Historical Filth- Honourable Members

Kafka2

Whale-raping abomination
Joined
Oct 30, 2001
Messages
1,204
Historical Filth- Honourable Members

I've recently found myself driven to distraction by how dull and tawdry modern politics are. Though the knicker-sniffers of the press do their best to depict our politicians as sub-human degenerates, the truth of the matter is that they're crashingly boring people for whom the pulsing of blood in their withered privy organs occurs with roughly the same degree of frequency as maulings by chocolate werewolves. Blair, Bush, Chirac.....these are not men. They are stuffed shirts, not worthy of my attention, let alone my contempt.

Though we are told that moral standards are slipping, I would direct the casual reader to one shocking fact. For a few brief years in the 18th century, Britain was run by Satanists. Did it harm us? Never, damn your eyes! These shocking tales, and more, are revealed below in a selection of some of the more bizarre characters ever to wield political office in Britain.....

******************************************


Cecil Tournour, 6th Earl of Winterton (1883- 1953)

OK, so he's a Lord. Seeing as he was a politically active Lord rather than your bog-standard gentry, I'll allow him in. Anyway, I've a particular fondness for Winterton. He was a notoriously "difficult" character, and took great pride in that reputation- to the extent that he had lengthy tracts published in The Times deploring the awful modern habit of politeness. He was particularly irritated by having waiters say "please" and "thank you" to him, it seems.
However the act that sneaks him into this article concerns one of the more bizarre injuries suffered in Parliament. Winterton was a stickler for Parliamentary etiquette, and points of order in the House tended to leave him purple-faced and wringing his hands in fury. One particular breach left the enraged Earl so irate that his hand-wringing actually dislocated both his thumbs, leaving him in need of urgent medical assistance.


Colonel Charles De Laet Waldo Sibthorpe (1783- 1855)

Sibthorpe was a fabulous character- it's impossible to make up someone so entertaining. He was famously mad, described by Dickens as "...with a brain slightly damaged and, quite unintentionally, the most amusing man in the House".
He was a fanatical opponent of all forms of modern progress, particularly railways which he opposed on the grounds that they might encourage the working classes to move around. Another of his bugbears was modern flushing lavatories, which he opposed on the grounds that they would result in Sanitary inspectors being appointed to forcibly enter homes and examine their owner's excrement.
All things foreign were deeply suspect- he opposed the Great Exhibition of 1851 on the grounds that it might entice foreigners, and proposed that the consort's annuity (paid to the spouse of the monarch) should be reduced by 40% as the Queen was marrying a filthy foreigner (this was his only successful bill, and Queen Victoria shunned him for the rest of his life).


Bob Mackreth (1738- 1802)

The House of Commons was, for centuries, a misnomer. Unless you were very far from common, you weren't getting in. Mackreth bucked the trend, however. He was a waiter and billiard-maker up until 1774, when he experienced a radical career change. At that time, Parliamentary candidates were usually nominated by the local Lord, and in this case the local Lord was Robert Walpole, the Earl of Orford- and he was prone to bouts of insanity. Walpole nominated Mackreth, who was a waiter at his club.
The first election was declared void as Walpole couldn't remember Mackreth's name. However the second was successful and Mackreth was returned as MP for Castle Rising. Naturally he quickly amassed a fortune through rampant corruption, but despite being imprisoned for six weeks and challenging the Lord Chancellor to a duel, he remained an MP for the rest of his life.


Colonel James Luttrell (1725- 1792)

Luttrell was probably one of the most relentlessly horrible people ever to hold office in the House. He was the MP for Bosinney, a classic "Rotten borough" with only 25 registered voters and under the total control of Lord Bute. All that Bute required were gentry who would vote with him, and their personal morals were an irrelevance.
That suited Luttrell well. He was a noted libertine with a reuptation of extreme physical violence, particularly sexual violence towards women. On one occasion he abducted and raped an 11-year-old girl, for which he avoided prosecution by bribing witnesses to claim she was a prostitute.
He was also possessed of a questionable sense of humour, which was demonstrated when he was invited to a ball thrown by one Mrs Corneley. Luttrell turned up dressed as a corpse, complete with a coffin bearing a plate stating that he had died from venereal diseases contracted from Mrs Corneley.
Luttrell's crowning glory was probably his relationship with his father, Lord Irnham. This relationship was so bad that Lord Irnham challenged his so to a duel. Luttrell declined, on the grounds that his father was not a gentleman.


Robert Arthur Talbot Gascoyne Cecil, 3rd Earl of Salisbury (1830- 1903)

Salisbury was Tory Prime Minister three times between 1885 and 1902, which is fairly impressive considering that he was a lifelong opponent of democracy. As he was MP for a Rotten Borough in Exeter, he never had to face a real election in his life- which was probably just as well considering that he was very openly critical of the system that allowed beastly commoners the same power as Lords.
His maiden speech in the Commons was noted for the fact that it ended mid-sentence, with Salisbury yawning and sitting down, too bored to continue. He even turned the post of PM down the first two times it was offered to him, apparently on the grounds that he couldn't be bothered. On losing the position of PM, his own son sent him a telegraph reading "I hear you are turned out. Many congratulations."
Salisbury's general apathy also showed up in his dress, being famously scruffy. In 1886, while he was Prime Minister, he was refused entry to the casino at Monte Carlo because he was thought to be a tramp. He ended his political life as a short-sighted, senile laughing-stock, with the nation's Prime Minister being unable to recognise his own children.


John Wilkes (1727- 1797)

One of the most colourful characters ever to enter British politics, Wilkes is almost a personal hero of mine. We'll deal with that "almost" later. An ugly little man with a hideous squint, he compensated for his looks with lightning wit and a formidable talent with words that allowed him to charm his way into beds.
His early life was "relatively" quiet, in that he chose to spend most of his time participating in orgiastic and heretical rituals with the Hellfire Club. In that setting, his anarchic sense of humour was given free rein- this culminated with a prank he played on another Hellfire member, Lord Sandwich. During an everyday attempt to summon Satan, Wilkes sneaked the Hellfire Club's pet baboon into the chamber, and set it loose on Sandwich who (believing he had been seized by the Devil) passed a bowel motion consisting of raw, solid fear. This sparked off a long-running feud between the pair, typified by the following exchange between them-

Sandwich- "You, Sir, will die either on the gallows or from the pox!"
Wilkes- "That would depend on whether I embrace your Lordship's principles or your mistress."

When he wasn't taking part in heretical debauchery, he tended to pass his time publishing porn. By far his most famous example was a bawdy parody of Pope's "Essay on Man", entitled "Essay on Woman". The 94-line poem opens with...

"Awake my Fanny! Leave all meaner things:
This morn shall prove what rapture swiving brings!"
...and ends with...
"Hope humbly then clean Girls; nor vainly soar ;
But **** the **** at hand, and God adore.
What future ****s he gives not thee to know,
But gives that **** to be thy Blessing now."
OK, it's not "Hamlet", is it? It's much better.

Becoming unaccountably bored with porn and Satanism, Wilkes took the obvious career progression and decided to become a politician. His first attempt to get elected saw him bribe a ship's captain to take a ship-load of opposition voters to Norway rather than Berwick-upon-Tweed, but he still lost. His second attempt saw him spend the huge sum of £6,000 on bribes to get himself elected.
Entering Parliament in 1757, he quickly became a strident critic of Lord Bute and King George III and started publishing a satirical paper "The North Briton" to attack them. His attacks became more energetic when Lord Bute became Prime Minister. Issue 45 of "The North Briton" directly accused the King of lying on behalf of Bute in his speech to Parliament, and got him thrown into the Tower while his papers were publicly burned by the hangman. However, the rebellious Wilkes was becoming increasingly popular with the public, and the burning of "Issue 45" saw the hangman attacked by the crowd and most of the papers rescued to be freely distributed.
Wilkes was freed on the grounds of Parliamentary privilege, but was promptly charged with Obscene Libel for his "Essay on Woman" as well as Seditious Libel for "The North Briton" and expelled from Parliament (in favour of his defeated opponent, the vile Colonel Luttrell who appears earlier in this article).

He repeatedly stood for election, despite being an outlaw, and won every time due to his massive popular support- though each time the result was overturned by Parliament. The cry "Wilkes for liberty!" was commonly heard aired by the London Mob. Eventually he was arrested again and spent two years in prison. He stood successfully for Lord Mayor of London in 1774, and re-entered Parliament as a Radical the same year. He was the pioneering champion of the freedom of the press to report politics in whatever manner it chose.

So why isn't he a hero of mine? Because he proved to be the biggest sell-out in history. On re-entering Parliament, he freely admitted that his radical stance was purely adopted to win public support. He became increasing conservative, and in 1780 he brutally suppressed protestors in the Gordon Riots, causing the streets to run red with blood. The expression "Wilkes for Liberty!" became a joke, and his popular support disappeared leaving him a faded non-entity.


Sir Francis Dashwood (1708- 1781)

The Daddy. The unequalled, hell-raising, damn-your-eyes Daddy. Others may have been equally debauched, but none were quite so darned stylish about it.

Dashwood first entered public attention when he started his first "Grand Tour" of Europe. Being a charming and handsome man, with no discernable moral standards whatsover, he rogered his merry way from royal court to royal court, leaving scandal, broken marriages and the occasional duel in his wake. His alarmed tutor took him to a Good Friday scourging ceremony at the Sistine Chapel, in the hope of instilling some Christian values in his pupil. Dashwood reacted by wrestling a whip out of the hands of a priest and merrily thrashing the living daylights out of the panicking congregation, which fled screaming "Il diavalo!".

Impressed by that? Well he moved to Russia and entered the Russian Court pretending to be the King of Sweden. If you think that's impressive, bear in mind that Sweden was a long-time enemy of Russia at the time. If you that that's even more impressive, bear in mind that he managed to seduce the Tsarina Anna in the process. Now that's beyond impressive, isn't it?

Returning to England, he founded the Hellfire Club at Medmenham Abbey, enabling the great and good to spend pleasant evenings doing odd things to the rude bits of ladies while attempting to summon the occasional god or demon. While blind drunk, of course. Among the members were John Wilkes, Lord Sandwich (yes- inventor of the bread-based convenience food), the painter William Hogarth, Lord Bute (later Prime Minister), the Prince of Wales and (occasionally) Benjamin Franklin. In founding the Hellfire Club, Dashwood is hailed as the creator of what became modern Satanism, by marrying primitive heresies with the libertarian doctrines found in the works of Rabelais. "Do what thou will" was the motto of the order.

Dashwood had a formidable collection of porn, including the first ever English translation of the Kama Sutra (beating Sir Richard Burton by a century). His library was greatly appreciated by Lord Bute, who repaid the favour in 1762 by appointing Dashwood as Chancellor of the Exchequer. This was a curious appointment as Dashwood was notoriously for being useless with figures. By his own admission he was totally unable to even contemplate any sum over five figures, so placing him in charge of the nation's economy was never the brightest move Bute made.

His career in high office was brief- in 1763 he was forced to resign after he imposed a tax on cider that caused riots from enraged scrumpy drinkers. The Hellfire Club was also breaking up at this point, largely due to feuding sparked off by the antics of John Wilkes. Dashwood switched to the quieter life, and (somewhat astonishingly) produced a revised edition of the Book of Common Prayer with his lifelong friend, Benjamin Franklin. He died in 1781, leaving the bulk of his estate to one of his illegitimate daughters.

The experts are still divided as to whether Dashwood was a "real" Satanist or not. Personally, I get the impression he was just doing it for laugh. I heartily recommend the same approach be taken to every faith- the world would be a happier place for sure.
 

Dann

Green bug
Joined
Feb 24, 2004
Messages
4,179
Location
Shenzhen, China
:lol: :rotfl:

Yeah. :goodjob:

Good to see you back. :clap:
 

Illustrious

Becoming Colonel Blimp
Joined
Dec 14, 2002
Messages
596
Location
Wolverhampton, no longer wandering
Excellent as ever!

One minor typo: I think you'll find Mackreth was a billiard-marker (a well-known trade of the time, frequently combined with waiting) as opposed to a billiard-maker...
 

Keshik

TJ's Daddy
Joined
Mar 19, 2004
Messages
706
Location
Kentucky
Finally, a Kafka2 fix. Ahhhhh.
 

Rambuchan

The Funky President
Joined
Feb 10, 2005
Messages
13,560
Location
London, England
Great detail and wit Kafka! Your writing really does bring the characters alive, and that's thanks in the main to the hilariously heavy bias. I wish more history books just 'fessed up' and told it like they wanted to, rather than pretending to do otherwise.
and set it loose on Sandwich who (believing he had been seized by the Devil) passed a bowel motion consisting of raw, solid fear.
:lol: Loved it.

It is so right of you to point out how many absolute characters Britain has had ruling it. Astounding the audacity and loony factor represented by the individuals in your article. There are so many more too! And you are even more right to point out what great cures for insomnia our current political characters are. It seems the old healthy & safety syndrome has extended to political entertainment too. They just don't make PM's Question Times like they used to. :shakehead
 

Verbose

Deity
Joined
May 17, 2004
Messages
11,589
Location
Sweden / France
Hillarious!:lol:

And I'd love to get a source on Dashwood impersonating the king of Sweden! Please?
(When was this? Was it Fredrik I or Adolf Fredrik he pretended to be?)

I'd like to see if I can find any diplo aggro over this.
(Maybe none? After all, Swedish count Axel von Fersen knocked Marie Antionette up, and France and Sweden were as chummy as ever, despite the birth of the "Duke of Normandy".)

Not wanting to rob Dashwood of any of his seedy glory, but rogering 18th c. royalty was a lot less difficult than laying into their 19th c. counterparts.:D
 

Illustrious

Becoming Colonel Blimp
Joined
Dec 14, 2002
Messages
596
Location
Wolverhampton, no longer wandering
On the subject of not-so-honourable Members:

Kafka, it would be great to see your inimitable style let loose on Horatio Bottomley...
 

Kafka2

Whale-raping abomination
Joined
Oct 30, 2001
Messages
1,204
Verbose said:
Hillarious!:lol:

And I'd love to get a source on Dashwood impersonating the king of Sweden! Please?
(When was this? Was it Fredrik I or Adolf Fredrik he pretended to be?)

This is where Dashwood's sense of humour (or ignorance) is revealed. It was Charles XII, who had died ten years earlier.
 

Xen

Magister
Joined
Feb 10, 2003
Messages
16,004
Location
Formosa
very good, as always with the wonderfully bad filth series ;) :D

just curious- knwo anythign about the dirty pirates of enlands past- true you expect them to be dirty... and I imagine they must have some interesting stories to tell because fo it ;)
 

Kafka2

Whale-raping abomination
Joined
Oct 30, 2001
Messages
1,204
Most of the pirates were actually quite dull. In one of my past articles I did cover the one who went on to become Archbishop of York.
 

YNCS

Ex-bubblehead
Joined
Feb 16, 2003
Messages
3,098
Location
-4 GMT
I don't think that Salisbury belongs on that list. Whatever his other faults were, he wasn't a libertine and certainly not a satanist. He was also a fairly successful Foreign Secretary and Prime Minister. He was not a laughing stock as a politician. BTW, his nephew, Arthur Balfour, was also Foreign Secretary and Prime Minister.
 

Kafka2

Whale-raping abomination
Joined
Oct 30, 2001
Messages
1,204
Salisbury was a senile old anachronism, particularly in his final term- and he was pilloried mercilessly by political cartoonist for hidebound opposition to progress. He certainly wasn't all bad (he made strenuous attempts to stop Ottoman massacres of the Kurds, for example), but then others on that list weren't all bad either. In fact, some were great.

This isn't a "who's worst" list. It's just using eccentricities for entertainment.
 

Rambuchan

The Funky President
Joined
Feb 10, 2005
Messages
13,560
Location
London, England
Regarding Filthy English Pirates, Mercenaries and Absconders: How about Thomas 'Diamond' Pitt?

This man was the father of Pitt (the Elder) and Grandfather of Pitt (the Younger), both held the positions of Foreign Minister and also Prime Minister.
"The supreme interloper was Thomas Pitt, the son of a Dorset clergyman, who entered the serice of the East India Company, in 1673. On reaching India, Pitt simply absconded and began buying goods and shipping them back to England on his own account. The Court of the Company insisted that Pitt return home, denouncing him as 'a desperate fellow of a haughty, huffing, daring temper that would not stick at doing any mischief that lay in his power.'

But Pitt blithely ignored these requests. Indeed, he went into business with the company's chief officer in the Bay of Bengal, Mattias Vincent, whose neice he married. faced with a lawsuit, Pitt settled with the Company by paying a fine of £400, which by now was small beer to him."
"The notorious 'drain' of capital from India to Britain had begun.

It was a tradition that went back to the days of Thomas Pitt and before. In 1701, while Governor of Madras, Pitt had come across the perfect way to remit his gains to England. 'My grand affair,' he called it, 'my great concern, my all, the finest jewell in the world.'

At the time, the Pitt Diamond was the largest the world had ever seen, weighing some 410 carats; when cut it was valued at £125,000. Pitt never revealed the full story of how he came by it (almost certainly it came from the Mughal Emperor's mines at Golconda, though Pitt denies this). In any event, he later sold it to the Prince Regent of France, who incorporated it into the French crown. But the jewel literally made his name: henceforth he was known as 'Diamond Pitt'."
"Clive too sent his gains back back to England in the form of diamonds."
 
Top Bottom