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be tonder towards Mr. Long Wellesley for his sake, yet I stand astonished that either his name, or his marriage (and what other claim he has I cannot discover) should ever be allowed as fair pretensions to represent your independent county in Parliament. But the climax of my astonishment is, the bitterness expressed by the lower orders, and the opposition excited by some of a better description, against another of your Candidates. You will recollect that I am not so much advocating the cause of Mr. Benett as expressing, in the character of an impartial observer, my surprise at the treatment which he experiences.
My friends, to whom I alluded, at the commencement of this address, assure me that he is a gentleman of a very ancient family in the county, of unblemished character, and competent fortune,-that he, (as well as his ancestors before him,) has constantly resided in your own part of the county, and expended his income among you-that he is beloved by all ranks of people to whom he is really known—an active, intelligent, and upright magistrate a good husband, an affectionate father, a kind master, a firm friend. To these testimonies allow me to add another, for which I can vouch on my own observationI bappened some years since to be in the vicinity of this gentleman's residence, at a period when he was suffering under a dangerous illness. The dejected countenances, the anxious inquiries, the heart-breathed prayers of his humbler neighbours, offered up and heard by heaven on his behalf, convinced me he must be the poor man's friend—With this impression on my mind, can I do otherwise than marvel at what I now behold?
Because, in one solitary instance, Mr. B., when called on by the British legislature, delivered a certain unpopular opinion respecting the Corn Laws upon oath, I presume, or which, to a man of his principles would be the same, upon his honour, I hear him hissed and hooted at as if he were the enemy
of God and man;—nay, not only so, but threatened, and even so violently assaulted, that his numerous friends deem it necessary to range themselves constantly around him for his personal protection. Admit that he estimated the average price of corn too high, still it was but an opinion, and the opinion of a single individual-while Mr. Wellesley gave his vote for the measure, on grounds which it is not necessary here to investigate.
I bad intended to offer a few farther remarks on this subject, but my pen is arrested by a hand-bill, just delivered at my friend's house, signed W. Long Wellesley, announcing to the freeholders the arrival (as he understands) of a troop of horse late last night in the town of Trowbridge. Now, gentlemen, after all I have witnessed, I must be allowed to doubt either the truth of this intelligence or its connection with any ends of the Wilts Election. Of the object with which it is published,
there can be no doubt. Let Mr. W. look to the mischief that
. may ensue, and let the freeholders of Wiltshire look that when a stranger would thus mislead them, they do not hear.Thus will they be cured of their partiality to one stranger, and give very sincere pleasure to
ANOTHER STRANGER. near Salisbury, 25th June, 1818.
A FRIENDLY HINT TO MR. BENETT. Sir,-the best way for you to prove that all the rioting which may take place in Salisbury, during the poll, must originate with Mr. Long Wellesley's party, will be, for you never to come into that city; retire to Pythouse, or to the residence of any friend in the neighbourhood. I admire you prodigiously, and would not stick at any thing to promote your cause, but I am afraid it will be too difficult a task to make the freeholders believe that Mr. Long Wellesley's party are the instigators of riot, when it is notorious your presence alone can call forth those bad passions so generally excited by hatred and contempt of your principles; remain at home, and the peace of this city will be secured. By the good advice I have given you, I feel entitled to subscribe myself
MR. BENETT'S BEST FRIEND. Salisbury, June 22, 1818.
To the Gentlemen, Clergy, Yeomen, and Freeholders
in general, of the County of Wilts. GENTLEMEN, It was with as much surprise as indignation, that I saw a hand-bill signed by Mr. Long Wellesley, which contains an attack upon me, as unjust as it is unfounded. I refer to that part where he is pleased to “protest most solemnly against the unconstitutional proceeding of permitting the assemblage, in military order, of troops of yeomanry, cavalry (though not in uniform), armed with heavy sticks."
I could easily have excused Mr. Long Wellesley from making a statement of this nature, had it depended upon his. own knowledge of the parties who accompanied me on the day of nomination. He, being a stranger in the county, could not be personally acquainted with the very respectable freeholders in whose company I was ,--but he was surrounded with persons who might have told him, that the yeomanry cavalry of Wiltshire will never assemble in or out of uniform, without proper constitutional authority; and who must have known, also, that out of the great number of freeholders with me, not more than ten or twelve belong to that corps.
I am pointed at as the leader of these ideal troops, (as ideal as Falstaff's men in Kendal Green);-but, to be prepared for such a command, when I entered Devizes, I had not even provided myself with a pair of boots, and had not even a switch in my hand, and most of my heavy-armed troops were as ill provided as myself.
The fact is, that the free exercise of the suffrages of the freeholders was impeded by the atrocious conduct of a mob (none of whom were freeholders) and whose evident object was to intimidate those who were freeholders, from expressing their sentiments ;-an object which, I trust, the honest zeal and true spirit of Wiltshiremen will defeat.
I most positively deny “ that the disorder arose from those who wore Mr. Benett's colours, and from no others;" and I appeal to the gentlemen, wbo, as magistrates and constables, so laudably, though ineffectually, endeavoured to preserve the peace, for the truth of my assertion .
The disorder arose from the violent attacks made by a detachment of infantry, who (if not hired) were actually armed for the occasion, not only with heavy sticks, but heavy stones, and other missiles, with which they had provided themselves, and had taken up their positions at the various turnpikes, for the purpose of insulting and assaulting the friends of Mr. Benett.
Nothing is easier than the making professions.-I trust that Mr. Wellesley will prove the truth of his, by ordering bis agents to abstain from encouraging persons to be guilty of such excesses, and to permit the freeholders to use their “unbiassed" judgment in the exercise of their franchises.
I have thought it necessary to make this public contradice tion of Mr. Wellesley's statement, from the fear that some persons, who are unacquainted with me, and with the character of the Wiltshire yeomanry cavalry, may be imposed upon by the confident manner in which the misrepresentation has been made. I have the honour to be, Gentlemen,
Your most faithful servant, Burderop Park, June 22, 1818. THOMAS CALLEY.
BOROUGH AND DIVISION OF DEVIZES. At a meeting of Mr. Benett's Committee, it was unanimously Resolved, -That such of the freeholders in the interest of Mr. Bepett, in this district, as may require it, shall be conveyed to, and from the poll, free of expense, on application to Mr. Ings.
Devizes, 23rd June, 1818.
Committee Room, Angel Inn, Marlborough, June 20, 1818.
JOHN HALCOMB, Esq. in the Chair: On the motion of Mr. Coleman, seconded by Captain Brown,
It was Resolved,—That the Committee view, with great regret and dissatisfaction, the late tumultuous and riotous disturbances at the day of Nomination, at Devizes; that from the statements they had heard, corroborated by strong facts, those disorders are to be attributed to the adherents and partisans of Mr. Wellesley; that persons were forwarded, not having frechold property, to Devizes, and liberally paid for their trouble by the same injudicious partisans; that the public peace has been much endangered by those means, and the freedom of election openly violated.
That it is their duty, and that of every freeholder, to mark their decided disapprobation of such unconstitutional proceedings, by supporting Mr. Benett, and by calling on their neighbours to counteract, by their votes and interest at the poll, the disgraceful system of intimidation, and the open and undue influence so violently exerted.
The following resolution was then moved by John Went. worth, Esq. and seconded by Mr. Dixon:- That carriages be provided for the purpose of carrying the freeholders of this district, in the interest of Mr. Benett, who are unable to procure the same, free of ex pense, to the poll.
On the motion of Mr. Stephen Brown, seconded by Mr. Charles Pinckney, it was also resolved :-That the additional assurances of support this day received, in consequence of the late disorders, tend to confirm their opinion of the undoubted eventual success of Mr. Benett, and the triumph of truth and purity of election.
That the meeting should adjourn until Monday next, at the Angel Inn, Marlborough, and continue to sit every day from that time, until the final close of the election; where all communicatione, on behalf of Mr. Benett, are desired to be ad dressed to Mr. White, secretary to the said committee.
Committee Room, Angel Inn, Marlborough, June 30, 1818.
JOHN COCKSCOMBE, Esq. Chairman;
ASHMAN, Esq. it was Resolved unanimously,—That this Committee view, with · great regret and dissatisfaction, that unless some prompt and vigorous measures are taken, Mr. Benett will lose his election.
2nd.--That this Committee do write, and force all Sextons, Grave-diggers, Dog-whippers, Church-sweepers, Bell-tollers, and all other Servants and Dependants on the Church or Church
yard, to come forward and poll for Mr. Benett; and, in order to encourage them so to do, they promise to provide most liberally for their accommodation on the road, viz. by Dining at Stonehenge, and quenching their thirst with good soft water at Burbage-pond.
3rd. That the thanks of this Committee be given to the Church wardens of both Parishes in this Town, for their kindness, in forcing (by threats and otherwise) their respective Sextons, Grave-diggers, Dog-whippers, &c. &c. to the Poll this day,
4tb.-That the Church wardens of the respective churches be requested to keep in their pockets the keys of the church, in order to prevent the bells ringing, in consequence of the large majority Mr. Wellesley has obtained over Mr. Benett.
(Signed) FRIZZLE-PATE, Secretary,
To the Old Moon-Raker. No person sympathizes more cordially with you than I; I regret i hat you are unwell; men of malignant minds say, that you sometimes find it convenient to be so; but every body asserted that you would recover as soon as the special constables were sworn in.- particularly regret that you were so situated on the day of the nomination at Devizes. O, that you had been but ihere! How dear 1772 would have flashed upon your remembrance !-- Then you would have seen something indeed to the honour of Wiltshiremen, though very little to the honour of
your “ true Wiltshire family.” You would have seen the man to whom all Wiltshire looks with the eye of hope and confidence, surrounded with “ troops of friends,” in the centre of a cavalcade, collected by attachment, and inspired with the love of country, bearing on their breasts the badge of independence, and panting for the freedom of which yourself and your fellow labourers sought to deprive them. You would have seen, on the other hand, the man of " local knowledge,” the “actice magistrale," the gentleman of “high honour,” the “good citizen,” and the “ good christian," surrounded by troops of-friends, in the common acceptation of the term ? 0, no, by troops of horse! By his own troop of cavalry, to the violation of order and the hazard of men's lives. W bat ! did you not tell us that John was so much beloved that every body would vote for him? that his cause was so popular that should the people hold their tongues there was not a sheep on the downs of Wiltshire but would ba! in his behalf? Didn't you give us almost an endless list of 'squires, some of them in France, some in London, some in their graves perhaps, who were all committee men too? Didn't John give a dinner at