Published in The History of Parliament: the House of Commons 1690-1715, ed. D. Hayton, E. Cruickshanks, S. Handley, 2002
Available from Boydell and Brewer

Background Information

Right of Election:

until 1705, freemen and inhabitants not receiving alms; 1705 onwards, inhabitants not receiving alms and freemen resident at time of admission, plus three honorary freemen

Number of Qualified Electors:


Number of voters:

about 520 in 1690, about 670 in 1701


26 Feb. 1690Sir William Cowper, Bt.277  
 Sir William Leman, Bt.238  
 Sir Thomas Byde2241  
30 Oct. 1695Sir William Cowper, Bt.308311308
 William Cowper245244244
 Sir William Leman,  Bt.223222223
 Sir Thomas Byde782783804
22 July 1698Sir William Cowper, Bt.272  
 William Cowper250  
 Sir William Leman, Bt.243  
 Charles Caesar1255  
3 Jan. 1701Charles Caesar445345347
 Thomas Filmer344345345
 Sir William Cowper, Bt.186188186
 William Monson186618771878
21 Feb. 1701Richard Goulston vice Filmer, deceased292  
 William Monson2279  
24 Nov. 1701Charles Caesar453453 
 Richard Goulston303304 
 ? William Monson2201021911 
16 July 1702Charles Caesar   
 Richard Goulston   
 ? William Monson 12   
7 May 1705Charles Caesar348223351
 Richard Goulston319  
 Thomas Clarke256132861426115
 Clarke vice Goulston on petition, 6 Dec. 1705   
4 May 1708Sir Thomas Clarke270246253
 William Monson257229234
 Charles Caesar28920716197
 John Dimsdale2371715318 
4 Oct. 1710Charles Caesar361376374
 Richard Goulston350354353
 Sir Thomas Clarke264271275
 William Monson258192582026121
21 June 1711Caesar re-elected after appointment to office   
24 Aug. 1713Charles Caesar   
 Richard Goulston   
 Sir Thomas Clarke   

Main Article

Hertford was one of the most factious boroughs in England, though such an impression may partly be due to the wealth of surviving sources, which allow a fuller exploration of its political, personal and religious disputes than is possible for many other corporations. The town contained ‘above 300 hundred inhabitants’, a high proportion of whom were Dissenters. The Compton census of 1676 estimated that a third of the adult population of the town were Nonconformists, and the Evans list put the number of Dissenters eligible to vote at 150, with a further 124 votes ‘influenced’ by them. Quakerism was particularly strong, although the numerical strength of the sect at the polls was probably important rather than decisive – marks besides the names of 58 voters on a copy of the 1695 poll seem to denote the size of the Quaker turnout – and their vote was sometimes split. Yet Dissent played a disproportionately large part in providing a group of leaders among the inhabitants who challenged the corporation’s oligarchy. That dispute concerned the alleged right of the mayor and aldermen to create honorary freemen, and the eligibility of such freemen to vote at parliamentary elections. In the last 20 years of the 17th century, over 400 new freemen were enrolled, including over a hundred gentry and clergy from surrounding areas. Such creations were in part the work of a faction within the corporation, headed by Dr John Dimsdale (whose brother Robert was a Quaker) and the High Churchman and county historian, Sir Henry Chauncy. This group, Tory in national terms though it retained a strong local factionalism, identified its own power struggle with the rights of the corporation against the inhabitants, and hence to some extent against Dissent. It believed that the polling of the inhabitants after 1640 had been designed to ‘over-vote the freemen’, and that the admission of honorary freemen was a means of reasserting the corporation’s control over the town. The inhabitants, however, argued that they had always voted, and that the introduction of 30 outlying freemen votes in 1659 was the dangerous innovation which threatened their privileges. The controversy was not easily resolved because none of the corporation’s charters detailed eligibility for voting, leaving the way open for the mayor and aldermen to introduce their own regulations. Thus the number of freemen rose rapidly throughout the period: by 1710 there were 750, 120 of whom were honorary admissions.22

The roots of Hertford’s divisions lay at least as far back as the Restoration. The first major expansion of the electorate took place in preparation for the by-election of 1675, when between May 1674 and January 1675 69 freemen had been created, despite resolutions to the contrary made by the borough court. Although two days after the election the court of aldermen had ordered a review of bye-laws ‘to prevent further abuses’, the corporation had become increasingly oligarchical in its outlook and loyalist in its politics. In 1678, during the mayoralty of Benjamin Jones, who was to figure after the Revolution as one of the mainstays of the anti-inhabitant faction, the corporation decided to renew its charter, partly to define the boundaries of the borough, the vagueness of which had caused disputes at previous elections, but also to strengthen the position of the dominant faction. The new charter failed to resolve the franchise question, perhaps deliberately leaving it in the corporation’s power to regulate its own affairs. Thus in April 1681, soon after the new charter had been issued, an order was made allowing the mayor and aldermen to create freemen by redemption, a power used, or abused, during the Tory reaction of the early 1680s to make voters on an unprecedented scale. Sir William Cowper, 2nd Bt., an ally of the Dissenters and an opponent of the Dimsdale–Chauncy faction within the corporation, later claimed that ‘these arbitrary magistrates and multipliers of electors’ had created the honorary freemen ‘on purpose to exclude’ him from further representation of the borough in Parliament. The grants of freedoms to ‘clergymen, gentry and others’ were also accompanied by an important shift in the corporation’s religious policy. Between the 1672 Declaration of Indulgence and 1680 the corporation had ‘forborne’ prosecution of Dissent, but the new charter was specifically granted to men ‘conformable to the Church of England’, and in 1681 the loyalist majority of aldermen used their powers to persecute Nonconformists and introduce a type of local proscription. Thus in December 1681 one trader was granted his freedom only after he had promised to stop attending conventicles, and the following April the corporation ordered that no trading licence would be issued to freemen who could not produce a certificate testifying to their communion in the Established Church. The corporation even sought to use the quo warranto proceedings initiated by James ii to its own advantage when Sir Henry Chauncy, the recorder, surrendered the charter to the King ‘in order to get a new one and himself elected a Member’ of Parliament. The replacement charter would have restricted the franchise to 25 Court nominees, which Cowper again resented as done ‘on purpose to exclude me from Parliament’, and would thus have further concentrated power in the hands of the dominant clique. Among the aldermen who would have been continued in office after the remodelling were Dimsdale and a number of Quakers, an alliance that in the future would have important political consequences. Yet at the Revolution the borough remained in limbo, with ‘neither mayor nor charter, their new one having not yet passed all offices, and the old one . . . as yet uncancelled’. The 15 years prior to the Revolution thus witnessed complex and multi-layered struggles, with the corporation’s pursuit of oligarchical control over the town leading to the resentment of such ambition by the inhabitants and by Nonconformists who had been victims of the corporation’s persecutions, together with a conflict between the corporation and Cowper, whose residence at Hertford Castle gave him a strong electoral influence and whose sympathies with the inhabitants and Dissenters made him their natural champion. Cowper was thus the chief obstacle to the aims of the Dimsdale–Chauncy faction, and the 1690s witnessed a concerted effort to challenge his power.23

Cowper stood in 1690 with Sir Thomas Byde, one of the outgoing Members, but faced a challenge from Sir William Leman, 2nd Bt., of Northaw, who had first unsuccessfully contested the seat in 1681 and whose father had given £100 to discharge the corporation’s debts. While Cowper’s election was safe, Byde and Leman were reported to be ‘drinking in opposition to each other, and . . . [Byde] had given it over but for Sir William Cowper who persuaded him to continue the sport’. Leman appears to have been regarded as a ‘corporation’ candidate, for he was supported at the poll by Chauncy, Dimsdale, the mayor John Batch and other past or present borough officials. The corporation was nevertheless divided over their second choice, some voting for Byde and others, including Dimsdale himself (who presumably wanted to avoid supporting Byde), voting for Cowper. The result was that Leman polled 14 more votes than Byde, but the borough’s inhabitants petitioned on 25 Mar. 1690 in support of the latter, claiming that many of the honorary voters created in the 1680s had been allowed to vote, thereby outweighing those who were legally qualified. The case was heard by the committee of elections, sitting until 11.45 p.m. on 11 Apr., with 300 MPs lasting out the evening, including stalwart Churchmen such as Sir Thomas Clarges* and Sir Robert Sawyer*, who reportedly gave a demonstration of ‘diligence and constancy to effect what they desire’. However, no report was made to the House because the promoters of the petition against Leman were persuaded to accept assurances that the creation of honorary freemen would cease, with ‘such of the corporation as had been guilty of the said practice promising the like should not be done again and excusing themselves as overawed by the power of the agents for the Court’.24

Almost immediately breaking such an undertaking, the mayor and aldermen issued a set of ordinances on 10 Oct. 1692 which, besides regulating the conduct of office-holders so that they were forbidden to disclose the ‘secret councils and debates’ of the corporation, made it lawful for them to admit as freemen ‘all such persons as they shall think fit and also to take for such admittances such sum and sums of money as to them shall seem reasonable’. This effectively gave the ruling aldermen freedom to entrench their position further, and although at first they were cautious about exercising their new right, the drift to High Tory control was unmistakable with the election in December 1694 as town clerk of Charles Fox, who had officiated in that capacity during the last years of James ii and was suspected by Cowper and others of disaffection to William’s government. Outwardly, however, the corporation was loyal enough, sending its Members to present an address of condolence in February 1695 on the death of the Queen.25

Despite the latent Tory strength within the corporation, Cowper still retained a firm hold over the townsmen, and, in a bid for dominance over the borough, was joined by his son William* at the 1695 election. Sir William reported two weeks before the poll that there were

great stirs at the drinking at Hertford . . . Sir William Leman gave some, but very little; however, some got drunk on his side and that produced scuffles, which for greater solemnity were performed by beat of drum. ’tis pretty to see how easily the greatest part of the town is to be made mad.

At the polls, the corporation was divided. John Dimsdale snr. and jnr., Thomas Dunster and Charles Fox joined with Ralph Freman I* to vote for Leman and Byde, but other members, including Dimsdale’s friend Alderman Calton, did not yet dare affront Sir William and so split their vote between him and Leman, leaving Byde to trail a very poor fourth. The attempt by members of the corporation hierarchy to squeeze out William Cowper nevertheless failed because it did not take account of his sizable inhabitant and Nonconformist vote, and the support of Alderman Keynton and the mayor, William Hurrell. Indeed, the return of the two Cowpers was thought to be so decisive that it was likely that Leman would ‘not carry it again’.26

The Cowpers’ victory stung the Tory aldermen into action in an attempt to regain at least one of the seats. Over the course of the next two years 42 new freemen were admitted, and in November 1697 John Dimsdale entered the first of four consecutive years in mayoral office (‘contrary to the charter and usage of the town’) with a flurry of further creations, totalling 32 by the time of the next general election. The overtly political nature of such admissions is clear from the declaration that the new blood was brought in ‘for the increase of the loyal substantial freemembers’, and the inclusion of a host of prominent Tories, including Charles Caesar, Ralph Freman II*, Thomas Halsey*, Richard Goulston* and Montagu Drake*. The corporation may nevertheless have been worried about the legality of its actions, as well as irritated by infringements by county justices on its judicial privileges, for in 1696 it sought legal advice about surrendering its charter, an action which Sir Francis Pemberton warned them could lead to the dissolution of the corporation itself because all previous charters had been surrendered. The faction in the corporation were right to be concerned, for their attempt to manufacture votes did not go unheeded. In September 1695 John Stout, one of the leading Hertford Quakers and an ally of the Cowpers, was prosecuted for telling Alderman Jones that the mayor and aldermen were ‘a pack of as great rogues as any that ever robbed upon the highways’, and Robert Dimsdale and Jones were bound over in December 1696 following a complaint made by Leonard Dell ‘for many abuses offered unto him in the execution of his office as bellman of our town and for speaking desperate and profane oaths and uttering many threatening, malicious and scandalous speeches against Sir William Cowper, Bt., and William Cowper’. According to a note in the borough archives a petition was drawn up in January 1698, signed by 138 residents (including most of the town’s prominent Quakers), against the mayor and aldermen ‘for their making of honorary freemen’. This may be a reference to an undated text, with only 44 original signatures (including alderman Israel Keynton), which requested the mayor and aldermen to

make no more strangers freemen by redemption or that have not served their times out by indenture only, the non-observance of which hath and still doth impoverish the trade of this town; and greater detriment may follow for that thereby our poor are greatly increased, our rights and privileges greatly obstructed, our commons eaten up and destroyed by them who have no right.

The petition reminded the aldermen of their oaths of office, which bound them to act in the corporation’s interest, and hoped that they would not ‘deny us this our reasonable request’. There was, however, no response, and in June 1698 Sir William Cowper, together with 17 inhabitants (many of them Nonconformists, and many of those Quakers), petitioned the King to regulate the disorders at the borough, which, they claimed, had been exacerbated by the withdrawal of Chauncy ‘from the execution of the . . . office’ of recorder, and by the fact that the post had been unofficially filled for the past two years by ‘one Mr Thomas Dunster (who the deputy lieutenants of your Majesty’s . . . have on all occasions suspected of disaffection to your Majesty’s government)’. They also pointed out that Fox’s appointment as town clerk had not been confirmed by the King ‘or so much as presented thereunto’, and that the 16 assistants stipulated by the charter had been disregarded.27

Another petition may also have been drawn up at about this time, intended for presentation to Parliament. The text rehearsed the townsmen’s grievances, tracing them back to the end of Charles ii’s reign when

three or four aldermen, either to draw the power of the . . . elections into their own hands or by direction from the Court (as is most probable and was then pretended) did make great numbers of honorary freemen amounting in all to 120 or thereabouts, whereof 20 were clergymen . . . merely in order to overbalance such as were the rightful electors.

The subscribers pointed out that, in contravention of the earlier agreement, Dimsdale

having been a principal agent in the said breach of the petitioners’ rights, and perceiving by the triennial bill that this present Parliament is near being dissolved, hath with three or four of the aldermen again begun the said practice in order to outvote the rightful electors at the next election and draw to themselves such as they shall think fit to qualify, the power of imposing what representatives they please upon your petitioners, have lately made free several persons without any title or colour of right, one of the six clerks in Chancery, another a citizen of London and others who your petitioners cannot come to the knowledge of, for that the said mayor and three or four aldermen do grant the said freedoms in a clandestine manner with the doors of their council chamber shut and obliging their officers to secrecy, that your petitioners may be surprised with the number of such honorary freemen at the next election and by their agents the said mayor and three or four aldermen do threaten to make so many as shall carry the election in the manner they please.

The petition to Parliament was never presented, perhaps because the dissolution came on too soon, but it was probably about this time that Sir William called the mayor ‘a blockhead’, the aldermen ‘a pack of beggarly rogues’, and threatened to ‘bring them before Parliament to answer for their roguery’.28

The general election in 1698 was thus fought in the immediate aftermath of this bitter struggle for central support against local enemies. Both Cowpers stood again, but this time Leman was joined by Caesar as the corporation’s Tory candidate. Caesar had a personal interest in seeing that the corporation upheld what it saw as its privileges and status, since his father had helped pay for the 1680 charter. Despite this challenge Sir William told his son a week before the poll that the election

goes so well for us, that they all (I mean our adversaries) yield it to me; and I am assured by our most knowing friends that you will carry it by at least 40 votes. Besides Sir William Leman is down with the gout and will hardly appear himself but one of Dimsdale’s mob [presided] for him.

The Dimsdale faction among the aldermen duly voted for Leman and Caesar, while the Cowpers’ allies within the corporation were swelled by the additional support of Aldermen Hurrell and Batch, and by the vote of William Monson, the Whig Member for Lincoln, who owned an estate at Broxbourne, five miles south-east of Hertford. Leman came within eight votes of victory, but the Cowpers still carried the day, even if not by the ‘greater majority than ever’ which one newspaper had claimed.29

Far from ending local feuding, the result of the poll only increased it. The narrowness of Leman’s defeat, and Dimsdale’s influence as mayor, encouraged a further expansion of the number of honorary freemen, and at a meeting on 3 Aug. 1698 freedoms were offered to no fewer than 83 potential voters, including the Tory Members of Parliament Thomas Filmer, John Gape and Edward Bullock. Alderman Calton, an increasingly important ally of Dimsdale, was present ‘and said Alderman Keynton [who had supported the Cowpers in previous elections, would] not be pleased with what was done, struck his name out and went away’. To add insult to injury, Dimsdale, Chauncy, Dunster, Fox, Jones and 66 other influential citizens drew up a counter-petition to the one presented in June, complaining that Cowper and his cronies were ‘not only such who, for the greatest part are disaffected and enemies to the Church of England as Quakers, Anabaptists, and of other sects and persuasions, who have refused to sign the Association’, but were the same people who had opposed the address presented to the King on William’s return from Flanders and ‘obstructed the printing thereof’. Moreover, the counter-petition continued, those who complained about the corporation’s conduct ‘frequently if not daily greet your magistrates in the said borough with opprobrious language and print and publish scandalous libels against them and do all they can to create disturbances in the said borough’. The dispute was referred to the attorney-general Sir Thomas Trevor*, and it was presumably in order to give evidence to him that the Quaker Henry Sweeting on one side, and the Tory Sir Henry Chauncy on the other, voluntarily surrendered their freedoms two days after the election had taken place, only to be readmitted in September. Trevor’s opinion on the first petition was mixed. While he advised that ‘it was the intention of the charter that the said assistants should be summoned to assist and give their advice when any affairs of moment relating to the said corporation were to be transacted’, he nevertheless concluded that although Chauncy lived outside the borough the recorder did ‘give his attendance there as often as is necessary to execute’ his office, and that although Dunster and Fox were of dubious loyalty both had signed the Association and produced certificates of their good affection. In December 1698 Trevor also submitted his observations on the counter-petition’s charges against Cowper and his allies. He found that the Quaker John Stout as well as Sir William Cowper had been fined for ‘speaking scandalous words against the magistrates’ and also discovered that at least five of Cowper’s petitioners were Quakers. But Trevor failed to uphold the sweeping charge that all the subscribers were factious, concluding that Dimsdale had only managed to obtain the signatures of 72 of the borough’s 300 freeholders.30

Such a balanced judgment failed to satisfy the Cowpers, for in late December 1698 legal opinion was sought about challenging the legality of the Tory creation of freemen. (Sir) Edward Northey* advised that the admission of non-resident freemen was ‘to make another corporation than is made by the charter’, and that

if an information be exhibited against the corporation in the nature of a quo warranto for claiming a right to make persons not inhabiting within the borough free of that corporation, the corporation must either disclaim such right or set out a title to it on which a judgment will be given, to allow the claim, or to oust them from such right, if the matter shown in the plea shall be adjudged sufficient.

Proceedings were duly initiated in January 1699, and the corporation resolved to fight the quo warranto, on the grounds that the 1680 charter did not specify how freemen or burgesses were to be created. Perhaps in order to defend themselves better, the following month the corporation elected a new recorder, the barrister Thomas Filmer, in place of the ageing Chauncy, and recruited Sir Bartholomew Shower* and three other ‘topping men’ to plead on its behalf. Such expertise was particularly necessary because the lawyers arguing in favour of the quo warranto were Northey, ‘Mr Montagu’ (possibly James I*) and William Cowper. On 31 Jan. 1699 the information was formally lodged against the charter, and, as one interested lawyer reported,

after a long dispute (and defendants pretending they had no notice of the notion till the evening before it was made and therefore they were unprovided) the Court ordered it to come again . . . the defendant’s counsel urged that if the King’s Bench should punish the mayor for swearing strangers freemen of that corporation ’twould be a leading case to the whole nation, but the court were clear in point that the mayor ought not to swear strangers be this what they would, but to confine themselves to swear none but inhabitants. This will be a case worth observation.

When ‘they were with great difficulty brought to appear’, the corporation pleaded that the bye-laws passed in October 1692 under the terms of the 1680 charter made it lawful for them to admit such freemen as they saw fit, but before further progress could be made a scandal seriously damaged the local standing of the Cowpers. On 20 July 1699 Spencer Cowper*, Sir William Cowper’s younger son, was tried at Hertford assizes for the murder of a Quaker heiress, Sarah Stout, the daughter of one of Sir William’s former agents, ‘who at all elections promoted the interest of the Cowpers to the utmost of his power’. The trial resonated with political overtones, occurring in the midst of a bitter feud between the Dimsdale faction within the corporation and the inhabitants, whose rights were championed by the Cowpers, hitherto the beneficiaries of Quaker support at elections. One potential juror was dismissed because he was an identifiable supporter of the Cowpers at elections, and William Cowper was present in court to assist his brother. Moreover, since the case hinged on whether or not Stout had drowned herself, Dimsdale, who had helped carry out the post mortem, exploited the opportunity to use medical evidence in a political cause by suggesting that there were no signs of suicide, a claim successfully contradicted by other expert witnesses. Although the verdict was one of not guilty, it has been claimed that the trial was responsible for the destruction of the Cowper interest at Hertford, because at a stroke it ‘irretrievably’ alienated the Quakers. While it is true that the affair did affect public opinion – Sir William lamented in December 1700 the ‘great change here for the worse, insomuch that I think our enemies need not poll honorary freemen to carry their election’ – the trial must be seen in the wider context of a challenge to the Cowpers’ interest that had been gathering steam for several years. Moreover, the evidence that the Quakers as a whole were permanently split from the Whigs is largely unsubstantiated. Although some Quakers did desert the Cowpers at the next election, Sir William retained the support of many of the most influential of the sect, most notably that of Henry Sweeting, one of those who had originally established the sect in the town and a close friend of the Stouts.31

The poll in January 1701 nevertheless marked a turning point in the fortunes of the Cowpers. Sir William fell out with his son, who refused to appear at the election, presumably to keep a low profile after his efforts to vindicate his brother, and was forced to stand with William Monson, who embarrassed his partner by asking when William and Spencer would appear at the election. The Tories, by contrast, were zealous and committed to breaking the Cowpers’ hold on the town. Caesar allied with recorder Filmer, and the pair mobilized the support of Sir Edward Turnor*, the son of a former steward of the borough who lived just the other side of the Essex border. Filmer found many at Hertford ‘very firm and kind but many are slack’, and believed that Turnor’s presence would ‘do us more good than you can imagine. I entreat you therefore to come without fail at this time of need.’ Besides Turnor, the Tories had the backing of the knight of the shire for Essex, Sir Charles Barrington, 5th Bt.*, and the Hertfordshire MPs John Gape and Ralph Freman II, besides that of Dimsdale and the other Tory aldermen. Cowper and Monson had the vote of Alderman Hurrell, but they trailed well behind their rivals, with 22 per cent of former Whig votes switching to the Tories. It has been claimed that this ‘represents part of a surge of anti-Whig sentiment’, but the overall totals, as the recent petitions and court cases suggest, seem to have had a good deal to do with local factors, including the creation of honorary freemen who would support the Tory faction. If, as has been claimed, the electorate was reflecting national politics, it was doing so through a very local and personalized perspective.32

The honorary freemen were certainly the grounds for complaint against the return of Richard Goulston at the by-election of February 1701 necessitated by the death of Filmer, who suffered a heart attack before he had even taken his seat. Goulston, one of the Tory freemen created in 1698, had voted for Filmer the previous month, and his candidacy sharpened the polarity between corporation and inhabitants. After Sir William Cowper had apparently decided that to contest the seat further would only bring further ignominy, Goulston’s sole opponent was Monson, who lost by 65 votes on the official return but petitioned on 7 Mar. 1701, complaining that the mayor (Dimsdale) had ‘admitted great numbers to vote for Mr Goulston who had no right to do so’, and refused to poll ‘several rightful voters’. These allegations were supported by a petition from 145 inhabitants, headed by prominent Nonconformists who had voted for Monson, which stressed that the creation of honorary freemen had been ‘arbitrary and contrary to the charter’. The details of the poll tend to back Monson’s case. Goulston’s voters were largely the same as those who had supported Filmer, with the addition of Cowper’s earlier adversary Sir William Leman, Ralph Freman I and II, and Hon. Robert Bertie*, who had been elected recorder in Filmer’s place. According to calculations probably made on Monson’s behalf, objections could be lodged against 76 of Goulston’s votes; if so, this would have been more than enough to unseat Goulston, but Parliament was dissolved before the case could be heard.33

With the Cowper interest soundly defeated, the struggle to overawe the Dissent-dominated resident freemen was temporarily resolved in favour of the Tory-dominated corporation at the November 1701 election. Monson opposed Caesar and Goulston, who were again supported by Turnor, the Fremans and the corporation, though the most interesting feature of the poll was the split in the Nonconformist vote, some plumping for Monson while others gave a second vote to Caesar, proof of the enduring nature of the alliance with Dissenters which Caesar’s father had established. Goulston reported that he had polled 303 votes, Caesar 453 and ‘our adversary Mr Monson 220, to the great discontent of the Dissenting party’. Goulston, who believed that his victory rewarded the ‘tedious’ hours spent at the borough fighting the ‘diligence’ of his rival, remarked that Monson would petition ‘in hopes to rout the honorary freemen. This is their last and utmost effort with us, and we have so much right on our side that we are ready to defend whatsoever they shall object.’ Monson duly petitioned against what he alleged were the illegal votes taken by the mayor (a stout supporter of Dimsdale), and challenged the right on which their admissions had been made. As before, Monson’s petition was followed four days later by another from 127 inhabitants, again headed by leading Nonconformists. Monson and his supporters prepared their evidence carefully. According to their calculations, he had 78 less than Goulston if the honorary freemen were included, but a majority of 18 if they were excluded, to which could be added those of his rightful voters who had been turned away. Monson prepared detailed objections against a large number of Goulston’s voters, including the allegation that John Dimsdale jnr. had never been an apprentice or lived in the borough and that one William Furding had gone ‘into a little house just before the election that none ever polled out of’ before. Monson collated the testimony of many of the inhabitant petitioners, but in order for him to prepare his case more fully, Sir Rowland Gwynne, the chairman of the elections committee, wrote to the mayor on directing him to allow access to the borough’s records, and Monson duly appointed Bostock Toller, a Whig lawyer, to inspect them. National politics nevertheless determined the fate of Monson’s petition as the resurgent Tory party in the House backed Goulston. On 19 Jan. 1702 the committee of elections voted in favour of the sitting MP by 188 votes to 142 ‘against all reason and demonstration of right, says the Whigs, being outvoted by the diligent attendance of [the Tories] and negligent absence of their own’. As Sir Richard Cocks, 2nd Bt.*, noted, ‘the question at the committee was whether these honorary freemen should vote contrary to the charter, and it was agreed they should: this after the report was agreed to by the House [on 26 Jan. 1702] without any division, the others having before outvoted them’.34

This important decision on the franchise signalled outright victory for the Tory faction, which was so far in the ascendant that Caesar and Goulston appear to have been elected unopposed in the summer of 1702. Although in June Sir William Cowper had talked of ‘going back to Hertford’, his wife thought that would be ‘a great folly’, for the family was ‘contemptible enough there already’, and nothing came of the Cowpers’ irritation with events. Indeed, in August 1702 the borough chose a new town clerk, Ralph Willymott, who had consistently voted for the Tory candidates and had been prosecuted in October 1697 for receiving bribes to excuse Dimsdale and others from serving as jurymen. More importantly, on the basis of the Commons’ resolution, the corporation formally asked the attorney-general in November 1703 to enter a nolle prosequi to stop the quo warranto proceedings against the charter, on the grounds that if ‘the judgment should be against the defendants therein it would occasion a contradiction between . . . Queen’s Bench and the determination of the House of Commons in a matter in some measure relating to the privileges of the House’. The following month another 32 Tory gentlemen were offered their freedom, including the MPs Charles Churchill, Sir Samuel Garrard, 4th Bt., and Simon Harcourt I and II, as well as a tribe of Berties – including Hon. James*, Hon. Henry I* and Hon. Peregrine II* – whose presence is indicative of the involvement in the borough of the Duke of Leeds (Sir Thomas Osborne†). Tory hegemony seemed assured, and was reflected in an address from the borough in September 1704 which congratulated the naval successes of the Tacker Sir George Rooke* as well as the military victories of Marlborough (John Churchill†).35

However, two developments completely altered the course of Hertford politics. The first and most important was the shifting national situation and mounting hostility to Tackers such as Caesar and Goulston; the second was a revitalized challenge to the corporation from the town’s inhabitants, who had found a new figurehead in Thomas Clarke whose seat at Brickendon lay only three miles from the borough. Clarke was a lawyer related to Bostock Toller, a man of immense personal piety and philanthropic intent, against whom ‘his enemies can find nothing to upbraid him with’ but who nevertheless received support from the Dissenters and from Sir William Cowper, now bent on revenge. Thus although Goulston spent ‘some time’ in February 1705 taking care of ‘Hertford’s affairs’ (which he found answered ‘expectations’), he was probably unprepared for the vigour of the challenge for his seat in May. Caesar’s position was secure: besides his usual backing from the gentry (including the Fremans and Gape) and from Dimsdale’s gang, he also received the votes of Keynton and Hurrell, two aldermen particularly associated with opposition to the admission of honorary freemen, and the votes of a number of Quakers. Goulston’s majority, however, rested entirely on the votes of over a hundred honorary freemen, against which Clarke had attracted the support of Sir William Cowper, Alderman Keynton and the Dissenters. On 2 Nov. 1705 Clarke therefore lodged a petition against Goulston’s return, and, as had now become almost customary, was supported four days later by another petition from 35 inhabitants, a much smaller number than had been mustered on similar occasions in William’s reign but headed by Jonathan Smart, a Dissenter and one of the most consistent allies of the Cowpers. Preparations were intense, and many lists of freemen were drafted to show their qualification for voting. In essence Clarke argued that while the mayor’s poll gave Goulston a majority of 63, 180 of the Goulston’s voters had not been legally qualified, and that a number of legal voters who would have voted for Clarke had been refused. After the relevant deductions and additions had been made, Clarke reckoned a majority of 129 for himself, though to achieve this meant overturning the House’s previous resolution concerning the franchise.36

The case therefore became a trial of strength between the two parties at Westminster. Initially, the determination of the Amersham case in favour of the Tacker Sir Samuel Garrard (one of Hertford’s own honorary freemen) was thought by one Whig observer to be a

great prejudice for the Hertford election which depends on the excluding honorary burgesses if those who are so elected should be absent [as they had been for the vote on Amersham] out of a foolish conceit of hurting themselves, therefore care must be taken to remove this scruple, for elections go by custom and charter and what is customary in one place is not in another.

Such ‘care’ was painstakingly taken to prepare Clarke’s success. On 7 and 16 Nov. 1705 the chairman of the elections committee, Hon. Spencer Compton, ordered a number of witnesses to attend ‘to testify their knowledge touching the election of burgesses to serve in Parliament’, and bring with them the books of the three Hertford parishes; while in the committee the Cowpers did all they could to further Clarke’s case. Thus on 21 Nov. the elections committee adopted the wording drafted by William Cowper, now lord keeper, which defined the electorate as the inhabitants not receiving alms and the freemen, with a strict limit of three for the number of outlying honorary admissions (in accordance with the Jacobean charter). The decision to accept the resolution may also have owed something to Sir William Cowper, who had not only voted for Clarke but also seems to have been ‘present to speak to the time when no honorary freemen’ had been polled. On the 23rd the committee sat late into the night hearing further evidence, from Toller and Alderman Keynton in Clarke’s favour, and from the town clerk and Thomas Dunster on behalf of Goulston. Clarke’s arguments centred on his claim that since none of the charters determined the franchise ‘it remains in [the] inhabitants, as it did before any charter’, and that no charter gave the mayor the right to create non-resident freemen. Clarke further argued that he had received only three days’ notice of the poll, contrary to the Act regulating elections, and that although a small number of non-resident freemen had been allowed to vote in earlier elections this had not until recently amounted to a wholesale invasion of the rights of inhabitants, a point suggested by William Cowper’s legal opinion that ‘the selling now and then a freedom or making outlyers freemen is no argument of a right so to do’. The result of the committee’s deliberations was to vote ‘Mr Goulston out by a great majority’, a verdict which Lord Keeper Cowper considered ‘a fair step to deliver a poor town from the manifest oppression and wrong from those who should have protected them’.37

The decision to unseat Goulston still had to be ratified by the House, and ‘just before the committee’s report’ Goulston published The Case of the Borough of Hertford in order to try to sway the Commons. A copy in the borough archives is endorsed with manuscript observations written by an opponent of Goulston, so that the diametrically opposed views about the franchise and charter are clearly delineated. Whereas Goulston claimed that Hertford was a corporation ‘time out of mind’, Clarke’s supporter stated that it had first been incorporated by Mary’s charter; and Goulston’s assertion that all freemen, whether resident or not, had been admitted to polls was ‘contradicted by most of the old men in town’, and was known to be ‘a new practice within 40 years’. Goulston claimed that he had ‘a plain majority’ even if only the inhabitants and those freemen resident at the time of their admissions were counted, though his calculations were dismissed by the annotator of the Case as ‘fiction’, since the elections committee had found a majority of five for Clarke. Although the weaknesses of Goulston’s arguments were apparent to his detractors, his position may have received unofficial support from the ministry, for when on 5 Dec. Cowper

asked Secretary [Robert] Harley* what he thought would be the success of the Hertford business next day (the report from the committee being to be made ready to the House). He said ’twould certainly do well, if yesterday’s business did not spoil it [a reference to the debate on Scottish affairs aimed against the lord treasurer] . . . and this I then understood a menace from him, that he would do all he could underhand to spoil the Hertford business.

If Harley did attempt such subterfuges, they proved inadequate to prevent the House adopting on 6 Dec. the committee’s resolutions, albeit by a mere four votes on the franchise question (narrower than the margin of 18 in committee), and by only two on the decision in favour of seating Clarke. Lady Cowper was cock-a-hoop. ‘We triumph here’, she noted in her journal, ‘now the same person is let in whom the mob cried down with a loud voice [at the election] . . . and at Hertford they make bonfires, ring bells, give barrels of drink with all such rejoicing.’38

The unseating of Goulston in favour of Clarke, and the about-turn in the resolution on the franchise both had important ramifications in the borough, seriously weakening the corporation’s hold over the town. There were to be no further mass admissions of honorary freemen until after the Hanoverian succession, and Caesar fell into further disfavour at Court after making allegations against Lord Godolphin’s (Sidney†) loyalty. Thus when, in July 1706, he went to present a congratulatory address to the Queen he was refused admission to the royal presence, and to make his disgrace even more obvious, Caesar was dismissed as a justice of the peace, while Clarke was introduced by Lord Cowper to make the presentation of the address and thereupon knighted. Perhaps encouraged by this evidence of the administration’s hostility to Caesar, the proceedings against the charter, which had been halted in 1703, were revived in August. Jonathan Smart, Toller and a prominent Quaker named William Barfoot were among the inhabitants who petitioned the Queen for the resumption of the quo warranto prosecution, forcing Harley to order that the earlier nolle prosequi should not be entered until the attorney-general had reported on the matter. Dimsdale’s son was now mayor and evidently felt that his and his father’s enemies were closing in, for in October he decided to broaden the conflict into a more straightforward one between the inhabitants and the corporation by engineering a pact signed by all the aldermen (including Keynton and Hurrell, who had previously sided with the corporation’s opponents) ‘to stand by one another in defending’ the charter.39

The Whigs began marshalling votes as early as June 1707 when Lord Cowper wrote to chastise one freeman who, he had been informed, had promised to vote for the Tories. In response the man, William Johnson, admitted that he

once had some slender acquaintance with the Tory party, which was entirely owing to Sir William Cowper’s direction, who apprehended that my Lord Gower [Sir John Leveson Gower, 5th Bt.*, chancellor of the duchy of Lancaster] would impose a pinnacle man on the parish . . . [but] my inclinations have always been to the moderate interest of the Church and state and particularly oblige your Lordship by my vote.40

With the corporation back on the defensive, the way lay open at the 1708 election for Monson to regain his seat in partnership with Clarke. They were helped by Goulston’s decision not to stand, which forced Dimsdale to contest the seat alongside Caesar. A printed Copy of the Poll shows that Dimsdale was supported by Barrington, Ralph Freman, a few of his aldermanic cronies, 15 ‘gentlemen’ and four clerics. The composition of Caesar’s vote was very similar, though he had two extra clergymen and still retained the loyalty of the Quaker John Stout. Clarke, by contrast, had the support of a mere four ‘gentlemen’ voters, and only three clerics, but Stout and two aldermen also cross-voted in his favour, and he found further backing from Spencer Cowper (despite objections from the town clerk that Spencer was ‘no freeman or inhabitant’), Alderman Keynton and leaders of the Dissenters. Monson could muster only one clergyman and three gentlemen, but Spencer Cowper and Keynton gave him their second votes, and he had enough votes from the inhabitant freemen to merit his official return. At first Caesar refused to accept the result, and on 24 Nov. 1708 petitioned against Monson. Both parties prepared their cases, Caesar claiming that 56 voters whom he believed had a right to vote – including aldermen Dimsdale and Calton – had been refused at the poll and that 71 of Monson’s supporters (including Cowper) should not have been admitted, while Monson gathered evidence that Caesar had given up the election before the town clerk had cast up the poll because each candidate knew ‘at the end of every page as they polled how the number stood, there being clerks appointed by each candidate . . . and the other clerks had cast up their books before proclamation was made’. Caesar either realized the weakness of his case or, more likely, found the House too hostile to the Tories, for on 9 Feb. 1709 he was granted leave to withdraw his petition.41

Caesar’s climb-down may also have been influenced by local events, for the victory of Clarke and Monson, and hence of the inhabitants, encouraged a further assault on the damaged corporation interest. Following a petition of the inhabitants, a commission of charitable uses had been issued barely three months after the election to Clarke, Spencer Cowper, Toller and the leading Dissenters, ostensibly to investigate the use of land belonging to the poor of the town, but in reality in order to cripple the corporation financially by forcing it to make huge repayments of allegedly misappropriated money. In November 1708, under the mayoralty of Keynton (who was thus forced into the position of fighting the interest which he had espoused at elections), the corporation was obliged to borrow £50 in order to defend itself against the commissioners’ findings, and the legal case rumbled on throughout Anne’s reign, providing a new arena for the feuding within the town. The corporation’s objections to the commissioners’ report were heard in March and November 1709, but since the case was heard by William Cowper, now lord chancellor, it is not surprising that they were dismissed and the mayor and aldermen ordered to pay £898 of the £2,495 demanded by the commissioners.42

As late as July 1710 the Whigs still appeared to have the upper hand. In response to an address from the mayor and corporation which attacked the ‘factious, anti-monarchical and rebellious notions’ afoot and promised to elect loyal MPs, Lord Cowper introduced Monson at court to present an address from the ‘principal inhabitants and freemen’ of Hertford who informed the Queen that ‘the persons truly dangerous to your Majesty and the Protestant succession are those who traduce the honour and justice of the Revolution; those who seditiously suggest the Church to be in danger’. The rival address praised the outgoing administration (of which Cowper was of course a part), opposed a dissolution, and claimed that the borough would ‘be able to be represented as we now are and have always been, except at a time when our right and freedom of election was unjustly invaded’. Confidence in the strength of the inhabitant vote, but apprehension about the possible manipulation of the franchise, were also apparent in Lady Cowper’s remark that there was ‘no danger of our not carrying of it, but I hear the present m[ayor] threatens to return Caesar and Goulston . . . God send all the elections in England well over without introducing club law, but I own my apprehensions on that score’. Her foreboding was to prove correct, for at the poll in October the Tory pair duly emerged with a majority

occasioned solely by the m[ayor’]s being so hardy as to poll the honorary and unqualified freemen contrary to the last determination in Parliament and consequently to the Act of Parliament made in that behalf . . . there having been no considerable alteration in the town, or in the number of legal votes since the former election, as is well known to all that are acquainted with that borough.

The allegation that consistent local opinion in favour of the Whig candidates had been over-ridden by the action of the mayor seems to have been justified. According to material gathered for the Whigs’ petition against Caesar and Goulston in 1715, Dimsdale’s ally Calton had been chosen as mayor ‘years before his turn’ to ‘do the job’ of polling the honorary freemen, and was later described as a ‘staunch resolute person and one that would poll illegal freemen and carry the election for Mr Caesar right or wrong’. Calton had indeed refused one apprenticed applicant for his freedom until he offered to vote for Caesar, a practice fully in accord with the policy of denying freedoms to inhabitants who would vote against the Tory MPs; Dimsdale had contemptuously told another seeking admission ‘to go to Sir Thomas Clarke and Mr Smart and see if they can get it for you’.43

Documents in the borough archives also show that Caesar and Goulston had been allowed 173 illegally qualified votes, that 47 had never lived in the town or did not do so at the time of their admissions and that 41 of the Whigs’ voters, including Spencer Cowper, had been refused by the mayor. The poll also shows that Caesar and Goulston had been supported by honorary freemen such as Hon. James Bertie, Barrington and Ralph Freman II, as well as 12 clergymen, while Monson and Clarke continued to attract the votes of Toller, Alderman Keynton, and a host of Dissenters. Clarke had brought in a number of ‘occasional inhabitants’ whom he had set up in furnished houses and rooms especially to vote. Thus while it might be valid to point to the polarized nature of the voters, as some have suggested, the apparently high turnover and the influence of national issues in the locality can be misleading, for the crucial factors in deciding the election were the inclusion or exclusion of honorary freemen (there was no longer any need for the Dimsdale faction to create more) and the state of parties in the House and in the elections committee. What reversed the result of 1708 was not so much a ‘swing’ in public opinion after the Sacheverell trial, but the manipulation of the electorate, though the courage to do so may itself have been in part drawn from the more general changes in the political situation. In 1710 it was a measure of the weakness of the Whigs in the new Parliament that no election petition was lodged against the Tory victory, a caution perhaps also induced by a fear that the 1705 resolution on the franchise might thus be overturned. Despondency was evident in Lady Cowper’s remark less than a fortnight after the poll that she was ‘out of all patience with the elections’, and when Caesar was promoted to the treasurership of the navy in June 1711 he was re-elected without opposition.44

Emboldened by the change of administration, of which Caesar was now a part, the Dimsdale faction sought to consolidate its position. When the Cowpers flew a flag from Hertford Castle in July 1711 in celebration of Marlborough’s victory over the French, ‘the mayor and his party set the bells a ringing, as bears drove to the stake. No doubt’, Lady Cowper observed sourly, ‘they think now the Church is in evident danger.’ The following summer Caesar and Goulston presented an address of thanks for the Queen’s endeavours to end the war, and another in June 1713 thanking her for the peace. In August 1713 the pair were re-elected ‘by a great majority’ with Clarke ‘polling but three’. Once again the Tories had mobilized the honorary freemen vote, and a document dated three days before the election shows that calls had been sent out to 122 non-resident gentlemen, including Gape, James Bertie, Simon Harcourt, Ralph Freman II and William Harvey I*. Fifty-nine of the outliers came from London, including Sir George Newland* and Turnor. It is nevertheless difficult to account for the reported collapse of the Whig vote, unless Clarke’s supporters had decided to boycott the whole affair, or Clarke had withdrawn his candidacy. The alliance of the Tory MPs and the Dimsdale faction within the corporation continued to predominate, despite the loss in April 1713 of the appeal in the Lords against the verdict on the amount of money owed to the poor, a prosecution in which Spencer Cowper had acted as lawyer and pursued partly in the name of Leonard Dell, who had earlier promoted the allegation against Robert Dimsdale. It was not until after the Hanoverian succession that the Whigs again felt strong enough to launch a vigorous and ultimately successful challenge against their rivals. By 1722 the power of the Dimsdale faction had been broken, and Caesar forced to look to the county for his seat.45

Author: M.J.K


  • 1. Herts. RO, Hertford bor. recs. 23, pp. 65–75, pollbk.
  • 2. Ibid. 77-100, pollbk.
  • 3. Ibid. 119-26, pollbk. (miscalculated, giving Sir William Cowper 305 and Byde 88 votes).
  • 4. Ibid. 127, calculation of poll.
  • 5. Ibid. 103-4, endorsed as 1695 but relating to 1698.
  • 6. L. Munby, E. Anglian Studies, 129. These figures derive from an unidentified source.
  • 7. Hertford bor. recs. 23, pp. 131-6, pollbk.
  • 8. Ibid. 142, calculation of poll.
  • 9. Ibid. 143-8, pollbk.
  • 10. Bodl. Rawl. lett. 92, f. 72.
  • 11. Hertford. bor. recs. 23, pp. 167–79, pollbk.
  • 12. Munby, 129, refers to his candidature and gives a voting analysis, but the poll used has not been found.
  • 13. Hertford bor. recs. 23, p. 236. Ibid. 272, ‘mayor’s poll’, gives the figure of 246 for Clarke. Other variant calculations have the same figures for Caesar and Goulston but give Clarke 250 or 254 (ibid. 322, 329).
  • 14. Ibid. 271, calculation of poll.
  • 15. Ibid. 272, ‘Mr Chapman’s poll’.
  • 16. Marked copy of 1707-8 list of MPs, in possession of R.B. Freeman, esq. The Daily Courant, 6 May 1706, published the same figures, with 159 for Dimsdale. Hertford bor. recs. 23, p. 390, 'breviat' of election gives the same figure for Monson but 208 for Caesar.
  • 17. Hertford bor. recs. 23, pp. 366–8, A Copy of the Poll for the Borough of Hertford.
  • 18. Flying Post, 5–7 Oct. 1710.
  • 19. Herts. RO, D/EP F93, poll (giving occupation of voters).
  • 20. Hertford bor. recs. 23, pp. 392–7, pollbk. The Flying Post, 5–7 Oct. 1710, printed these figures, though it gave Goulston 344 not 354.
  • 21. Hertford bor. recs. 23, p. 416, calculation of poll.
  • 22. Ibid. 113–17, 446; 25, pp. 53–59; Munby, 121–2; Herts. in Hist. ed. D. Jones-Baker, 197; The Case of Sir Thomas Clarke and John Boteler [1715], 1.
  • 23. Hertford bor. recs. 25, p. 86; 23, p. 323; 1, p. 76; 30, p. 46; Herts. in Hist. 175.
  • 24. Salmon, Herts. (1728), 41; HMC 7th Rep. 482; Hertford bor. recs. 23/65–75, 446–7; H. Horwitz, Parl. and Pol. Wm. III, 54.
  • 25. Hertford bor. recs. 1/54; 33/43.
  • 26. Herts. RO, Panshanger mss D/EP F8, f. 70, Sir William Cowper to his wife, 16 Oct. 1695; Hertford bor. recs. 23/77–100, 113–17; BL, Verney mss mic. 636/48, John* to Sir Ralph Verney, 1st Bt.†, 12 Sept 1695.
  • 27. Hertford bor. recs. 9/373, 386; 21/2; 25/27; 25/37, 39; 33/43; A. Baker and W. Fenning, Hist. of Ancient Bor. and Honour of Hertford (T/S at Herts. RO), 600.
  • 28. Hertford bor. recs. 23, pp. 446–7; 33, p. 52.
  • 29. Munby, 125; Hertford bor. recs. 23, pp. 103–4; Post Man, 23–26 July 1698.
  • 30. Hertford bor. recs. 1, pp. 59, 61; 25, p. 101; 33, p. 52.
  • 31. Ibid. 1, p. 76; 25, pp. 25–26, 41; 23, pp. 324–5; Cornw. RO, Buller mss BO/23/72/23, P. Igne to Liskeard, 31 Jan. 1698; Post Boy, 20–22 July 1699; State Trials, xiii. 1128, 1155, 1238; Munby, 128; Hist. and Computing, i. 17; V. Rowe, The First Hertford Quakers, 7, 53.
  • 32. Panshanger mss D/EP F 29, Lady Cowper’s commonplace bk. p. 42, 24 Dec. 1700; D/EP F 23, f. 1, Sir William Cowper to his wife, 31 Dec. 1700; W. Suss. RO, Shillinglee mss Ac. 454/1174, Filmer to Turnor, 28 Dec. 1700; Hertford bor. recs. 1, pp. 131–60; Hist. and Computing, 16.
  • 33. Hertford bor. recs. 1, p. 157.
  • 34. Bodl. Rawl. lett. 92, f. 72; Hertford bor. recs. 23, pp. 161–2, 181, 202–17, 220–23, 226–9, 302–3, 468–74; Add. 40803, f. 9; Panshanger D/EP F29, Lady Cowper’s commonplace bk. p. 182; Cocks Diary, 189.
  • 35. Panshanger mss D/EP F29, Lady Cowper’s commonplace bk. p. 230; Herts. Co. Recs. i. 428; CSP Dom. 1703–4, p. 465; Hertford bor. recs. 1, p. 76; 23, p. 350; 25, p. 48; London Gazette, 25–8 Sept. 1704.
  • 36. Panshanger mss D/EP F31, Lady Cowper’s commonplace bk. p. 106; Bodl. Rawl. lett 92, f. 297; Hertford bor. recs. 23, pp. 236–7, 244–62, 282, 289, 272, 280, 322.
  • 37. Parlty. Lists Early Cent. ed. Newman, 78; Cowper, Diary, 18; Hertford bor. recs. 23, pp. 153, 300–1, 309, 311–13, 315, 320–5, 328; Liverpool RO, Norris mss 920NOR 2/596, Thomas Johnson* to Richard Norris*, 24 Nov. 1705.
  • 38. Hertford bor. recs. 23, pp. 277, 315, 329–30; Cowper, Diary, 25; Panshanger mss D/EP F31, Lady Cowper’s commonplace bk. p. 167.
  • 39. Hertford bor. recs. 25, pp. 47–48.
  • 40. Ibid. 47–48; Panshanger mss D/EP F93, Johnson to Cowper, 9 June 1707.
  • 41. Hertford bor. recs. 23, pp. 366–8, 384–8, 391.
  • 42. Ibid. 21, p. 53; 75, pp. 166, 287; Clutterbuck, Herts. ii. 178; HMC Lords, n.s. x. 35–6.
  • 43. Oldmixon, Hist. of Addresses (1711), ii. 186, 350–1; Boyer, Anne Annals, ix. 176–7; Add. 61463, f. 75; Flying Post 5–7 Oct. 1710; Hertford bor. recs. 23, pp. 448, 556.
  • 44. Hertford bor. recs. 23, pp. 274, 363, 416, 418–9; Bodl. Bromley parliamentary pprs. ‘The Case of Hertford’ (Speck trans.); Add. 61463, f. 75.
  • 45. Panshanger mss D/EP F34, Lady Cowper’s commonplace bk. p. 14; London Gazette, 24–26 June 1712, 16–20 June 1713; Post Boy, 22–25 Aug 1713; Hertford bor. recs. 23, p. 425; 25, p. 61; 76, pp. 1–2; HMC Lords, n.s. x. 35–36; The Appellant’s Case (1713); Herts. Co. Recs. i. 424; Munby, 133.