cease to be a British subject. Sect. 4. So a person PERSONAL born abroad, whose father was a British subject may FICATIONS. cease to be such. Id. And a British subject, when in Expatriaa foreign state and not under disability, voluntarily tion. naturalized there, shall be regarded as an alien. Sect. 6. He may, however, before May 12th, 1872, retain his British nationality by making a declaration. Id. And a natural-born British subject who has become an alien under the Act, may apply for a certificate of readmission to British nationality, which, if granted, will from its date restore the person to the position of a British subject. Sect. 8. As to proof of this certificate, vide sect. 12, supra.

The national status of women and children is deter- Women, &c. mined by sect. 10, post, p. 468.

A denizen is an alien born, who has obtained from Denizens. the Crown letters patent to make him an English subject. 1 Bl. Com. 373. And he may vote. Middlesex, (1804), 2 Peck. 117, (Solomon's case). See 12 & 13 W. 3, c. 2, s. 3. Letters of denization may still be granted. 33 & 34 V. c. 14, s. 13.

fancy (c).

The first statutory provision against minors voting Inwas the 7 & 8 W. 3, c. 25, s. 8, which enacted "that no person whatsoever being under the age of one and twenty years shall, at any time hereafter, be admitted to give his voice for election of any member or members to serve in this present or any future Parliament." Bishop's Castle, (1820).-Vote, after argument, al- When of lowed. The voter's father proved that he was born at nine o'clock on the morning of the 11th; he tendered his vote on the morning of the 10th. Full age is completed on the day preceding the anniversary of a person's birth; 1 Bl. Com. 463; for the law does not notice a fraction of a day. Anon., (1700), per Holt, C. J., Ld. Raym. 480, 1096; Salk. 625, 44.

It seems sufficient for the voter to be of full age on

(c) See ante, pp. 189, 190.




PERSONAL July 31st; see Powellv. Bradley and Hargreaves v. Hooper, FICATIONS. cited ante, p. 126, and observations, ante, pp. 190, 191.


Idiotcy. An idiot is one whom the law regards to be non compos mentis from his nativity, by a perpetual infirmity. Co. Litt. 247, a. The vote of such a person ought not to be allowed; see Bedfordshire, (1785), 2 Lud. 567, (Burgess' case); Heyw. Co. 259; nor should his name be on the register.





With regard to a lunatic who, though, for the most part, he may have lost the sound exercise of his reason, yet sometimes has lucid intervals, it seems that the returning officer has only to decide whether, at the moment of voting, the person offering himself is sufficiently compos mentis to discriminate between the candidates, and to answer the questions and take the oath (if required) in an intelligible manner. Heyw. Co. 260. Bishop's Castle, (1699), 13 Journ. 171; Oxfordshire, (1755), 27 Journ. 177.

Bridgewater, (1803), 1 Peck. 108, (Tucker's case).— The voter's intellect had been disordered, but he was not entirely unfit for business. His trade was for the most part carried on by his shopman; for he frequently lost his memory, his knowledge of accounts, and of the value of money. He was very eager during the election for A. and P., for whom he voted. Vote good.

Oakhampton, (1791), 1 Fraser, 162, (Robins' case).— The voter was 75 years old, paralytic, and much affected by the noise at the poll. He had no clear idea of the names of the candidates, but he had of the side on which he wished to vote. When ordinary questions were put to him, he merely repeated them; but his answers to his wife were more rational. When undisturbed, it appeared that he was capable of performing any serious act. One witness declared, that after the noise ceased, he heard him name the sitting members, in answer to the question, whom he voted for, which was put a second time. A proposition was made to show him the names of the candidates in writing, but

objected to. He said he voted for Slasher and Lasher, PERSONAL and was rejected by the returning officer. Vote good.

If the state of mind of these persons is such, that it is probable that their votes should be admitted at an election if it took place, as soon as the register came into force, it seems that they are entitled to be registered, otherwise not so; but no case on the point appears to have been decided.


As to one born deaf and dumb, no case has arisen. Deaf and It seems such a person, if he could understand what he dumb (d). was about, might levy a fine of lands; 7 Vin. Abr. 324, and (semble) make feoffments or contracts for his good; and such persons are admitted, on examination, to marry and to receive the sacrament. Id.

Perkins says the same latitude is given to those who Deaf,

are born deaf, dumb, and blind. And if such a person blind.' dumb, and can show, by signs or otherwise, that he knows the purpose for which he has come to the poll, and can also comprehend the obligation of an oath and the temporal dangers of perjury, it is conceived that a returning officer would not be justified in rejecting his vote (e), and he would be entitled to be registered.


Neither the common nor statute law disqualifies any RELIGIOUS person from voting on the ground of his religious belief. The 5 & 6 W. 4, c. 36, s. 6 (ƒ), enacts that no elector supremacy at any election shall be required to take the oaths of &c. not to

(d) The following form of an oath was administered to a dumb man and his interpreter, on a trial for felony, at which the deaf and dumb man was a witness, in Ruston's case, (1786), 1 Leach, 316: J. R." (the dumb man) "was sworn to depose the truth, &c., and M. R." (the interpreter) "well and truly to interpret to J. R., a witness, &c., &c., the question and demands made by the Court to the said J. R., and his answers made thereto."

(e) See the criteria stated, "Lunacy," ante, p. 194.

(f) The Act did not extend to Ireland. The 6 & 7 V. c. 28, expressly relieved voters in that country from taking the oath prescribed by 10 G. 4, c. 7, s. 5, vide post, p. 196. The 6 & 7 V. c. 28, is repealed by 34 & 35 V. c. 48; but by s. 1 of that Act, the exemption from taking the oath is practically continued.

Oaths of allegiance,

be taken.


RELIGIOUS allegiance, abjuration, or supremacy, or any oath or oaths in lieu of them. This practically repeals the 10 G. 4, c. 7, s. 5, as to Roman Catholic electors taking the oath therein mentioned, instead of those to which they were liable before that Act.



By the 15 & 16 V. c. 43, the disability to vote at an election of members to Parliament, imposed by 1 G. 1, c. 13, upon Roman Catholic members of Parliament who had not taken the oath of abjuration, as prescribed by that Act, and altered by 6 G. 3, c. 53, is removed; without prejudice, however, to any pecuniary penalty to which they are liable for such neglect.

Commissioners, collectors, or other persons employed OFFICERS. in collecting, &c., the excise, were disqualified by the 22 G. 3, c. 41, and 7 & 8 G. 4, c. 53, s. 9, from which disqualifications, however, keepers of excise offices appointed under the latter Act, were exempted by 4 & 5 V. c. 20, s. 4, and collectors of post-horse duties by 27 G. 3, c. 26. By 22 G. 3, c. 41, a similar disqualification was imposed upon the commissioners or other Stamps (g). persons employed in collecting, &c., the duties on stamped vellum, parchment, and paper, or any person appointed by the commissioners for distributing stamps, and upon surveyors and other persons employed in collecting, &c., the duties on houses (h) (excepting, however, commissioners of land tax and persons acting under them, and the holder of any office held or usually granted by letters patent for any estate of inheritance or freehold), and also upon commissioners and other persons employed in managing, &c., the customs, from which Act, however, coal and corn meters of the city of London were excepted by the 51 G. 3, c. 84, provided


(g) By 12 & 13 V. c. 1, the Boards of Excise and Stamps are consolidated into one Board of "Commissioners of Inland Revenue." (h) The duty on windows, i. e., on houses in proportion to the number of their windows, was abolished by 14 & 15 V. c. 36, and an inhabited house-duty, according to the annual value of the houses, was imposed.



they did not receive any salary out of the customs or REVENUE other revenue of the Crown. A similar disqualification was imposed by the same Act upon the postmaster- Postgeneral, 'postmasters, or any person employed in collecting or managing the revenue of the Post Office, and any captain, master, or mate of any ship, &c., employed by the postmaster-general, in conveying the mail to and from foreign ports. And by the 43 G. 3, c. 25, these disabilities were extended to revenue officers in Ireland. But the 31 & 32 V. c. 73 repealed the 22 G. 3, c. 41; 43 G. 3, c. 25; and 7 & 8 G. 4, c. 53, s. 9 ; and by 37 & 38 V. c. 22, any enactments reviving or continuing these Acts have also been repealed. There is consequently no disability now attaching to revenue officers for voting.

The stat. 10 G. 4, c. 44, s. 18, enacted that "no justice, POLICE. receiver, or person belonging to the Metropolitan police Metropoforce appointed under that Act should, during the time litan. he should continue in such office, or within six months afterwards, vote for a member for Middlesex, Surrey, Hertford, Essex, or Kent, or for any city or borough within the Metropolitan district. Under this section it was held that the revising barrister was bound to strike out a constable's name without a party notice. Doulon v. Halse, (1886), 18 Q. B. D. 421.

By 6 & 7 W. 4, c. 50, the horse patrol force was Horse placed under the authority of the commissioners ap- patrol. pointed under the above Act, and a similar disqualification imposed upon its members. But this Act was in terms repealed by 2 & 3 V. c. 47, s. 4.

The Thames Police Act, 3 & 4 W. 4, c. 19, having Thames expired, and power having been given by 2 & 3 V. c. 47, police. s. 5, to Metropolitan constables, i. e., those appointed under the 10 G. 4, c. 44, to act as constables on the River Thames, this force is now the same as the Metropolitan police.

The 19 & 20 V. c. 2, s. 9, disqualified the commissioners of Metropolitan police.

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