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tinue to be the election auditor in respect of such election until the whole business of such election shall be concluded, notwithstanding the subsequent appointment of any other per
as election auditor ; and every election auditor upon his appointment shall make and sign before the returning officer the following Declaration :
'I [A.B.] do solemnly and sincerely promise and declare, that I will well and truly and faithfully, to the best of my ability in all things, perform my duty as election auditor, accord‘ing to the provisions of the Corrupt Practices Prevention Act, 1854.'
“And every election auditor wilfully doing any act whatever contrary to the true intent and meaning of such declaration shall be deemed guilty of a misdemeanor, and in Scotland of an offence punishable with fine and imprisonment.”
So soon as the Queen has directed her bill to the Lord Chancellor, the Lord Chancellor sends his warrant to the Clerk of the Crown Office, and the writs issue.
The 7th and 8th W.III. c. 25. sec. 1., enacted that when any new Parliament shall be called, there shall be forty days between the tests and returns of the writs of summons. The 22d article of the Act of Union with Scotland, 5 Anne, c. 8., provided that the Queen might, by proclamation, appoint the first Parliament of Great Britain, to meet at such time and place as she might think fit, “which time shall not be less than the date of fifty days after the date of such
proclamation.” Hence the reason why fifty days were required for a new Parliament.
This venerable superstition has, however, been destroyed by a recent Act of Parliament. The 15 and 16 Vic. c. 23. enacts, that so often as Her Majesty shall, by her royal proclamation, appoint a time for the first meeting of a Parliament after a dissolution, the time so to be appointed may be any time not less than thirty-five days after the date of such proclamation; the act of the fifth year of Queen Anne, c. 8., or the act of the seventh and eighth years of William III. c. 25. notwithstanding.
The writs issue in the following form :
VICTORIA by the Grace of God, of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland, Queen, Defender of the Faith, and so forth, to the Sheriff of the county of greeting : whereas by the advice and assent of our council, for certain arduous and urgent affairs concerning us, the state and defence of our kingdom of Great Britain, and the church, we have ordered a certain Parliament to be holden at our City of Westminster, on the
next ensuing, and there to treat and have conference with the prelates, great men, and peers of our realm; we command and strictly enjoin you, that (proclamation being made of the day and place aforesaid, in your next County Court to be holden after the receipt of this our writ) two knights, of the most fit and discreet of the said county, girt with swords, of the most sufficient and discreet, freely and indifferently, by those who at such proclamation shall be present, according to the form of the Statutes in that
made and provided, you
cause to be elected; and the names of those knights, so to be elected, (whether they be present or absent,) you cause to be inserted in certain indentures, to be thereupon made between you and those who shall be present at such election; and then at the day and place aforesaid you cause to come, in such manner, that the said knights for themselves, and the commonalty of the same county, may have from them full and sufficient power to do and consent to those things which then and there, by the Common Council of our said kingdom, (by the blessing of God,) shall happen to be ordained upon the aforesaid affairs ; so that, for want of such power, or through an improvident election of the said knights, the aforesaid affairs may in no wise remain unfinished. Willing, nevertheless, that neither you, nor any other sheriff of this our said kingdom, be in anywise elected; and that the election in your full county so made distinctly and openly, under your seal, and the seals of those who shall be present at such election, you do tify to us in our Chancery, at the day and place aforesaid, without delay, remitting to us one part of the aforesaid indenturę annexed to these presents, together with this writ. Witness Ourself, at Westminster, the in the
year of our reign. (To be endorsed when received.) Received this writ the day of, by the hands of
A. B. Sheriff.
(To be endorsed when returned.) The execution of this writ appears in a certain Indenture hereunto annexed.
A. B. Sheriff. These endorsements are rendered necessary by the provisions of the 53 Geo. III. c. 89., which regulates the formalities with which these important documents are transmitted through the Post-office.
Within two days after the receipt of the writ the Sheriff makes his proclamation of the day of nomination for the county, or the days of nomination for the divisions of the county. This proclamation is in the form following.
Proclamation to be used in Counties.
Election of knight, 8c.
day of now next ensuing, proceed to the election of a knight or knights, member or members (as the case may be] for the county or division of a county (as the case may be], at which time and place all persons entitled to vote at the said election are requested to give their attendance.
And take notice, that all persons who are guilty of bribery at the said election will, on conviction of such offence, be liable to the penalties mentioned in that behalf in the “ The Corrupt Practices Act, 1854.”
And take notice, that all persons who are guilty of treating or undue influence at the said election will, on conviction of such offence, be liable to the penalties mentioned in that behalf
in “ The Corrupt Practices Prevention Act, 1854.”
Signature of the proper officer. The appointed day must be not later than the 12th nor earlier than the 6th from the date of the proclamation (16 & 17 Vic. c. 68. sec. 2.) The time of day must be between eight and eleven of the forenoon (23 Hen. VI. c. 17.)
The enactment which now regulates the time of holding the election is as follows:
“Whereas by the fourth section of the act of the twenty-fifth George the Third, chapter eighty-four, it is provided, that immediately after the receipt of the writ for making any election of a knight or knights to serve in Parliament for any county or shire in England or Wales, and endorsing on the bank thereof the day of receiving the same, as by law required, it should and might be lawful for the sheriff of such county and he is thereby required, within two days after the receipt thereof, to cause proclamation to be made at the place where the ensuing election ought by law to be holden of a Special County Court to be there holden for the purpose of such election only on any day (Sunday excepted) not later from the day of making such proclamation than the sixteenth day nor sooner than the tenth day: And whereas it is expedient to limit the time for proceeding to such elections: Be it therefore enacted, That hereafter any such Special County Court for the purpose of the election of a knight or knights to serve in Parliament for any county, riding, parts, or division of any county in England or Wales