Front Page Titles (by Subject) 141.: The Westminster Election of 1868  16 NOVEMBER, 1868 - 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
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141.: The Westminster Election of 1868  16 NOVEMBER, 1868 - 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).
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The Westminster Election of 1868 
Daily Telegraph, 17 November, 1868, p. 2. Headed: “The General Election. / Nominations. / Westminster.” Reports (in the third person) appeared in the Morning Star, the Daily News, and The Times. The nomination of candidates took place at noon on the hustings in front of Nelson’s Column, Trafalgar Square (the location also being referred to as Charing Cross). The “arrangements were an immense improvement over the old regime of dirt and disturbance at Covent Garden Market, where a candidate and his friends seldom escaped without making acquaintance with the flavour of decaying turnips and cabbagestalks” (Morning Star). Smith arrived first, and then Grosvenor and Mill, with a large group of supporters, who had walked in procession from their committee rooms. After the proclamation and the writ had been read, Erskine Perry, seconded by N.N. Seymour, proposed Grosvenor. Mill was nominated by Malleson, who said in part: “Three years ago you did yourself the honour to solicit Mr. Mill to leave his study, where he had already acquired a world-wide reputation—(cheers)—and, what he values more, a world-wide usefulness—to represent you in the House of Commons, and there with wonderful rapidity he achieved an astonishing success. (Cheers.) As an argumentative debater he is second to none in the House of Commons; and, more than that, the people respect and admire him for his pure courage, his straightforwardness, his simplicity, and his intense devotion to the popular cause. (Cheers.) It may be said of him that he has a double title—that he is not only one of the greatest, but one of the best-loved of living Englishmen. (Cheers, and counter cries of Oh.) He has been assailed on the occasion of this election with abuse, insult, and calumny of every kind; but the gentlemen who have thus assailed him do not dare to accept the challenge to be present at one of their public meetings, and there defend himself. (Hear, hear; and a voice, What about Bradlaugh?)” Beal, who seconded the nomination, summed “up Mill’s qualifications by saying that the rancorous hatred of that honourable gentleman’s opponents was the best guarantee of the value of his services. (Cheers.)” Up to this point the speeches had been quite well heard, but when Smith’s supporters began to speak, “there was a surging movement . . . by the rougher element immediately beneath the hustings” which produced “reaction and uproar, and the clamour thus initiated continued without abatement till the end of the proceedings, and little more than a few stray expressions could be caught here and there from the different speakers” (The Times). George Cubitt, “in the midst of a deafening uproar,” proposed W.H. Smith, interjecting the comment that while the Tories had no complaint to make of Grosvenor, “they did complain that Mr. Mill had indulged in abuse, and had charged the Tories with sticking at nothing. Mr. Mill,” he continued, “had been asked to retract, and had declined to do so; and he . . . now asked him to do so that day, or when he went to his retirement at Avignon he would regret it.” Tavener Miller (who also could barely be heard) seconded Smith’s nomination, and then Grosvenor addressed the crowd. Next Mill rose, to be greeted with “a tumult of applause” and “considerable hooting”
gentlemen—This is not the time or the place for many words, and, if it were, you could not possibly hear them; so I will only say this, you and the people of this country generally have got to decide something more important than the particular merit or demerit of candidates that present themselves for your suffrages. You have got to decide whether this country shall have a Tory Government or a Gladstone Government. (Cheers, cries of Gladstone, and interruption.) aIf the new electors who have supported Reform care nothing about the rights that have been acquired, and desire things should go on after the Reform Act exactly as they went on before it, they will do quite right to vote for the Tory candidate; but if the old electors are as much attached to Reform as ever—if the new electors desire that their newly-acquired rights should be exercised to the best advantage—and if both new and old electors wish the Reform Bill to bring forth abundant fruits, then they will, I have no doubt, vote for the two Liberal candidates. (Cheers.)a
[The noise constantly increased, and Smith, like Mill, could not be heard easily. On the show of hands, the High Bailiff declared the election to have fallen on Mill and Smith, though the Morning Star thought the vote had clearly gone to Mill and Grosvenor; a poll was demanded on behalf of Grosvenor, which was announced to begin at 8 a.m. and continue until 4 p.m. on the 17th, with the result to be declared at 2 p.m. on the 18th. The meeting (which had lasted less than an hour) ended after “some confusion about the customary vote of thanks to the returning officer. A message was sent to Mr. Mill on the part of Mr. Smith, offering to second the vote if he would propose it, but no move to that effect being made, Mr. Smith himself proposed the motion, and in the absence of a Liberal seconder this duty was discharged by the Hon. R. Grimston [Smith’s agent]” (The Times). “Upon leaving the hustings Mr. Mill with his friends returned to the Liberal committee-room in Cockspur-street, and presenting himself upon the balcony bowed his acknowledgments to his supporters” (The Times).]
[a-a]MS If the electors regretted the support they had given to the Reform Bill, they might show their feeling properly by returning a Conservative; but if they felt with him, that the destiny of the country depended upon maintaining a policy of progress, and if they did not expect the Legislature to go on after the passing of a new Reform Bill exactly as it had done before, but to pass measures for the moral and social improvement of the community, then he trusted he and his colleague might again represent them. (Loud cheers.)