In this enlightened age, when the advantages of local position
are justly esteemed paramount to those of intellectual superiority
or public eminence, I come forward boldly to claim your suffrages
on grounds altogether independent of my political principles or of
my mental qualifications. I have spent my life in occupations
which have secured my inefficiency and yet cherished self-esteem;
and have carefully avoided any intercourse or pursuits which, by
enlarging my views, or enlightening my mind, might have assimi-
lated me to my opponents, and prevented my appealing to you, as
I now do, On the sole ground of residence within the Burgh of Edin-
I have, however, other, though inferior, claims to your support.
You are now in possession of a Franchise from which I laboured to
exclude you, and which, if I have the honour of being your Repre-
sentative, I shall lose no time in attempting to withdraw, as, if once in
Parliament, I should scorn to hold my seat on so frail a tenure as
the ever fluctuating voice of Public opinion.
You all admired the truly patriotic and prudent conduct of the
late Representatives of the Town Council of Edinburgh, and look
back with regret to the snug and quiet Elections in the City Cham-
bers, now, alas ! departed. It shall therefore be my earnest en-
deavour to restore to this City that old Burgh System in which I so
much delighted, and of which I am proud to term myself the last
Representative. I treated with scorn the Petition of 17,000 of my
Fellow-citizens in favour of that enlightened and distinguished in-
dividual whose place I am now anxious to fill, and supported Mr
ROBERT ADAM DUNDAS, with whose dignified and appropriate
contempt of public opinion I entirely concurred.
I am peculiarly well acquainted with the critical and embarrass.
ng situation of the Town's affairs, having had ample means of ac
luiring information in consequence of my connection with the
Old Town Councils, whose judicious administration has accumu
ated the load of debt by which you are at present burdened, and
of whose generous profusion of the public money I heartily ap-
prove ; being satisfied that their mode of Election and consequent
irresponsibility ensured for them that virtuous independence which
I am resolved to maintain.
The facility with which I exchanged the assumed liberality of
my first address for the high-souled Toryism of my present pro-
fessions, affords the best security for my steadiness and consist-
ency in Parliament.
The accuracy and correctness of my assurances on the subject of
the Town's affairs, the realization of which has been prevented by the
natural course of events, assures you of my ability and discretion ;
and while my opponent, SIR JOHN CAMPBELL, is evidently incapaci-
tated from being your Representative by that extraordinary union
of talent, industry and political consistency which has raised him
to the rank of Attorney General of England?I can sincerely assure
you that, had it been my lot to have entered the same honourable
profession, no such disqualification would ever have attached to
I now confidently claim your Votes. Unacquainted with Politics,
I pray you to entrust to me the duties of a Legislator. My views
are limited to the confined sphere of my previous occupations.
call on you to send me to the extensive field of Parliamentary en-
quiry. 1 am attached to the Principles, and have been educated in the
School, of the Tories.?and I entreat you to exercise in my favour
those suffrages which I'sincerely wish had never been conceded to
I have the honour to be,
Your known Friend,
For J. LEARMONTH.
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1830-1840 shelfmark: ABS.10.203.01(108)
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