Anecdote cited in a footnote of Electoral Behavior in Unreformed England, concerning “treating,” or the practice of patrons providing free food and drink for electors prior to a poll:
At the 1768 Northampton contest, the Earl of Halifax exhausted his store of mature port and turned in desperation to his choicest claret, whereupon the “rabble” deserted his side and joined the forces of the Earl of Northampton, “turning up their noses and vying ‘never to vote in the interest of a man who gave them sour port to drink.'”
Also, in one of the significant contested elections in Norwich, the incumbents were named Harbord Harbord and Edward Bacon. That’s just beautiful. They should have, I don’t know, a comic book series or a buddy cop show about them.
One copy of Proof by Seduction is still up for grabs in the comments of yesterday’s post–let me know if you want it!