THE HISTORY OF EAST GRINSTEAD - Online Book

The rise and progress of the town and the history of its institutions & people.

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ITS MEMBERS OF PARLIAMENT.                        45
running of a horse" if he would vote for Sir Thomas. The other side seems to have gone one better. Thomas Pollard's evidence was this:—
Mr. Packer desired his vote for the Earl of Orrery and Mr. Compton and promised to be a good friend to him, and told him Sir Thomas Dyke had been in the House a good while and had done no good, and that he was a Jacobite and kept a Jesuit in his house, and that he would not be suffered to sit in the House.
All this seemed to trouble Pollard very little and he intimated that Sir Thomas would have his vote, where­upon Packer threatened him with a " stone-doublet" (i.e., imprisonment) and carried it into effect, for three days before the election he was arrested, confined for a period and then let out without any charge, apparently, being brought against him. Another canvasser, named Percivall, seems to have been very active. He offered to treat Pollard to a trip to London to get him out of the way and he told Jeremy Johnson that if Sir Thomas Dyke was elected he would not be allowed to sit, for he knew the House was going to turn him and fifty-nine other Members out again. Another active agent was Robert Bodell, who, before the election, warned the tradesmen that if they disobliged "my Lord of Dorset they should be troubled with soldiers and lose the Assizes." When the fight was over he told the same people that he had the order of the Lord Chamberlain to stop the pensions of Widow Taylor and Widow Jenner, because some persons had voted for the sitting Members. Another man was heard to declare that if he voted for the Dorset nominees " he could have a place for his mother in the College of £8 a year," and he estimated this was worth £100 to him. The Committee came to the conclusion that the right of election rested with the burgage holders only, but that Sir Thomas Dyke and John Conyers had been duly elected. The general question was forced to a division in the House and the Committee's resolution was confirmed by 221 votes to 128.
1698, July 25th. Lyonell, Earl of Orrery, and John Conyers.
1700-1, Jan. 7th. John Conyers and Mathew Pryor.
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