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User Guide 17 - Voting Records
Revised April 2004

This User Guide details land tax assessments, electoral registers and poll books held at TWAS, which can be used to locate individuals and find out about their economic situation, and are especially useful where census records do not exist.

LAND TAX RECORDS

The Land Tax was introduced in 1692 and was a tax on the land which people owned. Land Tax assessments are a record of all taxpayers in each parish or township, and give the names of the owner and occupiers of the land, a description of the property and the tax levied. From 1780 to 1832 the assessments were the only means of listing voters, with those who owned property worth two pounds or more annually qualifying to vote.

From 1798 landowners were able to redeem the tax with a payment equal to 15 years tax, and the Land Tax Redemption Certificates describe the property, the occupiers and the sum redeemed. However, the names of these owners remained in the assessments for voting purposes.

In 1832 land tax assessments lost their electoral function when separate electoral registers were introduced. This meant that the assessments became only partial lists of owners and occupiers and may not be reliable. In 1949 redemption became compulsory on property changing hands, and the tax was abolished in 1963.

ELECTORAL REGISTERS

From 1832 separate electoral registers began to be kept. The registers are arranged by wards within the county or borough, and then alphabetically by name or by street within the wards. A map showing the boundaries of the Newcastle wards is available for consultation in the searchroom.

Durham County Record Office holds registers covering parts of County Durham now in Tyne and Wear, Northumberland Record Office holds registers for Northumberland county and central libraries have the registers for their respective boroughs. The registers, compiled annually except in wartime, give the name, address and voting qualification plus any land owned within the area by the voter, but voting qualifications were restricted as follows:

  • 1832 - Men owning property worth at least £2 per year
  • 1867 - Men owning or renting property worth at least £5 per year
  • 1884 - Men owning or lodging in property worth at least £10 per year
  • 1918 - Men over 21, women over 30, soldiers and sailors over 19.
  • 1928 - All men and women over 21
  • 1969 - All men and women over 18

BURGESS LISTS

The burgesses were the electors of the borough councils. To qualify as a burgess, a man had to have lived and paid rates in the borough for two and a half years, although in 1869 this was reduced to one year and women could become burgesses. The burgess lists were recorded separately from the electoral register until the first world war.

POLL BOOKS

From 1696 onwards the sheriff had to compile a record of the poll in county elections, which was made available for all to see. In 1843 a similar provision was made for borough elections. These poll books were printed by private entrepreneurs rather than clerks, but tend to give the name of the voter, his occupation, where he lived and which candidate he voted for. The Newcastle Borough poll books include voters entitled to vote in the borough who came from other areas, including Gateshead, North and South Shields, Sunderland and places in Northumberland. The Northumberland poll books cover the whole county apart from the Borough of Newcastle.

Abbreviations

  • LT - Land Tax
  • PB - Poll Book
  • ER - Electoral Register
  • BL - Burgess List
  • MF - Microfilm - a microfilm reader should be booked in advance to view these records

Backworth LT: 1836-1946 (G/TAX1/4)

Barmston ER: 1835-6 (MF895)

Benwell see also Newcastle LT: 1833-1946 (G/TAX1/10) ER: 1936 (601/290)

Bishopwearmouth ER: 1835-6, 1846-7 (MF895, MF827)

Bishopwearmouth Panns ER: 1835-6, 1846-7 (MF895, MF827)

Blackcallerton LT: 1833-1936 (G/TAX1/8)

Burdon ER: 1835-6 (MF895)

Burradon LT: 1836-1946 (G/TAX1/4)

Butterlaw LT: 1833-1936 (G/TAX1/8)

Byker see also Newcastle LT: 1833-1937 (G/TAX1/3) ER: 1863-1900 (601, see MF)

Camperdown LT: 1833-1937 (G/TAX1/7)

Chirton LT: 1833-1946 (G/TAX1/11)

Chopwell ER: 1835-6 (MF895)

Crawcrook ER: 1835-6 (MF895)

Cullercoats LT: 1833-1946 (G/TAX1/11)

East Herrington ER: 1835-6 (MF895)

East Rainton ER: 1835-6 (MF895)

Elswick see also Newcastle LT: 1833-1946 (G/TAX1/10) ER: 1863-1900 (601, see MF) BL: 1835-1879 (601, see MF)

Fenham see also Newcastle LT: 1833-1946 (G/TAX1/10) ER: 1936 (601/290)

Fulwell ER: 1835-6 (MF895)

Gateshead ER: 1835-6 (MF895)

Glendale PB: 1826 (3408/2)

Gosforth LT: 1833-1946 (G/TAX1/5)

Harton ER: 1835-6 (MF895)

Harraton ER: 1835-6 (MF895)

Heaton see also Newcastle LT: 1833-1937 (G/TAX1/3) PB: 1741-1860 (440, MF 340) ER: 1863-1900 (601, see MF)

Hebburn ER: 1835-6 (MF895)

Hedworth ER: 1835-6 (MF895)

Heworth ER: 1835-6 (MF895)

Houghton ER: 1835-6 (MF895)

Jarrow ER: 1835-6 (MF895) BL: 1853-4 (MF897)

Jesmond see also Newcastle LT: 1799-1898 (G/TAX1/15) 1833-1946 (G/TAX1/6, up to 1873 MF381) ER: 1863-1900 (601, see MF) BL: 1835-1879 (601, see MF)

Lamesley ER: 1835-6 (MF895)

Longbenton LT: 1799-1937 (G/TAX1/7, G/TAX1/16)

Middle Herrington ER: 1835-6 (MF895)

Monkseaton LT: 1833-1946 (G/TAX1/11)

Monkton ER: 1835-6 (MF895)

Monkwearmouth ER: 1835-6, 1846-7 (MF895, MF827)

Murton LT: 1833-1946 (G/TAX1/11)

Newbottle ER: 1835-6 (MF895)

Newburn LT: 1833-1936 (G/TAX1/8)

Newcastle LT: 1737-1946 (G/TAX1, G/TAX2) PB: 1741-1872, some gaps (3408, 440, see MF) ER: 1863-4, 1867-1915, 1918-1959, 1965-1974, 1980 (601, see MF) BL: 1835-1879 (601, see MF)

North Shields LT: 1833-1946 (G/TAX1/9) PB: 1747/8, 1774, 1832, 1852 (3408/1, 440/3, 3408/4, 3408/5)

Offerton ER: 1835-6 (MF895)

Penshaw ER: 1835-6 (MF895)

Preston LT: 1833-1946 (G/TAX1/11)

Ryton ER: 1835-6 (MF895)

Scotswood see also Newcastle LT: 1833-1946 (G/TAX1/4)

South Shields PB: 1830-2 (MF895) ER: 1835-6 (MF895) 1848 (T179/594) BL: 1853-4 (MF897)

Southwick ER: 1835-6 (MF895)

Sunderland ER: 1835-6, 1846-7 (MF895, MF827)

Tindale PB: 1826 (3408/2, 3408/5)

Tynemouth LT: 1833-1946 (G/TAX1/11, G/TAX1/13) PB: 1747-8, 1774, 1832, 1852 (3408/1, 440/3 - MF340)

Usworth ER: 1835-6 (MF895)

Walbottle LT: 1833-1936 (G/TAX1/8)

Walker LT: 1833-1937 (G/TAX1/7)

Wallsend LT: 1833-1913 (G/TAX1/12)

Warden Law ER: 1835-6 (MF895)

Washington ER: 1835-6 (MF895)

Weetslade LT: 1833-1937 (G/TAX1/7)

West Denton LT: 1833-1946 (G/TAX1/8)

West Herrington ER: 1835-6 (MF895)

Westoe ER: 1835-6 (MF895) BL: 1853-4 (MF897)

Whickham ER: 1835-6 (MF895)

Whitburn ER: 1835-6 (MF895)

Whitley LT: 1833-1946 (G/TAX1/11)

Whorlton LT: 1833-1936 (G/TAX1/8)

NORTHUMBERLAND

Allendale PB: 1832, 1852 (3408/4, 3408/5)

Bamburgh PB: 1826 (3408/2, 3408/3)

Bellingham PB: 1832, 1852 (3408/4, 3408/5)

Coquetdale PB: 1826 (3408/2)

Haltwhistle PB: 1832, 1852 (3408/4, 3408/5)

Hartley LT: 1836-1946 (G/TAX1/4)

Heddon LT: 1799-1874 (G/TAX1/14) PB: 1826 (3408/2, 3408/3)

Hexham ER: 1980 (T193/11) PB: 1832, 1852 (3408/4, 3408/5)

Holywell LT: 1836-1946 (G/TAX1/4)

Morpeth PB: 1826 (3408/2, 3408/3)

Newsham LT: 1836-1946 (G/TAX1/4)

Seaton Delaval LT: 1836-1946 (G/TAX1/4)

Seghill LT: 1836-1946 (G/TAX1/4)

South Blyth LT: 1836-1946 (G/TAX1/4)

Stamfordham PB: 1832 (3408/4, 3408/5)

VOTING RECORDS AT OTHER REPOSITORIES

RECORD OFFICES

Durham County Record Office

  • ER: Whole of County Durham, 1832 to present (microfilm)
  • LT: 1759-1831 (microfilm)

Morpeth Records Centre

  • ER: Whole of Northumberland County, 1832 to present
  • PB: Northumberland, 18th and 19th century
  • LT: 1748-1885

Northumberland Record Office (Melton Park)

  • LT: 1749-1831 (microfilm)

LIBRARIES

Gateshead Central Library

  • ER: Gateshead, 1832, 1837, 1842, 1847, 1851, 1918-39, 1945 to present
  • BL: Gateshead, 1835-1915
  • PB: Gateshead, 1837, 1852

Newcastle City Library

  • ER: Newcastle, 1832-77, 1880 to present / Sunderland, 1832, 1835
  • PB: Gateshead, 1837, 1852 Newcastle, 1715-1859 Sunderland, 1833 Northumberland, 1705-1852

North Shields Central Library

  • ER: Tynemouth, 1861-69, 1876, 1887-1910, 1926-39, 1946 to present / Wallsend, 1931 to present
  • PB: Some for Northumberland

South Shields Central Library

  • ER: South Shields, 1850 to present / Also some for Jarrow, Cleadon, Boldon
  • BL: Some for South Shields For western parts of South Tyneside, see Durham Record Office

Sunderland City Library

  • ER: Sunderland, 1841 to present / Bishopwearmouth, 1850 / Monkwearmouth, 1842, 1844-45