* Liverpool Electoral Register - 1939/1940

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rfj1001
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Liverpool Electoral Register - 1939/1940

Post by rfj1001 » 13 Feb 2020 17:10

In this register, my late aunt and uncle are entered under Dale Street, Liverpool followed by the wording (abode, Stoneleigh, Penketh Road (sic), Wallasey).

My uncle worked in Dale Street and lived in Penkett Road, Wallasey which is on the other side of the River Mersey (probably no more than 2 miles apart as the crow flies). My aunt was a stay at home mum.

Their record is similar to many others on the page who appear in the electoral register in Dale Street but whose abode is different and, seemingly, always a fairly affluent suburb of Liverpool or the Wirral.

Dale Street, as I know it, was purely victorian office buildings.

Can anyone throw any light on why seemingly office addresses were so popular for vote registration for both husbands and wives.

Tx

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Re: Liverpool Electoral Register - 1939/1940

Post by davidf » 13 Feb 2020 17:24

When was the franchise reformed so that businessmen did not have a business vote in addition to their residential vote? I would have thought it was before 1939/1940.

Searching .....!
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Re: Liverpool Electoral Register - 1939/1940

Post by davidf » 13 Feb 2020 17:36

Apparently Plural Voting continued quite a while!
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Plural_vo ... ed_Kingdom
says that it was finally abolished for local authorities by the Representation of the People Act 1969

I seem to remember finding that my Great Grandfather in turn of the century (19/20th) Huddersfield appears in the Burgess Roll as having a business vote in John William Street and a residential vote in Blacker Road
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Re: Liverpool Electoral Register - 1939/1940

Post by brianlummis » 13 Feb 2020 17:42

If you want the definitive answer wade your way through https://www.bl.uk/voices-of-science/br ... encies.pdf :)

There should be a code by each name giving the reason why they qualified to vote . From 1928 these were the codes in use for about 20 years:

R Residence qualification (man)
Rw Residence qualification (woman)
B Business premises qualification (man)
Bw Business premises qualification (woman)
O Occupational qualification (man)
Ow Occupational qualification (woman)
D Qualification through wife's occupation
Dw Qualification through husband's occupation
NM Naval or military voter

Brian

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Re: Liverpool Electoral Register - 1939/1940

Post by AdrianBruce » 13 Feb 2020 22:21

And if anyone can explain the difference between "Residential" and "Occupational" qualifications, I for one would be grateful!

I believe that "Occupation" in this context means "occupation of a building" and I believe that because at no point have I seen any indication that some occupations (as in "jobs") gave a vote where others didn't... The BL link above simply mentions:
The 1884 Reform Act extended the 1867/68 householder and lodger franchise for boroughs/burghs to counties and created an occupation franchise for those with lands or tenements worth £12 a year.
(My emphasis...)
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Re: Liverpool Electoral Register - 1939/1940

Post by brianlummis » 13 Feb 2020 22:49

Adrian, take a look at http://www.electoralregisters.org.uk/codes.htm which states the following
(note occupation means occupation of a property, nothing to do with employment)
I think that bears out your thinking and is what I have always understood to be the case.

Brian

EDIT - My understanding is that Residence refers to ownership whereas Occupation is the person who pays rent.

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Re: Liverpool Electoral Register - 1939/1940

Post by AdrianBruce » 13 Feb 2020 23:01

It must be something like that Brian..... I just can't quite see the explicit distinction drawn anywhere.
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Re: Liverpool Electoral Register - 1939/1940

Post by davidf » 14 Feb 2020 00:06

I understood that plural voting was intended to cover the situation where a man (usually a man) pays two lots of rates and therefore got two votes. I believe some minor parties still talk about votes for businesses - just as they get votes in Business Improvement Districts.

So:
R Residence qualification - refers to your "residence" where you live - whether freehold or rental you pay residential rates
B Business premises qualification - refers to your business - whether freehold or rental you pay business rates
I think this covered my Great Grandfather in Huddersfield where I think freehold was rare - the Ramsden Estate and the Thornbury Estate seemed to own most of the freeholds (business and residential).

I then struggle to understand the O Occupational qualification as you occupy your home as a householder and your occupy your business premises as a Business owner. Are we trying to find a way for non-resident freeholders to have a vote as well? Arguably being a freeholder is "a business" (but not one that pays business rates - except on business property).

(I wish I had photographed the Burgess Rolls in Huddersfield Library!)

In my earlier wikipedia reference, George Shaw-Lefevre MP is reported as saying "I have myself five votes for five different constituencies ... Two are occupation votes, two freehold votes, and one is for a University ..." [ref. George Shaw-Lefevre (18 May 1892). "Plural Voting (Abolition) Bill (No 42)". Parliamentary Debates (Hansard). United Kingdom: House of Commons. col. 1184.] The University vote and multiple constituencies are other questions - but he differentiates between Occupation and Freehold!
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Re: Liverpool Electoral Register - 1939/1940

Post by ColeValleyGirl » 14 Feb 2020 07:16

This may or may not muddy the waters.

I have an unmarried couple who lived in rented accommodation all their lives (and show up in the registers 1920-1955. Mary Ann Harper is always shown as having an Occupational qualification to vote and Charles Kimmons is shown as having a Residential qualification. So perhaps Charles paid the residential rates, and Mary Ann got a vote because she lived there (but didn't pay the rates).

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Re: Liverpool Electoral Register - 1939/1940

Post by brianlummis » 14 Feb 2020 07:58

Maybe the following extract from Mark Herber's "Ancestral Trails" might shed more light.
The franchise for elections to Parliament was extended in 1832, 1867 an 1884. In 1832 the vote in the boroughs was given to a wider range of those men having an interest in property, including all male householders (so including tenants) of land worth at least £10 per year. In the counties the franchise was granted to the owners of property worth at least £10. This increased the electorate to almost one million men. In 1867 the electorate was increased to about 2.5 million. All male owners of real property worth £5 or more were enfranchised in the counties, together with those who occupied land and paid rent of £50 or more per year. In the boroughs, all owners of dwelling-houses and most occupiers, who paid rent of £10 or more per year, were given the vote. In 1884 the county franchise was widened (to approximately the same extent as the boroughs), so that the majority of male householders over 21 were entitled to vote. In 1918 the franchise for men was extended to all those aged 21 normally resident in the constituency. Women did not obtain the vote in national elections until 1918 , when it was limited to those over 30 who were householders, or the wives of householders. It was only in 1928 that the vote was granted to women over 21.
Note the qualification for occupiers which defines those who gained the vote by means of 'Occupation'

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Re: Liverpool Electoral Register - 1939/1940

Post by rfj1001 » 14 Feb 2020 10:23

Thanks all for responding to my OP. I'm learning as much from the initial replies as I am from the onging thread :)

The entry for my uncle is :

B Business Premises Qualification (man)
O Occupational Qualification (man)

So I'm not sure of the subtlety of why he qualifies by Business Premises Qualification as well as Occupational - if the latter is occupation of a building, which from the earlier thread it appears to be. (davidf picks up a similar point)

At least my aunt's entry is straightforward - she qualifies by virtue of husbands occupation which, out of interest, was a CA if occupation was profession.

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Re: Liverpool Electoral Register - 1939/1940

Post by brianlummis » 14 Feb 2020 19:43

The entry for my uncle is :
B Business Premises Qualification (man)
O Occupational Qualification (man)
This indicates that he had two votes - one because he had Business Premises (maybe a shop or workshop) in Dale Street and the other because he was an occupier of a domestic property, Penkett Road, where he paid rent. However if both entries refer to Dale Street then it was a mixed use property which was used for business purposes and also had living accommodation.

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Re: Liverpool Electoral Register - 1939/1940

Post by AdrianBruce » 24 Feb 2020 16:58

AdrianBruce wrote:
13 Feb 2020 22:21
And if anyone can explain the difference between "Residential" and "Occupational" qualifications, I for one would be grateful! ...
Trying to answer my own question, I found a very useful source in the shape of a House of Commons Library Research Paper, number 13/14 of 1 March 2013 The History of the Parliamentary Franchise. I would give you the URL except I found and saved it on my phone and haven't quite worked out how to record a URL on that.

Take typical values for my great-grandparents in a 1923 Autumn register:
G-GF - R and O
G-GM - HO and HO
their son - R and "-"

The first value is for Parliamentary, 2nd for local elections.
R = Residence qualification
O = Occupation qualification
HO = Qualification through Husband's occupation.

Note that the code values have changed by 1931.

Q1: What is the difference between Residence and Occupation? (Note we know that Occupation is in the sense of occupying a building not a job)

A: Looking in the Research Paper, at the "Representation of the People Act 1918", it appears that it swept away all previous legislation. It refers to men satisfying "the requisite residence or business premises occupation qualification". It appears to me, therefore, that Occupation is the wider term and covers both domestic residence and occupation of business premises, while residence only applies to domestic. Note that Occupation does cover both, otherwise HO for great-gran ("Qualification through Husband's occupation") would make no sense.

NB - re the possibility of having both a domestic and a business vote - "a second vote could only be cast if the qualifying business premises was in a separate constituency to the residence premises"

Q2: If, domestically speaking, there is no difference between Residence and Occupation, why is the Local Franchise for G-GF written in terms of O and the Parliamentary in terms of R?

A: I think that this is because the 1918 Act covered local and parliamentary qualifications in separate sections and it simply ended up that the terms used were different.
Adrian

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Re: Liverpool Electoral Register - 1939/1940

Post by davidf » 24 Feb 2020 17:28

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Re: Liverpool Electoral Register - 1939/1940

Post by davidf » 24 Feb 2020 17:55

AdrianBruce wrote:
24 Feb 2020 16:58
...
NB - re the possibility of having both a domestic and a business vote - "a second vote could only be cast if the qualifying business premises was in a separate constituency to the residence premises"
...
I think from a swift read this was a function of the Representation of the People Act 1918 and applied to Parliamentary Elections. (see 12.1 in the HoC Briefing paper). Not clear from the paper if Plural Voting was still allowed in Local Elections - my earlier Wikipedia sourced posting implied that that continued until Representation of the People Act 1969!
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Re: Liverpool Electoral Register - 1939/1940

Post by AdrianBruce » 24 Feb 2020 19:42

davidf wrote:
24 Feb 2020 17:55
... I think from a swift read this was a function of the Representation of the People Act 1918 and applied to Parliamentary Elections. ...
I'd agree with that - of course, the Paper is primarily about the Parliamentary Franchise so I think we have to be grateful for any crumbs about local elections. And thanks for the URL.
Adrian

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