Pro-Slavery,York Election, Henry Lascelles Election Supporters Medal
Such was the battle for the 1807 York election that it was dubbed the "Austerlitz of Electioneering". The Hon. Henry Lascelles was the heir to the Earl of Harewood and Harewood House. The family who had vast wealth from their West Indian plantations in Barbados, 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 was narrowly defeated.
In subsequent electoral reform measures, paying for conveyances to take electors to the poll was made illegal.
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