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Bell's Weekly Messenger, No.1810, Sunday, December 5, 1830

[Liverpool Election]

The contest for the representation of this town terminated on Tuesday afternoon in favour of Mr. Ewart. This termination, so contrary to the belief which generally prevailed, one of the greatest triumphs of an individual over a powerful combination of wealth and influence which ever took place in the annals of English electioneering. The party which Mr. Ewart has thus defeated was composed chiefly of the gentlemen who used to return the late Messrs. Canning and Huskisson, strengthened by a few auxiliaries possessing wealth and influence,—a party which, from the uniform success that had attended all their election contests for the last 25 years, imagined they could impose upon the town whatever candidate they pleased.

The polling commenced at the usual hour. Mr. Denison began by polling what is technically called "broadcloth," that is, the merchants, brokers, &c. who were on his side, and continued doing so until 12 o'clock. Mr. Ewart, meanwhile, was polling in a mixture of broad and narrow cloth. Voters were becoming very scarce towards noon, and 50l. were offered for a single vote. It was evident that the strength of both candidates was nearly exhausted, and that the contest was rapidly drawing to a close. Few persons, however, except those in the secret, were aware that the greatest weakness was on the side of Mr. Denison who, having polled all his personal friends, was unable, a few minutes after 12 o'clock, to bring up more than three men in his tally. A shout of triumph arose from Mr. Ewart friends at this most unexpected event. The immense multitudes in the streets caught the sound, and the loudest exclamations rent the air. Mr. Ewart continued to poll full tallies, to retrieve his minority of 12, and finally to pass his antagonist on the poll. The greatest enthusiasm and excitement prevailed. Voters pressed in from all quarters, and by half-past one, Mr. Ewart was 29 a head of Mr. Denison. The poll then stood—

Ewart............................. 2,215

Denison.......................... 2,186


Mr. Ewart was then declared duly elected, amidst the acclamation of the thousands around the scene of action. Mr. Denison took leave of his friends in a feeling speech, and cordially shook his honourable opponent by the hand. Mr. Ewart then addressed his friends, and the proceedings finally closed.

The number of freemen who polled at this great contest is 4,401, the greatest by nearly 900 that ever voted at any previous election for Liverpool. Among the last votes tendered for Mr. Ewart was the vote of the venerable Mr. Roscoe, who was enthusiastically cheered when he came up to the poll

At a moderate calculation, the sum of from 70,000l. to 80,000l. has been spent on this election. It is currently stated, that on Monday night Mr. Denison's friends paid the enormous sum of 1,000l. for ten votes! But the statement is scarcely credible

SOURCE: Bell's Weekly Messenger
(No.1810, Sunday, December 5, 1830)