April meeting 2001
Monday 30th April 2001 7.30pm
at St. Mary's Hall Dover
Speaker The Reverend Dr Hinton
Dr. Michael Hinton compared general elections 200 years ago with those held today.
The Reverend Dr Hinton, a former headmaster of Dover Grammar School for Boys, obtained his doctorate in history and studied the elections of 1806 and 1807. During his talk Dr Hinton made special reference to general elections in Dover in the early 19th century when only freemen were permitted to vote. There were about 1,500 votes in a population when of around 14,000. But half of the freemen were not residents of Dover! “ Freeman liked Parliamentary contests because of the opportunity of bribery and treating associated with them.” he said.
Dr Hinton recalled that in 1806 one of the two elected candidates was John Jackson, a London Merchant, who was supported by the government of the day. Another was Charles Jenkinson, cousin of the Lord Warden of the Cinque Ports, Lord Hawkesbury. “ Wealth and privilege still dominate. But today they have to take account of ordinary people in a way they didn't in the past.” he said.