Front Page Titles (by Subject) 11.: The Westminster Election of 1865  12 JULY, 1865 - The Collected Works of John Stuart Mill, Volume XXVIII The Collected Works of John Stuart Mill, Volume XXVIII - Public and Parliamentary Speeches Part I November 1850 - November 1868
Return to Title Page for The Collected Works of John Stuart Mill, Volume XXVIII The Collected Works of John Stuart Mill, Volume XXVIII - Public and Parliamentary Speeches Part I November 1850 - November 1868
The Online Library of Liberty
A project of Liberty Fund, Inc.
Search this Title:
11.: The Westminster Election of 1865  12 JULY, 1865 - John Stuart Mill, The Collected Works of John Stuart Mill, Volume XXVIII The Collected Works of John Stuart Mill, Volume XXVIII - Public and Parliamentary Speeches Part I November 1850 - November 1868 
The Collected Works of John Stuart Mill, Volume XXVIII - Public and Parliamentary Speeches Part I November 1850 - November 1868, ed. John M. Robson and Bruce L. Kinzer (Toronto: University of Toronto Press, London: Routledge and Kegan Paul, 1988).
About Liberty Fund:
The online edition of the Collected Works is published under licence from the copyright holder, The University of Toronto Press. ©2006 The University of Toronto Press. All rights reserved. No part of this material may be reproduced in any form or medium without the permission of The University of Toronto Press.
Fair use statement:
The Westminster Election of 1865 
Morning Star, 13 July, 1865, p. 2. Headed “Westminster.” The meeting was also reported in The Times, the Daily News, and (very briefly and in the third person) in the Daily Telegraph. The official declaration of the poll was at the hustings in Covent Garden at 2 p.m. A “dense mass of people” gathered in front of the hustings, crying out such remarks as “Where is Smith now?” A watering cart showered the crowd with cold water, quieting them briefly. The candidates and their friends began to appear on the hustings, Mill being “greeted with loud and long-continued cheers.” Grosvenor was also given an enthusiastic reception; Smith did not appear. The poll was declared: Grosvenor at the head with 4534; Mill a very close second with 4525, and Smith with 3824. (The Daily News uniquely gives 3224, undoubtedly in error.) Grosvenor spoke first. “Mr. Mill then proceeded to address the assembled crowd. Previous to doing so he was treated to a most enthusiastic ovation. The vast mass of persons present set up a cheer of the most hearty, thrilling character, which was kept up for some minutes, and which certainly must have had rather a startling effect on those who did not take part in it. Mr. Mill looked upon the exciting scene before him with that quiet, benign, and thoughtful expression of countenance for which he is so remarkable under all circumstances, and seemingly not the least moved or discomposed, except what was denoted by a pleasing smile which his intellectual features could not conceal, however desirous their owner may have been to do so. When the enthusiasm had subsided,” Mill spoke.
electors of westminster—not omitting the non-electors, many of whom have worked most vigorously in this cause—you have achieved a great triumph. (Cheers.) You have vindicated a principle awhich has been the glory ofa Westminster for generations. (Renewed cheers.) That principle is that members of Parliament should be elected on public grounds alone (Hear, hear, and cheers) and you have done this against all the means, legitimate and illegitimate, which could possibly have been brought to bear to prevent you. (Cheers.) This victory of yours illustrates very strongly two things. In the first place, it teaches a lesson which has been renewed from age to age, but which many have found it extremely hard to learn—bthe power there is inb sincere, earnest, and disinterested conviction. All our working was the working of volunteers against opponents who were a disciplined and paid body. (Hear, hear, and cries of Smith.) All our friends voluntarily gave their time and their labour, which to most of them is money, and to some of them their cmeans of dailyc bread, and even many of them gave money in addition for the purpose of defraying expenses rendered necessary by the bad system of carrying on elections which prevailsd, but which they felt, even if necessary, ought to be paid for by any one rather than the candidate himself (hear, hear)d . All this they have done in the face of much opposition, and they have been successful. (Cheers.) Another thing to be learned from this victory is that it may induce persons to consider whether that mode of returning representatives can be good under which ethe side starting upon principles of electioneering purity is heavily weighted in the race—so heavily weighted, indeed, as to make the contest resemble a race between a man on foot and one on horseback? This simile may be regarded ase literally true, because my supporters had to walk to the poll, whilst the supporters of our opponents were carried there in cabs and carriages not paid for by themselves. (Hear, hear, and a cry of Why did Grosvenor do it?) One of the greatest writers and orators which this country has produced, and who was at the head of the Liberal party fduring the bestf years of his life—I mean Burke—gsaid, “That system cannot be good which rests upon the heroic virtues.”1 I dog say that the mode of election which rendered necessary such heroic exertions as have been made during the last few weeks to maintain purity of election cannot be good. (Hear, hear.) There is one more lesson which the electors of Westminster have given by the victory they have achieved. They have shown that whatever differences of opinion may exist amongst the several shades of Liberals, whatever severe criticisms they may occasionally make on each other, they are ready to help and co-operate with one another when the time of need arrives. This has been very provoking to many people. (A Voice: Yes, to Mr. Smith, and laughter.) I have often observed that those who are in the wrong think it a great shame when those who are in the right show some degree of common sense, as in the present instance—(hear, hear)—and that they entertain the notion that those who are honest must be fools as well. (Great laughter and cheering.) But you have proved to these persons that it is possible to be honest, sensible, hand patriotic at the same time.h The Tories have done their worst. They have exercised all the powers that they could, particularly the force of money power—(hear)—but they have received a lesson they will not soon forget, and possibly they will think twice before they repeat it iamongst the electors of Westminsteri . j(Loud cheers.) Gentlemen, I have done. (Loud and prolonged cheering.)j
This concluded Mr. Mill’s remarks. On ceasing to address the assembly the enthusiasm which greeted his first appearance on the hustings was renewed.
On the motion of Dr. Brewer, seconded by Capt. Grosvenor, a vote of thanks was, amidst cries for Smith, who did not put in an appearance, passed to the High Bailiff for the courtesy and efficiency he had displayed in the election.
February to August 1866
[a-a]TT,DN] MS glorious to Westminster, a principle which has been glorious to
[b-b]DN] MS a lesson which gives a power based on] TT the power of
[c-c]DN] MS means of] TT daily
[e-e]TT] MS purity of election has to start so heavily weighted in the race as to be something like a man on foot against a man on horseback. (Hear, hear.) That is
[f-f]TT] MS for many
[g-g]TT] MS had a saying that that system cannot be good which rests on heroic efforts, and I] DN has a saying that that system cannot be good which rests on the heroic virtues, and I do
[1 ]Edmund Burke (1729–97), Mr. Burke’s Speech in Presenting to the House of Commons . . . a Plan for the Better Security of the Independence of Parliament (1780), in Works, 8 vols. (London: Dodsley [Vols. I-III], Rivington [Vols. IV-VIII], 1792–1827), Vol. II, p. 240.
[h-h]TT , aye, and practical too. (Cheers.)