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Draft letter from Lord Norris to Sir Leoline Jenkins on the Oxford town clerk election

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Draft letter from Lord Norris to Sir Leoline Jenkins on the Oxford town clerk election

Author
James Bertie, Lord Norris of Rycote
Date
1 August 1681
Medium
Manuscript

In July 1681 the office of Oxford town clerk fell vacant following the death of its incumbent. It sparked a two year battle between the Whigs and Tories for the office. The Whigs put forward Edward Prince and the Tory candidate was Thomas Baker. Baker was the preferred choice of Lord Norris, one of the leading Oxfordshire Tories and the county's Lord Lieutenant. The Crown, eager to counter Whig influence in the localities in the wake of the exclusion crisis, also favoured Baker (VCH Oxon., vol. 4, p. 123). In this draft letter to the Secretary of State, Sir Leoline Jenkins, Norris reports that despite his endeavours, Prince triumphed in the popular vote. He warns that Prince "intends with all speed to waite on his Majesty for his approbation." He adds "all that Clan have stickl'd with all violence for Prince & Count it no small victory to have Carry'd it so I presume it will not bee thought for his Majestys service to Confirme him if hee can avoid it." Charles II refused to confirm Prince's election (VCH Oxon., vol. 4, p. 123). Baker was installed as town clerk in October 1683 (CSP Dom. Oct. 1683-Apr. 1684, pp. 4-5).

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