Hebden Electors 1742 - 1835
Prior to the 1872 Ballot Act, electors were required to mount a platform at a parliamentary election and announce their choice of candidate to the officer who then recorded it in the poll book. These poll books were then often published. The Hebden electorate details are readily available for three of these elections. It is interesting to see how shire constituency representation was dominated by large landowners, and by sons of the aristocracy.
Hebden Electors in 1742
The death of Henry Viscount of Morpeth in 1741 necessitated a by-election in January 1742 for the Yorkshire representative in the House of Commons. The two candidates were the winning Whig candidate Cholmley Turner of Kirkleatham, and the Tory candidate George Fox of Bramham Park, later the second Lord Bingley. This was before the days of the Reform Acts, and eligible voters had to be male freeholders aged at least 21 whose lands were worth more than forty shillings. The names of those who voted together with the name of the chosen candidate was recorded in the poll book. Note that some residents of Hebden were able to vote as they held freeholdings elsewhere, and some non-residents voted because they held freeholdings in Hebden.
|Freeholder's Name||Location of Freehold||Residence of freeholder||Voted for|
|Funess, ?||Hebden and Rilston||Hebden||Fox|
|Spence, Thomas||Hebden||Fountains Earth||Turner|
Hebden Electors in 1807
There were three candidates for the 1807 Parliamentary election for the County of York, of whom two were returned. The successful candidates were William Wilberforce, the great social reformist and abolitionist; and Viscount Milton, a member of the Whig aristocracy who later became the 3rd Earl Fitzwilliam. The unsuccessful candidate was Henry Lascelles, later to be the 2nd Earl of Harewood. This was before the days of the Reform Acts, and eligible voters had to be male freeholders aged at least 21 whose lands were worth more than forty shillings. The names of those who voted together with the name of the candidate they votes for was recorded. Note that some residents of Hebden were able to vote as they held freeholdings elsewhere, and some non-residents voted because they held freeholdings in Hebden. The listing is particularly interesting as the electors' occupation was also recorded.
|Freeholder's Name||Location of Freehold||Residence of freeholder||Occupation||Voted for|
|Grange, George||Hebden||Greenhow Hill||Lead miner||Lascelles|
|Stockdale, William||Burnsall||Hebden||Farmer||Wilberforce & Lascelles|
|Sutcliffe, Robert||Chapel Allerton||Hebden||Miller||Milton|
|Topham, John Walker||Hebden||Basinghall Lane, London||Gentleman||Milton|
Hebden Electors in 1835
A register of the voting electors for the West Riding Constituency of the House of Commons was published following an election in 1835. This was after the 1832 Reform Act which extended the franchise in county boroughs to wealthier male non-freeholders, but this appears to have had little effect in practice in Hebden, where there were but ten voting electors, one of whom lived in Dunkeswick, near Harewood - presumably because he was a Hebden freeholder. The incumbent candidate was George Howard, the Viscount of Morpeth, the well respected Chief Secretary for Ireland in Lord Melbourne's Whig government. Opposing him was the Tory candidate John Stuart Wortley, later the 2nd Baron Wharncliffe, who was anti-papist, and a supporter of the corn laws.
|Freeholder's Name||Residence of freeholder||Voted for|
|Pickles, Thomas||Edge Side||Morpeth|