HC Deb 02 March 1836 vol 31 cc1132-3
Mr. Miles

presented a Petition from the Electors of a Hundred in East Somerset, complaining that by the decision of the Revising Barristers there they had been disfranchised, though in every respect entitled to the right of voting. This petition was only one of a class, as his hon. colleague was intrusted with a great number of petitions from the same division of the county, containing the same complaints. Indeed, so complete and general had been the disfranchisement of the electors in that county in consequence of the decision alluded to, that he thought a clause should be introduced into the Registry Bill at present before the House, with an ex post facto operation, so as to make the list of 1834 answer there. Not less than 1,200 qualified electors had been disfranchised by the decision of the Revising Barristers in that county. The case 1o which the present petition referred was this:— One overseer signed the list, and he took it to the other overseer to put his signature to it. The latter not being able at the time, owing to illness, to write his name, requested his brother overseer to do it for him, which he accordingly did in his presence and by his authority. When the list came before the Revising Barristers, they asked the usual question of the overseers, namely, whether their signatures were in their handwriting, and as one of them was obliged to answer in the negative, they rejected the list.

Mr. Gore Langton

hoped that the House would do something to remedy the serious grievance of which the electors of East Somerset had, in this instance, to complain. He had been intrusted with several petitions from a large portion of his constituents, complaining of this grievance. The petitions came from electors well qualified, both by property and intelligence, to possess the right of voting, and who, by the decision alluded to, had been all disfranchised. The hon. Member then presented several petitions from places in the eastern division of Somersetshire, complaining of the effect of that decision.

Petition laid on the Table.

Back to