1812 election notice from the Enoch Wood scrapbook - "Violence and Outrage"

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Date:6th of June 1812

Description:Election time

In 1812, election time was a very different spectacle compared to the media circus of today.

Mass rallies were the best way for candidates to make their voices heard. Thousands of people would turn up (often with flags and musical instruments) to hear the politicians, who were often local personalities.

Violence and Outrage

This notice replies to accusations against potters of violence and outrage.

A crowd of up to 10,000 had gathered to hear one candidate, Mr. Walhouse speak.


According to the notice, he insulted the masses who had gathered - and the crowd replied with handfuls of mud, not least because Walhouse had made plenty of alcohol available (this was a common practice).

"Envy, Hatred and Malice."

The authors of this notice claim that the accusations showed the 'envy, hatred and malice.' of Mr. Walhouse's camp.

In fact, they say, potters had simply wanted to show their support for Josiah Wedgwood II, even though he was not standing for election in 1812:

Did those gentlemen, who throw liquor at, and spit upon these men, think of escaping by their lofty situation from having a few handfuls of mud cast back in their faces? A worm will turn when trod upon. And could you expect that Potters, going along the streets with their Fiddles and Flags, would tamely submit to such sort of treatment? They did nothing but HUZZA and vociferate WEDGWOOD FOR EVER! And who could stop them? Out of the fulness of the Heart, the Mouth speaketh.

The notice is signed off by 'Ben Blue.'

About this document

This notice is now part of the collection at Stoke-on-Trent Museums.


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