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1807 Poll Book

County of York
The Poll
Knights of the Shire

Taken at the Castle of York before
Richard Fountayne Wilson
Hig Sherriff of the said County

William Wilberforce, Esq.
The Honourable Henry Lascelles
The Right Honorouble Charles Wentworth Fitzwilliam
(commonly called Viscount Milton)

This was the first time Yorkshire had seen a contested election since 1741 and it is the most famous from the pre-reform eradue to the amount of money spent contesting it. The three candidates spent nearly £250,000 between them, making it the most costly election of any before 1832.

Voting took place in the city of York between May 20 and June 5, 1807 and Wilberforce won with 11,808 votes, whilst Viscount Milton gained the second seat with 11,177 votes, only 187 more votes than Lascelles, who came third with 10,990. Viscount Middleton failed to gain much favour with the voters of Malhamdale.
A total of 23,007 persons voted; 13,830 from the West Riding, 5,621 from the North Riding and 3,556 from the East Riding.

1807 Yorkshire Election - Malhamdale Entries

Residence Name Description Freehold W L M
Airton William Clough Farmer Coniston 1 1  
Airton Richard Petty Farmer Malham 1 1  
Airton Francis Petty Farmer Airton   1  
Airton Richard Shackleton Farmer Rathmell 1 1  
Airton John Taylor Yeoman Airton   1  
Airton Anthony Taylor Farmer Airton   1  
Airton Joseph Watkinson Farmer Bradley 1 1  
Airton Thomas Walker Farmer Airton 1 1  
Airton William Weatherill Farmer Airton 1 1  
Bradford William Pulleyn Butcher Malham 1 1  
Calton John Brown Farmer Calton 1 1  
Calton Robert Mount Farmer Scosthrop 1 1  
Eshton Thomas Johnson Gent Arncliffe 1 1  
Frierhead Thomas Metcalfe Farmer Bank Newton 1 1  
Giggleswick, Stackhouse John Lund Gent Malham 1 1  
Kirkby Malham Robert Hind Farmer Kirkby Malham   1  
Kirkby Malham Hamer Hargraves Yeoman Essington 1 1  
Kirkby Malham Thomas Hornby Farmer Stainforth 1 1  
Kirkby Malham John Preston Farmer Malham   1  
Kirkby Malham John Robinson Clerk Low Bentham 1 1  
Kirkby Malham John Sayner Tailor Kirkby Malham   1  
Kirkby Malham James Titterington Yeoman Kirkby Malham 1 1  
Kirkby Malham William Walker Joiner Kirkby Malham     1
Kirkby Malham James Walker Weaver Kirkby Malham 1 1  
Kirkby Malham Stephen Harper Mason Kirkby Malham 1 1  
London, Inner Temple Thomas Chippindale Esq. Winterburn 1 1  
London, Westminster Richard Brayshaw Esq. Malham   1  
Malham John Brayshay Farmer Malham   1  
Malham William Brayshay Farmer Malham 1 1  
Malham Thomas Hammerton Carpenter Malham   1  
Malham Thomas Hurtley Schoolmaster Malham   1  
Malham John Lawson Farmer Malham 1 1  
Malham Henry Lund Yeoman Malham 1 1  
Malham Thomas Procter Farmer Kirkby Malham 1 1  
Malham Christopher Smith Gent Malham   1  
Malham John Shackleton Yeoman Malham   1  
Malham Robert Sedgwick Farmer Malham   1  
Malham John Tennant Husbandman Malham   1  
Malham (Moor) William Cockett Farmer Malham 1 1  
Otterburn John Gill sen. Farmer Otterburn 1 1  
Otterburn John Parkinson Gent Otterburn 1 1  
Sawley William Hartley Farmer Kirkby Malham   1  
Scosthrop Thomas Preston Gent Kirkby Malham   1  
Scosthrop Josia Rimmington Gent Scosthrop   1  
Scosthrop John Settle Farmer Scosthrop 1 1  
Silsden Joseph Willock Yeoman Malham Moor     1
Skipton William Alcock Esq. Kirkby Malham 1 1  
Thornton in Lonsdale Robert Bateson Farmer Malham 1 1


William Wilberforce External Website logo (1759 – 1833) A native of Kingston upon Hull, Yorkshire, he began his political career in 1780 and was the independent Member of Parliament for Yorkshire (1784–1812). He was also a philanthropist and a leader of the movement to abolish the slave trade, which resulted in the eventual passage of the Slave Trade Act 1807. He championed many other causes such as the Society for Suppression of Vice, British missionary work in India, the creation of a free colony in Sierra Leone, the foundation of the Church Mission Society and the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, resulting in criticism that he was ignoring injustices at home while campaigning for the enslaved abroad. He resigned from Parliament because of his failing health in 1826, but continued to support the campaign which led to the Slavery Abolition Act 1833. He died just days before the Act, which abolished slavery in most of the British Empire, was passed by Parliament.

Henry Lascelles External Website logo (1767 – 1841), later the 2nd Earl of Harewood, known as Viscount Lascelles from 1814 to 1820, was was elected to the House of Commons for Yorkshire in 1796, a seat he held until the 1807 Yorkshire election and again from 1812 to 1818, and also represented Westbury from 1807 to 1812 and Northallerton from 1818 to 1820. The latter year he succeeded his father in the earldom and entered the House of Lords. Between 1819 and 1841 he also served as Lord Lieutenant of the West Riding of Yorkshire.

Viscount Milton (1786 - 1857) son of the 5th Earl Fitzwilliam also an outspoken politician and supporter of reform. Viscount Milton was elected five times as the MP for York and was also MP for Northampton in 1831.

Who could Vote?
Prior to the Reform Act 1832, the franchise to vote for a County MP was only held by the owners of freehold land valued at 40 shillings or more, a situation which had persisted since 1430. The expense and difficulty of voting at only one location in the (very large) county, together with the lack of a secret ballot contributed to the corruption and intimidation of voters, which was widespread in the unreformed British political system. Contested county elections were unusual due to the expense and the leading families of the county would agree on the candidates to be returned unopposed whenever possible. In the 100 years before the Reform Act there were 20 general elections, but in Yorkshire the 1741 election was one of only 4 that actually went to a ballot.
Yorkshire was the largest of the historic counties and the constituency comprised the whole county, represented at this time by two MPs. Yorkshire also contained several boroughs which each returned two members to Parliament, these included; Aldborough, Beverley, Boroughbridge, Hedon, Kingston-upon-Hull, Knaresborough, Malton, Northallerton, Pontefract, Richmond, Ripon, Scarborough, Thirsk and York.

See also our Register of Electors registered to vote in 1834, the 1848 Poll Book, the 1741 Poll Book and our information page about the Right to Vote 1430-1969.

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