History Of Brighton And Environs - Online Book

From The Earliest Known Period To The Present Time.

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doings of this immaculate Borough prior to 1832, when it was disfranchised by the Reform Act of that year, by being placed in Schedule A, and sharing the fate of many other rotten boroughs.
Many eminent statesmen have represented this historical borough in Parliament, among them th« Earl of Chatham, Lord Brougham, Sir John Leach, the Right Hon. George Canning, &c. From the fore­going list of names it is clear there must have been some attractions attached to the representation of this ancient borough. We find that at a majority of the elections there was a contest for the honor of sitting in St. Stephen's; also, that very frequently successful candidates were petitioned against. In 1670, when a petition was presented, the House of Commons decided that the right of the electors was in the "Populacy," i.e., " Inhabitants paying scot and lot," and none others were allowed to be placed on the rates until the year 1786, when Mr Flood succeeded in compelling the authori­ties to rate every inhabitant-householder, which provision remained in existence for many years after.
In this Borough " the Treasury" exerted every influence to secure the return of representatives pledged to support its interests, and others locally connected strove their utmost for the same object. The Duke of Newcastle was one of these, and at that time (1747), residing in the neighbouring village of Bishopstone and possessing great influence in the return of representatives for the County, also the elections of Lewes and Winchelsea. His Grace was the instigation of the nomination for Seaford of William Pitt (afterwards Earl of Chatham) and William Hay, Esq.; these candidates were opposed by the Earl of Middlesex and the Hon. W. H. Gage (afterwards Viscount Gage). After the poll, the Bailiff (Mr Chambers), declared the Duke's nominees duly elected. The opposition candidates petitioned against Q
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