Letter – James Losh to Henry Brougham – 7 Sep 1832

Document Type: Letter
Date: 7 Sep 1832
Correspondent: James Losh
Recipient: Henry Brougham
Archive Source: SS Losh Diaries
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									Jesmond Grove

									Sept. 7, 1832

My dear Lord Brougham,

       ...I will send a copy of a little pamphlet which I published a short time before the great question of Reform was brought forward.   I had arranged  in my mind materials for a much more extensive work, but circumstances occurred which prevented me putting them together; and I was obliged (having advertised my intended work) to write something very hastily, and therefore confined myself mainly to answering an Article on the ballot in the Westminster Review which was at that time most industriously circulated in the shape of a small distinct pamphlet, gratuitously distributed all over the kingdom.

       If you take the trouble to read my little work you will see, however shortly stated, the opinions which I have always held on the two very important subjects to which you allude, the right of suffrage and the mode of increasing it.   I cannot help thinking that, if the liabilities to serve on juries was somewhat extended and the franchise of voting given to householders but somewhat restricted by a qualification, the duty and the privilege might be made to match, and perhaps hereafter, when your schoolmaster has been abroad a few years longer, all householders may be safely entrusted with the exercise of them both.

       The Reform Act, however, has dome so much and gone so far beyond the most sanguine hopes of all reasonable men, that I most anxiously wish that no attempt be made for several years to come, to make any material alterations in it - nothing beyond improvements in the mere detail of its operations, where it may in practice be found not to work well.

       I sent you today a Newcastle paper, which will shew what we are doing here as to election matters.   Both Bell's party and the ultra (or Tory)radicals, have most perseveringly published all kinds of abuse against Lord Grey, which certainly have produced some effect tho' to no considerable extent.   Several answers have been given, one of which you will see in that newspaper: it is too verbose and too violent, but the main facts are well stated and by condensing it and making it somewhat more clear and simple, it will be useful in the form of handbills and placards.

       Rely upon it the Tories are ready enough to call the Radicals in, as allies against rational Reformers.   Shou'd they succeed (which God forbid) they will repent, as in all similar cases, when their allies become their masters, and their masters they soon wou'd be.   I do not, however, bate one jot of heart or hope.   The struggle is now, as it was in the time of Charles the first, between the middle classes and the two extremes, but knowledge is more diffused and the press much more powerful now than it was in those days.   It must however be allowed also that pauperism and profligacy have fearfully strengthened the ranks of the enemy.   War wou'd in the present state of things be madness - in all states it is a detestable evil and those who seek to plunge our country into it (under any pretence whatever) seem to me to be either very weak or very wicked.   It wou'd certainly be a glorious sight to behold England, France and America united to preseve the peace of the world by mild means, if possible, but if necessary by the sword itself.... 
Only the relevant part of the letter transcribed.   Losh's ‘little pamhlet’ is ‘Observations on Parliamentary Reform’ (1831).

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