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Joseph Chamberlain and the Third Reform Act: A Reassessment of the “Unauthorized Programme” of 1885

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  16 January 2015


This article provides the first major analysis of the impact of Joseph Chamberlain's “Unauthorized Programme” on the General Election of 1885 in sixty-five years. Instead of focusing on high politics, it investigates the constituencies. Using quantitative analysis of linguistic data, it contends that historians have underestimated the program's impact on the speaking campaign, especially in the countryside, where its proposals of land reform, church disestablishment, and free education emerged as the dominant issues. That the “Unauthorized Programme” became so important so quickly in rural regions such as East Anglia, where radicalism had historically been weak, owed much to the underestimated importance of the enfranchisement of the agricultural laborer in 1884. Chamberlain's remarkable success in immediately setting the post-reform political agenda and in being seen as the chief threat by Conservative opponents fearful of the recently expanded democracy, arguably placed him in a significantly stronger position in the immediate aftermath of the 1885 election than historians—and perhaps he himself—imagined.

Copyright © The North American Conference on British Studies 2015 

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1 These were the Corrupt and Illegal Practices Act of 1883, which forced parties to declare election expenses and put limits on overall expenditure; the Third Reform Act of 1884, which extended the 1867 borough franchise to the counties, effectively giving the vote to agricultural laborers; and the Redistribution of Seats Act of 1885, which occasioned a shift towards more arithmetically equal, single-member constituencies. For more on the impact of these reforms on electioneering, see Blaxill, Luke, “Electioneering, the Third Reform Act, and Political Change in the 1880s,” Parliamentary History 30, no. 3 (2011): 343–73CrossRefGoogle Scholar; Rix, Kathryn, “The Elimination of Corrupt Practices in British Elections? Reassessing the Impact of the 1883 Corrupt Practices Act,” English Historical Review 123, no. 500 (2008): 6597CrossRefGoogle Scholar; Clarke, Peter and Langford, Kevin, “Hodge's Politics: The Agricultural Labourers and the Third Reform Act in Suffolk,” in Land and Society in Britain 1700–1914, ed. Harte, N.B. and Quinault, Roland (Manchester, 1996), 119–36Google Scholar; Lynch, Patricia, The Liberal Party in Rural England 1885–1914 (Oxford, 2003), 2250CrossRefGoogle Scholar; Windscheffel, Alex, Popular Conservatism in Imperial London, 1868–1906 (Woodbridge, 2007), 4853Google Scholar.

2 Manchester Guardian, 30 October 1885.

3 Times, 20 August 1885.

4 France, John, “Salisbury and the Unionist Alliance,” in Blake, Robert and Cecil, Hugh, eds., Salisbury: the Man and his Policies (Basingstoke, 1987), 220–34Google Scholar; Shannon, Richard, The Age of Salisbury, 1881–1902: Unionism and Empire (London, 1996), 171Google Scholar, 182; Bentley, Michael, Lord Salisbury's World: Conservative Environments in Late-Victorian Britain (Cambridge, 2004), 157Google Scholar.

5 Clarke and Langford, “Hodge's Politics,” 125–27.

6 Marsh, Peter T., Joseph Chamberlain: Entrepreneur in Politics (London, 1994), 162–79Google Scholar; Jay, Richard, Joseph Chamberlain, a Political Study (Oxford, 1981), 47Google Scholar. Chamberlain was the only avowed radical to be reported verbatim by the press. See Matthew, H. C. G., “Rhetoric and Politics in Great Britain, 1860–1950,” in Politics and Social Change in Modern Britain, ed. Waller, P. J. (Sussex, 1987), 46Google Scholar.

7 For an account of Chamberlain's speaking tour in 1885, see Howard, C. H. D., “Joseph Chamberlain and the ‘Unauthorized Programme’English Historical Review 65, no. 257 (1950): 477–91CrossRefGoogle Scholar.

8 Chamberlain, Joseph et al. , The Radical Programme (1885), with The Future of the Radical Party by Thomas Hay Sweet Escott, ed. David A. Hamer (Brighton, 1971)Google Scholar, preface, v.

9 These are quotations from various speeches, reported in the Times 6 January, 15 January, 29 April, and 25 September 1885. For more on Chamberlain's speeches, see Howard, “Joseph Chamberlain and the ‘Unauthorized Programme,’” 482–83; Marsh, Joseph Chamberlain, 185–87; Barker, Michael, Gladstone and Radicalism: the Reconstruction of Liberal Policy in Britain, 1885–94 (Hassocks, 1975), 1724Google Scholar.

10 Barker, Gladstone and Radicalism, 20; Marsh, Joseph Chamberlain, 205–06; Spinner, Thomas, George Joachim Goschen (London, 1973), 108–09Google Scholar; Shannon, Richard, Gladstone: Heroic Minister (London, 1999), 2:387–89Google Scholar; Feuchtwanger, Edgar, Democracy and Empire: Britain, 1865–1914 (1985), 181–82Google Scholar.

11 Times, 11 November 1885.

12 Ibid. 25 September 1885.

13 Jackson, Patrick, The Last of the Whigs: A Political Biography of Lord Hartington (Cranbury, 1994), 200–03Google Scholar; Barker, Gladstone and Radicalism, 17–20. Churchill quoted in Times, 24 October 1885.

14 The Liberals secured 80 of the 158 rural and semi-rural divisions, a result they only bettered in 1906. See Lynch, Liberal Party, 235.

15 My quantitative approach to the study of electoral language, introduced briefly below, is fully discussed and defended in Luke Blaxill, “The Language of British Electoral Politics, 1880–1910” (Ph.D. diss., King's College London, 2012), and in Quantifying the Language of British Politics,” Historical Research 86, no 232 (2013): 313–41Google Scholar.

16 Parry, Jonathan, The Rise and Fall of Liberal Government in Victorian Britain (New Haven, 1993), 288–89Google Scholar; Jackson, The Last of the Whigs, 224; Spinner, Goschen, 108–10; Barker, Gladstone and Radicalism, 17–20; Marsh, Joseph Chamberlain, 197–212; Howard, “Joseph Chamberlain and the ‘Unauthorized Programme,’” 480, 486–87. For Chamberlain's recollection of the reception of his program by his peers in the months preceding the 1885 election, see Chamberlain, Joseph, A Political Memoir 1880–1892, ed. Howard, C. H. D. (London, 1953), 108–35Google Scholar.

17 In January at Birmingham, Chamberlain proclaimed that private property should pay “a ransom” for the security it enjoyed, whereas a few days later at Ipswich he backpedaled, claiming his proposals were “no absolute platform” and were not designed even as a program. See Marsh, Joseph Chamberlain, 186–87; Barker, Gladstone and Radicalism, 20, 22; Howard, “Joseph Chamberlain and the ‘Unauthorized Programme,’” 480, 483.

18 Chamberlain, A Political Memoir, 110.

19 See Barker, Gladstone and Radicalism, 7–8, 35–38.

20 Howard, “Joseph Chamberlain and the ‘Unauthorized Programme,’” 477; Bronstein, Jamie and Harris, Andrew, Empire, State, and Society: Britain since 1830 (Oxford, 2012), 101Google Scholar; Offer, Avner, Property and Politics 1870–1914 (Cambridge, 1981), 352Google Scholar; Abbott, B.H., Gladstone and Disraeli, (London, 1982), 82Google Scholar.

21 Belchem, John, Class, Party and the Political System in Britain, 1867–1914 (Oxford, 1990), 39Google Scholar.

22 Readman, Paul, Land and Nation in England: Patriotism, National Identity and the Politics of Land, (Woodbridge, 2008), 4748Google Scholar; Howkins, Alun, “From Diggers to Dongas: the Land in English Radicalism, 1649–2000,” History Workshop Journal 54, no. 1 (2002): 1314CrossRefGoogle Scholar.

23 Simon, Alan, “Church Disestablishment as a Factor in the General Election of 1885,” Historical Journal 18, no. 4 (1975), 802–09CrossRefGoogle Scholar; Lynch, Liberal Party, 36.

24 Pugh, Martin, The Making of Modern British Politics 1867–1939 (Oxford, 1982), 32Google Scholar; Barker, Gladstone and Radicalism, 24.

25 Hamer, David A., Liberal Politics in the Age of Gladstone and Rosebery: A Study in Leadership and Policy (Oxford, 1972), 104Google Scholar; Marsh, Joseph Chamberlain, 185.

26 Pelling, Henry M., Social Geography of British Elections 1885–1910 (London, 1967), 16CrossRefGoogle Scholar.

27 Moore, James R., The Transformation of Urban Liberalism: Party Politics and Urban Governance in Late Nineteenth Century England (Aldershot, 2006), 264Google Scholar; Cunningham, Hugh, The Challenge of Democracy: Britain 1832–1918 (Harlow, 2001), 131Google Scholar; Pearce, Malcolm and Stewart, Geoffrey, British Political History, 1867–2001: Democracy and Decline (London, 2002), 5052Google Scholar; Barker, Gladstone and Radicalism, 35–36, Clarke and Langford, “Hodge's Politics,” 130–31.

28 Parry, Rise and Fall, 289, Self, Robert C., The Evolution of the British Party System 1885–1940 (Harlow, 2000), 56Google Scholar.

29 Howkins, Alun, Poor Labouring Men: Rural Radicalism in Norfolk, 1872–1923 (London, 1985), 5761Google Scholar, 74–75; Readman, Paul, “Jesse Collings and Land Reform, 1886–1914,” Historical Research 81, no. 212 (2008): 292314CrossRefGoogle Scholar.

30 Lynch, Liberal Party, 22–50.

31 Parry, Rise and Fall, 288.

32 Birmingham Daily Post, 23 November 1885; Daily News, 7 November 1885.

33 Speeches were not, of course, the only tool of party communication available in this era. Others included posters, cartoons, and handbills, but speeches were the most high profile, and were seen by contemporaries (and subsequently by historians) as overwhelmingly the most important, certainly until 1918. See the contemporary Jephson, Henry, The Platform, its Rise and Progress, 2 vols. (New York and London, 1892)Google Scholar; Matthew, “Rhetoric and Politics,” 40–46; Meisel, Joseph, Public Speech and the Culture of Public Life in the Age of Gladstone (New York, 2001)CrossRefGoogle Scholar, chapter 5; Lawrence, Jon, Electing Our Masters: The Hustings in British Politics from Hogarth to Blair (Oxford, 2009), 7195CrossRefGoogle Scholar.

34 I chose a regional focus because it anchors the analysis in the story of electoral politics in a given locality but still provides enough material to compile a large corpus featuring speeches from a range of constituencies. East Anglia (defined as the sixteen constituencies of Norfolk and Suffolk) is also far from exceptional in its psephological anatomy: there were 98 rural seats, and 122 for provincial boroughs after the 1885 redistribution in England, Scotland, and Wales (38 percent of the total number of constituencies). For further discussion, see Blaxill, “Language of Electoral Politics,” 22–24.

35 For example, see Vernon, James, Politics and the people: a study in English political culture, c.1815–1867 (Cambridge, 1993Google Scholar); Joyce, Patrick, Visions of the people: industrial England and the Question of Class, 1840–1914 (Cambridge, 1991)CrossRefGoogle Scholar; Musolf, Karen, From Plymouth to Parliament: a Rhetorical History of Nancy Astor's 1919 Campaign (Basingstoke, 1999)Google Scholar.

36 There are a number of introductory texts available, such as Adolphs, Svenja, Introducing Electronic Text Analysis: A Practical Guide for Language and Literary Students (Trowbridge, 2006)Google Scholar.

37 Blaxill, “Language of Electoral Politics,” 11–12.

38 Recent examples of the use of corpora includes Hart, Roderick, Campaign Talk: Why Elections are Good for Us (Princeton, 2000)Google Scholar and Political Keywords: Using Language that Uses Us (Oxford, 2005)Google Scholar; Orpin, Debbie, “Corpus Linguistics and Critical Discourse Analysis: Examining the Ideology of Sleaze,” International Journal of Corpus Linguistics (2005)CrossRefGoogle Scholar; Fairclough, Norman, New Labour, New Language? (Guildford, 2000)Google Scholar.

39 Blaxill, “Quantifying the Language of British Politics,” 313–31; Blaxill, “Language of Electoral Politics,” chapter 1.

40 For elections after 1886, Liberal Unionists are excluded from the corpus rather than being included with the Conservatives. For a justification, see Blaxill, “Quantifying the Language of British Politics,” 340.

41 Speeches were sourced from the Ipswich Journal, Bury and Norwich Post, and Essex and South Suffolk News. The samples for both the 1835 and 1874 elections contain roughly equal proportions of text from boroughs and counties, and for both parties. Readings are weighted (as above) to 50,000 word ratios. The smaller size and lack of constituency weighting means this corpus is less representative than the main corpora, and it is thus used for broad comparisons only.

42 That is, boroughs in 1880 and 1885, and counties in 1880 and 1885.

43 The 1880 subdivision contains speeches from Maldon, Nottingham, Derby, Hull, Newcastle, Durham, Northallerton, Manchester, Wrexham, Flint, Oxford, Portsmouth, Birmingham, Bristol, Lancaster, South Lincolnshire, West Gloucestershire, East Derbyshire, East Essex, South Leicestershire, North Leicestershire, South Durham, East Riding, West Riding, Carmarthenshire, North Lancashire, North East Lancashire, South Lancashire, West Glamorganshire, South Lincolnshire West, North Lincolnshire, Aberdeenshire, East Worcestershire, North Nottinghamshire, North Essex, East Devon, South Northumberland, Invernesshire, and County Antrim. The 1885 subdivision contains speeches from Colchester, Bristol North, Bristol South, Bristol East, Derby, Oxford, Portsmouth, Newcastle Upon Tyne, Aberdeen North, Sheffield Brightside, Leeds South, Leeds West, Leeds North, Oxford, Preston, Cardiff District of Boroughs, South Derbyshire, West Derbyshire, Mid Glamorganshire, Staffordshire Burton, North Oxfordshire, South Oxfordshire, Mid Oxfordshire, Tyneside Berwick, Cheshire Eddisbury, West Worcestershire, South Worcestershire, Essex Harwich, Leicestershire Harborough, Gloucestershire Thornbury, Durham Houghton-Le-Spring, East Denbighshire, Westmorland Appleby, Yorkshire Richmond, Yorkshire Pudsey, Yorkshire Oldcross, Yorkshire Sowerby, South Derbyshire, and North Somerset. These seats were chosen using as a guidelines Neal Blewett's six constituency categories: “urban predominantly middle-class,” “urban mixed class,” “urban predominantly working class,” “mixed urban/rural,” “rural,” and “mining.” All six of Blewett's categories are roughly and proportionately represented in this corpus. See Blewett, Neal, The Peers, the Parties, and the People: the General Elections of 1910 (Bristol, 1972), 488–94CrossRefGoogle Scholar.

44 See for example Pugh, The Making of Modern British Politics; Jaggard, Edwin, “Political Continuity and Change in Late Nineteenth-Century Cornwall,” Parliamentary History (1992), 218–34Google Scholar; Davis, Richard, Political Change and Continuity 1760–1885: A Buckinghamshire Study (Newton Abbot, 1972)Google Scholar; Feuchtwanger, Edgar, Disraeli, Democracy and the Tory Party (Oxford, 1968)Google Scholar; Olney, R. L., Rural Society and County Government in Nineteenth-Century Lincolnshire (Lincoln, 1973)Google Scholar.

45 Studies dealing with urban areas include Brodie, Marc, The Politics of the Poor: The East End of London 1885–1914 (Oxford, 2004)CrossRefGoogle Scholar; Roberts, Matthew, “Villa Toryism and Popular Conservatism in Leeds, 1885–1902,” Historical Journal 49, no. 1 (2006): 217–46CrossRefGoogle Scholar; Lawrence, Jon, Speaking for the People: Party, Language, and Popular Politics in England, 1867–1914 (Cambridge, 1998), 73128CrossRefGoogle Scholar; Windscheffel, Popular Conservatism; Moore, Transformation of Urban Liberalism; Blaxill, “Electioneering.” On rural politics, studies ending in 1880 or before include Davis, Political Change and Continuity; Olney, Rural Society; Jaggard, “Political Continuity and Change in Cornwall.” Those starting in 1885 or later include Lynch, Liberal Party, and Howarth, Janet, “The Liberal Revival in Northamptonshire, 1880–1895: A Case Study in late Nineteenth Century Elections,” Historical Journal, (1969): 78118CrossRefGoogle Scholar.

46 Lynch, Liberal Party, 24–31, 220; Readman, Land and Nation, 143–48; Howkins, “Diggers to Dongas,” 10–14.

47 Barker, Gladstone and Radicalism, 35–37.

48 Lynch, Liberal Party, 32, 34–36.

49 “Crops” also includes all named crops, such as “corn,” “barley,” and “wheat.”

50 The choices of keywords are matters of historical judgment and were selected after a thorough manual reading. They were chosen for strength of correlation—in this case with occasions where speakers were talking about farming. Others were excluded for the same reason. For example “field” or “soil” might intuitively have been included in the taxonomy, but on a manual analysis, neither word (which appear a very small number of times) correlated reliably to farming, so were omitted.

51 For example, “farming” appearing in the context of criminal baby farming, or “tenant” for a town resident.

52 For a full breakdown of the scores for each individual lemma, see Blaxill, “Language of Electoral Politics,” 230.

53 Trevor Lloyd's study of this general election identifies finance and foreign policy as the most important issues in the campaign. See Lloyd, Trevor, The General Election of 1880 (Oxford, 1968), 3841Google Scholar. An equivalent five-word taxonomy of finance (“expenditure,” “income,” “money,” “tax,” “trade”) totals 374 hits, whereas a taxonomy of foreign policy (“Europe,” “foreign,” “Russia,” “Turkey,” “war”) totals 652. Farming's aggregate of 500 mentions thus lies roughly in between the two, suggesting that it was also a very important election issue. For full figures, see Blaxill, “Language of Electoral Politics,” 233–34.

54 This also explains the seeming anomaly on Figure 1 that crops are more frequently mentioned in 1885, yet when rural divisions are examined alone, the weighted scores are 133 for 1880 and just 74 in 1885.

55 Lynn Advertiser, 20 March 1880.

56 Norwich Mercury, 17 March 1880.

57 Suffolk Chronicle, 27 March 1880.

58 Ibid.

59 Norwich Mercury, 31 March 1880.

60 See respective speeches reported in the Ipswich Journal, 20 July 1895 (Eye and Woodbridge); Norwich Argus, 6 October 1900 (Norwich); Eastern Daily Press, 16 June 1886 (Mid Norfolk).

61 Any post-1832 elections could have been chosen for this comparison, but these two were chosen by the availability of sources.

62 The 1874 totals for the language of farming are “agriculture,” 114; “farm,” 122; “crops,” 70; “landlord,” 62; “tenant,” 86. Total: 540.

63 Scores for 1835 are “agriculture,” 164; “farm,” 144; “crops,” 138; “landlord,” 30; “tenant,” 14. Total: 490.

64 Olney, Rural Society, 145–68; Davis, Political Change and Continuity, 198–220. See also Hanham, H. J., Elections and Party Management: Politics in the Time of Disraeli and Gladstone (London, 1959), 328Google Scholar.

65 “Allotments” also includes “smallholding”; “food” also includes all named foodstuffs, such as bread, meat, and beer. These were, as before, double-checked with KWICs to ensure only relevant language was included in the count.

66 East Anglian Daily Times, 1 December 1885.

67 Eastern Daily Press, 1 December 1885.

68 Ibid., 10 and 12 November 1885, respectively.

69 Ipswich Journal, 26 September 1885.

70 Readman, Paul, “Conservatives and the Politics of Land: Lord Winchilsea's National Agricultural Union, 1893–1901English Historical Review 121, no. 490 (2006): 2569CrossRefGoogle Scholar.

71 Suffolk Chronicle, 31 January 1874.

72 East Anglian Daily Times, 2 November 1885; Eastern Daily Press, 6 November 1885.

73 Roger Mickleford to Lord Walsingham, 11 June 1885, Norwich Record Office, ref: WLSLX/43–44.

74 Lynch, Liberal Party, 22–50, 220.

75 East Anglian Daily Times, 5 November 1885.

76 Shannon, Age of Salisbury, 179.

77 East Anglian Daily Times, 3 November 1885.

78 National speakers mentioned “programme” 13 times in the combined 1880 subsamples, and this increased to 34 in 1885. In other British boroughs and counties it was mentioned 0 and 6 times in the respective 1880 subsamples, but 37 times in both in 1885.

79 Among frontbenchers, the cross-party score of 46 for 1880 increases to 83 in 1885. In other consistencies outside of East Anglia, the averaged 1880 score between boroughs and counties is 43; in 1885, it is 67.

80 For full figures for 1880–1910, see Blaxill, “Language of Electoral Politics,” Appendix 5.6.

81 For further discussion on the language of class 1880–1910, see Blaxill, “Language of Electoral Politics,” 178–86.

82 Yarmouth Independent, 24 October 1885.

83 Eastern Daily Press, 31 October 1885.

84 See Blaxill, “Language of Electoral Politics,” Appendices 3.4 and 3.5.

85 While Chamberlain's proposals for local government were also very prominent, consideration of this one issue where he found broad agreement with Gladstone's manifesto is beyond the scope of this article.

86 Cragoe, Matthew and Readman, Paul, The Land Question in Britain 1750–1950 (Basingstoke, 2010), 1CrossRefGoogle Scholar.

87 Cragoe and Readman, Land Question, 9–11.

88 Note that this and subsequent tables for aggregate KWIC analyses do not classify each instance because, naturally, a minority of mentions were miscellaneous and did not fit into any common categories.

89 The full scores for 1880 are 68 (Conservative), 50 (Liberal); for 1885 they are 158 (Conservative), 130 (Liberal).

90 Eastern Daily Press, 9 and 10 November 1885.

91 Ibid., 10 October and 1 December 1885, respectively.

92 East Anglian Daily Times, 18 November 1885.

93 Readman, Land and Nation, 143–44.

94 Ipswich Journal, 10 October 1885 and Norfolk Argus, 10 November 1885, respectively.

95 Lynn News, 14 November 1885.

96 Ibid.

97 See for example Lynn News, 14 November 1885 (meeting at King's Lynn); Ipswich Journal, 26 September 1885 (meeting at Stowmarket).

98 Howe, Anthony, Free Trade and Liberal England, 1846–1946 (Oxford, 1997), 130–31Google Scholar; Pelling, Social Geography, 16; Barker, Gladstone and Radicalism, 25. This quantification uses the lemmas “trade,” “free,” “fair,” “price,” “wage.” In counties and boroughs outside of East Anglia, the taxonomy totals 171 and 98 cross-party mentions respectively—a similar level of visibility.

99 This analysis uses the lemmas “foreign,” “war,” “Egypt,” “India,” “Soudan,” “Khartoum,” and “Gordon.”

100 In counties outside of East Anglia, land reform and allotments combined register 194 mentions, compared to the seven foreign policy keywords (142); Ireland and Parnell (64); local government (34); and parliamentary procedure (7). In borough constituencies outside of East Anglia, however, the picture is more even, with Land Reform and allotments (82); the seven foreign policy keywords (134); Ireland and Parnell (56); local government (35); and parliamentary procedure (18).

101 Among frontbench speakers, land reform and allotments combined register 186 mentions between both parties, compared to the six foreign policy keywords (179), Ireland and Parnell (131), and local government (50), and parliamentary procedure (18). On frontbench speaker's propensity to prioritize foreign and imperial matters, see Meisel, Public Speech, chapter 5.

102 Norwich Argus, 14 October 1885.

103 Simon, “Church Disestablishment,” 791.

104 The full scores (for Conservatives and Liberals respectively) for frontbench speakers in 1880 are 7/42 (“church”), 4/5 (“religion”), and 2/14 (“Disestablishment”), while for 1885 they are 66/59 (“church”), 9/8 (“religion”), and 25/22 (“Disestablishment”). For boroughs outside of East Anglia in 1880, the scores are 47(“church”), 17 (“religion”), and 7 (“Disestablishment”), while in 1885, they are 151 (“church”), 60 (“religion”), and 57 (“Disestablishment”). For counties outside of East Anglia in 1880, the scores are 27 (“church”), 8 (“religion”), and 6 (“Disestablishment”), while in 1885 they are 203 (“church”), 38 (“religion”), and 116 (“Disestablishment”).

105 East Anglian Daily Times, 6 November 1885 and Eastern Daily Press, 12 November 1885, respectively.

106 Lynn News, 5 December 1885.

107 East Anglian Daily Times, 25 November 1885.

108 Stowmarket Courier, 28 November 1885.

109 Eastern Daily Press, 30 September 1885 and Norwich Argus, 10 November 1885, respectively.

110 Norwich Argus, 3 November 1885, and Bury and Norwich Post, 10 November 1885, respectively.

111 Frere, Reverend Constantine, The Coming Election and the Coming Danger. A Letter to the Electors of Finningham, Suffolk (Norwich, 1885), 14Google Scholar. The Bishop's letter was reprinted in Eastern Daily Press, 12 November 1885.

112 Lynn News, 30 November 1885.

113 See Blaxill, “Language of Electoral Politics,” 242, for a survey of a wide range of religious lemmas in each election from 1880 to 1910.

114 Lynch, Liberal Party, 168–71.

115 The exception to this is Simon, Alan, “Joseph Chamberlain and Free Education in the Election of 1885,” History of Education 2, no. 1 (1973): 5658CrossRefGoogle Scholar.

116 In boroughs and counties outside of East Anglia, “school” tallied 29 and 8 mentions, respectively in 1880, rising to 56 and 52 in 1885. “Education” rose from 29 and 14 respective mentions, to 82 and 91, while “child” increased from 26 and 2 in 1880 to 38 and 34 in 1885. Among frontbenchers, the cross-party aggregates for the three words increased by 51 percent between the elections. See Blaxill, “Language of Electoral Politics,” 238.

117 Stowmarket Courier, 21 November 1885.

118 Eastern Evening News, 6 November 1885 and Lynn News, 30 November 1885, respectively.

119 Lynn News, 30 November 1885.

120 Lynn News, 14 November 1885 and Eastern Daily Press, 16 November 1885, respectively.

121 Bury and Norwich Post, 10 November 1885.

122 East Anglian Daily Times, 15 November 1885 and Norwich Argus, 3 November 1885, respectively.

123 Howard, “Joseph Chamberlain and the ‘Unauthorized Programme,’” 489–90; Lynch, Liberal Party, 32–50.

124 Barker, Gladstone and Radicalism, 25–26. In East Anglia in 1885, parties mentioned Gladstone 147 times, Chamberlain 84 times, and Salisbury 78 times. In boroughs outside of East Anglia, the scores were Gladstone, 105; Chamberlain, 60; and Salisbury, 44. In counties, these were Gladstone, 106; Chamberlain, 72; and Salisbury, 35. Finally, among frontbenchers these scores were Gladstone, 108; Chamberlain, 79; and Salisbury, 78.

125 For a more extended analysis of mentions of the leaders in campaigns from 1880 to 1900, see Blaxill, “Quantifying the Language of British Politics,” 333–35.

126 For a breakdown of the reaction of Liberal leaders to the program's impact on the election, see Howard, “Joseph Chamberlain and the ‘Unauthorized Programme,’” 488–89; Barker, Gladstone and Radicalism, 24–40.

127 For full figures showing East Anglia and the national campaign, see Blaxill, “Language of Electoral Politics,” 240, 245. The lemmas “Disestablishment,” “disendowment,” and “church” added together for both parties in East Anglia total 216 for 1885; 73 for 1892; 197 for 1895; and 59 for 1900.

128 For full figures, see Blaxill, “The Language of Electoral Politics,” 240. The cross-party mean score for the lemmas “school,” “education,” and “child” combined is 108 in East Anglia for the seven elections fought between 1886 and 1910, whereas it was 309 in 1885.

129 For full figures, see Blaxill, “The Language of Electoral Politics,” 240, 234, 264. Cross-party mentions of land reform in East Anglia for the seven elections fought between 1886 and 1910 averaged 105, whereas they totaled 288 in 1885.

130 For historians' negative views of the Newcastle Programme's impact on popular Liberalism, see Hamer, Liberal Politics, 173–74; Barker, Gladstone and Radicalism, 205; Lawrence, Speaking for the People, 194–95; Day, Alan O', Irish Home Rule 1867–1921 (Manchester, 1998), 145Google Scholar; Jenkins, Roy, Gladstone (London, 1995), 581Google Scholar; Fraser, Peter, “The Liberal Unionist Alliance: Chamberlain, Hartington, and the Conservatives, 1886–1904,” English Historical Review 77, no. 302 (1962): 53CrossRefGoogle Scholar; Ostrogorski, Moisei, Democracy and the Organization of Political Parties (London, 1902), 1:316–17Google Scholar.

131 See Cawood, Ian, The Liberal Unionist Party: A History (New York, 2012), 165–66Google Scholar; O' Day, Irish Home Rule, 253; Clarke and Langford, “Hodge's Politics,” 130–32.

132 For example Chamberlain and Bright (Birmingham), Labouchere and Bradlaugh (Northampton), Collings (Ipswich), Dilke (Chelsea), Samuel Morley (Bristol), Davey (Christchurch), Cowen (Newcastle), Sproston-Caine (Tottenham), Cochran-Stevenson (South Shields), and Cremer (Haggerston). For a full list, see Crawshay, W. S. and Read, F. W., The Politics of the Commons, Compiled from the Election Addresses, Speeches, etc., of the Present Members (London, 1886)Google Scholar. For a statistical breakdown of Tory dominance in counties prior to 1885, see Parry, Rise and Fall, 339.

133 East Anglian Daily Times, 25 November 1885 and Eastern Daily Press, 17 October 1885, respectively.

134 Eastern Daily Press, 2 September 1885.

135 Norwich Argus, 27 October 1885; Norfolk Mail, 25 August 1885.

136 East Anglian Daily Times, 14 November 1885; Ipswich Journal, 24 November 1885.

137 Lynch, Liberal Party, 46–50.

138 Barker, Gladstone and Radicalism, 18–19.

139 East Anglian Daily Times, 5 November 1885.

140 Eastern Daily Press, 14 and 11 November 1885, respectively. For more on Conservative progressivism in 1885, see Blaxill, “The Language of Electoral Politics,” 84–85, 116–18.

141 Ipswich Journal, 14 November 1885.

142 Ibid., 17 November 1885.

143 Parry, Rise and Fall, 289; Self, Party System, 56. The Conservatives' keenness to stress their progressive credentials in 1885 adds further ballast to the recent reassessment—most notably associated with historians such as Readman, Roberts, Windscheffel, and Lawrence—that stresses the positive appeal of Toryism after 1885. It is a subtle but important distinction, hinted at by Windscheffel and Lynch, that this process seemed to begin in 1885 before the Home Rule split and the supposedly “progressive” influence of Liberal Unionism. See Lynch, Liberal Party, 46–50; Windscheffel, Popular Conservatism, 48–53.

144 Tuckwell, William, Reminiscences of a Radical Parson (London, 1905), 59Google Scholar.

145 Chamberlain, A Political Memoir, 135.