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About Electoral Registers for Ireland 1832-38
This dataset details those eligible to vote in Ireland after the electorate had been greatly increased following the Great Reform Act of 1832. It contains over 52,600 names, details of occupations, addresses and entitlement criteria to vote.
The information in this dataset comes from the Report of the Select Committee on Fictitious Votes, 1837-38, which form one of the great untapped resources for the study of the Irish electorate in the 1830s.
The Select Committee was set up in the aftermath of Daniel O'Connell's election to Parliament in 1832, when there had been widespread accusations of corruption and illegal voting. The Commissioners of Police and Magistrates throughout Ireland were charged with creating what amounted to an electoral register for those entitled to vote in Ireland between 1832 and 1837 under the terms of the Reform Act. This Electoral Registers for Ireland 1832-38 dataset comprises a computerised index of all names included in the 900 pages of appendices and indexes pages to the Select Committee Report, linked to digitised images of these pages. (The minutes of evidence given to the Select Committee on Fictitious Votes are not included.)
In Ireland during this period the electorate consisted of £10 freeholders and leaseholders (ie those owning or leasing property with an annual value of at least £10), £20 leaseholders and freeholders, £50 freeholders, plus, in towns, cities and boroughs, freemen or paid-up members of a trade guild.
The usefulness of these lists of the electorate, especially for the towns and cities in Ireland, cannot be over-emphasised. Only a handful of postal and/or street directories exists for that period for the majority of the towns and villages of Ireland, other than Dublin and Belfast, so the list of voters provided by the Select Committee greatly adds to the available material on urban residents.
The electoral lists provide the names of all those eligible to vote in rural districts of the 32 counties of Ireland, and the names, addresses and voting qualifications for those residing in the borough towns of Ireland which returned Members of Parliament, such as Sligo, Clonmel, Cashel, Dungannon, Lisburn, Enniskillen.
The most voluminous portions of the lists detail the electorate of the City of Dublin. These lists provide, street-by-street, the names, addresses and voting qualifications of Dublin's electorate. This is perhaps the most comprehensive and useful list of Dublin's residents prior to the first complete surviving Population Census for the City (1901).
The lists provide the names of all persons eligible to vote by dint of their membership of one of the trades guilds or as a freeman of the City. The Dublin list, in essence, names all the various guild members and freemen residing in the city in 1832 and in the case of the trades guilds (which include doctors, merchants and smiths, etc.) the name of the father or name of the master craftsman of each is also provided.
Also included is a list of individuals brought to the attention of the Select Committee as fictitious voters, with the evidence brought against them, together with a summary of the Select Committee's findings - which in some cases resulted in individuals being struck from the Electoral Register. In other cases those gathering evidence for the committee applauded landlords and land owners for increasing the electorate amongst the tenantry of their property.