The nomination took place on the Cornhill, on Friday, 12th July 1839, when three waggons had been provided in front of the Town Hall, by the Mayor and the Town Clerk plus an area for the press. By ten o’clock, the Cornhill was crowded with people. The blues mustered in great numbers in front of the Old Assembly Rooms and marching with their band playing “Hurrah for the Bonnets of Blue,” were the first to take possession of the hustings. When Sir Thomas John Cochrane appeared on the hustings, he was received with the most enthusiastic cheering. Mr. Thomas Milner Gibson and his party mustered in the street in front of the Suffolk Hotel, and at eleven o’clock marched to their hustings.
When Mr. Gibson appeared on the hustings he was assailed with shouts from the Blues of “No turncoats, you kangaroo.” Mr. Gibson also had to endure a man in a coat of blue on the inside and yellow on the outside and another man hoisting a large pole with a cap and a hangman’s halter in front of the pale Mr. Gibson’s face.
Stale eggs were thrown from both the Blues and the Yellows and from the crowd. The gentlemen on both hustings were hit by the stale egg missiles, including the Mayor! Mr. Gibson being literally covered with the odour from the smelly eggs. Silence could not be had as the Precept and the Bribery Act were read and as each gentleman came forward to speak all that could really be heard were hisses and groans, cheering and applause, laughter and the calling out of insults….and more showers of eggs.
The Mayor, George Sampson fixed the following morning at eight o’clock for the poll to open, and to close finally at four o’clock. The two parties then moved off the Cornhill in the order in which they had arrived.
The votes for the Freemen were recorded as usual at the Town Hall, where the Mayor presided. The poll for the new Constituency were taken in six districts, wide apart from each other. The declaration of the numbers, by the Mayor, George Sampson will take place on Monday next, at half past ten o’clock.
DECLARATION OF THE POLL
Both parties assembled in great numbers at the Town Hall, on Monday morning, at nine o’clock, and the poll books having been cast up, the Mayor, George Sampson declared the numbers to be:
For Sir Thomas John Cochrane – Conservative – 621
For Mr. Thomas Milner Gibson – Liberal – 615.
Majority for Sir Thomas Cochrane – 6.
Sir Thomas Cochrane returned his heartfelt thanks for the honour he had received at the hands of the electors and assured them that he would in every way endeavour to prove himself worthy of their confidence. Mr. Thomas Gibson then presented himself, but the uproar was so tremendous, that not a word could be heard. George Sampson decided that he had enough and was desirous of breathing some fresh air, he therefore declared the meeting dissolved. Mr. Arthur Bott Cook seconded the motion to loud cheers.
The Mayor George Sampson had never uttered one syllable during the contest. It had been his endeavour to act with the strictest impartiality.