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MP offices: location 1800s

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SJT
Brisbane, Australia
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1 of 22  Sat 23rd May 2020 1:18am  
Member: Joined Apr 2018  Total posts:46

Hoping for some help in imagining where the local Coventry MP might have had an office in Coventry in 1832 or thereabouts. Edward Ellice held the position for 41 years in that period. His ancestral home was in Scotland but I'm sure he would have had a base in Coventry attending to matters for his constituents. I'm writing a scene* where the key players involved in the campaign to seek a pardon for the two men sentenced to death for the 1831 weavers' riot in Coventry meet with Ellice (who himself was very active in the campaign) to discuss Lord Melbourne's initial refusal to grant the pardon. Unfortunately I can't find records online for Ellice's address in Coventry so I'm seeking ideas about where it might have been plausible for this to have been (office or home office). I'm keen to have this meeting occur in the city centre somewhere. Please post your thoughts and suggestions for where Ellice might have had a Coventry office. Thanks in advance to this site's amazing series of maps that give an idea of the key streets in 1807 and 1851 (best reference for this era). *Historical fiction centering on the Coventry weavers' riot of 1831

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Town Planning and Development - MP offices: location 1800s
Annewiggy
Tamworth
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2 of 22  Sat 23rd May 2020 10:36am  
Member: Joined Jan 2013  Total posts:1791

Hi SJT. I have found a short reference on Google Books of Edward Ellice lodging at the Craven Arms in 1820. There is also a long article about the elections in the Coventry Herald 1832 about Mr Ellice giving a speech from the balcony of the Craven Arms. There are several other references to the Craven Arms and "returning" to the Craven Arms. I would think there is a good chance that this is where he resided when in Coventry. This is from The British Newspaper Archive site. This is a subscription site but you will find a lot of information on there. Edited by member, 23rd May 2020 10:43 am
Town Planning and Development - MP offices: location 1800s
Helen F
Warrington
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3 of 22  Sat 23rd May 2020 10:37am  
Moderator: Joined Mar 2013  Total posts:2328

Looking at his career and that of his fellow Coventry MP Henry Bulwer (both Liberals), they bounced around the country and don't seem to have any direct connection with the constituencies they covered, so possibly they had no fixed office. They might have had an assistant who kept things for when they visited or maybe just travelled with a lot of stuff. Several possibilities the first being they lodged with a friend or colleague (fellow Liberal). Maybe they stayed with the Mayor (at the Mayor's Parlour). Maybe they just lodged and operated from one of the more upmarket hotels? The picture below is the Coventry Selection in 1865 at the Craven Arms Hotel. Mason Jones was the Liberal candidate that year. There is a book that pops up every now and then with a sketch of the Craven Arms and someone addressing a crown. So maybe that's a clue? I can't remember the name of the book but I'll let you know if I find it. Forum library image The Craven Arms was a coaching inn on the High Street but didn't look as upmarket as the King's Head on Smithford Street. Both may have had rooms that could be hired for meetings. Anne beat me to it LOL Thumbs up Edited by member, 23rd May 2020 10:39 am
Town Planning and Development - MP offices: location 1800s
Annewiggy
Tamworth
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4 of 22  Sat 23rd May 2020 10:44am  
Member: Joined Jan 2013  Total posts:1791

But we came up with the same answer Helen, and you found a picture!
Town Planning and Development - MP offices: location 1800s
Helen F
Warrington
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5 of 22  Sat 23rd May 2020 12:08pm  
Moderator: Joined Mar 2013  Total posts:2328

Big grin It's always good to get the same answer from different approaches. The book I mentioned is - Coventry politics in the age of the Chartists, 1836-1848 by Peter Searby. The sketch on the cover is modern but based on knowledge of the buildings. There are equally good images in the picture library. Link to Australian library copies. Edited by member, 23rd May 2020 1:03 pm
Town Planning and Development - MP offices: location 1800s
Annewiggy
Tamworth
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6 of 22  Sat 23rd May 2020 5:41pm  
Member: Joined Jan 2013  Total posts:1791

There is a copy available on Abebooks for £10
Town Planning and Development - MP offices: location 1800s
SJT
Brisbane, Australia
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Thread starter
7 of 22  Sun 24th May 2020 1:28am  
Member: Joined Apr 2018  Total posts:46

Annewiggy and Helen F, I am so encouraged by your responses! Thank you. It seems great minds are clearly thinking alike and it gives me confidence now to write the Craven Arms into the story and know that it's more than likely the appropriate place for this meeting to occur. And I've just flicked over to the 'Coventry Pubs' tab on this site and found the entry for the Craven Arms with this notation: "The hotel was the centre of many election conflicts as it was the Whig headquarters." Ellice, a Whig of course, so I'm sure I'm in the right place! I love this site and all its generous experts. Now I'll investigate those other sources you mentioned to see if I can glean a little more. I found a fascinating book describing Coventry in 1847 (by Benjamin Poole) The New History of Coventry, Being a Concise Account of Its Ancient Institutions, Customs, and Public Buildings, Etc. and it describes the Craven Arms as one of three "principal inns" in Coventry (the others being the Castle and the Kingshead). Thanks again. Smile
Town Planning and Development - MP offices: location 1800s
20A-Manor House
Coventry
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8 of 22  Sun 24th May 2020 10:46am  
Member: Joined Apr 2020  Total posts:88

From a book published in 1894 I can add these pictures:
Town Planning and Development - MP offices: location 1800s
Helen F
Warrington
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9 of 22  Sun 24th May 2020 11:08am  
Moderator: Joined Mar 2013  Total posts:2328

Nice pictures 20A. I'd love a better copy of the view east up the street. I think I know where the Herbert has another copy of it, maybe the original photo but it's in a delicate state and not available to the public. I might have to beg them to let me have a peek. I particularly want to see the buildings beyond the Craven Arms.
Town Planning and Development - MP offices: location 1800s
Prof
Gloucester
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10 of 22  Sun 24th May 2020 6:18pm  
Member: Joined Jul 2014  Total posts:1495

Does this help Helen? From Library pics. Forum library image
Town Planning and Development - MP offices: location 1800s
Helen F
11 of 22  Sun 24th May 2020 7:30pm  
Off-topic / chat  

SJT
Brisbane, Australia
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Thread starter
12 of 22  Sun 24th May 2020 8:54pm  
Member: Joined Apr 2018  Total posts:46

Thanks 20A, the most definitive evidence yet. Wish the place was still standing. Would love to explore its interior.
Town Planning and Development - MP offices: location 1800s
Rob Orland
Historic Coventry
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13 of 22  Mon 25th May 2020 9:13am  
Webmaster: Joined Jan 2010  Total posts:1605

I don't know if any of the photos on this pub page are of any use?
Town Planning and Development - MP offices: location 1800s
Kaga simpson
Peacehaven, East Sussex
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14 of 22  Mon 25th May 2020 12:06pm  
Member: Joined Sep 2014  Total posts:3843

Brilliant information Rob, just shows how large those coach stations were. Ellice seemed to be somekind of Godfather of his day, he ruled the town with the help of a lot of bullyboys, well supplied with Gin and Brandy by Ellice. William Cobbett left a scathing report of the 1820 election that was known as 'Bloody Sunday' leaving the courtyard of the KIngs Head strewn with wounded people (Knife) the mob incited by Ellice to kill Cobbett. The election was completely rigged by Ellice, even the knaves post was thought to have polled.
Town Planning and Development - MP offices: location 1800s
Helen F
Warrington
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15 of 22  Mon 25th May 2020 12:35pm  
Moderator: Joined Mar 2013  Total posts:2328

Two good views Rob. There is a good photo of the Union Bank on the corner of Little Park Street in the library but there is a gap of old buildings between that and the next door neighbour to the Craven Inn. It needs a very old photo to show the buildings that were there before the road was widened after 1850. I've got a very rough idea from the edge of a Troughton sketch but an image of the early Rose and Crown would be even better.
Town Planning and Development - MP offices: location 1800s

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