Leeds Parliamentary Election Results
1857 - 5th June - by-election
G. S. Beecroft (Conservative) 2,070
J. R. Mills (Liberal) 2,064
The by-election was called only two months after Robert Hall’s election. Hall, who had been for years a major Conservative figure in the town, died after a short illness. His statue flanks the back entrance to the Town Hall. In view of the accident in the March election, at the nomination declarations on Woodhouse Moor, between 10,000 and 20,000 gathered but all music, banners and favours had been banned. The hustings were said to be constructed ‘with great strength.’ The election coincided with a general holiday in Leeds.
Voting was brisk all day but reached fever pitch after 3pm until the polls closed at 4pm. Skirrow Beecroft of Kirkstall, though a devout Anglican, endorsed the rights of Dissenters, believed in state education as opposed to the voluntaryists and supported the Government’s prosecution of the war with China. He eventually registered a six vote majority, the smallest recorded to date in the town. The closeness of the contest was echoed in the wards where in West Ward Beecroft’s majority was 2 and in one station in Hunslet and Beeston, Mills registered a majority of 3.