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Electoral registers england

ptjw7

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#1
When did people other than the householder get put on the electoral register.
I've been looking for rellies around 1911 and only the man is listed! Then around 1918 women are on there as well!
I really should have listened in the history lessons at school!

Peter
 

ianto73

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#2
What an interesting question. Sadly I can't offer any information as our history lessons stopped just before the commencement of WWI. :rolleyes:
However, surely that all has a connection with the 'Suffragettes' and the election of the first woman MP, which could be around 1918 or so?
Brian
 

ptjw7

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#3
Found the best answer I could find on Yahoo answers :-

It's about property qualifications. It was originally the case, before the Reform Act 1832, that you could only vote if you were adult (over 21), male and owned freehold land that could bring in an annual rent of more than £2. (The "forty shilling freehold" - in old money we had before 1971, there were 20 shillings in a pound. And 12 pence in a shilling.) That doesn't sound like much but
a) money was worth a lot more then. Inflation in the 20th century has made a big difference. I can remember as a little boy going shopping with my mother in the 1970s and bringing home a whole shopping trolley full of food for £3, and at that time, £60 per week was a reasonable wage. £2 was set in the 15th century and there had been some inflation by the 19th century, but £2 was still a significant amount.
b) most people rented, rather than owning their house freehold, or owned their property copyhold, so they didn't count. (Copyhold was a kind of lease. It was abolished in 1925 and most copyholds became freeholds.)

And you could vote both where you lived and where your property was, so some men had two votes.

Starting with the Reform Act 1832, the property qualification was gradually widened, especially to allow voting if you rented your house. By 1918, it had become if you had freehold property worth more than £10 per year rent, or paid rent of over £10 per year. That still left 40% of adult men unable to vote, including the average soldier from an ordinary working-class home. Was it right that men who had fought for King and country still couldn't vote and have a say in what they fought for?

The Representation of the People Act 1918 scrapped the property qualification so ALL adult men could vote. It also allowed women over 30 to vote, if they were on the local government electoral register by property qualification, or married to a man who was, or if they were a university graduate of a university that was represented in Parliament. (Until 1948, when university constituencies were abolished, you could vote twice if you had a degree - once where you lived and once for your university.) Why 30? Perhaps because so many men had died in the war that if it was 21 for everyone, there would have been more women than men able to vote. The age finally got equalised at 21 in 1928.

Still strange that the 1918 act only gave women of 30 or over the vote!
At least it answers a female relative on the list in 1918 so she must be over 30 years of age!


Peter
 

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