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VOTING REGISTERS AND ELIGIBILITY IN MANCHESTER
subject can be a bit of a mine field and here I attempting to give a
guide to the situation in the
voting lists had different names at various times. They were known as
Burgess Rolls from 1832 until 1852. When the City of
period 1832-1839 these register were listed by township, Ardwick,
Beswick, Cheetham, Chorlton on Medlock, Hulme and
In 1879 the Citizens' Rolls were still listed using the ward or polling district system, but now they were listed by street in alphabetical and numerical order. Thus to find a voter you had to know his address and which ward he lived in. There are a series of indexes in the Manchester Archives + which help you discover which street is in which ward.
From after the First World War the voters' lists were known as Electoral Registers. For a brief period from 1918 to 1923 Absent Voters Lists were compiled giving details of servicemen.
franchise for voting in Parliamentary elections was extended in 1832,
1867, 1884, 1918 and 1928. In 1832 only male householders and tenants
who had property worth more than 210 were eligible to vote. From 1867
all owners of dwelling houses and most occupiers who paid rent of �10 per
year were given the vote. This applied only to the boroughs and cities
not until 1918 that women 30 years and over were entitled to vote in
Parliamentary Elections. At the same time the franchise was extended to
most men aged 21 or over. Certain people such as criminals and Peers of
the Realm were not included. In 1928 the franchise was further extended to
equalize the voting rights of men and women. In 1971 anyone 18 years or
older was eligible to vote, with the obvious exception of most foreign
nationals. With expansion of the old Common Market, non
There were slightly different rules for voting in local elections prior to 1918. From as early as 1869 women who had the necessary property qualifications and who paid rents were eligible to vote in local elections. The 1870 Education Act allowed for women to be voted onto School Boards and in Manchester Lydia Becker served on the board from 1870 until 1890.
From 1879 until 1916 there were different registers for different groups of voters. The form of words changed slightly through years but it essence it remained the same. The following is taken from the 1916 entries, by which time there were five registers.
List of persons entitled to vote as Parliamentary electors for the Gorton Division of the county of Lancaster, and the persons entitled to be citizens of the City of Manchester in respect of the occupation of property situate within the Township of South Manchester which is outside the Parliamentary borough of Manchester otherwise than as lodgings.
Persons entitled to be registered in respect of the occupation of aforesaid, as Parliamentary Electors and as Citizens.
Persons entitled to be registered, in the respect of the occupation aforesaid, as Parliamentary Electors but not as Citizens.
Persons entitled to be enrolled, in respect of the occupation aforesaid as Citizens, but not as Parliamentary Electors.
Parochial Electors (Occupiers)
List of persons entitled to be enrolled as parochial electors, but not entitled to be enrolled as Citizens or registered as Parliamentary Electors in respect of the occupation of property within this Township.
Old Lodger's List
the persons who, being on the register of electors now in force for the
Gorton Division of the
After the franchise was enlarged in 1918, the two registers were combined. The registers had two columns, one for local election and one for Parliamentary elections. In these columns letters were printed to explain the voting qualifications. The key was as follows:
O =Occupier Qualification
R = Residential Qualification
HO = Qualification through Husband's Occupation
BP = Business Premises Qualification
NM = Naval or Military Voter
$= Not entitled to vote in respect of that entry at city Council Elections
a = Absent voter
X = Not entitled to vote in Parliamentary Elections in respect of that entry.
In 1931 the following appeared in the Electoral Registers.
Form of Register
The register contains the names in street order of all persons entitled to vote as Parliamentary electors and local government electors. The index letter in column 2 (a) headed "Parliamentary" or 2 (b) headed " Local Govt" of the register show the nature of the qualification of an elector as follows:-
R = Residence qualification
B = Business premises qualification
O = Occupation qualification
D = qualification through wife's occupation
Rw = Residence qualification
Bw = Business premises qualification
Ow = Occupation qualification
Dw = Qualification through husband's occupation
NM = Naval or Military voter
a = absent voter
J = Juror
SJ = Special Juror
In the Electoral Registers just after the War, there are sporadic examples of people living at the same address with the same name. At the side of names is a group of figures and letters e.g.
Welsh Maria NKOT/173/2
Welsh Maria YNJA/4824/5
These are the war time identity numbers, brought in under the 1939 Registration Act which were used as National Insurance numbers for a short period. On the electoral registers they were used to differentiate between father and son, or in other cases, mother and daughter, living in the same household.
MANCHESTER POLLING DISTRICTS 1872
New Cross Ward
Ancoats St - the River Medlock to Bradford bridge, by the boundary of
St Michael's Ward
Oldham Rd to the boundary of the townships of Newton and Harpurhey - to the River Irk - to Scotland Bridge - Long Millgate - Miller St - Swan St to Oldham Rd.
Collegiate Church Ward
Picccadilly from Lever St - High St, Withy Grove, Hanging Ditch, Cateaton St to the River Irwell - New Brigde St by the boundary of the township of Cheetham - across Cheetham St and Bank St to the River Irk - to Scotland Bridge - Long Millgate - Miller St, Swan St - Lever St to Piccadilly.
St Clement's Ward
Bridge St - the River Irwell - Cateaton St - Hanging Ditch, Withy Grove - Shudehill - Nicholas Croft - High St - Market St - St Mary's Gate - Deansgate to Bridge St.
Piccadilly - London Rd - the River Medlock to Albion St - Lower Mosley St - South side of St Peter's Sq - Mosley St - Bond St - Portland St, Piccadilly.
St James's Ward
Deansgate - Brazennose St - Princess St - Cooper St - Fountain St - Market St - Piccadilly - Portland St - Bond St - Mosley St - Lower Mosley St - Albion St - River Medlock to Deansgate.
Bridge St - the River Irwell - the River Medlock - Deansgate
Market St - Fountain St - Cooper St - Princess St - Brazennose St - Deansgate - Saint Mary's Gate to Market St.
All Saint's Ward
The River Medlock, at the boundary of the township of Hulme - along the boundary to the township of Moss Side - the boundary of Chorlton upon Medlock to Oxford St - Rusholme Rd - York St to the River Medlock.
St Luke's Ward
The River Medlock - Downing St - Stockport Rd to the boundary of the township - Oxford St Rusholme rd - York St to the River Medlock.
The River Irwell from Cornbrook - the River Medlock to Knot Mill - Gt Jackson St - Upper Jackson St - Preston St - Lever St to the boundary of the township - along the boundary by Cornbrook to the River Irwell.
Medlock St Ward
The River Medlock from Knot Mill to and along the boundary of the township - Lever St - Preston St - Upper Jackson St - Gt Jackson St to Knot Mill.
The townships of Ardwick and Beswick.
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Last update: 16th January 2017