A True and impartial Collection of Pieces, in Prose and Verse, which have been written and published on both Sides the Question during the Contest for the Westminster Election. In which are inserted, a great Number of serious, humorous, sarcastical, and witty Papers; omitted in the two Pamphlets already published on that Subject, &c. &c. &c.

London: Printed for W. Owen … 1749.

8vo., pp. [4], 91, [1]; small tear in gutter of title and first page, but a very good copy; disbound.

£750

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First edition. A compilation of open letters to the electorate of Westminster, written during the violent 1749 election campaign. Despite the brutality which characterised the election the editor hopes the letters might be impartially considered for their merits: ‘As many smart pieces were written in defence of each worthy candidate, the collecting them together in this manner, may not be unacceptable to the Public’.

The majority of the entries are signed by the defending MP [Viscount] Trentham (honorary title of Granville Leveson-Gower, afterwards first Marquess of Stafford). Trentham, opposed by Sir George Vandeput (whose missives also appear here), was narrowly re elected with Bedford’s support but the election was so vicious that Vandeput’s chief agent Alexander Murray, among others, was imprisoned in Newgate for acts of incitement.

Other inclusions appear under a variety of patriotic monikers and include satirical poems, explications of policy, anti-French sentiments, arrangements for hustings and factional meetings in coffee shops, as well as an oath made by one John Haines, in which he defends Trentham’s honour and denies his Francophilia, which was sworn ‘before me, H[enry] Fielding’.

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