The Second Year of George I. - CHAP. XIX.
An Act for the more effectual preventing fraudulent Conveyances, in order to
multiply Votes for electing Members to serve in Parliament; and for prevent-
ing the irregular Proceedings of Sheriffs, and other Officers in electing and
returning such Members.
Whereas many fraudulent and scandalous practices have been used of late to create and multiply votes at the election of knights of the shire, and other members to serve in Parliament, to the great abuse of the antient law and custom of this kingdom, to the great injury of those persons, who have just right to vote and elect, and in prejudice of the freedom of such elections: therefore for the more effectual preventing of such undue practices, be it enacted by the King’s most excellent Majesty,
by and with the advice and consent of the lords spiritual and temporal and commons in Parliament assembled, and by the authority of the same, That from and after the twenty fourth day of June, which shall be in the year of our Lord one thousand seven hundred and sixteen, all estates and conveyances whatsoever made to any person or persons in any fraudulent or collusive manner, on purpose to qualifie him or them to give his or their vote or votes at such elections of knights of the shire, or citizens for counties of cities, or burgesses for counties of towns, or any other burroughs where freeholders have a right to vote in the election for such burrough, subject nevertheless to conditions or agreements to defeat or determine such estate, or to re-convey the same, shall be deemed and taken against those persons who executed the same, as free and absolute, and be holden and enjoyed by all and every such person or persons, to whom such conveyance shall be made as aforesaid, freely and absolutely acquitted, exonerated and discharged of and from all manner of trusts, conditions, clauses of re-entry, powers of revocation, provisoes of redemption, or other defeazances whatsoever, between or with the said parties, or any other person or persons in trust for them; and that all bonds, covenants, collateral or other securities, contracts or agreements, between or with the said parties, or any other person or persons in trust for them, or any of them, for the redeeming, revoking, or defeating such estate or estates, or for the restoring or re-conveying thereof, or any part thereof, to any person or persons, who made or executed such conveyance, or to any person or persons in trust for them, or any of them, shall be null and void to all intents and purposes whatsoever; and that every person who shall make and execute such conveyance or conveyances as aforesaid, or, being privy to such purpose, shall devise or prepare the same, and every person, who by colour thereof shall give any vote at any election of any such member to serve in Parliament, shall for every such conveyance so made, or vote so created or given, forfeit the sum of forty pounds to any person, who shall sue for the same, to be recovered together with full costs of suit by action of debt, bill, plaint, or information, in any of his Majesty’s courts of record at Dublin, wherein no essoign priviledge, protection, wager of law, or more that one imparlance shall be admitted or allowed.
II. And be it further enacted by the authority aforesaid, That from and after the said twenty fourth day of June, which will be in the year of our Lord one thousand seven hundred and sixteen, no person shall vote for the electing of any such member within this kingdom by virtue or colour of any freehold, of which he has not been in possession, or shall not have received the rents or
profits, or to be intituled to have received the same, to the full value of forty shillings per annum or more, to his own use, for six months before such election, unless such lands or tenements came to such person within the time aforesaid by descent, marriage, marriage settlement, devise, or presentation to some benefice in the church, or by promotion to some office, unto which such freehold is affixed; and if any person shall vote in any such election contrary to the true intent and meaning hereof, he shall for every such offence forfeit the sum of forty pounds; one moiety thereof to the poor of the parish or parishes where the lands and tenements lie, for which such person shall vote; and the other moiety to the person or persons, who shall sue for the same; to be recovered by action of debt, bill, plaint, or information, in any of his Majesty’s court of record at Dublin, wherein no essoign, priviledge, protection, or wager of law, shall be allowed or more than one imparlance.
III. And be it further enacted by the authority aforesaid, That upon every election, where freeholders have a right to vote for members of Parliament, every freeholder before he is admitted to poll at such election, shall, (if required by the candidates, or any of them, or any other person having a right to vote at such election) first take the oath following: (viz.)
You shall swear, that you are a freeholder in the county of
and have freehold lands or hereditaments lying or being at _______________ in the county of ___________________ of the clear yearly value of forty shillings above all charges payable out of the same; and that you believe the same may be so let to a responsible Tenant; and that such freehold estate hath not been made or granted to you fraudulently, or on purpose to qualifie you to give your vote; and that the place of your abode is at ___________________ in ___________ ad that you have not been polled before at this election.
Which oath the sheriff or sheriffs by himself or themselves, his or their under-sheriff, or such sworn clerk or clerks as shall be by him appointed for the taking of the poll, is hereby required to administer; and in case any freeholder, or other person taking the said oath hereby appointed, shall thereby commit willful and corrupt perjury, and be thereof convicted; or if any person do unlawfully and corruptly procure or suborne any freeholder or any other person, to take the said oath in order to be polled, whereby he shall commit such wilful and corrupt perjury, and shall be thereof convicted, he and they for every such offence shall incur the like pains and penalties, as are in and by one act of
Parliament, made in the fifth year of the reign of the late Queen Elizabeth, intituled,An act for punishment of such persons as shall procure or commit any wilful perjury, enacted against all such, who shall commit wilful and corrupt perjury, or suborne or procure any person to commit any corrupt perjury contrary to the said act.
IV. And the better to detect and punish any offender against this act, be it further enacted by the authority aforesaid, That in taking the poll the sheriff or sheriffs, or his or their under sheriff and clerks, shall enter not only the place of the electors freehold, but also the place of his abode, as he shall declare the fame at the time of the giving his vote; and also shall make or enter jurat against the name of every such voter, to whom the oath hereby required shall be tendered, and by whom the same shall be taken; and that the said sheriff or returning officer shall within the space of twenty days next after such election faithfully deliver over upon oath, which oath the two next justices of the peace are hereby enabled and required to administer unto the clerk of the peace of the same county, all the poll books of such respective elections, without any embezzlement or alteration, to be carefully kept and preserved among the records of the sessions of the peace of the said county.
V. And be it further enacted by the authority aforesaid, That upon every election to be made of any knight or knights of the shire to serve in this present Parliament, or any future Parliament, the sheriff of the county where such election shall be made, shall proceed to election for the said county at the place, where the assizes for the said county, and in the county of Dublin where the sessions of peace for the same county, were last held; and that the said sheriff, or in his absence his under sheriff, or such as he shall depute, shall at the same place of election proceed to the polling all the freeholders then and there present and shall not adjourn the county-court, then and there held, to any other town or place within the said county, nor longer than from day to day, without the consent of the candidates; nor shall by any unnecessary adjournments in the same place of election protract or delay the election, but shall duly and orderly proceed in the taking the said poll from day to day, and time to time, without any further or other adjournments without the consent of the candidates, until all the freeholders then and there present shall be polled, and no longer; except the poll shall be held on Saturday, in which case it shall be lawful to adjourn to the Monday following.
VI. And be it further enacted by the authority aforesaid, That from and after the twenty fourth day of June next ensuing, in all towns, burroughs, or other places having right to send members to serve in Parliament, where the right of election is in the inhabitants of such town, burrough, or other place only, no inhabitant shall be qualified- to give his vote at any election of any member to serve in Parliament for such town, burrough, or place as aforesaid, unless he shall continue to be an inhabitant of such town, burrough, or other place, for the space of six months next before the rest of the writ for electing of members to serve in Parliament.
VII. And be it enacted by the authority aforesaid, That from and after the twenty fourth day of June next no freeholder, burgess, freeman, or inhabitant, being a papist, or professing the popish religion, shall be admitted to give his vote in the election of knights for any shires or counties within this kingdom, or citizens, or burgesses, to serve in this or any future Parliament, unless such person shall have taken the oaths of allegiance and abjuration at least six calendar months before the day of such election, and shall also take the said oaths at the day of election, if required so to do by the sheriff, one of the candidates, or any person having a right to vote at the said election; which oaths the sheriff, his sub sheriff, or the returning officer at such election, is hereby impowered to administer: and in case any papist,or person professing the popish religion, shall contrary to the intent and meaning of this act give his vote at any election in this or any future Parliament, and be thereof convicted, such person shall for every such offence forfeit the sum of one hundred pounds; to be recovered by bill, plaint, or information, in any of his Majesty’s courts of record in the King’s courts Dublin, in which no essoign, protection, or wager of law, or more than one imparlance, shall be allowed, one moity thereof to his Majesty, and the other to the informer.
VIII. And be it further enacted by the authority aforesaid, That from and after the said twenty fourth day of June next no person hereafter to be elected to serve in Parliament for any county, city, town, or burrough within this kingdom, after the test of the writ of summons to Parliament, upon the calling or summoning of any Parliament hereafter, shall by himself, his friends, or agents, or any employed on his behalf, and at his cost and charge, before his election to serve in Parliament for any county, city, town, or burrough within this kingdom, directly or indirectly give, present, or allow, to any person or persons, having voice or vote in such elections, any money, meat,
drink, entertainment, or provision, or make any present, gift, reward, or entertainment, or shall at any time hereafter make any promise, agreement, obligation, or engagement, to give or allow any money, meat, drink, provision, present, entertainment or reward, to or for any such person or persons in particular, or to any such county, city, town, or burrough, in general, or to or for the use, advantage, benefit, imployment, profit, or preferment, of any such person or persons, place or places, in order to elected, or for being elected, to serve in Parliament for such county, city, town or burrough.
IX. And whereas great complaints are made in many corporations of this realm, That on the death, removal or resignation of any alderman or burgess, the chief magistrate of such corporation doth often proceed to an election of a new alderman or burgess to succeed in the room and place of such alderman or burgess so dying, removed, or resigning, in a private and clandestine manner, without giving due and publick notice of the time and place of such election: for remedy whereof, and to the intent and purpose that such elections in corporations may be fair and equal; be it enacted by the authority aforesaid, That from and after the twenty fourth day of June next ensuing, when any alderman or burgess in any corporation of this kingdom shall happen to dye, or be removed from, or resign; his or their office of alderman or burgess, that the chief magistrate, and aldermen or burgesses of such corporation, where such election is in the alderman and burgess, or aldermen and burgesses, duly shall proceed to a new election of an alderman or burgess, to serve in the room and place of such alderman or burgess so dying, removed, or resigning, within twenty one days after notice of the death, removal or resignation of such alderman or burgess; and the chief magistrate of such corporation shall and is hereby required to give publick notice in writing, to be posted up in the most publick place of such corporation, of the day, time, and place of election, by the space of eight days next preceding the day of such election to be made as aforesaid.
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