Petersfield is a town on the main road between Portsmouth and London in the county of Hampshire, with a population of around 13,000. It is 18 miles North of the port of Portsmouth and 58 miles South of London. In the 1700 & 1800's it was an important coaching and market town. Before the Reform Act of 1832 it was one of the "rotten boroughs", where the two parliamentary representatives of the borough were elected by a very small number of the residents. Only householders and landowners were permitted to vote, and their vote could easily be 'bought' by the person standing for parliament. In Petersfield, the family that controlled the seat was the Jolliffe family. It was Sir William Jolliffe who commissioned the statue of William III on horseback in the 1750's, and it was erected in front of Petersfield House, his residence. This house was in the area between what is now St Peter's Road and the High Street, opposite where the old Police station used to be (now Petersfield Museum). Further information about Petersfield and the statue of King William III HERE.
I have used the British Newspaper Archives to research anything that was published about Petersfield from 1724 to January 1859 so far and show the results in the following :—
Petersfield in the Newspapers Blog
I have highlighted those entries that are more significant, especially where the Jolliffe family are concerned and where the story of the "Rotten Borough" is concerned.
* I have added a light brown background to all the extracts having to do with the Rotten Borough.
* I have added a light blue background to those extracts to do with the tragic events for Admiral Byng.
* I have added a pale pink background to some of the extracts involving the Jolliffe family.
* I have also outlined in orange some of the "more interesting claims" of advertisements of the time!