Why re-elect Mr. Bootle? An 1812 election notice from the Enoch Wood scrapbook

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Date:5th of October 1812

Description:In 1812, Newcastle-under-Lyme had an MP both for the borough and the county.

Mr. Bootle had served for 16 years, but now his position was under threat.

One of the hottest political issues at the time was the Orders in Council.

The Orders in Council

Britain was at war with France and could not trade with French-occupied Europe.

The Orders in Council prevented American ships from trading with France without first paying a tax at a British port.

At the same time, France declared that it would seize any ship that had called at a British port.

The United States responded by ending its trade with Britain.

Hard times

The effects on business in the Potteries were extremely serious. Less trade meant fewer jobs for local people - and over 1,000 people were jobless in Burslem alone at Christmas, 1812.

Mr. Bootle's record

This notice defends Mr. Bootle, denying that he should shoulder any blame for the misery.

In fact, the author argues, high food prices were equally at fault. And if Mr. Bootle had been given the opportunity to vote on the issue, his record would have been spotless.

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This document is now amongst the collections at Stoke-on-Trent Museums.


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