Support 100 years of independent journalism.

  1. Politics
16 July 2015

The Returning Officer: Illustrations

“The free and independent man for free and independent men.”  

By Stephen Brasher

In 1892, the most costly votes were acquired in St Pancras North by John Leighton; taking into account his expenses, his 35 votes cost him £12, 18 shillings and ten pence each. He finished third behind the Liberal Thomas Bolton, who had regained the seat in 1890, when Leighton had polled 29 votes, describing himself as “the free and independent man for free and independent men”.

Leighton was one of the best-known book illustrators of his day. He was involved in setting up the Graphic, a rival to the Illustrated London News. In 1894, he wrote to the Standard about copyright in photography, unhappy it had the same protection “as a work of high art”, and argued: “The right to one’s face is a subject that should be investigated.”

Sign up for The New Statesman’s newsletters Tick the boxes of the newsletters you would like to receive. Quick and essential guide to domestic and global politics from the New Statesman's politics team. A weekly newsletter helping you fit together the pieces of the global economic slowdown. The New Statesman’s global affairs newsletter, every Monday and Friday. The best of the New Statesman, delivered to your inbox every weekday morning. The New Statesman’s weekly environment email on the politics, business and culture of the climate and nature crises - in your inbox every Thursday. Our weekly culture newsletter – from books and art to pop culture and memes – sent every Friday. A weekly round-up of some of the best articles featured in the most recent issue of the New Statesman, sent each Saturday. A newsletter showcasing the finest writing from the ideas section and the NS archive, covering political ideas, philosophy, criticism and intellectual history - sent every Wednesday. Sign up to receive information regarding NS events, subscription offers & product updates.

Content from our partners
How to create a responsible form of “buy now, pay later”
“Unions are helping improve conditions for drivers like me”
Transport is the core of levelling up