IF any person wishing to become a county voter purchases an estate of 3 0 0/. a year, and claims to be registered on that quali- fication, it is not pretended by his most virulent opponent that he has done any thing improper or unhandsome. He has o thy taken the step pointed out by the law to secure the elective franchise. But the same law declares, that if he becomes the owner of freehold property worth 40s. a year, his vote is as good as that of the man of 300/. a year. Neither, perhaps, would an individual be considered much in the wrong were he to purchase property barely sufficient to give him a vote. But if forty or more persons join together for the purpose of obtaining votes in the manner the law points out, then an outcry is raised, sometimes by one party, sometimes by the other. This seems to be very absurd. What is com- mendable, or at any rate not blameable, in an individual, cannot be so very base in a number of persons. We always rejoice to hear of the multiplication of votes fairly acquired ; as one of the chief defects of the Reform Act seems to be the difficulty thrown by its cumbersome machinery in the way of working out its prin- ciple. Thus, when we took some pains, a few weeks ago, to prove that Lord JOHN RUSSELL or the Duke of BEDFORD had nothing to do with the Hartford voters, nicknamed by the Tories " the forty thieves," it was because there was an appearance of irregularity as respected the conveyance of the property in question to the purchasers. It was also alleged that the land was of insuf- ficient value. Had the charge been merely that the Duke of BEDFORD had sold some land in portions sufficient to give votes to forty Liberals of Huntingdonshire, we should have said at once, that his Grace bad done what he might do with perfect propriety and with very praiseworthy intention. But, as our readers know, though the Tory papers have not had the common decency to ad- mit it, the Duke had no concern in the affair.
It now appears that the purchase and sale of the land was bona fide; and that, while the parties concerned in it are clearly free from all moral blame, it is more than probable that they were also
legally in the right. Mr. Wleoa, the gentleman employed with another solicitor at Bedford in the purchase of the land, has sent to the newspapers a letter containing the particulars of the whole transaction. From this it appears, in the first plaea, that the
Duke of BEDFORD never had any property in the parish where the land is situate • and secondly, that the purchase was made by
persons in the Independent interest in Huntingdonshire, after their defeat in 1826, without any understanding that a member of the RUSSELL family was to be benefited thereby. Lord Jotter
RUSSELL went abroad immediately after the loss of his election of 1826; and, says Mr. WING, "took no further part in the local politics of Huntingdonshire." It further appears, that a valuable consideration was actually paid for the propet ty-
" The price I bad agreed to give for the estate was 227!.; the sum charged for interest up to the day of settlement was 231., together 2:100/. ; and the cost
of the conveyance from Mr. Butt to me was 42/. 4s. 64. ; making the whole sum to which I was liable 2342/. 4s. 64. I had stipolated that I should re- ceive from those to whom I sold, a price sufficient to cover the sum I paid, including all contingent expenses. I received back from thitey•nine porehasers of land, at the rate of ."4/. each, 21451., and from four purchasers of cottages, at 49/. each, 196!.; together 23411. The additional sum of Si!. 2s. was charged to the purchasers by the solicitors on each conveyance of land, and 4/. 125. on the conveyance of each of the cottages, and was paid by them."
Mr. WING has laid the whole case before eminent counsel ; who assure him that " the title-deeds are good, awl that the decisions of the Revising Barrister are at variance with sound principles of law."
This case is now pretty well disposed of; and we should not have thought it necessary to take any further notic.t of it, ex-
cept for the purpose of doing justice to Mr. WING; upon whom
our former remarks, made in the absence of a specific statement from the parties accused, might be supposed to leave a slight slur —an imputation of professional negligence. This is now entirely
cleared away, it was also an additional motive for setting the affair in its true light, that we perceive by the Tory provincial journals received during the week, that the name of Lord JOHN RUSSELL continues to be associated with "the forty thieves" by
the more disreputable tools of the faction. It may be as well, in connexion with this sultject, to remind the Liberals, that, to be registered next year, it will be necessary to prove possession of the property for six months previous to the 31st of July. All purchases should therefore be completed before the end of next month. From the following sneering
paragraph in Parson Gloon's paper, we are glad to find, that in some quarters at least the Reformers are preparing for the next registration— The Whigs in various parts of the kingdom are vigorously carrying on the trade of figot.vote making : among others, Earl Spencer is necommotiating considerable numbers with prty-shilling qualifications from his estates in East Surry. The Conservatives must be Argua-eyed, and nat allow one of their eyes even the repose of a wink. —Kentish Gazette.
The Tories will be " Argsus-eyed," we may be sure of it : and that they are not especially scrupulous as to their tootle of making votes, notwithstanding their professions of purity, is proved by the following extract from the register of South Durham.
" Lowther, John, Bart., Wilton Castle, land-tax, Long Newton. Lowther, John Henry, Wilton Castle, land-tax, Long Newton. Lowther, Henry Cecil, Wilton Castle, land•tax, Long Newton. Lowther William, Viscount, Lowther Castle, land-tax, Long Newton.
Reekett:John, (Wiwi' Street, Loudon, land-tax, Long Newton." • Let the South Durham Reformers compel Sir JOHN BECKETT to prove his qualification. Natural affection is a good considera- tion for the conveyance of property to a blood relation ; but Sir JOHN BECKETT is only connected with the LOWTIIERS by marriage.