Parliamentary Elections Act 1695

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The Parliamentary Elections Act 1695 [n 1]
Coat of Arms of England (1694-1702).svg
Long title An Act for the further regulating Elections of Members to serve in Parliament and for the preventing irregular Proceedings of Sheriffs and other Officers in the electing and returning such Members. [n 2]
Citation 7 & 8 Will 3 c 25
Status: Repealed
Revised text of statute as amended

The Parliamentary Elections Act 1695 (7 & 8 Will 3 c 25) was an Act of the Parliament of England regulating elections to the English House of Commons.

Parliament of England historic legislature of the Kingdom of England

The Parliament of England was the legislature of the Kingdom of England, existing from the early 13th century until 1707, when it merged with the Parliament of Scotland to become the Parliament of Great Britain after the political union of England and Scotland created the Kingdom of Great Britain.

Unreformed House of Commons

"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.

Contents

Provisions

Section 3 of the Act required that an election to a county constituency had to take place at the county court, and that the court had to be held at the place where it had most often been held in the preceding forty years (in effect, at the county town). This was to prevent an electoral abuse where the county sheriff held the election at a place more convenient for voters favourable to one of the candidates.

County court

A county court is a court based in or with a jurisdiction covering one or more counties, which are administrative divisions within a country, not to be confused with the medieval system of county courts held by the high sheriff of each county.

A county town in Great Britain or Ireland is usually, but not always, the location of administrative or judicial functions within the county. The concept of a county town is ill-defined and unofficial. Following the establishment of county councils in 1889, the administrative headquarters of the new authorities were usually located in the county town of each county. However, this was not always the case and the idea of a "county town" pre-dates the establishment of these councils. For example, Lancaster is the county town of Lancashire but the county council is located at Preston.

A high sheriff is a ceremonial officer for each shrieval county of England and Wales and Northern Ireland or the chief sheriff of a number of paid sheriffs in U.S. states who outranks and commands the others in their court-related functions. In Canada, the High Sheriff provides administrative services to the supreme and provincial courts.

Section 6 sought to prevent faggot voters by requiring that the a voter's forty shilling freehold was a bona fide holding and not a temporary conveyance.

A faggot voter or faggot was a person who qualified to vote in an election with a restricted suffrage only by the exploitation of loopholes in the regulations. Typically, faggot voters satisfied a property qualification by holding the title to a subdivision of a large property with a single beneficial owner. Faggot voting was a common electoral abuse in the United Kingdom until the electoral reforms of the late 19th century. Faggot voting was abolished by the Representation of the People Act 1884.

In law, conveyancing is the transfer of legal title of real property from one person to another, or the granting of an encumbrance such as a mortgage or a lien. A typical conveyancing transaction has two major phases: the exchange of contracts and completion.

Section 7 established the minimum voting age and age of candidacy as 21, which was the age of majority under common law. Underage MPs were seldom unseated before the Reform Act 1832: Vicount Jocelyn was 18 in 1806. [1] [2]

A voting age is a minimum age established by law that a person must attain before they become eligible to vote in a public election. Today, the most common voting age is 18 years; however, voting ages as low as 16 and as high as 25 currently exist. Most countries have set a minimum voting age, often set in their constitution. In a number of countries voting is compulsory for those eligible to vote, while in most it is optional.

Age of candidacy is the minimum age at which a person can legally qualify to hold certain elected government offices. In many cases, it also determines the age at which a person may be eligible to stand for an election or be granted ballot access.

The age of majority is the threshold of adulthood as recognized or declared in law. It is the moment when minors cease to be considered such and assume legal control over their persons, actions, and decisions, thus terminating the control and legal responsibilities of their parents or guardian over them. Most countries set the age of majority at 18. The word majority here refers to having greater years and being of full age as opposed to minority, the state of being a minor. The law in a given jurisdiction may not actually use the term "age of majority". The term typically refers to a collection of laws bestowing the status of adulthood. The age of majority does not necessarily correspond to the mental or physical maturity of an individual.

Section 8 provided that polling in Yorkshire, previously begun on a Monday, should instead begin on Wednesday. This was from a sabbatarian desire to prevent voters travelling on Sunday to the polling place.

Yorkshire was a constituency of the House of Commons of the Parliament of England from 1290, 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 Members of Parliament, traditionally known as Knights of the Shire, until 1826, when the county benefited from the disfranchisement of Grampound by taking an additional two members.

Section 9 provided that the poll for Hampshire would be taken first at Winchester and then, after an adjournment, at Newport for the convenience of voters on the Isle of Wight.

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.

Winchester city in Hampshire, England

Winchester is a city and the county town of Hampshire, England. The city lies at the heart of the wider City of Winchester, a local government district, and is located at the western end of the South Downs National Park, along the course of the River Itchen. It is situated 60 miles (97 km) south-west of London and 13.6 miles (21.9 km) from Southampton, its closest city. At the time of the 2011 Census, Winchester had a population of 45,184. The wider City of Winchester district which includes towns such as Alresford and Bishop's Waltham has a population of 116,800.

Newport, Isle of Wight county town of the Isle of Wight

Newport is a civil parish and the county town of the Isle of Wight, an island off the south coast of England. The civil parish had a population of 23,957 at the time of the 2001 census, which rose to 25,496 at the 2011 census. The town lies slightly to the north of the centre of the Island. It has a quay at the head of the navigable section of the River Medina, which flows northward to Cowes and the Solent.

Repeal

Some of the Act was implicitly repealed by the Reform Act 1832.

The whole Act except section 7 was, and in section 7 the words from the beginning of the section to "any future parliament" where those words first occurred were, repealed by section 80(7) of, and Schedule 13 to, the Representation of the People Act 1948.

Section 7 was repealed by sections 17(7)(a) and 74(2) of, and Schedule 2 to, the Electoral Administration Act 2006.

The whole Act was repealed for the Republic of Ireland by the Electoral Act 1963. [3]

Footnotes

  1. The citation of this Act by this short title was authorised by section 5 of, and Schedule 2 to, the Statute Law Revision Act 1948. Due to the repeal of those provisions, it is now authorised by section 19(2) of the Interpretation Act 1978.
  2. These words are printed against this Act in the second column of Schedule 2 to the Statute Law Revision Act 1948, which is headed "Title".

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References

  1. "House of Commons 1790-1820: III. The Members". History of Parliament Online. 1986. Retrieved 8 May 2015.
  2. "The House of Commons 1754-1790: III. The Members". History of Parliament Online. 1964. Retrieved 8 May 2015.
  3. "English Statutes Affected: 1695". Irish Statute Book . Retrieved 20 November 2013.