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NARRATIVE OF THE PROCEEDINGS
KELATIVE TO THE CONTEST BETWEEN
MESSRS. GURNEY & GRANT, AND MESSRS. PEEL & OGLE,
JULY 29th, 1830.
EFFUSIONS, &c., &c.
TO WHICH IS ADDED
Swan, St. Peter's, to celebrate the Election of
Price Is. 6d. stitched, or 2s, in extra boards.
THAT great National event, the demise of our late Sovereign George the fourth, in the natural course of things, called to the Throne, his present Majesty WILLIAM the IVth, consequently a dissolution of Parliament took place; by which event, the political circumstances of the times, were called into action. NORWICH, as will subsequently be seen, was alive to its interests. Talent and activity went, “ shoulder to shoulder" in the full determination to fill the vacated seats of the late Members with two Men, who would declare themselves, both in theory and practice “the Friends of the People."
To the attentive observer of passing events, it must be obvious, that the seeds of the recent glorious Triumph, were sown so long back as July, 1826, we allude to the memorable Letter published at that period by the Operative Committee, which Letter was eminently calculated to arouse the dormant faculties of the powerful and energetic, and to excite to emulation even the most supine of the Electors; such was the tendency of that deep read document, and its effect manifested itself in the redoubled vigour of our most influential Citizens, in resuming their stations in the recent struggle for popular rights : but whilst the meed of praise is due to the unanimity which subsisted, it is not the less evident, that, in the late Contest, the Operatives gave the first and most effective impulse to the ponderous Machine; whilst the address and energy displayed in their important pursuit of Candidates, is illustrated in the brilliant success which ultimately crowned their efforts; more particularly in the case of MR. GRANT, he having previously given his refusal (to come forward as a Candidate,) to persons of exalted rank, and of considerable influence.
There is yet a still more powerful reason to be assigned for the change that have taken place in the Public opinion.
The People know, that, the agency of principles which disparaged England in the scale of Free Institutions, and contained the elements of their embarrassment, which are deeply centered in the Millions already reduced to actual Pauperism; are the immediate effects of a long Tory Ascendency, and whilst the sufferings of a People writhing in agony from privations, have contributed to enlighten the understanding politically, they have also created a desire for a constitutional change in the system of Civil Legislation.
Who, then, can wonder at the people of this large manufacturing City, exercising their rights as they lately did ? Who can feel sur. prize at the important change in public affairs, which so recently took place here? For ourselves we conscientiously believe, that the disregard of Government to the Prayers and Petitions of the People, have driven them to use the only legal means in their power for accelerating such a reduction of Taxation as is necessary to insure their future safety and prosperity.
The liberal party, were in this instance called upon to make unusual exertions, owing to the position in which there was every probability of its being placed, by the repeated declarations of their late worthy Representative Mr. W. Smith, that it was not his wish again to appear upon the stage of Public Life; but to seek apart from senatorial discussions, and the duties which the Interests of a populous City brings upon its Parliamentary Representative, that enjoyment and tranquility which retirement will ensure, more especially when heightened by the recollection that, he had conscientiously followed the path of Public Duty, without emolument; and that he was free from even a whisper, of sacrificing his public trust for his private advantage.
After the resignation of the trust which for Twenty-eight Years Mr. W. Smith had exercised, the Friends of that Gentleman, and the Liberals generally, determined on making an appeal to a Member of an excellent and wealthy Family, who having once repre sented this City, had endeared himself to all by his manly and upright conduct. This appeal was, as will be found, ultimately suc.cessful.
Whilst the People of Norwich were spontaneously declaring their hopes and their belief that he would be the object of their choice, another scene was getting up in London, which involved also the Interests of the Electors of Norwich. It is well known that the Friends of Mr Peel, the late Representative of this City, had expressed a desire that no Contest might take place; but that Mr. W. Smith might be returned with him. The Freemen in the Blue and White Interest had resolved from the very first, that no compromise on this occasion should take place :—and even when Mr. R. Gurney declared his intention of offering himself, the friends of Mr. Peel were again sedulously engaged in securing the return of those two Gentlemen, without a contest. The same party which had given rise to the cry of no compromise in the first instance, considerably persevered until our much respected and esteemed Friend, Mr. Robert Grant, came forward and echoed the call made upon him. The persecution he met with from the Minister of the day, led him to desire the representation of a populous District, and the Electors of this City and Neighbourhood have shewn their detestation of Ministerial interference; and also, that persecution, if wielded by a Minister, finds no responsive feelings in their hearts, nor corresponding motives in their actious !
Whatever might have been the opinions of the Electors as to the future conduct of their late Member, W. Smith, Esq., in offering himself for the seventh time to their notice. The above manly and energetical farewel address, concentrated the yarious surmises and opinions on that particular point; his resignation was accepted, and a prompt and attentive look out for a successor became the order of the day. Public attention was directed to R. H. Gurney,