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Letter from Thomas Erskine May to Lord Carnarvon

In 1884 Gladstone introduced to Parliament a  Bill which would give the vote to an additional two million people. This was vehemently opposed by the Conservative peer Lord Carnarvon who felt the legislation would have a negative effect on the representation of the nation in Parliament An advisory group was formed to address the issues raised by the Bill.

This letter shows that May gave procedural advice to Lord Carnarvon whilst upholding an impartial position as he worked closely with all involved. The Bill successfully passed both Houses and received Royal Assent in December 1884.

During this time May considered the possibility of becoming Clerk of the Parliaments but this ambition was thwarted.

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Thomas Erskine May to Lord Carnarvon


28 October 1884

Catalogue number

Parliamentary Archives ERM/8/247