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CHAP. II. ment, signed by the parties to whom, and by whom, the writ is delivered, is to be kept by the receiver. The writ is then to be despatched, postage free, by the first post or mail, under cover, to the officer to whom it is directed; accompanied by instructions requiring the Postmaster, or Deputy Postmaster, of the place, or nearest to the place, where such officer holds his office, to deliver the writs to him at such office, or to his deputy. A written memorandum, stating the day and hour of the receipt, and signed by the persons to, and by, whom the writ has been delivered, is to be transmitted by such Postmaster, or Deputy Postmaster, by the first, or second, post, to the Postmaster, or Postmasters, General, or to their deputies; who are to make an entry thereof in a book kept for the purpose, and to file the memorandum along with the duplicate of the previous acknowledgment signed by the Messenger; so that both documents may be produced and inspected, on all proper occasions, by any person interested in the election.1

Notice to Postmaster General of place to which writs


In order that the Postmasters General may know where to send the writs, the Chancellor of the county palatine of Lancaster, the Bishop ought to be of Durham or his temporal Chancellor of the county palatine of Durham, the Chamberlain of the county palatine of Chester, the Warden of the Cinque Ports, the Sheriffs and Stewarts of the several cities, counties, and stewartries, and all other persons to whom the writs are to be directed, or their respective lieutenants, or deputies, must notify to such Postmasters General the offices to which the writs are to be directed, together with the post towns in which, or nearest to which, such offices are; and so, from time to time, with all convenient speed, as

153 Geo. III. c. 89, s. 1.

often as such offices are changed. Moreover, CHAP. II. the Postmasters General are to have a list of such places hung up in some public place in the General Post Office.1

senger of

It is enacted that, for these services, the Mes- Remunerasenger of the Great Seal shall be remunerated tion of Mesfrom the Hanaper office, in the proportion of Great Seal two guineas for each writ for every election on a vacancy; and of fifty pounds on a general election. No fees are permitted; and their acceptance by any person concerned in transmitting, or delivering, writs, is, in common with every other transgression of the Act, made a misdemeanour, punishable by fine and imprison


War Office

in Great Bri

Notice to War Office.] Finally, on the issu- Notice to ing of any new writ for an election in Great with respect Britain, the Clerk of the Crown, or other officer to elections making out the document, must give notice tain. thereof with all convenient speed to the Secretary of War, or to the person officiating in his stead; who, in his turn, is required, at some convenient time before the day appointed for the election, to give a similar notice to the general officer commanding in each district of Great Britain. The latter must thereupon give orders, that on the day in question no soldier, quartered within two miles of the place of polling, or nomination (excepting only the guards attending the Sovereign or royal family, or the soldiers stationed in the Bank of England), shall go out of his barrack, or quarters, except to mount or relieve guard, or, if a voter, to vote at the election; and that any soldier going out for any, or either, of these objects is to return with all convenient speed after accomplishing them.

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UPON the writ being delivered to the officer to whom it is addressed, he must immediately inIndorsement dorse upon its back, in the presence of the person from whom he received it, the date of such delivery.

of writ.

Thus :

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A. B., High Sheriff [or, if the Returning ·Officer be not High Sheriff, but has the writ directed to him by virtue of his being some other officer, he may designate himself as such other officer; e. g. A. B., Mayor; or, if he be Returning Officer merely by special appointment, he may designate himself A. B., Returning Officer.

The indorsement having been made, the subsequent preparations for an election differ according to which of the three divisions of the United Kingdom it may be about to take place in. These preparations will, therefore, be considered se

See as to England & Wales, 7 & 8 Will. III. c. 25, s. 1: as to Scotland, 2 & 3 Will. IV. c. 65, s. 28; 5 & 6 Will. IV. c. 78, s. 1; 18 Vic. c. 24, s. 1: as to Ireland, 1 Geo. IV. c. 11, s. 5; 4 Geo. IV. c. 55, s. 33.

parately; first, with reference to England and CHAP. III. Wales; secondly, with reference to Scotland; and, thirdly, with reference to Ireland. It may be convenient, also, to subdivide the subject further; namely, with reference, first to counties; and, next, to boroughs.

writ gratui


With regard to all English, Welsh, and Irish Execution of elections, the general rule may here be laid down, tous in that no Sheriff, Mayor, or other officer, engaged and in the making out, receiving, delivering, return- Irish elecing, or executing, the writ, may give or take any reward for such service.1



In English, or Welsh, counties.] In an Eng. Sheriff's prolish, or Welsh, county, the Sheriff must proclaim the time, and principal place, of the coming election in the following form, or to the like effect:

Election of Knight, &c.

The Sheriff of the County of

will, at [here insert
day of

the principal place of election], the
now next ensuing, proceed to the Election of a Knight
[or Knights or Member or Members as the case may be]
for the County [or Riding or Division of a County as
the case may be], at which Time and Place all persons
entitled to vote at the said Election are requested to give
their attendance.

And take notice, That all persons who are guilty of Bribery at the said Election will, on conviction of such offence, be liable to the penalties mentioned in that behalf in "The Corrupt Practices Act, 1854."

And take notice, That all persons who are guilty of Treating or undue Influence at the said Election will, on

1 7 & 8 Will. III. s. 2, c. 25, (Ireland; 35 Geo. III. c. 29, s. 14; 4 Geo. IV. c. 55, s. 73). As to whether the sheriff may charge, in his bill of Cravings, for the expense of distributing the proclamations, see Atkinson's Sheriff," 274; and as to his general power of applying to Government to recoup him for election expenses, see, per Lawrence, J., Wathen v. Sandys, 2 Campb. 644; post, p. 24. 17 & 18 Vic. c. 102, s. 11; APPENDIX, p. xxx.

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CHAP. III. conviction of such offence, be liable to the Penalties mentioned in that behalf in "The Corrupt Practices Prevention Act, 1854."

Time of election:

Place of election:


Proclamation, how and when published.

[Signature of the proper Officer.]

With respect to the blanks left in the foregoing form for the time of election, the Sheriff may appoint any day for the purpose (Sundays, Good Friday, and Christmas day excepted), not later than the twelfth, nor sooner than the sixth, day from the making of the proclamation.1

The place of election, if it has not been fixed by positive enactment, ought to be that at which elections were most usually held between the years 1656 and 1696.2 The greater number of the provisions on this head are to be found in the Reform Act, and in the supplementary statute passed later in the same session under the name of the Boundary Act. With respect, however, to the places appointed by either of these two enactments, the Sheriff is empowered to substitute any convenient place in the neighbourhood at which, previous to 1832, elections were usually held. The words giving this discretion, indeed, are only to be found in the Boundary Act; but, constructively, they apply equally to the places appointed by the previous statute, inasmuch as the two enactments are to be construed as if merged into one.6

The Sheriff's signature, at the foot of the proclamation, may be either written or printed.7 The proclamation must be published within two days after the receipt of the writ. Sunday would

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7 2nd Sligo, 1 P. R. & D. 211; Clerk's Pr. Tr. 13.

8 As to Scotch counties, 18 Vic. c. 24, s. 1.

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