Qualifying Dates 1885 -1915

Discussion in 'British Electoral Rolls' started by Flook, Jul 21, 2017.

  1. Flook

    Flook A True Gentleman

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    Electoral Register Qualifying Dates 1885 -1915. Some authorities say it was the 15th July and some say 31st July.

    This has bugged me for ages. Can anyone throw any light on the matter?
     
  2. Daft Bat

    Daft Bat Administrator. Chief cook & bottle washer! Staff Member

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    Family search has a very comprehensive article on the subject, including the statement
    Code:
    https://familysearch.org/wiki/en/Electoral_Rolls_or_Registers_in_England
     
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  3. Flook

    Flook A True Gentleman

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    The reason I queried this is that although all standard sources give 31st July as the 'qualifying date', I have a British Library fact sheet from a few years back which states, "In England and Wales the qualifying date was 31 July until 1878 and 15 July from 1879 to 1914".

    I have now dug deep and discovered an answer, which is that neither the 15th nor the 31st July are wrong.

    Luckily that good old standby tome, 'The Representation of the People Act 1884' by W. Cunningham Glen [London, 1885] (1) shows that while the 31st July was the cut-off date for the general register, Lodgers had to have been registered by 15th July (and, of course, there were many tens of thousands of them).

    I thought that was that and that the British Library fact sheet must have been garbled, but in their very latest guide (2) they still say, "Registration was suspended at the start of the First World War but as the qualifying date at that time was 15 July, the process of compiling the 1915 register had already started and was allowed to be completed....".

    All very odd and still confusing.

    (1) Highly recommended as a cure for insomnia!
    (2)https://www.bl.uk/britishlibrary/~/media/subjects images/government publications/pdfs/parliamentaryconstituencies.pdf
     
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