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Letter to Sir Leoline Jenkins from Lord Norris on the Oxford Town Clerk candidates

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Letter to Sir Leoline Jenkins from Lord Norris on the Oxford Town Clerk candidates

James Bertie, Lord Norris of Rycote
30 July 1681

In the aftermath of the exclusion crisis, the government of Charles II made concerted efforts to counter Whig influence in the localities. In Oxfordshire, those endeavours were spearheaded by the Tory Lord Lieutenant, James Bertie, Lord Norris. In this letter to the Secretary of State, Sir Leoline Jenkins, Norris announces the death of the town clerk and that the Whigs were putting forward one Edward Prince as their candidate. Writing "impartially" Norris compares the record of Prince to that of his own favoured candidate, Thomas Baker. He denounces Prince as "an active Instrument for Brome Whorwood & all that party" who opposed the city addressing their thanks to the King for holding Parliament in Oxford. Baker, on the other hand, was "one who hath show'd himselfe on all occassions particularly in the business of the late Addresse affected to the Kinge & Government." He concedes that Prince is likely to carry the popular vote and seeks guidance as to whether such an outcome would meet with the King's approval. It did not and Prince was blocked from taking office (VCH Oxon., vol. 4, p. 123). Baker was finally installed as town clerk, much to the fury of the Whigs, in October 1683 (CSP Dom. Oct. 1683-Apr. 1684, pp. 4-5).

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