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Halifax Election 1835

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Halifax Election 1835

Notice of the Halifax election of 1835, held in the Piece Hall

Author: Unknown
Date: 1835
Location: Halifax
Format: Handbill
Document ID: 102228
Library ID:

Notice was issued by the returning officer, George Stansfeld, of a parliamentary election to be held on 5th January 1835 in the Halifax Piece Hall. The outcome was highly controversial, in that the Tory James Stuart Wortley took the second available seat by only one vote (308 to 307), over the Radical Edward Protheroe. The top runner was Charles Wood with 336. Anne Lister's diary makes reference to the turmoil ensuing in the town and the election was subsequently referred to as the 'window-breaking election'.

Benjamin Wilson, the celebrated Halifax Chartist, wrote in his autobiography of how the Skircoat Green Band, which had been engaged by the Liberals, was attacked by a group of Tories in Bull Green. This was the flashpoint for a mob several thousand strong to gather and march through the streets, attacking the Tory headquarters and other premises belonging to prominent Tories, such as Christopher Rawson's home at Hope Hall - hence the 'window-breaking' sobriquet.

Edward Protheroe's narrow defeat was overturned in the 1837 election, at which he topped the poll over the same two candidates, James Wortley, on this occasion, coming last.

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