Anthony writes a reply about what he knows

The following letter* was written by Anthony Henley, Member of Parliament for Southampton from 1727 to 1734, to his constituents who had protested to him about the Excise Bill:

QE2 leaving Southampton found here


I received yours and am surprised by your insolence in troubling me about the Excise. You know, what I very well know, that I bought you.

Know What I Mean? found here

And I know, what perhaps you think I don’t know, you are now selling yourselves to Somebody Else; and I know, what you do not know, that I am buying another borough. May God’s curse light upon you all: may your houses be as open and common to all Excise Officers as your wives and daughters were to me, when I stood for your scoundrell corporation.

Magnificent Scoundrel found here

Yours, etc.,

Anthony Henley

(In the previous year, on 31 March, the Weekly Register had noted:

Lady Betty Berkeley, daughter of the Earl of that name, being almost fifteen has thought it time to be married, and ran away last week with Mr Henley, a man noted for his impudence and immorality but a good estate and a beau.)

* originally found in Christmas Crackers by John Julius Norwich

These Luxury Christmas Crackers are priced at £600 ($1000)

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38 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. Some of our MPs are a dull lot.

  2. There is something to be said for making the wives and daughters of all tax collectors available – on a rota, of course – to all members of the public. Most people would then refrain from entering that accursed profession (and thus kill the tax), or, if of the mind that they HAD to be leeches on society, they would probably only marry ugly, barren women – and do everyone a favour by taking them off the shelf.

    • Am I the only one who thinks tax is a great idea?

      • no mitzi, you’re not….

  3. Almost fifteen is an excellent age for deciding upon a choice scoundrel.

    • Sadly, this I know only too well

  4. $1,000 for some crackers? Gives new meaning to the term “eating yourself out of house and home”

    • Do they travel further when you whistle with those crackers in your mouth?

  5. Where does one buy a borough???

    • If only I knew…..

  6. this guy should run for office! oh, wait…

  7. I apologize for my insolence in troubling you with this comment.

    • Apology accepted. but just this once.

  8. Good to see all is fair in love and war and democracy

  9. “An honest politician is one who, when he is bought, will stay bought.” Simon Cameron

  10. But you know that I know that you know that I know, so…
    uh… well…
    you know?

    • Umm… I’m not sure

  11. “I bought and paid for you fair and square…” ha!

  12. Ah the days of rotten and pocket boroughs… How times have changed!!!

  13. This degree of honesty in politics is a refreshing change.

  14. Ah, for the days of an honest politician 😉

  15. Can you send me a pack of those crackers please Nursey xxx

    • would you settle for a cracked pack instead?

  16. Nowadays 15 isn’t time to be married, just time to get pregnant. If your job prospects are zilch thanks to an indifferent government, that is.

  17. I am extremely pleased to discover that impudence and immorality are offset by a good estate and a beau.

  18. Them’s some nasty fightin’ words!

  19. I guess politics have always been the same.

  20. I wonder what’s in those luxury crackers? Designer dice? Designer jokes? Designer paper hats? Designer cowboy figures? I think I’d better visit that site.

    • Oh. Either there’s no link or my phone is being unco-operative.

      • I think it’s your phone. the crackers contain luxury gifts such as an MP3 player, a fine leather passport holder and crystal earrings, cloisonné enameled box with crystals, handbag holder travel set, and luggage tag set, men’s fine socks.

        I’d feel gypped if I only got a pair of socks

  21. No doubt there are some British MPs who’ve bought the £600 luxury crackers and then charged them to expenses.

  22. Men’s fine socks?

    Do they come with garters?

    • One would hope so

  23. Ah, what we can overlook for a good estate and a beau.

  24. In other words, politics haven’t changed one iota since that time. How disheartening is that?!

    So, running off with a 15 year old wasn’t creepy back then? Do I read that right? Because it would wind you up in prison now.

    Did you know that most folks in this country have no idea what Christmas crackers are? We’re an unenlightened bunch.

    • Really? I thought they were pretty well known.

  25. I’m going to start ending my correspondence with “yours, etc.” It adds a personal touch.

    Yours, etc.

  26. The art of letter writing has really deteriorated, you know?

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