Account of a Notorious Case of Election Bribery Bound with Several Related Items [Trial]. Sykes, Francis [1730-1804], Defendant. The Trial of the Cause on the Action Brought by Hans Wintrop Mortimer, Esq; Member for the Borough of Shaftesbury, Against Francis Sykes, Esq; For Bribery Committed at Shaftesbury, Previous to the General Election, In October, 1774. Tried by a Special Jury, On Saturday the 27th of July, 1776. At the Assize Held at Dorchester for the County of Dorset, Before The Honourable Sir James Eyre, One of the Barons of His Majesty's Court of Exchequer. [London?]: [S.n.], 1776. 19,  pp. Main text in parallel columns. Two later tipped-in leaves of notes, affixed to one of these leaves are a contemporary account of the trial and a section of a letter in Mortimer's hand, tipped-in contemporary 21" x 14" mezzotint by an unknown artist, The Shaftesbury Election or the Humours of Punch (1775), additional annotations about the mezzotint to front endleaves, one followed by two ownership inscriptions, affixed to one of these is a small clipping about the Mortimer family, broadside by Mortimer, To the Worthy Electors of the Borough of Shaftesbury, 1790 affixed to verso of title page. Quarto (9-3/4" x 7-1/2"). Nineteenth-century calf, rebacked in period style, gilt rules to boards, gilt fillets and retained nineteenth-century lettering piece to spine, hinges mended, marbled endleaves. Light rubbing to boards, moderate rubbing to board edges, corners bumped and somewhat worn. Moderate toning and light foxing to text, occasional early underlining and brief notes in pencil. Light soiling, minor edgewear and a few clean tears to mezzotint, one with early repair to verso. $4,500. * Only edition. The Shaftesbury Election of 1774 was perhaps the most notorious English example of a rigged election. "At the election of Sir Thomas Rumbold and Sir Francis Sykes, the two ministerial candidates for Shaftesbury in 1774, several thousand pounds were distributed to the voters.... The defeated candidate, Hans Mortimer, petitioned against the return on the ground of gross and notorious bribery by the members and their agents... The House of Commons resolved that Sykes, Rumbold and six members of the Corporation of Shafesbury should be prosecuted for subornation of perjury; a bill was brought in for disfranchising Shaftesbur.
Book number 71221