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Possibly the most interesting sampler we have brought and offer for sale !. Eliza Ridley a girl aged 12 who was interested in Politics her sampler inscribed “Liddle and Bell” For Ever 1826.
The Alnwick election earned widespread notoriety, with voting taking place over 15 days and the count results being announced each day.The candidates for the two Northumberland seats were Bell, Thomas Wentworth Beaumont, Viscount Howick, and Henry Thomas Liddell. The candidates spent huge amounts on their campaigns and on attacking their rivals, using posters, handbills and cartoons, giving mugs and tankards to supporters so they could sup ale when they arrived in Alnwick to vote.
They also laid on accommodation and transport for the voters. One poster advertised steam ships and horse-drawn carts to convey voters from the south of the county to Alnwick.
Bell gave a silver cup to the captain of a steam boat for bringing supporters by sea from the Tyne. Dinners were held for 200 to 300 people.
There was no love lost between the candidates. It was a bitter contest and when Beaumont called Howick supporter John George Lambton a liar from the platform of the hustings, the two men ended up fighting a duel on the beach below Bamburgh Castle.
A surviving poll-book lists all the votes cast, with the names of each of the electors and who they voted for. Howick withdrew on the twelfth day of the Northumberland contest with 976 votes. The results after the fifteenth day were Liddell 1,562, Bell 1,380, Beaumont 1,335.
But who were our girls I think they were probably related, although Marys footprint is that she was born 1813 in Alnwick married William Lough in 1838 they had one daughter, and died 1881. Now Eliza born June 1813 married The Rev Henry Byne Carr, initially the Rector at Wickham, then Rural Dean before becoming Canon of Durham. They had 9 children the Eldest being Admiral Henry John Carr who had a long and distinguish naval carrier. Its fascinating that two girls from the same family group, attending the same school at the same time had such different lives.


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