Normanton <1> nr Stamford,
March 22nd 1820
My dear Sir,
As the Term is drawing to an End, I write to say that, if any Thing should have occurred to prevent your going to Paris, as you intended when I saw you, I shall be extremely happy if you will spend part of your Easter-Vacation at Normanton. -
The Newspapers will have informed you that Gilbert Heathcote <4> is at last in Parliament. The Election at Boston was admirably conducted by Henry Heathcote<5> , & we were far at the Head of the Poll. More votes were polled for Gilbert than ever were known to be for one Candidate. The Day before the Election an Express arrived from Boston to inform him that, unless he were there by 12 oclock the next Day to be admitted a Freeman, he could not be M. P. for the Borough. As he was then confined to his Bed, it seemed almost impossible that he should go; but at length we thought it best, & I wrapped him in a Blanket, put him into a Chaise & conveyed him to Boston in Time. He was carried to the Town Hall, & admitted, & then kept his Bed almost the whole Time we staid there. After three or four Days I brought him back, & he was not worse for the journey. -
When this Election was over, we were obliged to turn our Attention to that of Rutland. Sir Gilbert was too ill to leave London, & Lionel <6> was his Substitute. Every Thing passed extremely well, & Father & Son are now firmly seated in Parliament.
Gilbert enters the House as a true old Whig, and puts himself under the Direction of the Marquis of Lansdowne, <7> as far as is consist [sic] with perfect Independence. -
He is much better in Health, able to walk about, & ride a little. From the Severity of his Illness he is very weak & much reduced, & looks pale and emaciated. - His Complaint being a bilious as well as a Rheumatick-Fever, he may be thankful he is able to move about so soon, altho' two months is not a short Confinement. -
As far as my observation goes, I think the Elections have been favorable to the Opposition.
Sir Robert Heron <8>told me they would gain Ten, but I hear they expect Fifteen. -
Believe me, my dear Sir. Your most sincere Friend,
T. K. Bonney.
Stamford March twenty two 1820 G. J. Heathcote
W. H. F. Talbot Esqre
1. Normanton, Rutlandshire.
2. George Finch, 9th Earl of Winchilsea (1752-1826).
4. Sir Gilbert John Heathcote (1795-1867), later 5th Baronet and 1st Baron Aveland.
5. William Henry Heathcote (1797-1880).
7. Henry Petty Fitzmaurice, 3rd Marquess of Lansdowne (1780-1863), MP, WHFT's uncle.
8. Sir Robert Heron (1765-1854), politician, MP for Peterborough.