Reluctant Weymouth voters of 1835

The seeming reluctance of the British nation to take an interest in general politics  is not a new phenomenon!


In the newspapers of May 1835 covering events at Weymouth is a report of similar apathy for the selected  local MP’s.

During April of 1835 a much planned and publicised dinner was to be uth melcombe held in the town for the voters to meet the two representatives of that year,  Thomas Fowell Buxton(liberal) and William Wharton Burdon(Whig).

But despite the committees numerous efforts to rouse any interest in what should have been a grand ocassion, out of the 600 people who were eligible to vote in the town, only 53 of those could be  persuaded to attend to meal…and they even had to give the tickets away to entice them to the event. Even worse, they had to drag in people from nearby Dorchester to try to make up the numbers, as they were so dire!

In the end only 85 people sat down to a slap up meal with the elected members, who were non too happy at being dragged away from London to be met with such lack of enthusiasm.

Buxton was MP for Weymouth for a total of 19 years (1818-1837), he had a house in Wyke, and Buxton Road is named after him.

William Wharton Burton was a Bridport coal merchant, he only lasted 2 years as our local MP (1835-1837)

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