On 15 July 1747, the Penny London Post reported that the parliamentary election in Worcester “has been attended with warm and even violent Disputes.” In the months that followed, these disputes would continue, not coming to an end until the following February when the House of Commons overturned the election results. This presentation examines the Worcester election of 1747. It shows the ways in which Whigs used anti-Jacobite iconography to smear their opponents—and how Tories countered by working the levers of city power to create hundreds of freemen. Putting the poll book, the registry of freemen, a manuscript map, petitions, porcelain, and prints in dialogue, it elucidates the complex ways that party rivalry played out at midcentury and the broader political culture of the West Midlands.
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