Extract from the Evening Packet, 12th August, 1847

August 12, 2009

County of Meath

The election for this county began on Monday, the 9th instant, at Trim. A very large body of military and police, including a troop of the 13th Light Dragoons, had been drafted here during the previous week, for the purpose of keeping the peace, and preserving the freedom of election.

Mr Grattan, the repeal candidate, entered the town on Sunday evening, escorted by an extremely small and rather motley-looking body, consisting principally of the rabble, and unaccompanied by any respectable supporters, and not one Roman Catholic clergyman.

Mr Corbally, the Whig, and Mr Singleton, the Conservative candidate, did not come in until the following morning.

Mr James O’Reilly, of Navan, acted as agent, and Robert Mullen, esq. as Counsel for Mr Grattan.

Messrs Cavanagh and O’Hagan as agents, and Patrick Murphy, esq., QC, as Counsel for Mr Corbally.

Mr Walter Goodman as agent, and TA Purcell, esq., as Counsel for Mr Singleton.

At eleven o’clock the doors of the court-house were opened by the sheriff, which was immediately filled to suffocation with the supporters of the respective candidates.

The writ having been read, and the usual question put by the sheriff as to whether anyone wished to propose a candidate.

Mr DRAKE rose, and in a short speech proposed, and Mr Patrick Barnewell seconded Henry Grattan, Esq., as a fit and proper person to represent the county of Meath in Parliament.

Mr WINTER then, in a temperate and judicious speech, in the course of which he expressed his opinion that this was not a time for men to dispute about party questions, but that men of all views should unite to turn their attention to the removal or remedying of those social evils with which this country is now afflicted, and to the development of its resources, proposed Mr Corbally as a fit and proper representative.

Mr Joseph BARNEWALL seconded his nomination.

Mr FOWLER then rose, amidst a storm of hooting and shouting, to propose Henry Corbet Singleton Esq., as a fit and proper person to represent the county. After silence was restored he proceeded to recommend Mr Singleton to the notice of the electors as a good and independent resident landlord; one who spent his ample income amongst his own people, and was practically acquainted with the wants and interests of the county; one, moreover, who was prepared to advocate tenant right – that the tenant should be compensated for all reasonable outlay he should make on his land.

WILLIM BLAYNEY WADE, Esq., in a long speech, during which he was frequently interrupted, seconded the nomination of Mr Singleton.

Mr FORD then addressed the electors, and catechised the candidates as to their views upon various points, and amongst others on the nature and extent of their advocacy of tenant right.

The electors were then addressed by the candidates.

Mr Singleton’s friends are confident of success, in which case Mr Corbally will, it is supposed, be the other member.

(From our correspondent) Tuesday evening, August 10th, 1847

The election is going on most peaceably – I had almost said sleepily – but sleep is often broken by disturbing dreams, and that is not the case here – not an appearance of ill-will or anxiety on the part of either candidates or voters have I hitherto witnessed, unless an attempted rescue by a Singletonian of a perplexed anti-Repealer be called such. All three candidates seem to share the public sympathy, as far as such sympathy is consistent with the individual opinion of each voter. If there were three vacancies, they would all three be in due time seated in St Stephen’s. It is to be regretted that there is not a second prize for the losing candidate, similar to that offered by the trustees of the Theological Essay Fund, where the second best essayist receives a fourth of the sum total.

As there is no such premium in reserve for Mr Singleton, who will, I fear, be the rejected candidate, all that can be done, under existing circumstances, is to say that he deserves success. I gave him a plumper, and wish I could have given him a hundred and forty plumpers; for though I have not the honour of his acquaintance, I respect him from the report of others, whose opinion I know to be founded on experience. He deserves success, not only on his own account but on that of his brother, who is, I understand, the late warden of Stackallan – an institution which wants nothing but encouragement to make it the Eton of Ireland. I had an opportunity of visiting it during the wardenship of Mr Singleton, and was both delighted and surprised at the results produced with the smallest possible outlay of money. These results were produced by method, which by substituting the charm of proportion and symmetry for those of splendour and magnitude, gratified the understanding to such a degree, as to induce the spectator to acquiesce in the exchange. The furniture was all suitable to the collegiate nature of the institution – the very crockery was dedicated to St Columba, by an appropriate inscription. The chapel was a cathedral in miniature, and the decorations were all in the best possible monastic taste. I point to this institution as the best monument to the fame of the Singleton family; and I trust that the name may yet be known in the national senate of Great Britain.

State of the poll – half-past four o’clock

M.E. Corbally – 573
H. Grattan – 482
H.C. Singleton – 319

THIS DAY.

It has been stated to us, on what we consider competent authority, that Mr Singleton has resigned.

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