§ Court of Common Pleas, Westminster. 28th June 1880.
§ We have the honour to report to you that the Petitions against the Returns of Members for the following places have been withdrawn by leave of the Court.
- The Borough of Nottingham;
- The Borough of Leominster;
- The Borough of Bury St. Edmunds;
- The Borough of Wilton; and
- The Borough of Horsham.
§ We have also to report that, in our opinion, the withdrawal of none of these Petitions was the result of any corrupt arrangement or in consideration of the withdrawal of any other Petition.
§ With reference to the withdrawal of the Nottingham Petition, the Lord Chief Justice received through the Post the letter which he 1237 incloses to you herewith. We express no opinion whatever upon the value or worthlessness of the communication, hut, inasmuch as it is not anonymous, and refers to an Election Petition, we have thought it proper to transmit it to you. The allegations made in it were denied on oath by the Petitioners and the Petitioners' Agents; and we see no reason to doubt the truth of their assertions. The Respondent made no statement or affidavit and desired his Petition to proceed; but, as we saw no reason to believe the Petitioners to be in any default, or to be in any way connected with the letter or the statements in it, we did not accede to this desire and allowed the Petition to be withdrawn.
§ We are, Sir,
§ Your obedient humble servants,
§ Lord Chief Justice of the Common Pleas.
§ W. R. GROVE,
§ Judge of the Common Pleas.
§ The Eight Honble.
§ The Speaker of the House of Commons.
§ June 22nd, 1880.
§ To Lord Justice Coleridge.
§ My Lord,
§ I hope you will pardon me troubling you but having seen an announcement in the Nottingham papers of an application to withdraw the Nottingham Petition, I thought it only my duty to inform your Lordship of a report that is gaining currency in the town, namely, that the Liberals have agreed to pay over a sum of £10,000 on condition that the Petition is unconditionally withdrawn.
§ I may add that the application to withdraw the Petition has given great dissatisfaction to a many, as bribery is supposed to have prevailed to an alarming extent. Hoping your Lordship will not think me presumptuous in thus writing to you.
§ I remain,
§ My Lord,
§ Your humble Servant,
§ JAMES NORMAN.
§ Lord Justice Coleridge.