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By sect. 1o5, copies of the registers of contracts shall be good evidence (2) Electors of such contracts.
for Counties, And by the 53 Geo. III. c. 123, s. 36, the like evidence applies to registers of certificates; and no certificate, or any copy of the register thereof, to be liable to any stamp
By the 51 Geo. III. c. 99, s. 1, reciting that, by the 42 Geo. III. c. 116, s. 154, purchasers of land-tax charged upon manors, messuages, lands, tenements, and hereditainents, are, by virtue of that act, adjudged, deemed, and taken to be in the actual seisin and possession of yearly reuts, or sums, as fee-farm rents, equal in amount to the land-lax só purchased by them, to be issuing and payable out of the manors, messuages, lands, tenements, and bereditaments, whereon the land-tax so purchased was charged; and that no person is allowed by law to vote for electing any member of parliament, in respect of any annuity, fee-farm rent, or rent-charge, without the same being first duly registered in manner directed by law; and that doubts had arisen whether any person could vote at an election for a member of parliament in respect of any land-tax so purchased as aforesaid, without the same or some memorial of the contract or certificate for such purchase being first registered in the same manner as other fee-farm rents, rentcharges, and annuities or memorials of the grant thereof, required to be registered as aforesaid: it is enacted, that in order to entitle any person to vote at an election for a member of parliament, in respect of land-tax so purchased as aforesaid, it shall not be necessary to have the same or any memorial of the contract or certificate of the purchase thereof registered, as otber fee-farm rents and annuities, or a memorial of the grant thereof, are required by law to be registered, before any person can vote for electing a member of parliament in respect thereof.
By the 3 Geo. III. c. 24, s. 1, no persons shall vote for electing a knight Annuitants and of a shire, or member for a city or town, being a county of itself, in respect leaseholders, of any annuity or rent-charge granted before June 1, 1763, unless a certifieate upon oath shall have been entered with the clerk of the peace or townclerk twelve months before the election, as follows:I, A. B., of
am really and bona fide seised of an annuity or rentcharge, for my own use and benefit, of the clear yearly ralue of 40s., above all rents and charges payable out of the same, wholly issuing out of freehold lands, tenements, or hereditaments, belonging to C. D., of , situate, lying, and bring, in the parish, township, or place, or in the parishes, townships, or places, of E., in the county of , without any trust, agreement, matter, or thing, to the contrary notri hslanding; and I, or the person or persons under whom I clain, ses or were seised of the said annuity or rent-charge before the first day of June, 1763
S CL 2. And a like certificate shall be entered (mutatis mutandis) where such rent-charge came by descent, marriage, devise, or promotion tu a benefice or office.
Sect. 3. And no person shall vote at such election in respect of any Memorial of the anouity or rent-charge granted after June !, 1763, unless a memorial of grant of an anthe grant of such annuity or rent-charge shall have been registered with nuity to be rethe clerk of the peace or iown-clerk, twelve calendar months at least before gistered. the first day of such election ; which memorial shall be written on parchiment, and directed to the clerk of the peace or lown-clerk, and shall be under the band and seal of the grantor, and attested by two witnesses, one slereof to be one of the witnesses to the execution of such grant; which sitness shall, upon oath before such clerk, prove the sealing and delivery of the grant, and the signing and sealing of the memorial.
Sect. 3. The said memorial shall contain the day and year of the date and the names, additions, and abodes of the parties and witnesses, and all the lands and tenements out of which the rent-charge issues, and the place e bere they lie.
Sect. 3. The grant shall, at the time of entering the memorial, be produced to such clerk of the peace or town-clerk, who shall indorse thereon a VOL. V.
Scotand lot voters.
(2.) Electors certificate, in which shall be mentioned the day and year on which such for Counties. memorial shall be entered.
Sect. 4. And no person shall vote by reason of an assignment of such annuity or rent-charge without like certificate, entry, and memorial of such grant and assignment, as in case of an original grant.
Sect. 5. The clerk of the peace or town-clerk to have for the entry of such certificate 1s., and of the memorial 2s.; for search thereof 1s., and for copies at the rate of 6d. for every two hundred words.
By the 26 Geo. III. c. 100, no person shall be admitted to vote at any election for any city or borough, as an inhabitant paying scot and lot, or an inhabitant, householder, housekeeper, and potwaller, legally settled, or resiant, or as an inhabitant thereof, unless he shall have been actually and bona fide an inhabitant within such city or borough for six calendar months previous to the day of election. [By the 2 Wil. IV. c. 45, s. 33, it must now be six months previous to the last day of July, and they must be duly registered pursuant to the provisions of that act;] and such vote shall be null and void, and he shall forfeit 201. to be recovered in the courts at Westminster within six months; but the same shall not extend to any person whu shall acquire the possession of any house in such city or borough by descent, devise, marriage, or marriage settlement, or promotion to any office or benefice. And this shall relate only to persons who claim to vote as inhabitants, in manner as aforesaid, and shall not extend to any other description of persons who may claim to vote by any other title, or by any
other superadded qualification. Bribery.
By the 7 & 8 Wil. III. c. 4, no candidate, after the teste of the writ of summons, or after a place becomes vacant in parliament time, shall, by himself, or by any other ways or means on his behalf, or at his charge before his election, directly or indirectly give, or promise to give, to any elector any money, meat, drink, provision, present, reward, or entertainment, to or for any such elector in particular, or to any county, city, town, borough, port, or place in general, in order to his being elected, on pain of being incapacitated.
By the 2 Geo. II. c. 24, s. 1, (which is required to be read by the returning officer immediately after reading the writ, and also at Easter sessions yearly for any county or city, and at every election of the chief magistrates in any borough, town corporate, or cinque port), every person, before he is admitted to poll, shall, if required by either of the candidates, or any two electors, take the following vath, to be administered by the returning officer or his deputy :
I, A. B., do swear [or, being one of the people called Quakers, “I, A. B., do solemnly affirm"] I have not received or had by myself, or any person whatsoever in trust for me, or for my use and benefit, directly or indirectly, any sum or sums of money, office, place, or employment, gift, or reward, or any promise or security for any money, office, employment, or gift, in order to give my vote at this election. [And that I have not before been polled at this election (a).]
If he refuse to take the oath, his vote may be rejected.
Sect. 7. If any person shall take any money, or other reward, or contract or agree for any money, gift, office, employment, or other reward, to give, or
forbear to give, his vote, he shall forfeit 5007. Offenders dis- Sect. 8. And if any person offending shall, within twelve months after covering others, such election, discover any other person or persons offending against this indemnified.
act, so that the party so discovered be thereupon convicted, such discoverer, not having been before convicted of any offence against this act, shall be indemnified and discharged from all penalties and disabilities which he shall have then incurred by any offence against this act.
(a) This constitutes one of the ques. hended veed not' now form part of the tions put to the elector, and it is appre. oath.
Sect. 11 provides, declares, and enacts, that no person shall be made liable (2.) Electors to any incapacity, disability, forfeiture, or penalty, by this act laid or imposed, for Counties. unless prosecution be commenced within two years after such incapacity, disability, forfeiture, or penalty, shall be incurred; or, in case of a prosecu- be within two
Prosecutions to tion, the same be carried on without wilful delay, any thing herein contained to the contrary notwithstanding.
Mr. Collyer has the following note on this statute:-Wherever a person Observations as is bound by law to act without any view to his own private emolument, and to bribery. another, by a corrupt contract, engages such person, on the condition of the payment or promise of money, or other lucrative consideration, to act in a manner which he shall prescribe, both parties are, by such contract, guilty of bribery. (2 Doug. Law of Elections, n.().) Bribery at elections for members of parliament was always a crime at common law, and consequently punishable by indictinent or information; but, in order to enforce the law, the severe penalties contained in this statute were introduced, the legislature not meaning to take away the common law crime, but to add a penal action, as appears by the words, or being otherwise lawfully convicted thereof, contained in the seventh section. However, the court will not, in ordinary cases, interpose by information at common law, until the two years are expired. (R. v. Pitt, 3 Burr. 1339; and see R. v. Haydon, 3 Burr. 1359.) The same incapacities ensue, upon a conviction, on a prosecution for bribery by way of information at common law, as when the proceeding is by an actiou under the statute.(4 Doug. L. E. 294.) For cases on the construction of this statute, see 1 Russ. 159; and see, on the construction of the eighth section, Sibley v. Cumming, 4 Burr. 2465; Curgenven v. Cumming, 4 Burr. 2304; Pugh v. Curgenren, 3 Wils. 35. It has been decided, that where a voter received money after an election, for having voted for a particular candidate, but no agreement for any such payment was proved to have been made before the election, the case was not within the statute. (Lord Huntinglover v. Gardiner, i B. & C. 297; 2 D. f R. 369, S. C.; see also Shep. 58.)"
To constitute the offence of bribery, it is immaterial whether the party vote according to the bribe or not, (Sulston v. Norton, 3 Burr. 1235,) or whether he bad even a right to vote at all, if he claimed such right, and the corrupter believed him to possess it. (Lilley v. Corne, 1 Selw. N. P. 650, n.)
At a general election, A. was returned, after a contest, to serre in parliament, but died before the next meeting of parliament; held, that immediately on his death the representation of that place “ became vacant,” within the meaning of the Treating Act, 7 & 8 Wil. III. c. 4; and that if B., being deither a candidate nor the agent of a candidate, canvassed for C., and ordered beer for the voters after such vacancy, this comes within the act, even though it were not proved that C. either knew of the canvass or of the treating; and it was therefore held, that an innkeeper could not recover agaiust B. for beer supplied to those voters by his order. The Treating Act extends to an unsuccessful candidate who did not come to the poll. (Ward 5. Nanney, 3 C. & P. 399.)
A mercer furnished ribands to a person who was a candidate for the representation of a city in parliament; the ribands were partly used as ribands for voters; the mercer was himself a voter, and received orders for some of the ribands from the candidate himself, in his committee-room, but was not told for what purpose they were wanted. Held, that he was entitled to recover the price of the riband from the candidate, notwithstanding the provisions of the 7 & 8 Wil. III. c. 4. (Richardson v. Webster, Bart., 3 C. & P. 128.)
In an action on this statute for bribery, it is no objection to the compe- Discoverer, tency of a witness for the plaintiff to prove such bribery, that a similar action though interested, was pending against the witness himself for bribery at the same election, and a competent witthat he claimed to be the first discoverer of the bribery of the defendant, and meant to avail bimself of it, if necessary, in case of the defendant's conviction. Where the evidence given by such a witness of the defendant's bribery was by means of the defendani's confession of it to the witness, it was holden that the truth of the fact so confessed, as well as the confession of
titled to vote ;
(2.) Electors such fact, was material for the consideration of the jury. (Heward v. Shipfor Counties. ley, 4 East, 180.) See further, post, 43, 55, as to expenses.
By the 7 & 8' Geo. IV. c. 37, s. 2, 3, passed to prevent the expenses of Giving ribands,
elections, the practice of giving ribands, or other marks of distinction, by a candidate before his election, either to voters or inhabitants, in England, is made penal in the sum of 101. for every offence.
See further, as to expenses, the 49 Geo. IV. c. 118, post, 55. Treating Voters. If refreshments be supplied to voters with a view to influence the elec
tion, and the credit be given to the candidate or his agent by the party supplying them, it is clearly bribery under this statute. But if they be supplied upon the credit of the candidate's supporters, not members of his committee, and without his knowledge or acquiescence, it is not within the act. (Hughes v. Marshall and Others, 2 Crom. f. J. 118, 5 C. & P. 150, S. C.)
In the case above cited, Patteson, J., observes, “ As many of the voters come from a distance, they must have accommodation and refreshment; and for that they must either themselves be liable, or any one else may be liable who gives the order, provided he be neither a candidate nor an agent." It would, however, be dangerous to rely upon this dictum too strictly, for a trifling outstretch of liberality might subject the party offending to severe penalties.
As to attempts to bribe, see “ Bribery,” Vol. I. Copybolders en By 2 Wil. IV. c. 45, sect. 19, “every male person of full age, and not sub
ject to any legal incapacity, who shall be seised at law or in equity of any lands or lenements of copyhold or any other tenure whatever except freehold, for his own life, or for the life of another, or for any lives whatsoever, or for any larger estate, of the clear yearly value of not less than ten pounds over and above all rents and charges payable out of or in respect of the same, shall be entitled to vote in the election of a knight or knights of the shire to serve in any future parliament for the county, or for the riding, parts, or division of the county, in which such lands or tenements shall be respectively situate."
See post, sect. 22, wh are not charges. also leaseholders By sect. 20,“ every male person full age, and not subject to any legal and occupiers of incapacity, who shall be entitled, either as lessee or assignee, to any lands or a certain annual tenements, whether of freehold or of any other tenure whatever, for the un
expired residue, whatever it may be, of any term originally created for a period of not less than sixty years (whether determinable on a life or lives, or not), of the clear yearly value of not less than ten pounds over and above all rents and charges payable out of or in respect of the same, or for the unexpired residue, whatever it may be, of any term originally created for a period of not less than twenty years (whether determinable on a life or lives, or noi), of the clear yearly value of not less than fifty pounds over and above all rents and charges payable out of or in respect of the same, or who shall occupy as tenant any lands or tenements for which he shall be bona fide liable to a yearly rent of not less than fifty pounds, shall be entitled to vote in the election of a knight or knights of the shire to serve in any future parliament for the county, or for the riding, parts, or division of the county, in which such lands or tenements shall be respectively situate: provided always, that no person, being only a sub-lessee, or the assignee of any underlease, shall have a right to vote in such election in respect of any such term of sixty years or twenty years as aforesaid, unless he shall be in the actual occupation of the premises."
Joint occupiers of leaseholds to an amount equalling a rental of fifty pounds each, are severally entitled to a vote in respect of the occupancy; but if any such occupier underlet a portion, reducing his annual rent below fifty pounds, he is disentitled to vote. It must be a bona fide occupation by himself.
As to the meaning of the term occupier, see post, 23.
Though this clause does not vest in the equitable owner of leaseholds a right to vote in respect of them, as is the case with copyholds in the preceding section, yet it has been almost invariably held, that an equitable interest in a lease constitutes a sufficient right of voting. (Wordsworth on Elec. p. 79.)
Taxes and rates
Need not be as
By sect. 21, “no public or parliamentary tax, nor any church rale, county (2.) Electors rale, or parocbial rate, shall be deemed to be any charge payable out of or for Counties. in respect of any lands or tenements within the ineaning of this act.” By sect. 22, “ in order to entitle any person to vote in any election of a
not deemed knight of the shire or other member to serve in any future parliament, in
charges. respect of any messuages, lands, or tenements, whether freehold or otherwise, it shall not be necessary that the same shall be assessed to the land sessed to land vax. tax; any statute to the contrary potwithstanding." By sect
. 23, no person shall be allowed to have any vote in the election Trustees and of a kuight or kniglits of the shire for or by reason of any trust estate or mortgagees may mortgage, unless such trustee or mortgagee be in actual possession or receipt vote if in actual of the rents and profits of the same estate, but that the mortgagor or ces possession. tuique trust in possession shall and may vote for the same estate notuithstanding such mortgage or trust.”
Rş secl 24," no person shall he entitled to vote in the election of a knight No person 10 vote or kuights of ibe shire to serve in any future parliament in respect of his for a county in estate or interest as a freeholder in any house, warehouse, counting-house, respect of any
freebold house, shop, or other building occupied by himself, or in any land occupied by
&c. occupied by hiseself together with any house, warehouse, counting-house, shop, or other himself, which building, such house, warehouse, counting-house, shop, or other building can confer a vube being, either separately or jointly with the land so occupied therewith, of for a borough. such value as would, according to the provisions bereinafter contained, confer on him the right of voting for any city or borough, whether he shall or shall not have actually acquired the right to vote for such city or borough in respect thereof."
By sect. 25," no person shall be entitled to vote in the election of a knight Nor in respect or knights of the shire to serve in any future parliament in respect of his of copyholds and Estate or interest as a copyholder or customary tenant, or tenant in ancient leaseholds en
titling any person demesne, holding by copy of court roll, or as such lessee or assignee, or as
to a vote for a such tenant and occupier as aforesaid, in any house, warehouse, counting. borough. house, shop, or other building, or in any land occupied together with a house, warehouse, counting-house, shop, or other building, such house, warehouse, counting-house, shop, or other building being, either separately or jointly with the land so occupied therewith, of such value as would, according to the provisions hereinafter contained, confer on him or on any other person the right of voting for any city or borough, whether he or any other person shall or shall not have actually acquired the right to vote for such eity or borough in respect thereof."
It will be observed that there is a peculiar and wide distinction between this and the preceding section. To incapacitate an owner of freeholds within a borough to vote in respect of them for the county, he must be in personal possession, and qualified, in respect of them, to a borough vote. Nor is it essential to the disqualification that he shall have neglected or refused to claim his right to the borough registration.
But as respects copyhold or customary estates, the prohibition is absolute, and the owner is disqualified to vote for the county, whether they be occupied by kimself or another, if conferring on the tenant a right to vote for a borough. Though the rental of the premises be under the required amount, it yet affords no conclusive objection to the right of voting, if it be shown by other esidence that the yearly value be greater than the rent paid.
By sect. 28, “the premises in respect of the occupation of which any person Provision as to shall be entitled to be registered in any year, and to vote in the election for premises occupied any eity or borough as aforesaid, shall not be required to be the same in succession. prernises, but may be different premises occupied in immediate succession by such person during the iwelve calendar months next previous to the last day of July in such year, such person having paid, on or before the twentieth day of July in such year, all the poor's rates and assessed taxes which shall previously to the sixth day of April then next preceding have become payable from him in respect of all such premises so occupied by him in succession.”
By sect. 29, “where any premises as aforesaid, in any such city or borough, Joint occupiers or in any place sharing in the election therewith, shall be jointly occupied entitled to vote.