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Archive Reference / Library Class No.ER
TitleElectoral registers for Derbyshire constituencies
DescriptionThe Electoral Registers list all people eligible to vote in polling districts. For small areas the listing is arranged alphabetically by surname. In larger areas, and as more people became entitled to vote, the listing is alphabetical by street. The right to vote (enfranchisement) was extended to various categories at different times during the 19th and 20th centuries. Not finding someone in a particular place does not always mean that they were not residing there. Where no other evidence survives, these may provide an indication of who was living in a specific property. Registers are not indexed by property or personal name.

This collection does not include registers for Derby borough/city constituencies.
RepositoryDerbyshire Record Office
Full Catalogue ListClick here to view a full list for this collection
Archive CreatorDerbyshire County Council: Electoral Registration
Administrative HistoryThe electoral registers begin in 1832, with the passing of the Great Reform Act. This enfranchised men over the age of 21 years, and who either owned property worth at least £10, or who occupied land worth between £2 and £5, or were tenants paying rent of £50 per annum. Up to 1 Dec 1868, Derbyshire was divided into Southern and Northern Divisions.

The Second Reform Act of 1867, enfranchised men over the age of 21 years, who owned property worth at least £5. The Third Reform Act of 1884 enfranchised freeholders of inherited land (or land acquired by marriage) worth £2; freeholders of any land worth £5; entitled to vote. This meant only 60% of male householders over the age of 21 had the vote.

Between 1885/6 and 1916, Derbyshire was divided into Southern, Northern and Eastern electoral constituencies. No registers were produced in 1916 or 1917 due to the First World War.

Following the 1918 Representation of the People Act, the franchise included practically all men, and some women, by abolishing practically all property qualifications for men, and enfranchising some women over 30. An enfranchised woman was either a member of, or married to a member of the Local Government Register, a property owner or; a University graduate. The size of the electorate tripled, from 7.7 million entitled in 1912 to 21.4 million by the end of 1918. Women now accounted for about 43% of the electorate.

Between 1918 and 1948, Derbyshire constituencies were: Southern, North East, Western, High Peak, Ilkeston, Belper, Clay Cross, Chesterfield, Derby Borough. Between 1919 and 1930, separate half year electoral registers produced for Spring and Autumn.

The 1928 Representation of the People (Equal Franchise) Act gave the vote to women over the age of 21 in the same was as men. No registers were produced between 1940 or 1944 inclusive, due to the Second World War. In 1971, the voting age for all reduced to 18 years, by the 1969 Registration of the People Act.

From 1983, the county was divided into the following constuencies:
South East/Southern, North East, Western, High Peak, Ilkeston, Belper, Bolsover, Amber Valley, Erewash, Chesterfield, Derby City
Custodial HistoryThis is an artificial collection. All registers in it technically belong with the records of the various local authorities that deposited them; for practical purposes, the registers have been pooled together since at least the 1960s.
Organisation Sub-TypeCounty council
Related MaterialFor later electoral registers see,
D7757 Amber Valley, 2001-2002
D7565 Bolsover, 2000 (with street index)
D1504 Chesterfield, 2002 (with street index)
D2979 Derbyshire Dales, 1999-2005
D1323 High Peak 1985-2004, 2011-2012, 2015
D6639 Erewash, 2000
D1388 North East Derbyshire, 2001 (with street index)
D7820 South Derbyshire, 2000-2001 (with street index for 2000)
Note: most of the registers described above are uncatalogued.
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