Appendix
Act for Regulation of Elections

Sponsor

Centre for Metropolitan History

Publication

Author

John Noorthouck

Year published

1773

Pages

869-873

Citation Show another format:

'Appendix: Act for Regulation of Elections', A New History of London: Including Westminster and Southwark (1773), pp. 869-873. URL: http://british-history.ac.uk/report.aspx?compid=46793 Date accessed: 17 April 2014. Add to my bookshelf


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No. LV.

An Act for repealing all former Acts, Orders and Ordinances, touching the Nomination and Election of Sheriffs of the City of London and County of Middlesex, and for regulating and enforcing such Nominations and Elections for the future. [See p. 361.]

Preamble.

WHEREAS from time immemorial there have been, and of right ought to be, two sheriffs of this city, which said two sheriffs, during all the time aforesaid, have constituted, and of right ought to constitute, one Sheriff of the county of Middlesex:

And whereas the sheriffwick of this city, and the sheriffwick of the said county of Middlesex have, from time immemorial, belonged, and do of right belong, to the mayor and commonalty and citizens of the city of London:

And whereas the several acts, orders and ordinances heretofore made and passed in this city, touching the choice of election of persons to the offices of sheriffalty of this city and county of Middlesex, and for compelling the persons so chosen, or elected, to accept and serve the said offices, have hitherto proved ineffectual to answer the several purposes in and by such acts, orders and ordinances expressed or intended:

Former acts repealed.

For remedy thereof, be it enacted, and it is hereby enacted and ordained by the right honourable the lord-mayor, the right worshipful the aldermen, and the commons of this city, in this present common council assembled, and by the authority of the same, that all and every the said acts, orders and ordinances, so far as the same relate to the said offices of sheriffalty, shall from henceforth be, and the same are hereby repealed, annulled, and made utterly void and of none effect.

Who to elect sheriffs, and what to be the general election day.

And it is hereby further enacted, that the right of electing persons to the said offices of sheriffalty shall be, and the same is hereby vested in the liverymen of the several companies of this city, to be for that purpose from time to time assembled in the common-hall of the Guildhall of this city, and that the general day of election of persons to the said offices shall be, yearly, the twenty-fourth day of June, unless the same shall happen to be Sunday; in which case, the said election shall be on the day then next following.

In what instances elections to be on other days.

Provided always, that whensoever it shall happen, that any person or persons elected to the said offices of sheriffalty, shall in any instance refuse or neglect to conform to this act, or shall depart this life, or be lawfully removed or discharged from the said offices, or from his or their respective election thereunto; or that upon any other occasion whatsoever, there shall be just cause to proceed to a new election; then, and in every such case, it shall and may be lawful, to and for the liverymen of the said several companies of this city, duly assembled as aforesaid, to proceed to, and make such new election at such day and time as by the court of lord-mayor and aldermen of this city for the time being shall be ordered or appointed.

When persons elected are to take, and how long to hold the office.

And it is hereby further ordained, that every person who shall hereafter be elected to the said offices of sheriffalty upon the said general election day, or at any other time between the said general election day and the twenty-second day of September in the same year, when there shall be no actual vacancy in the said offices, shall take the same upon him on the vigil of St. Michael the Archangel next following his said election, and shall hold the same for and during the space of one whole year from thence next ensuring; and that every person who shall be elected to the said offices on the said twentysecond day of September, or at any time between the said twenty second and twenty-eighth days of September, or upon a vacancy happening in the said offices, or when the sheriffs of this city and county of Middlesex for the time being, or either of them, shall hold over, as is herein after mentioned and provided, shall take the said offices upon him on the seventh day next after notice of his said election, and shall hold the same until the swearing in of the new sheriffs upon the vigil of St. Michael the Archangel next following the day of his taking the said offices upon him as aforesaid.

In what instances to hold over.

Provided always, and it is hereby further ordained, that if, upon any future vigil of St. Michael the Archangel, it shall happen, that neither of the persons elected to the said offices of sheriffalty, shall appear in the Guildhall aforesaid, and take the said offices upon him, then, and in every such case, both the then sheriffs shall hold over and continue in the said offices until some other persons shall be duly elected and sworn into the same in their stead; and if upon any such vigil it happen, that only one of the persons elected to the said offices, shall so appear and take the said offices upon him, then, and in every such last mentioned case, the junior in office of the then sheriffs shall hold over and continue in the said offices, until some other person shall be duly elected and sworn into the same in his stead.

In what order the aldermen to be put up and take place.

Provided also, and it is further ordained, that from henceforth, at every assembly for the election of a person or persons to the said offices of sheriffalty, every alderman of this city who shall not have actually served the same, shall according to his seniority in the said court of lord mayor and aldermen, and before any commoner of this city, be publickly put in nomination for the said offices; and every alderman of this city, who shall be elected to the said offices, shall therein take place according to his seniority in the said court, and have precedence of every commoner of this court.

Power to lord-mayor to nominate persons, and how they shall be put up.

And that from henceforth for ever, it shall and may be lawful, to and for the lord-mayor of this city for the time being, at such time or times as he shall think proper, between the fourteenth day of April and the fourteenth day of June in every year, to nominate, in the said court of lord-mayor and aldermen of this city, one or more fit and able person or persons (not exceeding the number of nine persons in the whole) being free of this city, to be publickly put in nomination for the said offices of sheriffalty, to the liverymen of the several companies of this city, to be thereafter in the common-hall aforesaid assembled for the election of a person or persons to the said offices; and the person or persons so nominated by any lord-mayor of this city, shall at every such assembly of the said liverymen, after his and their respective nominations by the lord-mayor as aforesaid, be publickly put in nomination for the said offices, before any other commoner of this city, and in the same order as he or they shall stand nominated by the lord-mayor, until he or they shall respectively have been duly elected to the said offices, or shall have been duly discharged of and from such nomination, in such manner as is herein after mentioned.

What fine to be paid to discharge persons nominated by the lord-mayor.

Provided always, that if any person so nominated shall, within six days after notice thereof, pay to the chamberlain of this city for the time being, the sum of four hundred pounds of lawful money of Great-Britain, for the uses herein after mentioned, and twenty marks towards the maintenance of the several ministers of the several prisons within this city, together with the usual fees, every such person shall be for ever exempted and discharged from such nomination, and from serving the said offices of sheriffalty, unless he shall afterwards take upon him the office of an alderman of this city, in which case he shall be liable to be elected to the said offices of sheriffalty.

In what order persons nominated by two liverymen to be put up.

And it is further ordained, that at every assembly for the election of one or more person or persons to the said offices of sheriffalty, all, and every such person and persons being free of this city, and then not exempted or discharged from the said offices, as shall then and there be for that purpose nominated by any two or more of the said liverymen then and there present, and having a right of voting at such election, shall be publickly put in nomination for the said offices, next after such person or persons as shall have been so nominated for the said offices, by any lord-mayor of this city, and shall not then have been discharged from such nomination (if any such shall then be;) or in default of such person or persons last mentioned, then next after such of the aldermen of this city as shall not have served the said offices.

In what cases, by whom, and how far persons to be excused for insufficiency of wealth.

And it is further ordained, that no freeman of this city shall be discharged from such election or nomination for insufficiency of wealth, unless he shall and do voluntarily take his corporal oath, before the said court of lord-mayor and aldermen, that he then is not of the value of fifteen thousand pounds, in lands, goods, and separate debts: and also unless six other citizens, freemen of this city, to be brought by him, and being men of good credit and reputation, such as the said court shall approve of, shall and do likewise, before the same court, voluntarily testify, upon their corporal oaths, that in their consciences they believe the said person so elected by the said liverymen, or so nominated by the lordmayor (as the case shall happen to be) hath deposed and sworn truly concerning his value as aforesaid.

In what instances the persons elected to give bond, and the forfeiture in case of default.

Provided always, that every person who shall be elected to the said offices of sheriffalty upon the said general election day, as any other time between the said general election day and the fourteenth of September in the same year, when there shall be no actual vacancy in the said offices, shall personally appear before the said court of lord-mayor and aldermen in the inner chamber of the Guildhall aforesaid, at the first court there to be holden next after notice of his election, unless such reasonable excuse shall then and there be offered on his behalf, as the said court shall allow, and in case of such excuse allowed, then at such other subsequent court or courts as the said court shall appoint, and shall then and there become bound to the chamberlain of this city for the time being, his executors and administrators, by his bond or obligation, in the penal sum of one thousand pounds; with condition there underwritten, or thereupon endorsed, that if he shall personally appear on the vigil of St. Michael the Archangel then next following, between the hours of twelve of the clock at noon, and three of the clock in the afternoon, in the publick assembly in the said Guildhall, in the place where the court of hustings is usually holden, and then and there, in the presence of the lord-mayor of this city for the time being, and two of the aldermen of this city for the time being, or in case of the absence of the lord-mayor, then in the presence of four of the aldermen of this city for the time being, take the oath of office there usually taken by the sheriffs of this city and county of Middlesex, then the said bond or obligation shall be void; upon pain that every person so elected, who shall not appear and become bound as aforesaid, shall (if any alderman of this city, or a commoner previously nominated by the lord-mayor of this city, as aforesaid) forfeit and pay to the uses herein after mentioned, the sum of six hundred pounds of lawful money of Great-Britain; or, if he shall not then be an alderman of this city, or a commoner so previously nominated by the lord-mayor of this city, the sum of four hundred pounds of like lawful money.

Penalties on persons elected on the 14th, or between the 14th and 22d of September, when no vacancy, who shall not take the said offices in time.

Provided also, that if any freeman of this city who shall be duly elected to the said offices of sheriffalty, upon the said fourteenth day of September, or at any other time between the said fourteenth and twenty-second days of September in the same year, when there shall be no actual vacancy in the said offices, and shall have six days notice thereof as aforesaid, shall not appear on the vigil of St. Michael the Archangel next after such notice, between the hours of twelve of the clock at noon, and three of the clock in the afternoon, in the publick assembly in the Guildhall aforesaid, in the place where the said court of hustings is usually holden, and then and there, in the presence of the lord-mayor of this city for the time being, and two of the aldermen of this city for the time being, or in case of the absence of the lord-mayor, then in the presence of four of the aldermen of this city for the time being, take the oath of office there usually taken by the sheriffs of this city and county of Middlesex, then, and in every such case, such person shall (if an alderman of this city, or a commoner previously nominated by the lord-mayor as aforesaid) forefeit and pay to the uses herein after mentioned, the sum of six hundred pounds of lawful money of Great-Britain; or, if he shall not then be an alderman of this city, or a commoner so nominated by the lord-mayor, the sum of four hundred pounds of like lawful money.

Provided also, that if any freeman of this city, who shall be duly elected to the said offices of sheriffalty, shall not personally appear on the seventh day next after notice of his election, between the hours of twelve of the clock at noon, and three of the clock in the afternoon, in the publick assembly in the Guildhall aforesaid, in the place where the said court of hustings is usually holden, and then and there, in the presence of the lord-mayor and two aldermen, or in case of the absence of the lordmayor, then in the presence of four aldermen, take the oath of office there usually taken by the sheriffs of this city and county of Middlesex, then, and in every such case, such person shall (if an alderman of this city, or a commoner previously nominated by the lord-mayor as aforesaid) forfeit and pay to the uses herein after mentioned, the sum of six hundred pounds of lawful money of GreatBritain; or, if he shall not then be an alderman of this city, or a commoner so previously nominated by the lord mayor, the sum of four hundred pounds of like lawful money.

How the said penalties to be recovered.

And it is further ordained, that all penalties and sums of money to be forfeited by virtue of this act or ordinance, shall be recovered by action of debt, to be commenced and prosecuted in the name of the chamberlain of this city for the time being, in one of the courts of record of the king's majesty, his heirs and successors, within this city, wherein no essoign or wager of law shall be admitted or allowed for the defendant; and that the chamberlain of this city for the time being, in all such actions to be prosecuted by virtue of this act, wherein he shall obtain judgment, by verdict, Nil dicit, or confession, or upon demurrer, shall and may recover his costs of suit; and, if a verdict shall be given for the defendant, or if the plaintiff shall be nonsuited, or discontinue his action after the defendant shall have appeared, or if upon demurrer, judgment shall be given against the plaintiff, the defendant or defendants shall and may recover costs, and have the like remedy for the same, as any defendant or defendants hath or have in other cases by law.

In what cases the sheriffs to have part of the fines, and how the rest of the fines and forfeitures are to be applied.

And it is further ordained, that if it shall happen, that two or more persons nominated by any lord mayor or lord mayors of this city, for the said offices of sheriffalty, shall, between the fourteenth day of April, and the twenty-fourth day of June, in any one year, pay unto the chamberlain of this city for the time being, the sum of four hundred pounds each, to be exempted and discharged from their said nomination, and from serving the said offices according to the proviso for that purpose herein before contained, then, and in every such case, the said chamberlain for the time being shall, out of the monies so paid to him, issue and pay the sum of one hundred pounds to each of the two persons, who, upon the vigil of St. Michael the Archangel in that year, or at any other time thereafter, shall first and next take the said offices upon them; and if it shall happen that only one person so nominated by any lord-mayor, shall pay the said sum of four hundred pounds within the time, and for the purpose aforesaid, then, and in every such last mentioned case, the said chamberlain for the time being shall thereout issue and pay the sum of fifty pounds to each of the two persons, who, upon the said vigil in that year, or at any other time thereafter, shall first and next take the said offices upon them; and that the residue of all and every the sums of four hundred pounds, which shall hereafter be paid to the chamberlain of this city for the time being, within the time, and for the purpose aforesaid, and also all penalties and sums of money to be forseited and paid by virtue of, and in pursuance of this act, shall go and be applied to the use of the said mayor and commonalty and citizens of London, subject to such orders and resolutions of this court as have heretofore been made, touching the monies paid into the chamber of London as a fine for not holding the said offices, and to such further orders and resolutions of this court hereafter as shall be made touching the same.

No person who has fined upon any former act, to be eligible.

Provided always, and it is further ordained, that every person who hath at any time heretofore paid to the chamberlain of this city for the time being, for the use of the mayor and commonalty and citizens of the same city, any sum of money to be exempted or discharged from the said offices of sheriffalty, shall be, and is hereby for ever exempted and absolutely discharged from the said offices of sheriffalty, unless such person shall at any time hereafter take upon him the office of an alderman of this city, in which case he shall be, and is hereby declared to be subject and liable to be elected to the said offices, such payment or any thing herein before contained to the contrary thereof in any wise notwithstanding.

No person to serve a second time.

Provided also, and it is further ordained, that no person who now hath, or hereafter shall have, duly served the said offices of sheriffalty of this city and county of Middlesex, according to the true intent and meaning of this present act, or of any former act of common council, shall hereafter be eligible to the said offices a second time, any thing herein before contained to the contrary thereof in any wise notwithstanding.