William Godwin's Diary


Godwin attends the poll in Westminster on the first day, and records the hustings closing on 4 August 1788. The by-election in Westminster was fiercely fought: ‘The annals of this country, since the practice of electing representatives commenced, have not furnished any instance of such barefaced perjury – such shameless corruption, such open and avowed bribery, as the late contest exhibited.’ Lord John Townshend (1757-1833) secured a majority of 823 over his rival Lord Samuel Hood (1724-1816).

See The Times, 12 and 19 July 1788.