Extract from the Breconshire Quarter Sessions 1837

Extract 1837 What is shown here is an extract from the register of electors for the County of Brecknock for the year 1837. Even though the Reform Act of 1832 had broadened the franchise, eligibility was still withheld from the great mass of the population. No women appear on the list, of course, and only those men over 21 who could fulfil a property qualification as laid down by the Act of 1832. Details of the elector's property are given in the third column.

At this time there was no secret ballot and Poll Books recorded how each elector voted and were available for scrutiny on demand. During the year 1837 there was a general election following the death of King William IV. A Poll Book in the County Archives shows how the voters in the electoral register voted. Colonel Wood of Gwernyfed was returned as Conservative member for the County as he had been six times before. He continued to represent the constituency until 1847 by which time he had served for forty years. As it was members of the great landowning families or their protegés who contested the seats, tenants and businessmen who relied on their patronage no doubt came under pressure at election time.


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