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pleasure from seeing a fresh face had commencement he had “preferred a subsided, and been replaced by a sense little porter to any thing else in the of the importance which attaches to the world," except, and afterwards accepted, possession of something coveted by “a drop of something by itself;" and, another, he talked of the “ famous by degrees, be became communicative doings,” and “such sights as
of all he could recollect. In the course were seen before, kor never would be of the present article bis information seen again;" and he dimmed the hope of will be embodied, with other memo. particular information, by quips, and randa, towards a history of the elections quirks, aud wanton wiles;" and prac of the “borough of Garrett." tised the “art of ingeniously tor Had an artist been present at the menting, by declarations of unbounded conversation, he might have caught kuowledge, and that “he could a tale the features of the “ Ex-master of ihe unfold,” but would not; because, as he Horse," when they were heightened by said, “ why should I make other people his subject to a humorous expression. as wise as I am ?" Yet there was a He was by no means unwilling to “have string which“ discoursed most excellent his head taken off;" but he deemed the inusic"-it was of himself and of the “ execution" an affair of so much im. fame of his exploits. His “companions portance as to solemnize his features in arms
had been summoned to their from their wonted hilarity while speaklast abiding-place, and, alas,
ing, to the sunereal appearance which “They left him alone in his glory!" the writer has depicted, and the en. John Jones's topic was not a dry one,
graver perpetuated, in the following renor was Jolin Jones dry, but in the presentation:
John Jones, of Wandsworth,
MASTER OF THE HORSE AT THE LAST ELECTIONS FOR
As a memorial of a remarkable living The following interesting account character, this portrait may be accept respecting, Garrett is in “ A Morning's able ; he is the only person alive at Walk to Kew". Wandsworth, of any distinction in the By Sir Richard Phillips. popular elections of its neighbourhood. Wandsworth having been the once
famed scene of those humorous popular
elections of a mayor, or member for and, his Garrat honours being supposed
Southward of Wandsworth, a road date that ever appeared on the Garrat extends nearly two miles to the village hustings. His occupation was that of of Lower Tooting, and nearly midway buying old wios, once an article of are a few houses, or hamlet, by the side trade like that in old clothes, but beof a small common, called Garrat, from come obsolete since the full-bottomed which the road itself is called Garrat and full-dressed wigs of both sexes went Lane. Various encroachments on this out of fashion. Sir Jeffery usually carcommon led to an association of the ried his wig-bag over his shoulder, and, neighbours about three-score years since, to avoid the charge of vagrancy, vociwhen they chose a president, or mayor, ferated, as he passed along the street, to protect their rights; and the time of “old wigs;" but, baving a person like their first election being the period of a Esop, and a countenance and manner new parliament, it was agreed that the marked by irresistible humour, be never mayor should be re-chosen after every appeared without a train of boys, and general election. Some facetious mem curious persons, whom he entertained by bers of the club gave, in a few years, his sallies of wit, shrewd sayings, and local notoriety to this election ; and, smart repartees; and from whom, withwhen party spirit ran high in the days out begging, he collected sufficient to of Wilkes and Liberty, it was easy to maintain his diguity of mayor and kniglit. create an appetite for a burlesque elec. He was no respecter of personis, and was tion among the lower orders of the Me so severe jo his jokes on the corruptions tropolis. The publicans at Wandsworth, and ompromises of power, that this Tooting, Battersea, Clapham, and Vaux- street-jester, was prosecuted for using hall, made a purse to give it character; what were then called seditious expresand Mr. Foote rendered its interest uni- sious; and, as a caricature on the times, versal, by calling one of his inimitable which ought never to be forgotten, he farces, “ the Mayor of Garrat.” I have was in 1793 tried, convicted, and imindeed been told, that Foote, Garrick, prisoned ! In consequence of this affair, and Wilkes, wrote some of the candic and some charges of dishonesty, he lost dates' addresses, for the purpose of in- his popularity, and, at the general elecstructing the people in the corruptions tion for 1796, was ousted by Sir Harry which attend elections to the legislature, Dimsdale, muffin-seller, a man as much and of producing those reforms by means
deformed as hiinself,
Sir Jeffery could of ridicule and shame, which are vainly not long survive his fall; but, in death expected from solemın appeals of argu as in life, he proved a satire on the vices ment and patriotism.
of the proud, for in 1797 he died, like Not being able to find the members Alexander the Great, and many other for Garrat in Beatson's Political Index, heroes renowned in the historic pageor in any of the Court Calendars, I am of suffocation from excessive drinking! obliged to depend on tradition for infor Sir Harry Dimsdale dying also before mation in regard to the early history of the next general election, and no candithis famous borough. The first mayor date starting of sufficient originality of of whom I could hear was called Sir character, and, what was still more fatal, John Harper. He filled the seat during the victuallers having failed to raise a two parliaments, and was, it appears, a PUBLIC PURSE, which was as stimulating man of wit, for, on a dead cat being a bait to the independent candidates for thrown at him on the bustings, and a Garrat, as it is to the independent canbystander exclaiming that it stuk didates for a certain assembly; the boworse than a fox, Sir John vociferated, rough of Garrat has since remained “ that's no wonder, for you see it's a vacant, and the populace have been poll.cat.” This noted baronet was, in without a professed political buffoon. the metropolis, a retailer of brick-dust; None but those who have seen a Lon
don mob on any great holiday can form others being made for the future. As a just idea of these elections. On seve the members were most of them persons ral occasions, a hundred thousand per in low circumstances, they agreed at sons, half of them in carts, in hackney- every meeting to contribute some small coaches, and on horse and ass-back, co matter, in order to make up a purse for vered the various roads from London, the defence of their collective rights. and choked up all the approaches to
When a sufficient sum of money was the place of election. At the two last subscribed, they applied to a very worelections, I was told, that the road within thy attorney in that neighbourhood, who a mile of Wandsworth was so blocked brought an actiou against the encroachup by vehicles, that none could move ers in the name of the president (or, as backward or forward during many they called him, the MAYOR) of the club. hours; and that the candidates, dressed They gained their suit with costs; the Jike himney-sweepers on May.day, encroachments were destroyed; and ever or in the mock fashion of the period, after, the president, who lived many were brought to the hustings in the years, was called “The Mayor of carriages of peers, drawn by six horses, Garrat." the owners themselves condescending to This event happening at the time of become their drivers * !
a general election, the ceremony upon
every new parliament, of choosing outBefore relating certain amusing facts door members for the borough of Garrat, which have never before appeared in
has been constantly kept up, and is still print, or giving further particulars re
continued, to the great emolument of all specting Sir Jeffery Dunstan and Sir the publicans at Wandsworth, who anHenry Dimsdale, it seems fitting to add nually subscribe to all incidental ex. from the “Gentleman's Magazine" of penses attending this mock election. 1781, as follows:
M G. “ Wednesday June 25, the septennial mock election for Garrat was held this
The late eminent antiquary, Dr. day; and upwards of 50,000 people Ducarel, made inquiries respecting this were, on that ludicrous occasion, assem
custom of the late Mr. W. Massey of bled at Wandsworth."
Wandsworth, who answered them in In the same volume there is an ar
the following letter:ticle which, as it is the only other notice
Wandsworth, June 25, 1754. in that useful miscellany concerning this
DR. DUCAREL.-I promised to give celebrated usage, and as there is not you an account of the mock election for any notice of it in other magazines of Garrat, a district within the compass of the time, is here annexed.
the parish of Wandsworth. I have been July, 25.
informed, that about 60 or 70 years ago, Mr. URBAN.—The learned antiquary
some watermen, belonging to this town, finds a pleasure m tracing the origin of went to the Leather Boitle, a public ancient customs, even when time has house at Garrat, to spend a merry day, 80 altered them as totally to obliterate
which, being the time of a general electheir use. It may therefore not be un
tion for members of Parliament, in the pleasing to the generality of your read
midst of their frolick they took it into ers, while it is yet recent in memory,
their leads to chuse one of their comto record in your Magazine the laudable pany, a representative for that place; motive that gave rise to the farcical cus
and, having gone through the usual cetom of electing a Mayor of Garrat, remonies of an election, as well as the which is now become truly ridiculous.
occasion would permit, he was declared I have been told, that about tbirty duly elected. Whether the whimsical years ago, several persons who lived
custom of swearing the electors upon a near that part of Wandsworth which brick-bat, .quod rem cum aliqua mua adjoins to Garrat Lane, had formed a
liere, intra limites istius pagi, habuis. kind of club, not merely to eat and sent,' was then first established, or that drink, but to concert measures for re
it was a waggish after-thought, I cannot nuoving the encroachments made on that determine, but it has been regarded as part of the common, and to prevent any
the due qualification of the electors for
many elections last past. • Sir Richard Phillips' Walks to Kew,
This local usage, from that small be
ginning, has had a gradual increase; for and oud usages, the causes and origin of no great account was made of it, that I which might otherwise be lost in a loug can remember or hear of, before the two tract of time. elections preceding this last, which has been performed with uncommon pomp
Garrett Electioni, 1826. and magnificence, in the plebeian mode of pageantry. And, as it has been taken
It seenis to be the desire of certain notice of in our public newspapers, it
admirers of certain popular customs to may probably have a run, through those get up another burlesque election for channels, to many parts of the kingdom,
Garrett; the last was thirty years ago. and, in time, become the inquiry of the The following is a copy of a Notice, curious, when and why such a mock
now executing (June 23, 1826) at a signUsage was commenced.
painters, on a board ten feet high, for I have herewith sent you copies of the purpose of being publicly exhibited. some of the hand-bills of the candidates, It need scarcely be observed that the that were printed and plentifully dis
commencing word of this very singupersed (in imitation of the grand monde) lar composition, which ought to be Oyez, before the election came on, by which
is iniproperly spelt and divided, and you may judge of the humour iú which "yes" is unaccountably placed between the other parts of it were conducted.
three inverted commas; the transcript Their pseudo-titles, as you will observe, is verbatim, and is arranged in this are Lord Twankum, Squire Blow-me- columu as the original is on the signdown, and SquireGubbins. Lord Twan. board. kum's right name is John Gardiner, and
0-6 Yes" is grave-digger to this parish ; Blow-ine.
NOTICE down is Willis, a waterman ; and
That on THURSDAY
6th July, 1826 sigo of the Gubbins' Head, in Blackman.
In conformity of street, Southwark.
THE HIGH Some time hence, perhaps, also it
JUTHORITIES, may be a matter of inquiry what is meant by the Gubbins' Head. This
of the UNITED Simmonds formerly lived at Wands
KINGDOM worth, and went from hence to keep a
will assemble public-house in Blackman-street; he being a droll companion in what is called low-life, several of his old acquaint
the EMPIRE ance of this town used to call at bis
and particularly house, when they were in London, lo
at the Mustings at drink a pot or two; and, as he generally
GARRAT, had some cold provisions (which by a capt name he usually called “ bis gub
to whit, conformable bins"), he made them welcome to such
to the Custom as he had, from whence he obtained
of our ANCIENT that name; and putting up a man's head
LIBERTY. for the sign, it was called the “Gubbins' Head.” A hundred years hence,
SIR JOHN perhaps, if some knowledge of the
PAUL PRY, occasion of the name of this sign
now offers himself should not be preserved in writing,
to a Generous our future antiquaries might puzzle
PUBLIC themselves to find out the meaning of it. I make no question, but that we have many elaborate dissertations upon
KING antique subjects, whose originals, being obscure or whimsy, like this, were never The last representative of Garrett was truly discovered. This leads me to the a“ remarkable character" in the streets commendatiou of the utility of your of the metropolis for many years. His ordesign in recording singular accidents dinary costume was very different from
GOD SAVE THE