Normanton <1> nr Stamford
March 30th 1830
My dear Sir,
Accept my best Thanks for your kind attention in sending me your Pamphlet.<2> The propriety of large Towns returning Representatives to Parliament seems to be almost universally acknowledged, but many Persons object to increase the number of Members, and then the Difficulty is to do away with the Representation of the small Boroughs. At the conclusion of your first Part you answer this Objection. With respect to the 2nd Part, there is a great Variety of Opinions. I have understood that Lord Lonsdale <3> thinks the Expenses of Elections ought to be great, because Property should be represented, and none but rich men should be Candidates. I do not agree with his Lordship, but yet I think they should not be small, for, if they were, it would open Parliament to any Adventurer or prating Attorney. However, it is a Subject which has also caused much Discussion, and will continue to do so, until something is effected. I see by the newspaper that Lord J. Russell <4> has fixed the 6th of May for his Motion on the Representation of the Country. Your Pamphlet has therefore come not very opportunely. - According to your Direction I have sent one to Mr Porter, <5> & another to my Brother. The latter begs me to return you his warmest Thanks for your kind Attention. -
The severity of the winter was so great after you left us, that I did not undertake my proposed Journey, but kept constantly within Doors. -
Sir G. Heathcote <6> & Family are expected at Normanton next week after an absence of two years. -
Yr's ever faithfully,
W.H.F. Talbot Esqr
1. Normanton, Rutlandshire.
2. WHFT, Thoughts on Moderate Reform in the House of Commons (London: James Ridgway, 1830). Two years later, WHFT was to be elected a member of the Reform Parliament.
3. William Lowther (1757-1844), 1st Earl of Lonsdale.
4. Lord John Russell (1792-1878), statesman.
5. Charles Porter (1797-1877), fellow Cambridge student with WHFT and clergyman.
6. Sir Gilbert Heathcote, 4th Baronet (1773-1851), MP, sat for Boston from 1820 to 1831; in August 1825, shortly after the death of his first wife, he married a Mrs. Eldon of Park Crescent, Portland Place, London.