At Harwich the Parliamentary franchise was in the Corporation which consisted of eight aldermen and twenty-four capital burgesses recruited by co-optation; and as most of them were in some way or other provided for by the Government, the borough was under its control. Even so, its history was variegated. The Government influence was in two departments which did not always work together harmoniously — the Treasury whose influence was exercised through the Custom House, and the Post Office in control of the four Harwich Packet Boats whose captains were ‘generally elected into the corporation’.1 Moreover, at various times Ministers and managers tried to convert the official interest at Harwich into private domain — as was the custom in the eighteenth century with regard to public property.


Eighteenth Century Secret Service Government Interest Official Interest Local Government Manager 
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  1. 4.
    See Thomas Wright, Essex (1835), vol. ii, p. 818, for monumental inscription in St. Nicholas Church at Harwich.Google Scholar
  2. 1.
    Political and Social Letters of a Lady of the Eighteenth Century, ed. Emily F. D. Osborn (1890), p. 153.Google Scholar

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© Palgrave Macmillan, a division of Macmillan Publishers Limited 1978

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  • Lewis Namier

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