Trash

Winthrop Mackworth Praed paid £1,000 to be elected MP for St Germans (1830-32). He ran in St Ives in 1832 but was defeated by James Halse, and wrote a pamphlet of poems called Trash, dedicated “with no respect” to his opponent. Halse had paid for many houses to be built in the area (still known as Halsetown) which were ready just in time for the contest. Praed’s nephew Sir George Young collected his political poems but omitted Trash as being of “a slight and local character”.

Praed, a Whig-turned-Tory, later sat for Great Yarmouth (1835-37) and Aylesbury (from 1837), and died of consumption in 1839. His poem “The Old Whig” pokes gentle fun at his old affiliation: “Sir Felix Froth we must admit,/A moderate Whig of moderate wit,/He sips his wine, he taps his box/And lauds the memory of Fox.”