A month ago Dr Alexander Lock, Curator of Modern Archives and Manuscripts at the British Library, spoke on ‘Sir Thomas Gascoigne (1745-1810), national politics and the York county election of 1784’. The paper was based on Dr Lock’s recently-published biography of Gascoigne, election manager for the Rockingham/Fitzwilliam interest Whig candidates in Yorkshire. The paper discussed the local and national circumstances of an election that led to a surprising defeat for the ‘formerly unassailable Rockingham interest’, recently inherited by the Marquess’s nephew, the earl Fitzwilliam. Realising on the eve of the election that they would lose the poll, the Fitzwilliam candidates, William Weddell and Francis Ferrand Foljambe withdrew, meaning Henry Duncombe and William Wilberforce were returned.
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