2920 voters



In the general election of June 1826, 2920 people voted. There were 4 candidates, with Richard Edensor Heathcote & Thomas Bidcliffe Fyler elected.

Poll book data from:
Citation: A correct copy of the poll… (Coventry: Merridew and son, 1826)
Source: John Sims (ed.), A Handlist of British Parliamentary Poll Books (Leicester, 1984); Jeremy Gibson and Colin Rogers (eds.), Poll Books, 1696–1872: A Directory of Holdings in Great Britain (4th edn., Bury, 2008).

Timeline & Key Statistics

Contexts & Remarks

Dates: Saturday 10 Jun. - Monday 19 Jun. 1826

Poll book reference: A correct copy of the poll... (Coventry: Merridew and son, 1826)

Candidates: Richard Edensor Heathcote (Tory), Thomas Bidcliffe Fyler (Tory), Edward Ellice (Whig), and Peter Moore (Whig).

Economic distress within the silk weaving industry in Coventry led to a cooling in relations with the two returning Whig candidates, Ellice and Moore, who were seen as not doing enough to represent the weavers' concerns in Parliament.

Thomas Fyler was a friend of the Treasury's assessor, while Richard Heathcote came from an industrial background in Staffordshire. They campaigned against Catholic relief and emancipation as cries of 'No Popery' resounded in the streets.

When the polling started, Ellice and Moore were jeered on the hustings, drowning out their speeches. Sensing the tide in their favour turning, Moore and Ellice demanded that the long oaths be administered to slow the number of electors casting their votes.

The Whig-supporting Times reported, 'In the law for regulating the Coventry elections, it is provided that none but freemen who have not polled shall be within the booth, or within a certain distance of it, excepting the candidates and their legal advisers, and other persons in official capacities. It is therefore the practice to poll those men last who are the greatest blackguards, and the most powerful in muscular strength, and who are instructed to keep close to the booth to keep off and abuse their opponents, and to protect their friends. These men are well supplied with all the necessary stimulants, and regularly relieved at stated periods, as the duty is in some cases extremely severe. The Tory leaders of the rabble electors being unaccustomed to success, are quite wild with victory, and they may well exult in it, for it is sure to be their last. A great number of the freemen, when they have voted for the Tory candidates, shake hands with Ellice, and promise to support him if he comes at the next election. The angry feeling is very fast subsiding, but it is feared the men are too deeply committed to the Tories to desert them on the present occasion. Mr. Ellice expresses his determination to keep the poll open to the very last (The Times, 14 June 1826).

The election returned Heathcote and Fyler.

Cultural Artefacts

Poll Book

Below is a digitised version of the poll book for this election:

Features related to this Election