(ENDORSED – “Ballad on the Meeting at Norwich Oct 3 1753, By Mr Gardiner“)
Bob Marsham & Preston,
Tho’ some make a Jest on,
Yet they two will tell us
Of Buxton and Fellowes:
How Marsham mounts Fred’rick full often, and trotts him
From Shott’sham to Shadwell, & Shadwell to Shott’sham.
Then I think with Delight
Ev’ry morning & night
Of the Glorious Condition
Of Our Opposition:
And Townshend & Wodehouse, O how it will pine ’em
When but three out of four of ye County will join ’em!
L’Strange & D Grey (sic)
Will mount & away,
And Astley & Windham
May get up behind ’em:
For who’d be so mad to engage in a Fight
Where Buxton & Preston so strongly unite?
Ye Freeholders All
Ye great and Ye small
To my Ditty give Ear
Ye have nothing to fear:
For Buxton most freely will grant you Protection,
If he can but Leave to come to th’ Election.
And Preston has Law
To keep them in Awe,
And Marsham has Money
And humour to fun You,
So Gen’rous – He gives, if you take his Own Word,
Never less than a shilling – for eating a T-d.
Now if Wisdom and Valour and Money can save You
These three Noble Chiefs have most Right for to have you:
And Townshend & Wodehouse & the old Compromisers
Must give it up Clear to our New Advertisers;
So sing us Old Rose & Burn us ye bellows
And Halloo Boys halloo for Buxton & Fellowes.
Note: Richard Gardiner, alias “Dick Merryfellow,” the author of the above poem, is the most celebrated Norfolk satirist and pamphleteer, and spent most of his life (he lived from 1723 until1781) in vigorous political work in the county.
The poem commemorates an attempt on the part of some ambitious gentlemen, including Isaac Preston, to supersede the firmly established and strongly supported Members of Parliament for the County of Norfolk, George Townshend and Sir Armine Wodehouse.
Refs: Francis, Rev. P. c1744. Advice to a Painter. Norfolk Record Office. WKC 7/137/5
Ketton-Cremer, R. W. 1929. Norfolk Satire in the Eighteenth Century. Norfolk Archaeology. v23. pp210 – 220