Huddersfield Chronicle (22/Aug/1868) - Municipal Elections: Revision of the List of Voters
REVISION OF THE LIST OF VOTERS.
The revision of the burgess list, and list of claimants, and of persons objected to respectively, was commenced on Tuesday, in the Assembly-room of the George Hotel, the revising barrister being Wm. Shaw, Esq., of Wakefield. Mr. S. Learoyd represented the Huddersfield Borough Conservative Registration Association; and Mr. C. Mills appeared for the Liberal Registration Association. The following are a few of the cases of importance:
Abraham North, North Ward, appeared to substantiate his claim.
He said he was rated in respect of a house in Thomas Street, and had been for more than a period of three years.
By Mr. Mills: Had been a householder for nearly 40 years, and occupied the house he now lived in. Revising Barrister: Paid all rates? North: Yes.
The claim was admitted to be good.
John Sykes, Lockwood, sought to be put on the list; but he had not sent in a claim.
Mr. Batley informed the claimant that the notice distinctly said they were to send in a written claim to him.
David Dyson, West Ward.
The claimant, who lives at Newtown, had sent in a claim, signed "David Dyson;" but his Christian name had been erroneously printed Daniel.
Mr. Mills objected to the claim because it did not state precisely what list the burgess desired to be placed on.
The Revising Barrister said the man claimed to be placed on the list according to the notice bearing the name of Mr. Batley, and that, he thought, was substantially in compliance with the Act. He looked upon the Act as franchising, instead of disfranchising.
The name was corrected, and the claim held to be valid.
Law Hargreaves, Fartown Ward.
The claimant had lived in several places; but only stated that he had been rated in the parish of Huddersfield and Almondbury for three years; whereas Mr. Learoyd, who opposed, submitted that they should know the time he had been rated in each place.
Reviser: You are entitled to ask him, and pursue it by an examination of the rate-books.
Mr. Learoyd: Should not the notice state it?
Mr. Mills: The Act of Parliament does not require it.
The Reviser stated that the claim must be substantially accurate. If a man had resided in a place during the time in which a rate had been laid, and was not on the rate-book, he ought to have been. There was an Act of Parliament which enabled him to claim, and, if he did not claim, he lost his vote. He felt disposed to interpret things liberally; but the statute required the time to be inserted during which the claimant had occupied.
Mr. Mills contended that the man had stated all that was necessary to prove his qualification.
The Reviser said that the claim did not state the time: it gave two townships, and, on no principle, could he say that that was sufficient. He should be disposed to interpret it as fully and as largely in his favour as possible. If it said "in Huddersfield from so and so to so and so," he would not have bound him accurately to the month.
Mr. Mills: It would be a difficult thing to follow exactly the terms of the Act.
Mr. Learoyd: I believe we shall both have to fall to informalities ; and I believe I shall be the victim to quite as many as my friend.
Reviser: I have power to amend names and other defects; but this is a defect in not stating the proper qualification — the time during which the claimant occupied in each place — and I shall disallow his claim.
Dan Schofield, Moldgreen Ward, claimed personally, having been a householder seven years.
Mr. Learoyd opposed on the ground that the man claimed to be rated in the parish of Dalton. There was no such parish; and there was no rate in respect of any such parish.
Mr. Mills: The word parish extends to the township.
Reviser: I think I have some recollection that there are overseers for the township of Dalton.
Mr. Learoyd: He claims for the parish of Dalton.
The Reviser stated that in all the Poor Law Acts they might interpret parish and township as one; and, therefore, allowed the claim.
David Armitage, Moldgreen Ward, was objected to by Mr. Learoyd, in the first place, because the claim was addressed to the clerk of the Improvement Commissioners; secondly, because the man did not claim to be put on any burgess list; and, thirdly, because he did not state that he was rated for the house in which he at present resided. Armitage: Yes, I asked to be on the burgess list.
The Reviser did not think there was anything in the objection to the claim being addressed to the clerk of the Improvement Commissioners, inasmuch as there was at present no town clerk.
Armitage: I went to live at Moldgreen two months ago.
Reviser: It is not necessary he should be rated for those premises. Mr. Learoyd: The occupation here was as necessary as the rating. The notice does not say that he has been occupier. He merely states that he has lived within the borough, and that is quite consistent with his being a lodger.
The Reviser said he interpreted the clause in a larger sense, and that by “living" the claimant meant occupying.
Mr. Learoyd: Supposing he had been a lodger there, would not that have described his residence?
Reviser: I must take the word "living" with what he says afterwards, namely "I pay rates;" and, under the Municipal Act, no lodger pays rates. He must be, in point of fact, an occupier to entitle him to be put on the municipal list.
Mr. Learoyd: Then I will not labour that point; but there is nothing in the notice to show when the claimant removed, and there may have been a long gap between the removals.
The Reviser thought the sensible interpretation to be put on the word "then" was that the man went direct to Spring Place.
Wm. M. Hulke, Fartown Ward, but formerly of Moldgreen.
Mr. Mills (who opposed): It does not say how long he was rated in Dalton, and how long in Huddersfield.
Reviser: Some people put the pith of a subject in the postscript. The claim says "for more than three years in the township of Huddersfield."
Mr. Mills: We cannot gather from this claim whether that was in Huddersfield or Dalton.
Reviser: It means that he was nine years in Huddersfield first, and then he came to Dalton.
Mr. Hulke: That is it. I was first a resident in Huddersfield, then went to Moldgreen; and removed last November from Dalton to Fartown, which is in the Huddersfield township; and I am rated for Fartown.
Mr. Mills: You have not mentioned that fact.
Reviser: Yes that fact ought to be mentioned. If you had enlarged the postscript, and said you had come back to Huddersfield, the claim might have been good.
Mr. Learoyd thought there had been quite a sufficient compliance with the Act of Parliament.
Reviser: I am afraid there was a break. There are three distinct occupations, each of which ought to have been described.
Mr. Hulke: I did not understand it was necessary to have described all three occupations.
Reviser: I am more disposed to enfranchise than disfranchise; but I am afraid I cannot here.
James Edwards, Marsh Ward. Mr. Learoyd opposed the claim, because it did not state in respect of what parish the man was rated, nor did it show in respect of what property he had paid rates.
The Reviser remarked that the claimant had inserted "Market Street, Paddock." He must not interpret the language of working men as if he were reading some legal document.
Mr. Learoyd: He may he the landlord.
Reviser: He would not pay rates for any other property than that which he occupies. You must take the whole together. He says as "occupier," and therefore it is clear he paid the rates as occupier and not as landlord.
Mr. Learoyd: He docs not say he has been rated in respect of that property.
Mr. Mills replied that the form set forth in the Act of Parliament did not require it.
Mr. Learoyd cited the case of the Queen v. Kidderminster, in which it was held that, because the claim did not state the parish in respect of which the man was rated, there had not been a compliance with the Act of Parliament.
The Reviser said the question was, could he by reasonable interpretation say that the claim did not state the parish or township in which the property was situated.
Mr. Learoyd stated that, in the case just cited, judgment was given on the ground that the notice was not in accordance with the form proscribed by the statute, the parish being omitted. The Reviser said it was a hard case, but, believing the Act had not been complied with, he must disallow the claim.
Joseph Dyson, Moldgreen Ward.
Mr. Learoyd opposed. The claimant had made his mark, and, as there was nothing to verify it, he submitted that the claim could not be sustained. The man did not say in what township he had occupied the house.
Mr. Mills: It says in the borough.
Mr. Learoyd: That is all.
Reviser: He says he has been rated in the parish of Kirkheaton for three years and four months.
Mr. Learoyd: Well, then, there is the signature.
Reviser: The man says, "I signed my mark." Did you make that mark? Dyson: Yes.
Reviser: I think I must allow this vote.
Abraham Boothroyd, Lockwood, appeared in support of his claim.
Mr. Learoyd urged that the notice was bad, inasmuch as it did not say when the claimant occupied in various places.
Mr. Mills: It mentions specifically that which the other omitted.
Reviser: The man says he occupied for five years, up to such a time.
Mr. Mills: The act does not require that the man shall state the particular month.
Mr. Learoyd: It is necessary for the qualification. There is nothing to show the time during which he was rated for the premises.
Reviser: The only question is whether the five years were immediately before the claimant began to occupy in the township of Lockwood. There is no doubt about it, because it distinctly describes the occupation in Almondbury.
Mr. Learoyd: The question is whether the notice shows that there has been a continuous rating. I say there is no evidence whatever of it. He must show not merely that he has been rated, but that he has been rated for such a length of time.
The Reviser said he quite agreed with Mr. Learoyd, and if he decided strictly, he might exclude the claimant; but the time here specified was enough to give a man the qualification.
Mr. Learoyd said it was necessary some principle should be laid down by which they might prevent irregular notices being issued hereafter. They had the same contest under the Improvement Commissioners’ Act.
The Reviser thought that, under the circumstances, he must allow the claim. He must interpret the Act liberally; but be bad a strong opinion that technically Mr. Learoyd was correct. Claim allowed.
Isaac Gaukrodger, Deighton, supported by Mr. Mills. In cross-examination by Mr. Learoyd, it was elicited that the claimant was not rated direct.
Mr. Mills: If a man pays more.
Reviser: Really you are not going to argue that. Suppose a man pays £100 to his landlord, and does not pay the rates direct, how can that supply the want in the rate book?
David Robertson, East Ward, was supported by Mr. Learoyd. Formerly lived at Fartown, but bad been an inhabitant in the borough for 15 years, and was rated. Vote allowed. In this case, Mr. Mills mooted the question as to when a burgess, whose name appeared on two ward lists, ought to select?
The Reviser held that a burgess was not bound to make a selection before him. A man might be rated for every ward in the borough, but, on the day of election, he must take his choice.
Mr. Learoyd: I don t support the claim for Fartown Ward.
Reviser: I am not aware that the reviser can ask a burgess to select the ward in which he intends to vote.
Mr. Mills thought otherwise. Under the 44th sec. it was provided that, if any burgess should be rated in two or more wards, then he should be entitled to be enrolled for and vote in any such wards as he should select. Under the clause was a note in which it was stated that, as the Act did not appoint a day for selection, according to a decision of judges, the time of the revision would appear to be the latest moment at which a burgess might select.
The Reviser said that was not the course which was pursued at Wakefield.
Mr. Mills: According to his decision he must choose now.
Reviser: I should like to see the decision. I would not go by that foot-note. The word enrolled does not mean that the man shall select at the time he becomes an enrolled burgess. Further argument of the point in dispute was adjourned.
Thomas Carter, Marsh Ward, said, in supporting his claim, he had paid rates over seven years.
Mr. Learoyd took exception to the claim, because it omitted to state in what parish the man was rated.
Reviser: I am very sorry for it. The gentleman has been paying all his rates, and yet be must be excluded. It is a very hard case, and I feel sorry I am bound to disallow the claim.
James Helleivell, Central Ward, supported by Mr. Mills. The claimant occupied chemical works in John Street, but, not being a householder, the reviser disallowed the vote.
George Wood, Moldgreen, said he had been a ratepayer for above 20 years.
Mr. Mills objected to the description "In the parish of Moldgreen."
Mr. Learoyd: It is part of a parish
Mr. Mills: So was Paddock part of a township. It was held that the qualification was improperly described, and the vote disallowed.
James Oldfield, Moldgreen Ward, had also stated that he had occupied and been rated in the "parish of Moldgreen."
Mr. Learoyd: There is no such parish. You should have stated “in the parish of Dalton."
Oldfield: I did not fill up the form.
Samuel Lockwood, South Ward.
Reviser: There is no such name in the list.
Mr. Batley: Have you sent in a claim?
Lockwood: No; I never bothered nout about it.
Mr. Learoyd: Good morning.
Mr. Batley: You must bother a bit next year — (laughter) — and send in a written claim.
John Carver, North Ward, said he had occupied a shop in Northgate four years, and had been a householder for more than ten years.
Mr. Taylor, the overseer, stated that, in the past three years, Mrs. Blakeley, claimant’s sister, paid one rate.
Mr. Learoyd said Carver appeared last year to support his claim to a vote for a member of Parliament, but it was disallowed on the ground of his sister having paid the rates.
In answer to further questions, the overseer stated that Carver told him to put his sister's name in the ratebook; and a distress warrant was served on Mrs. Blakeley for the amount of the rate. In 1865 and 1866, the claimant was rated for a house in York Street.
Carver, on being examined, said he lived at the premises in Northgate, and nowhere else.
Reviser: Are you a lodger? Carver: No, sir; I am not.
Reviser: You occupy where you sleep? Carver: Yes.
Mr. Learoyd urged that, as the claimant was not rated for the shop in Northgate, and had not paid the rate, the vote could not be allowed.
In answer to the learned Reviser, Carver said he had occupied the shop, and no one else since June, 1864.
Reviser: The presumption is that you did not, for another person was rated. I do not suppose that anybody else was the occupier, but, for some purpose, he procures a third person to be put in the book for the rate of 1865.
Mr. Learoyd: It is quite clear he did not pay the rate. It was paid by the party who was rated.
The Reviser said the question resolved itself into one of whether the claimant was in the occupation of the premises in November, 1865; and he thought he was.
Charles Ramsden, West Ward, claimed, but was objected to by Mr. Learoyd on the ground of the invalidity of the notice. The applicant had removed from Moldgreen Local Board district to Grove Shades, Manchester Road, and the notice stated that he had "paid all rates to the Moldgreen Local Board." The notice did not show that Mr. Ramsden was properly rated; and the vote was not allowed.
Thomas Topham, South Ward, appeared in support of his claim. Mr. Mills represented the claimant, and Mr. Learoyd opposed. Topham claimed as trustee of cooperative stores in Buxton Road. The premises had been leased to six trustees, of whom he was one.
Mr. Taylor stated that Jonas Horsfall and Company were rated.
Mr. Mills contended that, being a trustee, Topham was entitled to be placed on the register, but that individual shareholders, who were not trustees, were not entitled.
Reviser: A man is not entitled to be put on the municipal register on the ground of ownership, but occupation.
Mr. Learoyd said there was only an occupation by Topham as trustee, if there was an occupation at all; but he was not the occupier himself.
He urged that shareholders formed a corporation, and, property being vested in them, individual corporators could not vote, and were not entitled to be placed on the register in respect of premises which they occupied.
Reviser: I am not aware that they are a corporation at all.
Mr. Learoyd: It is registered under the Friendly Society's Act.
Reviser: Is that so? Topham: We are registered under the Friendly Society’s Act.
Mr. Mills: It is a partnership.
The Reviser said it was a rather important case, and, if they liked, he would let it stand over for the present.
Topham stated that he did not reside at the shop; two other parties lived there. He resided in the Parliamentary borough. He had a salary for working for the society.
The case was allowed to stand over.
Mr. Mills again asked what course the reviser intended to pursue with respect to a person who, having two qualifications, appeared in two ward lists? He believed it was not the practice in Wakefield for a burgess to make his selection on the day of revision, and he should like some rule to be established.
The Reviser held that a man on two ward lists might make his selection on the voting day.
Walter Norton, Central Ward, was supported by Mr. Mills. It appeared that the claimant lived near Denby Dale, which lie said was not more than six miles from Fenay Bridge.
Mr. Learoyd stated that the notice was bad, the claimant having neglected to state in what parish he resided, and from what time rated.
The ward objections were then gone through, and those who failed to respond to the "peremptory call" were struck out of the list.
The case of Topham was then alluded to, and, after some discussion between the advocates, the Reviser said it was his impression that the man was not entitled, because it was the occupation of the society at large; and the society, being a quasi corporate society, lie did not think Topham's name could be placed on the register.
It was decided that the point should be further argued on Thursday, to which day, after some further objections had been heard, the court adjourned. On Thursday, the Reviser struck the claimant off the list on the objection of Mr. Learoyd, that it was an occupation of the trustees and not an individual occupation.
The following is a summary of the result of the revision in the several Wards:—
- Claims made: 24
- Claims allowed: 7
- Claims disallowed: 17
- Claims made: 23
- Claims allowed: 1
- Claims disallowed: 13
- Claims made: 14
- Claims allowed: 1
- Claims disallowed: 13
- Claims made: 10
- Claims allowed: 2
- Claims disallowed: 8
- Claims made: 11
- Claims allowed: 3
- Claims disallowed: 8
- Claims made: 8
- Claims allowed: 1
- Claims disallowed: 7
- Claims made: 28
- Claims allowed: 5
- Claims disallowed: 23
Dalton, Bradley, and Deighton Ward.
- Claims made: 4
- Claims disallowed: 4
- Claims made: 16
- Claims allowed: 6
- Claims disallowed: 10
- Claims made: 38
- Claims allowed: 12
- Claims disallowed: 26
Almondbury and Newsome Ward.
- Claims made: 9
- Claims allowed: 3
- Claims disallowed: 6
- Claims made: 6
- Claims allowed: 1
- Claims disallowed: 5
In the Fartown Ward seven objections were made by the Liberals, but being unable to prove service of the notices of objection, the whole of the votes were allowed.