Huddersfield Chronicle (19/Sep/1868) - Revision of the Borough List of Voters

The following is a transcription of a historic newspaper article and may contain occasional errors.

REVISION OF THE BOROUGH LIST OF VOTERS.

The revision of the list of voters for the parliamentary borough of Huddersfield, commenced on Thursday morning and terminated yesterday. The court was held at the George Hotel, before William Gray, Esq., barrister. Mr. S. Learoyd represented the Borough Conservative Registration Association; and Mr. C. Mills appeared on behalf of the Liberal Registration Association. An arrangement having been made in regard to objections, the whole of Thursday was spent in hearing claims, but, although the court was well attended in the forenoon, the cases generally were devoid of interest. A few of the claims in which objections were argued are reported below.

MISTAKE OR ILL-ADVICE.

Mr. Learoyd, addressing the barrister, said — On both sides we agree that the lists shall stand as allowed by the overseers, with the exception of one township, and the only objections made with respect to that township are with regard to rating of certain persons not rated. The overseer, by some mistake, or ill-advice, has put on the list parties who have been excused their rates, and others who had not paid in time; and, therefore, we have objected to those, and, by agreement, they will be struck out, as a matter of course.

Revising Barrister — Very good.

Mr. Mills — We had better settle the list of objections to begin with.

The Revising Barrister said any one in court who had claims to make to come forward, and state the particulars of his ease.

AN INDEFINITE CLAIM.

Nehemiah Ellis, formerly of Primrose Hill, claimed for a house at Eleanor Street, Fartown. It seemed that a rate was laid for Almondbury on the 5th of October, 1867, and a question arose as to whether the claimant left the house before or after the laying of the rate. Mr. Mills supported. Mr. Berry, the assistant overseer, said the claimant was not rated for the house at Primrose Hill. Ellis could not state precisely the day on which he left Primrose Hill, but alleged that it was before the laying of the rate; and subsequently added that he thought it was about the end of September when he left. Adjourned for the claimant to ascertain the fact, and subsequently disallowed.

MODE OF MAKING NEW CLAIMS.

Mr. Learoyd drew the attention of the Reviser to a point upon which he wished to elicit an opinion for future guidance, namely, the mode adopted, in some cases, of making new claims. The claimant (Richard Wimpenny) in the case, to which he was particularly alluding, stated, in the notice, that he lived at Brierley Wood, in the township of Lockwood; but, in proving successive occupations, he had claimed for a house in Dale Street, without saying in what township Dale Street was situated. Dale Street not being in the township in respect of which he previously occupied.

Mr. Mills stated that the notice was addressed to the overseers of the township of Huddersfield, and was similar to the notice that had been given for years. They never had inserted the township, simply to save the printing, and there was no reason why they should insert it.

The Reviser ruled that, if the overseers admitted the notice which was for their protection, he should recognise it as good.

Mr. Mills:— Where the street is in the same township you need not put Huddersfield.

Reviser: Oh no.

Mr. Learoyd: Very well. Vote allowed.

RIGHT OF USE TO A PASSAGE.

W. Norton, Clayton West, claimed for a warehouse, in Cloth Hall Street, and, as he let one of the rooms in the place, a question arose as to the right to use a passage; and, it was contended that, as the occupier of the room had a right of easement to the passage, it was a defective qualification. Mr. Mills supported the claimant, who stated that the sub-tenant only passed through the passage by his suffrance.

Reviser: The only question is whether your warehouse is worth £10.

Mr. Mills: They pay £95 a year.

Reviser: Yes, but I say that is the only point.

Mr. Mills: There is no question about it here.

Reviser: No question about it.

Vote allowed.

PAYING RATES BUT NEGLECTING TO BE RATED.

Henry Holland claimed for a house at Moldgreen, and it was alleged by Mr. Learoyd, who opposed, that the man had not paid his rates.

The claimant said he went into the house in April, 1867, and paid his proportion of a rate laid before he went into the house.

Mr. Learoyd: It is a pity the vote should be lost in this way.

Mr. Mills: It is not lost yet.

Mr. Learoyd said there was a rate laid in August.

The claimant paid the proportion of a former rate; and his name was in the August rate-book, but only in pencil.

The assistant-overseer (Mr. Gomersall) stated that the house was empty when the rate was laid.

Mr. Mills: Did he claim to be rated? Mr. Gomersall: No.

Mr. Mills: It rests with the overseer to say whether the parties claimed to be rated or not, and it is very unsatisactory.

Claimant: I have paid all the rates demanded.

Mr. Learoyd: You have not paid all that is payable.

Mr. Mills said there had been neglect on the part of the overseer.

Mr. Learoyd: He must suffer for it.

Mr. Mills: I think it is a very great fault.

Reviser: How do you account for it? Mr. Gomersall: There is no omission at all. All the books are here.

Reviser: You see he is not in the August rate. Mr. Gomersall: Only in pencil.

Reviser: Why was he not put in in the ordinary way: he was there in April.

Mr. Mills: He actually paid a portion of the October rate previously.

Reviser: Why didn’t you put him in the August rate? Mr. Gomersall: I don’t think he was in the house then.

Reviser: You saw him in the house in April.

Mr. Gomersall: But I don’t think it is correct.

Mr. Mills: He actually paid portion of the October, 1866, rate.

The landlord of the house said he received the first quarter’s rent on the 1st July, 1866.

Mr. Learoyd: Admitting all that, he is not rated; and, therefore, to contend about his occupation is simply waste of time.

Mr. Mills: He ought to be rated; it is an omission.

Reviser: I think it will do, but I have some doubts about it.

Mr. Learoyd continued to object; and, eventually, Mr. Mills admitted it was a bad vote, but said there was great fault to be attributed to the overseers. Although the man had paid an apportionment of a rate, and had occupied the premises six months afterwards, yet he was omitted from the August rate.

Mr. Learoyd said it was only fair to say that the overseer told the claimant he was excused from paying part of the rate, because the house was empty.

Reviser: I think there is very great neglect.

Claimant: Will you allow me to fetch my papers?

Mr. Mills: There is no question about the facts, but it is an omission on the part of the overseer.

Disallowed.

ALLEGED "COOKING" A RENT BOOK: A RADICAL ACCUSATION.

Henry Bell, Blakey Buildings, Hillhouse, claimed for a house which he rented under his mother-in-law. Mr. Mills opposed. Claimant said he had paid the rent in his own name, at the rate of £6 per year since 1863.

Mr. Mills (to Reviser): I ask whether you are satisfied this is a bona fide claim. Is it a tenancy by the claimant or is it a “cooked affair?” The claimant produced a rent book, and it was examined by Mr. Mills, who said "A rent book is very easily ‘cooked.’"

Claimant: Yes, sir, we know they are; but the rents have been paid regularly.

Mr. Mills: It is evident these entries have all been written at the same time, and, by the same pen.

Mr. Learoyd: Of course they have. (Laughter.) Suppose they have, for the sake of argument?

Mr. Mills: I submit, is it not evident that this is a concocted affair to put this man on the register?

Claimant, in answer to further questions, said the entries had been made generally from month to month.

Mills: I ask whether, on the face of the book, it is absolutely true.

Claimant said he would find a witness to prove the entries.

Reviser: Well, it is suspicious looking. (Laughter.) When did you make out the book.

Claimant: I have never made it out, only regularly, as the rent has been paid.

Vote allowed.

A VOTE ALLOWED FOR STABLING.

Edward Webster, oastler, claimed for stables in Market Street.

Mr. Learoyd objected.

Mr. Mills stated that the man had distinctly said he had taken the stables, entered upon them, paid 2s, per week for each horse stand, and more than £10 per year.

The claimant said he had been the occupier of the stables 15 months, and had paid above £30 between July and July.

Mr. Learoyd: I say he does not pay rent at all. He says "I pay so much per each horse stand"; and that is not paying for the rent of the premises.

The Barrister said a man might pay rent for turning his sheep into a field. If he had not paid £10 between July and July, the vote would not have been allowed.

Vote allowed.

NO LIST OF CLAIM.

John Iredale, Milnsbridge, made a claim.

Mr. Learoyd opposed.

It appeared that this was a new claim, and, instead of printing it separately, the overseer had added it to the old list.

Mr. Learoyd contended that no list of claim had been published; and he did not know anything about the man’s qualification. After the point had been argued, the objection was waved, the man proved his qualification, and the vote was allowed.

PAYING PROPORTION OF A RATE. — INTERESTING TO OVERSEERS.

Charles Oldfield, of Storks, Dalton, claimed for a house, and was supported by Mr. Mills. This was a case in which there had only been partial payment of rate.

The Revising Barrister expressed an opinion favourable to the claimant.

Mr. Learoyd contended that there was a rate which the claimant had not paid.

Revising Barrister: He says he paid a apportionment for the time he had occupied.

Mr. Learoyd: But he should have been rated in respect of the premises in his occupation.

Revising Barrister: He must be rated to all rates from July to July. The rates that he must have paid must be between April and January.

Mr. Mills: He pays his proportion, and it does not matter who pays the other.

Mr. Gomersall said the rate was apportioned, and 2s. 8d. returned as irrecoverable.

Revising Barrister; If the authorities have made an apportionment that will do; but I do not agree with the overseers returning the 2s. 8d. as irrecoverable.

Vote allowed,

A "CHEEKY" CLAIMANT.

Henry Brown, beerhouse-keeper, Spring Street and Upperhead Row, claimed, and was supported by Mr. Mills.

Brown, it appeared, claimed both through the Conservatives and the Liberals, and came forward to ask for the support of the Conservatives, but they declined to assist him in substantiating his claim. He had four qualifications, but did not sustain one; and Mr. Learoyd remarked that they had not forgotton the “bed.” (Laughter.) The remark applied to an incident, in the last election but one, in which Brown alleged, when the petition against the return of Col. Crosland was being prosecuted, that he secreted himself in the “turn-up bed,” and saw a bribe pass from one person to another. Vote disallowed.

THE BARRISTER INDIGNANT WITH AN ASSISTANT OVERSEER.

In a claim from Linthwaite (supported by Mr. Mills) Mr. Learoyd enquired of Mr. Barratt, the assistant overseer, if the name of the claimant appeared in the ratebook; and Barratt replied in the affirmative. A subsequent unsatisfactory reply from Barratt caused the Reviser to say that he (Barratt) was “fencing” with the questions. Mr. Learoyd examined the book, and found that Elizabeth Loekwood was rated for the house, and that over her name, which had been written in ink, appeared the name of the claimant written in pencil. The Barrister manifested much indignance, and immediately disallowed the vote.

FATAL OBJECTIONS TO A RADICAL'S CLAIM.

Dayid Pyrrah, who was supported by Mr. Mills, claimed in respect of a dwelling-house, which adjoins the Co-operative Stores at Sheepridge. The claimant proved that he had occupied the house since the opening of the stores, six years ago; that his agreement with the society was that he should pay to them an annual rent of £8, and that this rent had been regularly paid by him. It was objected, on the part of the Conservatives, first, that he was not occupying, but was simply a servant of the company. It was next objected that Pyrrah was not rated, and that the rates had been duly paid by the society.

Mr. Mills contended that it was sufficient if it was a claim to be rated, and that there need not be an actual rating.

Mr. Learoyd argued that, under the Representation of the People Act, it was absolutely necessary that the claimant should not only occupy, but be actually rated, and that, unless he were rated, there could be no qualification. He produced the sections of the act, making it imperative upon the overseers to rate the occupier in lieu of the owner, and discharging the owner from the burden of paying the rate. The claim to be rated merely applied to the occupation of premises where the annual value was above £10, when the qualification was under the old Registration Act; and did not apply to the new franchise.

The Reviser expressed a similar view, but promised to consider the matter further.

Yesterday (Friday) the Barrister gave judgment, and said he was of opinion that the claim to be rated was sufficient. The section in the new Act stated that all former statutes were to be considered as incorporated in the present Act, so far as they were consistent; but he requested to hear Mr. Learoyd further upon the question.

The point raised was then argued, and it was contended that the 8th section of the Representation of the People Act provided that, where the owner was rated, and the occupier had not been rated, notwithstanding, the occupier might obtain the franchise by being rated after the liability of the owner to be rated had ceased, and by paying the rates. Mr. Learoyd submitted that, if the barrister held that the claim to be rated was sufficient every occupier might obtain a vote without paying any rate, or without his name appearing in the ratebook. The vote, he argued, was only to be given to the occupier, who was rated and paid the rates.

The Reviser said he was of opinion that Mr. Learoyd was right, and disallowed the vote.


The following are summaries, issued by the revision of the result of the revision:—

CONSERVATIVE RETURN.

The following is a summary of the result of the revision in the several townships within the borough:—

HUDDERSFIELD TOWNSHIP.
Conservative claims made 48
Conservative claims disallowed 11
Conservative claims sustained 37
Liberal claims made 77
Liberal claims disallowed 52
Liberal claims sustained 25
Conservative gain 12
Lodgers’ Claims.
Conservative claims made 15
Conservative claims disallowed 3
Conservative claims sustained 12
Liberal claims made 5
Liberal claims disallowed 4
Liberal claims sustained 1
Conservative gain 11
ALMONDBURY TOWNSHIP.
Conservative objections to Liberal votes 138
Liberal votes allowed 7
Liberal votes disallowed 131
Objections to Conservative votes 0
Conservative gain 131
Conservative claims made 19
Conservative claims disallowed 8
Conservative claims sustained 11
Liberal claims made 15
Liberal claims disallowed 9
Liberal claims sustained 6
Conservative gain 5
DALTON TOWNSHIP.
Conservative claims made 21
Conservative claims disallowed 2
Conservative claims sustained 19
Liberal claims made 36
Liberal claims disallowed 16
Liberal claims sustained 20
LOCKWOOD TOWNSHIP.
Conservative claims made 14
Conservative claims disallowed 2
Conservative claims sustained 12
Liberal claims made 15
Liberal claims disallowed 11
Liberal claims sustained 4
Conservative gain 8
LONGWOOD TOWNSHIP
Conservative claims made 1
Conservative claims sustained 1
Liberal claims made 9
Liberal claims disallowed 3
Liberal claims sustained 6
LINDLEY-CUM-QUARMBY TOWNSHIP.
Conservative claims made 2
Conservative claims disallowed 1
Conservative claims sustained 1
Liberal claims made 6
Liberal claims disallowed 5
Liberal claims sustained 1
LINTHWAITE TOWNSHIP.
Liberal claim made and sustained 1

Total Conservative gains in the borough 167

LIBERAL RETURN.

Claims Allowed Disallowed Reclaims
L C L C L C
Huddersfield 36 22 44 20 26 9
Huddersfield Lodgers 2 11 3 4 0 0
Dalton 25 16 16 1 2 0
Almondbury 10 7 6 9 3 0
Lockwood 7 7 5 8 2 1
Longwood 6 1 3 0 0 0
Lindley 1 0 4 3 1 0
Lindley Lodgers 0 1 0 0 0 0
Linthwaite 1 0 0 0 0 0
88 65 81 45 34 10
Objections.
Almondbury, Sustained 128
Conservative gain on objections 120
Liberal gains on claims 23
Conservative gain 97

Huddersfield Chronicle (19/Sep/1868) - Revision of the Borough List of Voters

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