Politics & Patronage 1889

The Local Government Act of 1888 established county and borough councils in England and Wales and the first elections for these councils took place in January 1889. Seats on Northamptonshire County Council were hotly contested and in Potterspury, the 7th Duke of Grafton a familiar and very paternalistic figure in the village, did his best to retain the age-old influence of the Fitzroy dukes of Grafton even as the right to vote spread wider throughout society .

Steve Parkin has studied contemporary newspaper reports and has put together an entertaining presentation on the local contest between Conservative John Chettle, the ‘duke’s man’ and the Liberal candidate, Joseph Masom.