! still shall be
Lauded to all eternity!
Yes! Dudley’s Vicar shall survive,
And like a plant perennial thrive!
What melody pervades each line!
How rich, harmonious and divine!
Read where you will, you’re sure to find
Some scintillation of his mind:
The finest style, the sweetest words
The Doctor’s mother tongue affords!
Already, in reality,
He’s purchas’d immortality.
With sermons pious, heavenly, holy,
He drives the heart to melancholy:
With magic powers he charms the soul,
And bids it into madness roll:
With charity dilates the breast,
And sinks each sordid view to rest.
Or, on a sudden can inspire
The soul with never-quenching fire:
In short, the mind with joy can fill,
Or with despair,—just which he will.
But more,—his pow’r o’er human woes
Not only shines in nervous prose;
In strains delightful and sublime,
He speaks in prose, and writes in rhyme;
“And when he writes in rhyme will make
The one verse for the other’s sake.
The one for sense, and one for rhyme,
He thinks sufficient at a time.”
Yet though his rhymes may be baptiz’d,
Nothing but prosing poetiz’d,
There’s still some difference between ’em,
Which all can tell who’ve ever seen ’em.
For prose he gets with conscience clear,
Full twice five hundred pounds a year;
Yet should his rhymes a folio fill,
They’d never pay his printer’s bill;
But on his shelf in peace recline,
And, but to light his candles, shine.

Claudite jam rivos, pueri: sat prata biberunt. Vir.

To “No snake in the grass,” on his not replying to the lines lately address’d to him.[Pg 86]

Contremuit remus.

Vir. Lib.

The pallid scurvy rogue yet tingling stands,
And holds his breeches close with both his hands.


The Doctor trembling and dismay’d,
To write another word afraid:
In vain implores, with language civil,
The aid of “Lincoln” and the “Devil.”
He hides, from stroke of “scurvy rogues,”
His seat of honour with his “brogues:”
The “tuneful nine,” to see him lash’d,
Hung down their heads and fled abash’d.

Je suis ce que je suis.

LINES BY * * * * * * *

Qui Capit, ever discontented,
Envious, jealous, disaffected:
To stigmatise our Vicar’s toils,
The stigma on himself recoils.
Who is he satirical and vain?
His unjust impudence of what avail?
Qui Capit, know, that God, all just,
Ne’er means his creatures to be curs’d.
You honour the Church, Qui Capit,—no!
Who can believe it?—’tis not so!—
“Virtuo consistit in actione.”
Sir, henceforth, learn to mend your manners,
And ne’er insult your betters.



“Strange such a difference should be,
’Twixt tweedle dum and tweedle dee.”
[Pg 87]“Junius” to rhyme pray bid adieu,
Nor shame the dunghill where you grew,
Hear what a friend of “Qui” advises,
Stick to your “Latin Exercises,”
The muse thy folly will disown,
Pray “tarry till thy beard be grown.”


Old Argus of an hundred eyes could boast,
An hundred fluent tongues had B—k—r’s head,
But Argus all his eyes by music lost,
At dogger’ll rhyme all B—k—r’s tongues have fled.

1835. November. The Rev. W. H. Cartwright, M.A., a grandson of the late Doctor Cartwright, a former vicar of Dudley, was nominated to the valuable living of the parish church, as the successor to the late Dr. Booker. Mr. Cartwright held the living for ten years, and then suddenly exchanged livings with the Rev. James Caulfield Browne, M.A., Rector of Compton Marten, in Somersetshire. Doctor J. C. Browne, held the living for 25 years, and died universally revered and respected, March 11th, 1870. Aged 65 years.

1835. December 16th, died, the Rev. William Humbel Baron Ward, of Birmingham. Aged 54 years. This nobleman was the father of the present Earl of Dudley; but only enjoyed the title and estates a very short time.

Another Borough election in 1837 again set the town alive, and as the great spirit of Reform had received innumerable checks throughout the country; Dudley participated in a modified Reforming declension, and again was unsuccessful in returning a Reformer. A Mr. Merryweather Turner was the Reform candidate brought against the old member, Mr. Hawkes, with the following result:

1.—Mr. Thomas HawkesTory, 385
2.—Mr. Merryweather TurnerReformer, 289
Majority for Mr. Thomas Hawkes96

1838. The Rev. John Davies, M.A., was appointed the incumbent of St. Edmund’s Church. This highly esteemed, hard-working, and truly Christian pastor, held this living for the long period of Thirty-one years, and died April 21st, 1869, universally esteemed and regretted, aged 65 years.


1839. This substantial brick building was erected in 1777, and considerably enlarged in 1839, at a cost of £700; in 1880, further improvements and alterations were made, adding much to the comfort and convenience of the congregation. The Rev. William Rogers, a true specimen of a Welshman, was the zealous minister of this Chapel for many years. There is also a good Sunday School in vigorous operation held in the vestry room. The Baptist connexion have also another Chapel situate at Cinder Bank, Netherton, which is said to be of considerable antiquity. The Rev Geo. M. Michael, B.A., is the present minister.

On the following page will be seen the way in which Holy Mother Church was supported in Dudley in these days of civil and religious liberty!!!



Names of the Persons seized upon.Religious Profession.Trade.Goods seized.Value of Goods seized.Amount of Rate.
£ s. d.£ s. d.
Brown, JamesQuakerConfectioner2 barrels grapes2 10 00 12 1
Beasley, ThomasBaptistSchoolmaster2 desks4 10 00 2 1
Bridgwater, JosephQuakerMaltsterMalt4 6 02 11 0
Cooke, SamuelIndependentDraper3 pair blankets2 5 00 17 11
Hill, ThomasDittoShoe-seller10 pair shoes3 10 00 9 7
Houston, WilliamDittoPawnbroker1 watch2 10 00 10 10
Lay, Benjamin, and SonsQuakerGrocersCheese3 15 01 12 6
Pitchfork, JosephUnitarianSchoolmaster2 tables2 2 00 3 6
Rogers, RichardIndependentClockmaker1 clock5 0 00 9 7
Wood, EdwardDittoPawnbroker1 watch3 0 00 14 7
Wood, W CUnitarianGrocerLoaves of Sugar8 6 63 5 0
Williams, John, and BrothersQuakerMillers2 pockets hops11 11 04 14 2
Williams, JohnDittoMillerBarometer3 10 01 10 2
56 15 617 13 0


Whereas, some ill-looking Persons did, on the 21st of September, 1837, enter the Premises of W. C. WOOD, Grocer, Dudley, and in his absence did wilfully abstract


value £8, the honestly-acquired property of the said W. C. Wood; and, whereas, the said ill-looking Persons left behind them a piece of paper, on which was written that they were under the command of one Person called “Captain,” and of another called “Baker;” and by which it further appears that the property thus taken was to defray the expenses of some kind of a Religion, to which these persons are said to be attached.


that if any Person brings the said parties to Justice, and prosecutes them, so as to satisfy the demands of COMMON HONESTY, he shall receive the above Reward.

The “Captain” stands about 5 feet 6 inches high; of a light complexion.—He has a mark on his left ear, occasioned by a wound received in one of his professional encounters.

The “Baker” is about 5 feet nothing, and a square built, Sancho-Panza kind of a Person; and rivals Punch in his admiration of the Law of the land, and Dogberry in his extensive acquaintance with it.

The Property, it is believed, is now deposited at the Albion Inn, Stone Street, Dudley, where, it is expected to be sold, on Tuesday or Wednesday next, to maintain the aforesaid queer Religion; and W. C. WOOD requests the attendance of his Friends on the occasion, to prevent the Property being sold below its value.

N.B.—It is ascertained that the “Captain’s” party visited, on the same day, the Premises of Mr. S. COOKE, and Mr. E. WOOD, from whence they succeeded in carrying off other Articles, for the same pious purpose; to wit, several pairs of


1840. At this time the town and neighbourhood was upon the balance of either increased depression and adversity, or improved development of the iron and coal trade. In 1836 Mr. Edward Smith built and started at Hartshill a new branch of the iron trade—viz., manufacturing iron hurdles and fencing of a very improved and superior style, strength, and appro[Pg 90]priateness; more especially for our colonial possessions, where thousands of miles of iron and wire fencing have been exported by this eminent firm (Messrs. Hill, Smith, & Co., the Hartshill Works, near Dudley). The Woodside Iron Works were built in 1841 by Messrs. Bramah and Cochrane; but have been considerably enlarged at various times, and employ upwards of 1,000 hands when in full work. The extraordinary engineering and mining ability thrown into this very important iron work by the late esteemed A. B. Cochrane, Esq., J.P., soon placed this firm at the head of that species of iron manufactory for which it is now so world-known. We shall not soon forget that well-earned proud position which the late Mr. Cochrane secured when he exhibited to Lord Overstone and others of the Crystal Palace Exhibition Commissioners, in 1850, a large section of that future exhibition in Hyde Park, London, which brought all nations, kindreds, and tongues to witness the Great World’s Fair. The construction of the iron work of the Crystal Palace of 1851 at the Woodside Works was a marvel of engineering skill and accomplishment, and clearly demonstrated to the world the power and ingenuity which the Woodside Works possessed to make and erect anything in the substance and form of iron.

In 1853 Mr. Cochrane became possessed of these important works by the retirement of Mr. Bramah, and from that date to the period of his untimely death in June, 1863, this establishment secured and maintained almost unparalleled advancement and commercial success. Mr. Cochrane was only 50 years of age at his death, but his natural benevolence and philanthropic leanings stopped not at the usual benevolence which belongs to the large employers of labour in our locality, for his open handed charity induced him, in 1860, to build and maintain at his own cost, the handsome Holly Hall Schools, for the education of the children of his own workmen, and all who felt inclined to be benefitted by its establishment. In 1863 the Vicar of Dudley, the late Dr. Browne, commenced a series of Religious Services, which were conducted by the Rev. Robert Harper, M.A., of the Dudley Grammar School, but were discontinued at the end of eight months. However, on Good Friday, 1865, the Executors of the late Mr. A. B. Cochrane recommenced the Services with much success, under the spiritual guidance and care of the Rev. John Birch, M.A., and eventually the Schools and all their belongings were purchased by the Earl of Dudley, whose open-hearted liberality has so often been extended over almost every object of worth and public utility in Dudley and its neighbourhood. The noble Earl very handsomely provides the funds for the clergyman’s stipend, the Rev. Mr. Swindell, M.A., and, at the same time, pays the expenses of the school management, and discharges all its pecuniary liabilities. An effort is now being made to build a Church at Hartshill to accommodate that vastly increasing population.

In 1847, the late Mr. William Jeffries erected some extensive Iron Works at Hartshill (near Messrs. Cochranes’ Works), which are now known as Messrs Hingley and Smith’s Iron Works, and have been very much enlarged in late years. On June 2nd, 1848, an appalling accident took place at these Iron Works, by the sudden explosion of a large iron boiler, which dealt death and destruction all around; for it is melancholy to relate that 40 men and boys were blown to atoms, in almost an instant, and the destruction to the machinery and works was most serious to the owners.

[Pg 91]

Another famous Iron Master in the Black Country, about this period (the late Samuel H. Blackwell, Esq., J.P.), contributed by his indomitable activity and knowledge to a large amount of improvement and development in the Iron and Coal trade. The Old Russell’s Hall Furnaces sprung into being and activity under his management, and Bilston also benefitted by his energy and manufacturing operations in that quarter. Mr. Blackwell was a learned Geologist, and took great interest in trying to prove many of the then undissolved problems in Geology and Iron making. This gentleman had the distinguished honour conferred upon him of being strenuously solicited to become one of the Members in Parliament for South Staffordshire, but this distinction he declined, alleging that his immense manufacturing engagements precluded such a possibility. Many of Mr. Blackwell’s speculations turned out unfortunate, and when an adverse turn took place in the Iron trade, he was compelled to suspend his numerous operations, and died (March 25, 1868) at the comparatively early age of 52 years.

The appointment of the late Richard Smith, Esq., J.P., as Mining Agent and Manager for Lord Ward’s extensive estates about this time, augured well for an increase of prosperity in this large mining district. Mr. Smith’s undoubted energy and ability, and his thorough knowledge of all things belonging to mining operations, ensured every confidence in those who understand these matters, that the “right man was in the right place.” The feebleness and almost inaction of his predecessor was soon dissipated, and although Mr. Smith had his detractors and opponents in opinion in many important operations that he was concerned in, nevertheless it cannot now be fairly gainsayed that he was most assuredly the leading spirit and pioneer of that vast amount of mining development which characterized the Iron and Coal trades in these parts during the time he was at the head of Lord Dudley’s affairs. Mr. Smith’s judgment and far-seeing policy laid the foundation of much that has since then been accomplished, and the town of Dudley and the whole district have been substantially and commercially benefitted thereby. Let any unprejudiced mind make a survey of the increased villages and hamlets which have arisen around us during the last 30 years, and he will not fail to note that Pits, Iron Works, Chain and Nail Manufactories have sprung up where farm houses and green fields once existed in peaceful seclusion. The laying down of upwards of 20 miles of mineral railroads on his Lordship’s estate to facilitate his vast working operations, the erection of the Round Oak Furnaces and Iron Works in 1855, and the additional New Works built in 1863, all combined to assist in that grand scheme of scientific development, which had its birth in the fertile brain of the late Richard Smith, and which gave ready employment to thousands of our hardy sons of toil, increasing our local trades and population, and adding materially to our progress and wealth.

We have another “honoured worthy” Iron Master to record in our history, that modern Dud Dudley of our district, the lately lamented Noah Hingley, Esq., J.P. The man who introduces a new industry into a district is a real benefactor to his fellow man; and the splendid Anchor, Chain and Cable Works, now in full operation at Primrose Hill, Netherton, proclaim the wisdom and ability which the late Mr. Hingley put in practical force, under many almost overwhelming difficulties, when he introduced that particular kind of iron manufacture into our midst. Assisted by his[Pg 92] equally energetic sons, this renowned firm (Messrs. Noah Hingley and Sons), possess also the newly constructed blast furnaces at Old Hill, besides other works of importance, constructing much of the minor materials for their large works. The death of this good old gentleman, in 1877, drew the tears of sincere regret from thousands of the working classes of this neighbourhood; and the public funeral, which was accorded to his remains, witnessed one of the largest gatherings of respectably dressed, sorrowful men, women, and children, that ever assembled on any occasion to pay their last mark of regard to real departed worth. The Mayor and Corporation of Dudley attended these obsequies in public procession; Mr. Hingley being an Alderman of the Borough, and in 1870-1 its esteemed mayor.


1840. This new and commodious Congregational Chapel was built and opened for Divine Worship in 1841, under the pastorship of that excellent minister the Rev. James Dawson, who held that increasingly arduous appointment for a period of forty years. The yearly increasing numbers of the members of this Christian Church, after Mr. Dawson had been thoroughly engrafted into his truly earnest and evangelical work, made it necessary that three enlargements of the old chapel were required; for, as the minister’s popularity increased, his chapel became so inconveniently filled that the heads of the connexion took sweet council together, and determined upon erecting a much larger chapel, more suited to their requirements. The present chapel contains about 1,200 sittings, and there is an excellent Sunday school connected with this respectable body of worshippers, instructing in spiritual grace upwards of 400 children. Mr. Dawson only lived three years after the opening of the new chapel to enjoy the spiritual fruits of a long life of affectionate zeal and energy on behalf of those immortal souls committed to his charge. This handsome brick structure cost £3,500, raised by the congregation, and happily is quite free from incumbrance. It is in the recollection of some of the oldest inhabitants that the establishment of this sanctuary arose in consequence of a split or religious disagreement occurring amongst the Unitarian congregation in Wolverhampton Street at that period, which ended in the secession of many of its communion. The Rev. G. M. Fox, B.A., is the present most indefatigable minister.


1840, July 27th. These two unpretending and unmeaning looking district Churches were consecrated this day by the Rev. Robert James, Lord Bishop of Worcester. Architect, Mr. William Bourne, Dudley. The first Incumbent of St. John’s was the Rev. Mr. Short, M.A. The first Incumbent of St. James’ was the Rev. Chas. Cameron, M.A. The Builders were Mr. Thos. Pitt Stokes and Mr. John Holland, Dudley. The site and burial ground, in both cases, were given by that very liberal Church Patron, Lord Ward. Both these Churches have within the last few years undergone considerable alterations and attempts at restoration to what a Church ought to represent when finished, and much of their former barn-like features have thereby been obliterated, much to the comfort and satisfaction of the worshippers attending thereat. These extensive restorations were defrayed by public subscriptions.

The year 1841 brought us another trial of political strength in this borough, and Mr. Hawkes was pitted against a Mr. J. A. Smith, a Reformer of very moderate pretensions, but with the like results; Mr. Hawkes held the good opinions, as a useful local man, of the majority of the electors, an[Pg 93]d he was the third time elected member for Dudley.

1. Mr. Thomas Hawkes, Tory436
2. Mr. J. A. Smith, Reformer189
Majority for Mr. Hawkes247


1842. This very valuable and highly acceptable institution, to the distressed poor especially, was established by a number of benevolent ladies and gentlemen in the town, during one of those cycles of hard times and bad trade to which this town and district is periodically subject. Messrs. Thomas and Isaac Badger, Mr. Wm. Barrows, Mr. Cornelius Cartwright, Messrs. Bourne and Wainwright, the Rev. W. H. Cartwright, M.A., Vicar, &c., Miss Banks, Mrs. H. M. Wainwright, Mrs. Wm. Barrows, Mrs. Dr. Roberts, and other ladies and townsmen, lent a most willing hand to this work of charity. From that period, until now, this deserving institution yearly distributes its weekly bounty to thousands of distressed families, in our bleak and dreary winter months. Its income is about £300 a year.


1842. This fine brick edifice, forming a centre with two projecting wings, situated in King Street, was erected in 1790, and had considerable additions and alterations made in 1810 and 1825. It contains about 850 sittings, of which 190 are free. The Wesleyan Members in this town and neighbourhood are a highly respectable and liberal communion of Evangelical people, having during the last hundred years exercised a most Christian and beneficial effect upon this town and locality. In the earlier days of Methodist troubles and internal contentions, this good old Chapel had its share of them; for there are some alive amongst us who can recollect the painful disruptions some 50 years ago, when pulling recusant and unpopular parsons out of the pulpit by main force, portrayed too painfully the dissensions which then reigned in the midst of the Methodist community. The Ministers in this chapel are appointed at the Annual Wesleyan Conference. There is an excellent Sunday-school at the rear of the Chapel, where 300 children receive a careful scriptural training. A few years ago a very handsome New Wesleyan Chapel was erected at Dixon’s Green, which is a great boon to the numerous Wesleyans residing in that increasing locality.


1842. This modern Gothic Church was opened on March 7th, 1842, by his eminence Cardinal Wiseman. Previous to the erection of this sacred edifice the Roman Catholics in Dudley worshipped in a small Chapel in King Street, or were necessitated to travel to Sedgley. The Catholic Church was founded and built at the sole cost of the Honourable Rev. George Spencer, better known afterwards as “Father Ignatius.” The land was given by Mr. William Fletcher, nail master, of Dudley. In 1875, this Church was altered and restored at a cost of upwards of £1,000. The Rev. J. I. Bond, M.R., being the resident priest.

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1843. April 12th, died Mr. Wm. Maurice, Bookseller and Printer, Market Place, an energetic adherent to the Unitarian cause in this town, and much respected by a large circle of friends. Aged 70 years.

Died, December 23rd, 1843, the Rev. James Dawson, Pastor of the Independent Chapel, King Street. In penning a few remarks upon the lamented death of this venerable and pious Christian Minister, who for the long period of 40 years conducted his valuable ministerial duties in the Congregational Chapel in King Street, I have to acknowledge the kindness and courtesy of his son, Mr. John Dawson, Chemist of the Town, who has furnished me with a perusal of the inner life (a diary) of his lamented father’s serious inspirations often offered up to the Throne of Mercy on behalf of his attached flock. “In 1801, Mr. Dawson came as a Minister on Probation to King Street Chapel, and on June 1st, 1803, he was ordained to the Pastoral Office over the Church of Christ at Dudley.” The following is a copy of his certificate of office and authority.

“This is to certify that our Brother the Revd. James Dawson was regularly set apart to the Pastoral Office in the Church of Christ, meeting in King Street, Dudley, in the County of Worcester, on the first of June, 1803.

Signed, J. Brewer, Birmingham,

J. Moody, Warwick,

Obh. Bennett,

Wm. Williams, Birmingham,

Jno. Hudson, West Bromwich,

Thos. Chipperfield, Stretton,

S. Hanwell,

B. Eaton.”

Such then was the form of Ordination of a Minister in the Independent Society of Christian worshippers in those remote days, whether such is the authority now in use I am unable to assert.

Some jarring and hasty remarks have lately been floated in our local Press, hurling serious charges against the religious belief and good manners of the people of Dudley in our own days. Past experience, and actual facts, loudly rebut such insane assertions, for we have only to take a survey of this important Borough now to witness the religious and scholastic zeal exhibited in the erection of Churches, Chapels, and Sunday Schools to the Glory of God and the spiritual good of the people; which its inhabitants have long placed in broad day-light, shewing their Christian benevolence and charity. Comparisons sometimes become odious; and a perusal of the following extract from the memoranda of the late Revd. James Dawson, may assuage some disappointed feelings, and remove recent and unpleasant impressions. “When the revival of religion took place in England, through the instrumentality of Whitfield and Westley, Dudley with the rest of the Kingdom partook of the advantages. Previous to this revival, the town, with the surrounding neighbourhood, was in an awful state of moral darkness. The congregation assembling in the Wolverhampton Street Chapel had forsaken the truth, and God had forsaken them. All was gloom and desolation in the Church; for the Gospel had not been preached in it [Pg 95]since the time of Richard Baxter, who officiated in St. Thomas’s Church nine months, and taught the Grammar School. The Countess of Huntingdon’s Students and Ministers brought the Gospel to Dudley, and laboured for a considerable time in a dwelling house in King Street, and to their labours must be traced the erection of a new Calvinistic Chapel in this town. It was erected in the year 1788, in what is called her Ladyship’s Connexion. Owing to a variety of causes, but chiefly to the inefficiency of the supplies, and a heavy debt upon the Chapel, the cause did not prosper. Difficulties pressed upon the few people who attended, and it was feared the place must be sold to liquidate the debt, and at length it was deemed necessary to turn the Chapel over to the hands of Trustees, and transform it into a Congregational Church. This change was effected in the year 1792. After this period it was supplied chiefly by occasional Ministers from Birmingham and other neighbouring places. In the year 1800, application was made to Thomas Wilson, Esq., of London, Treasurer to the Dissenting College at Hoxton, for a Student to come amongst them with a view to a settlement. Their prayers were heard, and Mr. James Dawson was appointed to visit them, who, ultimately, took upon him the charge of the Church, and was ordained to the Pastoral Office on June 1st, 1803. In the year 1809, the front gallery was erected at a cost of £100, raised entirely by the Congregation. It was found necessary in 1815 to erect side galleries, the seats of which were soon occupied. More seats were soon required, and by a removal of the Sunday Scholars from under the front gallery into different parts of the Chapel, and by a further addition of seats in 1819, the increasing congregation was accommodated. In the year 1824, it was thought necessary to enlarge the Chapel still further. A meeting of a few friends was held to consult upon the best method of accomplishing the object, when subscriptions were entered into, and the enlargement was commenced and finished the same year. The seats were soon occupied, and the place became again too small to accommodate all who were desirous of attending, and after much deliberation it was determined to erect a New Chapel upon a scale sufficiently large for all who were willing to hear the Gospel, and especially to afford room for the poor. The Foundation Stone was laid the 21st day of May, 1839. May the blessing of God rest upon it, and render it a blessing to thousands of the fallen sons of Adam. Gloria sit Deo. James Dawson, Scripsit, 1839.”

The Rev. James Dawson, during the forty years he laboured as the beloved and respected minister of this Church of Christ, secured the goodwill and esteem of all denominations. His great energy in the pulpit and his unwearied efforts amongst his flock, supported as it was by his strong evangelical views, caused his name to be revered far and wide, and the life-long result of his ministry was a cheering evidence of what spiritual blessings a good man can confer upon his fellows. Mr. Dawson was a very retiring and humble-minded gentleman, very fearful of being the cause of offence, for in 1805 we find him writing, “It appears highly improper to speak evil of any one, but much more for one Christian to speak evil of another. How hateful, then, must it appear for one minister to speak evil of another; it is exceedingly bad and most horrible.” We find his aspirations and thankfulness for his yearly increase of spiritual work to be quite child-like and steadfast; for he writes, “This evening I was very comfortable at the prayer meeting; found great liberty in addressing a few who were present; our members increase both at the prayer meetings and[Pg 96] public assemblies, for which I am thankful, and pray they may more rapidly increase in knowledge and true holiness.” Increasing years and duties, however, pressed hard upon this zealous servant of Christ, for in the latter part of his earthly sojourn he writes thus, “Although, through the kindness and mercy of my God, I enjoy a good measure of health and vigour of constitution, yet I feel myself incompetent to the full discharge of ministerial duties; visiting becomes irksome; occasional preaching in the neighbourhood, and meeting Bible classes impracticable at my time of life. The spirit is willing but the flesh is weak.” A monument in the chapel records his death and excellency; he died December 23rd, 1843, aged 65 years.

In August, 1844, the town was suddenly made acquainted with the unwelcome news that Mr. Hawkes was about to resign his seat in Parliament, and that a fit and proper person would have to be elected in his place. Rumour, with her thousand tongues, ran hard and fast in conjecture and doubts as to the coming candidate; for it had long been observed that the Priory influence was yearly gaining strength and dictation, and the future Reform influence in the borough was being reduced to very narrow dimensions. The minds of the electors were soon put to rest by the announcement that Mr. John Benbow, of London (of the firm of Messrs Benbow and Tucker, solicitors, London), was the favoured Tory candidate, to do battle for Church and State in Dudley. The Anti-Corn Law League (emanating from Manchester), had already done a heavy uphill work throughout the kingdom, in advocating the total repeal of the Corn Laws; and some of its most talented public advocates had already obtained seats in Parliament as the reward of their fidelity to that great public question.

The Reformers of Dudley considering that the promotion of trade and commerce was more intimately connected with them than the interests of the British Farmer, for everyone had got hold of the hackneyed saying, “that we must buy in the cheapest, and sell in the dearest market,” decided to run a Free-Trade candidate at this by-election in the person of Mr. William Rawson, the chairman of the Anti-Corn Law League. Mr. Rawson’s claims upon the electors of Dudley mainly consisted in his advocacy of Free Trade, not only in corn, but everything else, whilst “the little loaf, and the big loaf” were held up to the gazing crowd, as the sign-posts of cheap bread, good wages, and increased commercial progress, and prosperity. Mr. Benbow had the advantage of a very different introduction to the electors; to many of whom he was well-known as the legal adviser to the trustees of the then young Lord Ward, whose immense wealth and popularity was the pass-word to any man’s success. Mr. Benbow was not a fluent speaker, neither was Mr. Rawson, so that we had not much speechifying from these gentlemen; it was said, that Mr. Rawson was a great thinker; however, these deficiencies were made up by the incessant fluency of Mr. Samuel Cooke, a respectable linen draper, of Dudley, Mr. William Insull, and Thomas Hill, who had become pronounced Chartists, and whose advocacy for many years of the Nine Points of the Charter entitled them to the regard and esteem of the whole force of the working classes in this town and district. Mr. Cooke was a well-read gentleman, with a zeal and honesty of purpose which few men can aspire to; there was a purity and singleness of aim in his public deliverances which secured him the respect of all good thinking people; and when he was committed to Worcester prison for a time, for what was then construed into seditious speaking, he was received back again to the scene of his [Pg 97]well-meant labours with public triumph and cordial congratulations.

This election, however, came off under some popular excitement, for Free Trade was then the great war cry, and it had upset one Ministry and was wrecking the stability of another; but the Castle influence was proved to be too overwhelming for the popular cause; and the day of nomination, with its hordes of men driven up to the hustings like sheep, to hold up their hands for whom they were bidden, was, in truth and in deed, a sad exhibition of what was misnamed freedom of election. Mr. Benbow was elected by a good majority, and entered the House of Commons as a decided Tory representative.

1. Mr. John Benbow, Tory388
2. Mr. William Rawson, Free Trader175
Majority for Mr. Benbow213

Benefit Societies, established by the most intelligent of the working classes, had begun now to have a very beneficial effect in teaching the great principles of self help. The Manchester Unity of Odd Fellows had taken the lead throughout the country in this respect, and in the parish of Dudley we had upwards of 1,500 members enrolled.

1845. July 14th. A monster and grand procession of Odd Fellows walked the town this day, and went to a service at the Parish Church, when a collection was made for the Widows and Orphans’ Fund, amounting to £10 12s. 3d.

1845. July 30th. The Rev. Doctor Browne, Vicar of Dudley, was installed an Odd Fellow in the “Rose and Thistle” Lodge, and the worthy Doctor’s zeal on behalf of the Widows and Orphans’ was most manifest in the parish.


1845. This small place of worship is approached through a passage leading out of High Street. It was originally built in 1670, was enlarged in 1793, and has since had additional alterations. The Friends are a small and select body of worshippers in this town, and appear to have suffered severe and uncharitable persecution at times, for it is recorded that on the 2nd May, 1665, four Friends of Dudley were seized by one Major Wilde, and a troop of horsemen, and taken to Worcester Gaol, kept there thirteen days till the Assizes and Sessions were over, and then committed to the common jail for three months without any trial, or even being brought into open court. At the expiration of their time of imprisonment, these Friends were brought into open court and fined 12d. each, and then dismissed. The heinous crime with which they had been charged was, “that they would not take an oath.” Surely we live in happier days of freedom and enlightenment, which is not always duly appreciated by the censorious and narrow-minded citizens of the present age, both social and religious pressure being often exercised in the sacred name of civil and religious liberty.


1845. May 14. The foundation of this most valuable and humane institution bears date from this period. A public meeting of the inhabitants was held at the Town Hall, on May 14th, 1845, under the presidency of Edward Terry, Esq., the Mayor, “For the purpose of adopting such means[Pg 98] as might be deemed best calculated to afford efficient medical relief gratuitously to indigent persons residing in the district, and especially of considering whether the establishment of a hospital at Dennis Park, to be called the Dudley and Stourbridge Hospital, be desirable or otherwise.” The subject was discussed with much animation and consideration for the wants of the indigent poor in the Dudley district. It was, moreover, considered that the wealth and kindly feeling of the inhabitants of Dudley and its immediate neighbourhood was a sufficient guarantee that a dispensary should and could be handsomely supported and maintained in the town of Dudley, irrespective of any pecuniary assistance from the Stourbridge district. After much discussion, the following resolutions were unanimously carried:—1st, “That in consequence of the distance of the intended hospital from this town and parish, such an institution would not be attended with so much advantage to Dudley and its immediate locality as a Dispensary.” 2nd, “That this meeting is fully of opinion that the establishment of a Dispensary to provide gratuitous medical assistance to those who are unable to procure professional relief for themselves, is the most desirable plan that can be adopted for this immediate district, and that a subscription be now opened to carry this object into effect.” The handsome sum of £178 was speedily collected in donations, and premises were taken in the Upper High Street at a rental of £40 per annum, and converted into a Public Dispensary. Mr. Richard Meredith was appointed the first resident Medical Officer, and the Institution was opened with an annual subscription list of £289. In 1860 it was deemed necessary to enlarge the usefulness of this charitable institution by erecting a more commodious building better adapted to its yearly increasing requirements. The noble Earl of Dudley, under the circumstances, presented the committee with a very eligible building site in the Priory Road; and that ever-to-be-remembered humble and unostentatious townsman, Joseph Guest, Esq., and friend to every good cause in Dudley, at once volunteered to erect the new dispensary at his sole cost. This noble and truly Christian offer was at once accepted, and the present Dudley Dispensary stands amongst us as a living testimony of the benevolent consideration of a worthy Dudley gentleman, the late Joseph Guest, Esq. It was said that the dispensary cost upwards of £1,600 in its erection. There is one feature in the management of this valuable institution which requires immediate rectification, viz., that a large number of patients who now derive benefit from this valuable institution are not the kind of people (the indigent poor) for whom it was originally established, and the rules of the institution are constantly broken by subscribers giving tickets to such applicants for medical relief.

Railway speculations, and numberless new railway projects cropped up all over the kingdom, and at Dudley we had the honour of entertaining what was called “The Battle of the Gauges,” a most scientific difference of opinion, “whether the Narrow Gauge, or the Broad Gauge,” was likely to be the most conducive to the public good. We had numerous private, and two public, meetings held to discuss this important question, inasmuch as two Railway lines were projected from Wolverhampton (via Dudley), to London and Bristol, &c. The one named the Oxford, Worcester, and Wolverhampton Railway (Broad Gauge), the other was called the Tring Railway (Narrow Gauge), branching off to Birmingham in its route to London. After much ignorant conception and argument about the merits of each project (for we were entirely in the hands of the Speculators[Pg 99], Lawyers, and Engineers), it was unfortunately for the future advantage of Dudley decided to support the “Broad Gauge” (the Oxford, Worcester, and Wolverhampton line), which Bill passed the House of Lords on July 31st, 1845, and was commenced shortly afterwards.

1846. Mr. C. F. G. Clark, Chemist of this town, who had taken a very prominent part in supporting sound Odd Fellowship in this town and district, delivered a very luminous and entertaining lecture in the Lancaster School-room, Dudley (Dr. Browne, Vicar in the chair), “On the Origin, History and Principles of the Society of Odd Fellows.” This lecture (on a novel subject) attracted upwards of 500 of the public, and the clear, and lucid manner in which the lecturer stripped Odd Fellowship of many of its believed absurdities, and shewed “the advantages of a society, which not only affords a vast amount of assistance to its own members, but also relieves the Poor Rates, and other burdens upon parishes to an unparalleled extent, by teaching its members to be provident, sober, loyal, and industrious.” The profits of the sale of this lecture were given to the Widows and Orphans’ Fund, when upwards of £50 was added to that excellent Fund. Mr. Clark continued to lecture in this laudable cause for some years in this district.

Odd Fellowship, M.U.—On Friday evening week, March 27th, 1846, a lecture was delivered in the Lancasterian School Room, Stafford Street, Dudley, by Mr. C. F. G. Clark, “On the Origin, History, and Principles of the Manchester Unity of Odd Fellows.” The audience was very numerous, and the room, which is large, was well filled. The chair was taken by Dr. Browne, Vicar of Dudley, who briefly claimed for the lecturer a patient hearing. Mr. Clark opened his lecture with an introduction on the character of benefit societies in general, showing the superiority of Odd Fellowship over most other similar institutions. No society, he observed, that had ever been established in this country had afforded the amount of real benefit to its members which had been conferred by the Loyal and Independent Order of Odd Fellows of the Manchester Unity. He briefly noticed the origin of these institutions, expressing his opinion that they were to be traced from the Ancient Guilds, established by the church, in the time of the Saxons. He explained several of the laws of the societies of Guilds, and showed that they were established for a similar object to that of the societies of Odd Fellows. The Manchester Unity, he observed, was established in 1812 by twenty-seven working men, in Manchester, and remained in obscurity for some years, until in 1820 it was introduced into many of the large towns in the kingdom by the migrations of the Manchester brethren, and from that time its progress was rapid and signal. In 1838, it was introduced into Scotland, where it has been fostered with a spirit highly creditable to that far-seeing and intelligent people. In the Isle of Man, the doctrines of the Order had been so propagated that scarcely a man of any degree of station or character remained unconnected with it. There were upwards of 4,000 lodges in the Unity, and they were dispersed throughout Great Britain and Ireland, Malta, India, Australia, the Canadas, the United States of America, and other possessions of the British empire. In the year 1844 the society received into its funds £326,207, out of which was expended in purposes of relief £170,182, and for carrying on the extensive working of the system £71,420. Mr. Clark [Pg 100]next noticed the system of government adopted by the institution, and most minutely explained the advantages arising from its completeness and comprehensiveness. He then called attention to several individual cases of benefit, and showed that Noah Clarke, of the Cumberland Lodge, received up to his death in 1843, upwards of £300 from the funds of the Cumberland Lodge, in the Manchester District. He noticed the objections which had been raised by many men to the Order, which he replied to with much ability. In closing his remarks, the lecturer noticed the benefit which the institution had afforded in Dudley. In the year 1842 and 1843, when trade was so bad, £432 3s. 3d. was paid on account of sickness and distress by the Wellington Lodge alone. During fifteen years and a half, David Pearson, of the Good Intent Lodge, held in High Street, had received upwards of £145; and Thomas Tomlinson, of the Wellington Lodge, in Stone Street, during fourteen years and a half, upwards of £120. He concluded by reading an eloquent tribute to the Order written by Dr. Wright, of Birmingham, and sat down amidst loud applause. Thanks were afterwards voted to the chairman for his kindness in presiding, and to Mr. Clark for his eloquent and instructive lecture.”—From the Birmingham Journal.

Died June 22nd, 1846, Mr. Jeffrey Finch, of Portersfield, Fender Manufacturer; a true specimen of a kind, genial, “Dudley man of ancient descent.” Aged 59 years.

Died June 24th, 1846, Mr. Rice, Castle Street. Aged 56 years.

1846. June 30th. The jury at Worcester Sessions awarded the sum of £3,440 to Mr. Ralph Musselwhite, Draper, for his shop and house being pulled down, standing on the Market flat, he demanding from the Dudley Town Commissioners £4,800!!!

1846. November 10th. A piece of very handsome silver plate was this day presented to Captain Wm. Bennett, of this town, as the result of a public subscription, “to mark the sense of his public services and worth.” The testimonial was presented by Lord Ward in a very complimentary speech.

Died February 1st, 1847, Mr. James Morris, Chemist and Druggist, of Dudley, a famous freemason. Aged 48 years.

Died March 22nd, 1847, old Mr. Wm. Fellowes, Senior, Castle Street. This old gentleman was a well known person in this town, and an acute lawyer in his day, with some eccentricity of character and thought. Aged 86 years.

In the month of June this year, it was quite evident in the political horizon that a dissolution of Parliament was at hand, and that our member, Mr. Jno. Benbow, M.P., would seek re-election; accordingly, on the 6th of July, the following address was freely circulated in the borough:—



A dissolution of Parliament being soon expected to take place, I hasten to solicit a renewal of that important trust which, in 1844, you kindly confided to me. During the period of my service in [Pg 101]Parliament, I have ever been most anxious to prove my grateful sense of your generous confidence, by a diligent and faithful discharge of the duties which it imposed. On questions of national policy, which have been of more than ordinary magnitude, I have honestly supported those measures which the exigencies of the times, and the conflicting claims of the various interests of our free but complicated state seemed to me to demand; while in all that concerns your local interests it has been my constant endeavours to extend the trade and manufactures of your important town and neighbourhood, and to advance the general improvement of your borough. If by your suffrages I am again placed in the distinguished situation as your representative, it shall be my zealous aim to enhance your prosperity, and promote the welfare of our common country.

I have the honour to be,


Your faithful and obliged servant,


July 6th, 1847.

Mr. Benbow, it was thought, was not going to have such an easy walk over, as his admirers had anticipated, for a Mr. Joseph Linney, an out and out Chartist, from Bilston, was trotted before admiring reformers by our old friend Mr. Samuel Cook, with the evident intent of embracing the opportunity of airing the Six Points of the Charter. On July 24th, this Bilston Firebrand issued a long-winded address to the Electors, embracing—

1. Universal Suffrage,
2. Vote by Ballot,
3. Annual Parliaments,
4. No Property Qualification,
5. Payment of Members,
6. Equal Electoral Districts.

In summing up his discourse, he says: “I have but to add in conclusion, that, if returned, I shall lend my support to those measures facilitating by Railroad and Cheap Postage the means of easy and rapid transmission and intercourse; thus I shall oppose all Foreign Wars not rendered necessary for self-defence or the purposes of humanity, and that I shall feel it my duty annually to present myself before the inhabitants of your Borough in public meeting assembled, and there to resign my trust into their hands, should such be the will of the majority.”

Now it so happened that Mr. Linney was a voluminous talker, and his free presence on the hustings with his friend, Samuel Cook, Mr. Wm. Insull, and kindred spirits, was looked forward to with dismay by one party, and hilarity by the other, for a turn of local fun was sure to arise in the public discussions. Another element of discord, also, arose amongst some of Mr. Benbow’s previous supporters, arising from the galling political dictation now assumed by the Priory influence. It was determined that if we were to be ridden by lordly influence that we would elect a local man whom we could trust to represent us, and it was at once determined to invite our own townsman, Mr. Thomas Badger, a very large employer of labour both in Dudley and the neighbourhood, to offer himself for the suffrages of the electors. Mr. Benbow and his friends became now thoroughly alarmed, and aroused to immediate action; for the old gentleman trudged down to Dudley to survey the situation, and at once issued [Pg 102]the following laconic address:—



The dissolution having ensued, I now wait upon you to ask your suffrages, and should I be kindly favoured with a renewal of your confidence, so as to be again enabled to discharge the important duties which will devolve upon your representative in Parliament, you may rest assured that I will endeavour to repay the obligation by all the means in my power.

I am,

Your most obedient servant,


Dudley, July 24th, 1847

The political freedom of Dudley was now in the throes of life, or death; and whilst our highly respected townsman, Mr. Badger, was counting the cost, and rehearsing in his mind the past experience of his friend Mr. Hawkes, late M.P. for Dudley, in Parliamentary matters, the following “Curiosities of Dudley” appeared before the disturbed Electors.


To the Independent Electors of the Borough of Dudley.


A dissolution of Parliament is at hand, and I hear of no other candidate for our suffrages besides our present Member. Is it not, however, worthy of enquiry, if this gentleman, a London Lawyer, a nominee, and personally unknown to the great majority of you, is the man of your choice, and a proper representative of your wants and interests in Parliament, and has he fair claims to be re-elected by you?

To justify these claims, what have been his doings since he held his seat for this borough? What has he done for the country at large, or for the constituency he represents? When the most momentous question that could be raised in a Protestant country was agitated—the revival of Popery in the endowment of the Papist College of Maynooth, was he at his post to defend the strongest bulwark of our national prosperity and glory—our reformed Christianity—or did he not skulk behind the scenes at each division on this vital question—and, by an ignoble silence, allow that measure which opens a broad inroad to the triumph of Popery, to pass without his vote? Is such a man worthy of the confidence of a Protestant constituency?—And in what other measure of national importance, and for the welfare of the people, has he taken any part? As to matters of local interest, his conduct in the case of the Bill [Pg 103]for the Oxford, Worcester, and Wolverhampton Railway will not soon be forgotten. To this measure, which promised the greatest benefit to the town and district, and which was hailed and supported by a vast majority of his constituents, he presented the most determined, unwearied and implacable opposition, and ever since it has passed has continued to throw every obstacle which malice or litigation could invent in the way of its progress. I say nothing to a number of other matters of local concernment, which, in proportion to their importance, redound as little to his credit.

And what has been his bearing towards those of his constituents who have held any official intercourse with him? Strong, or fancying himself so, in the interest of his patron, he has looked down upon them, if not with positive contempt, with the most supercilious indifference—riding rough-shod over them, their opinions, and their wishes, in the pure style of an “Irresponsible.” Too haughty to listen to their petitions, and acknowledging no one’s judgment or will but his own, his career has been as that of a tyrant among a nation of serfs. And yet he has the hardihood to offer himself again to the suffrages of these insulted constituents, and, strange to say, they seem prepared to sit down in this state of degradation.

But I shall be told that the honourable member has done great things for our borough, and that he has made full atonement for all his sins, in procuring from his patron—(one would think they were his own gift, if the selfishness of his nature were not too well known)—sites for a prison, schools, &c. And does he, or will you, my fellow electors, rob the noble head of the house of Dudley of these acts of justice and benevolence, or will you ascribe to the agent the act of the principal? Had MR. BENBOW never heard of that honourable name, I hesitate not to aver, that the borough of Dudley had been no loser at all in the matter.

Is he, then, I repeat, the man who ought to represent us in Parliament? And have we no one among ourselves equally, or better, qualified to support our interests, and to whom some debt, not of reproach, but of public gratitude is due? I think we have, and I would name THOMAS BADGER, Esq., as one. No man is better acquainted with the interests and wants of our borough than he is, and no man has exerted himself so much and successfully to promote them, or would labour more faithfully and zealously in support of those wants and interests. Living all his life among us, his character is well known to be unimpeached and unimpeachable.—Strong and clear in his judgment, firm and decided in his principles and proceedings, and well experienced, by years and business, in the knowledge of our commerce, and of men and things, and with a property sufficient to place him above temptation, he is well-fitted to serve [Pg 104]the interests of his neighbours and his country. I do not know that he would accept the trust, but I think he ought to be invited to do so, and I throw out this hint in the hope that it may be taken up and succeed.


Dudley, July 20, 1847.


A word in the Ear of an Independent Elector of Dudley.

My Dear “Independent,”

What a funny fellow you are! Asking at this time of the day, if Mr. Benbow is the man of the choice of the Dudley Independent Electors? And whether he is not “a nominee?” What fun! To ask if these things are not “worthy of enquiry?” You droll dog! Ask whether the sun shines? “What has he done for the country at large, or for the constituency he represents?” I fearlessly answer he has done his duty. “Nominees” attend to the interests of those who nominate them. And has he not perseveringly upheld the interests of his patron in all the railway struggle? What had the “vast majority of his constituents” to do with the matter? True it is, he opposed the Oxford, Worcester, and Wolverhampton Railway Bill, which was hailed and supported by a vast majority of his constituents, and that he continues “the most determined, unwearied, and implacable opposition” to it; but yet he will be re-elected without opposition; clearly showing it is no business of theirs. The line of Railway Mr. Benbow supported was the most beneficial for Lord Ward’s estates, and that is one and the same thing as the Borough of Dudley. Could the constituency expect more? His conduct respecting the endowment of the “Papist College of Maynooth,” may have been, from what is known, more independent! We know not what Lord Ward’s opinions on this subject are:—and Mr Benbow, may, in this instance, have equally disregarded the opinions of the “Independent Electors of Dudley,” and of his Patron. Whether they were alarmed at “the revival of Popery,” or simply objected to the grant of the public money for an exclusively sectarian religious education, he may, in this instance, have voted to please himself! ’Tis clear the “Independent Electors” had nothing to do with it.

You forgot the Corn-law affair! The “Independent electors,” at the last election, returned Mr. Benbow in opposition to Mr. Rawson, the enthusiastic Treasurer of the Anti-Corn Law League, expressly to uphold those laws, and “protect native industry;” and he voted for their total abolition! [Pg 105]’Tis true in so doing he showed a similarity of opinion between himself and Lord Ward;—and a decided diversity between himself and his “Independent” supporters! In return for his independent conduct, his “Independent” supporters, will again vote for, and elect him Member for Dudley. Never before was such a band of disinterested Patriots known! Among them stands pre-eminent, Thomas Badger, Esq., selected by you as a proper person to oppose Mr. Benbow! In homely language, you have selected him to “bell the cat?” There are rumours afloat of the deliberations of the council when this measure was proposed! And if there be truth in these rumours, these deliberations came to a similar result with those of the mouse council! viz., that the advice was very bold, but its execution, by any member of the council, hopeless. I thought you too severe here. To look for any electors of the Borough of Dudley, who approve of Mr. Badger’s political principles, of sufficient courage and independence to oppose the Himley Influence was too bad. Mr. Badger would repudiate any such admirer.

Mr. Benbow is the man for Dudley. ’Tis true he voted for the extended Grant to Maynooth, in opposition to many of his supporters: no matter;—they will generously support him as before! ’Tis true he broke all his pledges to uphold the Corn Laws to the disgust and indignation of his “independent” supporters: no matter;—they will rally round him at the hustings! ’Tis true he opposed himself to the interests and wishes of the great majority of the electors and inhabitants of the Borough in the Railway affair: no matter;—they dare not vote against him at the poll! ’Tis true he has neglected the interests of his nominal constituents whilst living: no matter;—he has procured from his patron the grant of burial grounds, without charge, for their benefit, when dead he provided them with graves; ’Tis true; the independence of the Borough is utterly destroyed: no matter;—Mr. Benbow, like a generous enemy, has provided a decent burial!

When you next write, be guarded in what you say; Mr. Benbow may find you out; although you do not sign your name, and although you cut off the Printer’s name and address: he is so sharp. And woe betide any one he catches tripping.

Your sincere friend,


Dudley, July 22, 1847.

“Dudley Castle in Modern Times.”


After Shakespeare.

Scene.A Room in Smith’s Hotel.


[Pg 106]Enter ISAAC (musing) with the Standard paper in his hand.

Isaac. Gentlemen, I come no more to make you laugh, things that bear a weighty and serious brow, full of state and woe, such scenes as draw the eyes to tears, we now present. This paper tells me that the Queen hath now dismissed her faithless Parliament, once more to meet the public eye, and he whom we so lovingly raised to the honour, and safe keeping of our state and consciences, comes here again to seek our love, which he hath thus so shamefully abused. We must be up and doing, else the unmitigated errors of our former deeds will cloud the bright honour of our party. What say you friends to another Candidate for our purpose? (Yes! yes!! yes!!!)

Mayor (reading his speech.) Most willingly my friends I would obey the councils of our party, and having heard our friends speak highly of our worthy Tom, as one in whom the inmost secrets of our hearts and wishes may be safely hid; one that will our interests truly represent, despite the reasonings of the vulgar herd; one that will faithfully uphold our holy church against the Papal Powers and low dissent; one that has claim upon our love for long tried services and renown, and whose ambition is but laudably upright; this is the man in whom we can confide. I therefore do most thankfully propose him as our future Senator. (Immense cheering, clapping of hands, and stamping of feet.)

Isaac. This is the happiest moment of my life, the head and front of our noble house is thus most justly to attain his high rank in the bold field of senatorial fame. Oh! how toil of former years will thus recline upon laurels so nobly won; and our famed house, whose ancestors we can from yore bring down, will now be upward raised to honour, fame and senatorial power. I do my friends most cordially approve your choice.

Chartist. Most reverend, grave and noble gentlemen, I would intrude upon your presence, and a round unvarnished tale unfold, concerning him on whose behalf I am constrained to speak. Unkindly given to that Bending-Bow, whose bearing to my admonitions have been sadly coarse, and whose independence ill-becomes his place; his confidence I do now abjure, and leave him to his merited deserts. But, whilst my honoured friend Tom, whose mighty hand I have so often felt, stands high with us for Magistraterial worth, yet sadly he doth lack those senatorial powers which constitute the wisdom of our state. [Pg 107]He whom I do now propose, so gentle he in Spirits, mild in speech, so clear in judgment, correct in our cause, so free from fetters, and unbiassed in mind; he can our cause uphold, and justly raise our state and interests to our wishes. I do therefore propose my friend Spirits as our future representative. (Immense murmuring.)

Molley. Why murmur thus my friends, for this ambitious wish by him whom we so oft have cause to praise for his discretion, probity, and talents. It ill-becometh one, like me, who hath derived so much unmerited power and distinction from our noble Tom, to try to stem the flood of his most honoured course; but know ye not that divers sayings we do hear abroad of the little relish the gentle burgesses have for his name? The trumpet that was sounded for the object of our choice falls dull upon the public ear; and rumour, with her slanderous tongue, talks loud of bye-gone bigotry,—party purposes, uncourteous bearing,—revengeful feelings,—which were wont to emanate from his noble house; besides, the foul slur that he doth lack the talent, knowledge, and the like, which ought to fit him for St. Stephen’s Hall. These things behove us to be on our guard against the common enemy, and remember our cause, the church, our privileges, our private interests, above all the public weal, demands that cheated once out of our former loves, we should send one to Parliament in whom we can confide. Perchance our Tom might lose the day, but if by trickery, electioneering evils, false faces, and designing deeds, we can them all outwit and send our man, the game is then our own. These potent reasons do constrain me to support another candidate; besides, in starting two into the field, we shall mislead the enemy; perchance in losing Tom, the other we may securely gain; and by our Chartist friend our cause upholding, it augurs well for the relish that doth show itself in the ungodly camp of the rabble herd; for their support may thus be safely brought unto our aid. I would beseech you to adopt this course, and give our Spirituous friend the benefit of your close alliance.

Tom (rising with great emotion.) Rude am I in speech, and little blessed with the set phrase of courtliness, but I do requite you for your love to me. I did not go into this matter, but by the learned approbation of my friends; and if I am traduced by tongues, which neither know my faculties nor person, yet will be the chroniclers of my doings, let me say it is but the fate of place, and the rough brake that virtue must go through. We must not stint our necessary actions in the fear to cope malicious usurers, which ever as ravenous fishes do a vessel follow, longing for the leaden corpse thrown over. My ambitious spirit, aided by your weighty counsels, led me to suppose that my success was certain. They do me wrong that complain unto the people that I am stern and love them not, that fill their ears with dissentious rumours; because I cannot [Pg 108]flatter and speak fair, smile in men’s faces with an apish courtesy, thus I must be held a rancorous enemy. Cannot a plain man live and think no harm, but thus his simple truth must be abused by silken, sly, insinuating snobs. I will forego this proffered seat, and leave my younger friend to win the day.

George Wesley (beseechingly.) Know, then, that it is your fault that you resign this seat; your state of fortune, and your birth’s due demand your acquiescence. Pray, I beseech you, to revise your thoughts and think this noble Isle doth want her proper limbs. This Bending-Bow whom our manners call the member—more bitterly could I expostulate, save that for reverence sake to some alive I give a sparing limit to my tongue. Come, then, dear Tom, take to yourself this unfettered seat of honour, this proffered benefit of dignity, if not to bless us and the land withal, yet to draw forth your noble ancestry from the corruption of abusing time, into a lineal true derived course.

Tom (angrily.) I cannot tell if to depart in silence or bitterly to speak in your reproof best fitteth my degree, for tongue-tied ambition, not replying, yieldeth to bear the golden yoke of membership which fondly you would thrust upon me. Definitely thus I tell you. Your love deserves my thanks, but my deserts unmeritable shun your high request; but if all obstacles were cut away, and my path were even to the seat, I the sceptre would lay hold, and rid you of your fears. Alas! I am, they say, unfit for state and dignity. I do beseech you take it not amiss, I cannot, nor I will not, yield to your entreaties. (Lamentations.)

Bill. You are, my sire, too ceremonious for the times; weigh it but with the grossness of the age; you break no faith in serving on this seat; besides, the benefit is always granted to those who have the wit to claim the place. This Bending-Bow hath neither claimed it nor deserved it; then taking it from him you serve the public most, and thereby elevate our noble house.

Chartist (with much impatience.) I do beseech you hear the sentiments of our spirituous friend.

Spirits (rising with great gravity.) My election sure, my honour elevated, and your dear wishes realized, I will requite your honoured favours. “A life devoted to your service and the cause of liberty, an advocate for the people’s rights, and a recourse to physical force in agitating times, are the principles upon which I solicit your support. (Cheers from Chartist.) Faithfully attached to the unlimited favour of the people, an enemy to that hydra of all religious toleration (the Church by law established), considering the connexion betwixt Church and State, a libel upon the freedom, and a disgrace to this country. I deem the advocacy of politics by men who have devoted their lives to the service of God (as is witnessed in the House of Lords), as a shameful surveillance to the integrity of [Pg 109]that section of the executive, for its interference is tinctured with the bigotry of the schools, and its existence overawes the weak and imbecile opinions of the expectant recipients of Church patronage. Considering the present franchise a mockery upon the political rights of the people, as exclusive in its operations, and venal in its results, I shall endeavour to extend the franchise to both sexes after they have left school. (Immense cheering, with marked disapprobation from Tom and Isaac.) Freedom of election being the bulwark of independence, I look upon the system of representation as practised in this borough, and the herd-like manner in which white slaves are driven about like cattle, according to the motives of the noble proprietor, or the interests of a small section of the electors; as a violation of the sacred rights of man, and a farcical performance calculated to revolutionize the organisation of society at large. Gentlemen, nay, my constituency! let us leave man, the noblest attribute of the Divine origin in the freedom of his birth, the unfettered exercise of his mind, and the full powers of his physical and gastronomical faculties. (Mingled shouts of applause, and prayerful groanings from George Wesley.) Gentlemen, don’t pledge your consciences for party and base purposes. (Cheers.) Beware of peerage interference with your noble rights. (Cheers.) Rally round the standard of liberty; give me your unqualified support and alliance, and I will retrieve our lost influence.” (Prolonged cheering, during which time Spirits calls for some gin and water.)

Lord Priory (entering late, and much excited.) What work is this, my countrymen, in hand. Where go ye,—what do ye,—speak, I pray you. I tell you, friends, most charitable care hath the Member for you; you might as well strike at the heavens with staves as try to unseat him. You do us wrong to thus traduce our deeds before you hear our reasons; either you must confess yourselves wondrous malicious, or be accused of folly. Beware, friend Tom, of false ambition, unmerited deserts, and silly men. Our member’s course has been to win ye all, and thus retain your loves; but sadly ye do now requite him for his care. Past services, present local advantages, and expectant hopes, you bury in the deep malice of your bridled minds. Beware the ire of our noble house,—beware the malice of our blasted hopes, upon your puny heads. What would ye have, ye curs? that like not war nor peace; the one affrights you, the other makes you proud. He that trusts you where he should find you lions, finds you hares; where foxes, silly geese. He who deserves greatness gets your hate, and your affections are like a sick man’s appetite, who desires most of that which would increase his evil. He that depends upon your favours, swims with fins of lead, and hews down oaks with rushes. Trust ye, ah! with every minute you do change your mind, and call him noble that was once your hate; him vile that was once your friend. What is the reason that in these several places of the city you cry against our noble [Pg 110]senators. Shame you not for this unnatural alliance; remember whom you take withal into your puny councils, and reconsider your uncourteous ways.

Chartist (greatly excited.) A thing devised by the enemy, thus this babbler wishes to over-awe us. Go, gentlemen, every man unto his charge; let not such babblers affright our souls; conscience is but a word that cowards use, devised at first to keep the strong in awe. Our strong arms be our conscience, swords our law; march on, join bravely; let us to the pell-mell, not to lose, but hand in hand to win. (Immense shouting.)

Enter Messenger (breathless.) Gentlemen, gentlemen, Mr. Benbow has just entered the town!!!

Molley. Friends, where shall we meet to-morrow?

Isaac. Oh, at my house, at ten.

All. We will be there in time. Till then, adieu.


July 22nd, 1847.

Such was the literary talent evoked, which helped to keep alive a little electioneering excitement, under an almost foregone conclusion, for Mr. Badger had declined to be put in nomination—although it was almost certain he would have been elected—so Mr. Benbow had only one opponent to face on the hustings, his Chartist antagonist, Mr. Joseph Linney. The nomination day came, surrounded with all the tactics celebrated in the house of Himley; the two candidates had their say, the mob and electors had their fun and bonnetting. Mr. Joseph Linney was elected by the show of hands, by a large majority; the usual poll was demanded, and the day and time fixed upon, but, alas! for human greatness, poor Mr. Linney could not find the necessary guarantee (funds) for his election expenses, and his friends and admirers were in the same plight, so before the polling commenced, it oozed out that Mr. Linney had retired from the contest, leaving the old member master of the field. Thus, Mr. Benbow was again returned the member for the Castle interest in another Parliament.

Much dissatisfaction was felt at this election, by both Tories and Reformers, at the apparent intention to stamp out that small spark of political freedom, whenever it was wafted by a little political breeze, and, as might became right, there was no redemption then from a thraldom which was afterwards so signally revenged by both political parties on the house of Himley in 1857.

The Irish famine and distress, in the winter of 1846-47, in the southern and western counties of Ireland, had awakened profound sympathy and benevolence throughout the nation; and Old Dudley was not backward in her material pecuniary assistance on this memorable occasion. A public meeting was convened by the mayor (James Fisher, Esq.), and a numerous committee was at once formed to canvass the town for liberal subscriptions to the “Irish Relief Fund.” At the close of the canvass, March, 1847, it was announced that the handsome sum of £655 2s. had been collected for this very deserving object.

[Pg 111]

Died, September 10th, 1847, at 11 a.m., having dropped down dead in the street, old Mr. Stevenson, tailor, of Queen Street. Aged 77 years.

Died, September 24th, 1847, a well-known feature in the Market Place, old Mr. Morris, of the “Jolly Colliers” Inn. Aged 87 years.

Died, September 26th, 1847, Mr. Cole, the keeper, and visitors’ guide to the Castle Grounds; this old familiar townsman had been for many years the butler at Himley Park. Aged 86 years. It was through the strenuous and oft-repeated wish of John Maughan, Esq., the estates land agent, and Mr. Cole, that Mr. C. F. G. Clark, chemist, in the Market Place, was induced in 1846 to write and compile the “Dudley Castle Guide Book;” a condensed history of the Castle, which was much needed by visitors to our fine old feudal ruins, and delightful sylvan walks and drives along the Castle Grounds. This popular Guide Book has now attained its Fifteenth edition, and retains its long-won favours and popularity.

1847. October 19th. A public testimonial of very valuable books, handsomely bound, was presented to Charles Twamley, Esq., Solicitor of this town, to mark the sense of kindly and generous feeling exhibited towards him by all classes of the inhabitants. Mr. Chas. Twamley’s removal to the lucrative appointment of Registrar of the Lambeth County Court was a source of much regret to his political friends (Radicals), for Mr. Twamley had always been a prominent leader and Reformer in the borough. Mr. Twamley was a scientific Geologist, and often lectured on that exhaustive subject; he also was a very prominent founder, along with others, of the Dudley Geological Society in New Street, which is now transferred to the New Mechanics’ Institute. Mr. Twamley’s charming and painstaking research in his History of Dudley Castle and the Priory, in 1867, will always stamp his history as superior to any others, having cleared away a host of illfounded surmises by the late Dr. Booker in his florid history. His lectures on the Silurian Formation and the Coal Measures are most learned and instructive, and invaluable to the Geological Student.

Died, November 15th, 1847, Mr. O. Gilbert Shaw, of the “Barrel Inn,” High Street, much respected by all parties. Aged 69 years.

Died, November 22nd, 1847, Miss Louisa Elkins, sister of Mrs. Dr. Johnson, Castle Street. This unhappy young lady procured in the night, from Dr. Johnson’s Surgery, a quantity of prussic acid, which she took up into her bed room and swallowed, death ensuing at once. Aged 22 years.

On Wednesday, November 24th, 1847, the recently built Gothic Trinity Presbyterian Church, situated in Wolverhampton Street, was publicly opened for divine worship with considerable ceremony. The Rev. Wm. Chalmers and the Rev. John Weir, both from London, were the preachers, and the Rev. George Lewis, Minister of the Church, assisted. This new Gothic edifice was considered quite a feature of prominence in the street. Mr. Lewis continued for a number of years to be a most zealous and acceptable preacher in this church to his fellow countrymen.

November 29th, 1847. A Public Meeting was held by requisition to the Mayor, Elliott Hollier, Esq., “to take into consideration the propriety of endeavouring to make such alterations in the days the Fairs in the town are held, and also of having an additional Fair in the y[Pg 112]ear.”

1847, December 4th. The Vicar (Dr. Browne) publically announced that the “Parochial National Schools,” recently erected in Upper King Street, would be opened for the education of children of the poorer classes after Christmas. 1st class children charged 2d. per week; 2nd, 4d.; 3rd, 6d. Adult schools for male and females were opened shortly afterwards. This National School has been a source of immense educational good in this parish.

1847, December 1st. There was a general reduction of 20 per cent. in wages, both in the Coal and Iron trade. The slackness of trade and the great distress and want amongst the working classes, was most perplexing and distressing, and the local failures in the Iron trade became alarming.


1847. The Borough Gaol and habitations for our excellent Police Force were erected at this time by the County of Worcester. Previous to this wise concentration of the Police Force into one locality, the men were lodging and living all about the town, much against that discipline so necessary in the force, and now so characteristically practised by the Dudley Police. The lock-up for prisoners was a dingy hole at the Workhouse, in Tower Street. Mr. Superintendent Burton is our veteran popular chief officer.

1848. Since the intimidation and undue influence exercised at the last election, it was determined to endeavour to counteract such hinderances to freedom of election, by using every effort to extend the Franchise. With this object a Public Meeting was held on February 8th, 1848, in Dudley, under the Presidency of the Rev. John Palmer, M.A., Unitarian Minister of Dudley, to promote an extension of the “Midland Counties Freehold Land Society,” whereby, it was shewn how a working man could obtain a freehold house and a vote for the County. The meeting was largely attended and addressed by Alderman Weston, Mr. J. S. Wright, and Mr. W. B. Smith, M.U., as a deputation from Birmingham.

1848, January 7th. Died Mr. Alexander Gordon (of the Straits House, Lower Gornal), formerly a very active public man in this town. Mr. Gordon was a strong Reformer in Politics, and the leading member of the Wesleyan Methodists in this town and district. He was a truly kind and benevolent old gentlemen, but was particularly partial to his own views. He died at the advanced age of 77 years.

January 20th, 1848. Mr. Ralph Musselwhite, Draper, in the old “Middle Row,” again brought an action against the Town Commissioners, in the Queen’s Bench at London, to recover the expenses incurred at his previous trial at Worcester, wherein he was defeated. He was again defeated at the Queen’s Bench, after having expended upwards of £1,000 in useless and unreasonable litigation with the Town Authorities.

1848, February 11th. Died at Bath, Chas. Molyneux, Esq., Manager of the Dudley and West Bromwich Bank in this Town; he was also a Magistrate, and sat on our Dudley Police Bench.

February 7th, 1848. A most influential and numerously attended public meeting was held at the Old Town Hall, Dudley, under the auspices of Mr. Elliott Hollier (the Mayor), “for the purpose of adopting the best measures for promoting the objects of the Mechanics’ [Pg 113]Institute in the Borough of Dudley,” and the following report emanated from the meeting.


Mechanics’ Institute.—A numerous meeting of the friends of this project was held at the vacant rooms in Wolverhampton Street on Tuesday week, to consider the best means of establishing a Mechanics’ Institute, adapted for all classes, upon a solid and permanent basis. Elliott Hollier, Esq., Mayor, was called to the chair. After some animated discussion, entered into by those gentlemen who are usually found at their posts in advocating and assisting the advancement of knowledge, and the establishment of useful institutions, it was deemed advisable to give more publicity to the project, and canvass the merits of the question amongst all classes. In accordance with this disposition it was at once resolved to suspend operations till a more definite system should be agreed upon. The most effectual way of submitting this to the inhabitants was considered to be by petitioning the Mayor to convene a public meeting for the especial object, and then submitting a definite plan for approval at that assemblage. S. Blackwell, Esq., proposed, and Dr. Browne, seconded, a proposition to that effect: and a resolution was at once signed by the meeting to the Mayor, who fully acquiesced in the expediency and propriety of the movement. Amongst the various modes suggested for effectually maintaining a Mechanics’ Institution was one announced by Mr. Clark, which appeared to augur well for ultimate success; and as it is a project, which, if carried out, would affect collectively two other institutions already established in the town, it may not be amiss to give our Dudley readers an outline of it. The proposition is “that a Mechanics’ Institution shall be established by 200 or 300 shares of one guinea each, and that the annual subscription shall be 10s. The capital thus raised to be appropriated to the purchasing of a library, apparatus, and the necessary furniture required for the effectual carrying on of the institution. That overtures be made to the Geological Society (now almost defunct) and the New street News Rooms, for a mutual amalgamation of these bodies into one large and comprehensive Philosophical Institution, to be managed agreeably to the usual customs of such institutions.” In the event of this suggestion being carried out, little or nothing (save a capital for library), would be required to commence operations, for the News Room is already in full operation, and rooms connected with the Geological Society are partially unoccupied, and well-adapted for the purpose. Amongst the gentlemen and tradesmen present at the meeting, were the Rev. Dr. Browne, Vicar; Rev. Messrs. Noot, A. Davis, Rogers, and Lewis; Messrs. S. Blackwell, Houghton, Bateman, Hickman, J. C. Cook, Grainger, Boddington, Clark, Rudge, Minty, Rock, Wright, Mainwaring, [Pg 114]&c. From an advertisement in another column, it will be seen that at a public meeting on Monday, the mayor in the chair, a series of resolutions were carried for the purpose of actively promoting the institution.—Birmingham Journal, 1848.

February 19th, 1848. The committee appointed at the public meeting, after mature and earnest consideration, issued the following suggestions as a programme, upon which a sound and successful Mechanics’ Institute might be grafted; it being arranged that the prosperous “Reading Room,” which Mr. Secretary C. F. G. Clark, had established in 1845, at the Geological Rooms in New Street, should be incorporated with the new institution.


The Sub-Committee appointed at a Public Meeting of the Inhabitants of the Borough of Dudley, convened by the Mayor, (pursuant to a Requisition), and held at the Old Town Hall, on Monday Evening, the 7th instant, for the purpose of taking into consideration the best means to be adopted for the permanent establishment of the Dudley Mechanics’ Institution, beg to call your attention to


1.—That this Meeting, acknowledging the desirability of the permanent establishment of the Mechanics’ Institution in the Borough of Dudley, pledges itself to promote the same by every means in its power.

2.—That for the promotion of such an object a Sub-Committee be appointed, for the purpose of soliciting subscriptions and donations to establish a fund to carry out the purposes of such an Institution to the fullest extent possible.

3.—That a Sub-Committee of the following Gentlemen be appointed for the purposes referred to in the preceding resolution:—The Rev. Dr. Browne, Vicar; Mr. Elliott Hollier, Mr. S. H. Blackwell, Mr. William Bourne, Mr. John Bateman, the Rev. John Raven, the Rev. George Lewis, and Mr. Henry Johnson.

4.—That in order to afford all classes an opportunity of attending, and deriving the greatest benefit from the establishment of this Institution, it be recommended that two classes of Subscribers be adopted, consisting of Honorary Members at One Guinea, and Ordinary Members at not less than Ten Shillings each per annum, which may be received fortnightly, in advance.

5.—That the Sub-Committee be requested to solicit the patronage of the Right Honourable Lord Ward to this Institution, and that of the Members for the Borough, the Eastern Division of Worcestershire, and the Southern Division of the [Pg 115]County of Stafford, and also the support of all parties who, though not residing in, may have property or an interest in Dudley and its neighbourhood.

The want of an Institution of this character in Dudley, has been so long acknowledged, that the Sub-Committee cannot but hope that such general support will be given to it as will render it effective for the objects it proposes to carry out, and ensure its being established upon a permanent basis.

These objects are, the establishment of a READING ROOM AND LIBRARY;—the diffusion of general information on the various Branches of Science and Literature by LECTURES;—and especially the providing its Members with opportunities of acquiring good and useful instruction by means of CLASSES in WRITING, ARITHMETIC, DRAWING, MUSIC, &c., &c.

The Sub-Committee regard the establishment of these Institutions as most important, and as having a direct and immediate bearing upon the great question of National Education. They are calculated indeed to furnish almost the only means by which the ends proposed to be effected by our various schools can be fully carried out, for, unless facilities are afforded to those whose education has been commenced in these schools, of continuing and perfecting that education, the advantages already obtained must be, to a certain extent, lost.

The Sub-Committee therefore appeal with confidence, upon this ground, to all those who recognize the importance of General Education to all Classes, and who, feeling that the question has long been decided whether Education is to be general or not, are anxious to render it as sound and comprehensive as possible.

Some of the neighbouring Towns of smaller population, and of less manufacturing importance than our own, are already in possession of Mechanics’ Institutions affording all the advantages proposed by this; and when the extent and character of the population of Dudley, and its position as the Centre of a great Manufacturing District are considered, it must be acknowledged that it possesses ample means for the establishment of an Institution that shall be at least equal to any in the neighbourhood.

To ensure this, general support alone is required, and therefore the Sub-Committee venture to solicit your individual patronage and active assistance; at the same time they have much pleasure in announcing a Donation of Fifty Pounds from the Right Honourable Lord Ward, with an Annual Subscription of Five Guineas, and also a Donation of Ten Pounds, and an Annual Subscription from John Benbow, Esq., M.P.

(Signed) on behalf of the Sub-Committee,


Dudley, February, 19th, 1848.

Died February 12th, 1848. Mr. John Allen, who held the office of Parish Clerk in St. Edmund’s Church for the lengthened period of[Pg 116] thirty-seven years. Aged 86 years.

1848, February 22nd. A sanguinary and destructive Revolution broke out in Paris, which lasted six days, ending in the abdication and flight of Louis Phillippe, King of the French, and his family to England, wherein he afterwards died. A Republic was established on the wreck of this criminal revolution.

On the 25th of February, 1848, a large and influential meeting of all classes of the inhabitants of Dudley was held at the old Town Hall (Mr. Elliott Hollier, the mayor, in the chair), “for the purpose of petitioning the Legislature against the Income Tax, and in favour of a Property Tax alone.”

The following placard issued by our old Chartist leader, (Mr. Samuel Cooke), gives the public a pretty good notion of his views on this European calamity.


Three Cheers and one Cheer more for the Establishment in France of a Republican form of Government.

French Men, and French Women, yea and English Men and English Women, study the following portions of the Bible!


The Bible is the most ample Republican and Democratic Book in the world.

Who makes Governments, and what are they made for?

Are they not made by the people, and for the people?

Made by the people to be a benefit to the people.

If they injure instead of doing good to the people, ought not the people to remove them and punish them?


Dudley, Feb. 26th, 1848.

Died, March 2nd, 1848, at his house in Vicar Street, Mr. John Hodgetts, Nail Master. This gentleman took a very conspicuous part in politics, on the Reform side, during the passing of the Reform Bill in 1832, and acquired for his zeal the cognomen of “Lord John.” Aged 59 years.

March 6th, 1848. A New Cattle Fair was established this day, to be holden on the first Monday in March annually. The usual May, August, and October Fairs were ordered to be held on the first Mondays of the respective months. E. Hollier, Mayor.

[Pg 117]

On Monday, (March 20th, 1848,) a large meeting of the working classes was held at the Old Dock Square, Dudley, (Mr. Samuel Cook in the chair), “for the purpose of congratulating the French on the recent victories obtained, at the recent Revolution, by that noble and patriotic nation, and adopting the National Petition (the People’s Charter), and other measures for the general advancement of the people.” Mr. Thos. Clark of London, Mr. J. Linney of Bilston, Mr. Ernest Jones, and Mr. Fussell of Birmingham, advocated the nine points of the Charter with much heat and zeal, for they said “that the day of your political regeneration is drawing nigh. The political earthquake of France has pierced the hearts of the tyrants to the core; show that you produce all and partake of the least of God’s blessings; that you have been the easy prey of those who have fattened upon your labour; and in return they despise the very men who feed them, are facts no one will dispute,” for,

“The gold you make another heaps,
The corn you sow another reaps,
The cloth you weave another wears,
The arms you make another bears.”



“Notice!!! The originators of this meeting strictly forbid riot or tumult, and should the same occur, an adjournment will immediately take place.”

This Chartist meeting took place, and after a fair amount of banter and wind had been let off by the various speakers, the meeting quietly dispersed, for they well knew that the authorities were watching their movements, and that a strong body of police was at hand to put down either riot or tumult. The Chartist movement throughout the country was at this time assuming large and formidable dimensions.

March 24th, 1848. The Town Commissioners purchased the Jolly Colliers Inn, and three other houses at the back, on the Market flat, the property of Mr. Homer, Kateshill, for the sum of £2,800; the rental brings in £142 per annum.

April, 1848. In consequence of the frequent “pitfalls” from mining operations on the Dudley Castle grounds, it was deemed expedient to close the grounds entirely for some little time.

April 18th, 1848. The opening address to the members of the newly-established Mechanics’ Institute was this evening given by Dr. John Percy, of Birmingham.

“The Easter season,” observed by the Church, again awakened the ire and ruffled the temper of our old townsman, Mr. Samuel Cook, for here follows his public effusion on that head.


The word “Easter,” in the 4th verse of the 12th chapter of Acts, is a notorious lie.

The word “Bishopric,” in the 20th verse of the 1st chapter of Acts, is a notorious lie.

The word “Harlot,” in the 1st verse of the 2nd chapter of Joshua, and in the 31st verse of the 11th chapter of Hebrews, is an atrocious lie.

Is it not a disgrace to, and ought it not to shame, the religious public, that they have allowed the impious scoundrelisms of James the 1st so long to pollute the Sacred Volume?

[Pg 118]


Dudley, April 20th, 1848.

1848, April 26th. A public meeting was held at the old Town Hall, under a numerous requisition of tradesmen to the mayor (Mr. Elliott Hollier), “to consider some measure calculated to obtain an unanimous closing of the shops at eight o’clock in the evening throughout the year, (except on Mondays and Saturdays), for the purpose of allowing to the assistants engaged in business an opportunity for the enjoyment of healthful recreation, and to enable them to participate in the benefits it is intended should accrue to them by the recent establishment of the Mechanics’ Institute, but from which this class of the community is totally debarred by the present system of late closing.”

This question was not very enthusiastically taken up, for many long heads in the town thought, and thought wisely, that the “Public House” would be more likely to be patronized than the Mechanics’ Institute, where such “pleasure and relaxation” was afforded, and the upshot of it was that every master was the best judge of his own business requirements as to labour and relaxation.


Oakham Cottage,

5 a.m. Saturday, May 27, 1848.

My dear Parishioners,

I eagerly embrace the opportunity afforded me for congratulating you most cordially on the unanimity and good feeling displayed at the general meeting of the supporters of the Mechanics’ Institute, last evening.

I point to the labours of the Committee and to the encouraging support they have received with honest pride and the most sincere delight—and, in consequence of these successful labours, and this public approbation thereof, I feel called on to suggest and recommend the most prompt, energetic, and unanimous support and co-operation of all classes and individuals in behalf of this Philanthropic Institution—that this unostentatious but admirable and holy principle, so dear to every Christian heart,—“Glory to God in the Highest, peace on earth, and goodwill towards men,”—may be brought into active and perpetual operation in this Parish, is my motive for offering my humble support and anticipating your co-operation.

Why—let me ask—should any individual withhold the hand of fellowship from his neighbours and fellow parishioners in a work from which the elements of discord are carefully and fundamentally removed?

I do not envy that man’s feelings who can allow groundless and purblind prejudice, the offspring of unreasoning i[Pg 119]gnorance, to blind his eyes, and steel his heart against endeavouring to benefit his fellow creatures.—Let such an one—if indeed he can be found—remember that man is not a mere animal, but a reasoning, reasonable, and consequently a responsible being; and according to the food his mind receives, so will it be vigorous for good or evil.

Let us therefore feed men’s minds with wholesome information, and thus—“Lead them thro’ nature up to nature’s God.”—And rest assured this grand remembrance is the mainspring of my every action, the burden of my every waking thought, and the leading object of my life.

Magna est veritas, et prevalebit.

Great is the truth and it will prevail.

Believe me to remain,

My dear Parishioners,

Your faithful friend,

JAMES C. BROWNE, D.C.L., Vicar of Dudley.

June, 1848. A most heartrending and devastating accident happened at Hartshill. A boiler connected with a forge mill suddenly exploded, and eleven men were instantly scalded to death.

Church rates were still levied in this parish, and occasionally we had to witness some very unwise and unpleasant seizures of respectable townsmen’s goods or furniture, who conscientiously refused to pay the obnoxious church rates. The spirited remonstrance made by Mr. Joseph Pitchfork, the talented and genial master of “Baylisses School,” in Tower Street, who was occasionally a victim in this unrighteous cause, will repay perusing.



Do this in remembrance of me.

Luke 22. v. 19.

Fellow Townsmen,

My household goods have been pounced upon a third time, to furnish the Churchmen of the ward, in which I have the misfortune to dwell, with means to worship their God more cheaply; with wine to drink in remembrance of their Saviour at the communion table, at less expense to their niggardly pockets; to pay for the washing and mangling of their parson’s surplice, and for removing the dust and dirt which will accumulate in “temples made with unclean hands.”

[Pg 120]

Now, is it not a burning shame that churchmen still resort to this disreputable means of “raising the dust” to save their own miserable pelf? Why will they not render unto God the things that are God’s without sending the Constable to lay his hands upon Dissenters’ goods? Cannot they partake of the Sacrament at their own cost, without bringing down upon the solemn ceremony the suspicion and reality of unspeakable shabbiness? Cannot they remove their own dust and dirt without making use of the cleaner hands of their dissenting neighbours? Why not quite as reasonably call upon the Dissenter to pay their Bakers’ and Butchers’ Bills? Why not tax him with the washing and mangling of the Vicar’s Shirts as well as the Vicar’s Surplices.

I wrote some time ago to the high-spirited D.C.L. of Dudley, offering to pay the amount of my present and all future church rates, towards the support of what are called his Schools; which I could conscientiously do; because Education benefits and blesses Society at large; it does not, like Church-of-Englandism, take my goods and in return tell me that I shall “without doubt perish everlastingly”: I have received no answer:—of course, a person doomed like me was not entitled in this upper world to any politeness from one who without doubt will lie in Abraham’s bosom everlastingly.

What a miserable mockery it is to plead a Law in defiance of such wretched practices! What is called the Law in Dudley is no law at all in Ireland:—In the large towns of Birmingham and Wolverhampton;—in Westbromwich and in every other place, in which intellect, intelligence and education have the upper hand of vulgar, ignorant and unscrupulous wealth, the inhabitants have swept the accursed tax indignantly away.

Besides, is it quite certain, that my goods are gone to the support of the Right Church, to the “Right of Private Judgment” Church, or to that more ancient church which forbids the Right? It is notorious that a sort of leaning lovingly towards the elder Sister with the Scarlet Robe extensively prevails in the Church of England, and that if the temporalities of the Church did not stand corruption-like in the way, great numbers of your Reverend Doctors and divines would fall, “nothing loth,” into the arms of the “nameless one” of Rome.—Verily, the Shepherds are infected, if the flocks be free.

Let us hope, that in no long time the Churchman will be shamed into dropping this wretched tax into oblivion for ever: for if it continue many years longer to annoy and distress Dissenters without the slightest semblance of common sense or common justice; they will, I’m afraid, be led on to regard the Churchman with suspicion and aversion, and his church, as our Saviour regarded the temple at Jerusalem, when he chased from its precincts the Money-mongers who defiled it.

I am, fellow townsmen,

One doomed by the Church of England “without doubt to perish everlastingly” and through Church-rates, to pay the expenses of his own condemnation.


Dudley, June, 1848.

The subjoined placard will shew that everyone in Dudley was not a believer in Mr. Samuel Cook’s politics and singular religious tenets:—[Pg 121]



Having, by a shameless and impious placard, invited you to attend a meeting on Sunday evening next, to hear a discussion on the question of resistance to the law, and endeavour to TREPAN YOU INTO DISAFFECTION AND REBELLION, we think it our duty, as sincere friends to your welfare, to caution you against the BASE AND GODLESS DESIGNS OF SUCH INFIDEL MEN. Whatever they may tell you to the contrary, we know their object is to make you like themselves—DESPISERS OF THE COMMANDMENTS BOTH OF GOD AND MAN, and thus bring you into a condition for every wicked work. They will teach you to become a set of wretched infidels, like the FRENCH, and then make you their tools to aid them in getting up a REBELLION, AND FILLING OUR LAND WITH PLUNDER, SLAUGHTER, AND BLOOD.


Dudley, June 30, 1848.

Asiatic Cholera.—This much dreaded epidemic, which was now spreading with fearful rapidity in most of the large centres of industry and dense populations, had infected the towns of Bilston and Wolverhampton with great severity and loss of valuable life, and at last reached the town of Dudley, causing much fearful looking to a premature ending of all earthly things.

Our local Sanitary Authorities at once put in force all the powers the law then gave them, viz., “The Nuisance Removal and Disease Prevention Act of 1848.” Our back streets were kept cleaner, and free from refuse and stinking garbage; our ashpits were thoroughly inspected and cleansed; orders were issued for the absolute observance of much greater attention to both personal and household cleanliness and sobriety. The poorer victims were generally buried at night, in St. John’s and St. James’ Churchyards, and the “Cholera Black Waggon,” slowly and mournfully “picking up” and conveying its loaded freight of once bright and happy beings, both young and old to their unbidden, hur[Pg 122]ried, and mixed common grave, was a nightly sight not easily forgotten, and one sight quite sufficient for one lifetime to witness. “As drowning men,” it is said, “catch at straws,” so we, the denizens of then poor stricken down Dudley, were too glad to listen to any advice which might help to mitigate the fearful scourge in our midst. The Rev. J. B. Owen, M.A., of Bilston, at this particular juncture, came and lectured at our newly formed Mechanics’ Institute, “On Sanitary Improvement securing Good Health.” It need hardly be written that this lecture was densely crowded, as Mr. Owen was one of the God-fearing guardian angels and friends of all the awe-stricken inhabitants in Bilston, who was night and day to be seen aiding in the cause of our common humanity. It was afterwards known that upwards of 750 persons perished in Bilston of Asiatic Cholera. Up to this date the death rate had been observed principally amongst the really poor, indigent, delicate and sickly; the deaths amongst young children being very numerous also.

The once celebrated Dudley Races, held where the present railway station and railway line runs towards the Lime Kilns, down the New Tipton Road, were held the last time in July, 1848. The grand stand was backed up against the Castle grounds wall, and the race ground extended in an oblong course, running from the New Road to the Lime Kilns.

July 24th, 1848. The town was suddenly agitated this day, by the announcement of the failure of Messrs. Jno. and M. Williams and Co., Corn Millers, of this town; liabilities said to be £35,000.

The general trade of the town and district was now in a most deplorable state, and in the recollection of the old tradesmen it was never known to have been so bad. Added to the distress, the puddlers and colliers, &c., received notice for a reduction in wages of 10 per cent., which was equal to 6d. per day.

At this distressing period of our history, men, women, and children, in a state of absolute starvation, were seen daily dragging a light waggon through our streets, asking for alms of loaves of bread and victuals for their famishing families, shewing the dire disasters that had visited our old town and locality. To make matters worse, seventeen shops, ranging from St. Edmund’s to St. Thomas’s Churches, were “to let” at this unhappy time.

Our active and exciteable neighbour, Mr. Samuel Cook, was still bent upon enlightening the people in something, which eventually did not fill their bellies, but caused some of the incautious to be sent to jail for seditious speaking and rioting. This time he secured the services of that Arch Infidel from Leeds (the hot-bed of Chartism) to lecture at Tipton, on a Sunday, “On the Curse of an Aristocracy, the Rights of the People, and Primitive Christianity.” The drum and fife band, with Mr. Cook and the lecturer at its head, led many foolish men and youths on the broad road to infidelity and lawlessness.


On Sunday, August the 13th, 1848, TWO LECTURES will be delivered in the open air, Waterloo Street, Tipton, by Mr. JOSEPH BARKER, of Wortley, near Leeds.

Afternoon Subject.—“The Curse of an Aristocracy, and the need of a Democracy.” Evening Subject.—“Primitive Christianity, True Religion, &c.” The lecture in the afternoon to commence at Three o’clock, and the one in the evening at six. Go ye men and women in your Tens and Hundreds and Thousands, and hear Mr. Barker on the above important subjects.


[Pg 123]1848. August. The St. Edmund’s National School Foundation Stone was laid by Lady Ward, of Himley. The Right Honourable Lord Ward subscribed £100 to the Building Fund and gave the land, the remainder of the money was raised by public subscription. This flourishing school has been of immense value to the poorer classes of the inhabitants, having turned out some very clever boys and girls.

Died, September 6th, 1848, Mr. John L. Wood, Grocer, High Street. Aged 40 years.



“Dudley Nail Ironmongers’ Meeting.—On Wednesday last, a Meeting of the Nail Ironmongers was held at the Hotel in this town, on the recent alterations of the prices to the nailers, when it was agreed that the latter should receive the prices as in the year 1838, and which we are pleased to add will be in effect, giving to the nailers their old and increased prices.” Birmingham Journal September 9th. Nail Masters, Iron Masters, Coal Masters, Cotton Lords, Woollen Lords, and all other manufacturing Lords and Masters.—Get fair profits, and be content—give reasonable wages, and let live, as well as live. Be not avaricious, and go not beyond your tether. Try not to undersell each other, and keep the markets steady. Then the Australian, the East Indian, the Brazilian, the American, and other buyers will know how to order.

This is the radical advice of


Dudley, September 13th, 1848.

1848. October 3rd. The following public notice was extensively distributed in the town and parish, in reference to the attack of cholera:—



That the Board for repair of the Highways of this Parish are resolved to enforce the provisions of the above Act, and are prepared to receive Notices in writing, in accordance with the said Act, from such Householders who may have cause to complain of any nuisance.

[Pg 124]

The required Forms and further information may be obtained at my Office.


Clerk and Surveyor to the said Board.

3rd October, 1848.

1849. January 20th. An explosion of gas, arising from the frost, took place this morning at the shop of Mr. Thomas Guest, grocer, Queen Street; the window was blown into the street, and the goods in the shop were much damaged. Mr. Guest, who was in the place at the time, escaped most miraculously.

February 7th, 1849. This evening, the members of the “Rose and Thistle” Lodge of Odd Fellows, M.U., unanimously seceded from membership in the Manchester Unity, and issued the following “reasons” for their proceedings:



For the Secession of the “Rose and Thistle” Lodge of Odd Fellows from the Manchester Unity.

1.—That the present system of management is extravagant, vexatious, and unnecessary, and consumes 29 per cent, or nearly one-third of the Income arising from the Contributions.

2.—That the Scales of Payment are not based upon the actual rates of Sickness and Mortality, as shown by the Reports of the Registrar General, and other practical Actuaries. For instance, the M.U., in the Dudley District, proposes to assure to its members, on the payment of 6d. per week contribution, and an entrance fee of £1 1s. 0d., the following:—

At the death of a Member, £8 from Lodge fund; £6 from District fund; £1 from Widows’ and Orphans’ fund. At the death of a Member’s wife, £4 from Lodge fund; £3 from District fund; making a total of £22; besides 8s. a week during sickness, and 5s. per quarter allowance to Widows, and some small payment to Children; whereas, to assure all these benefits, taking the average ages of the members at thirty-two years, 8-1/4d. weekly contribution should be paid instead of 6d.

See Mr. Nelson’s Observations on the Insolvency of the Manchester Unity. (Page 22, 23, 24).

3.—That the M.U., not being protected by Law, is subject to fraud, robbery, and imposition, without any redress against the offending parties, as lately witnessed in the wholesale fraud committed by the late Corresponding Secretary of the Order, at Manchester.

[Pg 125]

4.—That the uniformity which exists in this District, in the payments of Tradesmen’s and Miners’ Lodges to the district fund, is contrary to all well-recognised principles of justice; because the Miners’ Lodges are subject to a much greater percentage of Sickness and Death than the other Lodges, and only pay in the same ratio.

5.—That the members of the M.U. do not pay according to their respective ages, for a member at thirty five years of age pays no more contribution than a young member at eighteen years of age, with the exception of an increased initiation fee on his entrance.

6.—That the M.U. makes no real provision for the infirmities of old age; because, as long as a member (it matters not how aged) is not under medical treatment, he is not entitled to lodge pay: thus a member may live to old age, and not receive any benefit from the Lodge, except at death.

7.—That the present general system adopted throughout the Unity is delusive, and incapable of fulfilling perpetually its professed engagements, which justifies the adoption of a sounder principle of assurance for the Working Classes, according to the actual returns of Sickness and Death, as furnished by scientific and practical Actuaries.

See Mr. Nelson’s Pamphlet. Page 40.

By Order of the Committee,


Rose and Thistle Lodge,

Hope Tavern.

February 14th, 1849.

Died Feb. 18th, 1849, Mrs. Dixon, the beloved wife of Edward Dixon, Esq., Banker, formerly of this town. Aged 67 years.

Two numerously attended lectures were given in the Lancasterian School Room, on the 26th and 27th February, by J. Kingsley, Esquire, of London, on “No Church Rates,” and “Separation of Church and State!!!”

The members of the “New Dudley Provident Society,” which emanated from the secession of the late “Rose and Thistle Lodge of Odd Fellows, M.U.,” issued their new rules and scales of payment in sickness and at death.—John Finch, President; John Bagott, Secretary.

Feb. 27th, 1849. The druggist’s shop of Mrs. Lydia Morris, High Street, took fire this evening, but was soon got under. Damage about £50.

Feb. 27th, 1849. The Postmaster General having intimated his intention to discontinue the Birmingham and Ludlow morning mail coach, and intending to substitute a mail cart to convey the letters and parcels, a public town’s meeting was convened by Mr. Edward Terry, the mayor, to petition against the same.


Ten thousand times ten thousand cheers for the defeat of the [Pg 126]French Ministers on the nefarious conduct of their General against the Illustrious Roman Republic.

Soon may all the Continental Brambles be supplanted by Olive Trees, Fig Trees, and Vines (Judges ix.),

Is the ardent prayer of




You are again called upon in these times of deep distress to arm the State Church with power to add to your already too heavy burden an enormous Levy or CHURCH RATE of TENPENCE IN THE POUND.

It remains for you to protest in the face of your country against such an impost, OR FOR EVER BE SLAVES!! Join with your neighbours who think proper to support their own forms of religious worship, their Ministers, and Temples, and declare by your united action, THAT NO CHURCH-RATE SHALL BE ADDED TO YOUR BURDEN OF TAXATION.



That a meeting of the Ratepayers in the Vestry, of and for this parish, will be holden in the Vestry of St. Thomas’s Church, Dudley, at Eleven o’clock in the forenoon of Friday, the 9th of March instant, for the purpose of granting the Churchwardens a Rate or Levy of TENPENCE in the pound.

If a poll be demanded, the meeting will be immediately adjourned to the Old Town Hall, and the poll will commence forthwith, and be kept open till four o’clock in the forenoon of the said ninth day of March, and the poll will be continued at the Old Town Hall aforesaid, from the hours of Ten in the forenoon of Monday, the 12 day of March, to the hour of Four in the afternoon of the same day, and again at the same place, from the hour of Ten in the forenoon, to the hour of Twelve at noon on Tuesday, the thirteenth day of March, when the poll will then be declared.




} Churchwardens.

Dudley, March 3rd, 1849.

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A Church Rate is proposed by the Churchwardens of St. Thomas’s Church, of Sixpence in the Pound, to be granted, in the Vestry, on Thursday, the 8th instant, at Ten o’clock. Will the People of Dudley submit to this? Ratepayers, attend the meeting, and show your opposition to the obnoxious Tax, by voting for a Penny Rate.

A preliminary meeting will be held at the “Swan Inn,” on Wednesday Evening at Eight o’clock. All Persons in favour of Religious Liberty are requested to attend.

Committee Room, Swan Hotel, Dudley, April 5th, 1852.

Died April 28th, 1849, Miss Mary Parsons, of Wolverhampton Street. On the death of this very elderly lady, £8000 reverted to the Unitarian Schools and Charities in this town. Aged 96 years.

Died May 14th, 1849, Mr. Abiathar Bunch, Auctioneer and Valuer. He unhappily dropped down dead in a fit in the Market. Mr. Bunch was decidedly a very eccentric man of the true Dudley type, but very genial and hearty withal. Aged 57 years.

Died August 2nd, 1849, Mr. Benjamin Wood, Tobacconist, Market Place.

August 28th, 1849. The Town Commissioners bought the last lot of building remaining on the Market Place (formerly occupied by Mr. Robert Houghton, Draper) for £1,860.

Sept. 15th, 1849. On the grand occasion of the British Association visiting the Silurian Caves and the Castle this day, the Caverns were beautifully illuminated at the expense of Lord Ward, and a splendid luncheon was given at the National School Room to commemorate the event. Many thousands of people attended the illuminations in the Caverns, for it was such an unique and unparalleled sight as cannot be repeated, for some of these spacious limestone caverns have since that time “fallen in,” and the canal is not used.

Sept. 29th, 1849. The “Dudley News Room,” held in New Street, was finally closed this day, its numerous members having joined the new Mechanics’ Institute. The balance of fund in hand was presented to the Dudley Dispensary Fund. C. F. G. Clark, Secretary.

Sept. 25th, 1849. The awful scourge of Cholera still raged in our midst, and we had fifty-four well authenticated deaths by Cholera, and all conceivable human efforts were adopted to assuage its attacks.

Died Sept. 25th, 1849, Mrs. Allender, of the Woolpack Inn, Castle Street, of a clear case of Asiatic Cholera. Aged 54 years.

Sept. 26th, 1849. This day was appointed by the Bishop of Worcester (Dr. Pepys) as a day of fasting and prayer to Almighty God to assuage the raging of the Cholera in this afflicted district. It was held with great solemnity by all denominations of people, for we all felt most acutely that we were in the same boat in this perilous voyage of life, daily hanging in the balance, and dreading, but little knowing, wh[Pg 128]ose turn it would be next to be suddenly called away. Some curious remedies and preventatives of Cholera were adopted. Some people kept close quarters in their comfortable houses, and watched the destroying angel pass by, others thought it best to be out and abroad. Vegetables and fish were eschewed by all genteel people, although it was clearly shown that the poor who ate such forbidden things died no sooner for the use of such edibles. Pills, Plasters, and Mixtures (having reputed infallible cures) were taken wholesale, and brandy and salt found its many votaries, for the brandy was swallowed whilst the salt was employed as a poultice to the stomach. The use of Cayenne Pepper (largely) was considered an infallible preventative of Cholera Morbus. Alas, all failed, and the Cholera raged until it burnt itself out, and had claimed all its victims. God grant that we may never have such a dreadful and alarming visitation again.

Nov. 15th, 1849. The Queen in Council ordered a general Thanksgiving Day for the abatement of Asiatic Cholera in England, for happily it had nearly been stamped out. This day was held with great earnestness and thankfulness throughout the land.

During the strain of fear and sorrow which this sad visitation had forced upon the nation, and the local enquiries which were held in various important towns on the principles and practices which ought to govern Local Authorities in managing their own districts, a great divergence of public opinion was elicited, which ultimately ended in Parliament appointing a searching Commission to examine these undissolved problems of scientific men.

The sanitary state and condition of a nation is a very broad platform to stand upon, and a good plea has been urged on the ground of private rights and privileges, but it is now unmistakeably admitted that the “Grand All People” must enter into a man’s calculations when he builds a house, or feeds his pig, and that he cannot be allowed to create a nuisance which can be proved detrimental to his neighbour’s health, or a shame to morals or decency. Since those memorable, harrowing times many most salutary Sanitary Acts have been passed, which will I hope for ever place beyond the pale of probability a revisitation of the fatal Asiatic Cholera.


1849. Rev. A. Kerr Thompson, M.A., Queen’s College, Oxford, Head Master, late Senior Assistant Master in King Edward the VIth’s School, Birmingham; Rev. F. J. Fairhead, B.A., Queen’s College, Cambridge, Second Master, late Second Master of the College, Wye, Kent; Mr. John Henn, Assistant Master, formerly Assistant Master in King Edward the VIth’s School, Meriden Street, Birmingham, and late Head Master of St. Peter’s National School, Birmingham.


At a Meeting of the Inhabitants of Dudley, convened by the Mayor (Edward Terry, Esq.,) in compliance with a respectably signed requisition, held at the Town Hall, the 8th day of October, 1849, “to take into consideration the confined situation of the present Poor House, and the necessity that exists [Pg 129]for the adoption of measures without delay for its removal to a more open and healthy site.”

Resolved,—On the motion of Thomas Badger, Esq., seconded by C. F. Hewitt, Esq., “That it is the opinion of this Meeting that the present Workhouse in Dudley is in a most inconvenient and objectionable situation, being too confined, and being too much in the midst of the population of the Town, and that during this period of pestilence it is (as on former occasions it has been) fraught with the utmost danger alike to the inmates, and to the inhabitants; and moreover, that it is the opinion of this Meeting that the situation of the premises does not admit of the said Workhouse being enlarged or improved.”

Resolved:—On the motion of Mr. John Vaughan, seconded by Mr. Thomas Wood, “That this Meeting be adjourned until Monday, October the 22nd inst., at eleven o’clock, to afford time for further consideration of the subject; and that Messrs. C. F. Hewitt, John Marsh, William Bourne, C. F. G. Clark, Fisher Smith, Alexander Patterson, J. Bateman, and J. C. Cooke, be appointed a Committee to collect information as to the probable cost of erecting a suitable Workhouse for the Dudley Union, and to report on the probable value of the present Workhouses.”




October 8th, 1849.

It is wise and prudent at times to look within ones-self and “try to see ourselves as others see us;” thus the subjoined public views of “Curiosities of Dudley” will illustrate this point.

The Government of all, by all, for all.


At a Committee Meeting, held October 15th, 1849, It was resolved:—“That the Committee of Dudley Chartists renders its most cordial and energetic aid to any and all parties favourable to the present move for Financial and Parliamentary Reform, at the same time reserving to itself the right of progressing when these objects are achieved.” N.B. The above resolution has been copied into the Birmingham Mercury, the Northern Star, and the Nonconformist.


[Pg 130]


After mutual deliberation, the Middle and Working Classes have agreed upon the basis of a representative system—both parties accept the principles of the National Reform Association. They are—“1st. The extension of the Suffrage to every Occupier of a Tenement, or portion of a Tenement. 2nd, Vote by Ballot. 3rd. Triennial Parliaments. 4th. A more equal apportionment of Members to Population, 5th. The abolition of the Property Qualification.” Such a Reform carried in its integrity would make the House of Commons the embodiment and expression of the mind and will of the people; and with this, and with nothing less, should the people be content. To work, not words, we must devote the next few weeks for the advancement of our political rights, and to the means of alleviating the burdens of our fellow men. Republished by order of the Committee of the Dudley Mutual Improvement Society.


(From the Daily News, December 1st, 1849.)

Dudley was enfranchised by the Reform Bill. It is the centre of a manufacturing district; it contains a population of nearly five and thirty thousand; it has 1,300 £10 householders, of whom nearly 1,000 were registered electors: corruption has not been practised in it, and nevertheless it returns a strong Tory representative, and, under existing circumstances, would continue to do so, let the suffrage be extended as it might.

It will at once be inquired—what is the cause of this? An anomaly is here presented which requires explanation. These facts, it will be said, appear to militate against the arguments in daily use—that the feeling of the country is Liberal—that the people are well fitted to receive an extended suffrage—and that the large manufacturing constituencies are the most enlightened, and, as a rule, return the most useful representatives. It will be observed, too, that the position of Dudley appears the more anomalous because the town is immediately adjacent to, and in many respects materially influenced by, Birmingham and Wolverhampton—places which may almost be described as centres of political enlightenment. It will be asked how these things are to be accounted for and reconciled. In dealing with the borough system of England it is certainly our duty not to pass them over.

The Toryism which is predominant at Dudley is a very peculiar Toryism. It is a low and vulgar Toryism; an ignorant and very brutal Toryism. As a rule Toryism is the aristocratic principle of England: it presents itself in the flowing wig and ruffle style of the early days of George the Third; it boasts of long descent and ancient pedigree, and, as many a Tory of the present day will tell you, came to him as an inheritance with [Pg 131]his family plate and pictures. But the Toryism of Dudley is nothing of this sort; there is not a Tory in the town who can boast of his grandfather; it is difficult to put your finger upon a member of the party who is entitled to the position and reputation of a gentleman. A coarser and more vulgar crew than the Tories of the town of Dudley, high and low, it would be impossible to pitch upon in any community in England.

The Toryism of Dudley is a Toryism of ignorance—a Toryism of habit—a Toryism of self interest—and a Toryism of coercion. We have been in places where Toryism was the representative of loyalty. At Dudley they care as much about the Sovereign as they do about the President of France. There are other towns where Toryism shadows forth the Church of England, and where Tories march in array to the poll with a view, as they believe, to keep dissent in check. At Dudley the Tories profess no Church principle, nor, indeed, any description of religious principle. Up to 1845, when a diocesan effort was made to civilize this locality, there were few places where the Church was so completely useless—where it was so apt a representation of the dried up well of the desert in which thousands are perishing of thirst. Even now, when the Church is making some effort to enlighten this depraved and almost heathen population, it is not the Tories of Dudley who support its efforts, nor the Tories of Dudley who promote its usefulness.

And this fact shadows forth one of the great causes of the Toryism of this town. We have said that the Toryism of Dudley is a Toryism of ignorance. The ignorance of Dudley Tories is not mere personal ignorance—though there is an ample amount of that—but it is an entire and utter ignorance of the population amongst which they live. That population is a most important population. It is almost exclusively a mining population. Within the parish of Dudley there exists 32,000 souls: but within a circle of three or more miles around it there are scarcely less than 100,000 more, and the great proportion of these are engaged exclusively in the mining operations of the district. Talk of our large towns—why the population of the parishes of Dudley, and of Tipton, Clent, Kingswinford, Sedgley, and West Bromwich, all in close proximity to Dudley, equal the population of Birmingham itself! What is the condition of this population? Who cares for and protects this enormous mass of labouring poor? The Dudley Tories—for whom so many of them labour? We lament to say not one of them.

It is a painful fact to record, but we do believe that there is not one of the employers of the Dudley district who knows one per cent. of the men who toil and labour to produce his wealth. Take England through, and you will not find a locality where there is not so little sympathy between the employers and employed, but such an utter regardlessness on the part of the former of every single interest appertaining to the latter. It is upon the records of official evidence that they omit even the commonest precautions [Pg 132]for the preservation of their lives. Human existence here is treated as a cheap commodity. Those horrible pit accidents, of which we hear so frequently—(and yet, in comparison of the frequency of their occurrence, so very rarely)—proper precautions would prevent one half of them—precautions entailing trouble and expense no greater than is the bounden duty of every master to provide.

But the utter ignorance of the Dudley Tories of the population amongst whom they live is no better exhibited than by “the strikes,” which are of habitual occurrence in this important district. If the history of the labour of this locality were written, it would be found that “strikes” amongst the pitmen were the rule, and continuous labour the exception. The pitmen in the Dudley district are always, in fact, in an incipient state of strike, or else in strike itself. It is evident that there must be something wrong in a system under which such a state of things as this exists. We do not hear of these repeated strikes in the cotton manufacturing districts, in the woollen trade, or in the clothing trade, at Manchester, or Bolton, or Huddersfield, or Leeds. Why should the population on the Dudley side of the coal country “strike” so much more frequently than they do upon the Wolverhampton and Bilston side of the same district? There must be a fault here, and we have little hesitation in attributing it to the want of sympathy of the employers for the employed.

In order to explain this more thoroughly it is necessary to describe shortly how the mines of this coal district are worked. We will take the district immediately adjacent to the town of Dudley. The great owner of the soil is Lord Ward. Lord Ward lets his land on royalties: that is to say, the person taking a lease of it engages to work the minerals upon the property, to pay so much per ton for all the coal and ironstone obtained, to get no more than a certain maximum quantity, which is agreed on, every year, but to pay as for a certain minimum quantity, whether he may get the maximum or none. This is the contract as between the owner of the soil and the ironmaster. But the ironmaster does not work the mines himself: he contracts with a middleman, called a butty-collier, who engages to open the mine for him, and to get a certain quantity of coal or ironstone per week, at a price to be agreed. The butty-collier employs a gang of men for this purpose. These men are consequently never brought into connexion with, nor do they in the slightest degree engage the sympathies of, their real employer. In many cases they do not even know the “butty,” for the butty contents himself with negotiating with the master, and contracts with the men through one of their own class, who is ordinarily called a “doggie.” The master never goes into the mines: the “butty” very rarely. But it is in these mines that the colliers exist from one week’s end to another; it is here that they live, and breathe, and have their being.

Now, the effect of this system of labour in the iron district is highly detrimental to every class engaging in the trade. The [Pg 133]labourer, having nothing in common with the employer, is continually striking to get more out of him—and hence the “strikes” by which the trade is continually suffering. On the other hand the employer is led to treat the workman as a mere machine; as a machine without wants or feelings; as a machine in which he is only so far interested as he can work it. A remarkable proof of this position is to be found in the fact, that although accidents in the pit-work are in the fearful proportion of no less than seventy-two per cent. per annum to the number of labourers, yet there is not in the Town of Dudley, or in the country round about it, a hospital, or even a dispensary! “All cases requiring peculiar care must be sent to Birmingham,” twelve miles off!

When people are found so careless of the lives of the labourers by whom they live, how can it be expected that they can be anxious concerning their political position? The late Vicar of Dudley put it upon record that his rich fellow townsman cared nothing either for the spiritual or moral welfare of the poor. “I had the greatest possible difficulty,” he says, “in obtaining money for building district churches. On coming to the parish I found only two old endowed schools in one building, and they were in great difficulties.” This reverend gentleman and other clergymen detail the difficulties they have in extracting a sixpence from the richest masters in the district for the benefit of the poor, and the utter regardlessness which there is for their social or spiritual well being.

This ignorance of the working class—of their wants, wishes, feelings and interests—is no doubt a predisposing cause to the Toryism of the Dudley ironmasters. The system of their trade is another predisposing cause. Most people know, that virtually, the iron trade is a monopoly. The large ironmasters are continually struggling to maintain it so. You have heard probably of what are called “Ironmasters’ Quarterly Meetings.” Allow us an opportunity of exposing one of the greatest absurdities that ever existed in any trade. In the week after every legal quarter day the ironmasters of South Staffordshire perambulate the district to hold what they call their quarterly meetings, and to arrange what the price of iron shall be for the ensuing quarter. The ironmasters meet, say at Wolverhampton or at Dudley. They dine at the hotel. They fix the price of iron—the price that is to govern all the trade. One of them—a jolly red nosed old Tory—the most convivial of all the lot, and the most emphatic about the price, returns home after dinner, and finds a letter on his table requesting him to tender for a quantity of rails. Within twelve hours after he has “settled the price,” he is certain to be underselling all his neighbours. This “settling the price” of iron is a farce. But if so, what is the use of the quarterly meeting? Why, the use of the quarterly meeting is to keep up the monopoly, to afford an occasion for excluding “the new man” in the business—to present a favourable opportunity for a combination against the [Pg 134]weaker and humbler manufacturer—and, in addition to all this, to put the screw upon the labourer, by combining to enforce the lowest rate of wages in the works and pits. For at these Ironmasters’ Quarterly Meetings, wages, forsooth, are regulated, as well as the price of iron. And you will find, if you examine the subject attentively, that these wages are fixed without regard to the quality of the labour or the skill of the workman, in the same way as the price of iron is fixed, without regard to its quality, or the nature of the supply.

Their monopoly, therefore, makes the Dudley ironmasters Tories by habit and Tories by position. We will now show how they are also Tories by self-interests and Tories by coercion. The coal-field, or as it is sometimes called “the great black cake,” is of limited extent. The lords of the soil are few in number. Lord Ward possesses the largest share of it. Sir Horace St. Paul was the next greatest proprietor. Now it is a matter of absolute necessity with the lessees, that they should be upon as good terms as possible with the owners of the soil. And we will explain the reasons why. When a coal-field is taken to work a considerable amount of capital is necessarily invested. Works have to be erected; a shaft has to be sunk. From the nature of the property no very large quantity of land can be taken at once. In a little time, probably, all that has been originally leased is worked out. The lessee has now to obtain a new piece of ground. You will see at once that in order to make his original pit and works available it is necessary that such new piece of ground should adjoin that he originally took. The instances are rare in which this adjoining ground does not belong to the same landlord. If the master is on good terms with the steward he gets it; if he is not, a large proportion of his capital is necessarily sacrificed. The self-interest, therefore, of these ironmasters induces them to go with the owner of the soil, and obliges them to submit to the coercion of the steward. At Dudley, as we shall presently find, this has gone so far that the constituency are content to swallow Lord Ward’s own agent as their representative in parliament, a person who rarely comes amongst them, who does the town no earthly good, and who is as careless about the fulfilment of his parliamentary duties as if he was sitting for Gatton or Old Sarum.

Such, then, to conclude this branch of the subject, are the circumstances under which the important town of Dudley is a Tory town. The explanation will set at rest all cavil as to the reason why this large manufacturing constituency should now send a Tory to the House of Commons. We started by saying that there was little hope of improvement—that an extension of the suffrage would probably have no effect whatever on the returns of this constituency. If the suffrage was household, it would be extended in Dudley to a lower class of “buttys” and “doggies,” who are all under the thumb and immediate influence of the master. If it was universal, it would be extended to the mining labourers, who in their turn are under the thumb [Pg 135]and immediate influence of the “buttys” and “doggies.” Indeed the character of this particular population requires that, before the suffrage, another enlightener should be introduced, in the person of the schoolmaster. “The old collier of this town,” says the late Vicar of Dudley, “is a heavy, superstitious, gluttonous animal, most harmless, and naturally good natured, without a spark of political feeling, unless as regards his daily wages: all beyond is to him dreary and unreal.” Some years ago, the Chartists thought they had made an impression in the coal country; but it was a mistake. They were all powerful in Birmingham, but not in any way understood in Dudley. “The Chartists,” says a working man, “had a room in Dudley for a year or more before the strike. Occasionally Lecturers would come and lecture there. Not many men at any time enrolled their names. I should say 50 or 60 might be the most, and they paid 1d. a week, but the room could not have held that number at once.” Another working man says: “The men did not follow the Chartists from any principle, but fled to them for refuge in the strike, and were glad for any one to come and instruct them in the prices of iron and so forth. Political affairs had nothing to do with us; we had to deal with our masters. The Chartists never had any friends in Dudley.” A population of this sort evidently requires instruction in order duly to exercise political privileges.

And, now, having fully pointed out the position of Dudley as regards the social and political influences at work there, we proceed to give that which is more immediately the business of this article, the electoral history of the town. It is a short and dreary one, only marked by the occurrence of one exciting contest.

The large towns which were enfranchised in 1832 felt at the first election which occurred in them all the awkwardness of a first appearance in a new character. Parties were unformed, no combinations of any sort prevailed, and in the majority of cases accident rather than deliberate judgment determined the choice of the electorates. An accident threw the representation of Dudley into the hands of no less a person than the Solicitor-General, Sir John Campbell. Mr. Campbell had sat for Stafford in the parliaments of 1830 and 1831. But with the passing of the Reform Bill he was desirous of obtaining election by a different constituency, and indeed circumstances which had occurred at Stafford prevented his again sitting for that town. Dudley, a borough not far distant from Stafford, was selected, it is believed, by Mr. Joseph Parkes. Sir John Campbell went to Dudley in utter ignorance of the character of the constituency and of the men with whom he had to deal. But it was a new borough, a large borough, and a manufacturing borough, and therefore was supposed necessarily to be a Liberal borough. When Sir John Campbell got down he found apparently a very [Pg 136]influential opponent in the field. This was Sir Horace St. Paul, one of the principal owners of the “great black cake.” The nomination of Sir Horace St. Paul, however, was not free from objection. He had represented Bridport in several preceding parliaments, and had been an opponent of the bill by which Dudley was enfranchised. For common honour the great body of the new electorate were obliged to set their faces against this. But there was another circumstance greatly to Sir Horace’s disadvantage. Although he owned a considerable part of the mineral property of the district, his possession of that property was far from beneficial to the iron and coal masters. Sir Horace St. Paul worked his own mines, and the ironmasters regarded him with some jealousy, as a rival in their business. The support he received from them was, therefore, anything but warm; and the political Union of Birmingham having declared for Sir John Campbell, “plain Jack” was enabled to secure a comparatively easy victory at the poll, where the numbers were—for Campbell, 348; St. Paul, 229. At this time there were only 670 voters on the poll, instead of 1000, as at present.

In February, 1834, Sir John Campbell having succeeded Sir Wm. Horne as Attorney-General, came down to Dudley to obtain his re-election. Circumstances, however, had vastly changed since 1832. The reform excitement had passed away. The Birmingham Political Union was defunct. The Liberal party had become less popular, and in Dudley Sir John Campbell had done nothing to secure for himself any local sympathy. The party which had brought him in in 1832 was a party without any influence or weight whatever in the town. They had succeeded mainly in consequence of the feeling of the day, and the fact of their having succeeded was sufficient to unite against them very strong and powerful influences. The Dudley Tories, in fact, had now begun to shew a formidable front, and were prepared stoutly to contest the seat.

The candidate they selected was a local man—Mr. Thos. Hawkes, of Himley. Mr. Hawkes was an amiable man, whose family had made their property in Dudley, and who had himself been engaged in the glass trade of the district. He was a man of some ambition, and had aimed for a long time at high society and a seat in parliament, without having either the means sufficient for the one, or the ability desirable for the other. However, the Dudley Tories were disposed to gratify him, the more so as he was a man very likely to succeed at an election from his general popularity, and the more so from his residence being next door to Himley Hall.

Mr. Hawkes was accordingly proposed. The Tories exerted themselves indefatigably on his behalf, and it was speedily evident that they would be successful. But the Tories of Dudley are not a class of people who can bear either success or defeat with moderation. They had displayed from an early[Pg 137] period of this contest violent passions, and an infinite amount of bad feeling towards their opponents of all classes. Gangs of bullies had gone about to threaten and assault individuals, canvassers upon the Liberal side had been insulted in the public streets, and it was an open boast with the Tories that they would make the town too hot for their adversaries. On the day of election all those coarse and vulgar methods of exasperation were increased tenfold. People were insulted at the poll, and the authorities, all Tories, would afford them no protection. At length the town became a scene of riot and confusion. It was feared that Sir John Campbell would personally become an object of attack, and he was advised to leave the town. Accordingly whilst the Tory mob was bellowing in the street, in the front of his hotel, the Attorney General, accompanied by a friend, and disguised by a muffler round the lower part of his face, left the inn by a back door, and proceeding through the narrowest and dirtiest parts of the town, escaped from it by a circuitous route. The passage by which Sir John left Dudley received the name of “Campbell’s flight,” and will probably be so distinguished long after the circumstances which gave it celebrity have passed into oblivion.

An hour of retribution, however, was now at hand. The Tory mob had held the town all day, but it is a dangerous thing in a district of this sort to play a game at mobs. No sooner was it known that there was rioting in Dudley than the largest coal and ironworks on the Stourbridge side poured forth an army of miners; men to whom to see the light of day was itself almost an excitement. Into Dudley they poured with wild shouts and outcries. The people fled in terror. The shop windows had all been closed. As they came down the streets the colliers pulled down every shutter, and threw them through the windows into the houses. Not a whole pane of glass was left. The pavements were torn up. Stones began to fly in all directions. The town for a whole hour was given up to a worse riot than before, and then the Blacks began to retire.

The rear of their army was at one end of the town when the Dragoons from Birmingham galloped in at the other. The authorities who had permitted riots on their own side all the day, had sent expresses for the troops the moment they found they had got the worst of the game they had begun. The military arrived too late to prevent the mischief; but they held possession of the town all night, and thereby afforded security to the inhabitants. And thus terminated one of the most riotous elections ever known in England—an election thoroughly disgraceful to the town where it occurred, but of which the Dudley Tories boast to this hour, as if, instead of exciting the worst feelings of humanity, they had achieved some great moral triumph.

Mr. Hawkes sat for Dudley from February, 1834, to July 1844. At every successive election some one was brought forward to oppose him, but his majorities increased at every contest, and the Liberals polled fewer and fewer the more frequently they fought [Pg 138]the borough. Except the excellence of their cause, they have not in fact a single element of strength in Dudley.

Mr. Hawkes probably acquired some additional influence in consequence of the marriage of one of his daughters with the brother and heir presumptive of Lord Ward. The peer himself was for a long time understood to be the lady’s suitor, but the younger brother ultimately obtained her hand. Mr. Hawkes might have continued, under these circumstances, to represent the town, but unfortunately the pressure of pecuniary embarrassments obliged him, in 1844, to go abroad, with a view to repair his fortunes. He accordingly relinquished his seat, to which Mr. John Benbow, the agent and auditor of the Ward estates, immediately succeeded.

Mr. Benbow’s pretensions to the representation of the town rest exclusively upon the office which he holds. He is neither a native nor a resident, nor in any other way connected with the place. He is comparatively very slightly known in Dudley. He visits it but rarely, and does nothing of himself to advance its local interests. A representative he can scarcely be called, for Mr. Benbow is one of those members who rarely record their opinions by a vote in Parliament, being contented with the seat without the trouble of attending.

Dudley, thus represented, has reached, as one may suppose, the lowest point of its political degradation. It fell very low when the seat descended from the Attorney-General to Mr. Hawkes. It fell still lower when the resident and the friend was superseded by the stranger and the mere official. Nothing can change Dudley but a change in the opinions of Lord Ward. And stranger things may come to pass than that.

Dudley, in outward appearance, is an improving place. Within the last five years its shops have assumed a much handsomer aspect, some of its streets have been widened and more attention has been paid to cleanliness. It has all the bustle of a busy and a thriving town; but as its trade depends exclusively upon the coal and iron districts all around it, it is necessarily subjected to many fluctuations. We cannot recommend Dudley to the tourist as a halting place, for the smoke renders the atmosphere in the town and country all around it particularly disagreeable. But there is no district in England better worth examination, both as regards the state of an important trade, and the condition of an enormous population. Those who will face the dirt and dinginess of Brierley Hill and Tipton will find ample food for study; and they will see a scene of industry and wealth where, within the memory of man, little else was to be found but open waste and common.

The concluding paragraph in this severe editorial, but too truthful recital of the political status of Dudley at this period of our history, wherein it is written that, “Nothing can change Dudley, but a change[Pg 139] in the opinions of Lord Ward, and stranger things may come to pass than that;” has been most unexpectedly fulfilled by his Lordship’s recent recantation of his former steadfast political views, discarding now for ever the long held Conservative principles of the House of Himley, and passing over with all his enormous powers and local belongings into the ranks of the modern so-called Liberalism. Pitiable is it indeed to witness the twingings of a forced compliance now to his new-born politics in all degrees and stations of his employes; whose former by-gone stereotyped orders, wrung from many an honest heart the secret feelings of a detestation of such doings, but silenced by the sense that his daily bread absolutely depended upon his compliance. Such is the fate of Political Toadyism!

Died January 10th, 1850, Mr. George Lester, Pork Butcher, High Street. Aged 32 years.

Died February 9th, 1850, Mr. Frederick Johnson, Solicitor, Wolverhampton Street. This was a young gentleman of brilliant talents, and had he lived would have been an ornament to the town. Aged 27 years.

“The Truck or Tommy system,” an odious practice of paying hard working men in kind or provisions instead of money, had very extensively ramified itself into the business operations of Iron Masters, Coal Masters, Nail Factors, and Nail Foggers to such an extent, as to threaten the annihilation of all fair dealings betwixt the employer and the employed in our varied labour markets. The consequence was, that a public meeting (under the auspices of Thomas Fereday, Esq., the Mayor), was held in the Old Town Hall, on April 1st, 1850, to form an Association for enforcing the law against the payment of wages in Truck or Tommy. A very influential Association was at once formed, and Mr. Geo. Boddington, Solicitor, Dudley, was appointed Solicitor to this Association; which, by its energetic convictions of numerous offending parties, speedily gave a sensible check to this wicked and dishonest usage. It was clearly shown that the poor working man was paying 25 per cent. more for his provisions than he ought to do; besides being deprived of the right to buy his daily food in the best market. Mr. C. F. G. Clark became a prominent Lecturer to the working classes in this district on this burning question, and laid bare with an unsparing hand the iniquity of the Truck system.

May 1st, 1850. The South Staffordshire Railway was this day publicly opened. It runs from Dudley to Alrewas, joining the Midland line at that Station. A procession took place from the Dudley Station to the Hotel, where was held a public Dinner to celebrate the event.

Died May 8th, 1850, by his own hand in a fit of temporary insanity, Mr. Joshua Wilkinson, Anvil and Vice Manufacturer, Queen’s Cross, Dudley. This sad death was most grievously deplored, for Mr. Wilkinson was a large and liberal employer of labour, and a most kind and genial friend and neighbour. Aged 56 years.

[Pg 140]

May 20th, 1850. This being Whit-Monday, the Dudley Castle and Silurian Caverns were opened to the public with uncommon array and splendour, as the caverns were lighted the first time with gas. Mr. Elliott Hollier, Chemist, was the chief instrument in having this grand spectacle opened to the public, for his untiring exertions throughout were truly extraordinary, the whole entertainment devolving upon his efforts. The fetes were kept open for three successive days, and as the profits were to be appropriated to paying off the debt of the Geological Society, it was gratifying to find that the realization of £750 was the result of this wonderful and pleasurable exhibition of nature and art. Upwards of 20,000 people attended these fetes.

May 26th, 1850. An Evening Lecture was commenced this day (Sunday) in St. Edmund’s Church, the Rev. A. Kerr Thompson, M.A., the Head Master of the Grammar School, was appointed the Lecturer. The stipend was raised by a voluntary annual subscription.

July 2nd, 1850. Miss Ellen Browne, second daughter of Dr. Browne, Vicar, was this morning married to the Rev.—Osborne, M.A., with much ceremony and rejoicing.

July 2nd, 1850. Died, in consequence of a fall from his horse in St. James’ Park, London, Sir Robert Peel, Bart., M.P., acknowledged the greatest statesman and debater of his day. Aged 64 years.

Died, August 26th, 1850, at Claremont, near London, “Louis Phillippe” ex-King of the French. Aged 77 years.

Died, September 8th, 1850, Mr. Mark Bond, many years Clerk at St. Edmund’s Church. Aged 79 years.

Died, September 13th, 1850, old Mr. Morris, maltster, Castle Street, much esteemed. Aged 78 years.

September 20th, 1850, there had been a great dearth for want of rain, as there had been none since August 20th till this date. The want of rain had dried up all vegetation and created a great scarcity of green meat for cattle all over the country.

Died, October 11th, 1850, Mrs. Wilson, formerly of Queen Street, feather dealer, &c. Aged 93 years.

Died, October 29th, 1850, John Roberts, Esq., J.P., Surgeon, Wolverhampton Street, Dudley. Aged 62 years. This gentleman was a noted but bigotted politician in his day; was appointed a Borough Magistrate; very fond of office, but was not always wise in administering the claims of justice; was a warm friend and good counsellor to those intimately acquainted with him. A marble monument erected in St. Edmund’s Church records the many virtues of this gentleman.


On November 26th, 1850, a large and influential public meeting of all denominations of Christians, Thomas Fereday, Esq., the Mayor, i[Pg 141]n the chair, was held in the Old Town Hall, for the purpose of presenting an address to the Queen, “against the recent insolent usurpation by the Pope of Rome of authority and jurisdiction in this your Majesty’s independent dominions.”

This meeting was addressed at great length by the Mayor, Dr. Browne, Vicar; Rev. Jno. Wesley Thomas, Wesleyan Minister; Rev. Jno. Palmer, Unitarian Minister; with our ever-green and watchful friend, Mr. Saml. Cook. The meeting passed off most enthusiastically, and the address was duly presented to the Queen; but, like all other efforts to put down freedom of opinion in religious faith, it signally failed to secure the ends aimed at; for all parties seemed to have forgotten “Catholic Emancipation,” granted some twenty-one years before.

February, 1851. This month all the Market ground which had been cleared of the old buildings was paved with new stones.

Died February 27th, 1851, Mr. John Smith, the kind, considerate, and jovial landlord of the “Hotel.” Aged 58 years.

1851. March 30th. The Census of the United Kingdom was taken this night.

Marriage of Lord Ward.—April 24th, 1851, the marriage of Lord Ward, so well known as being one of the largest proprietors of the empire, with Miss Selina Constance De Burgh, eldest daughter of Hubert De Burgh, Esq., was celebrated at St. George’s Church, Hanover Square, in the presence of a select circle of the friends of both parties. The ceremony was conducted in a comparatively private manner, owing to the recent demise of a member of the De Burgh family. The Rev. Legh Claughton, Vicar of Kidderminster, and brother-in-law to Lord Ward, officiated. Shortly after nine o’clock the bridal party entered the church; Mr. De Burgh gave his daughter away. Lady Wallscourt, the Hon. Mr. and Mrs. Dudley Ward, Mr. and Mrs. Hawkes, the Hon. Mrs. Blake, the Dowager Lady Ward, and other friends of the families, were present. At the conclusion of the ceremony the bridal party repaired to the residence of Mr. De Burgh, in Grosvenor Crescent, and there partook of breakfast. The happy pair subsequently left town for Sandgate, to pass the honeymoon.—Birmingham Journal.

This unhappy lady died shortly afterwards of fever, and was interred in the family vault in Himley Church, amidst a grievous sorrowing throng of relations and friends. Aged 22 years.

1851. May 1st. This day the Great National Exhibition was opened in Hyde Park, London, by the Queen and Prince Albert, in great pomp and state, attended with an immense retinue of English and Foreign potentates. Many of us denizens of the Black Country attended also and paid our respects to the immense block of coal exhibited, which came from the bowels of the earth at Dudley Port, or Horseley Fields.

May 5th, 1881. This town and locality was this day visited with a terrific storm of thunder and lightning. Some houses in Prospect Row and St. Thomas’s Church were struck with the lightning, but fortunately no lives were lost.

July 28th, 1851. A partial eclipse of the sun took place this day, at the hour of 3 p.m.

August 6th, 1851. “Proposed Application of the Public Health Act to Dudley.” Mr. Lee, one of the Inspectors under the Sanitary Act,[Pg 142] held a Public Enquiry, and made a survey of the Borough of Dudley, and he declared “that this town was the worst drained and the filthiest of any town in the kingdom.” The death-rate was much higher than any other, being 28 deaths in every 1,000 inhabitants during the last 10 years!!! whereas the general average was 20 deaths in every 1,000 inhabitants. Oh! ye advocates for economy, and keeping your hands tightly on your breeches pockets; who draw the rent, with greed, from your ignorant tenants, but refuse to bear the burden which belongs to the landlord for the domestic health of those very tenants you live upon day by day, read the subjoined astounding report and ask yourselves whether conscience does not struggle hard to resume her seat!


On Tuesday last, William Lee, Esq., one of the Superintending Inspectors of the General Board of Health, opened an enquiry at the Old Town Hall, Dudley, for the purpose of enabling the authorities at Whitehall to form an opinion as to the desirability of bringing the provisions of the Public Health Act into operation within the Borough. Such investigations have mostly hitherto been instituted upon the petition of the inhabitants of such towns as were considered to require improvement in sanitary matters. In this instance, however, the Board had taken advantage of the powers given them by one of the sections of their act, which directs them to take steps for the application of its provisions to towns where the returns of the Registrar-General showed that the deaths annually exceeded twenty-three in the thousand. Although doubtless the attention of the Board had been called to the matter by some influential gentlemen of the town, we suppose we must attribute the very thin attendance of the inhabitants at the opening of the enquiry as much to the private and non-popular nature of its origin, as to any want of interest in the matter either as a question of public health, or as one which may ultimately become important to the community as ratepayers. The proceedings did not commence until nearly an hour after the appointed time, and even then not more than a dozen or fourteen persons were present. Amongst them were the Rev. Dr. Browne, (the Vicar,) John Houghton, Esq., T. W. Fletcher, Esq., (firm of Robinson and Fletcher, Solicitors,) Messrs. Hollier, Fisher, Richardson, Bowen, Bateman, T. P. Stokes, Minty, Griffiths, and Cook.

Mr. Lee began by remarking on the scanty attendance, which either showed that the inhabitants were not generally aware of the enquiry being about to take place, or that they did not feel very much interested in the question. It was, however, a question of very great importance to all the residents of the town, and he regretted very much that the room was not filled. All the rated inhabitants had a right to be present, and to be heard on any matter touching that [Pg 143]enquiry, and it had been proved that full notice had been given, so as to enable the inhabitants to know when and where the enquiry would be held. The fact of there being reporters present would enable those inhabitants who were not present to know something of the proceedings, and he hoped that the result would be that if any misapprehensions existed, they would be removed. In the few remarks he should make, he thought it would be well to direct their attention to that portion of the Public Health Act which related to preliminary inquiries. Under that Act, the General Board of Health was appointed to intimate its application under certain circumstances stated in the 8th section. They were to appoint inspectors to make preliminary enquiries in large and populous towns and places, and these enquiries would be instituted either upon the petition of not less than one-tenth of the inhabitants rated for the relief of the poor, or where the returns of the Registrar-General showed that the deaths annually exceeded the proportion of twenty-three to a thousand. Upon the latter alternative the Board had the power of directing an enquiry to be made, without any petition from the Inhabitants. The section then went on to state the chief objects of the enquiry. The report was to be made to the General Board of Health by the Inspector in writing, and was then to be printed and circulated in the parts to which the enquiry related. Upon that report any inhabitant might make any statement in writing, as to anything contained in, or omitted from, such report. It would be the duty of the General Board of Health to consider the report and statements made; and there were then two modes of proceeding for that body to adopt, according to circumstances. If the inquiry had been instituted upon the petition from the inhabitants of the locality, if the boundaries for the district were the same as those from whence the petition came, and if there should be no local act of Parliament in force in the district, then the act might be applied by an order of Privy Council, naming the day when the election of a Local Board of Health should take place. But if the inquiry should have been instituted in consequence of the mortality being over twenty-three to a thousand, and if the boundaries were different, and if there were a local act of Parliament, then the General Board, if they thought the Public Health Act should be applied, would have to make a provisional order, which would have no force or effect until it had been approved by Parliament. In the case where a Municipal Corporation exists, it is made the Local Board of Health. As the inhabitants of Dudley had no Corporation, either the Commissioners must act as a Local Board of Health, or the residents must meet and elect one. Mr. Lee then proceeded to detail the duties that would fall within the province of the Local Board, stating that their powers were permissive, not compulsory, and that money to carry out the necessary works could be borrowed on the rates, to be repaid by equal annual instalments, running over a space of thirty years. By the latter provision, all difficulty as to causing a burden on the [Pg 144]inhabitants was removed, for if the amount should come to anything like the sum of £5 per house, the rate of interest would not be more than one penny per week. He would now take them back to the grounds on which that inquiry had commenced. The census of 1851 had been taken, but the returns of the Registrar-General had not been made up so that the general rates of mortality could be ascertained. There was no difficulty, however, in the returns for any particular town, and it would be sufficient for him to show to them that the rates of mortality had increased very considerably in Dudley since 1841. He had before him the Registrar-General’s return for Dudley, dated the 7th of June, 1851, made according to the terms of the act, from the year 1844 to 1850 inclusive. The present population of the parish of Dudley was 37,954. The deaths during those years were 6,864, giving an annual mortality of twenty-eight to every thousand of the inhabitants living. If he took the comparative returns of 1841, he should take a much more favourable view of the condition of Dudley than now existed. In 1841, according to the census returns, the rate of mortality in England and Wales was little more than twenty to a thousand of the population; and at that time the rate of Dudley was 26.7, while in Walsall it was 24.2, in Wolverhampton 25, and in Birmingham, (with a population four times more than Dudley,) 26.5. He found that in the same year the deaths in Dudley were 1 in 37; in Walsall, 1 in 41; in Birmingham, 1 in 38. The deaths from epidemic diseases in Dudley were 1 out of every 131 of the population annually; in Walsall, 1 out of 154; and in Birmingham, 1 out of 202. The average age of all who died in Dudley was only 17 years, at a time when the mortality was less than it was now. In Walsall it was 19 years and 3 months; in Wolverhampton, 19 years and 1 month: and in Birmingham, 23 years and 9 months. They would see by that excessive mortality how large a proportion of the community were cut off before they arrived at the years of maturity. Of those who died above 20 years of age, the average was 50 years and 10 months; in Wolverhampton it was the same; in Walsall, 52 years and 6 months; and in Birmingham, 51 years and 7 months. There they saw that no place among them all was so bad as Dudley. Taking the whole of the deaths, and dividing their per centage, there were 34.5 per cent. under a year old, in Dudley; in Walsall, 29.7 per cent.; in Wolverhampton, 27.6; and in Birmingham, 24.8. Under five years, in Dudley, 60.8 per cent.; in Walsall, 55.7; in Wolverhampton, 55.3; and in Birmingham, 48.4. Seven out of every ten persons under 20 years of age died annually, a much larger rate than any other place mentioned. As death had done its main work during the years of infancy, they were not persons who had lost their lives in mines, for two-thirds of their population died under five years of age; as they got farther on in life there were, of course, fewer remaining in Dudley to be killed, and consequently the per centage was less in unhealthy than in healthy districts, as the greater portion had been destroyed before arriving at the [Pg 145]years of maturity. He would give one instance—between 70 and 80 years of age 4.4 died in Dudley; in Wolverhampton, 4.8; in Birmingham, 5.7 The figures were greatly to the disadvantage of Dudley. Indeed there were very few places in the kingdom so unhealthy as Dudley. To show the enormous disparity that existed between Dudley and registration districts in the counties of Worcester, Stafford, and Warwick, Mr. Lee quoted a number of other figures. For instance, he showed that in the district comprising Bewdley, Martley, and Tenbury, (containing a population equal to that of the Dudley district,) the average age at death was 41 years and 4 months against the average of 17 years in Dudley. Now he said, there might be persons who talked about economy with respect to sanitary arrangements, and would be fearfully alarmed at the expense that would be brought upon the town of Dudley by the adoption of sanitary measures. It would be found from the registration districts he had named, with a population equal to their own, by the most extensive experience, not only of the medical men, but of those who had made the strictest enquiries into the sanitary condition of the country, that there were not less than twenty-eight cases of sickness in excess, spending on an average 20s. each, to every death in excess. Well, comparing the registration district of Dudley, which contained, in 1841, 86,000 inhabitants, with the district he had cited, they would see that there were 831 deaths in excess in a year, and of these more than one-third were due to the parish of Dudley. Taking twenty-eight cases for each death in excess, it exhibits a loss of £23,268. Taking next, the mourning fees, coffins, and other incidental expenses connected with a funeral, which could not amount to less than £5 each, they would have a loss by funerals of £4,115. Every adult lost eight years and eight months of his life, and every individual twenty-four years and four months. Taking only the adult deaths, and reckoning those adults to have been able to earn only 7s. 6d. per week each on an average, the loss in labour would be £115,934. Those three items of loss, by one year’s deaths alone, for sickness, funerals, and labour, was £143,357. They would all admit that, at a very moderate estimate, one-third of that cost would fall upon the parish of Dudley, and they then would find that the parish were annually losers in those three items to the extent of £47,786. That was the loss upon a mortality of 26.7, but the last returns exhibited a mortality of 28 to every thousand of the inhabitants, during the seven years’ average. They might, therefore, fairly conclude that their loss at that present moment, from excessive deaths, was £50,000 per annum. Could anybody imagine for a moment that the most efficient sanitary works that could be constructed in Dudley, would bear to be looked at, in comparison with these figures. He could direct their attention to a very important table from the same returns, containing 61 registration districts in England and Wales, with a population of 1,003,124 persons, having a mortality of only 16 to a thousand, and where all who were [Pg 146]born, on an average lived to the age of 37 years and 5 months; and adults on an average to 60 years of age. Now, compare that with Dudley, and though no sanitary means were used at the places he referred to, nevertheless the mortality was 16 as against 28, in the parish of Dudley; average age, 37 years 5 months, as against 17 years; adults, 60 years as against 50 years and 10 months, and the percentages of deaths under 20 years of age, 38.4, as against 70.1. Could anybody doubt that there was a cause for that, and one that might to a great extent be removed? Could any reasonable man say it was not a case of vital importance, and one that demanded careful enquiry? Was it not the duty of every inhabitant to promote such an enquiry, and if it were found that remedies could be applied, to take the greatest interest in their application? He did not suppose that any person resident in Dudley was aware that such a comparative state of things existed. They had the facts now before them, and he therefore anticipated that he should receive all the assistance they could render him in making that enquiry, while he stayed in Dudley. They perceived that the jurisdiction of the General Board of Health arose from the excessive mortality, over 23 to 1,000, which the Legislature regarded as such an excess as to call upon the General Board to take proceedings to apply the act without any petition from the locality. The mortality of Birmingham, Sheffield, Bradford, and Leeds, was less than Dudley, and he did not believe the mortality of Manchester was higher. He could not recollect a large town in the whole country, except it was Liverpool, as it existed previous to the application of sanitary measures, that was in such an awful condition as Dudley appeared to be. It was growing worse, as was the condition of most unimproved towns. The filth accumulating in open cesspools, ash-pits, privies, &c., in consequence of badly-constructed channels and drains, was constantly saturating the earth, and going into the subsoil underneath. As that saturation increased, the unhealthiness of the town would increase, and there would come a time when the subsoil of such towns would become a mere dunghill, and the site of the town would be uninhabitable. They saw themselves how the healthiness of the place had decreased since 1841. He next explained the manner in which he intended to conduct that enquiry. Awaiting the assembling of the inhabitants that morning, he had taken down several complaints that had been made to him of nuisances existing in the vicinity of houses, and he should be glad to enter more upon his minutes. He would place also upon his minutes the name of any person who should wish to accompany him in making an inspection of the town. He should adjourn the enquiry, as far as that room was concerned, until that inspection was complete. He should have to depend upon those who accompanied him to point out the worst parts of the town, and, if there was a difference of opinion existing amongst them, he should wish both parties to accompany him. After other general observations, he concluded by saying that his object was to discharge faithfully his duty to the Board of Health and the inhabitants [Pg 147]of Dudley.

About five minutes before Mr. Lee concluded his address, Isaac Badger, Esq., entered the room. As soon as the Inspector sat down, Mr. Badger said he wished to ask a question, as he had that morning met most of the principal gentlemen of the town, not one of whom knew anything about the origin of the enquiry. He wished for some information why the meeting was held, and was proceeding to remark that although he did not deny something of the sort was wanted, yet that he thought Dudley could very ill afford to go to any expense at all; when Mr. Lee interrupted him with “Don’t make a speech, if you please; if you ask any questions I will answer them.” He had before met with cases of this sort, where gentlemen of influence in the locality came in after he had given his explanation of the cause of the enquiry—an explanation which in the present instance had occupied an hour in the delivery, after waiting nearly another hour past the time appointed—and would have him to go over the explanation again, for their personal information. He would put it to those present whether such a thing could be expected from him.—Mr. Badger said it was an important thing for the town, and he was surprised the authorities knew nothing about it. He might have signed a requisition if he had been asked to do so, and he wanted to know who was the cause of the meeting being called.—Mr. Lee: As they doubtless knew there was to be an enquiry here this morning, they should have been here at ten o’clock.—Mr. Badger: What I have asked for is information that the town ought to have, but as he refuses to answer the question, I will now withdraw. I saw a very respectable medical practitioner yesterday, and he tells me—Mr. Lee: You had better address yourself to me, sir.—Mr. Badger: All I have to say is, that the town never was in a more healthy state than at present; and I object to the whole proceedings. Mr. Badger then left the room, accompanied by J. G. Walker, Esq.—Mr. Lee said that any other gentleman might come into the room and put such questions, and with equal reason expect him to answer them. It was not a matter affecting his own convenience, but it was a waste of time which he would not permit. The gentleman had thought proper to withdraw, and perhaps he would say that he had been refused information, but there were those present who could correct such a statement. At a subsequent stage of the proceedings, the Inspector, in reply to a remark that he had spoken to Mr. Badger “in a way to which he was not accustomed,” said he had no respect of persons, and could make no distinction between the rich and the poor.

Mr. Fletcher presented the evidence taken before Mr. Slaney, M.P., in 1842, while inquiring into the state of Dudley under the Public Health Commission; and after receiving some evidence as to the nuisance in existence, Mr. Lee adjourned the inquiry.

Tuesday afternoon was spent in viewing some parts of the town; and on Wednesday Mr. Lee continued his inspection, in [Pg 148]company with the Rev. Dr. Browne, J. C. Bourne, Esq., J. Maughan, Esq., Messrs. Bateman, J. Marsh, and other respectable inhabitants of the borough. He proceeded to the Friends’ Chapel, in the High Street, Wolverhampton Street, Shaver’s End, St. James’s Terrace, the Dock, Vicarage Prospect, Spring’s Mire, Stafford Street, Cross Street, &c., jotting down his observations as he went along. We may venture to affirm that few places require the surveillance of an inspector of some kind or other more than the Ball Court, Belper, Marrian’s and Pagett’s Yards, the Barracks, the Lodging-houses, (chiefly occupied by Irish) in Cross Street, and some other places, which have always been noted as hotbeds of epidemic and contagious diseases—the cholera, fever, small pox, scarlatina, and measles, having always in these localities assumed their most virulent type. By some of the gentlemen in attendance it was confessed that they were entirely unaware of such hotbeds of pestilence existing in such crowded localities. On Thursday Mr. Lee again attended at the Town Hall, when some evidence was offered on the part of J. Bennett, Esq., as to Messrs. Smith and Pigott having certain premises in Tower Street, to which, on account of their close proximity to the Workhouse, whenever epidemic disorders prevailed, many pauper patients were always brought, thus becoming to some extent an hospital for the poor. Mr. Lee was this day attended by J. G. Bourne, J. Bennett, and J. Maughan, Esqrs., Messrs. Hollier, Dudley, Bateman, Marsh, and some others, and inspected the Workhouse, New Street, Tower Street, Green Man Yard, Birmingham Street, Pottery Fields, &c. Some of the courts and yards, in Birmingham Street particularly, attracted the notice of Mr. Lee and the gentlemen with him as being close, confined, ill drained, and badly ventilated.

As it appears very probable that the provisions of the Health of Towns Act will be enforced in Dudley (for we cannot imagine what other report than an unfavourable one can be presented to the Board by Mr. Lee), would it not be better that the town itself should take the matter up, and by a new Town Act or Charter of Incorporation endeavour to procure those powers which will enable the inhabitants to act for themselves rather than be compelled to adopt the provisions of the Health of Towns Bill, which must entail upon the Borough a vast expense, that at the present time it is but ill able to bear. It is high time these matters were thought of by the inhabitants of Dudley, and that the obstinate opposition of some one or two parties should not be allowed to stop all improvements, as otherwise they will be compelled at last to adopt those measures which a little more consideration might have prevented.

We believe Mr. Lee will continue his inspection, which is expected to last some days longer.

August 16th, 1851. Nothing especially resulted from the above exposé of the flagrant unsanitary condition of this town, except a scare, from which the Town Commissioners (the only ruling authority we then h[Pg 149]ad in the town), began to fear that their brief authority would shortly be taken from them by the Board of Health in London; consequently on October 3rd, 1851, an extraordinary meeting of the Town Commissioners was held this day at the Hotel, “to consider the propriety of applying to Parliament for increased powers in the Dudley Town Commissioners Act,” which dated back to 1791. After a lengthened discussion (in a very numerous attendance of members) it was resolved on the motion of Mr. C. F. G. Clark, chemist, seconded by Mr. Thomas Fletcher, “That the anticipated early application of the Health of Towns Bill to this parish would obviate the necessity of any increased powers in the Dudley Town Commissioners Act.” There was also a very strong feeling expressed in favour of applying for an Act of Incorporation as soon as it might be deemed advisable. This desire for incorporation very soon cooled down, for the town was not incorporated for sixteen years afterwards (in 1867).

Died, August 24th, 1851, Mr. Wm. Badger, the second son of Thos. Badger, Esq., J.P., “The Hill Home,” Dudley. Aged 34 years.

August 27th, 1851, a new fire engine was sent to this town by the Birmingham Fire Insurance Company; Mr. C. F. G. Clark was the local agent.

Died, November 14th, 1851, at Schwalbach, Duchy of Nassau, the Lady Selina Constance, the first wife of Lord Ward. Aged 22 years.


December 1st, 1851. This new company gave public notice of their intention to apply to Parliament for a Bill to give to a large portion of South Staffordshire, together with the town of Dudley, a better supply of water. After considerable opposition they succeeded in obtaining the Bill in the main, and from that time our water supply has been given by that now very enlarged company.

March 2nd, 1852. Married Miss Cresswell, of the Priory Home, to Mr. John Beddard, Nail Factor and Iron Merchant.

Church Rates becoming yearly more deservedly unpopular, not only in Dudley but in the country at large, on March 24th, 1852, a severe contest took place this day in St. Edmund’s district parish, betwixt the Church party and the Dissenters. A Church Rate of 5d. in the pound was proposed by the Churchwardens, and 1d. in the pound by the Dissenters; the result of the parish poll was—

For a5d.Church Rate,112 votes
1d.76 “
Majority,36 “

April 10th, 1852. St. Thomas’ parish was also most vigorously and successfully assailed against Church Rates, and, as the parish contains some of our large manufactures, it was at first doubtful which way a poll would terminate; but when it became known that Messrs. A. B. Cochrane and Samuel K. Blackwell were decidedly turned against the future imposition of the obnoxious Church Rates, it became a foregone conclusion that the Church party would lose the day, and be left to provide for Mother Church as well as they could.

The following hearty appeals were made to the ratepayers at this memorable Dudley fight for Mr. Samuel Cook’s innate principles of civil and religious freedom:—

[Pg 150]



The Churchwardens of this District have been defeated this day at the Vestry, in attempting to impose upon you a Rate of FIVEPENCE IN THE POUND. The Churchwardens have demanded a poll, to obtain the Votes of the District generally upon the matter, to take place in the Vestry of St. Edmund’s Church, on Tuesday next, at Ten o’clock in the morning.

Will you suffer in silence another of these fearful infractions on common sense and common justice to be thrust down your throats? Defeat this mean, shabby means of the Churchwardens to obtain money for them and their Church-going brethren to worship God in what they are pleased to call, most strangely, “the beauty of holiness,” at your expense.


If you cannot poll against this Rate, stay at home, and show by your silence, that your good sense and common duty of man toward man are sadly wounded by this reflection upon either your want of means or want of principle to worship your God with clean hands and a clean heart, without forcing your unwilling and conscientious neighbours to pay towards what, if you love your God “in spirit and in truth, you would shrink from with fear and trembling.”


March 19th, 1852.



A Poll Demanded.

A meeting of the ratepayers of this parish was held on Thursday last in the vestry of St. Thomas’s Church, for the purpose of granting a church rate of sixpence in the pound, to meet the expenses of the ensuing year. The Rev. Dr. Browne, the vicar, occupied the chair. Mr. Hollier, the people’s warden, read the account of the present year’s receipts and expenditure up to Easter; from which it appeared that the expenses for salaries, &c., for the various churches amounted to £364 and upwards, that there was about £212 which had to be provided out of the arrears of the last rate. It also appeared that the further sum of £423 was due to other persons in the parish. After a few remarks from the Chairman upon the apparent hardship inflicted upon those who had paid, while others had not paid the rate, (and in which Mr. Steedman concurred), the rev. gentleman stated that during the seven years he had resided in the parish no [Pg 151]church rate higher than 5d. in the pound had been granted, except that when a rate of 10d. in the pound was granted, this extended over a period of two years. He then referred to the improvements effected, alluding particularly (inter alia) to the wall surrounding the burial ground, and where nobody could be refused interment. Mr. Pattison here observed that the 10d. rate referred to was granted for the purpose of paying the bills of Mr. Holland, builder, and Mr. Powell, painter, and inquired what was still owing to them, when Mr. Hollier stated that a sum of £66 was due to Mr. Holland, and £60 to Mr. Powell, and after giving a summary of the expenses incurred in connection with the churches, Mr. Hollier further stated that he had not broken faith with the parishioners on his first appointment to office; that the expenses had been always carefully looked to; nor had he asked for a greater rate than 6d. in the pound. Mr. Pattison submitted that he had not done his duty in not enforcing the rate from those who refused, and yet were well able to pay; the churchwardens had the law upon their side, and they ought to enforce it. Mr Hollier expressed his unwillingness to distrain upon parties if it could be possibly avoided. The office of churchwarden had not been sought by him, but was thrust upon him, and he should only be too happy to be relieved from its cares and responsibilities. The Chairman then read a resolution which had been very recently entered upon the vestry book, to the effect that all persons able to pay the church rate should be compelled to do so. After further remarks, resulting in an animated but good humoured discussion, Mr. Hollier proposed a rate of 6d. in the pound, which was seconded by Mr. W. Sheppard. It was then proposed as an amendment (the Rev. Chairman, however, declining to put it to the meeting as an amendment, on the ground that a penny rate was quite insufficient to meet the expenses,) on the motion of Mr. J. Finch, seconded by Mr. D. Lloyd, that a rate of a penny in the pound be granted. Mr. Lloyd enquired the necessity for the present meeting if the amendment was not to be put, to which the Chairman observed that the meeting was called for the purpose of granting a 6d. rate, and nothing else; whereupon Mr. T. Stanley remarked that they (the opponents of the sixpenny rate) “were like sheep driven to the slaughter.” Mr. Hollier stated that if a penny rate were granted, similar meetings might take place week after week. The rev. Chairman (after some remarks about a poll being demanded, and having stated that a minority could grant a church rate) was then asked what was the use or necessity of a poll at all; to which he facetiously replied, “for amusement;” an announcement which was received with much laughter. Mr. Insull then asked whether it was legal for the meeting to propose either a greater or a less rate than the one sought for. The Chairman answered that as to a greater, he was not sure, but certainly not a less rate. T. Fereday Esq., the other churchwarden, here remarked that the object of the meeting was to grant a sixpenny rate, and if refused by the meeting, the better way was to go to the poll. The Chairman then put the penny rate to the meeting, and afterwards the sixpenny [Pg 152]rate; when, on a show of hands, a majority appeared to be decidedly in favour of the penny rate. Mr. Hollier then demanded a poll, which was instituted immediately. Mr. Lloyd urged the propriety of the meeting being adjourned to the Old Town Hall. This, however, was overruled, as the Guardians were stated to be using it at that time. The Chairman stated that no ratepayers would be entitled to vote unless not only the previous poor rate, but also the last church and highway rates were paid, a legal point upon which the majority of the meeting differed, contending that the payment of the poor rate was only the test of qualification. It was at length agreed that the polling should take place at the vestry, and that all votes tendered should be taken on payment of the previous poor rate, the votes being afterward subjected to a scrutiny. The poll immediately commenced, and was kept up till five o’clock, when it closed for that day. The numbers were then as follows:—For the penny rate, 78: for the sixpenny rate, 91. The poll will be resumed to-day (Saturday), and will continue from ten o’clock a.m. till five o’clock p.m., and will be again resumed on Monday, at ten o’clock, finally closing at 12 o’clock at noon. The best feeling seems to be manifested by all parties.

April 10th, 1852. There was a majority of 98 against this rate.


Ratepayers of Dudley,

At the Vestry Meeting held this morning, for the purpose of imposing a Sixpenny Rate, an amendment for a Penny Rate was moved, and almost unanimously carried by a show of hands. The Churchwardens demanded a Poll, which is now going on at the Vestry of St. Thomas’s Church.

Embrace the present opportunity! Lose no time! All who conscientiously oppose this exorbitant tax, hasten and Vote for the Penny Rate! All Poor Rates that have been demanded must be paid previous to voting. The Polling will be kept open till five o’clock this afternoon. Attend the Public Meeting at the Swan Inn, this evening at 8 o’clock.

Thursday, April the 8th, 1852.


The Friends of Religious Liberty are requested to attend, as early as possible, at the Vestry Room of St. Thomas’s Church, between the hours of from Ten till Four on Saturday, April 10th, 1852, or from Ten till Twelve on Monday, April 12th, 1852, to Vote for the Penny Rate, instead of the Sixpenny Rate.

Go to the Poll Early, and Victory is Certain!!

Committee Room, Swan Hotel, Dudley.


“Coming events cast their shadows before.”—Cato.

[Pg 153]

Yea, and the fangs of an Ecclesiastical Court will attest their realities in the pockets of unfledged Anti-Church Rate victims.

Brother Dissenters,

The last two months has witnessed a vigorous and legitimate opposition on our part to that detestable of all Taxation, the Church Rate. Our triumphant success at the poll in St. Thomas’s district has incontestably proved to all parties, that the imposition of this tax rests alone with the Ratepayers, and that, as hitherto, a mere vestry coterie shall not tax the conscientious Dissenter without first giving him the honest and Englishman-like opportunity of ascertaining for what purpose he is to be taxed.

The fact having now been fully established, the staff having now been really placed in the hands of the Ratepayers, it becomes a question of the most vital pecuniary, as well as public and legal, consideration, how far we are morally justified in further resisting the claims of a Church Established by Law; after we have lately testified that those claims shall first receive our sanction and approval at the tribunal of a parish poll.

Fellow Christians, lose not sight of the fact that success has often intoxicated the victorious, thrown them off their guard, and given the enemy vantage ground. Beware of placing implicit confidence in the opinion of that class of agitating law-givers who deceive you by propounding to your ignorance what they and you would wish the law to be, keeping from you what it really is. Recollect, Ah! and enquiry will convince you, ye unfledged sons of popular opinion, that the laws were made for the Church at a time when ignorance was bliss, and it is now even a folly to be wise to the tune of an Ecclesiastical enquiry, viewing with Argus eye the value and extent of your goods and chattels from Westminster Palace Yard. Resist the law according to law, but for the sake of him whose name we all bear, “render to Cæsar the things that be Cæsar’s,” and lend not your conscientious sufferings, either to elevate a meanless party into public notoriety or compromise that brotherly love, which we profess to render even to our enemies.

Enquire of your elder brethren how fared the dissenters in the notorious Wood Case, and the echo will be defeat and payment. Let us not again enact a folly that inevitably shall constrain us to appeal to strangers in the flesh, but brothers in the faith, for pecuniary assistance in the midst of our never-to-be-forgotten consternation and alarm. Nay! let us rather weigh the matter honestly over in our own breasts, and consider whether it is not better to pay honestly (and leave the ignominy to those who receive it) the demands that we now believe to be illegally demanded at our hands, and save our money, not to feed the jaws of D.C.L.’s, but to legally contest and maintain our rights for the time to come.

Petition the Imperial Parliament for the repeal of the vexatious Tax. It is known that many honourable sons of the [Pg 154]Church will join us, for they bleed and feel acutely for us, who are men of like attributes to themselves—Reject the election of any man who refuses to assist us in his place in St. Stephen’s to get rid of our burden; and, above all, whilst the Church Rate Enactment lasts, be careful to elect such Churchwardens as shall faithfully perform their unpleasant duties, observe scrupulous economy in the expenditure of our money, be open and candid in their transactions with the public; neither given to bolster up obsolete customs and practices of the Church, used only in the middle ages, nor yet inclined to accede to the rapacity of a once popularity-seeking Vicar, at once a misfortune, by example and precept, to the Church, and no great love of those who dissent from his unproductive teaching.

Henceforth, let peace and vigilance be our watchword, and the Poll Book our bulwark against oppression and injustice.


And one who had to pay the piper to a heavy tune in the celebrated Wood case.

Dudley, May 20th, 1852.

The result of this severe Parochial Contest was that the 1d. Church Rate was carried by a majority of 98 votes. This contest was the death warrant for Church Rates in Dudley.

April 21st, 1852. A cab stand was established in the Market place (by Mr. William Beddard, of the Castle Hotel), a long wanted convenience.

The two parsonage houses of St. John’s and St. James’ Churches were built this year by subscriptions; Lord Ward giving the ground and £100 donation to each house.

May 28th, 1852. The Churchwardens of St. Edmund’s Church (Messrs. C. F. G. Clark and Thomas Danks) called a Vestry Meeting of the inhabitants, for the purpose of adopting the most efficient means for erecting a Parsonage House for St. Edmund’s parish. A very handsome subscription list was commenced at this meeting, which ultimately ended in the erection of the present St. Edmund’s Parsonage House, at a cost of upwards of £1,600. Mr. C. F. G. Clark exerted himself very zealously in this necessary business.

June, 1852. The state of the political horizon in London, and the distrust and uneasiness which prevailed amongst all classes, and more especially in reference to the veiled intentions of the Emperor Nicholas in Russia, to conquer and add the Turkish Empire to his already vast dominions, pointed to the necessity of an appeal to the constituents, to ascertain how the British pulse beat upon these momentous questions.

The following address of Mr. Benbow to his constituents shews that he thought “coming events cast their shadows before them:”



As a dissolution of Parliament is now very near it becomes my duty to inform you of my intention to seek a renewal of the generous confidence which you have on two former occasions reposed in me.

[Pg 155]

My political principles are well known, and I need not repeat them.

During the eventful period I have had the honor to enjoy a seat in Parliament, I have never blindly attached myself to any Minister; but have, as the Representative of an important constituency, uniformly supported those measures which seemed best calculated to maintain the honour of our great country, and to promote the comforts of the people: at the same time I have been equally solicitous for the advancement of those great interests which are so closely identified with the prosperity of your populous and industrious locality.

In the present position of political parties it seems to me to be necessary that all Friends of Conservative Principles should unite in supporting the Ministry of Lord Derby, and I am prepared to give them my independent aid, except on any measure which may have for its object the re-imposition of a Duty on Foreign Corn, to which the general feeling of the Country appears to be opposed.

At the Termination of the Session I shall avail myself of the earliest opportunity of personally assuring you that I am, with feelings of gratitude and esteem,

Your faithful and obliged Servant,


Mecklenburgh Square, 21st June, 1852.

This Political (snug) Meeting followed—

At a Meeting of the Electors of Dudley friendly to the re-election of John Benbow, Esq., as Member for the Borough, held at the Hotel in Dudley, on Thursday, the first day of July, 1852.

Present:—Thomas Badger, Esq., Isaac Badger, Esq., Thomas Fereday, Esq., The Rev. Dr. Browne, Rev. E. H. L. Noot, Rev. A. G. Davis, Messrs. Bateman, Best, Bourne, Barrows, W. Bourne, Bishton, Brettell, Capewell, Henry Coldicott, Cox, E. Dudley, England, J. Haines, Homer, William Haden, John Jones, jun., Kendrick, Maughan, Passmore, Reynaud, R. Smith, E. F. Smith, Self, Tilley, Vanes, Walker, and others. Thomas Badger, Esq., in the Chair.

The Address of Mr. Benbow to the Electors of the date of the 21st June last having been read—

Resolved unanimously:—That in the opinion of this Meeting, Mr. Benbow has a fair claim to the suffrages of the Electors, and that as there is generally throughout the Country a difference of opinion on the subject of Free Trade, Mr. Benbow should be left unfettered and at liberty to exercise his unbiassed judgment on that point.

Resolved:—That the Gentlemen attending this Meeting be a Committee for conducting the Election of Mr. Benbow, with power to add to their number.

Resolved:—That these resolutions be printed and published, and a copy thereof transmitted to each Elector.

[Pg 156]

THOS. BADGER, Chairman.

Resolved:—That the best thanks of this Meeting be given to the Chairman for his conduct in the Chair.

Then came the tug of political warfare.


An Appeal to the Conscientious Electors of the

The political torpor in which you have been lying has been partially aroused; a sense of the opprobrium you incur by your ignoble apathy, has spurred you to action; the spirit of tyranny displayed by the Church’s iniquitous attempt to impose an unjustifiable tax, has awakened your just indignation, and contempt of their mercenary spirit, that cloaks itself under the pretext of honourably supporting their institution for the welfare of the poor man, whom they would rob of that, of which the honest sweat of his brow has been productive; but this attempt has been foiled, the concocters of the tyrannous rate have been successfully defeated, you have with success combatted and effectually resisted the attempt of overbearing and rapacious Churchmen.

It is but fair to presume that now the public spirit has once been excited, no inconsiderable barrier will stem its course: one object has been achieved and a second will, with an accession of strength, be attempted. Your feelings of execration are excited against a system of representation so corrupt, as that professing to be by the voice of the majority of Electors, when, at the same time, it is merely by the influence of one, who in consequence of his position, wields a despotic rule over you,—vaunted free and independent Electors.

Let us boldly assert our independence, and scorn to be swayed by the interested views of one, whose only title to consideration is the fact of his being an extensive Landowner, who seems to be lamentably deficient of that benevolence and philanthropy, of those elevated sentiments and disinterested views, which should characterize one in his position. Is a man whose silence would bespeak a mind insensible to the responsibility, under which he is lying, as the representative of an enlightened people, is such a man calculated to express the voice of this free, independent and extensive Borough? Is not the name of one of the most industrious and enterprising of the free towns of England almost buried in oblivion in the proceedings of that highly venerated body which is the glory of every English Patriot?

Alas! such is the painful fact!

Ye, who are foremost and most interested in these momentous [Pg 157]affairs, hurl defiance at the unjustifiable assumption of power, which the landed proprietor will again endeavour to employ to further his own views. Act like free men. Boldly face the current, which by one united effort you will be able effectually to resist.

Free Men of Dudley, abhor that monopoly of influence, that has so long characterized your past elections; by your own strenuous exertions send as your legislator one who shall advocate the principles of enlightened progress. If the attempt be not made, nothing will be achieved, devote your energy to the one grand object of obtaining a faithful representative, and success will inevitably crown your noble magnanimity,

Yours earnestly,


July 12th, 1852.

It became apparent at once that Mr. Benbow would again be called upon on the hustings to give us some incoherent account of his stewardship, for the Liberal and Independent voters were determined to bring out a thorough Radical against him. The Anti-Church party being also very wrath at the result of the recent Church Rate contests.

A Mr. James Baldwin, Paper Merchant, of Birmingham, was the chosen champion honoured with the privilege of doing battle on this occasion, and the wondering and peace-loving denizens of the town were one morning startled with the rapid drive into the town of a pair of high-bred steeds, with a light waggon laden with hand-bills, announcing the candidature of Mr. James Baldwin, “Free Trade and no Church Rates.” Our feeble old member could be seen “taking his walks abroad” daily in our midst, consulting with his old friends, Tom, Isaac, and Richard, on the ugly look out upon passing events, bitterly complaining of the ingratitude and desertion of some once loving friends and ardent supporters. Canvassing in those days was undertaken by gentlemen and tradesmen, not by “Loafers and hangers on,” called canvassing agents; and in those days some certainty could be arrived at as to the result of the poll. Our old erratic friend, Samuel, was up early and late using his loquacious eloquence amongst the ignorant and thoughtless voters, whilst Church and Dissent strained every nerve to bring its quota of “Free and Independent Voters” to the poll.


The Member has at last spoken—the nominee of my Lord Ward has opened his mouth—and his lordship’s lump of Political Capital, Mr. John Benbow, of Mecklenburgh Square, is prepared to shew to all comers that a cypher in St. Stephen’s may at least be somebody in the Borough of Dudley.

And should we not be grateful to our “Right Honourable” for the legislative present he has made and is still willing to make us? When we consider that his Lordship, if he so willed it, would make the “calling and election sure” of his groom in this Independent Borough, ought we not to be grateful that our degradation is no deeper? Should we not rather rejoice that our political Jupiter, [Pg 158]instead of giving us a Stork, has, in the plenitude of his condescension, kindly thrown us a “Log?”

And is it not delightful to contemplate the Honourable Gentleman’s Parliamentary career?—his exemplary discharge of his duties—his punctual attendance in the House—the undying eloquence of his speeches—the constancy of his name in the Division List?—Indeed, so admirable is his conduct in these respects, that it may be said they form the exact measure of his political ability.

How kindly too has our “worthy member” cooked his address “To the Electors of Dudley?” With what delicate tact has he avoided the usual term “Independent?” This would, indeed, have been severe, and in our present abject state the “unkindest cut of all:” but he goes through the farce with an amiable make-believe which is really refreshing to behold. “His political opinions are well known to us”—God help us; so they are. He “will not seek to re-impose a Duty on Corn.” How magnanimous!—a return to protection is impossible, therefore Mr. Benbow won’t attempt it. How thankful we ought to be! Mr. Benbow will support Lord Derby’s administration—but where are the political opinions of the noble Earl?—Echo answers—where? They have been stifled in the atmosphere of Downing Street! Once “the Rupert of Debate”—bold, fiery, impetuous, but without a stain on his honour—he has, since the advent of his present official career, condescended to become the “Artful Dodger” of politics; carried to power as a Protectionist, and treacherous to the principle by which he obtained it—his subsequent career has betrayed a succession of miserable expedients. Firm, even to obstinacy, when “Stanley was the cry,” the “great” Earl of Derby is now the veriest political weathercock of modern times—in fine, he has done more in the short space of a single session to destroy confidence in public men, than all the political Apostates of the present century.

With these facts before us—can it be really true that the political influence of an important manufacturing town like Dudley, lies prostrate at the feet of a man, who appears to feel as much interest in the moral and social well-being of the district from which he derives his immense wealth, as he does for the natives of Timbuctoo. Is the decay of public spirit so manifest that not a blow can be struck for the emancipation of the Borough? Are there not a few good men to be found in this political Nazareth who, for the honour of human nature, and the sake of human progress, will come forward and manfully assert the principle of political independence? With such men I should be proud to combine; and though we might be only leading the forlorn hope of a better state of things—we should at least discharge our duty amid circumstances disgraceful in an age of feudalism, but a perpetual reproach to the institutions of the nineteenth century.


[Pg 159]

Market Place, Dudley, June 30, 1852.

Mr. Baldwin’s subjoined address was considered somewhat “peppery hot and strong,” but “not sweet,” for it lacked some of those nice turned sentences about “Civil and Religious Liberty,” and “Church and State,” which catch the eye and please the fancy.



Having been solicited to offer myself as a Candidate to represent you in the next Parliament, I have deemed it my duty to comply with the request. In offering myself to your notice, I think it right to state my views, with which I believe many of you will be acquainted, as they are views which I have entertained and avowed for many years. I am an advocate of FREE TRADE to the utmost extent.

I am an advocate for the Shortening of the Duration of Parliaments, Complete Suffrage, Protected by the Ballot, and an appropriation of Members in proportion to Population. I am for the ABOLITION OF CHURCH RATES! and entire Religious Freedom. I am an advocate for the greatest economy in our national expenditure, and strongly opposed to our interfering in the affairs of other Nations; and believing the Military Bill passed by the present Government an ill-advised and unnecessary measure, if elected I will vote for its repeal!

I am an advocate of EDUCATION, and I think the best means to obtain it would be to remove from the Press all taxes which would reduce the price of Newspapers and Literature generally, so as to bring it within the reach of the whole of the People.

Gentlemen, the above are in substance my political principles, which I shall be happy more fully to explain when I appear before you as a Candidate for your suffrages, and shall be glad to give, on that occasion, whatever further information you may require.

I remain, Gentlemen,

Your obedient Servant,


Committee Room, July 6th, 1852.

The nomination day arrived in due course, and each side marshalled its force of electors and non-electors to hear the speeches, see the farce, and join in the banter and fun of the day. This election, however, was different in respectability from the last miserable show of Chartistism; because both candidates were gentlemen, and in their individual position men of high moral character and standing, which cannot always be reported about Dudley candidates for Parliamentary honours.

The election came off July 8th, 1852, with a few black eyes and [Pg 160]damaged hats, and the result was,—

Mr. Benbow, Conservative400
Mr. Baldwin, Liberal231
Majority for Mr. Benbow169

Thus it was that Mr. Baldwin trotted back to Birmingham (rather crest-fallen) with his paper waggon and fiery steeds, whilst Mr. Benbow, the member (not of the electors of Dudley), returned to his books and his papers in Mecklenburgh Square, London.

Died July 22nd, 1852, Mr. John Holland, Builder and Contractor, Dudley. This melancholy death took place suddenly in a fit at a gipsy party. Aged 58 years.

Died August 18th, 1852, Sergeant Paine, an old Peninsular soldier, having hung himself in a fit of insanity. Aged 64 years.

September 15th, 1852. Died at Walmer Castle, that most illustrious commander and hero, the great Duke of Wellington, of an epileptic fit, in the 84th year of his age, universally regretted by the whole world. The nation gave the Duke a public funeral on November 18th, 1852. His remains were laid in St. Paul’s Cathedral.


Thursday next, the 18th instant, being the day appointed to inter the remains of the late illustrious DUKE OF WELLINGTON, I respectfully request that the tradesmen of Dudley participating in the general national feeling, will testify their respect for the memory of that distinguished individual by the CLOSURE OF THEIR SHOPS.


Dudley, November 15th, 1852.

This Great National Burial was observed in Dudley with due solemnity, all the shops being closed.

Died November 11th, 1852, Mr. Thomas Marsh, Fender and Fire Stove Manufacturer at the Burnt Tree Works, greatly esteemed and respected by both his numerous workmen and a large circle of friends. Aged 75 years.

December 20th, 1852. The Oxford, Worcester, and Wolverhampton Railway was opened this day, from Wolverhampton via Dudley to Evesham (41½ miles in length), on the Broad Gauge. A public dinner took place at the hotel to celebrate the occasion.

1853. The former Church Rate heat and fever had subsided into sober reason at this time; hence this humbled and subdued appeal to the parish.


We are about to ask at your hands a Rate of Three Pence in [Pg 161]the Pound, for the requisite Annual Expenses of the Parish and two District Churches, (St. John and St. James). As it is anticipated that the Government will set this question at rest in the next Session of Parliament, we trust that no unkind feeling will be entertained towards us on this, we hope, FINAL occasion of appealing to our friends and fellow parishioners. We are equally anxious to do our duty, and to preserve the peace of the Parish, and, whilst we solicit the assistance of our friends, we deprecate the hostility of those parties, who, if placed in our position, would find themselves legally compelled to adopt the same line of conduct.




} Churchwardens.

May 10th, 1853.

March, 1853. The Small Tenements’ Act of the 13th and 14th Vict. had for some time received serious consideration at the hands of some of the most thoughtful ratepayers as to its adoption in this Parish. A public meeting was held recommending the immediate adoption of the Act, when it was shewn that £2,500 per annum would be saved to the poor rates by such a procedure. The poor rates for Dudley parish during the last three years had been four shillings in the pound, for 2,347 houses were excused payment, and, as the general trade of the town and district was in a shockingly depressed state, we had 1,536 houses void. Under this Small Tenements’ Act, all houses rated to the poor and highway rates (and rated at under £6 per annum) were to be paid for by the owners not occupiers as hitherto. The owners of small tenements had previously held properties which paid no rates at all, inasmuch as their tenants were too poor to pay them, and got put themselves upon the excused list; but it was found out that the rapacious owners reaped the benefit, by compelling the poor tenants to pay them a bigger rent, because they were excused paying rates. When the large employers of labour became incensed at this unfair taking the burden from off the backs of landlords and placing it upon them, or anyone else who grumbled and paid, it soon became a settled opinion that the Act must be adopted, so that we had a three days’ poll of the whole parish on March 22nd, 23rd, and 24th, held in the Vestry at St. Thomas’ Parish Church, to determine this vexed contest.

What is the Meaning of the Small Tenements’ Rating Act?

A FEW FACTS—For Poor Working Men!

A Bill has been circulated by Gentlemen opposed to the introduction of the Small Tenements’ Rating Act, many of them Owners of Small Houses, all of them being desirous of being considered “The Poor Man’s Friend!

In what does their Friendship consist?

They say Small Houses are not profitable;—they assert that they never get half their Rents. Is this true—or is this Libel upon our honest character the best proof they could offer that [Pg 162]they are the Poor Man’s Foes?

When sickness or distress has overtaken you, or trade been bad and employment scarce, so that you have been prevented meeting their demands for Rent, which in most cases yields them, from 10 to 15 per cent. upon their outlay—how do they show their Friendship towards you? A small voice says, by sending the Bailiffs,—meaning, no doubt, the “Poor Man’s Friends.”

Again, ask them to improve—nay, even to limewash your ill-ventilated and miserable dwellings,—like the “Poor Man’s Friends” in general, they reply, they can’t afford it.

Ask them for a supply of that all-important blessing, “good water” and like “Poor Man’s Friends,” though you tell them it will not cost them a penny a week, they feelingly reply, “Oh, yes! you can have it, by allowing me to put twopence a week on your Rent!”

They are about to feel for you in reference to the introduction of the Small Tenements’ Act. The present law compels the Overseers to summons you before the Magistrates for the non-payment of every rate granted, consequently putting you to serious trouble and expense.

The New Tenements’ Act compels them, instead of you, to pay the Poor and Highway Rates, and allows them to compound for half the amount rated; thus again showing their friendship for you, knowing that the adoption of the Small Tenements’ Rating Act will injure their interests, but benefit yours.

But turn a deaf ear to their Hypocritical Friendship, for, like Shylock, they will have their “pound of flesh.”

A few words to the Operative Classes, that are now, and, probably have been for years past, Ratepayers. You have, with that forethought which characterises the operative classes of this country, succeeded in making provision for sickness, old age, and death, by joining Provident Societies, and other Institutions of which this country abounds; consequently, you never expect to partake of that fund which the present law makes you pay to, in the shape of Poor Rates.

Then, I ask, is there not something required, when thousands of the labouring classes of your parish, equally as able were they only prudent and careful, who, when out of employment or sick, fall back upon a fund that the present unequal law compels you to subscribe to.

No appeal is necessary to make the fact apparent to you, that the introduction of the Small Tenements’ Rating Act will tend to operate to the benefit of the Rate-paying interest of this over-taxed Parish.

Again, there is nothing visionary in the matter, it is plain and simple; evidences of its true benefits are visible right and left—Rowley and Sedgley.

Therefore, be prepared to attend the Poll at the Vestry of St. Thomas’s Church, on Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday next; and honestly, fearlessly, and independently register your votes in favour of the Small Tenements’ Act, that must materially tend to benefit the poor and industrious of the Parish of Dudley.


One who has always cared for the Industrious Working Man!

This parish contest was not fought without much acrimony and ill-feeling, for the owners of small houses were not numerous in residence in the town, and those residing away took no interest in the matter. Result of the three days’ poll:—[Pg 163]

For the Adoption of the Act559
Against “ “276
Majority for283

In concert with the action taken upon the introduction of the Small Tenements’ Act, it was deemed expedient that a new and more liberal Board of Guardians should be selected to manage our Poor Law business. Hitherto very little interest had been taken by the ratepayers in the administration of the Poor Laws in Dudley; and so long as Mr. Thomas Griffiths, a retired shoemaker and chairman of the board, chose to rule the too obsequious guardians with an ignorance of the real meaning and intention of the Poor Law Acts, it became evident that no real improvement or amelioration was likely to take place unless a new board of guardians was elected. It was also shewn that this gentleman was in the receipt of £30 a year as assistant overseer, a scandal which provoked much indignation at the time, and caused his ejection from the board at the next election.

As politics did not happily in those days enter into our parochial contests, change of public opinion resulted in change of our rulers, and the following candidates were presented for election:—



Fellow Ratepayers,

In a few days you will be called upon for your vote in the appointment of a new Board of Guardians for the next year, and it is of the utmost importance that useful and efficient men should be chosen.

It is an undeniable fact that the Poor Rates of Dudley are considerably higher than in any other neighbouring Parish, and more than double what they are in Wolverhampton; and this renders it absolutely necessary that you should choose for your Guardians men who are qualified and determined to carry out the principles of economy and retrenchment with a due regard for the comfort and welfare of the poor.

Vote for the following Candidates, and thereby clear the way for a Reduction of Expenditure:—

Mr. Thomas Wood

“ Thomas Lester

“ Elliott Hollier

“ G. Thomson, (Corngreaves)

“ James Evers Swindell

Mr. John Finch

“ Josiah Collins Cook

“ C. F. G. Clark

“ S. H. Blackwell

“ Alexander B. Cochrane



Fellow Ratepayers,

Two Handbills have been circulated through the Parish by Order of the Anti-Small Tenement Rating Committee, of a[Pg 164] nature which the Committee for the adoption of the Act consider most disgraceful, and such as no honorable persons would have given the sanction of their name to.

Both these Handbills charge those who have proposed the adoption of this Act with a desire to rob the Poor, by throwing their fair share of the Poor Rate upon those less able to bear it than themselves; and in one of these Handbills a “Curse is denounced upon those who rob the Poor to enrich themselves.”

Now, on behalf of themselves and those who are acting with them, the Committee for the adoption of the Act distinctly allege this charge to be false; and they as distinctly allege that those who have made it, have done so knowing it to be false.

Their reasons for wishing the adoption of this Act are the following:—

1.—They regard the Poor Law itself as one of the great bulwarks upon which the social condition of England rests,—and as one of the principal causes why England stands so pre-eminently high in general Freedom and Liberty amongst the Nations of the World.

2.—So far, therefore, from doing anything which would tend in the slightest degree to lessen the almost reverential feeling which the Committee consider that all should entertain for this most important means of provision for those who are unable to support themselves, they would rather widen, by every means in their power, the basis upon which this provision rests.

3.—While to effect this, they desire all Property to be liable to its fair amount of contribution to this great and important fund, at the same time they also desire to give relief legally to that portion of society who are really unable to contribute thereto, without subjecting them to the harassing and vexatious annoyance of Summonses. This can only be done by the introduction of The Small Tenements’ Act.

4.—Under the present system, out of 6,106 assessments, only 2,223 pay rates; under the Small Tenements’ Act all Property will pay, but the lowest class of houses need only be rated in the proportion of ONE-HALF the amount at which they are now rated.

5.—Under the present system the poor occupier who is unable to pay, can only be excused after having been summoned and appearing before the Magistrates, at a loss of time which generally more than equals the amount excused. This system of summonsing must become more and more oppressive to the poor ratepayer, and more and more expensive to the Parish, under every rate, while the present system continues.

[Pg 165]

6.—Under the Small Tenements’ Rating Act, the poor ratepayer will be saved all this trouble and expense. No summonses will be required.

7.—Under the Small Tenements’ Rating Act, the poor ratepayer will always, and under every circumstance, be relieved to an extent not exceeding ONE-HALF of the amount at which he is now rated, and that without any loss of time or annoyance whatever: and, this will be the case to the amount named, even where the Landlord charges upon the weekly rental the entire amount of the rate which he will have to pay.

8.—Under the Small Tenements’ Rating Act, a better class of houses than that now existing amongst us will be introduced; for it will be only by attention to the comforts of the Tenant that the Landlord will be able to obtain any additional weekly charge, to repay the amount of the rate which he will have to pay. This will be one of the results of the adoption of this Act, which the Committee regard as most important, and as bearing materially upon the comfort of the working classes.

9.—Under the Small Tenements’ Rating Act, no encouragement will be held out to the idle and dissolute, at the expense of the industrious and sober workmen, which is the case under the present system, undermining that independent, truthful, and manly character which the Englishman should ever be most proud of, since it is that one of his national characteristics which has given to him the proud position which he now holds.

These, Fellow Ratepayers, are the reasons which induced the Committee to propose the adoption of this Act, and which lead them still to believe that while it will be to the advantage of all classes, it will be of the greatest advantage to the poorer classes. You ought to decide for yourselves as to the claim which these reasons for its adoption have upon your judgment and support, from their own intrinsic merit or demerit alone, and not from personal considerations having reference to the character of those who support or oppose the introduction of this Act.

If, however, the Parish is to be insulted by such disgraceful Handbills as those to which allusion has been made, the Committee will not shrink from the challenge thus given, and they call upon you to declare by your Vote, whether you place the greatest confidence in the integrity of purpose, the disinterestedness of motive, and the honour of the Gentlemen whose names were attached to the Requisition to the Ratepayers, advising the adoption of the Act—or in those who thus endeavour to raise the bitterest feelings of animosity and hatred, by assertions, as disgraceful in their object as they are false in fact.

The Committee have no other motive to influence them than an earnest and faithful desire, firstly, that the Poor Rates shall be collected upon a principle of justice, including all Property, but relieving to a great extent that property which is of the lowest class. Secondly, that the administration of the Poor Rates, both in their collection and subsequent distribution, shall be governed by that true English feeling which, whilst it willingly alleviates the suffering of the destitute, yet honours most of all the self-supporting [Pg 166]workman who disdains the relief sought for by the idle and improvident: and lastly, that that state of things shall be put a stop to in this Parish, which has brought upon it the fearful notoriety of being described by the Board of Health as “the Town in which the work of human extermination is carried on more successfully than in any other part of England and Wales.”

They do not hesitate in expressing the conviction that the adoption of this Act must lead to the erection of a better class of houses, to greater attention on the part of the Landlord to the comfort of the Tenant, and to a higher tone of character in the people; and they are confident that when its operation has been fairly tested, the best thanks of the Parishioners will be awarded to them for the course they have now adopted, and which they are resolved to carry out, in defiance of the prejudices and narrow views of their opponents.

Signed on behalf of

The Small Tenements’ Rating Committee,



Dudley, March 23rd, 1853.

April 5th, 1853. This unprecedented severe contest for the Election of Guardians took place with the following results—

Elected. Mr. Isaac Badger, Messrs. E. Hollier, S. H. Blackwell, Thos. Lester, A. B. Cochrane, Thos. Wood, G. B. Walker, Jos. Guest, J. E. Swindell, J. C. Cook.

May 9th, 1853. A very heavy fall of snow this morning, with intense cold weather, which did a vast amount of harm to vegetation and health in the land.

Died, May 11, 1853, Mr. Chas. F. Hewitt, Wine and Spirit Merchant, a gentleman who took a strong lead in politics on the Tory side, and was universally respected. Aged 50 years.

May 14th, 1853. An awful loss of life was occasioned this day at one o’clock by the explosion of the engine boiler belonging to Mr. Davis, Fender Maker, in the Minories. Four men were taken out of the ruins dead, many more were severely maimed and wounded, and the unfortunate Engineer was blown above one hundred yards into the air, and fell through the roof of a house near, smashed to pieces. At the Coroner’s inquest much blame was attached to the owner, “for working at too high a pressure an old boiler, acknowledged to be in bad repair.”

Whitsuntide. Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday, the Dudley Lime Stone Caverns were again lighted up with gas, proving another pecuniary success.

Government School of Art, 1853. There was no district in the United Kingdom at this period which needed the establishment of a branch of the Government School of Art more than Dudley. Surrounded as we are by almost every kind of mechanical art, it had long been felt that a technical training in drawing, designing, and the general art and engineering culture, was a desideratum much needed. The town and district were greatly indebted at this time to the efforts made to secure these advantages by Dr. Browne, Vicar, S. H. Blackwell, Esq., A. B. Cochrane, Esq., Edwin Dudley, Esq., and others, who speedily raised a handsome subscription to enlarge the King Street National School Rooms, and established a most[Pg 167] valuable and flourishing Government School of Art. Long may this excellent institution maintain its high reputation and prestige. The first appointments were, Lord Ward, the President, Dr. Browne, Vice-President and Chairman, Samuel H. Blackwell, Esq., Hon. Secretary, First Master Mr. Robert Cochrane.

The Sanitary Board having been imposed upon this Borough, nolens volens, necessitating the extinction and oblivion of the Old Town Commissioners, who had become quite incompetent to deal with the shamefully unsanitary condition of the Borough, caused quite a commotion and flutter amongst all classes of the inhabitants. The scare, alleging the enormous increase of the Rates in the Parish, which would be the result of this dreaded movement, induced many people to use their utmost influence to endeavour to secure such a Board as would make its stringent and sweeping Clauses harmless and inoperative. Men of property in the Parish looked with alarm upon any interference with the rights of property; although the recent enquiry before Mr. Lee had incontestably shewn the immediate necessity for a Sanitary Reform in the Parish. That startling enquiry and inspection of the Parish had taken place in August, 1851, yet the application of the Act had been staved off till now, June, 1853; and had not some of the most intelligent and independent ratepayers insisted upon its introduction in the Parish, the disgraceful, filthy, and insanitary state of things would have continued to an indefinite period.

The first thing to be done was the election of a Local Board of Health, and to the common sense of the ratepayers and the credit of the Town, be it recorded, that the first elected Board was composed of fifteen of the most clear-headed, independent, and true friends of the Parish that could possibly have been selected. As a matter of course, this novel and important Election could not be allowed to take place, without the usual exhibition of the “Curiosities of Dudley.”


To the Ratepayers of the Parish of Dudley.

Fellow Ratepayers,

The Public Health Act being extended to the Parish of Dudley, you will in a few days be called upon to elect proper persons, as a Local Board, to carry out its provisions.

As it will necessarily entail a very heavy expense on the Parish, it is of the utmost importance that those persons should be elected who will faithfully discharge the weighty duties of their office, with a due regard to ECONOMY IN THE EXPENDITURE OF THE PARISH FUNDS.

Vote, then, for the following Fifteen Candidates (nominated by Messrs. Blackwell and Cochrane), who, if elected, will carefully guard the interests of the Ratepayers, and carry out the provisions of the Act at the least possible expense:—

Mr. Samuel Holden Blackwell

“ Elliott Hollier

“ Thomas Wood

“ Josiah Collins Cook

“ Alexander Brodie Cochrane, Jun.

The Rev. Dr. Browne

Mr. Thomas Lester

“ Alexander Patterson

Mr. John Finch

“ William Chrysostom Wood

“ William Timmins

“ Richard Smith

“ Edward Dixon, the younger

“ James Evers Swindell

“ George Thomson (Corngreaves)

A Ratepayer.

Dudley, 13th June, 1853.

N.B.—As ONLY Fifteen persons can be elected, any Ratepayer Voting for more than that number will lose the whole of his Votes. The Voting Paper must be carefully preserved by the Voter, as no second Paper will be given. When filled up it must be kept ready for delivery to the Distributor, who will call for it on TUESDAY, the 21st Instant, and who is the only person authorised to receive the same.[Pg 168]



Fellow Ratepayers,

The most important Suffrage since the passing of the Reform Bill has lately been conferred upon the Rate-Payers of Dudley, by the introduction of the “Health of Towns Act;” and you are now called upon to Elect Fifteen fit and proper Persons to carry out the provisions of this salutary Measure. This day you have had 40 Names submitted to your notice, as parties wishful to have the management of the affairs of this Parish confided to them, and it now behoves you carefully to consider who and what class of masters shall rule over you! A cursory glance at the List of Names nominated for your approval, clearly shows that some are incapacitated from age and non-residence to attend to your interests, and others want the essential qualities of a practical knowledge of the working of the Act.

Recollect, fellow Rate-payers, that £25,000 may shortly be at the disposal of your elected Rulers, and this sum, too, will have to come out of the pockets of the Rate-payers!

Improvements we want, but we must be careful to whom, we trust these large powers to make those Amendments. Let us then elect a Class of Commissioners whom we know to be of honest purpose, independence of character, quickness of perception, mindful of the judicious improvements of the Town, as well as of the Pockets of the Rate-payers, and possess a conscientious determination to attend personally to the duties of this important office.

[Pg 169]

Beware, then, of committing yourselves to party purposes,—political tendencies—family cliques—or honorary and never attending members. Bear in mind that it is a very common practice to escape from one set of inefficient Rulers into the arms of another, often professedly more liberal but usually more tyrannical and inadequate to the duties they profess to fulfil,—past experience, in Dudley, teaches the necessity of this caution to the Ratepayers. Have practical, honest, business-like men, who will be fearless and judicious in the discharge of their duties, and spend your money as carefully as though it were their own. Recollect, that men who have something tangible to lose are the most likely to be careful about the spending of that fund which they will have heavily to pay to.

On Tuesday next you will be called upon for the Voting Paper left at your houses, write your Initials at once opposite the following names on the Voting Paper, and you will thereby elect such a Board of intelligent and responsible Commissioners, as will improve the Town and save your Pockets.



Dudley, June 16th, 1853.


To the Ratepayers of Dudley.


The Clerk of the Quackery establishment, with his usual [Pg 170]quickness of perception, honest purpose, and independence of character,” has thought proper at this particular season to address you on “the essential qualities and practical knowledge of the Public Health!” IT NOW BEHOVES YOU CAREFULLY TO CONSIDER “what class of Quackery you ought to support, so that YOUR MONEY MAY BE SPENT AS CAREFULLY AS IF IT WERE YOUR OWN.” Recollect, THAT MEN WHO HAVE SOMETHING TANGIBLE TO LOSE are the men most likely to be careful of the same.

£25,000 will have to come out of your pockets shortly (so says the Clerk), for “the judicious improvements of the Town,” and fifteen conscientious and determined Commissioners must be chosen.

Beware, then, of self-interested partisans,—political turncoats, and troublesome quacks—“past experience in Dudley teaches the necessity of this caution to Ratepayers.”

“O that estates, degrees, and offices,
Were not derived corruptly;—that clear honour
Were purchased by the merit of the wearer.”


Dudley, 16th June 1853.

The Unitarian Chapel, 1853. This Chapel is situated in a retired arched gateway, in Wolverhampton Street, adjoining the old Post Office. It was originally built in 1701; but that structure unhappily shared the fate of many other Nonconformist Chapels, destroyed under Dr. Sacheverell’s fanaticism against Dissenters, for in 1714, it was burnt down by a lawless mob, but was shortly afterwards re-built by a Parliamentary Grant of £500. This comfortable and commodious chapel has been much improved and ornamented since that period, and it now seats 450 worshippers. There is also an excellent school attached to this denomination, known as Daniel Parsons’ Foundation School, having 150 children therein, under the able tuition of Mr. and Mrs. Lewis. The life of Dr. Sacheverell reveals the impression that he was a learned madman, whose craze was to preach “the Church in Danger,” and that dissent ought to be stamped out by fire and persecution. He was appointed preacher at St. Saviour’s Church, Southwark, London, in 1705, where he preached his violent crusade against Dissenters, which commanded much attention at the time. For his intemperate language, both in and out of the pulpit, he got impeached by the House of Commons, and was suspended preaching for three years, but through some powerful Court influence, he eventually managed to get appointed to the valuable Rectory of St. Andrew’s, Holborn, London, where he died in 1724. During this period of our history, the Rev. John Palmer, B.A., of Trinity College, Dublin, was appointed on February 18th, 1833, the minister of this highly intelligent and wealthy congregation. Mr. Palmer was a gentleman of great mental power, and was a good and pleasant preacher, and during the nineteen years he held this appointment he secured the esteem and regard of all good citizens. Mr. Palmer, like many of his countrymen, was a very energetic politician, and his often expressed Radical opinions at times shocked the nervous sensibility of his friends. However, after 19 years of great zeal and energy in the[Pg 171] sacred cause he had undertaken to uphold and propagate, we find him suddenly transformed into an officer of the Crown, for in 1853, he was appointed Crown Treasurer in the Island of Dominica, whither he departed, being succeeded after a time by the Rev. Richard Shaen, M.A., who only remained a few years as minister. Some of our “oldest inhabitants” are in possession of relics and curiosities of the old burnt chapel, in the form of oaken stands and curious boxes made from the ponderous oak timbers, which were not entirely consumed in the conflagration of the chapel. The Rev. Mr. Gibson is the present genial and courteous minister. The Election for the first Local Board of Health took place on June 23rd, 1853, with the following results:

Dudley Local Board of Health.—The election of this board was brought to a close on Thursday last, and the result is as follows, the first fifteen being elected:—Dr. Browne, 1,227; S. H. Blackwell, 1,161; E. Hollier, 1,135; A. B. Cochrane, 981; R. Smith, 974; T. Lester, 951; J. C. Cook, 887; J. E. Swindell, 872; I. Badger, 870; W. O. Wood, 848; E. Dixon, 844; A. Patterson, 841; G. Thompson, of Corngreaves, 812; T. Badger, jun., 801; J. G. Walker, 793; J. Finch, 754; E. Feny, 725; W. Haden, 676; T. Griffiths, 671; W. Timmins, 633; W. Harrison, 625; E. F. Smith, 615; E. L. Cresswell, 586; J. Renaud, 504; C. Cartwright, 495; J. Marsh, 491; J. Bagott, 485; T. Danks, 471; J. Owen, 466; T. Fereday, 374; J. Guest, 246; W. Harper, 121; D. Lloyd, 117; C. F. G. Clark, 113; W. Sheppard, 105. From an inspection of the list elected, it will be seen that, with few exceptions, the ratepayers have chosen the board from the most active and intelligent members of the Board of Guardians and the late Board of Highways and Town Act Commissioners, and we hope to see the “Health Act” now carried out in Dudley in its integrity, with advantage to the general social condition of the inhabitants, and with due regard to the pockets of the ratepayers.—Birmingham Journal.



The Board, in entering upon the important duties entrusted to them by the Ratepayers, have earnestly to request the co-operation of their fellow parishioners in carrying out the objects for which they have been appointed. They invite suggestions, and solicit information, and their Officers will give immediate attention to any subject directly or indirectly connected with the Public Health.


Mr. William Henry Brooke, Solicitor, Wolverhampton Street, has been appointed Clerk to the Board, and all general communications should be addressed to him.

Mr. John Bateman, Wolverhampton Street, has been appointed Surveyor,—and

Mr. John Castree, Railway Parcels Office, Wolverhampton Street, Inspector of Nuisances.

All communications respecting these two departments of the [Pg 172]Board should be addressed to these Officers respectively.

The BOARD take this opportunity of announcing that in enforcing the large and searching powers and directions of the Public Health Act, they shall be always desirous of avoiding, as much as possible, any compulsory interference with the management of property, and any unnecessary intrusion on the privacy of the parishioners. But that extensive inspection and inquiry will be unavoidable, since the state of drainage of every house must be ascertained, in order to be rendered perfect. Interference, however, and compulsion will, in every case, be less in proportion as the parishioners shall themselves kindly co-operate in bringing about that better state of sanitary arrangement which the Act requires, and which is so essential to the public health and welfare.

By Order of

The Local Board of Health, Dudley;


Clerk to the said Board.

Dudley, August 2nd, 1853.

The following appeal to the Churchmen in this town was attended with success—

Dudley, July 8th, 1853.


The adjourned Meeting of the Inhabitants of this Parish to take into consideration the best means to be adopted for the liquidation of the Salaries of the Officers, and other debts, (amounting according to the accounts presented at the last meeting to nearly £800), due in respect of the Churches of St. Thomas, St. John, and St. James, will be held in the Vestry of St. Thomas’s Church, on Wednesday morning next, the 13th instant, at Eleven o’clock, when your attendance is respectfully and particularly requested.



} Ex-Wardens of St. Thomas’s.

Died, November 3rd, 1853, Mr. Geo. Bailey, Senior, formerly a Grocer and Provision Dealer, in New Street. Aged 79 years.

Died November 18th, 1853, Mrs. Henry Parkes, of Wolverhampton Street. Aged 44 years.

December 26th, 1853. A very heavy fall of snow took place this day, and continued at intervals until January 11th, 1854. All train and road traffic was suspended, and the snow drifts were 16 feet deep in many localities. The privations and sufferings amongst the poor were very great.

1854. Died January 20th, Mr. John Rann, of Hall Street, Printer. This wonderful and active old man was known to be the oldest man in Dudley, having attained the age of 98 years.

January, 1854. A new Organ was erected in St. Edmund’s Church, at a cost [Pg 173]of £360. This sum was raised by public subscription, and the highly-esteemed Rev. Jno. Davies, M.A., was the Incumbent of the Church at the time.

January, 1854. The Metropolitan Association for the Improvement of the Dwellings of the Poor, was adopted in Dudley with much eclat. Dr. Browne was appointed Chairman, and Mr. Wm. Barns, Solicitor, Secretary, with a powerful and influential Committee. February 1st, 1854. This day a deputation of Church attendants at St. Edmund’s Church presented the Rev. A. Kerr Thompson, M.A., Master of the Dudley Grammar School, with an address from the congregation thanking him for his services as Evening Lecturer in that Church.


February 11th, 1854. A very sharp contest took place this day for South Staffordshire, betwixt Lord Paget and Lord Ingestre, which ended in a majority of 1568 votes for Lord Paget, the Liberal Candidate. Lord Ward, a Conservative by induction, who can command this constituency, by some unexplained reason, threw the whole of his weight and influence into the hands of the Liberals, hence the result of the election. We had again another pitiable exhibition of territorial influence in Dudley and elsewhere, ordering to “do as you are bid,” leading the liege vassals to do battle in a cause which it was too well-known that all utterly abhorred.


Once upon a time there lived in Staffordshire a noble Lord. Among other possessions he held the lordship of a Manor close by his residence; it was, however, but a barren dignity, as the Manor was all common and waste land. However, he got an act of Parliament for enclosing the waste lands, and inserted a clause reserving all Mines to himself, should there prove to be any. Well, in time this Manor became built over. Many working men out of their savings put up houses for themselves, and the place became very populous. The old lord died; and the next Lord, who was very young, thought Staffordshire a very nasty place, so he went to Italy and foreign parts to enjoy himself, and there revelled in luxury and extravagance. Fortunately for this Lord, his Agents found Mines under nearly all that Manor, and as their master’s wants were great, they opened all the Mines they could. But the Working Men, who had built their houses upon the surface? Row after row of houses split and cracked, and became ruins; some houses sank into the earth—it seemed as if some convulsion of nature had passed over this manor. Many poor workmen were ruined, for they had borrowed money to assist them in building their houses, and when the mortgagees found their value was destroyed, they sold them for what they would fetch. Others went to his Lord’s Agents and begged of them to leave ribs and pillars under their houses, but they would not. Some begged the Agents to patch their houses up—but no: not a day’s labour! [Pg 174]not a barrow of mortar! not a brick! not a tile! would this Lord’s Agents give them! And the Miners kept enlarging their circle like an encroaching sea, and those, whose dwellings were not ruined, were kept in daily dread of their little property, around which clung so many pleasant memories; where, after years of toil and care, they had fondly hoped for tranquillity in old age!

Well, this Lord with all his wealth was unhappy, he coveted an Earldom! The Election came on, and “Which Candidate,” said the noble Lord to himself, “shall I support? Why, I’ll support the one who will support Ministers, and if they win, why, my Earldom is safe!” So this Lord had an interview with Lord Aberdeen, and he turned his Coat (for before he was a Conservative), and his Agent went round and commanded all his Tenants to turn their Coats. “But,” said the Tenants, “we surely cannot support Ministers, for they have truckled to the Russian Influence, and for the first time in History, England has shown the White Feather!” But the Agent said—“Leave the Country to the noble Lord. Has he not the largest stake in it.”


Well, in Staffordshire there lived another Lord, not very rich. He was much younger than the Lord we have been speaking of. When he left school he went into the Army. Being a thoughtful lad he sat down, as it were, by the roadside of life: before him two paths branched off—the path of Luxury and the path of Duty. And Pleasure said to him—“Enjoy yourself.” But Duty replied—“Remember your poor Fellow Countrymen. Are not you one of their natural guardians? What were rank and wealth given you for?” Well, this young Lord listened to the call of Duty, and he vowed that his life should be useful.

So he began by devoting the time he could spare from his military duties to visiting the poor and wretched. By way of a start he got together a subscription of Three Thousand Pounds, and fitted up a large house in London, in which poor, houseless creatures, of whom there are thousands in London, who sleep in the streets and cellars, or whatever shelter they can find, might have a comfortable and clean bed, at a very trifling charge. He was now about twenty years of age. His occupation had become a real pleasure. He travelled much about England, and went through our large towns, and over factories, and got together all the facts he could about the state of the Working Classes. Whilst thus employed, the Engineers on the railways struck. The Directors wanted to increase their Dividends, and took away from the Engineers some privileges they had always enjoyed; but the Engineers would not stand this, so they stood out. Unskilful Engineers were set on—accidents happened; there was great confusion and alarm. Well, the Engineers looked round for an Arbitrator, and they chose one. Whom? THIS YOUNG LORD; for they had [Pg 175]heard of him and his kind heart.

Soon after the death of the Duke of Wellington, a large sum of money was subscribed to erect a lifeless monument to his Grace. But this young Lord Ingestre proposed that the money should be spent in securing to the poor of London free Water, and their share of the light of Heaven, the common property of us all—and other Sanitary improvements, necessary to the health and strength of the working man. It was for this that the “Times Newspaper” fell foul of the young Lord, and called him a silly young medler. But many simple folks, and especially hardy sons of toil, are still of the young Lord’s opinion. I think that the Great Duke would have wished so too, could he have spoken from the tomb. But the “Times” owed Lord Ingestre a “grudge” for supporting the Engineers against the Railway Directors, and the opportunity was taken of venting their spleen.

But our young Lord had too much pluck to be set down by a Newspaper, so he just went on as before, and tried to get at the truth respecting the Working Classes, and the way to make them better off. After seeing things in England, he went to America on the same errand. Whilst there his Friends sent for him to return to England, to contest the representation of his native County against the Candidate brought forward by the Lord above spoken of, and other Lords and great folks like him. Well, when they heard he was coming, they told the poor folks all sorts of lies about the young Lord: that he was for a little loaf—that he was all for the rich—that he was against Free Trade; but, fortunately, the young Lord had time to go through the County, to see and speak to the people. And he asked them—“Is it likely that I, who have all my life been working for the Labouring Man, to secure him and his children comforts and blessings, that I am so foolish and wicked as to take away from him his bread?” And the people looked round upon the houses in ruins, and it seemed to them strange that a noble Lord should have ever thought, except at an election, of the Working Man’s good.

MEN OF STAFFORDSHIRE! Are you Englishmen? If so, why do you permit yourselves to be dictated to? Your Fathers were Free Men! Were you animated by my spirit (and I am a plain Englishman like yourselves), you would never hear of a Lord commanding the Votes of a free people.

The law says, if a poor man takes a shilling, or accepts of a glass of beer at an election, IT IS AN HEINOUS CRIME.

The law says if a noble Lord, though to secure an Earldom for himself, commands his Tenants to vote his way, IT IS NO CRIME AT ALL.

February 1st, 1854.


To Richard Smith, Esq. (Mineral Agent to Lord Ward), Priory, Dudley.

[Pg 176]Tipton, February, 2nd, 1854.


You will, I trust, pardon me, for presuming to address you upon a matter touching the present contested Election for South Staffordshire. I refer to the public part which you are taking with regard to it. You cannot, I think, complain that your proceedings should be criticised, or that they should be brought to the bar of public opinion.

It is due to the Conservative party which you have abandoned—and to those servants and others who are under your influence and control—that you should publicly state the reasons why you have changed your colours.

It is due to the first, because they believe that the change involves political apostasy, and an undue regard to political morality. An opportunity is now afforded you of justifying the change if you can. You may give us a new chapter on Ethics, headed thus:—“a change of principles proved to be morally wrong, but politically right.”

It is due to those who are under your influence and control. You may be enabled to give a reason for them, inasmuch as they cannot give one for themselves.

But you, doubtless, had your instructions from a certain Lord, who it is said, has subscribed a large sum to the fund to defray the expenses of the Radical Candidate.

Were your instructions imperative? If so, did you remonstrate with his Lordship? Did you not urge one plea in behalf of yourself, and another for those who must act upon your bidding. Had you not sufficient independence to tell the Lord that you had been, and that you were, a Conservative; that all the influence which your office gives you had previously been thrown into the Conservative scale; that you had taught those over whom you had been placed, and those with whom you were connected, Conservative Politics; that you could not stoop so low as to undo all that you had done; that you could not ask them to act contrary to their antecedents and convictions; and that your situation was at his Lordship’s disposal. If, Sir, you had done this, you would have been honoured in your last days, and you would have been spared the reproach that has now, I regret to say, fallen upon you.

But you may say my Lord is a Peer of the Realm, that his Lordship could not act so unconstitutionally, and that you ALONE are responsible. Be it so. Then it will make your case so much the worse. You may add that you took it upon yourself to canvass his Lordship’s Agents and Tenants, and that his Lordship did not wish to INFLUENCE them in giving their Votes, then the conclusion must be that you have EXCEEDED HIS LORDSHIP’S WISHES AND INTENTIONS.

Can you deny the part you have taken in this matter? Can you gainsay the charge that those who do not CHANGE WITH YOU MERIT YOUR HIGH DISPLEASURE; and that in one [Pg 177]instance you have shewn it so unmistakeably that one of his Lordship’s Agents, who has held his situation for a period of 16 years, with a character unsullied, has thought it due to his honour and self-respect to give up his situation rather than lick the dust?

The names of those Clergymen who are under his Lordship’s patronage, and those Gentlemen connected with his Lordship’s Estates, who have boldly stood forth and declared their principles, notwithstanding your solicitations, will be ever mentioned with regard, respect, and esteem. The reproach will not fall upon them that in an hour of temptation they fell away from those principles which they had professed, and to which they do honour.

Waiting the favour of your public reply,

I am, Sir,

Your obedient Servant,



TUNE.—“All the Blue Bonnets.

March! march! Bromwich and Wednesbury;
Handsworth and Smethwick, march forward in order;
Tipton and Rowley, Kingswinford and Sedgley,
Drive the young Tory Lord over the border.
Brown Hills and Cannock Chase, march at a steady pace:
Walsall and Lichfield from you will not sever.
Brave Wolverhampton boys, shout with your mighty voice—
“Free Trade, Reform, and LORD PAGET for ever!”


March! march! march to the poll my boys;
Reformers and Free-men, march forward in order:
March! march! conq’ring Free Traders all;
Drive the young Tory Lord over the border.
Come from the forge, where your metals are heating:
Come from the mines, where your minerals abound:
Come from the workshops, where hammers are beating:
Come from wherever a voter is found.
Bilston and Willenhall; Darlaston, one and all,
From Tory dominion our country deliver;
Formed in one noble band, shout—join’d in heart and hand—
“Free Trade, Reform, LORD PAGET for ever!”
March! march! &c.
Too long has our county in bondage been lying;
Too long has our voice in the Senate been lost.
Then up boys and work; there is nothing like trying;
Resolve to be free at whatever the cost.
Will you for Tory pelf, basely degrade yourself?
Shall we be slaves again? never! O never!
Rouse up Electors then, vote for—like honest men—
“Free Trade, Reform, and LORD PAGET for ever!”
March! march! &c.
[Pg 178]Often of old have our sires bled for glory;
But we will be wiser though worthy as they.
We will stand for the right; and Old England’s proud story
Shall tell of our conquest in bloodless affray.
Then for freedom and worth, we will boldly go forth,
And rush to the poll like a stream to the river;
Making, in mighty sound, from hill and dale rebound,
“Free Trade, Reform, and LORD PAGET for ever!”
March! march! &c.


A Radical’s Character’s easy to draw:
He hates to obey, but would govern the law;
In manners unsocial, in temper unkind.
A rebel in conduct, a tyrant in mind;
Malignant, implacable, enviously sour,
He hates every man who has riches or power;
So impoisoned himself, he would gladly destroy
The comforts and blessings which others enjoy.


Saturday, February 11th.


Polling Districts.PAGET.INGESTRE.
Majority for PAGET,1568.

Sunday, February 19th, 1854. The new organ, erected in St. Edmund’s Church, was opened this day with great preachings. The sum of £54 15s. 9d. was collected on the occasion. The organ, which[Pg 179] was considered by competent judges to be a first-rate one, cost £360, and great praise was awarded to Messrs. C. F. G. Clark and Thomas Hughes, the Churchwardens, for their exertions in collecting the amount by voluntary subscriptions.

March 13th, 1854. Died, Mr. Justice Talfourd, at Stafford Assizes. He dropped down dead from his judge’s seat whilst addressing his charge to the grand jury. He was a humane judge, and an eminent and popular writer.

Easter, 1854. A very close and vindictive contest took place in this Parish for the election of the Board of Guardians, without either rhyme or reason. The new Liberals of the previous year’s election had secured many useful and sensible reforms in Poor Law Distribution; had introduced and carried the Small Tenements’ Act, which had given mortal offence to the Tory party, and their former dogmatical and illiterate chairman. Under such revengeful feelings, not a stone was left unturned to seek out “cause of offence,” shortcomings, etc., of the Liberal Guardians. The Tory party managed to obtain the proxy votes of the non-resident voters of the small freeholders, lately brought into the list of voters by the imposition of the Small Tenements’ Act, and thereby secured the election by over-reaching and unfair tactics.

The result of this unfair and unjust Election was a reversion of last year’s parochial decision, the Liberal Guardians were thrown out, and the old “let us rest and be thankful” Tories were elected to do further mischief.


To the Independent and Enlightened Ratepayers of the Parish of Dudley.

Fellow Ratepayers,

It is very likely that in the course of a few days you will again have the opportunity of Electing your part of the Board of Guardians for this Union for the coming year. As far as I can understand, an effort is to be made, and which has been in contemplation for some months past (by means of owners’ proxies, obtained in some instances I believe by not over-scrupulous means, and which in many others would never have been given to be employed in such a manner) to unseat the majority of those parties who received your support at the last election. Let us then examine for a few moments what these gentlemen have done during the past year of their Stewardship to forfeit the confidence we then reposed in them. First, they advocated and brought about the publicity of the proceedings of the Board, which had [Pg 180]previously, notwithstanding the praiseworthy exertions of two or three of its members to the contrary, partaken somewhat of the character of a secret conclave. Secondly, the usual weekly checks for this Parish only for out-door relief has gradually diminished during the year, on an average, I should imagine from the now regularly published newspaper reports, of not less than £8 or £10 per week—next—I believe that the in-door expenses of our Workhouses are actually less at this time than when provisions were only half their present price, and less by a considerable amount per head per week than they were five or six years ago, and that the poor, both in and out, not the less cared or provided for. Fourthly, I observe that several of the gentlemen against whom this opposition is principally to be directed are amongst the most intelligent, active, business-like men of the whole Board, that they are gentlemen using their best exertions to promote the success and prosperity of the Town, anxious for its improvement, and desirous of its progress; witness their endeavours for the establishment of the Model Lodging Houses—the promotion of the scheme for the erection of a Public Hall—the alteration of the Post Office and improvement of postal accommodation—their support of the School of Design and Mechanics’ Institution, and extension of general Education—the erection of a proper Workhouse in place of our present disgraceful building, by which I doubt not our expenses will be lessened, and the comforts of its aged and infirm poor inmates at the same time increased, and by their generally evidenced desire to improve the condition of our poorer brethren, both socially and morally—thus preventing crime, obviating disease, and diminishing pauperism. Having during the past year made a continued advance in the right direction, should you be again called upon I trust that you will encourage their endeavours, and show that you appreciate their attention to your interests, by not only supporting the seven gentlemen[33] I now allude to, but also any others with whom their names may be connected in any list proposed for your sanction, by placing their names triumphantly at the head of the poll.

I am, Fellow-Ratepayers,

Yours faithfully,


March, 1854.


To the Ratepayers of the Parish of Dudley.

You are respectfully requested to Vote for the following Ten Persons (the last on the List,) Nominated by Thomas Badger, Esq.—[Pg 181]

Important Notice.—As only Ten Persons can be elected, any Ratepayer Voting for more than that number will lose the Whole of his Votes. Write your Initials, at once, opposite the above Ten Names only, (which are the last Ten upon the Voting Paper,) and sign your name at the foot thereof; and then carefully preserve it (as no second paper will be given you) and deliver it to the person who left it, when he calls on Saturday, the 8th of April. If the Voting Paper is not then given, send it as early that day as possible to Mr. Shorthouse, the Clerk to the Guardians, at the Poor Law Offices, in Upper King Street. Any person qualified to Vote who shall not have received a Voting Paper, may do so on applying to Mr. Shorthouse, at his Offices as above, (not later than Saturday, the 8th of April,) and then and there fill up the same in his presence, and deliver it to him.

March 9th, 1854.


To the Rate-payers of the Parish of Dudley.

A Handbill having been circulated through the Parish, evidently the production of one of the “ACTIVE AND INTELLIGENT” Members of the present Board, calling upon you to elect them again as Guardians for the Parish; permit another Quiet Observer to submit a few FACTS for your consideration. You are told something about Owners’ Proxies having been obtained by unscrupulous means. Does the Gentleman allude to the hundreds of those statements, which he and his Friends by MISREPRESENTATION AND CAJOLERY obtained six months previously to the Election of the Board of Health, for the purpose of securing THEIR OWN ELECTION, or to those hundreds of similar statements which were given to the Overseers a few weeks ago by the same party! Perhaps he and some other of these active and intelligent Guardians will admit that they gave unquestionable proof of their activity, if they would kindly state the number of miles they travelled last year, in running about from street to street, and house to house to fill up the Voting Papers, which by so doing, and imposing on the [Pg 182]Rate-payers, they Elected themselves. Having carefully watched the conduct of these parties during the last year, I find amongst the most conspicuous of their performances, the decision of the question of a Huge Union Bastile, to separate Man and Wife, Children and Parents; to a Man they have ever Voted in favour of this, and the Dudley Union will now have to pay, at the very least, £20,000 for it.

And look at what these same ACTIVE INTELLIGENCES have done for you by the Board of Health! That Board has already made and signed a Rate of ONE SHILLING AND TENPENCE in the Pound, which in a very short time you will be forced to pay; and an additional Rate is also in contemplation, which, together with two twenty-penny Poor Rates, will make 5s. 8d. in the Pound for Levies alone to pay. Among other items of reckless extravagance, the following Salaries:—Clerk to the Board, £165 per annum; Surveyor, £150 per annum; Doctor, £75 per annum; Collector, £75 per annum; Inspector of Nuisances, £120 per annum, lately increased from £40 to £120; making a total of £585; with additional extra allowance which has been paid to others to assist; and further, I am informed that to carry out the projects for Drainage, Plans, Surveys, &c., £50,000 will be required and borrowed, and the interest must be paid by draining your pockets. Next, is it fair that these SEVEN ACTIVE INTELLIGENCES shall take to themselves the credit of what the labours of the whole Board have effected in the diminution of the Expenditure, and I would ask HOW IS IT that in a time of good trade, nearly £7,000 has been spent during the past year; and WHY IS IT that under the operation of the Tenement Rating Act, from which so great things were promised us, that the Dudley Overseers have been compelled to borrow £500, and to pay the interest out of their pockets? As to Model Lodging-houses, Public Hall, School of Design, Mechanics’ Institute, &c., of which they make such boast; all very well, I reply, provided they are paid for by private enterprize, and not by PUBLIC RATES.

FELLOW RATEPAYERS.—Have your payments been less during the last year?

OWNERS OF SMALL PROPERTIES.—Have you not been compelled to pay the Rates for your tenants, in addition to your own usual Rates? and to whom are you indebted for this increase of your burdens? It is a fact, that every one of the SEVEN ACTIVE INTELLIGENCES did vote for the imposition of this additional Tax on you to relieve themselves, for I believe not one of them pay a Shilling on small Property in this Parish. Improvements we want, but do not be deceived; be careful to whom you trust the Power of Local Taxation. Vote for Guardians who have a stake in the Parish, who will spend your money as carefully as they would their own. Vote NOT for those who merely seek the office to gratify their own private vanity, and serve party purposes at the Cost of the Poor hard-working Ratepayers.

Vote like I intend to do, for the TEN LAST NAMES on the List, for the men nominated by your most respected Fellow Townsman, Thomas Badger, Esq.; he has long been a tried and true friend to the Town of Dudley, and would not deceive you [Pg 183]by nominating improper ones.

Fellow Ratepayers, Your Faithful Servant,


Dudley, March 30th, 1854.



“Another Observer” has thought proper to intrude some remarks upon your notice. To this there could be no objection, so long as truth was adhered to; unfortunately, the truthfulness as well as the reason of his remarks are about “as two grains of wheat in two bushels of chaff, you shall search all day ere you find them, and when you have, they shall not prove worth the search!” Let me take his observations then seriatim—that Owners’ Proxies have been procured, and this to some extent by misrepresentation, if not something worse, is beyond doubt, and that they will in very many instances be used contrary to the wishes and intentions of the Owners, is a fact which admits also of as little doubt. No person with any discrimination can suppose that if unscrupulously obtained they will not as unscrupulously be employed. Does “Another Observer” wish you to believe falsehood by proxy, or does he wish to propagate untruth by insinuation? He knows that with regard to the Board of Health proxies were not and could not be used,—and he is defied to prove that either “misrepresentation or cajolery” was employed by his opponents to gain that election. Notwithstanding the number of paid agents employed by himself and others to disseminate that “misrepresentation and cajolery” of which he speaks so much, the good sense and independent judgment of the Ratepayers emphatically decided against them; and so also, if left to their own free and unbiassed opinions, will they do in the present election for the Guardians.

In regard to the Workhouse question, the facts stated by “A Ratepayer” are a sufficient answer; but “Another Observer” here again knows that his statements are a gross exaggeration, and wilfully intended to mislead. So also are his statements in regard to the salaries paid to some of the Officers of the Board of Health. Will he, however, assert that he or his friends would or could have procured proper and intelligent persons, qualified to carry out the important works which will be required of them, for less amounts than are now paid? I trow not. But why wish you to believe that these are extra burdens imposed upon you? Why not tell you of the sums paid, IN THE GOOD OLD TIMES OF HIS FRIENDS, to the late Clerk to the Town Act Commissioners,—to the Collectors of the Town Rate and Highway Rate,—the Inspector of Nuisances under the Diseases’ Prevention Act,—the Surveyor of the Highways and other Officers? and I am much mistaken if you will not find MORE MONEY [Pg 184]PAID FOR LESS WORK DONE! It was either because he considered “discretion the better part of valour,” or, “where ignorance is bliss, ’twas folly to be wise.” Why, too, did not this “other Observer” tell you what either himself or his friend (?), a THRICE-REJECTED-ASPIRING-WOULD-BE-GUARDIAN!!! has received of the Parish money for some years before he pretended to pass judgment on others.

As to the Rates made by your Local Board of Health, what are they? Why a Shilling Town Rate instead of an Eighteen-penny one as it was last year, and Two Shillings a year or two ago; and a tenpenny Highway Rate which has been its amount for many years—thus actually shewing that you are paying from Sixpence to One Shilling in the pound less than when under the old rulers. As to the expenses of Survey, Plans, Drainage, and other improvements, what has necessitated their adoption but the neglect of those who held the power in your parish years ago. Will this “Observer” assert that there is no need of them? Will he assert that there are many places in this kingdom worse off than Dudley in these respects? Can he controvert the fact that the average duration of life in Dudley is almost the shortest, if not quite so, of any place in England? or, in other words, that whilst in some places of all the people born, the average duration of their lives is 40 years, in Dudley it is only about 19—or that during this past year there have been more deaths in this parish, from fevers and other preventable causes, than during the years of the Cholera—and these, too, principally, if not entirely, caused by bad drainage, imperfect ventilation, and improper sanitary regulations. Your present high Poor Rates are only a portion of the short-comings left by those to whom you entrusted your interests in past times. Your payments now are but a legacy of that mismanagement which this “Observer” would desire you to perpetuate.

What does he mean by his allusions to the projected Model Lodging Houses, Public Hall, School of Design, Mechanics’ Institute, &c.? as being provided for out of the Public Rates—insinuations as utterly false and groundless as they are base and malicious, and which could only originate in a mind incapable of a good action in itself, and therefore suspicious of others. “Have your payments been less during the past year?” he asks. I would answer there is the undeniable fact, that in the past year the cost of out-door relief to your poor has been less by nearly £500 than in previous ones. Why, I would retort, was not this diminution observable during former years, when trade was quite as good as during the past one? Then he enquires, why were the Overseers required to borrow £500 in order to provide the necessary means to meet parochial expenses? Why! Because they were compelled to wait the granting of another rate, whilst hundreds of our poor were summoned to appear before the Magistrates in order that they might be legally excused, or payment enforced, before another rate could be made; because such as this “Observer” would not compound for the payment of their rates, and, without the introduction of the Rating-of-Tenements’ Act, this must have been done at the close of every rate,—a fact alone sufficient to counterbalance any disadvantages which from its introduction [Pg 185]may arise, and which will ultimately be as great a benefit to the Landlord as to the poor Tenants themselves.

“Another Observer” says “Improvements we want!!” Out upon such cant! why have we not had them before? why have they not been projected long ago? why, when anything has been proposed for the good and prosperity of the town, have not our men of influence, and those having a “stake” in the Parish been the first to support them? why has every thing been left to be done by the insulted “shopkeepers?” “Talk of spending your money carefully!” Who were the parties who objected to let you know how your money was spent? who were the parties who opposed the admission of the Press to your Board Room? why, the very friends of this “Another Observer;” and when there are those who would not that Dudley should be second to Stourbridge, Bilston, or even Wolverhampton, such as this “Another Observer” are found to deride and revile their “private enterprize” and impute interested motives.

Finally, “Another Observer” says “Vote for those who have a stake in the Parish,” and “who would not seek office to gratify personal vanity.” I ask you Ratepayers, to inspect the List proposed by Messrs. Dixon & Lester, and that advocated by this accurate “Another Observer,” and I venture to affirm, that on examination it will be found they pay a much greater amount of Rates, and that THEY ALSO REPRESENT BY FAR A MUCH LARGER AMOUNT OF INTEREST in this Parish. In regard to experience in parochial affairs, in regard to a knowledge of the administration of the Poor Laws, in regard to business habits and general intelligence, in regard to their attention to your interests, without wishing to utter one word in disparagement of their opponents, I fearlessly challenge a comparison. Talk of a “Stake” in the Parish, indeed! Pray, how much Rates does this “Another Observer” pay? Be not deceived by falsehood.—Be not misled by misrepresentation.—Judge by facts and not by the words of such “Another Observer.” Exercise your own impartial and independent opinions. Weigh all the circumstances calmly and impartially, and the undoubted result will be, that your confidence will again be placed in those who have not yet deceived you, and that the gentlemen nominated by Messrs. Dixon and Lester will be your Guardians for the ensuing year.

With all respect, I am, Fellow Ratepayers, yours still,


Dudley, March 31st, 1854.




A Handbill, headed “Election of Guardians,” and signed [Pg 186]“another Quiet Observer,” has been published, which contains a number of insinuations so disgraceful and false in reference to several public matters in which individually I take great interest, that however reluctant I may be to intrude myself personally upon you, I feel I should be wanting in a sense of public honor, if I were to allow it to remain without a distinct and indignant denial of its truth.

Had it confined itself to the ensuing Election of Guardians I should not have thought it necessary to reply to its insinuations, because it would be an insult to the Rate-payers to suppose for a moment that they could be deceived by its one-sided statements—statements, every one of which, if not false in fact, are false and knowingly false in the inferences drawn from them. But it goes beyond the Election of Guardians, and insinuates that all the Public Institutions, which some amongst you are now endeavouring to establish and to support, are to be paid for by Public Rates.

I suppose the writer of the Handbill thought that by throwing this paragraph into the form of an insinuation, and not a positive assertion, he would escape from being branded with the charge of Falsehood, but surely he cannot be ignorant of the fact, that to deceive by the insinuation of a Falsehood is as great a breach of Truth, as to deceive by an actual falsehood itself.

The writer of that Handbill, whoever he may be, knows very well that the Model Lodging Houses—the Public Hall—the School of Design—and the Mechanics’ Institute—are all supported, and supported with one exception, exclusively by Private Enterprise, and not by Public Rates. The exception to which I allude is the assistance of Government to the School of Design, to the extent of £10 during the first year of its establishment, whilst Private Enterprise alone has raised for its support during this time upwards of £400. I regret, exceedingly, that any one should have attempted thus to injure these Institutions, which are so much needed in this town, and which are so rapidly placing it on a more equal footing with the neighbouring Towns of the District.

From the falsehood of the insinuations thrown out, you may judge how far the actual assertions which the writer of this Handbill ventures to make, are to be depended upon.

The writer states that the “huge Union Bastile,” as he terms the new Poor House about to be erected, will separate Man and Wife—Children and Parents.

He knows that the separation of Man and Wife—Children and Parents—takes place of necessity in the present Poor Houses to a far greater extent than can be the case in the new House.

He knows that now the children cannot remain even in the same House as their Parents, but that in the new Union House they will be under the same roof, and within the reach of their Parents, at all reasonable and proper times.

He also knows that Man and Wife are invariably separated in the present Poor Houses, and that this separation will not take place after sixty years of age in the new Union House.

The writer states that the cost of the new Union House will be [Pg 187]£20,000.

He knows that the cost is limited to £12,000 by the Poor Law Board, and that this amount will be borrowed, and repaid at the rate of £600 per year, with interest at four per cent.

He also knows that the economy of this expenditure will far exceed the annual amount of the instalments; or if he does not know this, it is because he will not take the trouble to examine the results attained in other Unions by the erection of proper Poor Houses. Upon this point Mr. Doyle has proved “that the pecuniary interests of the Union would be materially benefitted by the building of a workhouse adequate to its wants.”

But if the desirability of a new Poor House were not so evident on the ground of economy, it would be so on far higher grounds, since the existing Dudley Poor House is described in a letter to me of the 28th instant, by one of the most respectable of the medical gentlemen of this town, “as the FOCUS of epidemic disease and starting point of Cholera, at two successive periods.”

You, the Ratepayers of Dudley, will, I am sure, weigh well these words, and you will not shrink from showing the estimation in which you hold the writer of a Handbill who thus ignores the most sacred claims of Truth and Humanity.

Nor does the writer confine himself to the Guardian question—he endeavours to make you believe that the Board of Health is administered with great recklessness of expenditure.

As one of such Board, I am responsible only to the extent of my individual vote for its expenditure; but here again the writer endeavours only to deceive.

The Rates under the Dudley Town Act Commissioners and the Board for the Repair of the Highways were during the following years as under:

Town Rate.—1847-1848-1849, 2s. in the Pound. 1850-1851-1852, 1s. 6d. in the Pound.

Highway Rate, for the above Six years, 10d. in the Pound.

Under the Board of Health the Rates already granted are—

A General and District Rate, in lieu of old Town Rate, of 1s. in the Pound.

A Highway Rate of 10d. in the Pound. These will be more than sufficient to meet the expenditure heretofore paid out of the Town and Highway Rates.

The writer wishes to make you believe that the cost of Salaries is entirely additional under the present Board.

He knows that this is not the case, and he also knows that the amount payable under the Board of Health, under this head, will be less, including Professional Charges, than under the Town Commissioners.

The writer would deceive you as to the amounts to be paid for Drainage, &c., and the desirability of such expenditure. I cannot say at present what this expenditure may amount to; but the largest amount—efficiently expended in Drainage—will be the most economical to the Parish, when the saving to the Poor Rates, [Pg 188]from the prevention of disease and death, is taken into account. Upon this point, let me again quote the words of the Medical Gentleman already alluded to (not the Officer of Health):—“The inhabitants of this Town are ill prepared to withstand the onslaught of Cholera, which would be brought to our very doors by living in such a tainted and impure atmosphere as that which exists in the very centre of the Town.

The writer of the Handbill does not tell you, that whatever may be the expenditure of the Board of Health, it will always have to be audited by a Public Officer, and the Balance Sheets open to the inspection of any Ratepayer.

The Handbill would deceive you again in reference to the stake in the Parish which those proposed as guardians on the List nominated by Messrs. Dixon and Lester possess.

He again insinuates, where he dares not assert. What will you think of this insinuation, when I tell you that there are Four Persons on that List, each of whom pays separately, three of them as individuals, and one as Agent of a Company, a larger amount of local taxation, as far as the Parish of Dudley is concerned, than the entire Ten upon the opposite List.

I regret exceedingly, that I should be obliged thus even to allude to a matter which may appear to be personal, but I am compelled to do so. It would be false delicacy to shrink from the exposure of the deceit contained in the Handbill. I am ready at any moment to confront the writer, and to prove, not only every statement I here make, but also any inference I have drawn therefrom.

For myself, I can only say, that personally I have no motive to serve in allowing myself to be nominated as one of your Guardians. If you honor me by election, I shall earnestly strive to fulfil the duties so imposed—but how painful those duties are, they only know who have accompanied me over the Poor House in this Town, which, I hesitate not to say, is a disgrace to humanity, and to the intelligence of the present day. The hours which I have spent within its walls have been amongst the most painful of my life, and there is, I am sure, no Ratepayer who would accompany the Visiting Committee in their periodical inspection of it, who would not most earnestly labour for its removal, as a religious duty which he dared not neglect.

I am, Gentlemen,

Your obedient Servant,


Dudley, March 31st, 1854.

This disgraceful strangling of common sense and prostitution of all recognised rules of decent electioneering propriety came to a close with the following result:


Isaac Badger1565
Thos. Griffiths1500
Jos. Guest1402
Jos. G. Walker1378
Edw. Fisher Smith1372
M. Dennison1290
Jno. Aston1223
Jas. Harrison1201
Jno. Renaud1166
Francis Northall1166


S. H. Blackwell940
A. B. Cochrane876
Thomas Wood772
J. C. Cook771
—— Thomson710
Evors Swindell707
Alex Patterson657
Jno. Finch651
D. Lloyd517


Dudley Branch.

March 31st, 1854.

In a handbill addressed “To the Ratepayers of the Parish of Dudley,” by “Another Quiet Observer,” occurs the following paragraph:—“As to Model Lodging Houses, Public Hall, School of Design, Mechanics’ Institute, &c., of which they make such boast; all very well I reply provided they are paid for by Private Enterprise, and not by Public Rates.”

As this, if uncontradicted, is calculated to produce an erroneous impression that the Public Money is being or is to be applied to the furtherance of these objects, I beg to give a most unqualified denial that such is the case as to the Model Lodging Houses, the funds for which are being raised by Shares of £25 each, with limited liability, under the Provisions of the Charters of the above Association.

Any further information respecting which will with pleasure be afforded by


Wolverhampton Street,

Local Secretary.

Died April 19th, 1854, Mr. Thomas Lester, Wine and Spirit Merchant, Market Place, much esteemed by a very large circle of friends. Mr. Lester was a gentleman of strong common sense; he lived a great many years in Dudley, and accumulated a handsome fortune, he was a Liberal in politics, but of a retiring disposition, disliking extremes of any kind. Mr. Lester was a Wesleyan Methodist, New Connexion, in persuasion, and a most liberal giver to that especial cause. Being of an exceedingly liberal and charitable disposition, no honest case of accident or distress was ever turned from his door without relief, and his open-handed contributions to all good objects in the town were at all times most benevolent and unostentatious. At this good Christian’s death the widow and orphans lost an untold friend, and the immense concourse of people of all shades of politics and religion who attended his funeral bore a sorrowing testimony to his universal worth. Aged 65 years.

Died July 9th, 1854, at Handsworth, formerly of Wolverhampton street, Dudley, Mr. Matthew Houghton, gentleman.

Mr. C. F. G. Clark, Chemist, Market Place, gave a series of Free Lectures on popular subjects in most of the villages and towns around Dudley, addressed especially to the rising generation.

[Pg 190]

July 14th, 1854. A Silver Inkstand and two handsome books of Music, costing £21 10s., were presented to Mr. John H. Vanes, Currier, the late Organist of St. Edmund’s Church, by the congregation, as a mark of respect and esteem on his leaving Dudley.

A block plan of the New Model Dwellings to be erected in the Dock Lane was now issued by the Committee, and building operations were commenced upon the row of fancy dwellings now standing “all alone in their glory” in Dock Lane, but, as the Association “did not take in Dudley,” all further operations were suspended, and the houses in Dock Lane were the only dwellings completed. Chairman, Dr. Browne, Vicar; Architect, Mr. Wm. Wiggington; Secretary, Mr. Wm. Barns.

September 20th, 1854. The Grand Lodge of (Worcestershire) Free Masons walked in procession this day in Dudley, to St. Thomas’s Parish Church to a special service, and then afterwards repaired to the hotel to a Masonic banquet; H. C. Vernon, Esq., J.P., Hilton Park, Grand Master.

October 24th, 1854. Died, Old Mr. James Wilkinson, formerly an extensive vice and anvil manufacturer of Tower Street, Dudley. This gentleman was another true type of a Dudley man, having an exceedingly quick and retentive memory of past events in Dudley. The Wilkinson’s, like the Finch’s, are decidedly the oldest descended families in this town, for Dudley had an Alderman John Finch in Charles II.’s reign, and we have a second Alderman John Finch, J.P. in our present time; and it is singular that these robust sons of the forge have ever been connected with the nail trade, fender and fire iron trade, the anvil and vice trade, and all kindred trades of such manufacture. Like Tubal Cain of old, they welded molten iron into form and shape, long before the steam hammer was thought about. Mr. Wilkinson’s recital of his early days, when, he says, we had no carts or waggons in those days to convey our anvils and vices to the Cross, Dale End, Birmingham, for sale to the factors, who used to come and buy our goods; we had to travel with them in large baskets slung on horses backs, and in single file we travelled over Bromwich Heath to Birmingham. Mr. Wilkinson lived to the good old age of 85 years, and died esteemed and respected by all men.

November 27th, 1854. A patriotic meeting was held this evening at the town hall, for the noble purpose of joining in the endowment of a national fund for the maintenance of the widows and children of soldiers and sailors killed in this just Russian war; a committee of willing hands was nominated, and after the town had been thoroughly canvassed, the handsome sum of £3,282 was given for this noble object. Hurrah! for old Dudley.


Britons Strike Home.


Written in Sebastopol on the Evening of the Battle of Inkermann, by a russian soldier:

“We are still alive although the English and French use every [Pg 191]means for our destruction; but we know not how long this may last. The carnage is terrible! all our efforts against the enemy are vain, and without result. Although we have a superiority in numbers, we cannot conquer the enemy in the open Country! The terrible coolness of the English, their frightful Artillery, which destroying entire lines of our Troops, disturbed their retreat, and the Balls and Shells committed the greatest ravages. The Riflemen picked off all our Officers. Our Soldiers are obedient, and execute all the orders like machines, but they want address, intelligence, presence of mind, and enthusiasm.”

“The cool steadiness of the English, and the vigour of the attack of the French equally alarmed them.”—See Guardian Newspaper, pages 919, 920, for Nov. 29, 1854.

The Vicarage, Dudley, Nov. 30th, 1854.

Died January 26th, 1855. Mr. Edward Dixon, Sen., formerly banker in Dudley. The disasters and stoppage of Messrs. Dixon, Dalton & Co’s. Bank in this town a few years before is a matter of commercial history, indelibly fixed in the recollections of many eminent firms in this locality. Mr. Dixon never took a very active part in the bank, but his urbanity, generosity, and kindly feeling to every one, won the universal respect of all orders of men in the town and district; his prompt honesty, and genuine honour and integrity in his commercial transactions, were the means of saving many respectable people from utter ruin, and at his death it was deemed desirable that a public funeral should mark the wide-spread sense of sorrow and deep regret at the loss of so good a friend and honourable a townsman. Aged 68 years.

February 16th, 1855. Mr. William Masefield’s candle manufactory, situate between High Street and King Street, was this night burnt down. Damages £650.

Died February 26th, 1855, at Hastings, John Benbow, Esq., M.P. for this town, aged 87 years. Mr. Benbow was a decided Tory in politics, and a churchman in religion; his school of thought was narrow and contracted, and he looked upon all reforms and progressions with alarm and distrust. He was well known to be the nominee of the young Lord Ward and his Trustees; he secured and maintained his seat as M.P. for Dudley entirely on the sufferance of the Castle power and influence; for the electors of Dudley would never have returned him had it not been for quarrelling with their own bread and living. The old gentleman never spoke in the House of Commons; he seldom favoured Dudley with his presence; he represented us (or rather never represented us at all) for about eleven years, and it was always keenly felt that he was of no use to this enterprising and increasing Borough.

Died March 2nd, 1855, Nicholas, the tyrannical and ambitious Emperor of all the Russias, aged 59 years. This wicked man caused the invasion of Turkey, and the war in the Crimea, by which so many of our brave countrymen fell in defence of the Turkish Empire, and the cause of humanity.


The death of Mr. Benbow necessitated another Parliamentary Election in this borough, and as very little time was given (only eleven days) for the burgesses to look around for a new member, that short time was very adroitly occupied by the Castle wire-pullers in trimming and burnishing up the rather raw and unsettled political ideas of a perfect stranger to Dudley, in the person of Sir Stafford H. Northcote,[Pg 192] Bart., of the Pynes, near Exeter. This gentleman, of great ability and good lineage and descent, was brought out from the Priory, for our acceptance, as a Liberal-Conservative, with the hope that a candidate untried (for Sir Stafford had not been in Parliament before), who had some tincture of Liberalism in his composition, might be made to suit all factions in the Borough, and save the tumult and annoyance of another contested election. This ruse would not go down with the Radical electors, for it was thought that it was high time the Himley incubus should be thrown down, once and for ever. To accomplish this intention, our old townsman, Mr. Samuel Cook, with Mr. Wm. Insull, and other Chartists, again prevailed upon Mr. James Baldwin, of Birmingham, to become their champion, upon not quite such an extravagant platform as he had appeared before us in 1852. Sir Stafford Northcote spoke both eloquently and reasonably at his various meetings, and it soon became evident that he would be the next member for Dudley. Mr. Baldwin, on the other hand, with all the bluster his friends could ventilate in his favour, had to fight a forlorn hope, for Dudley was not yet ripe for his politics; Chartism had lately received a most sensible check, and people were beginning to look with alarm at the uncertain end the Charter would lead them to. Besides all this, there was a strong belief that Sir Stafford was not the young politician to be put into “leading strings” by anyone, for he was an independent man, and had an inflexible will of his own, which subsequent events brought out into strong relief.

On March 9th, 1855, this Dudley Election had to be gone through, although Mr. Baldwin and his admirers had virtually “caved in.” Close of the poll:—

Sir Stafford Northcote (Liberal Conservative)346
Mr. James Baldwin (Radical)3



It is impossible for me to suppress a feeling of pride in regarding the position in which you have placed me. This feeling, however, gives place to one of gratitude to those who have so generously placed confidence in me, and to a sense of the high responsibility which your votes have imposed upon me.

I am not fond of making professions, and it has been one great drawback to the pleasure I have had in making myself known to you, that I have been obliged, as a stranger, to hold more of the language of self-recommendation than I could have wished. I [Pg 193]trust that, under God’s blessing, I may be able so to do my duty towards you that, whenever I may have occasion to ask a renewal of your confidence, I may be able to point to my actions as affording a mere satisfactory test of my inclination and ability to serve you than words can do.

I thank you heartily for the kind reception I have met with, for the courtesy which has been shewn to me even by those who differ from me in opinion, and for the final mark of your confidence which now calls for my warm acknowledgments. I have but one favour more to ask. It is, that you will use my services as freely as I now place them at the disposal of you all.

I remain, Gentlemen,

Your obliged and faithful Servant,


Dudley, March 9th, 1855.

Died, March 13th, 1855, Mr. James Jesson, of Victoria Terrace, a man of isolated and penurious habits, but he left a noble evidence of his good will to the town at his death, by bequeathing £10,000 to endow “Alms Houses,” a school known as “Jesson’s School and Charity.” Aged 76 years.

March 21st, 1855. This day was observed as a public day of prayer and fasting for the success of our glorious soldiers and sailors in the Crimean War.

May 13th, 1855. A dreadful murder was committed this morning at the “Sailor’s Return” public house, Kateshill, Dudley, by one John Meadows, who deliberately shot his sweetheart, because he was jealous of her; the poor girl died instantly.

May 17th, 1855. Married, Miss Elizabeth Bourn, step-daughter of Mr. F. Pigott, Railway Contractor, of this town, at St. Edmund’s Church, to Mr. Elliott, Manufacturer, Birmingham. Great pomp and ceremony was observed on this occasion, there being nine carriages in attendance at the wedding.

A sad sequel happened at the Railway Station as the bridal party started on their honeymoon. A collision betwixt two trains took place, by which numbers of passengers were severely shaken and bruised, and Mr. Thos. Fehr, Spirit Merchant, Market Place, was maimed for life.

May 28th, 29th, 30th, 1855. A series of fetes took place on the Castle grounds this Whitsuntide, under the management and for the benefit of Mr. Alfred Bunn, of the Opera House, London. Upwards of 20,000 people came to see the “sights,” and it was said that Mr. Bunn cleared £500 by this affair, but he forgot to leave any token of his liberality to our local charities.

Died, July 14th, 1855, Mr. Bagott, Tailor and Draper, High Street. Aged 70 years.

Died, July 27th, 1855, Mr. Joseph Haden, of Dixon’s Green. This gentleman had much to do with the building of St. Thomas’s New Church in 1816.

August 4th, 1855. Hanged at Worcester this morning John Meadows, [Pg 194]for the brutal and unfeeling murder of his sweetheart, Ann Mason, at Kateshill, in May last.

September 9th, 1855. Great rejoicings all over the land at the news: “The Russians evacuated Sebastopol after two days’ desperate bombardment by both sea and land by the Allied Forces; they blew up their magazines, sunk their ships, and set fire to the town previous to leaving it, and then they retired to the North side of the Harbour.” Glorious news for Old England!

Died, November 2nd, 1855, Mr. Thos. Guest, junr., Grocer, Market Place. Aged 42 years.

Died, January 24th, 1856, Mr. Josiah C. Cook, Ironmonger, High Street. Mr. Cook was a prominent Freemason in his time, and was universally respected as a friend and neighbour. His remains were followed to the grave, as a mark of fraternity and respect, by many of the leading Freemasons of the district.


March 30th, 1856. A Treaty of Peace was signed at Paris this day, which put an end to the cruel and unsatisfactory Russian War.

Six New Members of our Local Board of Health had to be elected this spring, and the contest was again both sharp and bitter; for the old Tory party, with Mr. Isaac Badger at its head, were determined to get rid of all Liberals and Liberal progress in the Board; hence followed some smart hand bills.


Isaac opposed all Civil Liberty!

Isaac opposed Repeal of the Corn Laws!

Isaac opposed Free Trade!

Isaac opposed Parliamentary Reform!

Isaac opposed and opposes the Press in the Board Rooms!

Isaac opposes Information and Knowledge as the basis of Local Legislation!

Isaac and his Friends opposed Economy in the Workhouse, when it was proved each Pauper cost 1s. 7½d. per week more than Birmingham and Wolverhampton; increasing the Rates £422 per year.


Reduced this Extravagance;—What Isaac has been Isaac will be, if you Vote for his Nominees.

⁂ Vote for Hollier, Browne, Fereday, Smith, Wood, and England.


[Pg 195]


Fellow Electors,

Doubtless it is advisable we should Elect Men to serve on this Board rather than One Man and so many Looking Glasses, or things to reflect his will and pleasure simply.

Look at the two Lists already submitted to you—First, and mark this—Mr. Isaac Badger proposes Messrs. J. R. Tilley, George Bagott, John Marsh, William Beddard, Sen., E. Whitfield, and W. Jacam, and no doubt he is sanguine enough to suppose you will do as you are told, and Elect his nominees. Of this select List you will be better able to form an opinion, when you have fully considered the extent to which any one of these Gentlemen has ever been mixed up in matters of real popular service—with how many of the People’s Institutions or Philanthropic Schemes of this country is any one of these persons identified—and how much, or how little, rather, you have any reason to expect from them in any matter of wide or general bearing on your interests. “Grapes cannot be gathered from thorns, nor figs from thistles?” so that, with all forbearance for the Gentlemen whose names have thus been dragged from their natural and proper retirement, your attention is now invited to the following List of WORTHY Candidates for your support and interest, viz:—The Rev. Doctor Browne, Mr. Richard Smith, Mr. Elliott Hollier, Mr. S. D. Fereday, Mr. W. C. Wood, Mr. George J. England.

These are, as you know, well-tried Men! These as you know, have been your consistent Friends and Advocates for years; not pandering (like others) in some Petty (or even Pig) question for favours and smiles, with the view of making that favour and those smiles, hereafter, the excuse for tyrannizing over you in large questions; but who have striven from time to time for your welfare and the general good—ever resting satisfied in the midst of their efforts that time would enable you to see that Truth is ever consistent with itself—Liberality of Sentiment ever an instinct that should be easily traced through the entire life, political or social, of those who lay claim to it. And now

1st.—Whose efforts have been the most determined to secure in this parish Comfortable Homes for the Poor? Who persuaded the Landlords, that whilst they were getting from 15 to 20 per cent. interest upon the miserable dens they call houses, it was politic they should pay the Local Rates?

2nd.—Who have been the consistent supporters of all Educational Schemes, by which the employer is secured an intelligent and moral servant, in the place of a mere tool, without thought or respect for himself; and in opposition to that other weakly theory that insists upon keeping the people ignorant, lest they should discover the ignorance of those called their “betters?”

3rd.—Who have (and without ostentation) supported schemes of Public Amusement and Relaxation? Those who believe that the “Great Unwashed” are often whiter and cleaner than those [Pg 196]who sit in high places;—those who, as before stated, are anxious to promote the general good!

4th.—Who have, from first to last, advocated the exposure of all they do to fair criticism, and voted for the Admission of Reporters to Newspapers, in the very face of other gentlemen who desire a secrecy as strict as the Inquisition of old?

5th—Who is it—that can create any hope within you, that whatever of rottenness there may be, even in the rottenest end of Dudley, shall be cleansed in due time?—

The answer—you have already anticipated, is that which will determine you to Vote for the Rev. Dr. Browne, Messrs. Richard Smith, Elliott Hollier, S. D. Fereday, W. C. Wood, and G. J. England.

Be not deceived! These Gentlemen are recommended for your adoption because it is evident you may trace in their past conduct that openness and that independence which must ever constitute true manhood; that intelligent persistence in efforts for the general good, which is the best guarantee of any “Trusteeship” being wisely sustained; Who have displayed an indifference to be governed by any one man—or even by any doubtful hero—whose chief recommendation could be, that he “swears heartily,” and “foams” angrily when he finds any one near his august presence that deigns to think for himself.

Look to it well, you men of Dudley and the District, that you select only such men as can act for themselves, without first asking what Mr. So-and-so thinks. Depend upon it, that in this case, as in many others, “it is better to bear the ills we (are alleged to) have, than fly to others we know not of!”




A “Wellwisher,” certainly not to the Town of Dudley, has thought proper to insult you by the publication of a scurrilous Handbill, reflecting upon the Gentlemen retiring during the present year from office in your Local Board of Health. A more disgraceful production, and one more calculated to serve purely party purposes at the expense of truth, it has seldom been my lot to read. The Gentlemen there alluded to have exercised no deception—have been guilty of no trickery. They have made no professions which have not been faithfully carried out in practice. As to recklessness and extravagance compare their amount of Assessment and Rates with those of the Gentlemen “Wellwisher” so magniloquently recommends to your notice; WHILST THE FORMER REPRESENT PROPERTY PAYING UPWARDS OF £650 PER RATE, THE LATTER, OR MR. BADGER’S NOMINEES, PAY ONLY £57—the best answer to any assertion as to their expending so much money of their own for the mere pleasure of spending yours.

[Pg 197]

“Wellwisher” then appeals to the Ratepayers of Freebodies, Netherton, Woodside, and Holly Hall, evidently wishing to excite a hostile feeling between the Ratepayers of the districts and the Town itself. He asks “what has been done to our streets and thoroughfares?” Why, kept in as good repair and as well attended to as during the supremacy of his friends upon the old Highway Board; but doubtless “Wellwisher” wishes sufficiently well to the Tradesmen and “Shopkeepers” as to desire them not only to keep in repair the “streets, roads, and thoroughfares,” but also to make them, for the benefit of those who have sold and bought land at a great profit, and built houses in these localities, a thing always refused by the Highway Board as well as the Board of Health.

Beyond this, why does not “Wellwisher” tell you what his immaculate saving friends are endeavouring to do at the present moment, viz.—to throw the expenses of the repairs of the roads generally upon the rates, and which if effected will go far to double the payments upon the Town itself. This has already in part been done,—the Turnpike Commissioners have refused to repair (which has always before been done by them) that part of the street leading to Wolverhampton, situate between St. James’s Church and the Turnpike Gate, and without any notice having been given to the Board or their Surveyor, consequently this part of your streets has not been attended to or cleansed for many weeks. If it be not for mere “deception and trickery,” why does “Wellwisher” wish you to suppose that the Rates levied by the Local Board of Health are something new, and that without its establishment such payments would not have been required, whilst it admits of easy proof that the Rates paid by you during the past three years, under the management of the Board, have been considerably less than those formerly levied by the Town Commissioners and Highway Board.

As to the salaries paid to the various officers, why does not “Wellwisher” [?] go back to the palmy days of the old Town Act Commissioners and Highway Board, and tell us of the payments made in secret in those times? why does he not refer to the appointment of the salary of the Clerk to the Guardians, which was fixed, in spite of the Poor Law Board, at a higher amount than they thought necessary? why does he not refer to the job as to the appointment of the Relieving Officer as Master of the Dudley Workhouse?—because, forsooth, he happened to be a relative of one of those who prates most and pays least. “The labourer is worthy of his hire,” but if their salaries be too high, let their work be ascertained and paid for accordingly; but far better a good round sum at once, which is known to all, than allow an officer to eke it out by summonses and expenses, obtained from poor people before the magistrates.

He talks about sewerage, and the probability of its being carried into effect, estimating its amount at an extravagant rate. Will “Wellwisher” have the hardihood to assert that drainage is [Pg 198]not wanted, when it is a well-known fact that, with great natural facilities, Dudley is one of the worst seweraged towns in the whole kingdom; that there is not a drain in any street sufficient to take away the water from the various cellars and lower parts of the houses; and to this fact alone is it to be attributed its great and extraordinary mortality, the average duration of life here being only 19 years: or would he rather that these things should exist than that any attempt should be made to improve them. “Wellwisher” then pathetically alludes to the Poor Man’s Pigs, very probably not only having a great sympathy for them, but also for the mire in which they wallow; but will those whose feelings he wishes to excite, believe that very many of his professing friends actually signed a memorial to the Board, calling strongly for the removal of Pigs from the entire of the Town District, and which was objected to by some of those he so harshly anathematizes. Doubtless, too, he approves of some of those high in authority keeping pigs in such a condition that the filth from their styes should drain into his neighbour’s sitting or bed room. “Wellwisher” next endeavours to enlist the sympathies of others by allusion to the Rating of Tenements’ Act, falsely asserting that those who were in favour of its introduction were themselves exempt from any effect of its operation. “Let the galled jade wince!” Its promoters supported it from just and proper motives, and not from the wish that their smaller dwellings should be drained and cleansed at the expense of other people.

FELLOW RATEPAYERS.—“Wellwisher’s” publication is nothing more than an impudent attempt to set Town against Country, and Country against Town, in order to relieve the Country part of the District of their fair share of the Rates at the expense of the heavily taxed Ratepayers of the Town. It is a disgraceful attack upon individuals who have devoted much valuable time to serve the Town, and who had the “unblushing effrontery” to endeavour to do right,—who have not sought either to do their fellow ratepayers “Brown,” or “Badger” them, but to act independently and faithfully for their best interests, and which time alone will fully prove. If you still wish to have men to represent you, who are disposed to continue to act thus, do not be dictated to by Mr. Badger, but Vote for





“ W. C. WOOD.


I am, Fellow Ratepayers,


Dudley, March 1856.

May 27th, 1856. After twelve days trial in London, William Palmer, Surgeon, of Rugeley, Staffordshire, was found guilty of poisoning his racing companion, Mr. J. P. Cook, at the Shrewsbury races. Palmer poisoned poor Cook with strychnine for the purpose of robbing him of a large sum [Pg 199]of money which Cook had won at the races. Palmer was hanged at Stafford Gaol for this dastardly offence on June 14th following; the murderous wretch maintained the most callous indifference to all around him to the last. He was well known in Dudley.

May 29th, 1856. This day was kept as a general holiday throughout the country in commemoration of the Peace. Old Dudley Castle, which had “braved the Battle and the Breeze” for upwards of 800 years, was illuminated with a grand display of fireworks.

Died, August 19th, 1856, Thomas Badger, Esq., of the “Hill House,” Dudley. This genial, but blunt and frank old gentleman, was one of Dudley’s worthiest sons; his familiar figure daily moving in our midst, secured the esteem of all good people, and his quiet and unostentatious benevolence has gladdened the hearts of widows and orphans, when none were allowed to witness the tear of the giver. Mr. Badger (like a great many more of our Dudley worthies) began life in very humble circumstances, and rose step by step until he became Chief Magistrate of this Borough. He was for a lengthened period (along with his brother, Isaac Badger) very extensively engaged in the glass trade, the nail trade, the coal trade, and iron trades of this district, and it is not too much to say that Messrs. Badger Brothers at all times exercised the most potent influence upon the industries of Dudley and neighbourhood. As a large employer of labour, he was much respected by all his workpeople, and a cordial feeling always existed between the head of the firm and the numerous employes both in the ironworks and collieries. In religion he was a sound Churchman, and in politics he belonged to the Tory party, but Mr. Badger was not a rabid politician, for he had the honour of once being requested to stand as a Candidate for the Borough of Dudley, on Independent principles, but he declined the honour. He was a most shrewd and active Magistrate for many years, and as Mr. Badger lived through perilous times his decisions on the Bench were always tempered with a wonderful insight into the human character, accepting Mercy and Justice as his motto. His personal friendships created a halo of kindly feeling and generous sentiment amongst a large circle of personal friends and acquaintances, which will be long remembered in Dudley, and his death, at the ripe old age of 75 years, was universally regretted. A marble monument in St. Edmund’s Church records his numerous virtues.

Died, suddenly, August 23rd, 1856, Mr. Joseph Pitchfork, Master for 30 years of Baylies’s School, Tower Street. Mr. Pitchfork was a man of very deep and extensive intellectual acquirements, and a more kind-hearted and genial soul never lived. Through his assiduity and zeal, for he was a real lover of his work, his educational training in Baylies’s School has bequeathed to this town and locality some of the foremost and most eminent commercial men in our midst, and it is a source of great pleasure to the author of these lines to witness and observe in his walk in life so many evidences of the estimable teaching of the late Mr. Pitchfork. So soon as his lamentable death became known, the following letter was issued, and a public meeting was convened at Baylies’s School Room, expressing condolence and sympathy with Mrs. Pitchfork and her family. A Committee of upwards of 60 gentlemen, many of them old pupils, was formed “for the purpose of raising a fund in grateful recognition of his valuable services rendered to the cause of education.”

Saracen’s Head Inn, Dudley,

August 24th, 1856.

Dear Sir,

At a Meeting held this morning, at the above Inn, of a few Friends of the late Mr. Joseph Pitchfork, most of whom were educated by him in their youth, the following Resolutions were adopted:—[Pg 200]

“That considering the very great and valuable services rendered to the cause of Education by the Deceased, who held the appointment of Master of Baylies’s School, in Dudley, for upwards of thirty years, it is desirable that a Subscription be entered into for presentation to his family, as a suitable Memorial of the gratitude of his Friends, Pupils, and Admirers, and in recognition of his eminent public services.”

“That Messrs. John Finch, John Castree, John H. Smith, James Worley, William Insull, Frederick Stokes, William Timmins, and Edmund Long, all of Dudley, do form themselves into a Committee for effecting the above purpose.”

“That a Meeting be held at the School Room, in Tower Street, on Friday next, the 29th instant, at Eight o’clock p.m., when arrangements will be made and Subscriptions received, and that Subscribers and Friends be respectfully requested to give their attendance on the occasion.”

Should you be prevented attending the Meeting, you or your Friends will oblige by paying or remitting Subscriptions to any Member of the Committee, or to myself at any time.

I am also requested to state that such Pupils and Friends as may be desirous of showing their respect to the Deceased’s memory, and of accompanying his body to the grave, will assemble at Baylies’s School, next Sunday morning at Ten a.m.

I am, dear sir,

Yours respectfully,

JOHN H. SMITH, Hon. Sec.

Kate’s Hill, Dudley.

A very successful appeal was made on this very worthy occasion, and the following friends assisted in the cause:—



Rev. William McKean

W. E. Johnson, Esq.

Mr. Edward Grainger

“ C. F. G. Clark

“ Peter Wright

“ Edward Wood

“ Charles Tyler

“ W. Sheppard

“ John Owen

“ Thomas Roberts

“ Alexander Patterson

“ George E. Horton

“ John Williscroft

“ James Smith

“ Henry Silvers

“ Thomas Crew

“ T. E. Beesley

“ W. Meese

“ Joseph Beddard

“ R. W. Vanes

“ Geo. T. Patterson

“ William Davies

“ Samuel Boden

“ Thomas Haynes

“ George Wood

“ George Stevenson

“ Thomas Morris

Mr. John Finch

“ John Castree

“ John H. Vanes

“ John H. Smith

“ James Worley

“ William Insull

“ Frederick Stokes

“ William Timmins

“ Edward Long

[Pg 201]“ Edward Wood, jun.

“ William Bunch

“ John Baugh

“ G. H. Deeley

“ Richard Meredith

“ John Newey

“ Charles Russell

“ Alfred Patterson

“ Frederick Timmins

“ Elijah Smith

“ Edward Pratt

“ Thomas Jones

“ William Glaze

“ James Powell

“ George Pitt

“ George Blunt

“ David Davies

“ Simeon Davies

Treasurer, Mr. J. Finch.

Honorary Secretary, Mr. J. H. Smith.

A Meeting will be held at Baylies’s School, Tower Street, Dudley, on Friday, August 29th, 1856, for the purpose of raising a Fund in grateful recognition of the valuable services rendered to the cause of Education by the late Mr. Joseph Pitchfork, who was Master of that School for a period of 30 years.

The Committee earnestly appeal to the Public, the Friends, and the Pupils of the deceased in furtherance of this desirable object, it being the last mark of respect they can pay to the memory of one who has long and unweariedly laboured for the intellectual advancement of the rising generation, and whose sudden decease has left so much to pity and deplore.

Mr. Pitchfork was a Radical in politics, and, in his early days, a friend and unswerving supporter of Sir John Campbell, Bart. He died at the early age of 51 years, respected and beloved by a very large circle of scholars, old pupils and acquaintances, leaving a blank in the town which was long unfilled.

September 9th, 1856. The Grand Lodge of Freemasons of Worcestershire, clothed in their regalia, walked in procession through the town, and dined together at the hotel.

September 10th, 1856. Mr. James Worley, the Collector of the Income and Property Tax and Assessed Taxes for this Parish suddenly absconded with upwards of £2,000 belonging to the Crown Treasury; he afterwards underwent imprisonment in Worcester Gaol for the offence, the town being compelled to make up the deficiency.

Died, September 19th, 1856, having dropped down dead in the street, Mr. John Shedden, Tailor, Stone Street, aged 74 years.

December 10th, 1856. The new Parsonage House of St. Edmund’s Parish was occupied at this time by the respected incumbent, the Rev. John Davies, M.A., the land and a handsome donation was given by Lord Ward, the rest of the funds having been raised by voluntary subscription amongst the congregation and friends of the church.

December 17th, 1856. The ladies of St. Edmund’s Congregation this evening presented to Mrs. John Davis, at the new St. Edmund’s Parsonage, [Pg 202]a purse containing £100, as a mark of respect and esteem. Mr. Churchwarden C. F. G. Clark was mainly instrumental in securing the erection of this Parsonage House.

On December 22nd, 1856, a large public meeting was held in the old town hall, Mr. John Renaud, the Mayor, in the chair, to take into consideration the very great injustice of the Income Tax, and to adopt such measures by a petition to the legislature as will lead to its immediate and total repeal. The town having recently been compelled to pay over again James Worley’s defalcations, had sorely vexed all parties on the imposition of this tax, but alas, the Exchequer did not like to part with an easily collected tax; so it would look as if we were doomed to have this imposition in perpetuity; for it is 25 years since that meeting was held, and we see the Income Tax gatherer, as heretofore, “taking his walks abroad” amongst us, book in hand.

March 12th, 1857, the borough was greatly astonished and surprised this morning at the publication of the following hand bill, announcing the resignation of our highly esteemed representative, Sir Stafford Northcote, Bart., M.P. A variety of supposed reasons were rapidly floated in the borough for this sudden determination of the honourable baronet to sever his connexion with Dudley; but it was well understood that Sir Stafford’s vote on Mr. Cobden’s motion against the odious “China opium trade” had given mortal offence to his noble friend, who had withdrawn his countenance and local support from him in these critical times.



I hasten to inform you that I have been induced to offer myself as a Candidate for the Northern Division of my own County, both the representatives of which are about to retire from Parliament. This circumstance will lead to the termination of my connection with your Borough, a connection to which I shall always look back with pleasure, and with a sincere feeling of gratitude for the uniform kindness I have received at the hands both of my political supporters and my opponents among you. Should it ever be in my power at any future time to render any service to my late constituents, they may freely command me.

I remain, Gentlemen,

Your faithful and obliged Servant,


Pynes, Exeter, March 12th, 1857.

This announcement caused a deputation to start off at once to induce Sir Stafford to withdraw his determination, but it returned with the unpleasant news that “the die was cast,” and that our honourable member would not withdraw his resignation, nor sit any longer under a local dictatorship.

Swift and decisive was the action of all the political elements in the [Pg 203]Borough at this momentous period. The old Tory party, with Mr. Isaac Badger at their head, was highly enraged at the Castle influence over our esteemed member. The Radical party was equally furious at this wanton interference in high quarters; and the more sober thinking electors began to feel that it was absolutely necessary, now at this juncture, and for ever, to break the neck of that galling dictation which had so long existed in the Borough. The strife began at once in earnest, and bitter indeed was that contest which shook the political House of Himley to its base, and sent the Castle Nominee back to his friends.


The Independent Electors of the Borough of Dudley are earnestly requested to withhold any pledge upon the forthcoming Election until a Deputation which is about to wait upon Sir Stafford H. Northcote returns from the interview with him.

By Order of the Council of Snobs,

I. SNUBB, Esquire, Chairman.

Brandy Row, March 16th, 1857.


All Persons desirous of Redeeming the Political Independence of Dudley, are requested to attend a Meeting at the Castle and Falcon Inn, this afternoon, Thursday, March the 19th, at three o’clock precisely.

Castle and Falcon Inn, Wolverhampton Street, March 19th, 1857.

Whilst these angry elements were getting ventilated amongst the irritated electors, it was known to a chosen few that the wire-pullers were at work, and that a ready cut and dried candidate “was bottled up not far from the Priory,” ready to be let off at any moment, hence, at the fitting time, out came his address.



The retirement of Sir Stafford Northcote having created a vacancy in the Representation of your Borough, I venture to offer myself as a Candidate for your suffrages at the approaching Election.

In doing so, I am anxious to state, with perfect candour, the political views I entertain on some of the important questions of the day.

I am in favor of that system of progressive Legislation which has for its object the Reform of all existing abuses, without having recourse to violent and organic changes in the constitution of Church and State.

During the period I had the honour of a seat in Parliament, at a time when the policy of Free Trade was much questioned, I felt [Pg 204]it my duty to support and advocate the system of Commercial Freedom introduced by the late Sir Robert Peel.

I rejoice to think that this policy has tended to promote the comfort and welfare of the People, to inspire confidence in the justice of Parliament, and to augment to such a wonderful extent the Trade and Revenue of the Country.

While the partial diminution of the Income Tax is a matter of congratulation, I am strongly of opinion that it is the duty of the Government, by means of well-considered reductions in our expenditure, to make provision for the final extinction of a Tax, valuable in time of war, but unjust as a permanent burden on the energies and property of the Country during a period of Peace.

With respect to the vote on the Chinese War, which has led directly to the present appeal to the Country, while I deeply regret that hostilities should have been carried to such an extent without the knowledge of the Government, I am nevertheless strongly of opinion that it was necessary for the honor of the Country, as well as for the security of the lives and property of our fellow-subjects in that distant quarter of the Globe, that the Government should uphold and defend, with that courage and determination which has ever characterized Lord Palmerston on such occasions, the conduct of its Officers, until the adjustment of the points in dispute shall have been obtained.

Subjects connected with the reform of many social evils must shortly engage the attention of the Legislature—the extension of the blessings of Education—the Reformation of Juvenile Offenders, and the Policy to be pursued towards those under sentence of Penal servitude.

To all these measures I will give my best attention, believing that they are the questions which touch most nearly the best interests of the Country at the present moment—the consideration of which can no longer be delayed, and for the speedy carrying out of which it is necessary, in my opinion, to strengthen the hands of the present Ministry.

Gentlemen,—Having no mere Party or personal motives to gratify, my conduct, should I have the honor of being returned to Parliament as your Representative, will ever be governed by the best judgment I am able to form of what is conducive to the honor, welfare, and commercial prosperity of the Country.

I may be permitted to add, that it will always be my wish to attend to your Local interests, and to forward those measures which you may think necessary to the prosperity of Dudley and its neighbourhood.

I have the honor to be, Gentlemen,

Your most obedient Servant,


15, Eaton Square, March 18th.

Mr. J. Sandars’ address was read with a good share of criticism by both parties, but as it was hatched at the Priory it would not go down the throats [Pg 205]of the ultra Tories, and as for the ultra Radicals they were determined to fish out a candidate of their own liking. Mr. J. Sandars (it came out on investigation) had represented Great Yarmouth for a short period as a Palmerstonian supporter, that he had been rejected for Bewdley, and was willing to do the “Ward Trick” for Dudley, if elected. Just at this juncture of events the Earldom of the house of Himley was looming in the distance, and any support that could be given to Lord Palmerston’s government was of moment to the interested parties; but another strong element was also engaging the minds and inclinations of some of the most active politicians in Dudley on both sides of the question, and it was determined to make a bold and resolute effort to shake off the “unhallowed incubus” which had so long sat upon the backs of the Dudley so-called free and independent electors. This extreme measure was successfully effected by a “Public Coalition” between the ultra Tories, lead on by Mr. Isaac Badger, Mr. Wm. Haden, Mr. J. G. Walker, &c., and the ultra Radicals, headed by Messrs. T. Wood, G. Wood, Wm. Insull, Samuel Cook, and others. After this “happy family” had been wrought into working condition, its first business was to fraternize after Dudley fashion, and then bring out an “Independent Candidate that could lick Lord Ward.” The greatest desideratum believed to be advisable was to secure a local man, one who knew something about the iron and coal trades. Three or four highly eligible gentlemen hereabouts were interviewed without success, so that there was no alternative but sending up to London for an enterprising young gentleman willing to stand for Dudley.

On March 21st, 1857, a supple candidate to suit both parties was brought down from London, equipped for any emergency, in the person of (a time-honoured name) Mr. Henry Brinsley Sheridan, Barrister-at-law, the Inner Temple, London.

Mr. Sheridan’s address appeared at once, and as it smacked a good deal of the learned lawyer, and promised to abrogate questions which both the Tories and the Radicals were anxious to see expunged from the Statute Book, its appearance was hailed with a jubilee of satisfaction, and the crowning period of Dudley’s Political Freedom was foreshadowed. Strenuous efforts were made to induce Mr. Charles Shaw, of Birmingham, Merchant, to come forward on moderate Conservative principles, which was thought by some might conduce to heal the Tory breach in the Borough; but Mr. Shaw was too shrewd a gentleman to be dropped betwixt two stools, so he declined the honour with thanks, and left the Electors of Dudley to fight the battle of political freedom in the candidature of Mr. J. Sandars and Mr. H. B. Sheridan.



In pursuance of a Requisition, I offer myself to the Electors of Dudley as a Candidate for the honor of representing you in the forthcoming Parliament, and my desire is to assist you in the assertion of your right to choose for yourselves the man who is to represent your views in the House of Commons. I take this step the more readily from an inherent desire to be independent myself, and to co-operate with men animated by similar views. If I [Pg 206]am fortunate enough to be returned to Parliament by your votes, I will submit to neither blandishment nor dictation, but will think for myself on the great questions of the day, and in thus doing, I shall be imitating the manly characteristics of the Electors of Dudley, who are neither to be unduly influenced, interfered with, or dictated to. Impressed with these views, I will be open and candid with you in reference to those articles in the Political Creed, which at the present hour are the principal subjects of discussion.

INCOME TAX.—I am a staunch advocate for its entire and immediate abolition.

CHURCH RATES.—I am in favor of their Repeal, but am willing to substitute, if practicable, some equivalent that will preserve our magnificent National Edifices from decay, and at the same time secure to our Protestant Church the alliance and protection of the state.

FRANCHISE.—I am in favor of gradually and carefully extending the Franchise, to meet the wants arising from the advancement and progress of the age, and in furtherance of this view, am willing to place the County Voter upon an equality with the Borough Voter by giving him a £10 qualification.

ARMY AND NAVY.—I am decidedly in favor of a thorough and searching Reform in both these departments of the National Service, and particularly of introducing, as a chief feature of such Reform, the practice of granting Commissions and giving Promotion to merit.

SHIPPING AND SOUNDING DUES.—I am determined to use every constitutional means to obtain the entire removal of these obstructive imposts, believing that no Corporate Funds ought to be increased by Taxes that amount to a restriction on Trade, and which press with peculiar severity upon industry and manufacture.

EXTRA PAROCHIAL PROPERTY.—All property should and must be made to bear its equal share of local burdens.

THE WAR WITH CHINA.—I am not in favor of delegating to individuals the power to declare War in the name of Great Britain, or the right to bombard Cities and destroy life and property. I deprecate at all times the unnecessary shedding of human blood; but the Chinese War having now commenced and the interests involved being so enormous, I am in favor of adopting every legitimate means for bringing the conflict to an end, a jealous regard being had for the honour of English Policy, and the power of English might.

EDUCATION.—This I am desirous of extending to its utmost limits, totally irrespective of Sectarianism, firmly believing that to Education we must look for the ultimate happiness and prosperity of the country.

THE BALLOT.—I am not disposed to adopt the Ballot, believing that the reasons at present urged in favour of secret voting will rapidly and altogether pass away with the growing intelligence [Pg 207]and progress of the age.

FREE TRADE has my unqualified support.

LOCAL INTERESTS.—I am anxious to identify myself absolutely with the views and interests of your Borough, and in the event of my Election, I will spare no opportunity of proving to you practically the earnestness and sincerity of my professions.

Gentlemen, These are my political views, and I believe that if honestly advocated and carried out with purity of purpose, under the blessing of Providence, they will conduce to the happiness and welfare of the millions of our native land.

I am, Gentlemen,

Your most obedient Servant,


Inner Temple, London, and Bellefield House, Fulham, Middlesex. March 21st, 1857.

To Enterprising Young Men in Search of Employment, Stump Orators, and Others.

Wanted, for the Borough of Dudley, a CANDIDATE for PARLIAMENT! to Represent the “Badger” Interest.

He must be a man with plenty of “Jaw,” and one who will not stick at trifles, but can turn himself round as a Weathercock. One who has formerly been a Conservative, but is now an extreme Radical, will be preferred.

⁂ None need apply except they have both “jaw” and credit, as many of those who would otherwise do, as regards the former, are excluded by want of the latter.

Apply by Letter only, W. Rattlebrain, Pig street.


Mr. SANDARS, the Candidate for the Representation of this Borough, will address the Electors at the Old Town Hall, on Friday, the 20th instant, at Three o’clock in the Afternoon.

Dudley, 19th March, 1857.

Found! Found!! Found!!! The “Enterprising Young Man for the Borough of Dudley.” He has both “Jaw and Credit,” and can Represent the Badger Interest, but Alas! Alas!! Alas!!! When I advertised for him I did not think he would so soon have made his appearance.



To the Free and Independent Electors of the Borough of Dudley.

Withhold the Promise of your Votes to Mr. Sandars, as Charles Shaw, Esq., of Birmingham, is expected in Dudley this Evening.

[Pg 208]


Dudley, March 20th, 1857.

At a Meeting of the Non-Electors of Dudley, held at the Lancasterian School Room, Stafford Street, the 25th day of March, 1857. Mr. William Gilbert, Jun., in the chair, it was—

Moved by Mr. Longhurst, and Seconded by Mr. Oakley, and carried unanimously:—“That this Meeting of Non-Electors of Dudley welcomes the present favourable opportunity which now offers itself of freeing the Borough of Dudley from Political Vassalage, Nomineeism, and Lordly Dictation.”

Moved by Mr. Wallwork, seconded by Mr. Ginder, Jun., and carried unanimously:—“That the Non-Electors of Dudley, hereby pledge themselves to support the Political Freedom and Independence of this Borough, by using all legitimate efforts to ensure the triumphant return of the Independent Candidate, Henry Brinsley Sheridan, Esq.”

Moved by Mr. Wallwork, seconded by Mr. Parsons, and carried unanimously:—“That the best thanks be given to the Chairman, for his conduct in the Chair.”

W. GILBERT, Jun., Chairman.


We, the undersigned, request the Independent Electors of the Borough of Dudley to meet at the Old Town Hall, to-morrow, at One o’clock, to consider what steps can be best taken to secure the Independence of the Borough, and to enable the Electors to exercise their free and unbiassed judgment in the choice of their Representative.

Isaac Badger

W. Robinson

W. Haden

J. Renaud

Thomas Badger

J. G. Walker

J. Beddard

J. Owen

J. Walker

Thomas Steedman

W. Wilkinson

G. Smith

Joshua Wilkinson

Gilbert Shaw

Thomas Shaw

Joseph Owen

James Darby.

March 23rd, 1857.

The Political ball had now been set rolling by both parties in this unnatural contest, but men in Dudley had learnt the old adage—“that misfortune makes men acquainted with strange bedfellows,” therefore they [Pg 209]had accepted their dubious lot at all hazards, and it soon became evident that Mr. Sheridan was the idol of the Non-Electors, whose potent influence was brought to bear with great persistence upon the thousand Electors. Mr. Sheridan was found to be free and pleasant and spoke well on the platform; he was admirably schooled in political knowledge, and he knew how to please the wives as well as the voters. Meetings by both Candidates were held almost hourly, for there was no time to lose, and the screw that was put on at head-quarters was both unmanly and ungenerous, causing a large number of former Conservative voters to declare their intention to support Mr. Sheridan, the Independent Candidate. However, before the Nomination day arrived, (March 28th) Mr. Sandars had found out that his cards had been seen by his opponents and that he was playing a losing game, calculated to damage his aspirations at some more acceptable Borough, he therefore issued the following address, which promoted H. B. Sheridan, Esq., to the distinguished position of being elected the Independent Member for the Nominee Borough of Dudley.



The aspect of this Election has assumed a character of a purely personal nature, in which Politics are entirely forgotten.

While I feel my own individual claims to the honor of representing you in Parliament have not even been called in question, and am deeply sensible of the kind manner in which I have been generally received, I cannot disguise from myself that in the present state of feeling in the Borough, arising from misrepresentation, and a disinclination on the part of the Electors to calmly consider the actual facts of the case, the result of a direct appeal to the Constituency would be doubtful.

Under these circumstances I have resolved to retire from the contest, persisting in which would occasion an unusual amount of ill feeling, and be painful to those, who, having hitherto acted together during the whole of their Political life, would on this occasion be found ranged in opposition to each other.

Time, I trust, will convince you, that I came forward on purely Independent grounds, as a supporter of the energetic policy of Lord Palmerston, to uphold which I believe to be the real wish of the Electors of Dudley.

I have the honour to be,


Your most obedient Servant,


Dudley, 27th, March, 1857.




Must be a Leader of principal wherewith to prop the LOCAL BUTTER Paper interest!!! Local Cockney Correspondents, Castle Toadies, Priory Vassals, Quibbling Quacks, Old Women, Lazy Printers’ Devils, and Industrious Nonentities, especially needed, as the Butter Paper Press, alias the “Weakly Times,” is in feeble health!!![Pg 210]

By order of the Society for the prohibition of useless knowledge, the protection of the Queen’s English, and the total suppression of the Public Traffic in Cheap Composition, Cant, Cabbage, and Castle-toadyism.



Little Castle Alley!!!



What causes Electors to wish for the Ballot?

What causes Electors to remain neutral?

What causes Chartism?

Through Lords or their Agents to exert authority or power in an Insolent, Arbitrary, or Tyrannical manner.

Down with such, and we, as Englishmen, had ought to enjoy that Charter which was given to us by King John.

Stick true to those liberties you have, and not be slaves to any one. Use your own opinion and fear no one.



ELECTORS OF DUDLEY be Men.Think for yourselves.—Vote for yourselves.—Do not allow any Lord to rob you of your franchise.

If you vote for Sandars you sanction the right of Lord Ward to choose your Representative.—You abandon your right of selecting one that is independent.

If Sandars be elected he dare not vote in opposition to his Lordship’s will, if he did he would soon cease to be Member for Dudley, under such circumstances he will be Lord Ward’s and not your Member.

How has Lord Ward treated Sir Stafford H. Northcote? Most shamefully; there is proof in this town that Sir Stafford did not go to North Devon as a matter of choice.—He abandoned Dudley because Lord Ward abandoned him for Voting honorably on the China question in opposition to the Ministry which has the support of Lord Ward, on that ground his Lordship sent us Mr. Sandars.—Now this Gentleman told us at his first Meeting that he had his Lordship’s support, that his Lordship spent a quarter of a million annually in ‘this Borough’ (we [Pg 211]suppose this was a mistake, and that he meant ‘the world’) and that therefore his Lordship had a right to be represented.

The meaning of this could not be mistaken, but let us ask why does not his Lordship act and vote for himself in the House of Peers? Let him use his hereditary privileges for the protection of his rights and not rob us of ours.—We would not ask by what means his ancestors became entitled to the Estates the income whereof enables so large an expenditure; but we will tell his Lordship that were he alone upon those Estates, and had not the assistance and labor of the surrounding inhabitants, he would have no income to expend—Thus it is clear that his Lordship is indebted to the people, and not the people to him. Shall he then hold us in hereditary bondage with the very means the people create for him? Shall he put a veto on the use of our intellects and nominate his as our Representative without a struggle on our part? Could our ancestors arise they would be ashamed of us, they would weep to see us licking the dust upon the heels of power without an effort to be free.

This nominee tells us he is a supporter of Lord Palmerston on the China question, which means that he, Sandars, will back the murder and wholesale butchery in China of thousands of innocent men; he will support the Government in burning and destroying the houses of the rich and poor at Canton; he is the man to aid and abet the breaking out of war on the part of the English, without the knowledge or assent of the people, or of the Parliament: he is the man to uphold the Government in setting the vote of the Peoples’ Representatives at defiance: he is the man who talks of assisting in the reduction of the Income Tax, and yet will afford facilities for the expenditure of our money in war without our knowledge or consent: he is the man who on the hustings at Bewdley alleged that he was a follower of Earl Derby, and now comes here in opposition to that Nobleman on the very question which has broken up the present Parliament.

ELECTORS “awake, arise, or be for ever fallen.” Men of all shades of Politics, Whig and Tory, buckle on your armour, go hand in hand, beat back the foe that would rob you of your franchise. Shew your independence, let cowardice be distant. It is not a question between Whig and Tory that we have to decide, (Sandars is neither Whig or Tory,) but between Independence and Mental Slavery. The days when Lordlings treated Villagers as Serfs and Vassals have passed, and it is only history that should remind us that such things were.

Shall we return to serfdom and vassalage?—No.

Is the Lord of our manor to nominate our man, and say as of old “to hear is to obey”?—No.

Stir yourselves, put an end to your lethargy, rally round the standard of the worthy, independent, and intelligent Mr. [Pg 212]SHERIDAN; go forth to the battle determined to defend your rights, even as our ancestors would have done with their blood, and Victory shall be yours.



The Rival Candidates—Which is the True and Consistent one?

Brother Electors,

Be not deceived! Look at the member for Yarmouth’s policy at Bewdley—examine well his opinions upon that occasion, and then turn to his address to you—can you call this man Consistent? Is he one that you can trust? Common-sense men will tell you NO! And we trust that you will echo and repeat this answer No!—to the poll—and prove to everybody that you will not have a man who comes under false colours, or who is a mere Weathercock to suit the several constituencies to whom he may offer himself. A Derbyite to the Electors of Bewdley, and a Palmerstonian to Lord Ward, whom He deems to be the “Borough of Dudley” itself. Ponder this and you will then plump for the man who has so nobly responded to your call—the man who bears the time-honoured name of Henry Brinsley Sheridan.

Brother Electors, do not be deceived!



SHERIDAN, the brave has come to the scratch,
And in him the bloater will find a good match;
When back’d by a BADGER and “Marine store,”
The bloater will find his existence is o’er!


So ye voters of Dudley, now come to a man,
And vote for the honest H. B. SHERIDAN.
Mr. Stoke-em, and Bed-em, Insult-em, and all,
Declare that the power of the Castle shall fall!!
And prove to his Lordship, and also his men,
We’ll have for our M.P.—H. B. SHERIDAN.

So ye voters of Dudley, &c.

ISAAC BADGER with honor has left all the knaves
Who stick to his Lordship because they’re his slaves;
For Dick Smith and T—r have tried all they can,
But BADGER has stuck to us like a true man.

So ye voters of Dudley, &c.

For the power of his Lordship we don’t care a straw,
And we’ll show him in Dudley his will is not law!
At his Lordship and Dickey we’ll level a reef,
Not at Christmas to rob his poor men of their beef

So ye voters of Dudley, &c.[Pg 213]

But sure with poor Dickey I don’t want to quarrel,
Although to us he was sent pack’d up in a barrel!
The barrel was pierc’d with holes very fine,
If they’d found him out, he’d been hung with a line.

So ye voters of Dudley, &c.

Just arrived, a few Barrels of choice YARMOUTH BLOATERS, 7 a 1d., stirred up fresh from the bottom.


The Tories and Radicals, strange though it be,
Have banded together for “Libertie,”
In the famous Borough of old Dudley;
Singing fiddle de diddle, diddle de dee,
Oh, for his Lordship’s Nominee!
So away they go, with a hop and a jump!
Fish, flesh, and fowl, to find if they can,
An ornithorincus kind of a man!
Singing fiddle de diddle, diddle de bump,
Whig, Tory, and Radical all in a lump;
There’s Badger, and Walker, and Cookee, and Stokes,
And the devil knows how many capital folks!
And they all are resolved, though they love bread and butter,
To tickle his Lordship’s respectable crupper:
Singing, go it, ye Britons, three cheers for the three,
Lord Ward, Isaac Badger, and Sammy Cookee,
The Radical, Whig, and jolly Tory;
And good luck to the man who will purchase of me.—B.B.


Fellow Electors,

By way of adding injury to the insult which Lord Ward and his party have already inflicted upon you, it is now currently reported that the Workmen of the Ward and Black-Cock interest have been made to understand that they must surround the hustings to-morrow morning, and prevent your own Candidate, SHERIDAN, from getting a hearing; so much for Liberty and Freedom of Speech! Let me advise you, at least to give a hearing to Sandars; don’t do him an injustice or yourselves. If Lord Ward’s Interest demands that you shall not hear Mr. Sheridan, the Public Press will contain a faithful report of all he will say in reply, and will be published on Saturday morning.


[Pg 214]

To be Sold Cheap!—a Yarmouth BLOATER, none the worse for unsuccessful exposure for sale on the stalls of Bewdley and Dudley. For terms of Sale apply to The Priory!

N.B.—The above Bloater is well cured!

1840-1. The bad trade at this time, and the disturbed state of the working classes, arising in a great measure from the poisoned seeds of anarchy and distrust which was then sown broadcast by the Chartist leaders amongst the idle, ignorant, and dissolute, made it incumbent upon the public authorities in Dudley to erect a safeguard against any sudden surprise to life and property; thus it was that a day and night patrol of the roads and streets was established to maintain the peace and keep order in the town, and the following respectable townsmen formed a section of our guardian angels—


John Roberts, Commandant.

Seventh Division.

Isaac Badger, Superintendent.

E. Cresswell, Deputy Superintendent.

Ed. Cresswell, jun.

William Beddard

H. Addenbrooke

John Bent

Samuel Edwards

William Cole

Daniel Parker

Jeremiah Parker

Thomas Berry

William Fellowes

Stephen Dunn

William Cooper

James Wood

Stephen Hodgetts

Peter Minty

Moses Hughes

Richard Stokes

William Deeley

George Cardo

Instructions.—When summoned, to attend instantly; and when assembled on duty not to depart or absent themselves without permission from the Magistrates or their respective Superintendents. The ringing of the small and large bells of St. Thomas’s Church will be the signal for the immediate assembling of the whole Constabulary force. Every one disobeying these instructions will have the full penalty of the Law enforced against him. Fortunately for the comfort of these brave volunteers no bells were rung, neither did any dreaded Chartists appear to oppose their pot-valiant authority, but the capers which some of these “Specials” occasionally cut, and the midnight orgies at certain favoured houses of public resort, kept by many a “hearty good fellow,” where ale was strong and protection sure against all assaults upon the body, made these persons on special public duty memorable, and afforded food for scandal and amusement to many in after years.


The Dudley Poet and Rhymist.

“Oh! rare Ben Boucher, Boucher Ben;
The best of Poets, but worst of men.”

[Pg 215]

Ben Boucher


This extraordinary old man was truly a “curiosity” in himself; for many years he enlivened the Black Country with distiches of the ins and outs of life, in all its varied phases, by his peculiar doggerel poetry or songs, which the old man used to compose on any public event which struck his fancy or provoked his wrath. He then sallied out to the wondering public, and sold his songs at one penny per sheet, and familiar indeed was the figure of the old poet, daily in our streets vending his singular wares. He took up all sorts of sad, grim, and pleasurable subjects, from the hanging of some wretch at Stafford Gaol, to a dog, or cock fight at Sedgley, or Tipton. Ben Boucher was a Collier by trade, and was born at Horseley Heath, in the year 1769, but the greater part of his singular and irregular life was spent in Dudley, at certain favourite public house haunts, where his talents were appreciated, and his songs admired and read by the curious.

The following is a sample of some of his effusions:—On the death of Dr. Booker, away from Dudley.

St. Luke is dead—a Poet and Divine—
I hope his spirit doth in glory shine.
To save expense, and the roads being ugly,
Or the Doctor would have come to Dudley.

In Dudley town there lives a man
Who deals in silk and clothes, sir;
If you trust him your mutton to Cook,
He’ll be sure to spoil your broth, sir.

A certain tailor kept a horse for amusement in those days, not in the best condition, so we have the horse described:—


His back it is both long and thin,
His belly has got no corn therein;
He looks both naked and forlorn,
And takes the whip instead of corn.

Mr. Jno. Williams a highly respectable draper in the town, having altered his political opinions in those days, fell in for Ben’s animadversions on that occasion.

Where is big John the draper gone,
Chairman at last election,
The Bowling Green, that source of spleen
Which led to his detection.

Written on the pulling down of the old St. Thomas’s Parish Church:—

The seats and the windows, ah, and the clock too,
Were sent on to Gornal, to their Gornal crew;
For the sand men and asses, for to go to church,
And the people of Dudley were left in the lurch.

[Pg 216]


At Dudley Market, now I tell,
Most kind of articles they sell;
The women take the greatest care
To buy up crocks and earthenware,
Milkpans, and colliers’ tots,
Coloured cups and chamber-pots.
Old shoes to sell, there stands close by,
With shabby strings—the same they tie;
If in those shoes you walk about,
The bottoms soon will tumble out—
Hats, caps, and bonnets blue,
And trowsers wide enough for two.—
If you pop round the market place
There you may buy a farthing lace;
Besides penknives, for Jack and Jim,
And razors for the daddy’s chin—
Rocking-chairs and children’s cradles,
Porridge-pots and wooden ladles.—
Kash from Walsall, kills the worms;
Judas brings a salve for corns;
Mind these men or you’ll be bitten—
Black Jack’s wife brings salve from Tipton—
At the top of the Shambles Sally stands,
She holds the basket in her hands:
“Now my good people don’t be lacking,
Here you may buy the best of blacking.”
Just below, the butchers there you’ll find,
With shows of meat to please the mind;
From most parts these butchers come;
Mind the steelyard—twig the thumb.—
There’s hares, rabbits, and partridges, and pheasants, too,
Some are shot by sportsmen, and some are hung by the neck, too—
There’s butter, bacon, cheese, and eggs,
Sold by old Giles with crooked legs—
More than that if you just turn round,
There’s gingerbread eightpence a pound!
Besides plum pudding, both rich and nice,
On the next stall twopence a slice.—
In Stoney Street there stands the swine,
Both right and left all in a line;
They sell these pigs so much per score,
So on that street I’ll say no more.—
Come, to a tavern let us go,
There’s some above and some below;
There’s one that keeps good ale and pop,
He also keeps a liquor shop;
[Pg 217]He sells roast beef down in Queen Street,
His house is always clean and neat—
Old Nanny Mason comes in with her nuts,
And on the floor her basket puts;
A curtsey drops, “Kind sirs,” says she,
“Mine age is nearly eighty-three.”—
Old Timms comes in, “All hot,” did cry,
And you may either toss or buy.—
There’s one-arm’d Joe among the lot,
With mutton pies all smoking hot.
Please to remember what I have said:
You will never hear the like again.

When Mr. Thomas Hawkes defeated Sir John Campbell at the election:—

Hawkes to Cape—ll gave a note,
And for five pounds bought his vote;
He therefore thus did change his coat
And to the Tories gave his vote.


Charley was young and in his prime,
A courting went to widow Pincher;
She was shy, and fair, and fine,
He was constant and no flincher.
The time arrived when they got married,
She had houses, and cows, Sirs, four,
But Charley soon them all did swallid,
And left her in an evil hour;
He went and drank just like an ass,
Then came home as you may guess
And found her dead; but was not wise,
So he’d make her do the exercise;
The women did not like such jokes,
So they sent off for T. Pitt Stokes—
Who neck and crop to the Workhouse took him
And in the dungeon they did hook him.
This madman told the gentlemen,
That he would fetch her back again,
So they kept him there till she was buried,
When he got home he was most worried.

Many hundred comical verses by this singular man have perished from memory since his death, but Ben was a great Tory in his time, and his latter days were sustained by political association and sympathy. The old man at last became houseless and very poor, and was eventually removed to the Workhouse, where he died in 1851, being upwards of eighty years of age.


[Pg 218]


The proceedings of this morning at the Hustings having through your united generous efforts resulted in my being elected as your Representative in the ensuing Parliament, I hasten to tender you my most heartfelt acknowledgments for the honour you have conferred upon me in placing me in the proud position which it is now my privilege to occupy.

I abstain from referring to the contest, which during my canvass appeared to be before me, and I cheerfully congratulate you on the peaceful and successful termination of the struggle in which we have been engaged.

To you, Gentlemen, the victory is due; a more enlightened, faithful, and zealous body of supporters never rallied round a Candidate, even to vindicate the great right of Municipal Independence.

Gentlemen, my political principles are now well known to you, they have been unreservedly communicated, and have your unqualified approbation. Believe me, it shall be my study vigorously to aid in giving effect to them in the House of Commons, and also to further all measures of local improvement or general principle which have the approval of my Constituents.

I trust, Gentlemen, I shall ere long have an opportunity of renewing my personal acquaintance with you, and by interchanging those sentiments and feelings which have animated and sustained us in the contest now happily at an end.

Till then I bid you farewell; and once more offering you my grateful acknowledgements,

I have the honor to be,

Your most obedient Servant,


Bush Hotel, Dudley, March 27, 1857.

This contest, so abruptly brought to a close by the resignation of Mr. Sandars at the eleventh hour, proclaimed the Political Independence of the Borough of Dudley for all time. The pointed pen of squibs and banter was more liberally used at this election than on former occasions, but it must be recollected that the 25 years past had brought new literary blood into the town; that our old sedate fashion of conducting an election had died out, and we had now entered upon a new path of fame and progression, which our grandfathers never dreamt about. However, “the horse-play” at the time was taken in good part, “a Roland was now and then given for an Oliver,” and there was not a few of our liege subjects who were more pleased than offended at being placed in the mirror of these stirring days. Mr. Sheridan received a truly public ovation on his leaving the town for London, and old, excited Dudley soon resumed its wonted quietude.

Died, April 18th, 1857, in lodgings in Birmingham, Mr. T. H. Naracher, a retired Chemist and Druggist from this town. Mr. Naracher had passed through a very eventful life. He was a native of Zurich, in Switzerland, and, in early life had travelled the continents of Europe and [Pg 219]America, and became a famous linguist. In the exciting, gambling Railway mania of 1844-5-6, poor Mr. Naracher invested his comfortable income, which was all swept away, and he died in poverty and indigence, aged 56 years.

Died, May 12th, 1857, Mr. Charles Lester, Wine and Spirit Merchant, Market Place, the last surviving son of the late Mr. Thomas Lester, aged 36 years.

June 2nd, 1857. The Dudley Castle Fetes took place this day, when two large siege guns, taken at Sebastopol from the Russians, were drawn up to the rampart of the Castle Keep, and inaugurated as trophies with great pomp and acclamation by the Dudley Troop of Worcestershire Yeomanry.

July 20th, 1857. The Odd Fellows of the Manchester Unity walked in procession with their regalia through the town this day, and dined at their various Lodge rooms.

Died, July 22nd, 1857, Mr. Benjamin Leadbetter, a noted Querist.

August, 1857. Upon the appointment to the important situation of Organist to the Parish Church, much uncharitable feeling was generated in the parish by the Vicar, Dr. Browne, refusing the use of the vestry to arrange and discuss this parochial business; ultimately, the Vicar gained his especial point, and all that the Churchwardens could do was to bottle the affront offered to them and the parish, and publish the following correspondence to tell its own tale.


To the Subscribers to the St. Thomas’s Congregational Fund.


The Vicar, having refused the use of the Vestry Room for the Meeting appointed to take place this morning, and published the communication referring thereto, we beg to lay before you the whole correspondence that has passed between us, and part of which Dr. Browne chooses to say was so unsatisfactory as to induce him, and the Churchwardens, somewhat hastily to appoint an Organist; after the Meeting of the 14th we called upon the Vicar to consult him on this business, and it was arranged and distinctly understood that we should immediately advertise the vacancy, and appoint by umpire or otherwise, to be subsequently decided on, Mr. Woodall continuing until the end of this month, and, if unsuccessful as a Candidate, to be paid for his services. We leave it for your consideration whether we have merited the extraordinary treatment we have received from Dr. Browne.

The Office you kindly appointed us to being now at an end, we have to thank you very sincerely for your confidence in us,

And remain, Gentlemen,

Yours faithfully,



Dudley, August 24th, 1857.

The Vicarage, Dudley, 14th August, 1857.

[Pg 220]


Dear Sirs,

“The unanimous and satisfactory decision of the Meeting having this day committed the same routine of duty to your especial care and attention, I have to request that you will make the formation of a Male Choir and the distinct prohibition of Female Singers one main feature in your negociations with any party or parties respecting the appointment of Organist, and I am inclined to the idea that you should revert, as suggested, to another advertisement; some two or more individuals should be selected from whom the Vicar and Warden or Wardens should be empowered to appoint one, by this means I trust all unnecessary clashing of Local and Official authority will be effectually avoided.”

“I shall feel obliged by sufficient parchments being forwarded for the copying some 1,800 Baptisms and about two-thirds that number of Burials, for the years 1855 and 1856; each sheet contains 32 copies, the numbers would be 56 of the former and 40 of the latter; this, you will observe, does not include the present year 1857, which will require a moiety of the above,

in toto

} 84 Baptism Sheets, and
} 60 Burial ditto

I am, dear Sirs,

Yours very faithfully,


P.S.—There is half-a-year due for Surplice washing to Mrs. Clayton.

Dudley, August 15th, 1857.

To the Rev. Dr. BROWNE,

Dear Sir,

“In reply to yours of yesterday, we shall be happy to comply with your requests so far as agreeable to the wishes of the congregation, we hope to succeed in forming a Male Choir when an Organist is appointed, giving him the power of making choice of Singers; we shall proceed at once to advertise for an Organist, and deem it desirable to call a General Meeting of the Congregation for the purpose of selecting a fit and proper person to that office. We do not agree to provide you with parchment sheets for the purpose of copying Registers for several years, the Meeting yesterday agreed to an item of Register Book if required.”

“We paid Surplice Washing for the year ending 25th March last, and shall be happy to pay the same this year. We have no desire to clash with Official Authorities, we can have but one object in view, and that is for the comfort and happiness of the Church, Pastors, and People.”

We are, yours truly,



[Pg 221]

Saturday, August 22nd, 1857.

To the Rev. Dr. Browne.

Dear Sir,

“It is reported in this day’s Birmingham Journal that you have made the Organist, will you please inform us if the statement is correct.”

We are, yours truly,




The Vicarage, August 22nd. 1857.

“The Vicar in reply to a note this day received, signed by Messrs. Price and Jordan, herewith transmits a Copy of the Circular[34] issued two days since, of which he fully understood they had each previously received a copy in common with all the other Subscribers.”

To The Rev. Dr. BROWNE.

Dear Sir,

“We beg to hand you a Copy of Notice for a Meeting of St. Thomas’s Congregation, to be holden (by your permission), at the Vestry room, on Monday Morning next.”

Yours truly,


Dudley, August 22nd, 1857.

The Vicarage, Dudley, 22nd August, 1857.

[35]“The Vicar has to acknowledge the receipt of a note signed by Messrs. Jordan & Price wherein he is requested to sanction a Meeting “Relating to the Appointment of Organist,” in his Church Vestry-room, on Monday, at 10 o’clock a.m.”

“The above question having been definitely settled by the Churchwardens and himself, he, the Vicar declines the use of his Vestry room for such an already decided purpose.”

September 3rd, 1857. Married, at St. Edmund’s Church, by her father, Miss Emily Mason Davies, eldest daughter of the Rev. John Davies, M.A., the Vicar, to Mr. Charles Cochrane, Ironmaster, of Middlesboro’, Yorkshire.

[Pg 222]

September 11th, 1857. Miss Emma Saunders, a very popular Dudley Vocalist, this day sailed for Adelaide, South Australia, to be married on her arrival.

A “Practical Joke,” was at the time played upon our worthy Mayor, Mr. John Beddard, which caused the following rejoinder from his Worship.


The Mayor having had his attention called to an Advertisement in the Birmingham Journal of to-day, announcing that he will take the Chair at the intended “Complimentary Dinner” to H. B. Sheridan, Esq., on Thursday next, begs to state that such an announcement is entirely without his knowledge or sanction, he having, at once, when applied to, explained the improbability of his being able to attend.


Dudley, September 12th, 1857.

September 15th, 1857. H. B. Sheridan, Esq., M.P. came amongst us to attend a “Complimentary Dinner,” but a good deal of the fire of the late election had gone out, and he was received rather coolly by some of his recent ardent supporters.


To the Editor of the Dudley Weekly Times.

Sir,—During this week the Free and Independent Electors of Dudley have had the opportunity afforded them of receiving at the hands of their representative an account of the trust placed in his hands in March last; and the meagre and insignificant attendance at the Lancasterian School room in the afternoon, and the more important (especially to Dudley men) dinner attendance at the Hotel, too plainly tells the tale of the altered opinions and dubious proceedings of those very vociferous supporters who figured so prominently at the last election. Now, Mr. Editor, most men of anything like probity of character and honesty of purpose, more especially those who have a little fame to sustain, usually manifest some decent regard for their public actions and motives; but in this case, a more political case of apostasy (and upon a large scale too), has not disgraced the annals of our local political traditions. We well know that six months ago influential electors of all shades of opinion were lustily crying out for freedom, denouncing in unmeasured terms the lordly interference with their political rights, proclaiming the day of Dudley’s political [Pg 223]emancipation at hand; and using the most strenuous exertions to support their new born ideas by placing Mr. Sheridan in the proud position of representing their views and sentiments in parliament. Such, Sir, were the doings of the past; but alas! to what more genial atmosphere has that rampant spirit of personal antagonism and offended dignity taken its aerial flight? Is the once powerful coffee room still the abode of its blinded ambition and political inconsistency? Has not the recent disseverment plainly told us that party purposes, not political liberty, were the sole objects of that unnatural alliance. Was it to be expected that ultra Toryism on the one hand, and exploded Chartism on the other, were elements likely either to sustain a six months’ political union, or awaken anything but a spirit of derision and contempt? Such, however, were the incongruous elements with which Mr. Sheridan obtained his seat in parliament, and as the M.P. for Dudley he is entitled to that respect and courtesy which belong to his office, and the position of a gentleman. Why then this shameful lukewarmness and public apathy on behalf of his recent supporters? Has the honorable gentleman altered his political sentiments, thereby bringing down the offended ire and silent estrangement of his once eager listeners? Well, truly may he apologise for their non-attendance, at the proper place, to hear the exposition of his political stewardship, for truly a more insignificant demonstration never graced the public reception of a public man. If, Sir, the present elective franchise can thus, by interested partisans on the one hand, and political demagogues on the other, be made the sportive instrument of demoralising all consistency of conduct in the virtuous, and can thus be dragged forth to inflame the unholy passions of the blind and vicious, what must be its operations when the long anticipated Reform Bill extends its privileges to a more extensive, uneducated, but not less dangerous class of such like free and independent electors? If the past should unhappily contain the germ of the future waywardness of spirit, and vindictiveness of action, displayed by the head and front of the promoters of the last Dudley election, we may indeed expect marvellous acts of pitiable abandonment of reason and reflection, and the future M.P. for Dudley may pray to be delivered from his friends.

Your obedient servant,


Dudley, September 18th, 1857.

Died, September 29th, 1857, Mr. Edward Terry, Grocer, Market Place, a very upright and honourable gentleman, who twice served the office of Mayor, and had a handsome service of Silver Plate presented to him. Aged 70 years.

An important and influential Public Meeting was held at the Old Town Hall, under the presidency of John Renaud, Esq., the Mayor, to remonstrate with the Local Railway Companies, at the very unsatisfactory accommodation afforded to the public at our Dudley Railway Station.

[Pg 224]


To the Editor of the Dudley and Midland Express.

Sir,—Your lengthened remarks in your last publication of the “Express” on the anomalous position existing betwixt the local commissioners of income and property-tax, the tax-payers, and the unhappy delinquent in Worcester Gaol, must necessarily have awakened much reflection upon this important subject; and if I should not be considered trespassing too much upon your valuable space, I would offer a few observations with a view to elicit some well-digested opinions upon the most salient parts of your important address. Ere your strictures appeared in public, the local commissioners had, it was found, exercised that power in appointing a successor to Mr. John Leadbetter which the Act of Parliament gives them, and it would appear somewhat irregular in a local press, cognisant of that fact, to recommend a vestry meeting to consider a question that ought to have been urged upon the rate-payers at an earlier date, backed by such legal information as is well known to exist in the editorial staff of your acceptable journal. You are, doubtless, aware, Mr. Editor, that income-tax collectors can be appointed either by the rate-payers in public vestry, or the local commissioners in private; but an appointment made by the rate-payers must have the confirmation of the local commissioners before it can be received at the Treasury; hence the very little importance, in my opinion, of agitating a parish on the merits of a question which, after all, must be the result either of favouritism, or true appreciation of the local commissioners. In the event of a local board of commissioners making a selection decidedly obnoxious to a parish, then it is competent for any five rate-payers to object to the appointment, by showing to the Treasury why such nomination should not take place; but in the event of no such objection being made by the rate-payers, as illustrated in both Mr. Worley’s and Mr. John Leadbetter’s appointment, the nomination stands good in law, and the collectors (by the tacit consent of the parish) are the bonâ fide collectors of the rate-payers, as well as the commissioners. In this view of the case it becomes apparent that the parish of Dudley cannot legally object to pay the defalcation rate that most assuredly will be exacted from us; nay, the local commissioners can legally claim it at our hands, on the acknowledged principle that Mr. Worley was as much the appointment of the parish as by them, inasmuch as that parish very graciously acquiesced in their selection!

Such being the fact, the general question is often asked, “What is to be done with that miserable man now incarcerated in Worcester Gaol?” As he has been placed there under a warrant issued by the local Commissioners, he most assuredly is their prisoner; and the ratepayers of Dudley can have no legal process against a defaulter abstracting money which is the property of the Crown. If the Commissioners are at all doubtful about their right or power to prosecute the delinquent, [Pg 225]why place him in durance vile, and institute most vigilant legal proceedings against his supposed sureties, bringing the terrible powers of the law to annihilate the innocent and unoffending; whilst the main delinquent is kept as a sort of savage appendage to every man’s vision, who occasionally refers to his cash book to ascertain the status of its taxable page?

If, again, the object of incarcerating the collector was intended to secure his detention until the embezzled money was re-levied, pray Mr. Editor, by what reasoning powers have those highly-respectable gentlemen come to the determination to delay that unpleasant duty to the latest possible period of propriety, or, perhaps, public safety? Now it must be apparent to all that changes are daily being made in trade incomes and value of property in such an important town as Dudley; and it would be manifestly unjust to charge the moiety upon an income of £400 a year now, when at the time the robbery was committed such income was assessed at only £300 a year. Such cases as these, Mr. Editor, would awaken no small degree of alarm and anxiety as to the course the commissioners and collectors intend to pursue; for I would opine that your editorial skill and staff of management would feel themselves somewhat startled to find that 2-1/4d. in the pound had been levied upon them, for the recovery of a moiety of income-tax abstracted by a previous defaulting collector at a lapsed time, when your editorial vision had not looked into the fame of your future greatness, or dreamt of the honours that awaited your advent into this region of physical smoke and mental darkness.

Such, however inadvertently, may be the case, and against such errors and mal-practice it behoves both the rate-payers and the press to exercise a vigilant eye; for it is well known that our gracious Queen cannot afford at this particular juncture to lose any portion of her allotted supplies, and the living most assuredly will have to pay for the dead in this vexatious case. It is much to be regretted that the minor officers of the public service do not appear to receive that reward for their services commensurate with the labour and responsibility entailed upon them; nevertheless, we must not lose sight of the fact, that the present order of the day is retrenchment in all branches of the paid civil service; and that the salary accorded in these cases is fixed in London, not by the local commissioners. In the particular case referring to Dudley, whilst the stipend is only about 100l. a year for the collection of the property and income-tax, the collector is also the recipient of the poundage derived from the collection of the assessed taxes and house duty; making his income amount to about 150l. a year; and really, Mr. Editor, we are not to have so little faith in the integrity of poor human nature, as to believe that no respectable townsman can be found to faithfully fulfil that office, without entrenching upon the region of venality on the one hand, or pandering to the inordinate vices of cupidity or meanness on the other.

If such an one cannot be found in Dudley, sufficiently sensible of his responsibility and power, we may indeed humble ourselves “in dust and ashes,” at the depravity of human nature in general, and the want of worth and honesty in Dudley [Pg 226]in particular.

I am, your obedient servant,


Dudley, October 14th, 1857.


October 24th, 1857. A General Subscription was entered into in Dudley, on behalf of the Indian Relief Fund for sufferers by the dreadful Military Revolt, which took place in Delhi and the surrounding Districts. The handsome sum of £831 6s. 8d. was raised for that laudable and urgent object.


To the Editor of the Dudley and Midland Counties Express.

Sir,—Scarcely three months have rolled over our heads, since the leading officials of the above line did penance on the stool of public opinion, erected at a town’s meeting held in the Old Town Hall, Dudley, “to consider the disgraceful state of the Railway Station in Dudley, and the want of railway accommodation afforded to the town generally.”

On that occasion a considerable amount of special pleading was resorted to by the parties complained of; and much stress was placed upon their intentions for the future, promising to mend their ways (and the station also) if the indulgent public would only continue to pay their money, take their trips, and cease grumbling.

Such, in June last, was the promise given; now, Mr. Editor, let us see how the performance has tallied with that pledge of amendment. Report, with her thousand tongues, runs rife in our busy streets and gossiping saloons, saying that the good people located at Queen’s Cross, in the densely populated streets surrounding the Gas Works, and the industrious community at Netherton, are to have their station accommodation increased (when they wish to go to Stourbridge, &c.) like the Yankee fashion of progressing backwards; for it is said, that the Netherton station is doomed to be blotted out of the fair features of this eccentric line, by being knocked off the line for passenger traffic altogether. If such be correct, this false economising system seems fitted to make those inhabitants pay an extra fare, and stretch their aged or rheumatic limbs, by walking to and from their domiciles down to the Dudley station; besides giving the timorous the benefit of an unnecessary fright in our waterproof tunnel.

Doubtless, Mr. Editor, you can furnish the public with some official contradiction to this rumour; otherwise we must be up and [Pg 227]doing, ere our contested rights (hardly fought for, and fairly won in 1845-6) are wrested from our hands by some mistaken system of cheeseparing and illiberality.

If the aged, lame, infirm, or timid railway traveller casts his anxious eye towards the Dudley station, expecting to find any improvement effected at that delightful arena of decorum and propriety, (more especially on a wet Saturday night), he will be most woefully deceived. For can it be supposed, Mr. Editor, that a railway company, already prolific in blunders, misunderstandings, and broken promises, could be so egregiously foolish as recently to remove their ticket office at the Dudley Station from its legitimate ground-floor platform to the extreme entrance of that highly artistic wooden tunnel, spanning its unwieldy proportions across the domain of two important railway companies!! To passengers starting from Dudley the boon is offered, we presume, as being highly convenient to take your ticket before you take your choice of standing upon that spacious gallery. In warm weather it may be thought pleasant to cool one’s heels in a mighty torrent of wind and dust, usually generated in that elegant ladies’ waiting room (?); but pray, Mr. Editor, are our shivering limbs to be subjected to the piercing winds of a severe winter’s night,—sans fire, sans doors, sans seats—yea, sans everything that ought to be afforded to an important town like Dudley?

This, truly, may suit the economy of the O. W. and W. R. Co., but surely the sensible, well-thinking, and comfort-loving people of Dudley will not tamely submit to this additional indignity. To the casual traveller (more especially the infirm, aged, and children) who may be so unlucky as to require rebooking from an in-coming train on the South Stafford line, the amount of annoyance and physical exertion cannot fail to be intolerable. Fancy, sir, some poor aged traveller, or a lady with children (not an O. W. and W. Railway Director) arriving by a late train on the South Stafford line, and having to hobble or rush up and down two pairs of slippery stairs, then along that precious gangway, for another ticket, occupying some considerable time at the present spacious ticket office, ere they can arrive at the object of their solicitude, the waiting train below.

Such scenes would appear decidedly improbable in this our day of tidy railway accommodation; but, Mr. Editor, if you or the proper officials connected with the line are at all doubtful of the truthfulness of the same, pray let me induce both to witness (on any coming dark or rainy Thursday or Saturday evening) the arrival of a South Stafford train, laden with its living freight of young and old, halt and timid—and I venture to predict that you will think that my remonstrance and call to duty are not overcharged, but that we live in times when the honour, integrity, and liberality of a railway company can be summoned legitimately to the bar of public judgment for neglect of duty and broken promises, viz., for committing a positive and palpable deviation—thereby breaking faith with the public—from the offered accommodation intended to be secured to the inhabitants of Dudley when its promoters originally solicited that public to give it their preference to a competing line in 1844-5-6.

[Pg 228]I am, your obedient servant,


Dudley, Oct. 27, 1857.

[In our first number we drew attention to the disgraceful state of the station accommodation of this town. Unless strong measures are adopted we think little will be done.]

A long-suffering period of twenty-two years passed over our heads before the London and North Western Railway Company could be prevailed upon to erect a decent Railway Station for Dudley.


The result of the Parliamentary Election in March last was not allowed to slumber, for Mr. Wm. Haden, a County Magistrate, and a member of the Court Leet, got his back up at some of the proceedings, and as he was out-voted by the majority of the Liberal gentlemen present, he must needs vent his spleen upon Mr. Bourne, the Clerk to the Court Leet, which brought forth the following correspondence:—

To the Editor of the Birmingham Daily Press.

Sir,—In your report of the proceedings at Lord Ward’s Court Leet on Friday last, you state, “Mr. Haden returned to the room and apologised to Mr. Bourne for any hasty expression which may have escaped from him on his first entering the room, he assured Mr. B. that what he had then said was not intended as personal.”

This is altogether incorrect, the words “apology” or “hasty expression” I certainly did not use; what I did say to Mr. Bourne was, “That I feared from something I heard after leaving the room, he thought my first remarks were intended to be applied to him. I assured him I had no such intention, as I felt satisfied the proceedings had not originated with him.”

I must request that you will publish this note in one of your earliest editions, as your report will lead the public to believe I had apologised to Mr. Bourne for some hasty expression which I was anxious to withdraw.

I am, sir,

Yours respectfully,


Dixon’s Green, Dudley, November 2, 1857.


To the Editor of the Birmingham Daily Press.

Sir,—In your publication of this day we are favoured with a letter from Mr. William Haden, of Dudley, one of the uninvited to the late Court Leet Dinner, in explanation of what [Pg 229]he alleges to be a misinterpretation of his very un-called-for remarks at the Court Leet meeting on Friday last. As I was present on that occasion, I deem it but just to the merits and acknowledged truthfulness of your general reports to aver that Mr. Haden assuredly made use of the expressions referred to, and in such an excited state of mind, too, as to leave no doubt upon the minds of the gentlemen present that he came there brim-full of indignation and chagrin (at witnessing the “good time coming” manifestation), at what he and the deputation who indorsed his expressions with “Hear, hear, hear,” seemed to believe was intended as a personal slight to those worthy townsmen who have so often eaten Lord Ward’s roast beef, and then lampooned his lordship for his hospitality and courteous welcome.

The Court Leet meeting of the manor of Dudley, being dependent upon the manorial rights of the barony of Ward, becomes by such ancient right a self-constituted body of that barony, hence the perfect right of Lord Ward to invite whom he may please to attend his Court Leet. This private right could not have been more scrupulously observed last week than has been witnessed the last thirty years at former Leet meetings, for it cannot be denied that a certain “clique” has at that Leet exercised an amount of domination unbearable to honourable minds, arming themselves with a species of presumptuous authority, most unmistakeably uncongenial to the known liberality and courteous bearing of Lord Ward; dictating the terms of political subserviency and social local dependency that should fit any townsman to be eligible for that festival of local celebrity.

Pitiable indeed must be the status of that spirit of independence engendered in the minds of intelligent Englishmen who can present themselves where they are not invited, and condescend to interrogate the legal authority of the Lord of the Manor upon a question beyond their right of inquiry.

Mr. Wm. Haden may, if he thinks proper, characterise the last Court Leet meeting “as a contemptible proceeding,” but we remind Mr. Haden that the influx of new life and liberal thoughts into the elements of the late Court Leet augur well for the onward progression of both political and social advancement in Dudley. We believe, sir, that the contracted neck of Toryism and the conclusive and bigotted favouritism of partizanship is broken thereby, and that Lord Ward has hitherto been deceived in his estimate of the lingering political vitality of the borough of Dudley. We furthermore hail this last local excitement as foreboding days of enlightenment, and liberty of thought and speech to the good old town of Dudley; and we accept the proceedings of the last Court Leet as the act of a liberal, benevolent nobleman, conscious of his immense responsibility, alive to the approaching signs of the times, and fully sensible of the patent fact that local cliques and self interests, rigidly exercised in the management of affairs in Dudley, have retarded its commercial enterprise, and contracted its social and political usefulness.

Yours respectfully,


[Pg 230]

Dudley, November 6th, 1857.


We are happy to find that our strictures a fortnight ago, on the subject of the Dudley Court Leet, have met with the general approval of this district. Nor could it well be otherwise. To say nothing of the principles of common justice, an error in tactics so glaring as that perpetrated in connexion with the late Court Leet meeting could not but meet with general condemnation.

It will be seen, however, from a letter under the heading of “Our Open Platform,” that a gentleman who signs himself “Investigator” has undertaken to investigate the facts connected with the invitations to the Court Leet, and to present himself as the champion of its proceedings.

This letter is couched in the best possible spirit; and though our correspondent takes strong exception to many of our views, we shall always bid him and others welcome to the use of our pages, so long as they can express their differences of opinion from us or from each other with so much freedom from acrimonius feeling. Had the argument of “Investigator” been as sound as the tone of his letter is satisfactory, we should have passed it over without a single observation. We shall have no difficulty in proving, however, that his remarks are open to that very charge of misleading the public which he attempts to fasten upon ourselves.

He says he has the list of invitations to the Court Leet before him, and on that ground he claims to be regarded as the champion of those by whom it was supplied. Of course we have no objection to accept the gauntlet. He then says that there were 82 gentlemen invited to the late Court Leet, and that of this number 38 have attended former meetings, and the remaining 44 were townsmen of various opinions.

Now, the only inference which any man of ordinary powers of mind can draw from these figures, is that 44 out of the number of persons accustomed to attend former Courts Leet have this year been rejected, and that 38 of that number have been retained. But why reject the 44 and retain the 38? Simply because the political preferences of the former at the last election happened to differ from those of the parties who issued the invitations. To any other answer than this, the voice of public conscience would at once demur.

But “Investigator” has made a discovery which completely falsifies our own statement of this matter. He has discovered that many of Mr. Sheridan’s supporters were amongst the persons attending the late Court Leet. How many do our readers [Pg 231]think? One half.—Guess again. One quarter.—Guess again. A half quarter.—Guess again.—You give it up. Then, thoughtful reader, let us tell thee there was the astounding number of four. One of these was the late mayor, who was known to have long before abandoned Mr. Sheridan’s cause;—two others were gentlemen connected with the press, and who were supposed to be changing sides before the meeting took place—and the fourth was a kind and amiable man, whose presence in such company has not yet been accounted for.

So far, then, from our correspondent disproving our statement respecting the invitations to the Court Leet, we find that his statements confirm substantially every word that we have spoken upon that subject.

We may, however, here state once for all, that it is not a question between Mr. Sheridan and his political opponents, but between those opponents and such of the inhabitants of this district as think proper to vote for a candidate of their own selection. That Mr. Sheridan happens to be that candidate is the mere accident of the hour. The question is simply this:—Shall the electors of Dudley vote for whom they will?—or are they to be subject to pains and penalties for the free and independent exercise of their electoral rights?

Nor is “Investigator” more successful in his attempt to vindicate the right of the Lord of the Manor to do what he likes with his own. He says the Barony of Ward is a private institution, and that therefore Lord Ward has a right to invite whom he likes to transact his own business. As well might he say that the Borough of Dudley and the Monarchy of England are private institutions, and that, therefore, the Mayor of the one and the Monarch of the other have a right to employ and discard whom they will. We deny that the Barony of Ward is, in the sense spoken of by “Investigator,” a private institution; and, of course, we deny the possession of the right he claims.

We are actuated by no feeling of hostility to Lord Ward, but as public Journalists it is our duty to watch over the interests of the public, and to see that Senator and Plebeian are alike protected in the exercise of the privileges they enjoy. As an evidence of our desire for the most perfect fairness in the discussion of questions such as this, to which we have now for the third time been compelled to advert, we may state that in an article on “A Royal Charter for Dudley,” in our last issue, the word “charge” instead of the word “complaint,” is used either by our mistake or by that of our printer. As, however, it has been represented to us by one of our friends, that some readers may possibly suppose, from the construction of the sentence in which this word occurs, that we impute bribery and coercion to Lord Ward, or to his agents, or both, we feel it to be due to ourselves, to Lord Ward, to his agents, and to our readers generally, to state that nothing could possibly have been further from our intention. What we meant to have said, and what we think our words clearly convey, is this—that the [Pg 232]right of the Lord of the Manor to invite whom he would to his Court Leet had been so exercised, as that, by inviting a great many gentlemen to his annual dinner who were known to have supported Mr. Sandars, but who had not been accustomed to be invited, it was liable to be construed into a species of bribery to one class, and to operate as a kind of punishment to the other, and so we have reason to believe it is popularly regarded. But any intention or idea of imputing bribery to Lord Ward or his agents, either expressly or by implication, we distinctly and absolutely disavow. And this disavowal we make as spontaneously and promptly as we can. It is as painful to us as it is contrary to our inclination to have to discuss the public conduct of public men. When, however, duty impels us to the task, we trust that we shall never be found wanting in those proprieties towards those from whom we differ, which the commonest courtesy requires at our hands.

To the most amusing part of our correspondent’s letter we have, however, yet to come. After having occupied nearly half a column of our space in endeavouring to prove that the agents of Lord Ward have not acted with partiality in the late Court Leet affair, he goes on to show that they have always acted with partiality; that they have done on the present occasion—only to another set of parties—what they have always been accustomed to do—to one side or the other;—that those who have now been rejected ought not to have given utterance to a single murmur, on the simple principle that they had now received a Roland for an Oliver.

He speaks of “respectable and sensible men, who have never hitherto been favoured with his Lordship’s smile,” of the chagrin and personal insult experienced by many of our worthy townsmen, and of the bygone bigotry, political domination and petty clique of the last thirty years. The agents of Lord Ward may truly say, “Save us from our friends.”

If one-half of what “Investigator” says be true, it is high time that the management of Dudley Court Leet be reformed. But it is a curious incident in this controversy, and one which strikingly illustrates the narrowness of men’s minds, and their ignorance of the very first principles of genuine liberty, and there should be men of professed education in the town of Dudley who can look upon the mere transfer of an exclusive privilege from the hands of one set of men to those of another, as an evidence of real progress. If there exists anywhere powers such as those to which our correspondent refers, and which can be used for purposes of oppression or intimidation, it is manifest that these powers ought not to exist; and however much their transfer from the hands of one political party to another may gratify men’s vanity and assist in the advancement of their personal purposes, the only evidence of real progress will be found in such powers being taken altogether from the hands of those who hold them, and being vested in others who cannot employ them for purposes of their own.—The Dudley and Midland Counties Express.

[Pg 233]

December 1st, 1857. This present period was one of great distress and misery in the town and neighbourhood, occasioned by the suspension and failure of many Iron Masters hereabouts. The serious commercial consequence was, that fifty-seven Blast Furnaces were stopped, and upwards of 10,000 men were thereby thrown out of employment. This depression of our local trade had a most serious effect upon the tradesmen of the town, and many lamentable bankruptcies amongst us was the result.

Died, December 17th, 1857, Mr. Joseph Morris, of the Miner’s Arms; Mr. Morris had gone through a great diversity of trials in life, and was deservedly much respected by all parties. Aged 73 years.

Died, December 17th, 1857, at Westbromwich, Mr. Richard Bond, formerly Parish Clerk of St. Edmund’s Church; he was a close-fisted old gentleman, and died very rich.


To the Editor of the Dudley Weekly Times.

Sir,—Our last Castle Fetes were heralded forth to the pleasure-seeking public with more than ordinary pomp and significance, by the prominently announced fact, that those mighty engines of death and destruction (the Sebastopol Trophy Guns), were to be ushered into the far-famed Castle Court-yard, amid the din of arms, the plaudits of the people, the beating of the heart-stirring drum, and the merry peals of our excellent parish church bells. Being one of the admirers of that march of pomp and day of local exultation, and heartily concurring in the sentiments uttered by our public functionary (the Mayor), I naturally anticipated that some suitable site would ere this have been found, whereon to permanently fix those trophies of our sanguinary struggle with the great Power of the North; but no! Dudley like! the famed Sebastopol guns, like the crumbling walls with which they are surrounded, seemed destined to be left alone in their glory. Anon the hobby-horses whereon the juvenile warriors are daily wont to practice the art of cannon riding, and the more matured admirers of naval glory, are accustomed to ruminate upon the mighty events of their departed lustre, under the consoling influence of that soother of the “ills and woes that flesh is heir to” a pipe of the genial Virginian weed. Such being the humiliating fact, I maintain, Mr. Editor, on the ground of public sympathy alone, that these precious relics of the famed Sebastopol should immediately be taken under the protecting wings of the Mayor, on behalf of the liege burgesses of this ancient city of the renowned Dodo, or consigned to the fostering care of the popular president of the Mechanics’ Institute. Surely £50 would suffice to provide proper gun carriages, and fix them on solid masonry in front of the magnificent Keep, protected by a suitable chevaux-de-frise, with an adequate elevated covering to protect them from the inclemency of the [Pg 234]weather! Did not the Committee of the last Castle Fetes derive more additional “grist to the mill” by the fact that the guns were to be seen under their auspices alone? Hence the reasonableness of that Committee taking proper care of those trophies, as showing more decent acknowledgement to the sightseeing public for the additional proceeds received to their funds by the opportune presence of those national trophies. If it was worth the trouble to depart from the ordinary routine of official propriety to receive the guns at the hands of Government, surely it is but reasonable to hope that the sanguinary admirers of national prowess should provide (like other towns) a suitable place to deposit them on. Such being the public belief, let the Committee of the Mechanics’ Institute perform their duty, by endeavouring to convince that public that they are not insensible to the very exclusive and liberal support they have from time to time received at the hands of an hitherto silent but observant public, but at once make a suitable provision for those interesting objects of public curiosity, which are properly intended to be the enduring evidences of a nation’s triumphal prowess and valour, under difficulties and privations unsurpassed in the annals of warfare.

I am, your obedient servant,




To the Editor of the Dudley Weekly Times.

Sir,—Permit me a small space in the Times, in reply to the letters of Mr. Sluter, “A Schoolmaster,” and “One who likes to see everything in its proper place,” which appeared in your last. I feel the more pleasure in noticing them, from the courteous spirit in which they appear to be written, contrasted with that of a leading article in the columns of your contemporary, upon (in some respects) a somewhat similar subject. Right glad am I to find an interest taken in the matters to which they refer, sufficiently strong to develop itself by directing public attention to them through the pages of your paper. The offer of affording gratuitous adult instruction to a class or classes in connection with the Mechanics’ Institution, so kindly made by Mr. Sluter and his coadjutors, was the subject of many conversations, and occupied much attention of myself and its committee; the great obstacle, however, appeared to us to be the want of proper accommodation, the Old Town Hall being occupied for so many purposes, and at such varied hours, that we feared it could hardly be rendered properly available for such a purpose. Again too, we entertained the hope that long ere this we should have been in possession of rooms and building of our own, in which, suitable accommodation, not only for this but every other purpose connected with the Mechanics’ Institution or the public, [Pg 235]would have been provided—the exertions to obtain which, notwithstanding the sneers of the writer in the Express, are pretty well known to most. The effort to establish adult evening schools may, perhaps, unhappily not be supported, either by those requiring them on the one hand, or by public countenance on the other, but it is worth a trial, and the offer of Mr. Sluter, and others of the Schoolmasters’ Association connected with him, is a noble one, evincing a feeling on their parts which ought to be thankfully and heartily responded to. What, Mr. Editor, even the most enlightened, is the education of our youth, compared to that more mature knowledge we acquire in after years? It is but, as it were, the outlines of the map then laid down, to be filled in by ourselves at leisure at a future time. I trust, therefore, now the matter is again mooted, the subject will not be allowed to drop without a trial being made regarding it. To argue as to the necessity or propriety of the establishment of such classes or schools, were but to insult the understanding of those most likely to render them efficient support.

As to the Sebastopol guns, I also should like to see them in their proper place, and the consideration of the proper place has not been lost sight of. My idea of this place is, as your correspondent suggests, in front of the Keep—others think somewhat differently; at any rate their position and state, it must be acknowledged, is not the most suitable one, and ere long, with the assistance of our worthy Mayor, I hope to see them placed upon a spot which for appropriateness of situation will be second to none in the kingdom. They were worthily received, and they ought to be worthily esteemed, as trophies of the prowess and valour of our countrymen. The Fetes Committee are perfectly willing to render all the assistance in their power towards this object, but I am sure that your correspondent would not desire that their funds should furnish the necessary amount. The Committee, at considerable expense and with no little trouble, obtained them for the town; surely then the town should not be wanting to see they are properly bestowed and kept, now they do possess them. This I know is the desire of the Mayor, and others in authority; I therefore trust ere long to see them in their proper position.

In regard to the remarks of the writer in the Express, I would observe that it is a very much easier thing to sit at home at ease and write an article for a newspaper, sneering at the efforts of others, which most probably they did but little to aid, than to get up funds for a building, requiring, if it be done properly, some three or four thousand pounds. The efforts of many on behalf of the Dudley Mechanics’ Institution are well known, and I think need no attempt to be written down by the Express, for the purpose of elevating Mr. Sheridan. I have already occupied sufficient of your space, or should not hesitate to break a lance with its writer as to what the Dudley Mechanics’ Institution has been, is, or may become. I trust that it has already been “productive of some real and permanent advantages,” and that it will continue to exist to furnish more “for posterity.”

[Pg 236]

I am, Mr. Editor,

Yours respectfully,


January 25th, 1858, was a royal day in Dudley, it being the Wedding Day of our first young Princess, the Princess Royal of England, and the Crown Prince of Prussia. Dudley had never lagged behind its neighbours in its genuine loyalty to the throne, and on this occasion all hands were willing to add lustre, and a pleasurable remembrance, to this interesting event. A public subscription was at once inaugurated to give a treat to the school children, and tickets for meat to the indigent poor. The day was propitious, and upwards of 4,000 school children walked in procession to the Castle Court, led on by two bands of music; after a short suitable address had been delivered, they all returned to their various school rooms, and enjoyed a good “tea drinking.” The poor old men and women enjoyed their beef and plum pudding at their own homes, whilst the well-to-do townsmen dined at the hotel, under the presidency of the Mayor, Mr. John Beddard. The town was decidedly en fete this day, for the merry peals of our parish bells, the jingling of the friendly glass, and the hearty good wishes for the happy pair, made old Dudley decidedly “jolly” on that memorable day. These two royal personages will in due course of time become the Emperor and Empress of Germany. Long may they live to enjoy their exalted and responsible station in life.

N.B.—Whilst I am writing these lines their eldest son, Prince William of Prussia, is also entering into the tangled web of holy matrimony.


On Monday last, John Beddard, Esq., the Mayor of this town, issued bills stating that he should be very happy to meet, at Smith’s Hotel, in the Market Place, that evening at seven o’clock, any of the inhabitants disposed to support some public demonstration on the marriage day of the Princess Royal.

At the time appointed for the meeting to take place, our reporter attended and found only the Mayor present. During the next half-hour or so a few gentlemen looked into the room to see what sort of a meeting there was, and having satisfied their curiosity withdrew. About half-past seven o’clock, however, the Mayor remarked that business had better be proceeded with. The number of loyal subjects present then was very few, and during the entire meeting did not exceed a score. We have no difficulty in subjoining a complete list of their names. They were the Mayor, the High Bailiff (Elliot Hollier, Esq.), Mr. W. H. Brooke, Mr. S. Rudge, Mr. R. Houghton, Mr. W. Wigginton, Mr. Waring, Mr. G. B. Lowe, Mr. Masefield, Mr. Walker, Mr. William Haden, jun., Mr. Minty, Mr. Laskey, Mr. Wainwright, Mr. E. Sanders, Mr. Denison, Mr. J. Cartwright, Mr. Clark, Mr. J. Renaud.

Mr. John Renaud moved that the Mayor should take the chair. [Pg 237](Hear).

The Mayor in doing so, said he was very glad to tell the gentlemen present that Mr. Smith, at the Priory, would be very happy “to fall in with whatever was done there.” In proceeding to open the business of the evening, the chairman said they were met to take steps towards getting up a treat of some kind or other so that the inhabitants of this town may remember the day on which the Princess Royal was married. He thought they ought to do something on this occasion, so that the event might be signalized and remembered by their children for some time to come. (Cheers). So far as regarded the poor in the Workhouse, he should have very great pleasure in affording them a treat himself. (Hear, hear). Mr. Clark had been suggesting that the children belonging to the various Sunday Schools should also have a treat. He should like to hear what he had to say upon the subject.

Mr. C. F. G. Clark, chemist, of High street, thought it only right that the young people and the inhabitants of Dudley generally should have an opportunity of participating in some kind of rejoicing on the occasion of the marriage of the Princess Royal. His Worship the Mayor had been kind enough to promise—as the highest recognized authority in this place—a treat to the poor in the Workhouse; and he (Mr. Clark) was of opinion that they could not do less than give a treat also to the Sunday School children of the parish. He would, therefore, at once propose that they should enter into a subscription that night, and communicate as soon as possible with the trustees and ministers of the schools to solicit their co-operation in giving the children a treat, and that they should award to each establishment a certain sum out of the funds (to be regulated by the number of scholars they had) for that purpose.

The proposition met with several objections. It was stated, in answer to questions, that a tea might be had for the children at fivepence per head, and that the total number of Sunday Scholars in Dudley was about two thousand. This being so, it was hinted that the subscription might not be large enough to pay these schools fivepence per scholar for a treat, and to meet this it was suggested that fivepence should be given, and any deficiency which might arise should be made up by the congregations at each place of worship.

A Gentleman in the meeting asked if the people of Netherton were to be included in the arrangements? He believed it was the general opinion that Netherton participated in anything of this sort with the people of Dudley.

The Mayor did not think that they could do anything with the Nethertonians. “Dudley proper,” he thought, was enough for them to deal with.

Mr. Clark said so far as own feelings were concerned in this matter, he should very much like to have seen an ox or two roasted and distributed amongst the poor in the neighbourhood, after a good old English fashion.

Mr. Renaud recommended the appointment of a deputation to confer with the school authorities as to the best mode of giving a [Pg 238]treat to the children. He had no doubt that the people belonging to the several places of worship would see to treating their own children, and that each would meet their own expenses in the event of a deficiency in the amount awarded them out of the public subscription.

Mr. Clark said if they were to give a treat at all, let them do it as it ought to be done. For his own part, he did not like the idea of proposing a treat and then calling upon other people to pay for it. He disapproved of the shabby generosity which wanted to give a tea to children, and, doubting whether they could do it or not, called upon the congregation to make up any deficiency. In such a case he (Mr. Clark) very much questioned whether the parties belonging to the churches and chapels would comply with, such a request. Some might: others might not. At any rate, they could do as they liked, and it would be left to each of them to act independently in the matter.

Mr. Renaud remarked that it was just that spirit of independence amongst the people which he wished to acknowledge.

Mr. Clark: Well, don’t let us do the thing in a spirit of niggardliness. If such a proposal is carried out, I think it will be very much like a sectarian treat.

Mr. Renaud: I wish to abolish that word “sectarian” in this matter. I don’t want us to have a sectarian, but a general treat.

The Mayor: Well, I think somebody had better move the appointment of a deputation to wait upon the ministers of the churches and chapels in the town upon the subject.

Mr. W. H. Brooke: I would suggest, Mr. Mayor, that, as a matter of order, you should first decide whether a committee of that sort is to be appointed. (Hear, hear.)

The Mayor: Just so. Will any gentleman move a resolution to that effect?

Mr. W. H. Brooke: I will move, if you please, then, “That the gentlemen present form themselves into a committee for the purpose of carrying out any arrangements that may be considered advisable for celebrating the marriage of the Princess Royal in Dudley.”

Mr. Houghton: And I second that motion.

The Mayor put the proposition to the vote, and it was carried.

Mr. Renaud: I will next move then, “That the said committee wait upon the ministers of each chapel and church in the town, to ascertain if they are willing to co-operate in giving a treat to the Sunday School children on Monday next, the 25th instant, in honour of the Princess Royal’s wedding, and to use the best means of carrying this into effect.”

Mr. E. Hollier: I will second that motion.

The Mayor put the proposition to the vote, and it was carried unanimously.

Mr. Minty inquired if the Castle guns were to be fired?

Mr. Renaud replied that the guns in the Castle yard were spiked, and could not be used. They did not want to have another earthquake. (Laughter.)

Mr. Clark moved that a public subscription should be entered into.

Mr. W. Wiggington suggested that the committee should report [Pg 239]to a meeting to be held the next night. This proposition was received.

The Mayor said he should propose that there be a dinner at Smith’s Hotel, on Monday, precisely at half-past three o’clock.

Mr. Waring, on behalf of the Garrick Club, one of whose performances is to take place next Monday evening, requested that the dinner should not interfere with that entertainment.

The Mayor promised that it should not.

Several gentlemen inquired what sort a dinner they should have.

Mr. Clark proposed they should have a half guinea dinner, and the suggestion was received.

Mr. Renaud reminded the meeting that they ought to do something for the poor in the neighbourhood. It was well to treat the inmates of the workhouse, but at the same time he could not lose sight of the fact that there were many, very many, poor people who were as badly, if not worse off than the poor in the workhouse, who ought to be treated also. (Hear, hear).

Mr. G. B. Lowe quite coincided with every word which had fallen from the lips of his friend Mr. Renaud. There were many very poor workpeople in the neighbourhood for whom a treat of some sort ought to be provided, and he should be very sorry indeed if they were remiss or neglectful in this part of their duty. Many of the labouring classes were out of work, and must have something to eat. If they could not get anything fairly they might depend upon it they would get it other ways. The people hereabout had behaved themselves very well lately during the great depression of trade, and they ought to have a treat by way of encouragement. For his (Mr. Lowe’s) own part, he had no idea of feasting himself up whilst other people were wanting, and would readily forego his half guinea dinner to provide something for people in poorer circumstances. (Cheers.)

The Mayor: I am sorry to say that I cannot agree to such a proposal. You see we are treating the workhouse people, and I think that will be as much as we can do.

Mr. Renaud said there were hundreds of people about the town who were quite as deserving of a treat as those in the workhouse.

The Mayor: There are hundreds walking about with their hands in their pockets. We pay enough, I think, in poor rates. I say it without ill nature, I have not much sympathy with the working classes in this neighbourhood, for it is very often the case that when they have work to do they won’t do it.

Mr. W. H. Brooke: I say that it would be a disgrace to the town if something is not done for the poor. That is my decided opinion.

Mr. Lowe: We shall lay ourselves open to public censure.

Mr. Renaud: The Dudley Workhouse is only calculated to contain 103 people.

The Mayor: Well, we pay poor rates enough. The subscription you see might not be so large as to enable us to do this.

Mr. Lowe: Well, I for one would rather pay my 10s. 6d. for a treat to the poor than for a dinner at the hotel for myself, and be aware at the same time that many of our poorer fellow creatures were suffering from poverty.

Mr. Clark: Oh! but I expect the Mayor is going to treat us with the dinner at the hotel?

[Pg 240]

The Mayor: I never promised anything of the sort.

Mr. Clark: Well, I fully expected you were going to pay for it, Mr. Mayor? (Roars of laughter.)

The Mayor: Oh, no, I never said that I should.

Considerable merriment ensued. Order having been restored,

Mr. Renaud renewed his proposal for a treat to the necessitous poor in the neighbourhood.

The Mayor again expressed his opinion that the funds would not permit of anything of the sort.

Mr. Waring, on behalf of the Garrick Club, very generously stepped forward and guaranteed a donation of £10 in aid of the object from that body.

Mr. Renaud said he would guarantee another £10 for the same purpose.

The Mayor intimated that the further consideration of the subject of giving a treat to the out-door poor had better be adjourned until the next meeting. This was agreed to.

The Mayor then resumed the discussion as to the providing of a dinner at the hotel, and it was agreed that a dinner should take place in Smith’s hotel, at three o’clock next Monday, to celebrate the marriage of the Princess Royal, and that the tickets for the same might be had at the bar of the hotel, price 10s. 6d.

The several gentlemen on the committee for waiting upon the ministers and managers of the different Sunday schools then had their duties apportioned to them, and the meeting was adjourned until seven o’clock on Tuesday evening, to be held either at the Hotel or at the Old Town Hall, when the report of the same was to be received.


of the inhabitants of this Borough, for the purpose of taking further steps towards perfecting the arrangements for celebrating the marriage of the Princess Royal, was held in the Old Town Hall, on Tuesday evening, in accordance with a resolution passed at the first meeting on Monday. Owing to a misunderstanding, two or three people met at the hotel where the meeting was first held, and others at the Town Hall, where it was known by many that the next gathering would take place. The second meeting, like the first, was very thinly attended, and the loyalty of the inhabitants seemed to be at a very low ebb. The Mayor, John Beddard, Esq., intimated on the previous evening that other engagements would prevent him being present to-night; in his absence, therefore, the High Bailiff, Elliott Hollier, Esq., was called to the chair. The number of people in attendance was 23, the majority consisting of gentlemen who had attended on the first night. Amongst the fresh people were the Rev. John Davies, Dr. Davison, Mr. Z. P. Smith, and the Rev. Thomas Mills.

The meeting was to have commenced at seven o’clock, business, however, did not begin until about a quarter to eight.

[Pg 241]

The High Bailiff, in opening the proceedings, said he was extremely sorry to see so few of his fellow townsmen present on an occasion like this. He read over the Mayor’s notice convening the first meeting, and then in order read over the minutes of the same. As one of the committee appointed to wait upon some of the school authorities, Mr. Hollier stated the result of the same to the meeting, and finished by calling upon other of his two brother committee-men to report their success.

Several gentlemen then laid before the meeting, at considerable length, the result of their interviews with parties connected with the different schools in the place, upon the subject of giving a treat to the scholars next Monday, and the best mode of paying for it. In some instances the scholars had recently been treated or were going to be, and whilst some societies could afford to treat, others feared they could do but little, and would have to be indebted to the fund very much. A desultory discussion ensued upon the subject, in the course of which it was stated that the total number of the scholars to be treated in all probability would be 4,000—(double the number supposed at the meeting last night)—and the cost of treating that number to tea, reckoning at sixpence per head, would require a fund amounting to £100. Doubts were expressed as to the realisation of this sum, and it was suggested that each school should see to giving a treat of its own.

Mr. C. F. G. Clark remarked upon this that it would just be giving no treat at all. He understood that the object of the meetings upon this subject was to take into consideration the best means to be adopted for making a public demonstration on Monday next, in honour of the Princess Royal’s wedding. Now if each school, or each religious denomination in the town, was left to do as it liked in the matter—to give a treat or not—where was the public demonstration in the matter? There would be none at all. The demonstration, or what they might call it, would be, as he said before, quite of a sectarian character. He would suggest that a public subscription should be raised, and that whatever amount might be realised, should be equally distributed amongst the schools. (Hear, hear). He (Mr. Clark) should be very glad to co-operate with his respected pastor (Mr. Davies) in collecting subscriptions for a treat for St. Edmund’s school. He knew they would have a treat, and a good one too, let the other places have one or not. He was also still of opinion that something ought to be done for the able poor of the parish out of the Workhouse. (Hear, hear). He did not like the idea of giving a treat to the children and then requiring the congregations of the places of worship to pay for it. There must be a public subscription, and the treats should be paid for out of it. It would be very unfair if he (Mr. Clark) for instance, was to go round and solicit subscriptions in St. Edmund’s district to pay deficiencies which might arise in other places after the people of that neighbourhood had paid for a treat for their own school children. He (Mr. Clark) did want to see a liberal demonstration, he did not like to see a contracted one. He thought Dudley could [Pg 242]give a liberal demonstration. It was a queer thing if it could not. Look at the neighbouring towns and let them notice what they were doing in Wolverhampton and Birmingham, and even Lichfield, small a place as it was. And here was Dudley which was considered the centre of the iron district, and what was it going to do? People always said that there was plenty of money in Dudley—that it was a wealthy place; and, if so, it ought, he thought, on this occasion, to show its loyalty.

Mr. Wigginton enquired if anything was to be done for the Blue-coat School and other Charities. Were they to have any demonstration at all?

Mr. Clark replied, according to the present proposal none at all.

The Rev. J. Davies: Would that follow?

Mr. Wigginton: It must follow.

The Rev. J. Davies: I quite agree with Mr. Clark’s observations. If each denomination takes the management of its own school there can be no public demonstration. I suppose that there are some schools who could not afford to give a treat?

Mr. Renaud: There are.

Rev. J. Davies: How can we best arrange the matter then?

Mr. Clark: By a public subscription to be divided amongst them.

After a desultory discussion,

Mr. Clark proceeded to move “That a general subscription be entered into by the inhabitants of Dudley to raise a fund for the purpose of affording an entertainment for the children of the schools connected with the several churches and chapels in this town next Monday, in honour of the marriage of the Princess Royal.”

The Rev. J. Davies seconded the proposition with pleasure.

It was also agreed that any surplus should be devoted towards providing something in the shape of a treat for the necessitous poor in the town.

It was finally resolved that the meeting should be further adjourned until Friday evening, when the canvassers to the fund should attend and report progress.


At a PUBLIC MEETING of the Inhabitants of Dudley, held by invitation of the Mayor, on Tuesday last, it was resolved, that a General Subscription should be made in order to form a fund to provide an entertainment for the children attending the SUNDAY AND DAY SCHOOLS of the town; the amount subscribed to be apportioned to each school according to the number of scholars; the surplus, if any, to be applied on behalf of the aged and necessitous poor. The earnest co-operation of the Clergymen, Ministers, and others, having the charge of the schools, is respectfully solicited, as well as their attendance at an adjourned Public Meeting, to be held at the OLD TOWN HALL, on FRIDAY Evening next, the 22nd inst., at 7 o’clock, when the report of the amount of subscriptions will be received.

A PUBLIC DINNER will also take place at the HOTEL, [Pg 243]on MONDAY next, the 25th inst., in commemoration of the above event. Tickets, including wine, 10s. 6d. each. Gentlemen intending to be present are desired to signify such intention to Mrs. Smith, at the bar of the Hotel, not later than Friday next. Dinner on the table at Three o’clock.


J. BEDDARD, Mayor.

Old Town Hall, Jan. 19th, 1858.


To the Editor of the Dudley Express.

Sir,—How is it the Committee of the forthcoming Masonic Ball should have so lacked “foresight” as to have lost all idea of the marriage of the Princess Royal? Here is a “fact” well known for months, and here is a Ball for “charitable purposes,” got up within a few weeks, and fixed to take place FOUR days, before the great event named. Would you not suppose, Sir, that common sense would have dictated, at once, the proper day for the holding this annual affair? Would you not have thought it a glorious opportunity to blend the two objects, and by so blending, to secure a very large attendance of visitors, and a great increase to the funds hoped to be obtained by the Committee for the charities of the town?

If the common sense of the Committee could not have suggested this course, it would have been as well if they had drafted into their councils one or two men of


Dudley, Jan. 14, 1858.

P.S.—I have seen an advertisement of this Ball in a “Birmingham” paper, but, though it is a “Dudley” Ball, got up by “Dudley” men, and for the Charities of “Dudley,” I have looked in vain for an advertisement of it in any one of the three “Dudley” papers. Can you tell a wondering reader (though of un-common sense) why this is, for un-common sense is unable to solve the mystery.


To the Editor of the Dudley Express.

Sir,—A letter in your last week’s “Open Platform” contains some crude remarks on the proceedings of the Dudley Masonic Ball Committee, written to show that its want of foresight “Omitted the glorious opportunity to blend two objects together”—viz., “The Princess Royal’s Marriage with the Masonic Ball.”

[Pg 244]

As Chairman of the Ball Committee, sir, I beg to inform your anonymous scribbler, that the propriety of holding the Masonic Ball on the evening of the Royal Marriage received the due consideration of the Ball Committee at its earliest sittings, and had your “Uncommon Sense” correspondent possessed the same amount of “foresight,” good feeling, and gentlemanly intention evinced by another writer in your columns, signed J. H. M., he would not have so foolishly rushed into print, but would have anticipated with the Ball Committee that the proper officials of Dudley would, ere now, have suggested such a mark of public demonstration of loyalty on that joyous occasion as to leave no room for complaint by any of your correspondents on that particular head. Under these impressions, the Masonic Ball Committee avoided the possibility of clashing with other hoped-for demonstrations in the town; so that the 21st was deemed the most appropriate day for holding this time-honoured and benevolent assembly.

As to the propriety of “drafting one or two men of uncommon sense” into the councils of the Ball Committee, I should first be glad to know whether the animus and diction of “Uncommon Sense” were to be taken as a specimen of his fitness to sit on that committee, and as an evidence of his capability of discerning approaching events with prophetic eyes? If so, I opine that, as his present qualifications do not appear to be up to the mark, his presence must be respectfully declined.

Touching the non-appearance of any advertisement of the ball in the Dudley newspapers, I can assure you that such an omission was far from being made with an intention of disrespect to the worthy efforts of the Dudley press to enlighten the horizon of this darkened locality. And when I inform you that the Masonic Ball Committee, for some years past, has deemed it advisable to bring the notices of the ball immediately into the presence of every respectable family in this locality by circular, it will at once suggest the inutility, in some degree, of expending so much of its funds in public advertisements. As the peculiar objects of this ball ever have been to render as much seasonable assistance to the indigent as possible, it becomes imperative upon its promoters to avoid that spirit of over-doing things which the present age unfortunately seems to foster.

By kindly admitting this letter to your “Open Platform,” you will oblige,

Your obedient servant,


Chairman of the Masonic Ball Committee.

Dudley, January 19th, 1858.

This Easter, we had another parish election of the Board of Guardians. No description of Guardians seemed to satisfy the whims and fancies of the “Irreconcilables,” so there was no way of squaring the captious ideas of some large ratepayers but having a friendly fight for it, with the usual attendant compliments to and about one another.


[Pg 245]

Brother Ratepayers,

Monopoly has passed away—The death fang of ignorance, political and social oppression, has been broken in the Abortive Doings of the Past; and the sunbeam of enlightenment and knowledge is once more permitted to dawn upon the horizon of Dudley’s political and social degradation.


The tocsin of opposition has been sounded loud and clear in the corners of our streets, and the hand of Liberty is once more held out to uphold and maintain your expiring rights! Will you once more embrace it, or again allow it to be shrivelled up in the unholy flame of party purposes, cupidity, and self-interest? Shake off, then, the torpid inaction of the past, and awaken the dormant energies for the opening future. Reflect upon the two last years of Guardian Mismanagement,—Guardian Intolerance,—Guardian Ignorance,—Guardian Cupidity,—and Guardian Retrogression,—principles that have invariably marked the proceedings of the present Board, during this humiliating period; and ask yourselves whether these are the persons who shall constantly rule over you?

Fellow Ratepayers! Are you still determined to be gagged by decrepid imbecility, and non-age, arrogance, and vanity? Are you willing that your expiring social and parochial privileges shall be immolated upon the altar of a bigotted and unprogressive Board Conclave? Do you think and feel that the present Board represents the wishes of the ratepayers, and are the proper persons to spend your hard earned money, take charge of your aged Poor, and bring up and nurture, in the paths of frugality and prudence, our rising generation?

Reflect upon these questions, before you give your vote; for, if the Past is to be taken as an answer to these plain facts, the reply must be, NO!!

Act, then, like Englishmen, and remove all obsequious toadies from the stool of office, exercise the vote, which the law and reason has placed in your hands, with honesty and justice; and spurn from your presence, as you would a viper, those dastardly serfs who try to take away your birthright when attempting to fill up your voting papers, or tamper with your freedom of thought and action. Put the old tried friends of just economy, truth and consistency, into their proper places, and Vote for

These Gentlemen have before watched over your interests, and are now ready to assist you again to proclaim and sustain your social privileges.


Dudley, March 29th, 1858.



Four important Questions for Discussion.

1—Which are the most Prudent?

2—Which are the most Politic?

3—Which are the most Philosophic? And

4—Which are the Wisest?

The Miners on the West of Dudley who are in Work, or, the Miners on the East who are out on Strike?




Worley’s Defalcations.

The adjourned meeting to receive the report of the committee, with the opinion of counsel, will be held in the Old Town Hall, on Wednesday Evening next, the 31st March, 1858, at half-past Seven o’clock p.m. precisely.


J. BEDDARD, Mayor.

March 29th, 1858.


Brother Ratepayers,

“Hard Times” came a little too early, and has proposed names of parties to you who have resigned! If that is his way of doing business—jumping so hastily to conclusions, and reckoning upon his chickens before they are hatched—it augurs badly for the list he has proposed to you.

Brother Ratepayers, put your shoulders to the wheel, and get [Pg 247]rid of “Hard Times” and some of his lot, as speedily as possible. Depend upon it “Hard Times,” is by no means a safe or congenial companion. Choose men who have stuck to your interests when the “times” have indeed been “hard,” men who have fought for your welfare, and ever had in view the interests of those small ratepayers who are not at all represented in the present Board, but who must and shall be represented in future. Great Ratepayers can take care of themselves—and the great ratepayers only were represented in the old Board. You, therefore, that are sneeringly called by certain gentlemen “small” ratepayers, and whose interests are thought to be nothing, take care and see that in the present contest your interests are not overlooked. Prove to these dogmatic, would-be despotic individuals that “small” as are your interests individually, yet that when united you can break down the opposition of such men; and as you have before accomplished your own object, and gained freedom of representation in Parliament, so now prove to the world that you can be fairly represented in the humbler Board-room of your Poor House.

Brother Ratepayers, look to your interests! Be not deceived! Choose your men by those principles of Independence which they have not only avowed but always endeavoured to carry out.


Edw. Grainger,

Thos. Griffiths,

G. B. Lowe,

W. C. Wood,

W. Wigginton,

J. Whitehouse,

W. Cooper,

W. Harrison,

Edw. Wood,

W. Washington.

These are tried men, and although some of them have not had a seat at your Board, place them there triumphantly. Let not “large” men fill up your Voting papers, or allow them to sell the interests of


Dudley, March 31st, 1858.


Brother Ratepayers,

Be not deceived: a new and specious enemy, with a very apparently humble name, “The Small Ratepayer,” has recommended you a List of Guardians, for whom decency must blush and virtue must tremble.

Fellow Ratepayers, enquire for yourselves, and you will be easily able to unmask this Small Ratepayer and find him an enemy to morality, and a promoter of Mormonism in its most disastrous and hideous form. He blushes not to recommend for Guardians, men whose lives are not regulated by the paths of virtue and morality, but tainted with noon-day adultery and heartless debauchery.

RATEPAYERS, AWAKEN! Let not naked Adultery stalk [Pg 248]through our streets, unabashed, without manifesting your manly disgust at the audacity of the attempt to seat men of vice upon the same benches with men of honour and integrity at that Board, whose most painful duty too often is to admonish the unfortunate daughters of sin for burdening our parish with the results of such vice, from which their judges should be free and unpolluted.

We grieve for the honourable names that have been made to stand godfather for the vicious and intolerant aspirants, dictated by the organ of a dangerous, maligning local newspaper. But we know that there is enough regard for virtue and morality in the Ratepayers of Dudley to discriminate betwixt the evil and the good men; and we again call upon you to exercise your votes with care, honesty, and justice. The Times are Hard, indeed, when the town is subjected to such daring insults.

Resent it like men, by Voting for

Richard Smith,

Jno. Renaud,

Thos. Griffiths,

Jno. Whitehouse,

E. Hollier,

Ed. Fisher Smith,

W. C. Wood,

Jos. Guest,

M. Dennison,

Robt. Houghton.

All of whom have pledged themselves to stand.


Dudley, April 3rd, 1858.


Ratepayers of Dudley,

Be proud of your country! Local Self-Government is a privilege peculiar to Englishmen. This day you are called upon to select for the coming year the Guardians of your Poor.

Do not neglect to Vote! Do not Vote at random! Do not let others Vote for you!!! Vote for the Men who will be kind to the Poor, and at the same time careful of the pockets of their constituents.

“Observer,” in a long rigmarole about nothing, has proposed a list of the whole of the members of the old Board for re-election. It is well known that many of these have proved themselves incompetent for their office, and that others have rendered themselves obnoxious to the Inhabitants of the Town. The weekly expenses of Out-Door Relief have Increased during the whole year of the present Board!

Shew your Independence and Reject that List!

“Hard Times,” in a bombastic and senseless address, has submitted a list of names of Gentlemen, many of whom are unquestionably as amiable in their private character, as they would prove themselves utterly incompetent for the office of Guardian of the Poor.

Shew your Discretion and Reject THAT List!

One of “The Small Ratepayers” has selected another list of new, and altogether untried men. You do not want to turn out indiscriminately all the members of the old Board. You only want to get rid of the obnoxious and incompetent ones!

Shew your Independence, your Discretion, and your good Common-Sense, by Rejecting that List, and Vote only for

[Pg 249]

Please to remember that Ten Names only can be selected. Write your Initials on the Voting Paper opposite the Ten here enumerated, and see at the next election if you have not reason to feel obliged to


Dudley, April 5th, 1858.



I have received several communications to the effect that a Mr. Locock is, or has been, by himself and his agents, canvassing you with a view to displace me in the event of a dissolution of Parliament. Now I beg to say that, if this be true, the circumstance of a man soliciting your suffrages behind my back, without any notice to me or my supporters, without publishing any address to the Electors, or in a word, without adopting any of the usual proceedings of fair play, is a sufficient indication of your would-be representative. On first hearing this intelligence, I gave no attention whatever to the circumstance, feeling convinced that men who know so well how to stand up like Englishmen in a fair political fight, were not likely to listen to the whisperings of a person who thus stealthily presented himself to their notice.

I can no longer, however, remain silent, when I find that these persons are circulating statements with reference to me and my intentions, which are utterly false and unfounded. One of these statements is to the effect that I have announced (of course confidentially) that it is not my intention to offer myself again for the representation of Dudley. This I need hardly tell you is a wicked invention of the stealthy candidate or his agent. I therefore hasten to place you on your guard against, what our friend Louis Napoleon would call “false intelligence,” for you may be assured that it is in your hands alone I shall place my resignation, in the same open and straightforward manner in which I trust I have always met you, when the time for such a proceeding arrives.

Should the present crisis terminate in a dissolution I shall lose no time in committing my political interests to the care of those friends to whom I am indebted for the honor of representing your Borough, and whose confidence I am not conscious of having in any way either betrayed or forfeited.

[Pg 250]

I have the honour to be, Gentlemen, yours faithfully,


House of Commons, May 15th, 1858.


June 15th, 1858. Her Majesty the Queen this day opened the “People’s Park,” at Aston, a suburb of Birmingham. This being the first time a monarch had visited, in state, the Radical town of Birmingham, the good people of that busy town received their Queen in a right royal style. The Corporation, however, having a strong plebeian tendency, was much stirred within its Radical proclivities, as to how far it could sustain the cordiality and loyalty to the Sovereign, befitting her exalted station, without losing the smiles of its elective body. It meant one thing to shout “God Save the Queen,” and another thing to say “God preserve the People.” However, the procession was most imposing to the plebeian idea, and everything passed off very creditably, for the “Rough Brums” have stout, but tender hearts, and they were determined not to be behind other towns in shewing their loyalty to the Throne. It was said that the Queen was highly pleased with the reception accorded to her, and she did not forget to confer the handsome dignity of knighthood on the then Liberal Mayor of Birmingham, Mr. John Ratcliffe, who rose from his knees as the first belted knight of Birmingham. This gracious and courtly act was the source of much kindly feeling in the town, for the constant presence of “Sir John” in their daily walks helped to remind the liege burgesses of a most virtuous and gracious Queen, and the exaltation of their chief citizen to honour and dignity on a most memorable occasion.

June 26th, 1858. One hundred and fifty pounds was just now expended in cleaning, adorning and beautifying St. Edmund’s Church. This sum was raised by subscription amongst the congregation.

Died, July 1st, 1858, Mrs. W. C. Wood, High Street, very suddenly. Aged 58 years.


To the Editor of the Daily Post.

Sir,—The omission at this Midsummer vacation of the usual distribution of prizes to the boys, and the circular issued by the head master (the Rev. R. Harper,) announcing a very important alteration from the hitherto practised mode of rewarding the industry and stimulating the energy of the lads in this public school, cannot fail to have awakened the minds of the parents and public in this town and neighbourhood, as to the reasons which have induced the trustees of the Prize Fund to alter their mode of action in this particular department of the school scheme.

[Pg 251]

It is stated, Sir, and generally understood, that a certain sum of money was left by the founder of this excellent school, to be appropriated periodically for the reward of deserving scholars; and that from time immemorial these rewards have been represented by suitable historical and scientific books, adapted to the attainments of the fortunate recipients. But at the present time we find that one gold medal and two silver medals are for the future to be substituted for the former valuable book prizes, thus at once narrowing the chances of the deserving junior boys from ever obtaining a prize, and fixing the amount of scholastic knowledge at such a classical elevation as is not reasonable to expect that boys who usually attend country Grammar Schools are ever likely to remain long enough to obtain.

It may suit, Mr. Editor, the unadorned ambition of plebeian thought to fancy its creative genius can raise up a Moloch of tinselled gold and burnished silver to be the absorbing deity of juvenile innocency, and the great object henceforth striven for; but while the eye is fascinated with this new-born idea, knowledge—that incalculable element of the present day, intended to be conveyed in all schools—is thus kept back from the enquiring mind, and the immortal writings of such authors as Milton, Mills, Bickersteth, Macaulay, Alison, Hume, Davy, Strickland, and Longfellow, are henceforth to be shelved in the bookseller’s store-room, to gratify the maudlin fancy of some ill-digested mental conception, or afford us an opportunity of witnessing another concession to neighbouring exploded theories. The “breaking-up day” of the schoolboy frequently operates upon the action of the after-man; for the modest consciousness of carrying off the prize in his own class before the eager eyes of his aspiring competitors, creates a most beneficial effect upon the younger branches of the school, for whilst it recognises the Reward of Merit at all ages to the good, it stimulates the ambition and energy of the aspiring, and publicly condemns the conduct of the indolent and disobedient boy. The dissatisfaction already produced amongst the lads, by keeping from them, this Midsummer, their dearly cherished prizes, and the evil to be anticipated from the intended practice of giving only three prizes, (and that to senior boys), when hitherto at least a dozen junior boys have been the grateful recipients of useful books, are reasons calculated to produce much mischief amongst the minds of the industrious boys, besides arousing a feeling of distrust and suspicion amongst the parents and the public, as to the objects intended to be gained by such a movement. If it is good and advisable to reward the senior classes, surely it is just and right to encourage the junior classes also. This intrusion amongst your correspondence will oblige your obedient servant.


Dudley, June 22nd, 1858.

To the Editor of the Daily Post.

Sir,—I should not under any circumstances reply to an anonymous correspondent, but for the sake of the inhabitants of Dudley, and of the parents of pupils in my school, I am anxious to state what I know in respect of this prize fund. This fund was collected chiefly through the instrumentality of my predecessor, Dr. Thompson, about seven years ago. It has for some years been suggested that a gold or silver medal would be a better mode of giving these prizes than any other, and more in accordance with the wishes of the original subscribers of the fund. The chief reason that the present time was decided upon for the change was a hope that a gold medal given under the conditions imposed, would furnish the school with at least one pupil yearly, who might be able successfully[Pg 252] to pass the examinations which are now instituted by the two Universities of Oxford and Cambridge for the benefit of the middle classes. It is not intended to award all the medals to the higher forms, and there is nothing in my circular which could lead to such a conclusion. The gold medal will be the only one so appropriated, whilst it is intended to give the other medals to the best boys of the lower forms of the school. You will also observe, from the circular which I enclose, that only in the case of the gold medal are the subjects for examination strictly defined; and I cannot conceive that the amount of scholarship required for such a prize is too extensive, or more than might fairly be expected from a well educated lad of 16 years of age in any Grammar School. In fact there was a desire rather to limit the subjects than to extend them, as it was thought that a few subjects well taught would be a better training for the middle class examinations than a superficial knowledge of a larger number. It ought to be recollected that the prizes of books awarded in this school at Christmas will not be affected in any degree by the new arrangements with respect to the prize fund.

No one can regret more than I do the circumstance that the boys are deprived this Midsummer of their usual prizes; but, owing to the expense of the dies for the medals, this was unavoidable.

I am, Sir, yours, &c.,


Head Master of the Dudley Grammar School.

Grammar School, Dudley, June 23rd, 1858.


To the Editor of the Daily Post.

Sir,—I am sure that the inhabitants of Dudley will duly appreciate the prompt and straightforward manner in which (Mr. Harper) the head master of the Dudley Grammar School has replied to my letter of Monday last, respecting the omission [Pg 253]of awarding prizes to the boys this midsummer; but, whilst I fully agree with him that the reception by a boy of a gold medal at his hands may be looked upon as a presumed assumption that the holder will be able successfully to pass the examinations which are now instituted at Oxford and Cambridge for the middle classes, yet I maintain that hundreds of boys will pass that elevated mental examination without being the gold medallist of their school; besides the fact that any youth is eligible for that ordeal, whether he has been educated at a public school or merely received private tuition; neither do I still see any valid reasons why a dozen excellent book prizes should be withdrawn from the junior classes at that school to be the means of elevating the classical and scholastic standing of one or two youths, probably much better fitted, both by position and capacity, to battle with the difficulties and mental toils attendant upon the earlier training of youth.

As an ardent promoter of education, sir, I rejoice with others to see that the great, nay, almost once irreproachable, Universities have at last opened their hoary portals to that class of society for whose benefit and interest those seats of learning were originally instituted; but I cannot but feel that there is great danger in store for the lads of any independent grammar school lurking under this expanded mental promotion offered by the Universities, of the chances of the master devoting an overdue attention to the senior classes, with the view of coaching them up to the required altitude, at the risk of neglecting the important ground-work of tuition indispensably required by the junior classes. Apart from this temptation to elevate the fame of a school at the risk of damaging its productive qualities, a paralysing effect is sure to be produced upon the younger boys, when they feel and know that years of mental toil have yet to be gone through ere a prize is likely to be won, or an encouraging smile awarded by the dreaded Dominies.

It is very gratifying to find that the Head Master of this school is so truly anxious for the welfare of this important institution; and as an inhabitant of this town, having children to educate at that school, I would respectfully claim with him my share of anxiety for its continued usefulness, and onward progress. But institutions, Sir, like the Dudley Grammar School, were never, in my opinion, intended to be the grinding schools for the aspirants for classical honours; neither am I persuaded that the class of parents who usually send their sons to that school will, as a rule, be disposed to keep them there up to a period of youth (16 years,) with the idea of bettering their commercial position by becoming an associate of one of our Universities.

Rugby, Shrewsbury, Birmingham, and the like, are the public schools that will most benefit by this recent relaxation; but the ordinary Grammar Schools of this period are not required to promote boys (not students) to a comprehensive knowledge of Latin authors, algebraic lore, and mathematical expositions, attainments which do not come within the scope of the class intended to be benefited by such institutions, for [Pg 254]it is too often the case that a superficial exterior is made to suffice for an empty ground-work; and I fully concur with the Rev. Master, “that a few subjects well taught would be a better training for the middle classes than a superficial knowledge of a larger number of subjects.”

Having reasons to suppose that the Head Master has had very little to do with this important alteration, I trust, for the welfare of both boys and the town, that he will use his professional and scholastic influence to induce the trustees of the Prize Fund to rescind their resolution of awarding medals instead of books, believing that a persistence in this unwise step will not only alter the acknowledged character of the school, by producing a pecuniary loss to the funds of the same, but inflict an uncalled for injustice upon the minds of parents in this neighbourhood, who have an undoubted right to the best-devised advantages that can be derived from that heirloom of knowledge handed down to us for the last two centuries.

If, Sir, an annual gold medal prize can be of any use in elevating the ancient renown of this Grammar School, pray let the trustees appeal periodically to the parents of the boys attending the school for the funds for that specific object, and rely upon the well-known generosity of a Dudley public; rather than inflict an ungracious discouragement upon the junior classes of the school.


Dudley, June 25th, 1858.

September 14th, 1858. The Provincial Grand Lodge of Freemasons of Worcestershire was held in Dudley this day, but, contrary to usual custom, there was no walking in procession or prayer sayings at Church, but nevertheless the usual dinner was celebrated with due solemnity at the Hotel. “So mote it be.”

September, 1858, we had a very miserable and unwise “strike” for an advance of wages amongst the “colliers” in this district, which extended to a period of sixteen weeks; adding great deprivations and distress to that already existing through the bad state of trade in the neighbourhood. The stoppage of the usual daily supply of coal to furnaces and mill forges, &c., became a source of serious inconvenience to the completion of contracts in manufactured iron; and had not a limited supply of coal been obtained from Wales and Leicestershire, the iron trade would have been suspended also; fortunately, this additional evil was averted, and although we had to pay an increased price for our coals, yet a sufficient supply was secured to keep the works in motion. The misguided colliers were compelled from sheer want to give in at last, and resumed their labour at a reduction of one shilling a day in their wages.


To the Editor of the Dudley Times and Express.

Sir,—Your many readers will recollect that (at Midsummer, 1857) Dudley was the scene of much rejoicing and loyal demonstration, on the event of the Sebastopol Guns being drawn into the Castle Court Yard, amid the din of drums and flourish of trumpets.

On that joyous occasion, loud and lofty promises were made, and official dignity was pledged to make some decent arrangement for fixing those famous trophies on a suitable basis; but alas, Mr. Editor, the promises of public men are often short lived; for fifteen eventful months have passed over our heads, and the famous Sebastopol guns are still all alone in their dirt and ignominious glory, silent evidences of broken pledges and lukewarm loyalty, giving us another proof of the truth of the oft[Pg 255] repeated remark, “that Dudley is always behind her neighbours in everything but a feed.”

It cannot fail to be grievous to the mind of a Dudley man to visit either Lichfield, Bridgnorth, or Kidderminster, and see there Sebastopol guns properly fixed on some prominent locality: and yet know and feel that the Dudley guns were doomed to sink into the limestone caverns beneath them, unless some friendly hand speedily removes them from their present unsightly position.

The worthy Mayors of Dudley, sir, have each in their time of office done something to immortalise their mayorality in the annals of historic lore; and here we have a charming opportunity for our present high functionary to add his name to the list of past dignitaries, by inaugurating these Russian trophies in a manner suited to the condition and importance of the town. It is said that £50 will mount them in a proper manner, and surely the dignity of that important office will not have been obtained at too high a bidding, if its possession were acknowledged by such a public act of grace and liberality.

Their present position cannot but be admitted by all parties to be very different from that entertained for them by Lord Panmure at their presentation, for they now stand as objects of shame and disgrace to the town and inhabitants, but unless the proper officials of the town are willing to look to such public matters (pertaining as they do to their tenure of office), pray, sir, who can be expected to take the initiative?

Trusting that these few remarks may awaken the public attention to this subject,

I am, yours respectfully,


Dudley, October 5th, 1858.

Died, October 10th, 1858, Miss Badley, eldest daughter of John Badley, Esq., Surgeon of this town, a truly benevolent and kind hearted lady, aged 46 years.

Died, October 15th, 1858, Mr. Hartill Dudley, Nail Master, Dudley, aged 79 years.

October 29th, 1858, at the Court Leet annual meeting, held this day, [Pg 256]Mr. Elliott Hollier, Chemist and Druggist, was elected Mayor, and Mr. Theophilus Tinsley, Nail Master, the High Bailiff. This election was the subject of much comment in the town; inasmuch as the office of Mayor, had been annually conferred upon gentlemen, vegetating amongst the upper phases of our local society. Besides this, the old Tory exclusiveness had been assailed by the Liberals on this occasion, and a townsman had been elected to the important office, who had got the brains and ability to conduct our public business in the manner which was creditable to the town. The election of poor Mr. Tinsley proved to be a very unfortunate one in the long run.

November 8th, 1858. Died, Mrs. Alice Bogle, Bookseller, Wolverhampton Street, widow. Mrs. Bogle was universally respected for her gentleness and suavity; she had the distinguished honour of once being elected Churchwarden for the parish. Aged 53 years.


To the Editor of the Dudley Times and Express.

Sir,—It will be in the recollection of the gentlemen who attended the late Court Leet dinner in Dudley, that amongst a variety of anticipated improvements and amendments that were required for the social, moral, and architectural advancement of our good old town of Dudley, “that another public effort should be made to get rid of that unneccessary building, the Old Town Hall.” Now, sir, we have great veneration for the doings of the past, and believe that our forefathers meant well in all their undertakings; but when that building was erected more than one hundred years ago, standing as the “head and front” of two narrow streets called Queen street and High street, it necessarily made a finish to that angle of the block of buildings then existing, known as the “Middle Row,” and was not an inappropriate object from the “Over Church.”

But our grand-dads are gone to their rest, and peace be with them, and the times are changed, also, sir; for their scions, feeling the rapid advance made in trade, commerce, civilisation, and sanitary improvements, have long since deemed the “Middle Row” an encumberer of the ground, have demolished its once ancient visage, and secured to us our fine open Market Place (save the neck end of it) as a suitable spot in which the people may congregate, and the trader expose for sale his wares.

The noble owner of the Old Town Hall (Lord Ward) would appear to have anticipated long ago the removal of that building, from the fact that, with his Lordship’s accustomed liberality, he erected at his own cost the New Town Hall, for Magisterial and other public purposes required by this important town. Surely, then, its removal need not now be considered as an act of sacrilege to the feelings of even the oldest inhabitants; for the Board of Guardians will shortly quit its hoary portals for their new and more suitable Board room at the New Union Workhouse.

Irrespective of these reasons, sir, its acknowledged nuisance [Pg 257]as a public urinal, its shameful use as a hiding place for juvenile obscenity and adult immorality, and its general inutility, demand at the hands of public morality its speedy removal. Let, then, our newly elected, energetic Mayor inaugurate his year of office by instituting some mode of acting by which public opinion may be brought to bear upon this local nuisance; and whilst the Old Town Hall removal question is brought to the bar of public investigation, let it not be forgotten that the Russian guns, (those emblems of our sanguinary strife with the Great Power of the North), are still unmounted, uncared for, and left “all alone in their fallen glory.”

The Russian gun-mountings in neighbouring towns point with the finger of shame to the prolonged lukewarmness with which Dudley has followed up the lofty demonstrations exhibited when those guns were publicly escorted into the Castle Court Yard, amid the din of arms and the enthusiastic plaudits of the people. If there is some doubt as to whether these trophies can be publicly mounted in the Castle grounds, pray let that doubt be dissipated at once, by the proper authorities initiating the necessary steps to obtain a subscription, and then petition the Lord of the Manor for permission to mount the guns in a handsome style in the centre of the Market Place, at once an object worthy of the site, and as a lasting memento of our national sympathy for the oppressed and heroic.

Were there no sons of Dudley, or the neighbourhood, sir, who fell gloriously battling for the cause of liberty and the rights of nations in that memorable campaign, whose names might not with great justice be appropriately handed down to our children’s children, as objects for their especial regard, and subjects for our local pride and approbation?

Trusting that these matters may not be allowed to slumber on in their present unsatisfactory condition, and craving a space amongst your list of correspondents,

I am, your obedient servant,


Dudley, Nov. 24th, 1858.

1858. The New Town Hall was built about this time by Lord Ward, to secure the necessary Magisterial accommodation for the administration of justice for the Borough, arising from the demolition of the Old Town Hall, situate in the Market Place. On November 18th, 1870, the Corporation bought the New Town Hall for the sum of £2500, and utilised it in such a judicious way as to make the Police force arrangements most complete.

THE MAYOR begs to apprize his fellow-townsmen that the remains of their formerly much respected Member, THOMAS HAWKES, Esq., will be conveyed through the Town for INTERMENT AT HIMLEY, on FRIDAY Morning next, and, as he thinks it may be desirable that some mark of respect should be shewn towards his memory by the PARTIAL CLOSING of their respective Establishments on the Morning of that day, he will be happy to meet those who accord with this desire at the OLD TOWN HALL, on THURSDAY Evening [Pg 258]next, at SEVEN o’clock, to arrange accordingly.


E. HOLLIER, Mayor.

Dudley, Wednesday, December 8th, 1858.

This request of the Mayor was very generally observed on this melancholy occasion, for Mr. Hawkes was very much esteemed by a large circle of friends, and his early death and many (both political and commercial) misfortunes had always awakened great sympathy for him; for in his early days he had been a large and liberal employer of a lucrative labour in this town in the glass trade.


In compliance with a communication from J. RENAUD, Esq., Treasurer, I respectfully invite the attendance of the Subscribers to the above Fund at the OLD TOWN HALL, this TUESDAY Evening, the 21st instant, at 7 o’clock, to decide upon the appropriation of the Money left in the Bank, in accordance with a resolution of their former meeting.

E. HOLLIER, Mayor.

£810 collected for this fund.

Dudley, December 21st, 1858.


PARISHIONERS interested in the complete RESTORATION of the PARISH CHURCH are respectfully requested to meet the VICAR and WARDENS on FRIDAY next, at Twelve o’clock, in the Vestry, in order to Nominate a Committee to see the above work properly carried out.




} Churchwardens.

Died, December 24th, 1858, Mr. Benjamin Dudley, Silk Mercer, High Street. Mr. Dudley was descended from a very ancient Dudley family, and he was very much esteemed for his honourable and strictly conscientious principles. He was a most zealous supporter of the Church, and had not a loving liking for the Romanists. Aged 78 years.

A very numerously attended public meeting was held on December 29th, 1858, under the presidency of Elliott Hollier, Esq., Mayor, to take into consideration and determine as to the propriety of carrying into effect, or of memorialising the Poor Law Board to rescind, an order under their hand and seal of office, made and published by them, and dated the 7th day of December, 1858, such order applying to and putting [Pg 259]in force forthwith within the said Parish the whole of a certain Act (13th & 14th Victoria, chapter 57), entitled, “An Act to prevent the holding of Vestry or other meetings in Churches, and for regulating the appointment of Vestry Clerks,” and under which order the annual salary of the Vestry Clerk for the time being has been fixed at £120, payable out of the Poor Rates. This meeting was very boisterous, severely censuring the action of the Poor Law Board, but it was no use, as the law had to take its unpalatable course.


1859. This long wanted and extensive Poor Law Establishment, was occupied early this year. The cost of the New Union House and Land, was upwards of £26,000; which had to be provided for by the four large Parishes, Dudley, Sedgley, Tipton, and Rowley Regis. The population of these four Parishes was estimated to be 130,000 souls; and the in-door paupers connected with each Parish had, up to this very necessary change, been confined in four wretched habitations, called Poor Houses, which were a thorough disgrace to the Union. The absence of all sanitary provisions and the immorality attending the benighted system of management and control, became a burning shame, and a stain upon our then local authorities. This was all happily removed when the old dens were pulled down, and a modern and more enlightened system of management was inaugurated at the New Union Workhouse. The Poor Rate at that date was two shillings in the pound; now we have to luxuriate on paying four shillings and sixpence in the pound, with our rateable assessment value increased upwards of £50,000. “Blessed are the poor in spirit, for they shall see the Workhouse.” The New House was built to contain six hundred inmates, but it has been enlarged since then, and now contains seven hundred and sixty-eight souls. Mr. Thomas Shorthouse was then the Clerk to the Dudley Union, and Mr. and Mrs. Stillard were elected the first Master and Matron in the New House.



A vacancy having occurred in your Parliamentary Representation, I have acceded to the request of many influential friends that I would allow myself to be placed in Nomination.

I cannot but share, as a Worcestershire man, the feelings that have been expressed to me on all sides, that the successor of Colonel Rushout ought to be, not only connected with, but a resident in the County.

Whatever my private principles may be, I cannot, under the circumstances of the moment, resist this appeal. I therefore venture to ask your confidence and your support.

To many of you I am personally known, and I shall take the earliest opportunity of endeavouring to become acquainted with [Pg 260]you all.

While my Political Principles are Conservative, no man can be more sincerely desirous than myself to promote Progressive Improvement, both Social and Political; and as I believe these to be the sentiments of the present Ministry, I should, as your Representative, give to the Government of Lord Derby a general but independent support.

I am firmly attached to the Protestant Church of England, and anxious for the proper maintenance of her venerable fabrics, but, at the same time I am opposed to the compulsory exaction of Church Rates from those who conscientiously object to them, and I would support this principle in any measure which may be brought forward with the hope of settling this long-disputed question.

In the same spirit I would be willing to give my support to any measure which, having for its object the Improvement of our Representative system, will combine a just desire to extend popular rights with due regard to the maintenance of the Constitution.

I also attach great importance to the amendment of our Laws, and would promote any well considered attempt to effect that purpose.

I shall be ready to avail myself of every occasion to give you that explanation of my opinions upon the leading questions of the day, to which you are entitled from a Candidate for your Suffrages; and in the meantime I confidently anticipate a successful issue to the struggle in which I feel myself thus compelled to engage.

I have the honor to be, Gentlemen,

Your faithful friend and obedient servant,


Westwood Park, Droitwich, January 28th, 1859.

Committee Room at Dudley, Swan Hotel.



During a most successful canvass, I have so frequently been requested to express my views upon the leading Topics of the day, that I believe it will be satisfactory to state more fully my opinions, which it is impossible to do personally to each Elector of so extensive a Constituency.

I unhesitatingly pledge myself to Vote for the Total Abolition of Church Rates, the only practical solution of this irritating Question.

I attach great importance to the Amendment of our Laws, but do not hesitate to say, that “Consolidation must precede [Pg 261]Amendment.”

I am disposed to Vote for a thorough Reform in the Assessment of the Income Tax, believing it to press severely upon Industry, and to be unjust in its mode of application.

As a friend of Education, I am most anxious that every facility should be given for its more general advancement, and most assuredly will vote for the Repeal of the Duty on Paper, a Duty most obnoxious, and the greatest impediment to the diffusion of learning.

Unshackled by Party ties, and entirely independent of any individual influence, I earnestly solicit your Suffrages, and though confident of the result of this Contest, I trust the friends of the Liberal cause will not relax their exertions.

I shall continue my endeavours to become personally acquainted with each of you.

I have the honor to remain,

Your obedient Servant,


Perry Hall, January 31st, 1859.



The father of Joey Grimaldi, the famous clown, was an Italian, who bore the name Delpini and followed the avocation of a dentist, in London, where it was his lot to reside in 1780, the year of Lord George Gordon’s “No Popery” riots. All foreigners then fell under suspicion as Papists and cut-throats, and the harmless tooth-drawer, when the infuriated mob were firing the dwellings of known or suspected Romanists on all sides of him, followed a custom which obtained in those days of terror, of labelling your house with an inscription signifying either devotion to Protestantism or hatred of Popery. So Delpini chalked upon his door, in the best English he could command, “Good people all take notice, dis house is a true Protestant.”

Mr. Pakington hoists the same signal, and makes proclamation, “Good people all, Electors of East Worcestershire, take notice, dis house”—videlicet, the Pakington house—“is a true Protestant, and don’t believe any insinuations to the contrary.” Delpini’s label, it is related, saved his premises from conflagration; Mr. Pakington’s will not, I imagine save him from defeat. I propose to offer a few remarks in illustration of what Mr. Pakington’s true Protestantism means, and what it has led to in his instance.

Mr. Pakington says, “Having reason to esteem the excellent private character and charitable exertions of Mr. Liddell, and [Pg 262]consequently disapproving the abuse of which he has been the object, I could not do otherwise than vote against Mr. Westerton’s election.” I esteem the excellent private character and the charitable exertions of Mr. Pakington for the promotion of education and morality, but I shall certainly do otherwise than vote for him at the coming Election. The Pope of Rome bears an excellent private character, and is well reputed for charitable exertions. He has also been, I dare say, improperly and undeservedly abused. Recognising all this, does it furnish any reason why I should tender my adhesion to the Pope, or any excuse for my adhering to him, or favouring his religion? Mr. Westerton was put forward as Churchwarden by the party in the Church who were adverse to Mr. Liddell’s Romanising practices. As a candidate he represented the true and wholesome Protestant element in religion, as opposed to the representative of the doctrines of Auricular Confession and a Semi-Popish form of worship, just as Mr. Calthorpe represents the Liberal element in politics—the principle of progress; and Mr. Pakington the Conservative, or rather the Tory element—the principle of keeping in office by being the “humble servants to command” of the House of Commons. The contest between Mr. Westerton and Mr. Davidson was a contest between Protestantism and the Romanistic party. It was watched throughout Great Britain with the deepest interest, for it was felt that the result would be to ensure the victory of religious truth, or give a disastrous triumph to the defiled and adulterated pseudo-Protestantism—the “mongrel church,” as the Hon. and Rev. F. Baring truly called it—of Mr. Liddell and his backers. At that election the fate of the Protestant Church in England was weighed in the scales against the false doctrine, heresy, and schism of the Tractarians. Most happily for the country, most fortunately for the interests of mankind, the good cause preponderated. Tractarians kicked the beam, and all of us felt that a great mercy had been vouchsafed to the afflicted Church. But no thanks to Mr. Pakington. He flung his weight into the scale along with auricular confession, crosses, flowers, candles, images, and other play-things of Puseyism, and so far as by his voice he could, comforted and favoured the partisans of Romish observance as opposed to the purity and simplicity of Protestant Worship.

In that day—the day when Mr. Westerton was doing battle for Protestant interests with spirit and resolution worthy of a martyr—where was Mr. Pakington? Every one felt that a great crisis was impending in the history of the Church, and never was the Scriptural adage, “He that is not with me is against me,” brought more closely home to Protestant breasts than at that moment. But where was Mr. Pakington? Not merely was he not with us; he was arrayed openly against us, and it might have been his vote, for aught he knew,—for the numerical difference between the candidates was trifling—that would have given a heavy blow and serious discouragement to Protestantism, by placing in the ascendent that party in the Church, whose sole end and aim is to bring back England to the bosom of the Roman fold, from which, as they conceive, she has ignorantly and perversely [Pg 263]strayed.

And what is the excuse Mr. Packington offers—for he feels bound to make some apology—for having thus turned his back upon Protestantism? By alleging Mr. Liddell’s excellent private character, his charitable exertions, and the abuse of which he has been the object. In the same way any good and charitable and abused individual, though of Red Republican principles, might obtain Mr. Pakington’s vote, the consideration with him being, not whether he agrees or differs with a man’s principles, but that a man—to entitle him to support—should be of excellent private character, and equally distinguished for charitable exertions and immense obloquy. When the vital interests of Protestantism are at stake, it is not the time to allow minor considerations to influence the mind and to sacrifice them to the private character of any individual, however excellent or however improperly abused. When the enemy is in front and the battle joined, it would be base to slink out of the ranks from consideration for a private friend engaged with the opposite party.

The vote for or against Mr. Westerton I am disposed to make a touchstone of sincerity, as regards attachment to Protestantism, or the reverse. Mr. Pakington may write up and call out as much as he pleases, “Good people all, take notice dis house is a true Protestant;” but he must excuse my saying that, after his vote against Mr. Westerton for the churchwardenship of Knightsbridge, I can attach no confidence to his professions. True Protestantism may have his lip-service, but false Protestantism, with its depraved doctrines and soul-sinking mummeries, had his countenance and his vote.

On the other hand, Lord Calthorpe—the father of the Liberal candidate—has uniformly and signally distinguished himself by his zeal on behalf of evangelical religion, and his steadfast resistance to the insidious aggressions of the Tractarian faction. His son—early trained in the same principles—is animated with the same feelings and convictions, which will produce the same fruit; and, when such a man invites my suffrage, as a candidate for the Legislature, I cannot doubt—even without regard to politics—that I ought unhesitatingly to prefer him to Mr. Pakington, or I feel that I should have small claim to subscribe myself


February 4th, 1859.


Mr. CALTHORPE has much pleasure in tendering his best thanks to the Electors of Dudley for their very decided and flattering support. He regrets the impossibility of personally canvassing all the Electors, and respectfully invites them to meet him at the LANCASTERIAN SCHOOL ROOM, DUDLEY, on MONDAY Evening next, the 7th day of February, at seven o’clock.

Mr. Calthorpe’s Committee Room, Old Bush Inn, [Pg 264]5th February, 1859.


Brother Electors,

Mr. PAKINGTON asks who is Mr. CALTHORPE, and how dare he presume to intrude himself upon the Electors of East Worcestershire? I would reply by asking what claims of pre-eminence Mr. PAKINGTON possesses in thus questioning your right to select for yourselves that person you consider most fitted to represent you, and upon what ground does he base his expectations of obtaining your support? Certainly not upon the exhibition he made at the Lancasterian School on Monday Evening, when he either had no principles to explain, or they were so antiquated that he lacked the power or ability to make them understandable to his audience! Can it be upon his desire to dole out to you the very smallest modicum of Reform which may be possible, or that you must be pleased to wait a little longer, until you are more capable of appreciating it? I am quite willing to give Mr. PAKINGTON all the credit he so eloquently pleaded for on Monday Evening, to which his efforts on behalf of education fairly entitle him; but I cannot understand how it is that he should deny to the people a fair participation in those rights and privileges which that education so properly qualifies them to exercise. Is it that he would continue that animosity and those heart-burnings which the exaction of Church Rates has so long occasioned, or does he still desire the dominance of an Ecclesiastical authority which, since the reformation, the Protestant spirit of the people of England has declared shall not exist in this country? Does he think that you will support him on account of the resistance of himself and his party to the establishment of those great commercial principles which have tended so largely to develop the prosperity of this Country, and so materially to increase your own happiness and comforts? How dare Mr. PAKINGTON sneer at Staffordshire men representing you, when all so well recollect the insidious attempt of Sir John to transfer you to that County, and which, had not your timely and generally expressed indignation prevented, Mr. PAKINGTON would not now have had the honour of soliciting your suffrages; Mr. CALTHORPE is a progressive, consistent Liberal—one whose principles are adapted to the spirit of the times in which we live; he comes fairly before this great County constituency with stated opinions, and soliciting from it a Seat in Parliament. He does not attempt to get there by the exercise of an influence Mr. PAKINGTON so magniloquently talked about, and which we all know is so kindly exercised in a Borough with which he is connected. Is it not that Mr. JUNIOR PAKINGTON is put forth as a feeler against the time when, very probably, that Borough may find itself in Schedule A of a New Reform Bill, and your votes may then be asked for a Senior member of the family? I will venture to answer that as [Pg 265]Free and Independent Electors of East Worcestershire you will not thus be dictated to, but will return Mr. CALTHORPE TRIUMPHANTLY AT THE HEAD OF THE POLL!

I am,

Yours respectfully,



MR. CALTHORPE is against opening the Crystal Palace, Theatres, and such other Places of Amusement on Sunday.


To the Electors and Non-Electors of East Worcester.


I regret that the friends of Mr. Pakington have thought it to their interest to resort to open misrepresentation, and in the vain hope of injuring me in your good opinion are industriously circulating a report that I am “in favor of opening the Crystal Palace and Theatres on Sunday.”

This is wholly untrue. I never made or approved of such a statement.

I am not in favor of opening the Crystal Palace, or Theatres, or any such places of Amusement on Sunday.

I am Gentlemen,

Your faithful Servant,


Central Committee Room, February 11th, 1859.


“Nothing extenuate, nor
Aught set down in malice.”—Shakespeare.

Brother Electors and Friends of the eastern division of the county of Worcester, my kind friend Lord Ingestre could not do me a greater kindness than that which he has now done me, namely, that of addressing you in his usual eloquent, terse, and pointed style, to introduce to you my humble self, the present candidate [Pg 266]on the Conservative interest, and of expressing as he has so forcibly done the political views which I entertain in common with him. I am engaged, gentlemen, as you are all of you well aware, in a most vigorous, a most determined, and, from what I hear on all sides of the county, anything but a desperate contest. I am carrying it through with vigour, and I will win if I can. Gentlemen, as you must be well aware, labour of all kinds, whether of the body or the mind, involves considerable fatigue. That is the case in regard to every kind of labour, but when you find a crisis like the present at a time when from accidental circumstances I had to undergo on other grounds and for other purposes a most severe week of mental labour, and when at the end of that week I had to commence this battle, which, from certain reasons to which I will not now further allude, required in my particular instance a tremendously oppressive amount of energy and exertion both of body and of mind, under these circumstances it is a great kindness on the part of my friend Lord Ingestre that he should take one half my duties himself, in stating as he has done what are my personal qualifications and my political views. You all know what my father’s political views are, and if you want to know mine, gentlemen, they are contained in my address, which has been circulated throughout the county. But I tell you that, important as I consider political matters to be, at this present crisis and in this present battle, politics with me are as nothing. I, however, know all electioneering dodges very well; I know where I am and whom I am now addressing; I am going to win. But politics, as I said, are now second with me. I am not fighting a political battle so much as one of high-minded independence as a Worcestershire country gentleman. God forbid that I should boast of anything like an ancient family. The Pakington family have been for three hundred years residing near here, and in the very centre of the county. They have been Worcestershire people to the backbone. I am now residing near Worcester, where I am endeavouring to do my duty in that station of life to which I am called. I am trying in various ways to exert around me that kind of homely influence which kind and homely thoughts and actions will always produce by whomsoever exercised. I, for my own part, have no ambition for Parliamentary life. If I wanted a seat in Parliament for its own sake I know where to get one. I have been asked over and over again, by gentlemen of the highest influence, to stand for this or that place, to go here and to go there, in different parts of the country, and have been regarded as a likely candidate for a seat in Parliament. But I have said “No, I don’t want to be a Parliament man, I have no desire to go to Parliament myself, but if ever I represent a place it shall be, not a town in the north or south of England, but some town or division of a county that has some claim upon me, and where I have as a country gentleman some kindly feeling entertained towards me and my family.” These, gentlemen, are my private feelings. You will see that in the address I have published I have made use of the expression “Whatever my private preferences may be.” These are the circumstances to which I [Pg 267]allude. But now I am ready to state briefly what are my principles. I need hardly repeat that I am a true Conservative, because I believe true Conservatism to consist in aiding social progress and the reparation, when necessary, of those institutions of our country to which England owes its present greatness. As your representative, it will be my duty to support that Government which is to give the greatest stability to the nation at large, and the greatest amount of happiness to the community. So far as I am able to judge, the Government of Lord Derby fulfils these requirements, and I believe they will not waver. I am fighting in three different capacities. Firstly, as the son of a Worcestershire man, I won’t have two Staffordshire members; secondly, I am a Conservative, not one of the stiff old Tories of the old school. I am a Conservative of the present day, of this very hour. I am unpledged by any past political measures. As a Conservative and as a politician I should object to having another gentleman of strong Liberal opinions to represent the agriculturists of the Eastern Division of the county of Worcester, the majority of whom are, I believe, eminently Conservative. I must, therefore, as a Conservative, strongly object to Mr. Calthorpe. Thirdly, I object to Mr. Calthorpe, and this is my strongest point of all, casting aside politics, that which is the strongest objection I feel, and which is now the key to my actions, is that I am an independent man, and I will not see my county represented by a comparative stranger without offering my services to the electors. That is the keystone to my movements. I know whom I have got to deal with. I know where Mr. Calthorpe comes from. It is a matter to me of no consequence who wrote the letter requesting him to come forward as a Candidate, but I know his supporters right and left, every one of them. Gentlemen, I object to Mr. Calthorpe coming here. He may be a Staffordshire man, or a Warwickshire man, but he certainly is not Worcestershire. His father, Lord Calthorpe, is a man whom all persons must respect and justly respect. He is a friend of my own father, and I know him well. Mr. Calthorpe himself was a school-fellow of mine, but, as he tells you himself, he has since been almost round the globe, and I have not seen so much of him as I could have wished. I like him personally very much, but he appears to have picked up some very funny notions. The last time that I spoke to him he was an out-an-out no end of a hog man, and no mistake about it; but he was then just about starting for Timbuctoo, China, or some other distant place, and I have not seen him since. (Laughter). His property is just of that kind that might occasion a mistake. It is situate near the confines of Worcestershire. The bulk of it is away from this county, and neither Lord Calthorpe nor his son have, I verily believe, so much land in the county as you can stick your hat on. (Renewed laughter). Where does he date his address from? Perry Hall. Where is Perry Hall? (A voice, “It is a garden down at the bottom of the town,” and great laughter). I am very glad to hear it, and if the hon. gentleman who gave me the information can tell me of his own knowledge that Mr. Calthorpe was there [Pg 268]when he wrote his address, my argument is at an end. We know where Westwood Park is, and we know where Witley Court is, but where is Perry Hall? (A voice, “It is Mr. Calthorpe’s villa.”) But, gentlemen, Mr. Calthorpe’s first address is a puff of smoke; it’s a blind, and he finds it is so. (A voice, “Not he.”) He does. Why does he not attend public meetings? (A voice, “He’s a-coming.”) Let him come; I am ready to meet him anywhere he pleases. I say that Mr. Calthorpe’s first address is a sham; that he finds it so himself, and therefore he is obliged to publish a second, which I now hold in my hand. (A voice, “There’s a third coming out.”) I am glad to hear it; let it come. (Great confusion.) As I was saying, Mr. Calthorpe’s address is all moonshine. His friends got frightened; the views he expressed were not satisfactory, and therefore he has published another, stating stronger views. I am a man of business, and when I write my views in one letter I don’t write a second, still less a third for that purpose. My occupation now as a candidate is a matter of business, and I am not going to write a second address; I don’t need it. Here (pointing to his first address) are my views, my opinions, and all about myself; I don’t require a second address. As I said, I don’t enter now on political differences at all but there is one question to which I must allude. As I have told you, I am playing a deep game; and with me it is a determined one. Those who know me privately, and I am surrounded by kind friends, know that when I make up my mind as I have done in this contest, I carry my object through if possible, so I am going on determined to fight this battle. I am fighting a good fight, and when a move is made in this game of political chess between me and my adversary, be he who he may, I will meet it if I can by a good move of my own. Mr. Pakington then referred to the following attack upon him in the Morning Advertiser:—“Mr. Pakington, his (Mr. Calthorpe’s) opponent, is, on the contrary, a bigoted Puseyite, and one of the most prominent partisans of the Hon. and Rev. Mr. Liddell, in the parish of Knightsbridge.” On which Mr. Pakington, among other things, said—I wish to explain that I merely resided in that parish, subscribing to the schools and attending divine service at the church; but having now ceased to reside there, I have nothing further to do with it, and I indignantly deny the charge made. He concluded by saying—I see that some of you are getting a little fatigued, and I am tired myself. I am very glad to have had this opportunity of meeting you, and I hope to do so many more times. We cannot do so too often. As I said before, I will come again if I am wanted; but I have duties of a like kind elsewhere, for which duties I now go to prepare. I am very much obliged to you for your kind reception.

Note,—The “Printer’s Devil” has exhausted his stock of I’s.

Query—Why is Mr. PAKINGTON like a Peacock?—Because his tale is full of I’s.


To the Electors and Non-Electors of the Eastern Division of the County of Worcester.


The friends of Mr. Pakington having failed to injure Mr. Calthorpe, by the false statement that he is the Nominee of Lord Ward, have resorted to another falsehood which has led to the following correspondence.


[Pg 269]

Teddesley, February 13th, 1859.

My Dear Ingestre

“I take the liberty, to which I am sure you will not object, to publish my letter to you, and your answer.

“I remain yours sincerely,


“The Viscount Ingestre, M.P., &c.”

Teddesley, February 11th, 1859.

My Dear Ingestre

“My attention has been called to a paragraph in the Daily News to the following effect:—

“‘Lord Ingestre, and Mr. Lygon, and Mr. Dowdeswell, formerly M.P. for Tewkesbury, addressed an assembly of farmers from a window opposite the Corn Exchange, Worcester, on Saturday afternoon. In the course of Lord Ingestre’s observations, he said the idea of bringing forward Mr. Calthorpe as a representative for the Eastern Division of Worcestershire was hatched by Lord Hatherton, at his seat at Teddesley, and then communicated to Lord Ward, who gave a ready acquiescence to the suggestion.’”

“What purely accidental conversation I may have had with Lord Ward about East Worcestershire Election, at a visit he paid here—just after Lord Northwick’s death—in pursuance of an engagement made a fortnight before, it is unnecessary for me to relate. But the statement that ‘the idea of bringing forward Mr. Calthorpe as a representative of East Worcestershire was hatched by me at this place,’ or anywhere else, is without a shadow of foundation.

I never was consulted or likely to be about the choice of a candidate: and except one letter from a customary correspondent conveying to me the information that Mr. Calthorpe’s friends had resolved to bring him forward, of which I then heard for the first time, I never had with any one any kind of communication respecting his election.

“I am sure that after this statement, you will pardon my enquiry whether you have been correctly reported in the above paragraph—and if so—on what authority you have made such a statement?

“I remain yours sincerely,


“The Viscount Ingestre, M.P.”

Ingestre, Stafford, February 12th, 1859.

Dear Lord Hatherton,

“The report of what I said at Worcester is substantially correct with this exception:—

“What I said was ‘the scheme was hatched at Lord Hatherton’s, at Teddesley,’ &c. Not by Lord Hatherton. You ask me on [Pg 270]what ground I made that statement.

“I reply, I knew Lord Ward had been at Teddesley, I believed that Mr. Calthorpe met him there, and knowing the interest you take in political matters as evinced during the last Stafford election, I thought it probable that the idea of starting Mr. Calthorpe for East Worcestershire was hatched at your house. If I have made any mis-statement in this matter, I much regret it, but I believe the probabilities were sufficient to bear me out in the assertion that I made at Worcester.

“Believe me, dear Lord Hatherton, sincerely yours,


The reply of Lord Ingestre reduced to plain language, says a writer in the Daily Post, amounts to this, “I knew that Lord Ward had been at Teddesley, therefore I imagined the rest, and what were suspicions only I affirmed as facts.”

Notwithstanding Mr. Calthorpe’s repeated denial of his ever having expressed a wish that Theatres, the Crystal Palace, and such like places of amusement should be opened on Sundays, Mr. Pakington’s friends have repeated the calumny,—Mr. Calthorpe’s Central Committee beg to inform the Electors of the Public Meeting held at Stourbridge, on Monday last, that Mr. Calthorpe not only contradicted this false and calumnious statement, but emphatically declared that he is OPPOSED to the opening of Places of Amusement of any kind on Sundays.

Central Committee Rooms, Stourbridge, February 15th, 1859.



At PERSHORE, on Monday last (see Times report), Mr. CALTHORPE stated, “that he would not pledge himself to vote for a repeal of the INCOME TAX!”

After this, what do you think of the would-be Liberal Candidate?

Is Liberal or Illiberal the proper term for such a Candidate?

Think, and judge for yourselves!



Mr. CALTHORPE’S COMMITTEE earnestly request all their friends to refrain from any allusion, much less retort, to the scandalous and malicious production issued by the other side. The party who can thus, for electioneering purposes, malign and insult their neighbours and fellow-townsmen, and what is infinitely worse, their townsmen’s wives and daughters, may be safely left to the contempt of all right-minded men of all parties, which cannot fail to be their natural reward.

Mr. Calthorpe’s Committee Room, Old Bush Inn, Dudley, 17th February, 1859.


February 22nd, 1859. This was considered to be the most severe contest, for a single seat, which had ever taken place in this division of the county. There had not been a contest at all during the last 22 years in this division; and it had become a matter of doubtful speculation as to which party, Tory or Liberal, could carry the day. The Tories had from almost time immemorial held possession of Worcestershire, both East and West, and it required a stout heart and a willing hand to engage[Pg 271] in this political strife. The new coming Reform Bill was selected as the battle ground for the Liberals, and the Tories stuck to their old traditions, and relied upon their usual coercion, and their alleged doings for the county in the past. So far as Dudley was concerned, we had to fight under manifold and peculiar conditions, for the “head and front” of the old Tory party had but recently forsaken their old love and “gone over into the camp of the rabble herd,” to help the Radicals in the two last Borough Elections to defeat the hated and intolerable territorial influence; so that the county electors in Dudley, both Liberals and Tories, were all sailing in the same boat against the Tory county influence. Men had to decide upon voting for the pocket or the conscience; and singular indeed was this mixed medley of Tories, Liberals, Conservatives, old Whigs, hot-heated Radicals, and seditious Chartists, hurrying with bated breath to the same Poll. There was much satisfaction felt on this occasion that we had two highly respectable gentlemen as our candidates; the Honourable F. H. W. G. Calthorpe coming forward as the Liberal candidate, whilst the Tory interest was endorsed by the candidature of Mr. John Slaney Pakington, son of Sir John Pakington, a Worcestershire man. The freeholders in Dudley were placed on the horns of a dilemma, by the fact that the Tory, or Badger party as it was called, on this occasion adhered to the traditions of their party, although at two recent Borough elections they had renounced their political opinions, and joined hand and glove with Mr. Sheridan, and the Radicals and Chartists.

The Liberals, the Whigs, and the Liberal Conservatives, energetically espoused the cause of Mr. Calthorpe, and were successful, with the county, in placing him at the head of the poll by a majority of 321 votes.

As to the fitness and mental qualifications of the two candidates, there could not be one moment’s doubt of the superiority of the Liberal candidate’s claims upon the electors, for Mr. Calthorpe was a clear-headed business man, whereas Mr. Pakington was a young, docile gentleman, little acquainted with the rough usages of political life, and was feared to be a mere passive instrument in the hands of an unscrupulous political faction; and what made matters worse for his success, was his utter inability to talk and deliver himself of the political opinions he was credited to possess.

On February 22nd, 1859, this election came off, with the following results at all the polling places:—

Kings Norton329289
Majority for Mr. Calthorpe, Liberal, 321.

[Pg 272]This was considered a great victory against the then Tory Government and the Lygon interest, which had always ruled this division of the county.

There was more political fun, chaffing, and coat turning on this occasion than had ever occurred in this Borough since the excitable days of the first Reform Bill, and the plentiful crop of political squibs plainly shewed that both parties were made sensibly alive to the importance of the contest. We had the straightforward Saxon practice of open voting in those days, so that it was well-known to what political opinion a voter gave his allegiance.



After so severe and protracted a contest, allow me to congratulate you on the great and glorious triumph you have obtained for the Liberal cause.

The victory is yours. I am the representative of it. I feel deeply the proud position in which you have placed me, and I hope to prove my gratitude by a zealous attention to your interests and by a faithful service in that cause which you have sent me to the House of Commons to maintain.

I would fain hope that many of those who have in this contest been opposed to me, will on future occasions be numbered among my friends, and I trust that now the battle is over, all unpleasant feeling may cease.


I remain, with heartfelt thanks,

Your obedient Servant,


Central Committee Rooms, Stourbridge, February 23rd, 1859.

The vote on the New Reform Bill having caused a dissolution, the following addresses were issued:—


[Pg 273]


Six weeks have not elapsed since you did me the honour to elect me as one of your Representatives. Grateful for the favour conferred, I am again a Candidate for your suffrages.

The Government has announced a dissolution on the question of Reform, and in my opinion they were quite right, first, in accepting the vote of Thursday, March 31st, as a vote of want of confidence, and secondly, in referring the question of Reform to the Constituencies and to public opinion at large.

I feel confident the result will be a good and durable measure of Reform, calculated to satisfy those classes who are as yet unrepresented, and to allay those feelings of discontent excited by the feeble, unjust, and insufficient Reform Bill recently introduced by the Government.

During the brief period I have been your Representative, I have neglected no opportunity of recording my vote in favour of the principles you sent me to Parliament to maintain, and which I shall ever feel it my duty to support.

I have, I believe invariably agreed with my colleague, and I trust that all those who intend to record their votes in my favour, will extend to him the same support and influence.

I hope that I have proved attentive to your interests, and have shewn every courtesy to those of my constituents who have done me the honour to correspond with me.

I am, Gentlemen,

Your faithful and obedient Servant,


33, Grosvenor Square, London, April 7th, 1859.



A dissolution of Parliament having been announced, I beg to declare my intention of offering myself as a Candidate for the honour of being one of your representatives for the fourth time.

I trust that you have found me acting consistently with the principles of civil and religious liberty, which I have always professed, and I hope that my earnest endeavours to be attentive to your interests may have met with your approval.

I am well aware of the great inconvenience, and interruption to business, caused by frequent dissolutions of Parliament, and I would gladly have supported any moderate measure of progressive Reform, brought forward by Lord Derby’s Government, rather than have incurred such a result, could I have done so without depriving a number of my Constituents of their ancient right of voting, which the bill introduced would have unjustly taken from them.

On referring to the Division Lists, I am happy to see that my [Pg 274]Colleague, and I, have on all occasions supported the same measures, so that the votes of your Members are no longer neutralised by being given in opposition to each other; under these circumstances, may I venture to hope that all those who do me the honour of supporting me, and to whom I may have been longer known, will kindly extend the same to my friend, Mr. Calthorpe.

I have the honour to remain, Gentlemen,

Your faithful and obliged Servant,


Prestwood, April, 1859.

The Ratepayers are respectfully requested to attend early to-morrow (Friday) and record their Votes for Mr. MAURICE.


Close of the first day’s Poll:—

For Mr. Maurice135
For Mr. Brooke73
For Mr. Dingley39
For Mr. Coulton17

Majority for Mr. Maurice over the highest Candidate, 62.

Majority for Mr. Maurice over ALL the 3 Candidates, 7.

April 15th, 1859.

March, 1859. The new Reform Bill, introduced by the Conservative Government,—Earl Derby’s—was discussed for eight nights in the House of Commons, and defeated by a large majority, which caused the Tories to dissolve Parliament, and appeal to the electors.

Singular Winter. March 29th, 1859. A heavy fall of snow took place this day and night, it being the first snow we had had during all the winter, 1858-9.


My Lord,

We, the undersigned, Electors of the Borough of Dudley, respectfully invite your Lordship to become a Candidate for the Representation of the Borough, at the next vacancy, and pledge ourselves to use every legitimate means to secure your return.

We have the honour to be,

My Lord,

Your Lordship’s obedient Servants,

George Stevenson

Hy. P. Skidmore

A. B. Cochrane

Edwd. Bowen

Robert Houghton

J. E. Swindell

Thomas Morris

J. H. Smith

John Williscroft

Thomas Stevenson

J. F. Watkins

Chas. Russell

John Finch

John Whitehouse

James Cartwright

C. F. G. Clark

Chas. E. Swindell

Frank Evers

W. H. Brooke

Fras. Sanders

John Cochrane

Sam. C. Davison, B.A.

Thomas Oakes

Edward Wood

W. C. Wood

Geo. Thompson

Solomon Woodall

Danl. Jordan

Thomas Roberts

Henry Cartwright

Joseph Russell

Samuel Golding

David Round

William Cooper

[Pg 275]Saml. Woodall

Solomon Higgs

David Pearson

James Griffiths

William Coley

Jos. Griffiths

Jos. Willetts

Abner Smith

Matthew Troman

James Smart

Joseph Brownhill

William Stagg

Benjn. Horton

Charles Hill

John Dawson

Thomas Sheppard

Henry Wood

David Lloyd

John Meese

Joseph Pitt

John Smithyman

Henry Skidmore

James Miles

Joseph Rowley

Charles Stamps

Charles Nicholls

Robert Matthews

Ferdinando Rollason

John Dutton Phillips

Joseph Hingley

John Hingley

Thomas Round

&c., &c.

March 30th, 1859.


April, 1859. No sooner had our political elements settled down, after the severe county contest of the preceding February, but we were called into agitation again by the sudden dissolution of the Conservative Parliament, and Dudley was taxed to its utmost to so trim its political sails, and put square men into round holes, in order that its former political triumphs might not have been won in vain. Mr. H. B. Sheridan, the sitting member, sought re-election again, backed by the Radicals and Chartists, and supplemented by a contingent of sturdy old Tories, who felt they had not a shadow of a chance of carrying a man of their own liking; so they determined to keep alive the resentment against the influence which had so recently assailed their cherished dignities, and swept from under their feet all the political power their party was ever again destined to weald, both in the Borough of Dudley and County of Worcester. These offended old townsmen convened a sort of meeting at the Hotel, which was designated “a meeting of Conservative electors,” and after some tall talk, with closed doors, it was decided to throw their Tory interest into the Radical Camp, [Pg 276]and support the sitting member, Mr. Sheridan; for their political chief publicly asserted his determination to vote for “hog, dog, or devil, in order to spite Lord Ward.” Nothing could have ended more suicidically than this repetition to thwart the castle influence. They must have known that as a political party they were impotent; for the recent county election unmistakeably pronounced Dudley to be Liberal; and the Tory interest, with Lord Ward at its back, could not turn the tide of Liberalism in the Borough, so that again to support a trimming, wary candidate, who first came amongst us as a Conservative, and now declared himself to be an Independent candidate, sitting below the gangway in the House, was to entirely abrogate their long-life cherished Tory opinions and support Mr. Sheridan, because they could not bring forward a candidate of their own choice.

Whilst these manœuvres were in hand, the Liberal party were in negotiation with the Reform Club in London to send us down a candidate, and the Honourable Viscount Monck, an Irish gentleman of good family and undoubted administrative qualifications, came down to the Bush Hotel, and after a lengthened interview, he was selected to be run against the Radical-Tory party as a Liberal-Conservative.

A perusal of the Requisition to Lord Monck and the names of those who formed his committee, shews that the thinking portion of the electors were desirous, if possible, of removing a political stigma from the Borough, and throwing over that dubious “incubus” which had sat too long upon purity of motive and action, which Dudley electors had ever been wont to endorse. Mr. Sheridan complained that he had all along one lord to fight against, and now he had two lords in the field; that the charges alleged against him in the Albert, European, and other shady speculations, were matters of mere business, and did not concern the electors of Dudley, and that his promises at the last election had been literally fulfilled. Lord Monck, on the other hand, came amongst us as a stranger, not only to our locality, but he had also enjoyed a seat in the last Parliament where his votes were recorded.

Great efforts were made on this occasion to defeat the old member, Mr. Sheridan, and the narrow majority of 71 votes, aided by all the Tory influence that could be brought to bear in his support, clearly showed that if the Badger element had not been severely pressed into the cause Lord Monck would have been elected.



Her Majesty’s Ministers have announced an immediate dissolution of Parliament, and the duty of choosing a Representative in the House of Commons has therefore devolved upon you. Encouraged by the very flattering requisition I have received from an influential portion of your body, I venture to solicit your suffrages at the approaching election.

Having sat in the House of Commons during the entire of the last Parliament, my opinions on most of the questions of the day stand recorded in the votes.

During the last thirty years great improvements have been effected in reference to our Parliamentary Franchises, our Municipal Institutions, and our commercial and fiscal condition. I [Pg 277]have been long connected both by official and personal ties with those who, for the greater part of the period referred to, have been the leaders of the great Liberal party by whose exertions these changes have been effected. The principles by which they have been dictated, I desire to see extended in their application.

The question upon which the country will have to decide at the approaching election is that of Parliamentary Reform. I am in favour of a bona-fide extension of the Franchise, both in Counties and Boroughs, which would, by a lowering of the present qualification for the suffrage, admit within the pale of the Constitution an adequate representation of the labouring classes; and I desire to see a portion of their present representation transferred from the smaller and less important Constituencies, to those larger communities which the growth of trade and wealth has produced.

I am opposed to the proposition for taking Votes at Elections for Members of Parliament by Ballot, because I think under its operation corruption could not be detected, and I do not wish to destroy the influence of the Non-Electors, which would be the case under a system of secret voting.

In reference to Taxation, I am desirous of taking off, as the necessities of the State will permit, all those taxes which press upon trade, or impede the springs of industry, and I desire to see judicious economy and retrenchment carried into every branch of the public service.

I consider the Income Tax in its present form presses unjustly upon incomes derived from trade and industry.

I have always in Parliament voted for the abolition of Church Rates, because, as a member of the Church of England, I think the pecuniary gain to the Establishment is not a compensation for the ill will and odium which the enforcement of the claim produces.

I am in favour of the most complete freedom of trade, and have always voted for every measure which tended in that direction.

I desire to see Government aid to Education extended to all classes of my fellow subjects, without distinction of sect, or creed.

Should I have the honour of becoming your Representative, the local interests of your important Borough shall always command my best attention.

I hope before the Election to have the pleasure of calling upon each of you, and shall be happy to explain my opinions more in detail.

I have the honour to be, gentlemen,

Your most obedient Servant,


Bush Inn, Dudley, April 5th, 1859.



Her Majesty’s Ministers having decided on appealing to the country, a dissolution of the present House of Commons may be expected in about fifteen days.

[Pg 278]

I hasten to inform you that it is my intention to present myself as a Candidate for the honour of again representing your Borough in the important Parliament about to be assembled.

Unconnected with, and influenced by, any party considerations whatever, I have watched with much anxiety the recent struggle, having in view the redemption of my pledge to support any Government which would give to the Country such a measure of Reform, as would secure to the people an increased share in the representation, believing that the Educational progress of the Working Classes entitles them to be dealt with in a fair and liberal spirit.

In all other matters connected with the interests of this great Country, I confidently refer to the Votes I have given, as your Member; and I shall immediately ask you, both by public Meeting and by personal Canvass, whether I am not entitled to a continuance of that confidence which so triumphantly returned me at the last Election.

Your faithful Servant,


House of Commons, April 6th, 1859.


Mr. H B. SHERIDAN will arrive in Dudley this evening, to meet the electors!

Reserve your promises for the man who has won your political independence, and served you, as your representative, consistently.

Dudley, April 6th, 1859.


Copy of Letters from CAPTAIN BENTON to H. B. SHERIDAN, Esq., M.P.:—

Dudley, April 7th, 1859.

Dear Sir,

The words made use of to Mr. LOCOCK by Mr. SMITH, when in London, are as follows:—

That LORD WARD paid Five Thousand Pounds away in Dudley per week for wages, and that, unless the Electors of Dudley and its neighbourhood voted which way he pleased, he would shut up his Pits for two years,—therefore, stop those wages. Moreover, that many of the Tradesmen were under obligation to the Bank, and their circumstances should be exposed, and that they should have no further accommodation.

Yours obediently,


To H. B. Sheridan, Esq.

3, Charles Street, Oxford Road, Islington, April 8th, 1859.

Dear Sir,

Having received a letter after I had the pleasure of meeting you and your friends at Dudley, from Mr. LOCOCK, requesting me to return to town, I was unable to see you prior to my departure, and regret it is not in my power to meet you this evening. I have made you acquainted with certain facts, relative to the influence of the Priory, and the threats made use of relative to the Electors of Dudley. I assert such has been the fact, and beg to say, I will on any occasion publicly declare that the contents of my former note to you are most strictly true.

[Pg 279]

With my best wishes and respects to your Committee and Friends, believe me,

Yours, very faithfully,


To H. B. Sheridan, Esq., M.P.

Dear Sir,

In consequence of a Letter from a Mr. BENTON containing erroneous statements having been read by Mr. SHERIDAN, M.P. at a Public Meeting held last night in Dudley, I beg to send a copy of the Letters I have this day addressed to those gentlemen on the subject.

I remain, dear Sir, yours faithfully,


The Priory, April 9th, 1859.

Copy of a Letter addressed by RICHARD SMITH, Esq., to H. B. SHERIDAN Esq., M.P.:—

The Priory, Dudley, April 9th, 1859.

Sir,—I have seen a copy of the letter addressed to you by Mr. Benton, which you read at a meeting of the Electors of Dudley, held last night at the Lancasterian School-room, and cannot but regret you should have allowed yourself to give such a letter to the world, with your comments thereon, without first ascertaining, by communication with me, whether the statements made therein upon hearsay were true.

The statements which Mr. Benton has made are entirely without foundation, and I unhesitatingly give them an unqualified denial.

I send you a copy of a letter I have written to that gentleman, and I rely on your giving it an equal degree of publicity with Mr. Benton’s communication. Whatever differences of opinion may exist between us politically, I confidently appeal to your sense of what is due from one gentleman to another to comply with this request without delay.

I remain, Sir,

Your obedient servant,


H. B. Sheridan, Esq., M.P.

Copy of a letter addressed by RICHARD SMITH, Esq., to Mr. BENTON, referred to in the letter to Mr. SHERIDAN, M.P.:—

The Priory, Dudley, April 9th, 1859.

Sir,—I have learnt with surprise that a letter addressed by you to Mr. Sheridan, having reference to certain statements said to have been made by me to Mr. Locock, was read and commented [Pg 280]on by Mr. Sheridan, at a meeting of the Electors of Dudley, held at the Lancasterian Schoolrooms last night. I beg most emphatically to deny that I ever used to Mr. Locock (or any other person) the words, or any such words, you have been pleased to put forth.

I never said to that gentleman, “that Lord Ward paid five thousand pounds away in Dudley and its neighbourhood per week, and that unless the Electors of Dudley voted which way he pleased that he would shut up his pits for two years, and therefore stop those wages;” “or that many of the tradespeople were under obligations to the Bank, and their circumstances should be exposed, and that they should have no further accommodation;” or any words to that effect.

I cannot but regret you should have permitted yourself to make such unfounded statements which are not only unjust and injurious to me, but are a libel on the Tradesmen and Bankers of the town.

I add for your information that I am in no way connected with either of the Banks here, that I have no knowledge whatever, or the means of acquiring knowledge, as to the obligations of the Tradesmen of Dudley to their Bankers, nor any power to regulate or affect the amount of accommodation that their Bankers may afford them.

As your letter has been read at a meeting, I think it right to publish this also.

I am, Sir,

Your obedient servant,


John Benton, Esq., London.


Brother Electors,

Mr. Smith (Lord Ward’s Agent) has appeared before the Public on his own account, not only by letter, but by various illegitimate means. Let us, as Electors, enquire who this Mr. Smith is? or what reliance can be placed on his veracity? and, as every man ought to speak from his own personal knowledge, allow me, as an Elector, to state some facts which have more specially come under my notice, that is—

That he has been seen driving out with Mr. Benton on several occasions.

That he is known to have dined with him.

That he has written a letter denying what that gentleman made public.

That he has been up to London, and seen Sir C. Locock and his son.

That he dares not publish the conversation which took place at that interview.

That he has on many occasions tried to coerce the Inhabitants of Dudley—I. Naylor, Esq., to wit.

That he has deprived Tradesmen of his Lordship’s support, because they had consciences and dared to use them.

That he has not been a very good friend to the Widows and Orphans one family who once resided in Sedgley can prove.

[Pg 281]

That he never was over particular about the rights or feelings of any one, when his own interests were in the scale.

The above individual may give an unqualified denial to the exact wording of Mr. Benton’s letter, but I defy him to prove the sum and substance is not there.

In reference to this Pit Bank case, there is an old adage very applicable, viz.—“That we should believe every man honest until we find him a rogue!”

“An Elector” in the Daily Post (proper name “Post”) talks of a Firebrand being in the town. I admit it, we have had one in the town many years; it has tried to burn down our Independence. Our common honesty, our very liberty have been brought to the stake; but I beg to inform Mr. Smith and his esteemed friends, that we shall come out scatheless, and that his “quack” supporters may save their Goose Oil for their own scorched backs!

I am, Gentlemen,

Yours respectfully,




At a meeting of Conservative Electors of the Borough, held at the Hotel, Dudley, on Wednesday the 20th day of April, 1859, it was resolved:—

“That under existing circumstances, it is deemed expedient that the Conservative Electors should support the sitting Member, H. B. Sheridan, Esq., and this meeting therefore pledges itself to use all proper means and exertions to secure his re-election.

Ordered, that the above resolution be printed and circulated.


THOS. BADGER, Chairman.

The Hotel, Dudley, April 20th, 1859.

It was always considered that the decision of the Conservative party at this meeting secured the re-election of Mr. Sheridan; although he was well known to be in bad odour with many of the leading Conservatives in the Borough. The recent opposition in the county election, where many of the Conservatives supported Mr. Calthorpe against young Mr. Pakington; had so soured the rigid old Tory party in the Borough, that they became reckless about the future consequences of their shameful political delinquencies; the result was, that these very resolute disclaimers of the Priory influence, spited their own cause by again returning a candidate they did not appreciate, and unwillingly helped to ring the death knell, not only of the Priory veto, but also of future Tory dictation; and placed this Borough in the advance guard of full blown Liberalism, with Mr. Sheridan as its [Pg 282]Member still.



Fellow Townsmen,

An appeal is now made to you to record your Votes for Mr. Sheridan. Let us see what claim Mr. Sheridan has upon our support on the present occasion, before we assist again to return a man to Parliament who has so shamefully violated his profession and principles. Was not Mr. Sheridan returned for Dudley, at the last Election, as a Liberal Conservative, of the most independent kind, supposed to be above the influence of any section of the Electors; and has he not, at the dictation of a few Radicals, invariably voted in Parliament for all Radical Measures, and opposed Lord Derby’s Government to the utmost of his power? Did he not pledge himself to vote against the Ballot, and has he not voted in favour of the Ballot? Did he not promise to vote against the Repeal of Church Rates (unless an equivalent was given), and did he not vote for their total unconditional Repeal? This, then, is the man, on whose promises, you are again called upon to rely; to send to Parliament again, as an advocate of anything which his varied supporters may suggest.

If, brother Conservatives, the sacred cause of Conservatism is worth upholding in its national integrity, reflect, consider, and forbear to commit yourselves to such a humiliating course, as to vote for a man whose practices and principles you have so often condemned since he has been in Parliament. At some future period our cause will be on the ascent, and you will then regret having assisted to hand over the Borough of Dudley to Radicalism and Faction. Mr. Sheridan, you are told, has again promised your rash and indiscreet leaders, that he will this time support Lord Derby’s Government. How will that new arrangement meet the views of his Liberal supporters, for they will not be found “to blow hot and cold;” and pray ask him, what kind of Government he will support when Lord Derby’s rule is over? Why the natural inference is (taking the past as evidence) that Mr. Sheridan will support any Government which will please his next best supporters in Dudley! He has proved himself unstable, unsettled, and wavering in his political convictions, the “Shuttlecock” of any party that will promise him support; and as such, totally unfit to represent the intelligence and wealth of the Conservative interests; and a miserable guide for the Radical faction.

Are you determined to belie your Conservative principles and vote for a “Shilley Shalley Radical,” the man who has branded your honoured townsmen (the Bank Directors) with a breach of that trust which many of us (as Shareholders) have placed in their hands, in betraying to the public the state of your private affairs? Is such an unscrupulous Weathercock entitled to the support [Pg 283]of the Constitutional Conservatives in Dudley, who have ever been ready to uphold and maintain, the honour of their townsmen, and the sacred principles of Constitutional Monarchy? Reflect, brother Conservatives, before you place your sacred trusts in the hands of such an uncertain leader; for the past has proved his political infidelity to our cause and interests, and your recorded votes in his favour will assuredly prove your political inconsistency. If you cannot conscientiously support Lord Monck, the Conservative Liberal Candidate, then stand aloof from this attempted unnatural compact; and calmly watch Mr. Sheridan’s “New Dodge,” with a few of the young and heated Conservatives; become again, another evidence of his own falseness, and a lasting monument of his supporters’ political blindness and folly.

Ask yourselves what political sympathy this man can expect at your hands, after the broken pledges that he has committed.

Reflecting Conservatives, let not the shade of our departed Conservative chiefs darken the path of the present crisis; and God forbid that the sons of our venerated townsmen should become the leaders and promoters of Radicalism, Inconsistency, and Confusion; for the Voter for a Conservative Pakington, six weeks ago, surely will not be found voting for a nondescript Sheridan at this coming Election.


Dudley, April 21st, 1859.



During the time I have been absent in London, i.e., since Thursday, I find that my political opponents have been indulging in the same tricks, with the view of prejudicing me in your eyes, which characterised the anonymous communications to the Birmingham Daily Post.

I allude to a paper which has been sent to the Electors of the Borough, purporting to be a history of the “Times” Fire Insurance Company, by which they seek to have it inferred that I have done some act in connection with that Company which would damage me in your estimation.

Instead of replying in detail to the abominable falsehoods which are therein contained, I shall content myself by saying—

That I never was Secretary to the “Times” Insurance Company.

That I am still a Director of that Company, which has amalgamated with the “State” Office.

That I am the largest Shareholder in the Company.

That I am paying calls at the rate of six or seven hundred pounds every few months.

That I have lent to the Company, at various times, about eight thousand pounds, most of which is still owing to me.

That for the last two years, we, the Directors, have not received fees for our weekly attendance, or any other remuneration for our services.

I may add, that the losses by fire, have, for some years past been very disastrous to this and all other similar Companies, and the greatest sufferers by these losses are the Directors, of whom I am one.

The whole affair is an Electioneering artifice, as appears on the face of it; and one which I treat with the contempt it merits.

The fact of neither the writer nor the printer of this absurd tissue of slanders having dared to give their names, is sufficient evidence of the utter worthlessness of this so-called Cambridge effusion.

I am, Gentlemen, Yours faithfully,


April 21st, 1859.


Air—“Oh! Susannah, don’t you cry for me.

You’ve come down here from Rochdale, our Member for to be,
’Tis hard that we should stand the shot, and you get off scot free;
No doubt you are a mighty man, with potent powers of speech,
But still we didn’t ask you here to bleed us like a leech.
Oh! John Bright, wont you find some tin,
We fear ’twill be expensive work for us to get you in.
Your name is printed in large type, while ours are printed small,
The printers and the bill stickers are paid to daub the wall;
And ’tis a shame, and does somewhat of shabbiness betray,
That you should have the dance, John Bright, and we the piper pay.

Oh! John Bright, &c.

The honour’s great to us, John Bright, to serve so great a man;
We cringe, and worship your great name as humbly as we can—
But let us not in vain, great man, your ample pocket sue,
For we all think it very hard, John Bright, to pay for you.

Oh! John Bright, &c.

We puff you off as liberal, and hope you may be so,
And by some deeds, as well as words, that you are liberal shew;
And let it not be said you wouldn’t find a five-pound note
To pay for cabs and cars to take the people up to vote.

Oh! John Bright, &c.



Having completed my Canvass of the Borough, and endeavoured personally to pay my respects to every Elector, I am desirous to express to you my sense of the kindness and courtesy with which I have been received by the whole Constituency, and my sincere thanks for the very large amount of support with which I have been honored.

If I should have omitted through accident or inadvertence to call upon any Elector, I trust such omission will be attributed to its true cause, and not to any intentional disrespect on my part.

The result of my Canvass inspires me with a full assurance that I shall be returned as your Representative, and I have only to beg that those who have favored me with the promise of their support will kindly attend early at the Poll, at which I pledge myself they [Pg 285]shall have an opportunity of recording their Votes in my favor.

I have the honor to be, Gentlemen,

Your obedient servant,


Committee Rooms, Bush Inn, April 21st, 1859.


Mr. Sheridan’s Committee having heard that the Canvassers of Lord Monck have, with the view of prejudicing Mr. Sheridan’s position with the Liberal party, FABRICATED STATEMENTS to the effect that he has recanted his Political opinions and compromised that party by pledging himself to a course hostile to their views, in a letter written to THOS. BADGER, Esq., beg to assure the Electors that SUCH STATEMENTS ARE ENTIRELY UNTRUE.

Mr. SHERIDAN will read the letter at the Meeting at the Lancasterian School Room, on Tuesday Evening next, and refute the unwarrantable reports which have been circulated respecting it.


Committee Room, Swan Hotel, Dudley, 23rd April, 1859.



Hours of Polling from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Lord Monck’s Committee Room, April 27th, 1859.

Dear Sir,

It is exceedingly desirable that every Canvasser should strictly attend to the following instructions:—

The Canvass Books should be made up correctly, showing the Returns up to this day; and any Canvass Book not so made up should be immediately taken to the Committee Room for the purpose.

Each Canvasser to-day or to-morrow at the latest, will please give notice at the Committee Room, stating what Cab or Car accommodation he may require, so that proper arrangements may be made for supplying it.

On the morning of the Poll each Canvasser is earnestly requested to proceed to his district with all speed, securing the doubtful Voters first, and continuing his labours until every Voter who has promised, or is inclined favorably, has voted.

It is very desirable that each Canvasser should attend frequently at the Committee Room, to ascertain what Voters have not polled, [Pg 286]and for this purpose he may enquire for any particular Voter by name or number, or as to any number of unpolled Voters in any particular street or place, and arrangements will be made for this information being immediately supplied.

Information must be immediately given at the Committee Room as to any wavering Voter, so that any aid may be rendered that may be necessary.

Any additional Cab or Car accommodation must be applied for as required.

LORD MONCK earnestly requests that every Canvasser will zealously continue his labours until every Voter that can possibly be secured has voted, and afterwards attend at the Committee Room to aid in any other way that may be requested.

W. C. WOOD, Chairman.



I beg to thank you for the overwhelming expression of your confidence at the NOMINATION this morning.

I beseech you not to relax your exertions on behalf of myself and your Political Independence.

Be early with your Friends at the Poll, and our Success is certain.

I am, Gentlemen,

Your faithful Servant,


Committee Room, Swan Hotel, Dudley, April 28th, 1859. One o’clock p.m.

April 29th, 1859. Close of the Poll:—

Mr. H. B. Sheridan, Independent432
Viscount Monck, Liberal-Conservative361
Majority for Mr. Sheridan71



The state of the Poll at its close shows a result unfavourable to my desire to represent you in Parliament, and my opponent has been returned as your Member.

It therefore only remains for me, in the same spirit of good [Pg 287]feeling and good humour in which I have endeavoured to carry on the contest, to return my sincere and heartfelt thanks to those amongst you who have honoured me with their support at the Poll.

I deem it, however, only an act of justice to myself and my Committee to state that, had the promises of support which were made to me in the course of my Canvass been fulfilled, I should now be your Member.

Into the causes which have led to the failure of these engagements, I do not mean now to enter; but I consider it an unwarrantable act wantonly to involve a Constituency in the turmoil of a Contest, and I therefore desire to leave upon record the fact that my Committee had good grounds for expecting a different result of the Poll.

I now take leave of you, I cannot say without some feelings of disappointment, but with none of irritation or annoyance.

To the gentlemen of my Committee who have laboured so assiduously in my cause, I beg to tender my most grateful acknowledgments, and to the whole Constituency my thanks for the courtesy and kindness with which I have been treated since I came amongst you.

I have the honour to be, Gentlemen,

Your obedient Servant,


Committee Rooms, Bush Inn, April 29th, 1859.

October 28th, 1859, Mr. Theophilus Tinsley was elected Mayor, and Mr. C. F. G. Clark, High Bailiff, of the Borough of Dudley for the ensuing year.


November 23rd, 1859, a requisition, signed by upwards of 120 of the leading inhabitants of the town, was presented to the Mayor, T. Tinsley, Esq., requesting him to convene a public meeting, to take into consideration the expediency of forming a Volunteer Rifle Corps in this Borough. Mr. Henry Money Wainwright, Solicitor, was elected the first captain, which honourable appointment he held with great dignity and efficiency for a number of years. A public subscription was originated to raise funds for a suitable equipment of the corps, when upwards of £150 was received for that object.

Died, November 29th, 1859, Edward Dixon, Esq., Jun., only son of the late esteemed Mr. Dixon, Banker of this town.

[Pg 288]


Some of my readers may be pleased to see a re-print of one of the earlier Play Bills of this enterprising Volunteer company of our younger townsmen, who founded one of the most enjoyable entertainments ever held in the town. Too much praise cannot be accorded to these young gentlemen for the assiduity and care they always manifested in placing upon the boards some of the most exciting as well as highly finished dramatic pieces of the day. These theatrical performances were liberally patronized by all parties, and gave universal satisfaction to all concerned, and their proceeds were liberally given to our local charities.



Assisted by Miss Isabel Adams, Miss Bellair, Miss Hinton, and Miss Holmes.

The Entertainment will commence with


After which will be produced the latest Metropolitan successful Comedy-Drama, in three acts, entitled



Bernard ReynoldsMr. W. ATKINS.
Scumley (a reprobate)Mr. S. WARING.
Huffin (a lawyer)Mr. A. SHEDDEN.
DanielMr. C. PAIN.
Biles (a clerk)Mr. H. WOODALL.
Miriam WestMiss ISABEL ADAMS.
Mrs. RabyMiss HINTON.

To conclude with the evergreen popular Haymarket Comedy, in three acts, of


Colonel HardyMr. A. SHEDDEN.
Frank HardyMr. RICHARDS.
Witherton (an old bachelor)Mr. S. WARING.
Harry StanleyMiss BELLAIR.
Grasp (a steward)Mr. C. PAIN.
Doubledot (an innkeeper)Mr. W. GORTON.
SimonMr. GEO. PITT.
Mr. StanleyMr. C. RUSSELL.
Paul PryMr. H. WOODALL.

(Servants, &c., by Members of the D.G.C.)

Mrs. SubtleMiss HINTON.
Phœbe (with a song)Miss ISABEL ADAMS.
ElizaMiss W. HOLMES.


Hon. Sec.Mr. James Wood.
Stage ManagerMr. H. Woodall.
PrompterMr. T. Neath.
PerruquierMr. James Foster.

[Pg 289]Doors open at half-past Six—Curtain to rise at Seven o’clock. Reserved. Seats, 3s.; Unreserved Seats, 2s.; Back Seats, 1s.

Children in arms not admitted.

Tickets may be obtained from Mr. LAXTON, Bookseller, High Street (where a Plan of Reserved Seats may be seen on and after Wednesday, January 27th); Messrs. WARING, Wolverhampton Street; Mr. EVAN ROBERTS, Stone Street; or from any Member of the Committee.

Carriages may be ordered for half-past Ten, and will set down with horses’ heads facing Snowhill, and take up, horses’ heads facing the Town.


February 13th, 1860. The Right Honourable Lord Ward was created “Earl of Dudley and Viscount Ednam.” This important event was received with great satisfaction, both in the town of Dudley and the surrounding villages and hamlets, and the ancient town of Dudley was especially aware of marked consideration, in having the new elevation in the Peerage of the House of Himley called after our loyal and trusty old Borough. Deputations of congratulations to the noble Earl poured in upon him from all quarters, and the most notable must be claimed, the “Great Deputation,” which in much pomp and state emanated from the then Mayor, Theophilus Tinsley, Esq., and the principal inhabitants of Dudley, who were most graciously received by the new Earl of Dudley, at Himley Hall, on February 18th, 1860. The following is a report of these congratulatory deputations.


Thursday was the day named by the Earl of Dudley as the day when he should be happy to receive the deputation who had expressed a wish to wait upon his lordship, to present to him, on behalf of the town of Dudley, an address, upon his recent elevation to the title of Earl of Dudley. Himley was named as the place where his lordship would receive the deputation, and, accordingly, between one and two yesterday afternoon, the following gentlemen assembled at Himley Hall:—The Mayor (T. Tinsley, Esq.), the High Bailiff (Mr. C. F. G. Clark), Rev. Dr. Davison, Rev. G. Lewis, [Pg 290]Captain Bennitt, Messrs. A. B. Cochrane, J. E. Swindell, W. Haden, S. D. Fereday, J. G. Walker, J. S. Bourne, Williscroft, Renaud, Grainger, Rudge, Hollier, Jordan, S. Price, Aston, Sanders, H. M. Wainwright, W. S. Wood, and Danks.

His Lordship received the deputation in his accustomed urbane manner, and after the ceremony of recognition had been gone through, the Mayor read the following address: “To the Right Honourable the Earl of Dudley,—We, the Mayor, Magistrates, clergy, gentry, and inhabitants of the parish and borough of Dudley, beg to offer to your Lordship our sincere and hearty congratulations on the occasion of your Lordship’s elevation to the Earldom of Dudley; and humbly pray that your Lordship may be long spared to enjoy that dignity, and that it may by God’s blessing be handed down in direct succession to the remotest posterity. Dudley, February 16th, 1860.”

The address, engrossed on vellum in a highly decorative style, bore the inscription, “To the Right Honourable the Earl of Dudley,” and was superbly illuminated in gold and colours, his lordship’s motto, “Comme je fus,” preceding the address. To it were added nearly 700 signatures, including the leading inhabitants of Dudley, Netherton, and the outlying districts comprehended within the borough of 40,000 inhabitants from which his lordship derives the title. The address and signatures thereto occupied twelve sheets of vellum, and the whole was enclosed in a handsome Russian cover, on which, in letters of gold, appeared the following dedication—“To the Right Honourable the Earl of Dudley, of Dudley Castle, in the county of Stafford, Viscount Ednam, of Ednam, in the county of Roxburgh.”

After the Mayor had read the address, and presented it to the Earl, the High Bailiff made a few remarks in support of the sentiments conveyed in that document. He said that although the occasion of his lordship’s elevation to an earldom was no doubt of great importance to himself privately, still it was also of great importance to the borough of Dudley, and his lordship had paid a very high compliment to the borough in taking his title from it. Therefore they had considered it their duty to present to his lordship that address, signed, as it was, by all classes and all denominations of the inhabitants of the borough, and by those who were sincerely attached to both his lordship’s person and house.

The Rev. G. Lewis, in the absence of the Rev. Dr. Browne, (Vicar of Dudley) begged, in the name of the clergy and ministers of Dudley, to be allowed to avail himself of that opportunity of expressing his congratulations upon his Lordship’s elevation to his new title. The title bore the impress of a new bond of connection between his Lordship and Dudley, and he (Mr. Lewis) trusted it would extend the connection, and still more closely cement the bond.

His Lordship then replied to the address of the deputation in a few observations, which were especially remarkable for their felicity and the cordial feeling they displayed. The noble Earl stated that he need not tell them that that was one of the[Pg 291] moments of his life which gave him the greatest pleasure, and which he should remember the longest, and, as they might suppose, he could not divest himself of the personal pleasure attendant upon the reception of such a deputation on such an occasion. But far beyond any gratification this station of rank could give him, was the fact that the town and borough of Dudley shared in that gratification, and spoke out on the subject so distinctly as it did that day. But the personal gratification was not all because he felt that it was, really and truly, a congratulation upon a matter which very much affected himself and his house. In these days, when men not only demand their right to private opinions, but also the right to express those opinions, it was more than ever difficult to obtain an unanimous opinion as to who was worthy of congratulation. Still it was always a great pleasure to congratulate another; but when a man happened to be the object of such congratulations, to be the object of which such a meeting was called as that he saw before him, and the object of the expressions which had been given utterance to, the pleasure was naturally four-fold greater. With regard to what had been said about the selection of the title of Earl of Dudley, his Lordship remarked that he could not for one moment have dreamt of taking any other title. He had desired that the link between his family and the town might be drawn together closer, and be stronger than ever, and to show them that such were his desires he had taken the title of Earl of Dudley. When he was told that he must take the title from some town, he took that title from Dudley, and in adding Dudley Castle to it he had only stepped in the steps of his forefathers, and taken their precedent for his guidance. One happened to be in Worcestershire and the other in Staffordshire, although few people perhaps knew where the division of the counties was, and his only reason for acceding to what was proposed to him was that he was told he must name a place from which to take the title, and therefore he followed the precedent laid down for him. It was not only, however, that the occasion personally affected the town and himself, but it was that in so large a body as that deputation, there was a guarantee that there was a feeling abroad of the mutual benefit to be derived from the town having so much confidence in the nearest peer who happened to reside in the neighbourhood, and the fact that the peer would find he could not do without the support of his nearest neighbours. Perhaps in former times there was not so much real understanding of one another, and intimacy with one another, as had happily existed between himself and the town; he had fallen upon other times, when men were more closely drawn together by various ties but at any rate, he did not know any time when any deputation, representing so large a body, had come to Himley to offer congratulations upon any event connected with the family. After paying a very marked and highly eulogistic compliment to those who represented his house in the dignified manner he was proud to say they did, the noble Earl concluded by stating that the address presented that day would be placed amongst the papers of his family, and in his mind would be the most valuable of them, because it was a guarantee that the bonds of connection between the town of [Pg 292]Dudley and himself would be drawn together more closely than ever.

The Dowager Lady Ward was present during the proceedings; and evinced a lively interest in them. Her ladyship, together with the noble Earl, the gentlemen composing the deputation, R. Smith, Esq., and G. Taylor., Esq., subsequently sat down to a sumptuous luncheon, and at its conclusion the deputation thanked his Lordship for the princely reception they had met with, and retired.

His Lordship has courteously accepted an invitation to a banquet at Dudley, on Tuesday, the 28th inst., and on the same day his Lordship will supply the indigent poor of the borough with beef. Upon the same day the children in the various schools in the town will receive a treat, the expense of which will be met by public subscriptions.—Birmingham Journal.


Yesterday a deputation from Brierley Hill waited upon the Right Hon. the Earl of Dudley, at Himley Hall, to present to his lordship, on behalf of the inhabitants of Brierley Hill and the district, their congratulations on his lordship’s recent elevation in the peerage. The deputation started from the Star Hotel (Mr. English’s), about one o’clock, in four carriages, and consisted of the following gentlemen:—Rev. S. Franklin (incumbent of Brierley Hill), Rev.—Gray (curate), Rev. J. Roebuck (Independent minister), Rev. J. Williams (Wesleyan minister), Dr. Walker, Messrs. Ford, P. Harris, R. Plant, W. H. Westwood, G. Pearson, Chapman, Wheeler, Williams, Horton, Homer, and Cook. Upon arriving at the Hall, the deputation were received by the noble Earl in a very cordial manner, and Mr. R. Plant, after making a few eulogistic remarks, proceeded to read the following address:—“We, the undersigned, clergy, ministers of the gospel, and others, inhabitants of the town of Brierley Hill and district, beg to present our congratulations to your Lordship on your accession to your family dignities and honours, bestowed upon you by the act of our most gracious Sovereign; and that you may be spared to live long in the enjoyment of your revived family title, and that it may be handed down through succeeding generations, is our fervent wish, who fully appreciate your Lordship’s interest towards us, as exhibited in your untiring efforts to promote the welfare and prosperity of this locality.” To this address were attached about 1,200 signatures. In order that beauty and harmony should be better preserved the signatures were transcribed, and with the dedication and address the souvenir took the form of a thin royal octavo volume, beautifully bound in gilt russia. On the outer cover appeared [Pg 293]the following words:—“Address from the town and district of Brierley Hill to the Right Honourable the Earl of Dudley, 1860.” On the frontispiece the Earl’s crest and motto were tastefully lithographed in gold and colours, immediately succeeding which was the following dedication:—“To the Right Honourable the Earl of Dudley, of Dudley, in the county of Worcester, and of Dudley Castle in the county of Stafford, Viscount Ednam of Ednam, in the county of Roxburgh, 1860.” The dedication and address were printed in colours, and each of the pages containing the signatures was surrounded with an illuminated border. After the reception of the address, the noble Earl made a few appropriate remarks in reply. He said that an address of such a character, signed as it was by about 1,200 persons, was a source of great gratification to him, and would have been equally so if it had consisted of simple sheets of paper, instead of assuming the elegant form it had. Considering the short time occupied in obtaining the signatures (one day) it was extremely gratifying to find such a feeling exhibited towards himself and his house as was evinced by the 1,200 who had come forward and signed the document on behalf of themselves and those surrounding them. It proved that Brierley Hill was fast rising in all the importance due to a town, and he hoped it would still continue to rise, and be supplied with such public buildings as it required, towards which object he should always be happy to render a helping hand. With regard to supplying the requisite churches and chapels for the district, his Lordship took occasion to remark that it was almost impossible to “overtake” the work—to use a Scotch expression. It was also difficult to obtain ministers who would enter into the work with a proper spirit, and properly perform it, and generally it was very difficult to find sufficient accommodation for the wants of the place. After alluding to the importance of mechanics’ institutions, and kindred sources of improvement, and remarking that they were also necessary in a growing locality like Brierley Hill, his Lordship concluded by remarking that the address presented that day would be treasured along with the most honoured archives of the house and family; and as he might not stand again before the same body of gentlemen, who represented 1200 inhabitants, and doubtless many more, he begged them to convey his thanks to each person who had signed the document, and participated in the congratulations conveyed.

Deputations from Netherton, Sedgley, and Quarry Bank (near Brierley Hill) were also present. The latter address was as follows:—“To the Right Hon. Earl of Dudley, &c., &c., &c. May it please your Lordship, we, the undersigned clergy, churchwardens, and tenants under your Lordship in the new district parish of Quarry Bank, Diocese of Lichfield, and in the county of Stafford, take the liberty of congratulating your Lordship on your elevation by our most gracious Queen to the Earldom of Dudley, a dignity heretofore enjoyed by some of your Lordship’s ancestors. We humbly conceive that this evidence of Royal favour has been most judiciously conferred upon a nobleman, the management of whose property throughout this entire district justly entitles him to be [Pg 294]ranked amongst the kindest, most liberal, and best of England’s landlords, in whom an industrious and well-conducted tenantry always find a protector, friend, and patron; at the same time your Lordship proves by great liberality your anxiety for the religious and moral welfare of the people of this district, granting, in this mining country where land is so valuable, ground for the erection of a church for the people, for a churchyard, for parsonage and gardens, liquidating the balance of mortgage due on parsonage to Queen Anne’s bounty, defraying the entire cost of introducing gas into the church, subscribing annually towards the support and the education of the young in the district, and contributing towards the aid of clerical ministrations throughout the parish. Fervently do we pray that your Lordship may long be spared to enjoy every blessing, and that the dignity conferred upon you by our gracious Queen may descend (with even increased honours) to your Lordship’s latest posterity.” The gentlemen comprising the various deputations were subsequently entertained by the noble Earl at an elegant and sumptuous luncheon, after which they thanked his lordship for his cordial reception, and retired.

The Dowager Lady Ward, with two or three lady friends, and G. Taylor, Esq. (his lordship’s estate agent), were present during the interesting proceedings.—Birmingham Journal.

After the several deputations had been gone through, it was deemed the correct thing to invite the noble Earl to a grand banquet, to be given by the Mayor, and principal inhabitants of the town and district. This ever-to-be-remembered dinner became the source of much merriment to those present, as well as annoyance and chagrin to two reporters to the press, who would not accommodate themselves to the pressure that had to be put upon the small space afforded in the Hotel Ball Room to seat 128 guests at this dinner; the consequence was, that the eloquent speeches were not reported at all, and the whole affair resolved itself into a semi-private dinner party.

It was an unfortunate incident that the then Mayor was neither a moderate speaker, or well acquainted with the Queen’s English, and the mistakes and blunders that were made, under the eyes and ears of so many distinguished visitors, were a source of much annoyance to the better sort of people in the town, who had some sincere regard for the fame and honour of Dudley. However, this celebrated banquet was destined to have one Chronicler, who in the following lines records the proceedings.


By Solomon Squib.

I sing in praise of our old Castle Walls,
Its tilts and tournaments, fêtes and balls;
Of the great Dodo, and his humble bride,
Daughter of the far-famed Edmund Ironside,
Whose son Athelstan its Towers erected,
Whose successors its buildings for centuries protected;
Of the martial achievements of great Simon Ward,
Of his noble descendant becoming its Lord;
Of its loyal defence in the great revolution,
Its destruction by fire, and its sad dissolution.
I sing of the days of chivalry,
Of the noble spirit of rivalry.
When every knight detested a sinner,
And swore to be true to his fair Dulcinea.
When each one received the accolade,
And was dubb’d and in costly mail array’d,
With a strippling squire to carry his shield,
Determin’d to conquer and never to yield[Pg 295]
To any power but the power above,
For the sake of his bright-eyed lady-love.
I sing of the tournaments of old,
When every knight with a spirit bold,
Dash’d his gauntlet into the ring,
Defying all comers from peasant to king.
Strange times were these, when the Lord of the Castle,
With bondsmen and freemen excited with wassail,
Rush’d on their neighbours by day and by night,
Shouting vociferously, “Might shall be right!”
E’en in the days of our good Queen Bess,
Ashwood and Priestwood were forced to confess
The power of seven score madden’d with wine,
Who stole their best oxen, their sheep and their kyne.
These customs were past when our Earl’s noble ancestor
Fair Frances won, and the Lord of all blest her
With children whose numerous descendants were famed
For talents, for actions, for virtues oft named,—
Talents acknowledged by Peel, Byron, Moore,
Kings, Lords and Commons, by the rich and the poor—
By Oxford and Cambridge, by linguists, by all,
By the foes of old England, far and near, great and small.
Actions engraved on the hearts of the people,
And telling their story from steeple to steeple.
Virtues in Heaven’s blest mansions recorded,
Where the vile never go, and the pure are rewarded.
I care not for critics, ’cased in temples of marble,
Sending forth bombshells and missiles of garble,
’Gainst the wide reputation of Dudley’s great Earl,—
Let them come forth, and their banners unfurl,
With their mischievous motto, “Wealth’s all my eye;”
Go back, silly mortals, and mind the small fry,
And we’ll give a shout of exuberant joy,
For our great benefactor, that broth of a boy,
Who never deserts us in time of great need,—
Noble patron, we heartily wish thee God speed!
Thy bounty has blest many a worthy civilian,
And given enjoyment and fun to the million.
Our Whitsuntide fêtes on the Castle to wit:
But stay, this long metre this subject won’t fit.
Reader, with your permission,
I’ll make a short digression;
For brevity is best, no doubt,
When wit, fun, frolic, are about.
The Castle Fêtes, alas! alas!
Let them to oblivion pass,
With the ugly Balance Sheet,
Afraid the public eye to meet;
We no doubt can do without it,
Therefore say no more about it.
[Pg 296]Why rave, and rant, and grumble? Zounds!
The gains exceed a thousand pounds!
In spite of the great defalcation,
And the costly presentation,
Sufficient to clothe and equip a score
Of the “Dudley Volunteer Rifle Corps.”
I now sing of the blind man’s happy home,
The Asylum for those who care not to roam,
The magnificent gift of our patron and friend,—
May his praises resound to the wide world’s end.
’Twas a gladdening sight, it did one’s heart good,
When he laid the foundation stone, humbly he stood,
’Midst the ragged, and wretched, and the poor cast-away,
The well-to-do folk, and the great and the gay,—
Proclaiming “My worldly possessions I owe
To the Ruler of all things above and below,
And through life my earnest endeavour shall be
To distribute those blessings given to me.”
Well spoken, my Lord, may your stewardship meet
The approval of Him who knows no deceit;
Then when titles and grandeur shall crumble to dust,
Your soul will be found ’mongst the righteous and just.
And now let us sing of the great Deputation,
With address clothed in gold, a sweet gratulation.
To Himley they journey’d without ostentation,
Made their bows and delivered a first-rate oration.
So flattering, so powerful, it caused quite a sensation,—
And ended at last with the Earl’s observation,
“My friends, your respect has my warm approbation;
“I pray you partake of a cold collation.”
Each one took his seat without hesitation,
Eat and drank and talk’d o’er the affairs of the nation,
And the Captain delivered a long peroration,
So fulsome, it met with the Earl’s condemnation.
The business being o’er, and the Mayor’s invitation
Accepted, each went to his own habitation.
And the Mayor, uplifted with such exultation,
Sends forth the following proclamation:
“O yes! O yes! be it known to all men,
(We never shall see the like again),
On the 28th instant we hold our Banquet!
And after the 19th no seats will be let—
A guinea a piece—‘Hark! forward, boys, hark!’
Signed, P. G. M., L. M. N. O. P., C. F. G. (Clerk).”
’Twas a splendid affair, all the tickets were taken,
And they sat down to fish, flesh, fowl, and bacon.
The Mayor took the chair, and the Bailiff was Vice,—
Vice versa, some thought would have been the best choice.
The great guest was welcom’d with loud acclamation,
And the nobles were greeted with kind adulation:
[Pg 297]Talented Lyttelton, “honourable” Ward,
(Promoters of progress, stem foes to discord,)
The great Dean of Worcester, the immaculate Paul,
The Sheriff whom no power on earth can appal:
These were the guests that graced the Mayor’s table,
Men full of good works, free, willing, and able
To assist us in all things pertaining to good,
To bodily comforts and spiritual food.
And besides, there were present the renown’d Dr. Browne,
The unknown Doctor D., and the élite of the town,
All the Clergy of the Established Church were there,
Only one Chapel preacher thought fit to appear.
Ten magistrates (bless ’em), a glorious batch,
Like jolly good fellows, came up to the scratch;
Exclusive of them there appear’d twenty-two,
In the Coal and Iron trade some few good and true.
Eight respectable lawyers, five doctors, four quacks,
Seven victuallers, four sellers of leather and wax,
Eight drapers and tailors, the glass-master Renaud,
One hatter, one painter, one printer, one Howard;
Tom and John the surveyors, fond of all things good;
The important ex-Mayor, and the little Ned Wood,
Tom Smart the butcher, and the millionaire Guest,
Fourteen agents (two ticketless) make up the rest:
Numbering one hundred and twenty and nine,
And all pleased with their excellent dinner and wine.
The cloth was drawn, and the plate went round,
And in lieu of two tickets two guineas were found:
The shorthands were call’d from the taproom below,
By the Clerk and Committee, yet none would go;
Inducements were offered, but all was in vain,
The help of reporters they could not obtain,—
They’d insulted most grossly the “fourth estate,”
And all they could say would not compensate;
Its reporters they forced from their usual places,
(A thing never known e’en at prize-fights and races),
And sent them down stairs till the stuffing was o’er,
And then “This way, gentlemen, to the next floor.”
Why the dirtiest hole throughout all the nation
Could not have display’d less civilization.
Amidst great confusion, and cries of “Chair, chair!”
The business proceeded by our eloquent Mayor,
Proposing so brilliantly each loyal toast,
I’m afraid he disturbed old Demosthenes’ ghost.
He came to the Bishops and Clergy at last,
And on the great Doctor his north twinkler cast
Up jumps the bold Doctor and spouted away,
’Bout Dudley’s great Earl, whom none can gainsay
“Look at his acts and his kind liberality,
“Especially confined to this favour’d locality.
[Pg 298]Then he spoke of St. Thomas’s tottering steeple,
And the need of a church for the Cemetery people:
“Much money is wanted, but little is found;
“Will you suffer God’s Temple to fall to the ground?
“Let the Town Hall and such useless fabrics be floor’d,
“But let not my Church and your vestry be lower’d;
“I claim your support and your very best wishes,
“For the sake of the long lost loaves and fishes.”
And now comes the toast, the toast of the day,
“The great Earl of Dudley”—huzza! and huzza!!!
’Twas given by Blackwell in a splendid oration,
Boldly deliver’d without ostentation,
Free from all twaddle and mean adulation.
He gained great applause from beginning to end,
And the Earl was pleased to call him “his friend.”
(This Blackbird, so flighty, sagacious, and clever,
In crossing a Brooke, once display’d a white feather.)
But what said the Earl in reply to the toast?
Magnanimous sentiments! could the town boast
Of another like him, we’d have nothing to fear,
All would be prosperous year after year.
He spoke like a man of the warmest sincerity,
Express’d his desire for Dudley’s prosperity,
Declar’d he was willing to do all he could
Towards all things pertaining to public good.
Improvements were wanted all over the town—
The dirty old Town Hall he’d have taken down;
And hop’d he should see, in a very short time,
More refinement in all things, less ignorance and crime.
Ye pooh-poohing puppies, ye foul-mouthed jokers,
Contemptible cynics, and broken-down croakers,
Your rancorous shafts can’t harm or offend
Our high-minded leader, our patriot and friend.
Go to bed, rantipoles, your day’s on the wane;
Lie still, for you’ll never be wanted again.
The Earl in due time gave “Long life to the Mayor,”
[Pg 299]And the chairman responded in terms rich and rare;
He talk’d of his “Earlship’s well-known festivalities,”
Our local inducements, our strange nationalities.
Of his “READING at Himley the great Deputation,”
And his “Earlship’s” high and magnificent station.
The guests were astounded at language so able,
And the Earl, overcome, dropp’d his head on the table.
Lord Lyttelton fancied it could not last long,
So balanced a spoon on the tip of his tongue!!
It ended at last with a hem and a haw,
And the Mayor sat down with immense eclât.
The High Bailiff came out with his “verbalized finery”,
Inexplicable terms and unmeaning irony.
The town and the Trade, and Squire Knight’s quackery
He prefers the year round to Dickens or Thackeray;
He loves the black country—may nothing upset it,—
For though he may leave it, he’ll never forget it.
Mr. Haden replied to the “Coal and Iron Trade,”
In language concise, unadorned, unarrayed.
Our Captain, as bold, as the heroes of Rome,
Proposed “Lady Ward” and the old house at home.
Our Lord Lieutenant, whom all men adore,
Drank success to our Volunteer Rifle Corps.
Th’ intelligent Fred, whom the world scarcely knows,
In an eloquent speech, thought fit to propose
The health of the Sheriff, whom none can gainsay,
His namesake and friend, and the County’s mainstay.
To the “Sports of the Field,” Will Grazebrook replied
In a humorous speech which none can deride:
Yet, sad to relate, when this sportsman departed,
Full of good cheer, light-headed, light-hearted,
On his travels towards home he upset a trap,
Which eventually proved a serious mishap.
The coachman pull’d up, but all advice scorning,
“Drive on,” cried his master, “I’ll call in the morning.”
Shame! shame! Billy Grazebrook; if a fox had been there
You’d have been at the death, and not in the rear;
But alas! a fond husband has now to bewail
The loss of his lov’d one: so here ends my tale.



To the Editor of the Daily Post.

Sir,—In your impression of this day’s Daily Post it is observed that your Mr. Simpson, the recognised Dudley reporter of the Daily Post, has thought fit to advert to what he conceives to be “an indignity” offered to the reporters of the press, at the dinner given to the Earl of Dudley last evening.

As one of the Committee of Management in that matter, I [Pg 300]would wish, by your permission, to rectify some of the erroneous impressions which your remarks are calculated to convey to the public.

I beg to inform your readers that the “Press” was one of the “first considerations” of the committee at its meetings; as a proof of which your Mr. Simpson obtained, through the influence of the committee, the exclusive privilege to report the proceedings of the Himley deputation, and received that distinguished recognition rarely accorded to the “Fourth Estate.”

The unprecedented rush for tickets to do honour to the Earl of Dudley, and the very confined nature of the space for dining at the disposal of the committee, necessarily compelled that body to adopt “extraordinary means” for the purpose of giving as many of the public as possible an opportunity of “doing honour to whom honour is due.”

Under these pressing circumstances, the representatives of the press were respectfully solicited to accommodate the committee by dining at its expense, truly “downstairs,” because there was “no available dining space” upstairs, with the clear intimation that they would be accommodated with seats, wines, and dessert in the dining-room as soon as the cloth was drawn. This offer the egotistical representatives of the press indignantly declined to accept, and, unfortunately for the gratification of the public, forgot their quota of courtesy due to the committee by neglecting to forward their portentous decision until it was too late for the committee to procure additional reporters.

These, Sir, are the naked facts of the case, and however much it is to be regretted that the interests of the press should get into disrepute by an assumption on behalf of its reporters, it must now be left to the dispassionate public to determine whether the committee would have been justified in displacing a number of gentlemen to make way for the reporters of the “Fourth Estate” (merely at the time of dining), and whether the press has the right to arrogate to itself, on all occasions, “the chief corners in the temple.”

I am, your obedient servant,

C. F. G. CLARK, High Bailiff.

Dudley, February 29th, 1860.

[In a few remote places, and in those circles of society into which modern notions of courtesy have imperfectly penetrated, we still find some lingering belief that the Press and its representatives are very much in the position of singers at a feast, to have a plate sent out to them in the corridor, and a chair in the windiest corner of the room when the cloth is drawn. But it is not often that we have the idea so honestly expressed. According to Mr. Clark, the accommodation of the Press was one of the earliest considerations of the committee, who seem to have balanced the profit of admitting 127 diners against the propriety [Pg 301]of restricting that number to 125 and two reporters, by whose agency the whole of the vast district through which we circulate would in effect have shared in the honour done to the noble guest, and in the eloquence with which that honour was recognised. The committee, in its shortsightedness, deliberately chose to make room for two diners more, under the impression that they would manage the Press somehow,and the spirit of courtesy in which that “management” was undertaken may be inferred from the tone of the remarkable letter of our correspondent. It appears that by some gracious act of condescension our reporter was actually allowed to accompany a deputation to Himley Hall, “a distinguished recognition,” quoth Mr. Clark, “rarely accorded to the Fourth Estate.” The gentleman who can assume these grand airs, which the master of Himley Hall himself would be about the last to dream of, was very well qualified to execute and excuse the orders of the committee in asking the reporters to come in with the dessert. We quite approve of their refusal to submit to this servants’ hall treatment. They have no right to expect, and as far as we know, they never lay claim to the chief places at feasts; but so long as their refusal is expressed with courtesy they have our entire approval when they decline to submit to treatment, the result not of accident or oversight—this we are sure they would be the first to make allowance for—but, as the “early consideration” shows, deliberately resolved upon. It was not until all the tickets were sold that this dining-down-stairs project was made known to our reporter, or we would have taken good care that he should have had such accommodation as a guinea could have given him. It is very droll, in the midst of all that is silly in this letter, to hear it charged against the reporters that they didn’t study the convenience of these gracious gentlemen, so far as to allow them the opportunity of obtaining “other reporters.” Other reporters! One would imagine these commodities were as easy to procure as change for a shilling. But suppose they were provided; we say it for ourselves, and we dare say the same for the majority, if not the whole, of our contemporaries, that the product of the “other reporters” would have found its way to the office waste-paper basket. As it is, the committee have made a pretty mess of it. They have dined the Earl truly, but they have contrived to rob the honour of half its graciousness and all its value, by denuding it of the crowning grace of publicity.—Ed. Daily Post.]

To the Editor of the Daily Post.

Sir,—There is a paragraph in your edition of to-day respecting the banquet last evening, given by the town to the Earl of Dudley, in which the writer is facetious, regarding the indignant treatment to which it was proposed to submit the gentlemen of the Fourth Estate, and their noble protest against such treatment. Doubtless your sense of what is just and fair will admit a statement on the part of the committee of that dinner.

[Pg 302]

On Wednesday up to four o’clock 111 tickets had been sold—bought and paid for. The Mayor had been requested to reserve four for various parties, and six were kept for the invited guests, making in all 121. On Wednesday evening four more were issued, making 125; and on Monday evening, when the committee next met, a list of a dozen applications could not even be considered. Besides this 125, it was expected that some few guests might be present, and there were at least three (Mr. Melville, Mr. Campbell, and another); and careful and accurate measurement of the room had given as a result the utter impossibility of putting more than 128 into it. Where then, I ask, could the reporters be accommodated at dinner, being, as they might be, some six or eight? Arrangements were made for their dining, and as soon as space could be obtained, by the absence of the waiters, a table was placed for their accommodation in the centre of the room. We were perfectly willing to treat them as well as circumstances would allow, but we could not do what was palpably impossible.

I have only to add that a full report of the banquet shall be forwarded to you for Saturday’s Journal. The committee would have been best pleased to have a professional report; but in default of that must do the best they can to preserve a record of that portion of the events of the day.

I am, Sir, yours faithfully,


[Our reply to this is that there were only two papers represented, our own and the Wolverhampton Chronicle. The committee should have reserved two places for those reporters, no matter what the demand was. That is a prime article in the creed of all public dinner-giving committees, and a wise one we think.—Ed. Daily Post.]

Shortly after these civic proceedings were accomplished, the noble Earl laid the Foundation Stone of the Blind Asylum in the Tipton Road, which was built at his Lordship’s entire cost, as a home and maintenance for those unfortunate miners and stone quarry men, who are constantly losing their sight by explosions in his Lordship’s extensive mines. In consequence of these sightless men refusing to avail themselves of this charitable hospitality, this noble structure was tenantless for some years, until it was so liberally given up by the Earl of Dudley to the Trustees appointed by the late Joseph Guest, Esq., “for the purpose of founding a hospital in Dudley,” which has since that time been of incalculable benefit to the working classes, and now assumes vast usefulness as our renowned “Guest’s Hospital.” The following ceremony took place on that occasion:—



[Pg 303]

Yesterday (Tuesday) was a day specially set apart by the inhabitants of Dudley—having first duly consulted his lordship’s convenience—for celebrating in some marked and public manner the elevation of Lord Ward, who is so intimately connected with the town, to the dignity and position of Earl of Dudley, a title which one of his ancestors had previously held. The day seemed to be observed as a day of festivity and general rejoicing, and the ordinary avocations of life appeared to be in a great degree suspended. From an early hour the bells of the various churches in the locality rang out a merry peal, the streets were unusually thronged with pedestrians, flags floated in the breeze from some of the houses, and the universal subject of conversation was the Earl of Dudley and his probable movements during the day. As we have already noticed in these columns the distribution of about four thousand pounds weight of beef, which the liberality of his lordship had provided, it is unnecessary to state more now than the fact that the beef was distributed among the poor on Monday last in pieces weighing 4lbs. each, the clergymen and ministers of various denominations in the town acting as the almoners of the noble Earl’s bounty. The colliers on the Dudley estate were presented with a day’s pay yesterday, in harmony with the practice adopted towards their fellow workmen at Brierley Hill on the preceding day, and we believe that Dudley was not the only place that participated in the distribution of beef. Five oxen were slaughtered for Dudley—one being apportioned to the Kate’s Hill district, one to Netherton, one to Wolverhampton Street, and two to High Street. One or two bands of music paraded the streets of the town yesterday, and about mid-day everyone was on the tiptoe of expectation, and anxious to see his lordship pass through the streets on his way to the Tipton New Road, where the ceremony of


was to take place. The asylum is intended by his lordship for the reception of those men in his employ who have lost their sight through working in the limestone caverns, which underlie the Castle Hill and grounds. The plan and “bird’s-eye view” of the institution show that it is intended to accommodate twenty-six families, each family being furnished with a suite of five rooms and out-houses. There will also be an infants’, boys’, and girls’ school, capable of accommodating together about 150 children. A schoolmaster’s residence will be attached to the schools, and at a little distance a chapel and minister’s house will be erected. The chapel will be consecrated by the Bishop of the diocese when completed, and the noble Earl will endow it from his own private purse. A laundry, sick ward, and convenience for a surgeon, form part of the scheme, and the sanitary arrangements are of a most perfect character. The block of buildings occupy three sides of a quadrangle, and the whole is enclosed by a low wall and ornamental palisadings, the entrance being through a neat iron gateway, to which is attached a porter’s lodge. There is a separate [Pg 304]entrance to the church on the south side of the Asylum. In the centre of the east side is a tower, in which is constructed a large tank for supplying the various houses with water, the idea being that the tank shall be supplied by the manual labour of the blind inmates, a pump being placed over a conduit in the centre of the ground for that purpose. Under such an arrangement it is contemplated that an ample supply of water will always be at hand for every sanitary and culinary purpose. The centre of the quadrangle is laid out as a greensward, with footpaths intersecting it, and in the rear about two acres of land are devoted to the purposes of a kitchen and flower garden. The South Staffordshire Railway runs along a short distance behind the block of buildings, and the Oxford, Worcester and Wolverhampton Railway passes in front, midway between the Asylum and the Castle Hill. The new turnpike road from Dudley to Tipton is also closely contiguous. The material used in the erection of the various buildings is red and white sandstone, supplied from his lordship’s quarries, and the style of architecture is the early decorated Gothic. The whole of the expense of the erection and fitting-up will be borne by his lordship, and the asylum will, when complete, form another memento of the princely munificence for which he is so deservedly celebrated. About twelve o’clock yesterday his lordship arrived upon the ground, in company with the Dowager Lady Ward and the Hon. Mrs. Claughton and party. Among other ladies and gentlemen also present at the ceremony were the Rev. D. Melville and party; Rev. Dr. Browne, Vicar of Dudley; Mrs. E. F. Smith, Mrs. S. D. Fereday, Miss Roberts, T. Tinsley, Esq., (Mayor of Dudley), Mr. E. Hollier, (ex-Mayor), Mr. C. F. G. Clark (High Bailiff) &c. The ceremonial commenced by the noble earl placing in the cavity of the stone prepared for its reception a glass bottle containing a copy of the Gazette in which he was declared to have been created an earl, and also the current coins of the realm. His lordship then proceeded to read the following inscription, which was engraved on a brass plate placed over the cavity: “The corner stone of this building, erected for the collecting together under one roof, and for the comfort and consolation of those who have lost their eyesight in the working of the Dudley limestone caverns, was laid by the Earl of Dudley, of Dudley Castle, William Baron Ward, of Birmingham, the 28th day of February, 1860. Richard Smith, mine agent of the Dudley estates, to whose suggestion this institution owes its origin. William Bourne, architect; J. Hartland, W. Walker, builders. Dimidium cœpti qui bene cœpit habet.” The noble Earl then received a silver trowel from the Dowager Lady Ward, to whom it had been first presented, and the stone having been lowered to its final resting place, the customary formalities were gone through. It may be incidentally mentioned, that, at the request of a bystander a medal, commemorative of the erection of St. Thomas’s Church, was also placed with the coins. The inscription on the plate was surmounted by the Dudley arms. After the lowering of the stone the Rev. Dr. Browne offered up prayer, and subsequently the Earl of Dudley addressed the assembled crowd. He commenced his [Pg 305]remarks by reminding those present that although they had just seen the corner stone of the building laid the work had not to be begun, as the foundation has been laid for some time past, and everything would now go on rapidly towards completion. It gave him the greatest possible pleasure that he was enabled on an occasion like that—so soon after his accession to an earldom—to lay the foundation stone of a building which it was his prayer would last till the sons and grandsons of those by whom it would be tenanted should have passed away. They all knew what the building was intended for, but he would add one other word. Although a large employer of labour like himself was bound as a matter of duty to provide for the maintenance of those who by a dispensation of Providence were deprived of their eyesight while in his employ, the contemplated benefits of the asylum would extend further than that. In that building they might meet those with whom they had been in the habit of associating, and one would be enabled to comfort the other, and add consolation to consolation as long as life should last—that inward consolation which was so necessary to those who had lost their outward sight, and therefore could not look upon the beauties of earth. The inmates would thus feel great pleasure in knowing that those who formerly were engaged with them in the same occupation were sitting around them, praying with them, and reciprocating the same sentiments. Their wives—to whom they were bound by the common natural tie—and their children—in whom their happiness must to a great extent be centred—would also be near them, and around them, and would grow up among acquaintances who, becoming friends, would prove invaluable upon starting in life, as they often gave a man a better chance of taking his proper position in society. The noble Earl went on to say that he took no credit to himself for suggesting such an institution, as it was not his due. If he carried the work out it would be because, being by the gift of Providence the possessor of such large estates, he felt it to be his duty to look after those who suffered in his interests. But the idea did not originate with him, but with a gentleman who, day by day and week by week, saw with his own eyes what escaped his lordship’s—the suffering and misery of those who lost their sight. The suggestion was made by a man well known and highly respected in this district, where he was born, and where he had ever maintained an unspotted name of honour and integrity of purpose. That gentleman having suggested the work, he (the noble Earl) was bound to carry it out, although not perhaps without some jealousy, on account of not having been the first to originate it. After expressing a hope that in a few months they would see the building rise in all its fair proportions, and that the day would soon arrive when they should see those for whom the building was intended marching in to take possession of it, his lordship concluded amid loud and continued cheers. Three cheers were also given for Lady Ward, the Rev. Dr Browne, and R. Smith, Esq. A number of copies of a view of the projected building, which was dedicated to the last-named gentleman, were then distributed by the noble Earl, and the assembly soon afterwards dispersed.

[Pg 306]


Of the banquet in the evening to the noble Earl we can say nothing, except that we believe about 120 sat down. The Dinner Committee, in making their arrangements, seem to have ignored the existence of such an institution as the Press, and it was not till all the tickets were sold, and all the available space occupied, that they appear to have entertained the idea that probably the public would like to know something about their proceedings. Accordingly, in their magnanimity, they arranged that provision should be made in some room “downstairs,” where the reporters might eat and drink by themselves, and await the summons to “go up higher,” which happy period, it is supposed, would have arrived when the cloth was withdrawn, and the serious part of the business of the evening commenced. However, the representatives of the “fourth estate” present did not feel inclined to submit to such unusual indignities. In consequence of these proceedings of the committee our readers are deprived of a report of the speeches made at the banquet; but we may perhaps be allowed to remark that such a mode of conducting what is really public business, is alike disrespectful to the noble Earl they intended to congratulate, and insulting to every person who has a just idea of the dignity of the press. If the committee had informed us that the right of a reporter to be present was only purchaseable, we should, for the sake of our readers, have taken care that this right was secured for our representative.—Daily Post.

June 18th, 1860. The Old Town Hall, which had stood between two and three centuries in the Market Place, Dudley, was doomed to destruction, and workmen commenced pulling it down this day. The noble Earl of Dudley had previously signified his intention to erect a handsome Italian Fountain on the site, which now adorns our Market Place.

Died, October 14th, 1860, Mr. Thomas Rudd, Jeweller and Watchmaker, Market Place, after a very protracted illness, brought on by an accident in his gig. Aged 52 years.


Oct. 26th, 1860. This ancient Court for the barony of Dudley was held yesterday at the Hotel. There were present in addition to J. H. Bourne, Esq., (Steward of the Manor), S. Bourne, Esq., G. Taylor, Esq., T. Tinsley, Esq. (Mayor), and C. F. G. Clark, Esq. (High Bailiff), Messrs. S. Fereday, J. Jordan, Grainger, Hollier, Finch, Williscroft, E. Wood, W. Sheppard, Smart, S. Cook, Marsh, Timmins, Bowen, Minty, Watkins, Houghton, W. C. Wood, Saml. Rudge, S. Price, Patterson, D. Lloyd, D. Jordan, G. Stevenson, C. H. Tyler, C. Lucas, Dixon, T. Sheppard, Smith, Terry, and Wesley. The opening of the Court having been proclaimed and the jury duly sworn, Mr. G. Stephenson proposed, and Mr. Finch seconded, the election of Mr. Clark (late High Bailiff) to [Pg 307]the office of Mayor for the ensuing year. There was no opposition and consequently Mr. Clark was declared duly elected. Upon the proposition of Mr. Hollier, seconded by Mr. W. H. Brooke, Mr. E. Grainger was elected High Bailiff. The Sergeants, Messrs. A. Patterson and J. Jordan, were reappointed, as were also Messrs. C. Lucas and S. Smart, (flesh-tasters), and Messrs. W. Minty and J. F. Watkins, (constables). The only alteration made in the appointment of ale connors was the election of Mr. W. Smith instead of Mr. J. Smith, who is ill, to act in conjunction with Mr. W. Sheppard. Mr. Samuel Cook, amid some merriment, made his customary annual protest against the illegal appointment of a Mayor of Dudley, inasmuch as Mayors were usually elected from the Court of Aldermen; and although he found from ancient documents that there was once a court of Aldermen in Dudley, yet as there was not such a court now, the office of Mayor must have become extinct. He protested most solemnly against the farce of continuing such elections. (Laughter). Mr. Cook was thanked for his protest, and the subject dropped. Mr. Clark, in a few words, thanked the jury for the honour conferred upon him that day, and expressed his hope that at the termination of the year of office they would find that he had discharged the duties incumbent upon him in a very satisfactory manner, and that he could allow the mantle of an office which had been in existence 200 years to descend upon his successor unsullied in the slightest degree. The various officers were then duly sworn to “serve our Sovereign Lady the Queen,” &c., and the business of the Court terminated. Subsequently the whole of the above-named gentlemen, together with F. Smith, Esq., Messrs. T. Oakes, W. C. Wood, sen., Bateman, Houghton, Deely, Cartwright, &c., sat down to a luxurious dinner, provided by Mrs. Smith, of the hotel, in her accustomed good style. Amongst those who sat down to dinner was Mr. S. Cook, who so indignantly protested against the proceedings of the morning, and the fact caused not a little pleasantry.—Daily Post.

Died, November 11th, 1860, Isaac Badger, Esq., J.P., aged 76 years. Mr. Isaac Badger was the last of a section of contracted Tories who had literally ruled this town for half a century. Tory in political faith but Radical in practice, unlettered but audacious, this gentleman rode over all obstacles, and died a rich man, respected by a large circle of life-long friends. A public funeral was given to his remains, as a mark of respect.


THE BAILIFF (in the absence of the Mayor), respectfully invites those Persons who are desirous of paying a last Tribute of Respect to the Memory of the late ISAAC BADGER, Esq., to meet at the DUDLEY ARMS HOTEL, on FRIDAY Morning next, at 11-30 precisely, for the purpose of joining the FUNERAL PROCESSION from his late residence to St. Edmund’s Church. As a further mark of respect the Public are respectfully requested to PARTIALLY CLOSE their respective Establishments on the Morning of the above day.


Dudley, November 14th, 1860.

[Pg 308]

The following list of returns of the various Parliamentary Elections in this Borough may be useful as an occasional reference:—

Since the Borough was Enfranchised in 1832.

John Campbell, Reformer318
Sir Horace St. Paul, Tory229
Mr. Thos. Hawkes, Tory322
Sir John Campbell, Reformer254
Mr. Thos. Hawkes, Tory327
Mr. Forbes, Radical250
Mr. Thos. Hawkes, Tory385
Mr. Merryweather Turner, Radical289
Mr. Thos. Hawkes, Tory436
Mr. Smith, Radical189
Mr. Jno. Benbow, Tory388
Mr. Wm. Rawson, Freetrader175
Mr. Jno. Benbow, Tory400
Mr. Jas. Baldwin, Radical231
Mr. Jno. Benbow. Died, February 26th, 1855.
Sir Stafford Northcote, Conservative346
[Pg 309]Mr. Jas. Baldwin, Radical3
Mr. H. B. Sheridan, Doubtful
Mr. Sandars, resigned, Conservative
Mr. H. B. Sheridan, Radical432
Viscount Monck, Liberal Conservative361
Mr. H. B. Sheridan, Radical526
Mr. Francis Truscott, Conservative275
Mr. H. B. Sheridan, Radical.Unopposed.
February, 1874.
Mr. H. B. Sheridan, Radical[36]5149
Mr. Fred Smith Shenstone, Liberal Conservative[36]4181
May, 1874.
Mr. H. B. Sheridan, Radical5607
Mr. Noah Hingley, Conservative4889
Mr. H. B. Sheridan, Radical6948
Mr. Alfred Waterman, Conservative4163


1827. Posterity will view in very different light the public acts of this remarkable townsman, when we consider that all the points of the Great Charter, which he so strenuously advocated, and never failed to [Pg 310]bring to the front when occasion presented itself, have now, save one or two divisions, been passed by succeeding Parliaments, and entered upon the Statute Book of this country, as just and lawful measures to be exercised by voters in sending “fit and proper men” to make laws and administer the gigantic affairs and policy of this great country. Mr. Samuel Cook’s great sin was, “that he lived before his time;” his great heart, and undying love of justice and fair play, made him a leader amongst the people and a friend of the oppressed and friendless. His Republican principles were based upon a well-informed insight into the motives and actions of the governed and governing, and where he overstepped the bounds of what was considered proper decorum, and enunciated political and social doctrines, which were far in advance of the times in which he lived, he followed the dictates of an honest and earnest mind, burning to regenerate what he believed to be an unnatural and vicious state of both political and social growth. Mr. Cook was at times decidedly fanatical, headstrong, and ungovernable, but he held a reason for the faith which led him on at periods to denounce, in unmeasured language, the perpetration of wrongs under which society then laboured and groaned, and the oppression, and the grinding down of the half-starved wretches who craved his protection and claimed his care. It has often been urged that the unwise riots at the Lye-Waste amongst the Nailers in 1827 led to the arrest and trial of Mr. Cook at Worcester Assizes, on August 1st, 1827, “for falsely, seditiously and maliciously writing and publishing in his shop window at Dudley certain false, seditious, and scandalous libels, tending to inflame the minds and alienate the affections of the people from his majesty the King, and to excite them to traitorous insurrections against the Government.”

The fact of Mr. Cook being then an active advocate of the rights of labour, and “a fair wage for a fair day’s work,” added to his invincible courage in rooting out the oppression and injustice which then tainted the nail trade under the manipulations of that detestable “go-between” the Nail Fogger, made him an object of fear and dread to the Nail Masters, whilst he became the idol of the Nailers, and a very desirable person and agitator to be denounced, “shut up,” and removed from his chosen sphere of action; hence the persecution for the first time of this remarkable and courageous townsman. Mr. Cook was no paid agent, and what he did for upwards of thirty years was done from a sure belief that it was his mission thus to oppose all oppression, and assert the undeniable rights of man. He became a serious pecuniary loser by these lengthened social and political proceedings, and died, December 8th, 1861, at the ripe old age of 75 years.

Mr. Cook had a large host of genuine friends and admirers who had viewed his arduous long-life labours with admiration and profound regard. I need hardly say that Mr. Cook received no personal harm or imprisonment for his supposed misdeeds, but was found “legally guilty” and bound over to come and receive judgment when required, which never occurred. He was ably defended by Mr. John Campbell, who was a very rising man at the Bar, and eventually became the first M.P. for Dudley. The public reception which awaited Mr. Cook on his return from Worcester Assizes was of a most characteristic and demonstrative description, for he was met near Stourbridge by a deputation with a carriage and four grey horses, and from thence driven to old Dudley [Pg 311]amid a perfect ovation of men, women, and children of all classes. A brass band discoursed sweet and patriotic music at the head of a procession, said to number 40,000 people, who, ever and anon, continued their welcome acclamations in honour of their triumphant friend, patriot, and advocate. It will be a long time before we shall meet with such another self-sacrificing life in Dudley.

October 3rd, 1861. The Dudley Rifle Corps up to this date had, under the energetic management of our highly respected and talented townsman, Captain Wainwright, acquired great proficiency; so the Mayor (Mr. C. F. G. Clark) offered a handsome silver cup, value £8, to be shot for, as an absolute prize, which was won by Corporal Devall, the successful winner of the Beauchamp Cup a short time before, who made 18 points on this occasion at the three ranges, securing three more points than in his former shooting.


Wednesday was a gala day with this company. The proceedings commenced with a rifle match for a handsome silver cup, given by C. F. G. Clark, Esq. (Mayor of Dudley): and Corporal Devall, the winner of the Beauchamp Cup (shot for last week), was again the victor. He made eighteen points at the three ranges—three more points than won the first cup. The other competitors who most nearly approached the winner were as follow:—Lieutenant Sanders, 16; Ensign Hewitt, 16; Sergeant Wood, 17; J. Wilkinson, 14; Albert Wood, 14; J. H. Smith, 13; J. Bromwich, 16; Worrall, 14; G. Fellows, 12; Burton, 14; Blackstock, 15; Dixon, 11; Wilson, 14. In the evening the officers of the company were entertained at a sumptuous dinner at the Bush Hotel (Mr. J. Cartwright’s), provided by the non-commissioned officers and privates, intended as a return of a similar compliment paid to the men by the officers some time ago. About eighty sat down, under the presidency of Sergeant G. H. Deeley; Sergeant Williscroft occupying the vice-chair; and among the other invited guests were, Rev. J. Davis (hon. chaplain to the corps), Captain Woolridge (adjutant to the battalion), W. Haden, Esq., J. P.; C. F. G. Clark, Esq. (Mayor), E. Grainger, Esq., (High Bailiff), T. Tinsley, Esq. (Ex-Mayor), S. D. Fereday, Esq., G. Taylor, Esq., J. Renaud, Esq., &c., &c.—The efficient band of the corps played a selection of music during dinner. After the withdrawal of the cloth, the customary loyal and patriotic toasts were proposed in due order from the chair. In responding to the “Bishop and Clergy,” the hon. chaplain defended the rifle corps movement against the attacks of those who said it was inconsistent with the profession of Christianity to be a soldier, and quoted various examples from Holy Writ in support of his argument. Among other examples he instanced Joshua, David, Goliath, Jehoshaphat, and John the Baptist. The rev. gentleman concluded by expressing a hope that all engaged in the Volunteer movement would understand the [Pg 312]obligations they took upon themselves, and endeavour to discharge their duties properly. The health of the corps followed. The “Army and Navy” followed, with “three times three” for Captain Woolridge. The Captain on rising to respond, was again received with loud cheers. He said the toast of the army and navy was always well received, but seldom or never so cordially as by a company purely civilian in character, because those who worked at home for their own good seemed to have a sort of innate sympathy with soldier or sailor who worked hard, but not for his own aggrandizement—for they could hardly tell him of one who had grown rich in the service. They were sympathised with because they worked for the honour of their Queen and the safety of the country. (Cheers.) The Volunteer movement had been eulogised by everybody, from her Majesty downwards, and it was scarcely his place—if, indeed, it was necessary—to say anything about it then, connected as he was with the movement, and occupying some such position as an attache did to an embassy, inasmuch as he was obliged to perform the orders received from head quarters. As far as he knew about the policy of head quarters, he was sure they did not intend to reduce the regular army in consequence of the efficiency of the volunteer corps in the kingdom. He thought their intention was to keep up the army as it was at present, so that if war broke out they might be employed in defending our wide-spread colonies, and the volunteers, if wanted, could keep peace at home. After alluding to the difficulties which surrounded the office of adjutant, Captain Woolridge went on to compliment the Dudley Company upon their efficiency, and said that if they would only go on as they had begun, they ought to achieve great things. He had eleven companies in his district, but he believed the Dudley corps was the only one which was almost or entirely self-supporting. From such a company he should expect to see an example set to others, both as respect to discipline and conduct. Now that Government was going to provide instructors and ammunition, he should like to see a company out of the battalion perfectly equipped for service in the field, and he knew of no company possessing such pecuniary advantages for such a purpose as the Dudley Company. The gallant captain concluded, amidst loud cheers, by again speaking in eulogistic terms of the general character of the corps. The “Lord Lieutenant and Magistrates of the County” was responded to by W. Haden, Esq., in a brief speech, in which he took occasion to remark that, in discharging the difficult and onerous duties of their office, it was of the greatest importance that the Magistrates should be supported in their decisions by the good feeling of their fellow townsmen; and if they were supported in their work by such a respectable body of fellow-townsmen as he saw before him that night, the decisions and acts of the Magistrates must have far more importance and weight than they otherwise possibly could. The toast of the evening, “The Officers of the Corps,” followed in a neat speech from the chair, to which Captain Wainwright responded on behalf of himself and his brother officers, and was received with boisterous outbursts of applause. He said [Pg 313]they had been associated together in a new and difficult undertaking for about two years. The officers especially were surrounded with difficulties, inasmuch as they had to learn their own business before they could teach it to others, and to acquire the art of obtaining a certain amount of obedience from those who were not accustomed to obey military command. Looking back all this time he thought his brother officers would agree with him that they were very much indebted to the members of the corps for the attention they had always paid to their duties, by which great assistance had been rendered to the officers. To quote the expression of Colonel McMurdo at Worcester, they were indebted to the company for the “forbearance” they had shown to their officers. It was necessary that such “forbearance” should be shown, because officers had to learn their duties like the men, and they required a greater amount of attention, and consequently they might not be performed so well as they ought; but with the help afforded by the members of the company they would in time become better informed than they were. Therefore he hoped they would continue to help the officers for the future, and all act as harmoniously together as they had done that day, and then the corps would be a credit to the county and the country. Alluding to the address of the chaplain, in which that gentleman remarked upon the blessings of the Almighty resting upon those who were attempting to get possession of a land that was promised only, the Captain remarked how much more might they expect that blessing to rest upon those employed in the defence of a country already in possession. (Cheers.) After stating that he took the entertainment given to the officers that evening as an expression of the good feeling and harmony subsisting between them, the speaker referred to the assistance they had received from their friends and neighbours, and to the proposed movements for the future, including the shooting to come off next week for a “Lancaster rifle,” presented by W. Haden, Esq.—The winner of the Beauchamp and Mayor’s Cups (Corporal Devall) was then formally presented to the Mayor, who presented him with the cup won that day, and addressed him in a suitable and encouraging speech. Corporal Devall replied “The Mayor,” with three cheers; “The High Bailiff,” “The Chairman, Vice-chairman, and non-commissioned Officers,” “The Lieutenants,” “Quarter Master,” (Mr. Johnson), and other toasts followed. In addition to the instrumental music of the band, the proceedings of the evening were much enlivened by various vocal performances.



NOW Dudley boys!
Exalt your joys,
Nor fear the Tory faction;
Lord Russell’s Bill,
Indeed it will
Reduce them to a fraction.


CAMPBELL you know
Is sure to go,
Though all their might are using;
Horace’s friends
Can’t gain their ends;
They have no chance but losing.


Frank, Tom, and Paul,
Isaac, and all,
Their slaves will call together;
Their puny storm
With perfect ease will weather.


No doubt they’ll try
To place him high
On the first day of polling;
Then Lygon like,
He soon will strike,
Down like a stone come rolling.

5[Pg 314]

So Parson Ned
Gives meat and bread
To those who will but hear him;
With bread and meat,
And a free seat,
The poor folks won’t go near him.


The reason’s plain.
He’s short of brain,
And wants what still is better;
To make men slaves
The madman raves—
Says gold shall be their fetters.


Won’t SOUP nor ALE?
Whatever is the matter?
The people see,
And will be free—
Justice demands the latter.


’Twixt Church and state,
The wound’s so great,
It can’t again be healed;
What with the Tithes,
And Parsons’ lives,
Poor Church her doom is sealed!


They say old Gray
Has turned away—
Horace St. Paul preferring;
And tinker Dick,
That honest stick,
It seems some brass is stirring.


Where is great John
The Draper gone,
Chairman at last Election?
The Bowling Green,
That source of spleen,
Which led to his detection.


Highway Robbers,
Church-Rate jobbers,
And such as have a pension;
All of one mind,
You soon will find,
Most prompt in their attention.


Now once for all,
We’ll have no Paul!
Indeed it would be folly;
Led by the nose,
By our old foes—
Rough Joe and Doctor Molly.

As a great amount of talk and contention has of late been indulged in by all classes of ratepayers, in reference to the proceedings of the Dudley Town Council; more especially about the Deep Drainage, and the Public Baths, &c., it may not be out of place in preserving a record of the names of those gentlemen and ratepayers who, in 1864, appended their names to the largest requisition ever signed in this town, “for the purpose of considering the desirability of presenting a petition to the [Pg 315]Queen in Council, praying Her Majesty to grant a Charter of Incorporation to this Borough.”



We, the undersigned, Ratepayers and Inhabitants of the Parish of Dudley, respectfully request you to convene a PUBLIC MEETING, for the purpose of considering the desirability of presenting a Petition to the Queen in Council, praying Her Majesty to grant a Charter of Incorporation to this Borough.

James C. Browne, D.C.L., vicar

Alexander George Davies, M.A., incumbent of St. James’s

John Davies, M.A., incumbent of St. Edmund’s

E. H. L. Noott, B.A., incumbent of St. John’s, Dudley

Robert Harper, M.A., head master of the Grammar School

George Lewis, Presbyterian minister, Dudley

Richard Rymer, Wesleyan minister, Dudley

David Evans, Baptist minister, Dudley

Matthew Gibson, Unitarian minister

Jas. Bond, Catholic priest, Dudley

Samuel Price, tanner and currier

Hy. Coldicott, solicitor

Theophilus Tinsley, merchant

Thos. Sheppard, ironmonger

Geo. J. England, maltster and brewer

Ed. M. Warmington, solicitor

John Round Tilley, tanner

Daniel Timmins, surgeon

R. C. Buck, chemist

W. Challingsworth, victualler

Reginald Unwin Dudley, silk mercer

William Beddard, Jun., wholesale grocer

John Finch, iron founder

Henry Bagott, woollen draper

C. F. G. Clark, chemist

Thomas Price, tanner and currier

J. O. Pearse, agent

James Cartwright, wine merchant

Saml. D. Fereday, surgeon

J. H. Deakin, wine merchant

Joseph Taylor, agent

W. H. Laxton, bookseller

Thos. Baker, shoe manufacturer

John Dawson, chemist

John Whitehouse, Dudley

Saml. Bastick, hatter

John S. Fisher, jeweller

James Hemmings, shoe manufacturer

H. Wythes, plumber

Ed. Bowen, draper

Joseph Sheldon, milliner

Alexander M. Intyre, draper

Thos. Maguire, boot maker

Ebenezer Hutchings, news agent

C. Cetti, furniture dealer

Joseph Holland, pork butcher

William Coleman, spirit merchant

Isaac Collins, hosier

William Hewitt, fruiterer

George Henry Hewitt, ditto

E. Lancey

George Whitford, bookseller