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AUTOGRAPH LETTER SIGNED by SIR FRANCIS BURDETT, on the verso of the correspondent's letter, regarding George Mainwaring's petition accusing Burdett of voter fraud.
1804. 1804 - - sc - Quarto, [9-1/4 inches high by 7-1/2 inches wide. Over 40 words penned on the verso of a folded sheet of creamy white paper within which is penned the correspondent's original letter emphasizing that Burdett should make an appearance in the neighborhood in support of his allies. In his reply, addressed "Dear White", Burdett expresses his conviction that he has no doubt that White is pleased with the result following Mainwairing's petition accusing Burdett of voter Fraud in the election to represent Middlesex. Burdett asks White "will you set to work immediately in your neighborhood, & write a line to [___?] as I do not know his direction." Signed "Yours sincerely, F. Burdett". Addressed in Burdett's hand to "H. White, Esq. / Chace Lodge / Enfield" on the fourth page, with Burdett's faint free frank mark and a date stamp. Folded for mailing with a small hole at the middle which affects the first two letters in the name of the person that he would like the correspondent to write to. Good. A supporter of Parliamentary Reform, Sir Francis Burdett was asked to run as the left wing candidate for the county of Middlesex in 1802. His win of that seat in the general election of 1802 against William Mainwaring who had previously resisted Burdett's calls for an inquiry into Prison abuses, was voided in 1804. This was the result of a petition filed by William's son George which sought to have the election overturned claiming voter fraud. Burdett went on to lose the 1804 and 1806 elections against George Mainwaring. Rather than contest once again for the Middlesex seat, Burdett was encouraged by a more radical electorate to run as the candidate for Westminster, and he was subsequently elected as the Member of Parliament for that district.The English reformist politician, Sir Francis Burdett, 5th Baronet (1770-1844) became a member of Parliament in 1796 and, influenced by the political views of his friend, the radical lawyer Horne Tooke, refused to join the Whigs or the Tories. His maiden speech in Parliament as an independent accused the government of oppressing and enslaving the Irish people. He opposed the suspension of Habeas Corpus in 1796 and opposed the government suppression of individual freedom. Burdett later stated that "The best part of my character is a strong feeling of indignation at injustice & oppression and a lively sympathy with the sufferings of my fellows." His campaigns on behalf of mutinous sailors imprisoned in Cold Bath Fields Prison and attacks on the conditions at that prison brought about an official inquiry, but resulted in his being barred by the government from visiting any prison in the kingdom for some time. Burdett became a close friend of the radical politician and publisher William Cobbett who printed Burdett's speech denouncing the imprisonment by the House of the radical John Gale Jones. The House considered this action a breach of privilege and ordered his arrest. Burdett barricaded himself in his house for 2 days, while a mob gathered in his defence. When his friend Thomas Cochrane offered him military assistance, Burdett chose to decline rather than be the cause of bloodshed. He was eventually arrested and imprisoned in the Tower of London but was then released when Parliament was in recess. Burdett denounced corporal punishment in the army, pushed towards Parliamentary reforms, and was prosecuted and imprisoned briefly for his censure and denunciation of the government following the Peterloo Massacre. [Attributes: Signed Copy]
      [Bookseller: Blue Mountain Books & Manuscripts, Ltd.]
Last Found On: 2017-06-14           Check availability:      AbeBooks    

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