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KVK  •  Link

Nottingham election to the Convention Parliament
Below is a brief account of the April 2, 1660 election in Notthingham, which sent two members to the commons. This is drawn from Lucy Hutchinson's biography of her husband Colonel John Hutchinson, and supplies a vivid picture of the electoral process.

'The Colonel' was a regicide, one of the 59 men who signed the death warrant of Charles I. This was a liability in 1660, but Hutchinson possessed immense support within Nottingham because of his leadership of the town's garrison during the civil war. Hutchinson and Arthur Stanhope stood for the two Nottingham seats, but Hutchinson was challenged by one Plumtre, a physician whom Lucy obviously disliked.

Leading members of the town were summoned to an assembly on election day to give their approval to the candidates. Formal polling of the electors was not required, and often was unnecessary because electors tried to come to consensus even before the actual election. Note that Lucy considers it 'impudent' that Plumtre would call for a poll.

"Dr. Plumtree... laboured all he could to get the burgess-ship [i.e., to be elected to Parliament] for himself, and to put by the Colonel with the basest scandals he and two or three of his associates could raise. [Plumtre's ally, the apothecary John] Hill got a printed paper which he went about [with] in those days, with [Hutchinson's] name among others for a regicide, and this was shown to every man up and down, telling them that such men would never settle peace nor suffer the King to come in that had murdered his father, and that it the King were not restored trading would not thrive, and such like arguments, which were the worst tricks the Doctor and this apothecary Hill... could do [that] could divert the Colonel's friends...

"...Mr Arthur Stanhope...being pitched upon for the other burgess and having a great party in the town, was dealt with to desert the Colonel and offered all Plumtre's party. But, on the other side, he laboured more for the Colonel than for himself, and at length, when the election day came, Mr Stanhope and the Colonel were clearly chosen. Yet Plumtre's party were so impudent that they required a poll, and in the polling affronted the Colonel's friends and played very foul; whereat the Colonel was not at all moved, but with a very unconcerned pleasantness made himself sport at their malice, which made it turn to plain fury and madness. Hill stood to take the poll, and when the Colonel came to give his vote for Mr Stanhope, he was to cast away the other vote; and being asked who he would nominate he made them set down Mr Joshua Hill. 'For,' said he, 'if the Doctor carry it from me, I will give him his apothecary to attend him'; at which Hill foamed, and after they had ended their vain labour went home in a rage and beat his men and his maid."

vincent  •  Link

how many sat in the House ?
1,790 MPs sat between 1640 and 1660:
..."one of the most eventful, and from a historiographical perspective, challenging periods in English parliamentary history. Against the backdrop of Civil War, the regicide, and the constitutional experiments of the 1650s, six very different (and, in some cases, dubious) parliamentary bodies sat - the Short Parliament of 1640, the Long Parliament and `Rump’ (1640-53, 1659-60), ".l...

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Chart showing the number of references in each month of the diary’s entries.







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