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MID  NINETEENTH  CENTURY  EFFORTS  TO  EXTEND  THE  FRANCHISE
(FROM  10  FREEHOLDERS  TO  A  WIDER  REPRESENTATION  OF  THE  PEOPLE).

Dividing Line

After Catholic Emancipation, when on the one hand the vote was extended to Roman Catholics and on the other hand taken away by increasing the freehold eligibility from 40s to 10, efforts at reform commenced throughout the country. Taking County Louth as an example an advertisement placed in a local newspaper of 1837 read:-
                                                                            ‘County of Louth

We, the Undersigned, request a MEETING of the ELECTORS of the County, on Wednesday, the 1st of November, at Arthur’s Hotel, Dundalk, at the hour of one o’clock, for the purpose of taking such steps as may appear necessary to secure the Independence of the County, by Inducing every qualified person to Register his Freehold:
October 25, 1837.

P. Bellew, Bart;
R. M. Bellew, M.P.;
Henry Chester M.P.;
Mathew O’Reilly;
P. H. Russell;
James O’Callaghan;
Thomas Magrath;
Donald M’Neale;
George Taaffe;
James Gernon;
Hugh O’Callaghan;
John Chester;
P. Ternan;
James Carraher;
R. deVerdon;
James M’Alester;
Peter M’E. Gartland;
Owen M’Kone;
Barthw. Callan;
James M’Cann;
Patrick Darcey;
James Marron P.P.;
James Tierney C.C.;
Neal T. Coleman;
John Coleman;
Piers Coleman;
Owen Callan;
Michael M’Culloch;
James Breen;
John Rogers P.P.;
Nicholas Conroy;
James Markey;
Owen Markey;
Charles Markey;
Nicholas Owen Markey;
Peter Collier;
John Collier;
Nicholas Magrane;
Patrick Markey, P.P.;
John Kirk;
Bryan King;
Gerald Markey;
Daniel Markey;
John Levins;
Patrick Harman;
Nicholas Markey;
Andrew Rogers P.P.;
R. Everard, C.C.;
John Dolan;
Patrick Rogers;
Bryan Rogers;
Thomas Butterly;
Joseph Kenny;
Patrick Marron;
Patrick Dullaghan;
James Crilly;
Bernard Bellew;
Pat. Devin;
John Harman;
John Conroy, P.P.;
John Mullan, C.C.;
John Clarke C.C.;
Denis Brennan;
J.J. Kelly;
Henry Kearney, P.P.;
James M’Ardle;
John Coyne, P.P.;
John Martin;
Patrick Wynne;
John Duffy;
Charles Duffy;
Thomas Coleman;
James Carroll;
Neal Kelly;
Michael Kelly;
Peter Cahill;
Joseph M’Cann;
Henry Corbally;
Lawrence Tailor;
Nicholas Martin;
Lawrence Cahill;
John P. Kelly;
Matthew M’Cann;
John Callan, jun;
Edward M’Ardle;
John M’Kenna;
Nicholas Carroll;
James Carroll;
Edward M’Kenny;
Philip Brenan;
James Caraher;
Patrick Mohan;
Owen Dougherty;
Lawrence Tallon;
Bryan Sharkey;
Patrick Crinnian;
Patrick Murray;
George Smith;
Bryan Rooney;
Patrick Curran;
Owen Kearney;
Michael Brenan;
James Abraham;
Patrick M’Loughlan;
Thomas Magorisk;
Nicholas Callan;
Owen Kearney;
John Coleman.;’

(Source: The Drogheda Journal, 28 October 1837, p.3, Drogheda Library)

 

‘County of Louth - Public Meeting

On Wednesday last a numerous and respectable meeting of the Electors of Louth took place at Arthur’s Hotel, Dundalk, pursuant to requisition, for the purpose of making arrangements to induce every qualified person, belonging to the Reform interest, to register his freehold. Amongst those present we noticed:

Sir Patrick Bellew, Bart;
R. M. Bellew, Esq. M.P.;
H. Chester, Esq, M.P.;
T. N. Redington, Esq, M.P.;
Major M’Neale, Faughart;
James Caraher Esq, Cardistown;
Nicholas Markey Esq, Walshestown;
James Markey Esq, Glasspistol;
Owen Markey Esq, Reynoldstown;
James M’Alester Esq, Cambrickville;
Richard DeVerdon Esq, Grange;
Peter M’Evoy Gartlan Esq, Dundalk;
James O’Hanlon Esq, Mount Bagnall;
Thomas Coleman Esq, Dundalk;
J. P. Kelly Esq, Dundalk;
Patrick Wynne Esq, Dundalk;
James M’Cann Esq, Channon Rock;
Rev. Mr Bannon, P.P., Louth;
Rev. Henry Kearney, P.P., Faughart;
Nicholas Callan Esq, Dowdstown;
Henry Corbally Esq, Dundalk;
Neal Kelly Esq, Dundalk;
Richard Byrne Esq, Rossmakea;
Joseph M’Cann Esq, Dundalk;
James Carroll Esq, Dundalk;
Daniel Moloney Esq, Dundalk
&c &c &c’

unable to attend were:

Mr Taaffe, Smarmore Castle;
Mathew O’Reilly, Castle Lagan, Ardee.

(Source; The Drogheda Journal, 4 November 1837, p.2, Drogheda Library)

 

A similar meeting was held in Drogheda:

‘Municipal Reform - Abolition of Tithes - The Ballot

On Thursday last a meeting of the Inhabitants of this town, convened by requisition, took place at the Linen Hall, for the purpose of petitioning Parliament for “the total abolition of Tithes, Reform of the Municipal Corporation, and the Vote by Ballot.”

At two o’clock Thomas Ennis, Esq, J.P., was called to the chair, and John Magee, Esq, was requested to act as Secretary ...’
 

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(Original uploaded 9 April 2004) Last update 27 August 2011.