Eastbourne Memories - A Victorian Perspective

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Chap. XVIII.] Parliamentary Elections, 1S65-1868. 229
during the long period of 56 years. I remember hearing him make a speech in the House of Commons only a few months before his death, at the age of 88. The crushing character of this defeat served the good purpose of bringing it home to the Conservatives that their only chance of regaining any position in East Sussex was by resorting to organisation of the most thorough character, and accordingly, in July 1865, after the election was over, a meeting of Conservatives was, by way of a beginning, held at East-Bourne, which resulted in the formation of the first East-Bourne Conservative Association. I had the honour of being elected the organising secretary of the new departure, and occupied that honourable but honorary position for 15 years, when the great growth of the work, the result of the growth of the town of East-Bourne, compelled me to retire and give place to a paid agent. Our meetings were at first held at the offices of a solicitor in the Terminus Road, but afterwards and for the bulk of the time we enjoyed the hospitality of Mr. C. Diplock, holding our meetings in his drawing-room, over the shop at the Pevensey Road corner of the Terminus Road (now Young and Rawley's). In the work of these 15 years I received very material assistance from several gentlemen in the town, notably the late Mr. J. B. Morris. The task of purifying and expanding the Register, perseveringly carried on, reached its climax in November 1868, in conjunction, of course, with other organised efforts in other parts of the Division. When the Poll at the General Election of that year was officially declared the numbers were found to be as follows :
1868, Decembee.General Election. Dodson, J. G. (Liberal) .. .. 3611 Gregory, G. B. (Conservative) .. 3581 Scott, M. J). (Conservative).. .. 3560 Cavendish, Lord E. (Liberal) .. 3470
Our recovery of 1 seat was very largely due to the unceasing efforts of the late Rev. J. Goring, of Wiston, and Mr. G. Darby (the former M.P.), stumping the county to unfold the serious points involved in the Irish Church Controversy.
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