Page images
PDF
EPUB

Id.

natural and supernatural; and who made the I will say positively and resolutely, that it is im. former to be compounded of different principles. possible an elective monarchy should be so free and Accordingly, Xenophanes maintained, that the absolute as an hereditary.

Id. earth consisted of air and fire, that all things

For what is man without a moving mind, were produced out of the earth, and the sun and which hath a judging wit, and chusing will ? stars out of clouds, and that there were four ele

Now if God's power should her election bind,

Her motions then would cease, and stand all still. ments. Parmenides also distinguished between

Davies. the doctrine concerning metaphysical objects,

I was sorry to hear with what partiality, and popu. called truth, and that concerning physical or lar heat, elections were carried in many places. corporeal things, called opinion'; with respect to

King Charles. the former, there was one immoveable principle, It could not but be a great comfort to Aaron, to see but in the latter two that were moveable, viz. his rod thus miraculously flourishing; to see this wonfire and earth, or heat and cold; in which parti- derful testimony of God's favour and election. culars Zeno agreed with him. The other branch

Bp. Hall's Contemplations. of the Eleatic sect were the atomic philosophers, Henry his son is chosen king, though young; who formed their system from an attention to the And Lewis of France, elected first, beguiled. phenomena of nature; of these the most consi

Daniel. derable were Leucippus, Democritus, and Pro A vicious liver, believing that Christ died for none tagoras.

but the elect, shall have attempts made upon him to ELECAMPA'NE, n. s. Lat. helenium. A reform and amend his life.

Hammond. plant, named also starwort. Botanists enumerate

Some I have chosen of peculiar grace, thirty species of this plant.

Elect above the rest; so is my will.

Milton. The Germans have a method of candying elecam.

Him, not thy election, pane root like ginger, to which they prefer it, and call

But natural necessity, begot. it German spice.

Hill's Materia Medica. From the new world her silver and her gold

Came, like a tempest, to confound the old; ELECAMPANE, in botany. See Inula.

Feeding with these the bribed electors' hopes, ELECT, v. Q., n. S., & adj.) Fr, elire ; Ital. Alone she gave us emperors and popes. Waller. ELECTION, n. s.

eleggere; Span. To talk of compelling a man to be good, is a contraELEC'TIONEERING, elegir ; Port. ele- diction ; for where there is force, there can be no ELEC'TIVE, adj.

ger; Lat. elec- choice : whereas all moral goodness consisteth in the ELEC'TIVELY, adv. tus, eligere. To elective act of the understanding will. ELECTOR, n. s. choose; select:

Grew's Cosmologia Sacra. ELECTORAL, adj.

used, theologi They work not electively, or upon proposing to themELECTORATE, n. S. cally, for God's selves an end of their operations.

Id. ELECTORESS,

choice of his Son, Thus while they speed their pace, the prince deELEC'TRESS.

the Jews, Chris signs tians, &c. : and in the same sense, as a substan- The new elected seat, and draws the lines. Dryden. tire, for the party or parties chosen. An election, The last change of their government, from elective politically, is the ceremony of choosing, or too

to hereditary, has made it seem hitherto of less force, often of returning only, members of parliament: and unfitter for action abroad. electioneering, the business, solicitations, or

Thus to regulate candidates and electors, and new. practices, whereby such returns are procured: model the ways of election, what is it but to cut up the elective, regulated, or bestowed, by election; government by the roots, and poison the very foun

tain of public security ?

Locke. exerting choice : elector, one who has a right, or power, to choose to office, or otherwise: electoral,

How or why that should have such an influence having the right or dignity of elector, applied, in upon the spirits, as to drive them into those muscles a particular sense, to certain German princes, electively, I am not subtle enough to discern.

Ray on the Creation. whose dominions are called their electorate :

As charity is, nothing can more increase, the lustre electoress, or electress, is the wife, or widow, and beauty than a prudent election of objects, and a of an electoral prince.

fit application of it to them.

Sprat. Bebold my servant whom I uphold, mine elect in You see in elections for members to sit in parliasbonn my soul delighteth. Bible. Isa. xlii. 1. ment, how far saluting rows of old women, drinking Who shall lay any thing to the charge of God's elect? with clowns, and being upon a level with the lowest

Id. Rom. viii. 33. part of mankind, in that wherein they themselves are If the election of the minister sbould be committed lowest, their diversions, will carry a candidate.

Steele. to every several parish, do you think that they would chuse the meetest?

Whitgift. He has a great and powerful king for his son-inYou have here, lady,

law; and can himself command, when he pleases, the And of your choice, these reverend fathers,

whole strength of an electorate in the empire. Yes, the elect of the land, who are assembled

Addison's Freeholder, To plead your cause. Shakspeare. Henry VIII. Since the late dissolution of the club, many persons

The wisdom of nature is better than of books : pru- put up for the next election. Id. Spectator. dence being a wise election of those things which

He calls upon the sinners to turn themselves and Dever remain after one and the self-same manner.

live ; he tells us that he has set before us life and death, Raleigh.

and referred it to our own election which we will chuse. The discovering of these colours cannot be done but

Rogers. eat of a very universal knowledge of things : which so The conceit about absolute election to eternal life, deareth men's judgment and election as it is the less some enthusiasts entertaining, have been made remiss ape to slide into error. Bacon. in the practice of virtue.

Atterbury.

Temple.

This prince, in gratitude to the people, by whose immediate dominion of others, all popular states consent he was chosen, elected a hundred senators out have been obliged to establish certain qualitiof the commoners.

Swift, cations; whereby some, who are suspected to Lo! serve us on sudden,

have no will of their own, are excluded from In shape of porter, beef, and pudding,

voting, in order to set other individuals, whose Though like electioneering comes,

will may be supposed independent, more thoStrike up ye trumpets and ye drums!

Warton.

roughly upon a level with each other. And this Many an honest man, before as harmless as a tame

constitution of suffrages is framed upon a wiser rabbit, when loaded with a single election dinner, has principle, with us, than either of the methods become more dangerous than a charged culverin. of voting, by centuries or by tribes, among the

Goldsmith. Romans. In the method by centuries, instiCounties could neither be purchased nor intimidated. tuted by Servius Tullius, it was principally But their solemn determined election may be rejected; property, and not numbers, that turned the scale; and the man they detest may be appointed by another in the method by tribes, gradually introduced choice, to represent them in parliament.

Junius.

by the tribunes of the people, numbers only Man, thus endued with an elective voice,

were regarded, and property entirely overlooked. Must be supplied with objects of his choice; Where'er he turns, enjoyment and delight,

Hence the laws passed by the former method Or present, or in prospect, meet his sight.

had usually too great a tendency to aggrandise Cowper.

the patricians or rich nobles: and those by the 'There are not, in this island, one million of persons latter had too much of a levelling principle. who have a vote in electing parliament-men: and yet, Our constitution steers between the two extremes. in this island, there are eight millions of persons who Only such are entirely excluded as can have no must obey the law.

Beattie. will of their own : there is hardly a free agent The act of parliament settled the crown on the to be found, but what is entitled to a vote in electress Sophia and her descendants. Burke. some place or other in the kingdom. Nor is

ELEction, in British polity, is the people's comparative wealth or property entirely disrechoice of their representatives in parliament. See garded in elections; for though the richest man Parliament. In this consists the exercise of has only one vote at one place, yet, if his prothe democratical part of our constitution: for in perty be at all diffused, he has probably a right a democracy there can be no exercise of sove to vote at more places than one, and therefore reignty but by suffrage, which is the declaration has many representatives. This is the spirit of of the people's will. In all democracies, there- our constitution: not that we assert it is in fact fore, it is of the utmost importance to regulate by so-perfect as we have endeavoured to describe it; whom and in what manner, the suffrages are to for, if any alteration might be wished or suggested be given. And the Athenians were so justly in the present form of parliaments, it should be jealous of this prerogative, that a stranger, who in favor of a more complete representation of interfered in the assemblies of the people, was the people. But to return to the qualifications ; punished with death, being esteemed guilty of and first, those of elections for knights of the shire. ħigh treason, by usurping those rights of sove- 1. By stat. 8 Hen. VI. c. 7 and 10, Hen. VI. reignty to which he had no title. * In Britain,' c. 2. (amended by 14 Geo. III. c. 58), the knights says Blackstone,' where the people do not debate of the shire shall be chosen of people, whereof in a collective body, but by representation, the every man shall have freehold to the value of exercise of this sovereignty consists in the choice forty shillings by the year within the county; of representatives. The laws have therefore very which (by subsequent statutes) is to be clear of strictly guarded against the usurpation or abuse all charges and deductions, except parliamentary of this power, by many salutary provisions; and parochial taxes. The knights of shires are which may be reduced to these three points, 1. the representatives of the landholders, or landed The qualifications of the electors. 2. The quali- interests of the kingdom: their electors must fications of the elected. 3. The proceedings at therefore have estates in lands or tenements elections.

within the county represented. These estates must As to the Qualification of Electors.—The true be freehold, that is, for term of life at least; bereason of requiring any qualification, with re cause beneficial leases for long terms of years gard to property, in voters, is to exclude such were not in use at the making of these statutes, persons as are in so mean a situation, that they and copyholders were then little better than vilare esteemed to have no will of their own. If leins, absolutely dependent upon their lords. these persons had votes, they ould be tempted This freehold must be of forty shihings annual to dispose of them under some undue influence value ; because that sum would then, with proor other. This would give a great, an artful, or per industry, furnish all the necessaries of life, a wealthy man, a larger share in elections than and render the freeholder, if he pleased, an inis consistent with general liberty. If it were dependent man; for bishop Fleetwood, in his probable that every man would give his vote Chronicon Pretiosum, written at the beginning freely, and without influence of any kind; then, of the eighteenth century, has fully proved forty upon the true theory and genuine principles of shillings in the reign of Henry VI. to have been liberty, every member of the community, how- equal to £12 per annum in the reign of queen ever poor, should have a vote in electing those Anne; and, as the value of money is very condelegates to whose charge is committed the dis- siderably lowered since the bishop wrote, we posal of his property, his liberty, and his life. may fairly conclude, from this and other circumBut since that can hardly be expected in persons stances, that what was equivalent to £12 in his of indigent fortunes, or such as are under the days, is equivalent to £30 at present. The other

less important qualifications of the electors for discreet and learned lawyers for that purpose. counties in England and Wales, may be collected But it was king James 1. who indulged them from the statutes 7 and 8 Will.III. c. 25; 10 Ann. with the permanent privilege to send constantly C. 23; 2 Geo.,II. c. 21; 18 Geo. II. c. 18; 31 two of their own body to serve; for those stuGeo. II. c. 14; 3 Geo. III. c. 24, which direct, dents, who, though useful members of the 2. That no person under twenty-one years of community, were neither concerned in the age, shall be capable of voting for any member. landed nor the trading interest; and to protect This extends to all sorts of members as well for in the legislature the rights of the republic of boroughs as counties; as does also the next, viz. letters. The right of election in boroughs is 3. That no person convicted of perjury, or sub- various, depending entirely on the several charornat:on of perjury, shall be capable of voting ters, customs, and constitutions of the respective in any election. 4. That no person shall vote places, which has occasioned infinite disputes : in right of any freehold, granted to him fraudu- though now, by statute 2 Geo. II. c. 24, the lently to qualify him to vote. Fraudulent grants right of voting for the future shall be allowed are such as contain an agreement to recovery, or according to the last determination of the house to defeat the estate granted ; which agreements of commons concerning it; and, by statute 3, are made void, and the estate is absolutely vested Geo. III. c. 15. no freeman of any city or in the person to whom it is so granted. And, borough (rother than such as claim by birth, to guard the better against such frauds, it is far- marriage, or servitude,) shall be entitled to vote ther provided, 5. That every voter shall have therein, unless he has been admitted to his freebeen in the actual possession, or receipt of the dom twelve calendar months before. See profits, of his freehold to his own use for twelve BOROUGH. calendar months before : except it came to him 2. As to the Qualifications of Persons to be by descent, marriage, marriage-settlement, will, elected.Some of the qualifications to be elected or promotion to a benefice or office. 6. That members of the house of commons depend upon no person shall vote in respect of an annuity or the law and custom of parliaments, declared by rent-charge, unless registered with the clerk of the house; others upon certain statutes. And the peace twelve calendar months before. 7. from these it appears, 1. That they must not be That in mortgaged or trust-estates, the person aliens born or minors. 2. That they must not in possession, under the above-mentioned restric- be any of the twelve judges, because they sit in tions, shall have the vote. 8. That only one the lords' house; nor of the clergy, for they sit person shall be admitted to vote for any one in the convocation; nor persons attainted of house or tenement, to prevent the splitting of free- treason, or felony, for they are unfit to sit any bolds. 9. That no estate shall qualify a voter, where. 3. That sheriffs of counties, and mayors unless the estate has been assessed to some land- and bailiffs of boroughs, are not eligible in their tar aid, at least twelve months before the election. respective jurisdictions, as being returning offi10. That no tenant by copy of court-roll shall cers; but that sheriffs of one county are eligible be permitted to vote as a freeholder. Thus much to be knights of another. 4. That, in strictness, for the electors in counties. As for the electors all members ought to have been inhabitants of of citizens and burgesses, these are supposed to the places for which they are chosen ; but, this be the mercantile part or trading interest of this having been long disregarded, was at length kingdom. But as trade is of a fluctuating na- entirely repealed by statute 14 Geo. III. c. 58. ture, and seldom long fixed in a place, it was 5. That no persons concerned in the manageformerly left to the crown to summon pro re ment of any duties or taxes created since 1692, nata, the most flourishing towns to send re- except the commissioners of the treasury, nor presentatives to parliament. So that as towns any of the officers following (viz. commissioners increased in trade, and grew populous, they of prizes, transports, sick and wounded, winewere admitted to a share in the legislature. But licenses, navy, and victualling; secretaries, or the misfortune is, that the deserted boroughs con- receivers of prizes; comptrollers of the army tinuerl to be summoned, as well as those to whom accounts; agents for regiments; governors of their trade and inhabitants were transferred; ex- plantations, and their deputies; officers of Mincept a few which petitioned to be eased of the orca or Gibraltar; officers of the excise and cusexpense, then usual, of maintaining their mem- toms; clerks or deputies in the several offices of ber; four shillings a-day being allowed fora knight the treasury, exchequer, navy, victualling, admiof the shire, and two shillings for a citizen or bur- ralty, pay of the army or navy, secretaries of gess; which was the rate or wages established state, salt, stamps, appeals, wine-licenses, hackin the reign of Edward III. Hence the members ney-coaches, hawkers, and pedlars,) nor any for boroughs now bear above a quadruple pro- person that holds any new office under the portion to those for counties; and the number crown, created from 1705, are capable of being of parliament men is increased since Fortescue's elected, or sitting as members. 6. That no time, in the reign of Henry VI., from 300 to person having a pension under the crown during upwards of 500, exclusive of those for Scotland. pleasure, or for any term of years, is capable of The universities were, in general, not empow- being elected or sitting. 7. That if any

member ered to seod burgesses to parliament; though accepts an office under the crown, except an once, in 28 Edw. I. when a parliament was sum officer in the army or navy accepting a new commoped to consider of the king's right to Scot- mission, his seat" is void; but such member is land, there were issued writs, which required the capable of being re-elected. 8. That all knights university of Oxford to send up four or five, and of the shire shall be actual knights, of such that of Cambridge two or three, of their most notable squires and gentlemen as have estates

sufficient to be knights, and by no means of the his seal, to the proper returning officers of the degree of yeomen. This is reduced to a still cities and boroughs, commanding them to greater certainty, by ordaining, 9. That every elect their members : and the said returning knight of a shire shall have a clear estate of free- officers are to proceed to election within eight hold or copyhold to the value of £600 per annum, days from the receipt of the precept, giving and every citizen and burgess to the value of four days notice of the same; and to return £300, except the eldest sons of peers and of the persons chosen, together with the prepersons qualified to be knights of shires, and cept, to the sheriff. But elections of knights except the members for the two universities: of the shire must be proceeded to by the she which somewhat balances the ascendant which riffs themselves in person, at the next countythe boroughs have gained over the counties, by court that shall happen after the delivery of the obliging the trading interest to make choice of writ. The county-court is a court held every landed men: and of this qualification the mem- month or oftener by the sheriff, intended to try ber must make oath, and give in the particulars little causes not exceeding the value of 40s., la in writing, at the time of his taking his seat. But, what part of the county he pleases to appoint for subject to these standing restrictions and disqua- that purpose: but, for the election of knights of lifications, every subject of the realm is eligible the shire, it must be held at the most usual place. of common right: though there are instances, If the county-court falls upon the day of deliverwherein persons in particular circumstances have ing the writ, or within six days after, the sheriff forfeited that common right, and have been de- may adjourn the court and election to some other clared ineligible for that parliament, by a vote convenient time, no longer than sixteen days, of the house of communs; or for ever, by an act nor shorter than ten; but he cannot alter the of the legislature. But it was an unconstitu- place without the consent of all the candidates : tional prohibition, which was grounded on an and, in all such cases, ten days public notice ordinance of the house of lords, and inserted in must be given of the time and place of the electhe king's writs, for the parliament holden at tion. And as it is essential to the very being of Coventry, 6 Henry IV., that no apprentice or parliament that elections should be absolutely other man of the law should be elected a knight free, therefore all undue influences upon the for the shire therein; in return for which, our electors are illegal, and strongly prohibited. law books and historians have branded this par- As soon, therefore, as the time and place of elecliament with the name of parliamentum indoc- tion, either in counties or boroughs, are fixed, tum, or the lack-learning parliament; and Sir all soldiers quartered in the places are to remove, Edward Coke observes, with some spleen, that at least one day before the election, to the disthere was never a good law made thereat. tance of two miles or more: and not to return

With respect to the clergy, their right or till one day after the poll is ended. Riots likecapacity of sitting in parliament was for a long wise have been frequently determined to make time contested; but at length, by 41 Geo. III. an election void. By vote also of the house of (U.K.) c. 63. it was enacted, that no person commons, to whom alone belongs the power of having been ordained to the office of priest or determining contested elections, no lord of pardeacon, or being a minister of the Church of liament, or lord-lieutenant of a county, has any Scotland, shall be capable of being elected to right to interfere in the election of commoners ; serve in parliament as a member of the house of and, by statute, the lord warden of the cinquecommons. The election of such persons is ports shall not recommend any members there. declared void; and if any person after his elec. If any officer of the excise, customs, stamps, or tion is ordained, he must vacate his seat. The certain other branches of the revenue, presumes penalty for any person sitting as a member, con- to intermeddle in elections, by persuading any trary to this act, is £500 a-day: and proof of voter or dissuading him, he forfeits £100, and is having celebrated divine service is declared disabled to hold any office. Thus are the elecprima facie evidence of the party's being or- tors of one branch of the legislature secured from dained, &c.

any undue influence from either of the other 3. Respecting the method of proceeding.–The two, and from all external violence and compulthird point regarding elections, is the method of sion. But the greatest danger is that in which proceeding therein. This is also regulated by themselves co-operate by the infamous practice the law of parliament, and by various statutes, of bribery and corruption. To prevent which it all of which we shall blend together, and extract is enacted, that no candidate shall, after the date out of them a summary account of the method (usually called the teste) of the writs, or after the of proceeding to elections. As soon as the par- vacancy, give any money or entertainment to his liament is summoned, the lord chancellor (or, if electors, or promise to give any, either to para vacancy happens during the sitting of parlia- ticular persons, or to the place in general, in ment, the speaker, by order of the house, and order to his being elected, on pain of being inwithout such order, if a vacancy happens by capable to serve for that place in parliament. death in the time of a recess for upwards of And if any money, gift, office, employment, or twenty days,) sends his warrant to the clerk of reward, be given or promised to be given, to any the crown in chancery; who thereupon issues voter, at any time, in order to influence him to out writs to the sheriff of every county, for the give or withhold his vote, as well he that takes election of all the members to serve for that as he that offers such bribe forfeits £500, and is county, and every city and borough therein. for ever disabled from voting and holding any Within three days after the receipt of this office in any corporation: unless, before convicwrit, the sheriff is to send his precept, under tion, he will discover some other offender of the

same kind, and then he is indemnified for his casional vacancy; and this under penalty of £500. own offence. The first instance that occurs of If the sheriff does not return such knights only election bribery, was so early as 13 Eliz., when as are duly elected, he forfeits, by the old statutes one Thomas Longe acknowledged that he had of Henry VI., £100; and the returning officer in given the returning officer and others of the boroughs, for a like false return, £40; and they borough for which he was chosen the sum of £4 are besides liable to an action, in which double to be returned member, and was for that pre- damages shall be recovered, by the later statues mium elected. But for this offence the borough of king William; and any person bribing the rewas amerced, the member was removed, and the turning officer shall also forfeit £300. But the officer fined and imprisoned. But as this prac- members returned by him, are the sitting memtice has since taken much deeper and more bers, until the house of commons, upon petition, universal root, it has occasioned the making of shall adjudge the return to be false and illegal. various statutes; to complete the efficacy of The form and manner of proceeding upon such waich, there is nothing wanting but resolution petition are regulated by statute 10 Geo. III. and integrity to put them in strict execution. c. 16. (amended by 11 Geo. III. c. 42, and made Undue influence being thus guarded against, perpetual by 14 Geo. III. c. 15), which directs the election is to be proceeded to on the day ap- the method of choosing by lot a select committee pointed; the sheriff or other returning officer of fifteen members, who are sworn well and truly first taking an oath against bribery, and for the to try the same, and a true judgment to give, due execution of his office. The candidates according to the evidence. See PARLIAMENT. likewise, if required, must swear to their quali Since the beginning of the reign of Henry fication, and the electors in counties to theirs ; VIII., the number of the representatives of the and the electors both in counties and boroughs commons has been more than doubled. In his are also compellable to take the oath of abjura- first parliament the house consisted only of 298 tion, and that against bribery and corruption. members ; 360 have since been added by acts of

The principal British statutes on this subject parliament, or by the king's charter, either creare: 7 H. 4. c. 15; 8 H. 6. c. 7; 23 H. 6. c. 14; ating new, or reviving old boroughs. Under the 2 W. & M. stat. 1. c. 7; 5 & 6 W. & M. c. 20; provision of the acts 27 Hen. VIII. c. 26. sect. 7 W. III. c. 4; 7 & 8 W. III. cc. 7, 25; 10 & 11 29, and 34 & 35 Hen. VIII. c. 26. sect. 27., there W.III.c. 7; 12 & 13 W. III. c. 10; 6 Ann.c. 23; were added twenty-four for Wales; twelve pre9 Ann. c. 5; 10 Ann. cc. 19, 33; 2 Geo. II. c. 24; cisely by the first act for the counties, and twelve 8 Geo. II. c. 30; 18 Geo. II. c. 18; 19 Geo. II. under the provision of the latter act for the boe. 28; 10 Geo. III. c. 16; 11 Geo. III. c. 42; 28 roughs. Two for the county, and two for the Geo. III. c. -52.

city of Chester, were added by stat. 34, 35, Hen. The election being closed, the returning officer VÚI. c. 13. Two for the county, and two for in boroughs returns his precept to the sheriff, the city of Durham, by stat. 25 Car. II. c. 9. with the persons elected by the majority: and the Forty-five for Scotland, by the acts of union sheriff returns the whole, together with the writs with that kingdom; and 100 for Ireland, by the for the county and the knights elected thereupon, acts of union with that kingdom; and the reto the clerk of the crown in chancery; before the mainder by charter. day of meeting, if it be a new parliament, or with The number of the house of commons may in fourteen days after the election, if it be an oc- therefore be stated thus :

Members.
In the first parliament of Hen. VIII.' .

298
Created since by positive statute

168
Created or restored by charter, &c.: viz.—By Hen. VIII.

16: by Edw. VI. 48: Mary, 21 : Eliz. 60: Jac. I. 27 :
Car. I. 18: Car. II. 2

192

Total

658

Of these, there are elected :

For England

Ireland
Scotland
Wales

.

489
100
45
24

Total

658 The number of places which send members, counties, cities, boroughs, and places throughand the numbers of knights, citizens, burgesses, out the united kingdom, will appear by the and barons, respectively sent by the several following statement :

Counties.

Members.
England 40

5 80

2 Ireland

| 64

Knights (in Scotland,

27 117 counties

also called commission-
Scotland

3 alternately? 3 ers), of shires.
Wales
12 1 each

12

[ocr errors]

527 1 each

.

6 i each

.

[ocr errors]

186

[blocks in formation]
« PreviousContinue »