The Poll for Two Knights of the Shire 1831

Before 1832, only men over the age of 21 who owned land or property were the only ones who had a say in which two candidates the county of Northamptonshire would send to parliament.

There is a copy of a book on-line which is the actual poll taken over a two week period. In those days the ‘polling booth’ came to you.

A Copy of The Poll for Two Knights of the Shire, for the County of Northampton which commenced at Northampton on the 7th, was continued during the 9th, 10th, 11th, 12th, 13th, 14th, 16th, 17th, 18th, 19th, 20th, 21st, And closed on the 23rd day of May, 1831


The candidates were: –

William Ralph Cartwright, Esquire
of Aynhoe
Proposed by Thomas Reeve Thornton, Esquire, of Brockball; and seconded by Henry Barne Sawbridge, of East Haddon

The Right Honourable John Charles Spencer
commonly called
Viscount Althorp,
Chancellor of the Exchequer.
Proposed by Sir William Wake, baronet, of Courteenhall; and seconded by Edward Bouverie, Esquire, of Delapre Abbey

The Right Honorable
Charles William Wentworth Fitzwilliam
Commonly Called
Viscount Milton
Proposed by Charles Hill, Esquire, of Wellingborough; and seconded by Thomas Francis Lucas, Gentleman, of Long Buckby

Sir Charles Knightley, Baronet,
of Fawsley,
Proposed by Henry Hungerford Holdich Hungerford, Esquire of Dingley; and seconded by Major Cartwright, of Aynhoe

This is how Polebrook voted

How Polebrook Voted in 1831

It would appear that some people had two votes. The letters in the right hand column was how each of them voted. A – Althorp, M – Milton, C – Cartwright and K – Knightley

For more details behind the story of politics in Northamptonshire in the early 19th century.