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Cricklade.

ANNO 220 GEORGII III. CAP. 31.
An Act for the preventing of Bribery and Corruption in the

Election of Members to serve in Parliament for the Borough
of Cricklade, in the County of Wilts. A. D. 1781.

WHEREAS there was the most notorious bribery and cor. Preamble. ruption at the last election of burgesses to serve in parliament for the borough of Cricklade in the county of Wilts ; and whereas such bribery and corruption is likely to continue and be practised in the said borough in future, unless some means are taken to prevent the same: in order, therefore, to prevent such unlawful practices for the future, and

that the said borough may from henceforth be duly repre• sented in parliament: Be it enacted, &c. That from hence

forth it shall and may be lawful to and for every freeholder, being above the age of twenty-one years, who shall have, Certain freewithin the hundreds or divisions of Highworth, Cricklade, tled to vote for Staple, Kingsbridge, and Malmsbury, or one or more of the borough of them, in the county of Wilts, a freehold of the clear yearly value of forty shillings, to give his vote at every election of a burgess or burgesses to serve in parliament for the said borough of Cricklade.

2. AND be it further enacted by the authority aforesaid, That the right of election of a member or members to Customary serve in parliament for the said borough of Cricklade, shall voters also inbe, and is hereby declared to be, in such freeholders as aforesaid, and in the persons who, by the custom and usage of the said borough, have, or shall hereafter have, a right to vote at such election ; and the proper officer for the time being, to whom the return of every writ or process does belong, is hereby required to return the person or persons to serve in parliament for the said borough who shall have the major number of votes of such freeholders and other persons having a right to vote at such election ; any law or usage to the contrary notwithstanding.

3. PROVIDED always, That such freeholders only shall No freehold. be entitled to vote as shall be duly qualified to (vote such as are at elections for knights of the shire for the said county of qualified to be

county voters. Wilts, according to the laws now in being for regulating county elections.

4. AND be it further enacted by the authority afore. said, That every such freeholder, before he is admitted to Freeholders to poll at any election for the said borough, shall, if required by the candidates, or any of them, or any other person having a right to vote at the said election, first take the oath, or, being one of the people called Quakers, the solemn affirmation following, viz.

“ I do swear, [or, being a Quaker, solemnly affirm] That The oath. I am a freeholder in the hundreds or divisions of Highworth, Cricklade, Staple, Malmsbury, and Kingsbridge, or any one or more of them, in the county of Wilts, and have a freehold estate, consisting of

[specifying the nature thereof; and if it consists in messuages, lands, tenements, or tithes, in whose occupation the same are;

be sworn.

perjury, or suborization thereof.

and if in rents, the names of the owners or possessors of the tenements out of which such rent is issuing, or some of them), situate, lying, or being at

in the aforesaid hundreds or divisions, or in one or more of them, of the clear yearly value of forty shillings, over and above all rents and charges payable out of, or in respect of the same; and that I have been in the actual possession or receipt of the rents and profits thereof, for my own use, above twelve kalendar months, [or, that the same came to me within the time aforesaid by descent, marriage, marriage settlement, devise, or promotion to a benefice in a church, or by promotion to an office]; and that such freehold estate has not been granted or made to me fraudulently, on purpose to qualify me to give my vote; and that the place of my abode is at in

and that I am twenty-one years of age, as I believe, and that I have not been polled before at this election."

Which oath, or solemn affirmation, the proper officer, to whom the return of any writ or precept for such election shall belong, is hereby required to administer: and in case any freeholder, or other person taking the said oath or affirmation hereby appointed, shall thereby commit wilful perjury, and be thereof convicted ; or if any person shall unlawfully and corruptly procure or suborn any freebolder

or other person to take the said oatb or affirmation, in order Penalty on to be polled, whereby he shall commit such wilful perjury, committing and shall be thereof convicted, he and they, for every such

offence respectively, shall incur such penalties as are inflicted on persons guilty of perjury, or subornation of perjury, in and by two acts of parliament, one made in the 5th year of the reign of queen Elizabeth, intituled, An act for punishing such persons as shall procure or commit wilful perjury, or suborn or procure any person to commit any wilful or corrupt perjury; and the other, made in the 2d year of the reign of his late majesty king George the Second, intituled, An act for the more effectual preventing and further punishment of forgery, perjury, and subornation of perjury, and to make it felony to steal bonds, notes, or other securities for payment of money, contrary to the said acts.

5. And be it further enacted by the authority aforeHow officer to said, That such proper officer, to whom any writ or precept proceed on re- shall be directed for making any election for the said writ för elec. borough, shall, upon the receipt of such writ or precept,

indorse upon the back thereof the day of his receipt thereof, in the presence of the party from whom he received such precept, and shall forthwith cause public notice to be given within the said borough of Cricklade, and th several towns of Highworth, Malmsbury, Swindon, and Wotton Basset, by affixing up a notice thereof in writing on the market-houses, or on the doors of the churches of the said towns of the day of election; and shall proceed to election thereupon within the space of twelve days, and not less than eight days, next after bis receipt of the same precept.

6. AND be it further enacted by the authority afore

tion,

said, That this act shall be publicly read at every election This act to be for the said borough of Cricklade, immediately after the to any eleeacts directed by any act of parliament to be read thereat, tion. and before the persons present shall proceed to make such election.

Anno 220 Georgii III. Cap. 41.
An Act for better securing the Freedom of Elections of Mem-

bers to serve in Parliament, by disabling certain Officers,
employed in the Collection or Management of His Ma-
jesty's Revenues, from giving their Votes at such Elec-
tions.

A. D, 1781.

For the better securing the freedom of elections of members to serve in parliament, Be it enacted, &c. That from From Aug. 1, and after the first day of August, 1782, no commissioner, 1782, no com collector, supervisor, gauger, or other officer or person officer emwhatsoever, concerned or employed in the charging, col- ployed in collecting, levying, or managing the duties of excise, or any naying the dubranch or part thereof; nor any commissioner, collector, ties of excise, comptroller, searcher, or other officer or person whatsoever, shall have any concerned or employed in the charging, collecting, levying, vote in the or managing the customs, or any branch or part thereof; members of nor any commissioner, officer, or other person concerned or parliament. employed in collecting, receiving, or managing, any of the duties on stamped vellum, parchment, and paper, nor any person appointed by the commissioners for distributing of stamps; nor any commissioner, officer, or other person employed in collecting, levying, or managing any of the duties on salt; nor any surveyor, collector, comptroller, inspector, officer, or other person employed in collecting, managing, or receiving the duties on windows or houses; nor any postmaster, postmasters general, or his or their deputy or deputies, or any person employed by or under him or them in receiving, collecting, or managing the revenue of the post-office, or any part thereof: nor any captain, master, or mate of any ship, packet, or other vessel employed by or under the postmaster or postmasters general in conveying the mail to and from foreign ports, shall be capable of giving his vote for the election of any knight of the shire, commissioner, citizen, burgess, or baron to serve in parliament for any county, stewartry, city, borough, or cinque port, or for chusing any delegate in whom the right of electing members to serve in parliament, for that part of Great Britain called Scotland, is vested : and if any person, hereby made incapable of voting as aforesaid, shall nevertheless presume to give his vote, during the time he shall hold, or within twelve kalendar months after he shall cease to hold, or execute any of the offices aforesaid, contrary to the true intent and meaning of this act, such votes so given shall be held null and void to all intents and pur- Penalty on poses whatsoever; and every person so offending shall for- persons voting feit the sum of one hundred pounds; one moiety thereof qualified by to the informer, and the other moiety thereof to be imme. this act.

to cominis

diately paid into the hands of the treasurer of the county, riding, or division, within which such offence shall have been committed, in that part of Great Britain called England; and into the hands of the clerk of the justices of the peace of the counties or stewartries, in that part of Great Britain called Scotland, to be applied and disposed of to such purposes as the justices at the next general quarter session of the peace to be held for such county, tewartry, riding, or division, shall think fit; to be recovered by any person that shall sue for the same, by action of debt, bill, plaint, or information, in any of his majesty's courts of record at Westminster, in which no essoin, protection, privilege, or wager of law, or more than one imparlance, shall be allowed, or by summary complaint before the court of session in Scotland; and the person convicted on any such suit shall thereby become disabled and incapable of ever bearing or executing any office or place of trust

whatsoever under his majesty, his heirs and successors. Not to extend 2. PROVIDED; always, and be it enacted, That nothing

in this act contained shall extend, or be construed to sioners of the

extend, to any person or persons for or by reason of his or persons acting their being a commissioner or commissioners of the land

tax, or for or by reason of his or their acting by or under the appointment of such commissioners of the land tax, for the purpose of assessing, levying, collecting, receiving, or managing the land tax, or any other rates or duties already granted or imposed, or which shall hereafter be granted or imposed by authority of parliament.

3. Provided also, and be it further enacted, That noheld by letters thing in this act contained shall extend, or be construed estate of inhe. to extend, to any office now beld, or usually granted to be

held, by letters patent for any estate of inheritance or

freehold. Nor to persons

4. PROVIDED always, and be it enacted by the au. sign their of thority aforesaid, That nothing herein contained shall

extend to any person who shall resign his office or employ. Aug. 1, 1782.

ment on or before the said first day of August, 1782. Limitation of 5. Provided also, and be it enacted, That no person

shall be liable to any forfeiture or penalty by this act laid or imposed, unless prosecution be commenced within twelve months after such penalty or forfeiture shall be incurred.

land tax, or

Nor to offices

ritance;

fices before

actions.

Anno 220 GEORGII III. Cap. 45.

An Act for restraining any Person concerned in any Contract,

Commission, or Agreement, made for the Public Service, from being elected, or sitting and voting as a Member of the House of Commons.

A. D. 1781. For further securing the freedom and independence of After the end parliament, Be it enacted, &c. That, from and after the of this session, end of this present session of parliament, any person who holding con- shall, directly or indirectly, himself, or by any person what. tracts for the soever in trust for him, or for his use or benefit, or on his

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account, undertake, execute, hold, or enjoy, in the whole pablic service, or in part, any contract, agreement, or commission, made pable of being or entered into with, under, or from the commissioners of elected, or sithis majesty's treasury, or of the navy or victualling-office, house of com. or with the master general or board of ordnance, or with mons. any one or more of such commissioners, or with any other person or persons whatsoever, for or on account of the public service; or shall knowingly and willingly furnish or provide, in pursuance of any such agreement, contract, or commission, which he or they shall have made or entered into as aforesaid, any money to be remitted abroad, or any wares or merchandize to be used or employed in the service of the public, shall be incapable of being elected, or of sitting or voting as a member of the house of commons, during the time that he shall execute, hold, or enjoy, any such contract, agreement, or commission, or any part or share thereof, or any benefit or emolument arising from the same.

2. And be it further enacted by the authority aforesaid, That if any person, being a member of the house of Any member commons, shall directly or indirectly, himself, or by any contract, or other person whatsoever in trust for him, or for his use or continuing benefit, or on his account, enter into, accept of, agree for, tract after the undertake, or execute, in the whole or in part, any such commencecontract, agreement, or commission, as aforesaid ; or if any next session, person, being a member of the house of commons, and his seat shali having already entered into suck contract, agreement, or commission, or part or share of any such contract, agree. ment, or commission, by himself, or by any other person whatsoever in trust for him, or for his use or benefit, or upon his account, shall, after the commencement of the next session of parliament, continue to hold, execute, or enjoy the same, or any part thereof, the seat of every such person in the bouse of commons shall be, and is hereby declared to be void.

3. PROVIDED always, and be it enacted, That nothing herein contained shall extend, or be construed to extend, Not to extend

to incorpo. to any contract, agreement, or commission made, entered

rated trading into, or accepted, by any incorporated trading company in companies.; its corporate capacity, nor to any company now existing or established and consisting of more than ten persons, where such contract, agreement, or commission, shall be made, entered into, or accepted, for the general benefit of such incorporation or company.

4. PROVIDED also, and be it enacted, That nothing Not to extend in this act contained shall extend, or be construed to ex- to contracts tend, to any contract, agreement, or commission, made, one year. entered into, or accepted, before the passing of this act, the term whereof will expire in the space of one year from the time of making thereof.

5. Provided also, and be it enacted, That where any tive to concontract, agreement, or commission, has been made, entered are not to exinto, or accepted, with a provision that the same shall con- pire until a tinue until a year's notice be given of the intended disso-year's notice lution thereof, the same shall not disable any person from

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