Hebden Electors 1742 - 1848
Prior to the 1872 Secret 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 five 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. West Riding was a parliamentary constituency from 1832 to 1865, and returned two members. This election came after the 1832 Reform Act which extended the franchise in county boroughs to include wealthier male tenants, 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 1835 bye-election was caused by the Liberal incumbent George Howard, Viscount of Morpeth, vacating his seat following his appointment as Chief Secretary of Ireland. He then stood for re-election. 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. Morpeth won.
|Freeholder's Name||Residence of freeholder||Voted for|
|Pickles, Thomas||Edge Side||Morpeth|
Hebden Electors in 1841
A register of the voting electors for the West Riding Constituency of the House of Commons was published following an election in 1841. There were four candidates for the two posts of MP. The Whig candidates were the incumbent George Howard, the Viscount of Morpeth, the well respected Chief Secretary for Ireland in Lord Melbourne's Whig government who had held the seat since 1832, and Lord Milton. Opposing them were the Tory candidates John Stuart Wortley, later the 2nd Baron Wharncliffe, who was anti-papist, and a supporter of the corn laws, and Edmund Beckett-Denison, later the 4th Baronet of Beckett. The two Tory candidates won.
|Freeholder's Name||Residence of freeholder||Voted for||Voted for|
|Bailey, Thomas Ives||Driglington|
|Birch, William||Scar Top||Milton||Morpeth|
|Hardacre, William||Smith House, New Worley||Milton||Morpeth|
|Joy, George||Ramsclose, Gartlington||Wortley||Denison|
Hebden Electors in 1848
A register of the voting electors for the West Riding Constituency of the House of Commons was published following an election in 1848. The bye-election was the result of George Howard, the Viscount of Morpeth, entering the House of Lords following the death of his father. Morpeth had lost the seat in 1841, but regained it in 1846. The Liberal candidate was Sir Culling Eardley Eardley, Baronet, an evangelical Christian who had been the Member of Parliament for Pontefract from 1830 to 1831, and the Tory candidate was Edmund Beckett-Denison, later the 4th Baronet of Beckett, who had lost the seat in 1847. Denison won.
Two Hebden freeholders voted in the Leeds polling district - James Birch (voted for Denison) and William Hardacre (voted for Eardley). Of the eighteen freeholders eligible to vote in Hebden, six lived elsewhere.
|Freeholder's Name||Residence of freeholder||Voted for|
|Bailey, Henry||Hingham, Norfolk||Denison|
|Stockdale, Joseph Constantine||Skipton||Denison|
|Stockdale, Thomas||Rain Lands||Denison|