Aireborough Historical Society

1844 Political Letter Yeadon

Political Letter
Date February 1844
Location Yeadon
Photo ID

     "Yeadon - The "great fact" of a Conservative News Room having been established in this citadel of Whig corruption has given great offence to the "no monopolist faction".

Not being able, however, to dent the "fact" their "tools" - the "moral force chartists"- have been brought into requisition in order to vilify and misrepresent, according to their usual custom, the subscribers of the said news room.

     What sum from the "League Fund" these persons will receive for their share in the dirty business is not yet ascertained.

Probably 5s a day with "gin and water" will not now be considered an adequate recompense for their absolutely necessary services.

The Whigs are but a helpless party without their aid and hirelings know it : doubtless they will avail themselves of this circumstance and demand a higher remuneration, something proportionate to their unquestionable abilities.

      The manufacturers of the paragraph which lately appeared in a Whig Radical journal of a neighbouring town, assert that a majority of the subscribers to this news room are "extreme liberals".

It is to be hoped that they are liberal according to the legitimate meaning of the term - it is known that they are not extreme liberals "according to the phraseology of the Yeadon Whigs" or as exemplified by their practices.

Perhaps a reason may be found why they are not "extreme liberals" in the sense that these pompous oracles would insinuate, from the fact that a "majority" of them are members of the temperance society and are seldom found in the pot-house tap-room where the flippant orators assemble nightly to dogmatise.

      Then, how very ingeniously these gentry contrive to exhibit the poison of their sectarian malice, by some supposed connection that is said to exist between a "steeple house" - the "fulminations" of the "Leeds Intelligencer" and a "Conservative news room".

Where the points of resemblance are must be left to the sagacious readers of the "liberal" organ to determine.

To all who know the causes of this reference it will be easy to perceive that it is merely the resuscitation of the spectre of a stale and almost forgotten transaction- a dressing-up of the hash and a seasoning of second hand dishes to suit the religious palates of their bigoted employers.

      Symptoms of dissension have already manifested themselves in the hireling camp, arising out of a discussion as  to who should put an extinguisher upon the hopes of Conservatism in this place, through the columns of a league print.

They may rest assured however, that this course will be unnecessary as there exists no intention of noticing any more of the insignificant ravings of the paid supporters of a vile and corrupt faction. Correspondent".


Image courtesy of the British Newspaper Archives, research by Edwy Harling


Further comment by Christine Lovedale

This letter gives some indication of the bitter rivalry which existed in the 19thC between the Whigs and the Tory or Conservative parties.

The Whigs supported Free Trade, the abolition of slavery, the voting franchise being extended and non-conformist religious worship, they were succeeded by the Liberal Party in the latter half of the 19thC.

The Conservatives upheld the established Church of England, the Monarchy, the landowners and the status quo.

Politics are of course much more involved than this brief outline.



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