|Long title||An Act to amend the representation of the people in Ireland|
|Citation||2 & 3 Will. 4. c. 88|
|Repealed by||Electoral Act 1963|
|Relates to||Parliamentary Boundaries (Ireland) Act 1832, Reform Act 1832, Scottish Reform Act 1832|
The Representation of the People (Ireland) Act, 1832, commonly called the Irish Reform Act 1832, was an Act of Parliament that introduced wide-ranging changes to the election laws of Ireland. The act was passed at approximately the same time as the Reform Act 1832, which applied to England and Wales. The chief architects of the act were Francis Jeffrey and Henry Cockburn.
The Representation of the People Act 1832 was an Act of Parliament of the United Kingdom that introduced wide-ranging changes to the electoral system of England and Wales. According to its preamble, the Act was designed to "take effectual Measures for correcting divers Abuses that have long prevailed in the Choice of Members to serve in the Commons House of Parliament". Before the reform, most members nominally represented boroughs. The number of electors in a borough varied widely, from a dozen or so up to 12,000. Frequently the selection of MPs was effectively controlled by one powerful patron: for example Charles Howard, 11th Duke of Norfolk, controlled eleven boroughs. Criteria for qualification for the franchise varied greatly among boroughs, from the requirement to own land, to merely living in a house with a hearth sufficient to boil a pot.
England and Wales is a legal jurisdiction covering England and Wales, two of the four countries of the United Kingdom. ’England and Wales’ forms the constitutional successor to the former Kingdom of England and follows a single legal system, known as English law.
Francis Jeffrey, Lord Jeffrey was a Scottish judge and literary critic.
From 1 January 1801, Ireland had been represented in the House of Commons by 100 members. Each of the thirty-two counties returned two MPs as did the Boroughs of Dublin City, County Dublin and Cork City, County Cork. Thirty-one other Boroughs and Dublin University sent one MP to Westminster.
Dublin City was an Irish Borough constituency in the House of Commons of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland. It comprised the city of Dublin in the county of Dublin, and was represented by two Members of Parliament from its creation in 1801 until 1885.
Cork City was a parliamentary constituency in Ireland, represented in the Parliament of the United Kingdom. From 1880 to 1922 it returned two members of parliament (MPs) to the House of Commons of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland. From 1922 it was not represented in the UK Parliament, as it was no longer in the UK.
The 1832 legislation slightly changed some boundaries of Borough constituencies. More significantly it conferred a second seat on the Boroughs of Belfast, County Antrim; Galway Borough, County Galway; Limerick City, County Limerick and Waterford, County Waterford as well as Dublin University. The total number of seats in Ireland was therefore increased to 105.
Belfast was an Irish Borough constituency in the House of Commons of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland. Comprising the city of Belfast, it elected one Member of Parliament (MP) from 1801 to 1832, and then two MPs from 1832 until the constituency was divided for the 1885 general election.
Galway Borough was a United Kingdom Parliament constituency, in Ireland. It returned one MP 1801–1832, two MPs 1832–1885 and one thereafter. It was an original constituency represented in Parliament when the Union of Great Britain and Ireland took effect on 1 January 1801.
Limerick City was a United Kingdom Parliament constituency, in Ireland. It returned one MP 1801–1832, two MPs 1832–1885 and one thereafter. It was an original constituency represented in Parliament when the Union of Great Britain and Ireland took effect on 1 January 1801. It ceased to be represented in the United Kingdom Parliament in 1922.
From 1801–29 the possession of freehold land worth at least 40 shillings (£2) conferred a county vote, as in England and Wales in this period. Catholics, who had been permitted to qualify as Irish voters only since 1793, were excluded from serving in Parliament until 1829. When further Catholic emancipation in 1829 allowed Roman Catholics to sit in Parliament, a more restrictive county franchise was introduced simultaneously, requiring possession of freehold land worth at least £10 (a fivefold increase from the previous 40 shillings), as the qualification for a county vote.
Catholic emancipation or Catholic relief was a process in the kingdoms of Great Britain and Ireland, and later the combined United Kingdom in the late 18th century and early 19th century, that involved reducing and removing many of the restrictions on Roman Catholics introduced by the Act of Uniformity, the Test Acts and the penal laws. Requirements to abjure (renounce) the temporal and spiritual authority of the pope and transubstantiation placed major burdens on Roman Catholics.
In English law, a fee simple or fee simple absolute is an estate in land, a form of freehold ownership. It is a way that real estate and land may be owned in common law countries, and is the highest possible ownership interest that can be held in real property. Allodial title is reserved to governments under a civil law structure. The rights of the fee simple owner are limited by government powers of taxation, compulsory purchase, police power, and escheat, and it could also be limited further by certain encumbrances or conditions in the deed, such as, for example, a condition that required the land to be used as a public park, with a reversion interest in the grantor if the condition fails; this is a fee simple conditional.
£sd is the popular name for the pre-decimal currencies once common throughout Europe, especially in the British Isles and hence in several countries of the British Empire and subsequently the Commonwealth. The abbreviation originates from the Latin currency denominations librae, solidi, and denarii. In the United Kingdom, which was one of the last to abandon the system, these were referred to as pounds, shillings, and pence.
The 1832 legislation left the Irish county electorate much the same, but some new qualifications added to the electorate. From 1832 the qualifications were £10 freeholders, leaseholders for lives and copyholders of estates of £10, leaseholders for at least 60 years and the assignees of the same or leaseholders for at least 14 years of £20 estates.
Before 1832 each Borough constituency had its own qualification for voting. In some, only the members of the corporation (the Borough Council) had the vote. In others a wider group of freemen and 40 shilling freeholders could vote.
The number of Borough voters before the Reform Acts varied considerably. A by-election took place in Bandon, County Cork. On 22 July 1831, the by-election was decided by only 11 voters (divided 5, 4 and 2 amongst three candidates). A by-election was held for the two seats of Dublin City, County Dublin, on 18 August 1832. It involved 4,550 votes (each voter could cast one or two votes as they pleased). This last vote was the final pre-reformed Parliamentary election in Ireland.
Bandon was a Parliamentary constituency covering the town of Bandon in County Cork, Ireland. From 1801 to 1885 it elected one Member of Parliament (MP) to the House of Commons of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland.
In 1832 the Irish Boroughs were given a more uniform franchise. In addition to those who qualified under the previous rules, all occupiers of property worth at least £10 and resident freemen by birth or servitude became electors. The freemen were members of trade guilds, either because they had inherited membership or because they had served an apprenticeship to become members.
The franchise for the University had been held by the provost, fellows and scholars of Trinity College, Dublin. From 1832, all University of Dublin graduates holding MA degrees could vote.
The University of Dublin, corporately designated the Chancellor, Doctors and Masters of the University of Dublin, is a university located in Dublin, Ireland. It is the degree awarding body for Trinity College Dublin. It was founded in 1592 when Queen Elizabeth I issued a charter for Trinity College as "the mother of a university", thereby making it Ireland's oldest operating university. It was modelled after the collegiate universities of Oxford and of Cambridge, but unlike these other ancient universities, only one college was established; as such, the designations "Trinity College" and "University of Dublin" are usually synonymous for practical purposes.
The introduction of electoral registration in Ireland in 1832 confirms that there continued to be considerable differences in electorates after the Reform legislation. The range in number of registered voters was as follows.
County constituencies (2 seats each):
Passed the same day as the Irish Reform Act was the Parliamentary Boundaries (Ireland) Act, 1832 (2 & 3 Will 4 c.89, long title "An Act to settle and describe the Limits of Cities Towns and Boroughs in Ireland in so far as respects the Election of Members to serve in Parliament") which specified the limits of the remaining borough constituencies.
Knight of the shire was the formal title for a member of parliament (MP) representing a county constituency in the British House of Commons, from its origins in the medieval Parliament of England until the Redistribution of Seats Act 1885 ended the practice of each county forming a single constituency. The corresponding titles for other MPs were burgess in a borough constituency and baron for a Cinque Ports constituency. Knights of the shire had more prestige than burgesses, and sitting burgesses often stood for election for the shire in the hope of increasing their standing in Parliament.
"Unreformed House of Commons" is a name given to the House of Commons of Great Britain and the House of Commons of the United Kingdom before it was reformed by the Reform Act 1832.
Forty-shilling freeholders were a group of people who had the parliamentary franchise to vote by possessing freehold property, or lands held directly of the king, of an annual rent of at least forty shillings, clear of all charges.
Derbyshire is a former United Kingdom Parliamentary constituency. It was a constituency of the House of Commons of the Parliament of England then of the Parliament of Great Britain from 1707 to 1800 and of the Parliament of the United Kingdom from 1801 to 1832. It was represented by two Knights of the Shire.
Cork City was a constituency represented in the Irish House of Commons to 1800.
Newton was a parliamentary borough in the county of Lancashire, in England. It was represented by two Members of Parliament in the House of Commons of the Parliament of England from 1559 to 1706 then of the Parliament of Great Britain from 1707 to 1800 and of the Parliament of the United Kingdom from 1801 until its abolition in 1832.
West Riding of Yorkshire was a parliamentary constituency in England from 1832 to 1865. It returned two Members of Parliament (MPs) to the House of Commons of the Parliament of the United Kingdom.
New Shoreham, sometimes simply called Shoreham, was a parliamentary borough centred on the town of Shoreham-by-Sea in what is now West Sussex. It returned two Members of Parliament (MPs) to the House of Commons of England from 1295 to 1707, then to then House of Commons of Great Britain until 1800, and finally to the House of Commons of the Parliament of the United Kingdom from 1801 until it was abolished by the Redistribution of Seats Act 1885, with effect from the 1885 general election.
Durham or County Durham was a county constituency in northern England, which elected two Members of Parliament (MPs) to the House of Commons from 1675 until 1832.
Lincolnshire was a county constituency of the Parliament of the United Kingdom, which returned two Members of Parliament (MP) to the House of Commons from 1290 until 1832.
Hampshire was a county constituency of the Parliament of the United Kingdom, which returned two Knights of the Shire to the House of Commons from 1295 until 1832.
Kent was a parliamentary constituency covering the county of Kent in southeast England. It returned two "knights of the shire" to the House of Commons by the bloc vote system from the year 1290. Members were returned to the Parliament of England until the Union with Scotland created the Parliament of Great Britain in 1708, and to the Parliament of the United Kingdom after the union with Ireland in 1801 until the county was divided by the Reform Act 1832.
Hertfordshire was a county constituency covering the county of Hertfordshire in England. It returned two Knights of the Shire to the House of Commons of England until 1707, then to the House of Commons of Great Britain until 1800, and to the House of Commons of the Parliament of the United Kingdom from 1800 until 1832. The Reform Act 1832 gave the county a third seat with effect from the 1832 general election.
Breconshire or Brecknockshire was a constituency in Wales which returned one Member of Parliament to the House of Commons of the English Parliament, and later to the Parliament of Great Britain and of the United Kingdom, between 1542 and 1918.
Suffolk was a county constituency of the Parliament of the United Kingdom, which returned two Members of Parliament (MPs) to the House of Commons from 1290 until 1832, when it was split into two divisions.