Anti Slavery,York Election, William Wilberforce
Such was the battle for the 1807 York election that it was dubbed the "Austerlitz of Electioneering". The Hon. Henry Lascelles, his family with West Indian interests, tried to unseat anti-slavery campaigner, William Wilberforce, who had already held a Yorkshire seat for 23 years. Lord Milton was the local landowners' candidate.
They spent half a million pounds and pre-empted all of York's facilities, "including every species of conveyance in the town". Nevertheless, by boat, farm wagon, donkey and on foot Wilberforce's supporters got to the poll. Milton, who was the son of Earl Fitzwilliam, was also returned. Lascelles, whose father Lord Harewood owned large properties in Barbados, was narrowly defeated.
In subsequent electoral reform measures, paying for conveyances to take electors to the poll was made illegal.
If you require further information on this item you can contact us in a number of ways. Click here to see our contact information.