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London Electoral History 1700-1850

"" Professor Charles Harvey "" Penelope Corfield "" Dr Edmund M.Green ""
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The Introduction gives a brief account of the long-term unfolding of the London Electoral History project; expresses thanks for crucial funding support; and makes personal and professional acknowledgments to all who have helped with the project over the years.
For spin-off discussions, see too P.J. Corfield, ‘What’s Wrong with the Old Practice of Open Voting: Standing Up to be Counted?’ BLOG no. 53 (May 2015) and P.J. Corfield, 'The Value of Voting and why the Practice should not be Mocked', BLOG no. 63 (March 2016). Read more:




There are two listings. The first gives details of 97 Tables: viz. Tables 1-14 in Basics; Tables 15-25 in London Electoral Database; Tables 26-57 in Middlesex & London; Tables 58-76 in Westminster & Marylebone; and Tables 77-97 in Classification. Read more. The second gives details of 873 Tables for contested Metropolitan Polls. These are numbered within a nested hierarchy: prefix 8.1 for 174 Tables of parliamentary elections, sub-divided into nine metropolitan constituencies; prefix 8.2 for 93 Tables of municipal elections, sub-divided into five municipal offices; prefix 8.3 for 595 Tables of wardmote elections, sub-divided into twenty-six London wards; and prefix 8.4 for 11 Tables of Middlesex coroner elections. Read more:
Figure 1 shows Middlesex county and administrative boundaries, after J. Middleton, A general view of the agriculture of Middlesex (1804); Figure 2 identifies the wards in the City of London; Figure 3 shows Westminster, after R. Horwood, Plan of the Cities of London and Westminster (1807); Figure 4 shows Marylebone constituency and parish boundaries, after B.R. Davies, Survey of the parliamentary borough of ... Marylebone (1834); and Figure 5 shows all the Metropolitan Boroughs post-1832. Meanwhile, the illustration by George Scharf depicts The Election of MPs for Westminster, 1818.



This listing identifies all the abbreviations that are used within the website. Read more:






This listing indicates the scholarly conventions that are adopted with reference to Historic Dates; Spelling; Place of Publication; Quotations from Eighteenth-Century Sources; Conventions within the Electoral Tables; the style of referencing Computer Commands; and a note on Computer Software. Read more:

This listing explains the descriptive terminology which has been adopted throughout the website, with special reference to Naming the urban areas within greater London; Naming Londoners; Naming electors and voters; Naming political affiliations in the era before permanent political ‘parties’; Identifying specific elections; and Identifying MPs. Read more:
This brief essay introduces the study of historical elections, with special reference to eighteenth-century British history. Read more:











This exposition sets the scene for the detailed study of eighteenth-century London elections and the concept of Proto-democracy, by specifying the electoral rules that operated in metropolitan London in the years 1700-1850; by identifying who had the opportunity to vote in this period; by explaining the context of open voting; and by establishing the number of individual-level records that have survived. Read more:





This overview essay defines the electoral experience of Londoners in these years as one of Proto-Democracy, signifying an extensive but not universal popular participation in the official electoral process, undertaken with full debate to choose public representatives to serve in Parliament or local government office for a specified term. Components of proto-democracy that are highlighted include: cross-class participation; participation in urban as well as parliamentary elections; and an electoral culture that took elections seriously. As result, London had a constitutionally involved civic society long before it had a fully democratic one. Read more:
This listing incorporates information relating to the huge mass of contemporary sources (pre 1914) that are relevant for the electoral history of London 1700-1850. It distinguishes between manuscript and printed sources, incorporating all materials used in the creation of the LED in 1.11.1-7. In addition, the Bibliography also lists in 1.11.8-10 much pamphlet and other literature, generated by eighteenth-century elections, including: caricatures, contemporary electoral histories, diaries, electoral propaganda, letters, maps, parliamentary papers, public speeches, and songs. A final section 1.11.11 indicates key electronic primary sources, whose number is growing daily with the advance of digitisation.
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This account defines Poll Books; describes how they were generated by open voting; examines the advent and (crucially) the survival of Poll Books; considers how Poll Books are used for the study of electoral behaviour; itemises the Poll Books used in the London Electoral Database; summarises the state of the metropolitan electorates; and ends by explaining the process of electoral scrutiny, in the event of disputed election results. Read more:






This account defines Rate Books; considers their use as sources for the London Electoral Database; explains the procedures for linking data in Rate and Poll Books; and evaluates the historical evidence relating to municipal rates as an indicative source for historians. Read more:










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