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Not to

affect the

royal prerogative. Extent of

Act.

place by law otherwise than under the writ de coronatore eligendo." That nothing herein contained shall be construed to abridge or affect the royal prerogative, or the authority of the Lord Chancellor, for issuing a writ de coronatore eligendo, as fully as if this Act had not been passed. That the Act shall extend only to England." c

C

Notice of Election.

Mode of holding Court.

Polling.

The Sheriff of the county of W. will at 10 o'clock in the morning of the day of now next ensuing hold a Court at the Moot Hall for the election of a coroner for the said county in the room of G. T. deceased at which time and place the Sheriff requests the attendance of the freeholders of the said county.

At the time and place mentioned in the above notice, the Sheriff, or, in his absence, the Under-sheriff, orders the Bailiff to make

Proclamation.

All manner of persons who have anything to do at this election of coroner for the county of W. let them draw near and give their attendance.

The Sheriff, or, in his absence, the Under-sheriff, then briefly explains the object of his holding the Court, reads the writ, and asks if there be any candidate for the vacant office. The candidate is then proposed and seconded by two freeholders. If there be no contest, the election is at once determined on the view; and, after the necessary forms as to the return, &c., are perfected, the Court is dissolved in the usual way. But, if a poll be demanded, the Sheriff, or, in his absence, the Under-sheriff, must adjourn the Court to eight o'clock A.M. of the next day but one, unless that day be a Saturday or Sunday, then to the Monday following. When a poll is demanded, the Sheriff cannot refuse.d

On the adjournment day, the Sheriff, or, in his absence, the Under-sheriff, with such others as shall be deputed by him, must proceed to take the poll, in some public place or places appointed for the purpose. The polling to begin at eight A.M., and to end at four P.M., and to continue for two days only. The poll is to be taken at the place to be appointed for holding the Court, and at such other places, within the district, as may, for the time being, be appointed by the Quarter Sessions. If required by or on the behalf of any candidate, on the day of election, and if not so required, he may, if it shall appear to the Sheriff expedient, cause booths to be erected for taking the poll, with the name of the different parishes affixed, each voter to poll in the district where his property lies. The voters of a parish not included in a district, are to poll at the Court or principal place.

As regards the poll clerks, inspectors of poll clerks, freeholders'

a Sect. 27.

b Sect. 29.

c Sect. 30.

d 1 Ventr. 206; 2 Ib. 25; Freem. 17; see next chapter.

oath, custody of poll books, &c., the language of the statute requires no explanation. He cannot deny a scrutiny upon a suggestion that non-freeholders have voted.a

b

lification.

The two essentials of a voter's qualification are-1st, a free- Voter's quahold estate (but as to quantity or value undefined by common or statute law); 2nd, majority in age. Upon the final declaration of the state of the poll, the Bailiff makes the following

Proclamation.

If any one can gainsay why R. W. Gent. should not be appointed one of the coroners for this county let him come forth and he shall be heard otherwise the Sheriff of W. will declare the said R. W. duly elected.

The Sheriff then administers to the coroner elect (except he be a Roman Catholic) the oaths of allegiance, supremacy, and abjuration. If a Roman Catholic, he administers, instead thereof, that which is prescribed by the 10 Geo. 4, c. 7, s. 2. After that, he administers to him the

Oath of Office.

You shall swear that you will well and truly serve our sovereign lady the Queen's Oath of Majesty and her liege people in the office of a coroner and as one of her Majesty's office. coroners of this county of W. and therein you shall diligently do and accomplish all and every thing and things appertaining to your office after the best of your cunning wit and power both for the Queen's profit and for the good of the inhabitants of the said county taking such fees as you ought to take by the laws and statutes of this realm and not otherwise.

So help you God.

Return to Writ.

day of

By virtue of this writ to me directed in my full County Court held by adjournment at A. in the county of W. on the in the year within written by the assent of the same county I have caused R. W, to be chosen coroner in the place of the within named G. T. deceased which said R. W. as the manner is hath taken corporal oath [or "made affirmation" or "declaration"] to do and keep those things which to the office of coroner in the said county doth belong as I am within commanded.

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SPECIAL COUNTY COURT FOR ELECTION OF

KNIGHTS OF THE SHIRE.

In this Court the High Sheriff's duties were formerly of a mixed Duties. nature. But since the statutes of 6 & 7 Vict. c. 18, they seem to be exclusively ministerial.d

17.

a 1 Ventr. 206; 2 Ib. 25; Freem.

b 2 Hawk, P. C. c. 9, s. 10; 2 Roll. Abr. 121; 2 Inst. 99.

cCullen v. Morris, 2 Stark. Rep. 577;
Ashby v. White, 1 Smith's L. C. 105.
d See Pryce v. Belcher, 3 C. B. 58;
4 Ib. 866, S. C.

issues.

To summon the Parliament appertains to the Queen; for hers is the only branch of the legislature that has a separate existence, when no Parliament is in being. And, therefore, in case of a new Parliament, the House of Commons is convened by virtue of an order (formerly by warrant) from H. M. in Council, to the Lords How writ High Chancellors of Great Britain and Ireland, to issue out writs to the Sheriffs of every county for the election of all the members to serve for the county, and for every city and borough therein. After the Parliament is assembled, and during its continuance, the House of Commons alone has the power of issuing writs to fill up any vacancy occasioned by death, resignation, bankruptcy, removal by a committee of the house, acceptance of office, elevation to a peerage, or the like. In the event of a vacancy during its continuance, therefore, on the motion of a member, the Speaker sends his warrant to the Clerk of the Crown, directing a new writ to be made and issued. If a vacancy be caused by death, or promotion to the peerage, during any recess of the House, whether by prorogation or adjournment, the Speaker (or his deputy) forthwith, on receiving a certificate under the hands of two members, causes notice thereof to be inserted in the London Gazette, and at the expiration of fourteen days after the insertion of such notice in the Gazette, issues his warrant, as in other cases (subject to the restrictions imposed by the statute of 24 Geo. 3, c. 26 d). In case of an adjudication of bankruptcy against a member of the House of Commons, and the fiat be not annulled, within twelve months, nor debts paid, nor security given for debts disputed and costs, the major part of the Commissioners shall, at the expiration of the twelve months, certify the same to the Speaker, and the election of such member shall be declared void.

Writ on General Election.

Victoria &c. to the Sheriff of the county of greeting: Whereas by the advice and assent of our council for certain arduous and urgent affairs concerning us the state and defence of our kingdom of Great Britain and the Church we have ordered a certain parliament to be holden at our city at Westminster on the day of next ensuing and then to treat and have conference with the prelates great men and peers of our realm: We command and strictly enjoin you that (proclamation being made of the day and place aforesaid) two knights of the most fit and discreet of the said county girt with swords [and of the University of Oxford two burgesses and of the city of Oxford two citizens; and of the borough of W. one burgess and of the borough of B. one burgess] of the most sufficient and discreet freely and indifferently by those who at your County Court to be holden for the purpose of the election shall be present according to the form of the statutes in that case made and provided you cause to be elected; and the names of those knights citizens and burgesses so to be elected (whether they be present or absent) you cause to be inserted in certain indentures to be thereupon made between you and those who shall be present at such election and then at the day and place aforesaid

n.

a 1 Bl. Com. 15.

d Previously to the 10 Geo. 3, c.

b D'Ewes, 2; 1 Roe on Elect. 346, 41, there appears to have existed no power to order the issuing of a writ

c D'Ewes Jour. 307, 308; Shaftes- during a recess, 4 Cobb. Parl. Deb. 511. bury case, 2 Hats. 233.

you cause to come in such manner that the said knights for themselves and the commonalty of the said University city and boroughs respectively may have from them full and sufficient power to do and consent to those things which then and there by the common council of our said kingdom (by the blessing of God) shall happen to be ordained upon the aforesaid affairs so that for want of such power or through an improvident election of the said knights citizens and burgesses the aforesaid affairs may in no wise remain unfinished; willing nevertheless that neither you nor any other Sheriff of this our said kingdom be in any wise elected and that the election in your full county is made distinctly and openly under your seal and the seals of those who shall be present at such election you do certify to us in our Chancery at the day and place aforesaid without delay remitting to us one part of the aforesaid indentures annexed to these presents together with this writ.a Witness ourself at Westminster the day of in the

Writ on New Election.

day of

Victoria &c. Whereas C. H. Esq. was lately chosen burgess for the borough of R. in your county for the present parliament summoned to be holden in our city of W. the day of now last past and from thence by our several writs prorogued to and until Tuesday the in the year of our reign and there now holden: And whereas the Lower House of our said parliament have adjudged the election of the said C. H. to be void [or "the said C. H. is since dead" as the case may be] as by the letter of our right trusty and well beloved councillor Speaker of your Lower House of Parliament more fully and plainly appears By means whereof our subjects of the said borough are deprived of a burgess to treat for the benefit of the said borough in our said parliament; nevertheless we being unwilling that the commonalty of our kingdom in our said parliament assembled to treat of the business concerning us the state and defence of our kingdom and the Church from the aforesaid cause should be diminished or lessened whereby those affairs may not have a due end: We command you that in the place of the said C. H. within the borough aforesaid one other fit and discreet burgess of the aforesaid borough (proclamation being first made of the premises and of the day and place) freely and indifferently &c. [as in last precedent from asterisk].

b

The writs, whether upon a new parliament, or upon vacancies during parliament, are forthwith, after the receipt thereof, taken by the messenger, or pursuivant of the great seal or his deputy, to the General Post Office in London; and there delivered to the Postmaster or Postmasters General, or to such other person as he or they shall depute to receive the same (which deputation is required to be made), who, on receipt of the writs, is to give an acknowledgment in writing to the person from whom they were received, expressing therein the time of such delivery, and shall keep a duplicate of such acknowledgment signed by both parties.c The statute requires that the writs be dispatched free of postage, by the first post or mail after the receipt thereof, under covers respectively directed to the proper officer or officers, and accom

a 7 Hen. 4, c. 15.

b 2 Peckw. Elect. Ca. 254. The writs are made out by the Clerk of the Crown in Chancery, and, after the election of the members, returned into the Crown Office. By the 7 & 8 Will. 3, c. 25, s. 1, "upon every new parliament there shall be forty days between the teste and return of the writs of summons;" in practice, how

ever, fifty days intervene, in consequence of the 22nd article in the treaty of Union with Scotland. With regard to the issuing and return of writs issued on vacancies, there is no precise interval fixed by law, nor any day mentioned in the writs when the members returned are to attend in parliament. The writs are directed as in other cases.

c53 Geo. 3, c. 89.

before Election.

Duties panied with proper directions to the postmaster or deputy postmaster of the town or place, or nearest to the town or place, where such officer or officers shall hold his or their office,a requiring him, forthwith, to carry such writs to such office, and deliver them to the officer to whom they are directed, or to his deputy; who is to give a memorandum, under his hand, to such postmaster, acknowledging the receipt of such writ, and setting. forth the day and hour when the same was delivered. This memorandum is to be signed by such postmaster, by whom it is to be transmitted, by the first or second post afterwards, to the Postmaster-General at the General Post Office in London, who is to make an entry thereof in a book for that purpose; and to file such memorandum, along with the duplicate of the messenger's acknowledgment, that the same may be inspected or produced by any person interested in such election. The writs to the Sheriffs of London and Middlesex, and all other officers whose office is in London, Westminster, or Southwark, or within five miles thereof, which are to be delivered at their offices by the messenger of the great seal, are excepted. Every person, concerned in the delivery of any writ, who shall wilfully neglect or delay to deliver it, is to be deemed guilty of a misdemeanour.b

Proclama tion, &c.

The Sheriff, on receiving the writ, must indorse thereon the day of receiving it; and give a receipt in writing to the person delivering it to him, specifying the day and hour of delivery. He must, within two days after the receipt thereof, cause proclamation to be made, at the place where the ensuing election ought by law to be holden, of a special County Court to be there holden for the purpose of the election only, on any day (Sunday excepted) not later from the day of making such proclamation than the 16th, nor sooner than the 10th day.c

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the

day of

The Sheriff of the county of will at o'clock in the morning of now next ensuing hold a Court at the Shire Hall A. for the purpose of electing a Knight of the Shire of the said county: at which time and place all freeholders and others entitled to vote at the said election are requested to give their attendance.

* Returning officers are to inform the Post Office of their residences.

b Sect. 6.

The 3 & 4 Vict. c. 81, applies to cities, towns, and boroughs, and not to

counties.

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