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1790 Electoral Lists for Co. Antrim

This list includes details of individuals from the entire County of Antrim and not just Ballymoney. The original document from which these lists are taken is titled:

“A collection of all the authenticated public addresses, resolutions and advertisements, relative to the late election of Knights of the Shire for the County of Antrim: Together with a correct poll, alphabetically arranged, shewing at one view how and when each elector voted”

The author is recorded as “a member of the Independent Committee” and the publisher John Hughes, Bookseller and Stationer, Bridge Street, Belfast.

The election was fought between two pairs of candidates: Edmund Alexander McNaughton of Beardiville and James Leslie of Leslie Hill, and Hercules Rowley (later Lord Langford) and John O’Neill. John O’Neill went on to become Baron O’Neill in 1793 and later Viscount O’Neill in 1795. He was stabbed with a pike and killed by United Irishmen during the Battle of Antrim in June 1798.v

At the time of the election, members of the Roman Catholic population did not have a vote and so are not listed here. The remainder of the population only qualified to vote under certain conditions. Fundamentally, they had to own a “forty shillings freehold” - a property worth forty shillings a year above what they collected in rent. The elector was allowed two votes and the candidates they voted for became public knowledge, unlike the secret polls of a modern democracy.

The election was eventually won by the more liberal candidates, John O’Neill, with 1927 votes and Hercules Rowley, with 1855. Of the other candidates, James Leslie polled 1708 and McNaghten only 1499. In all, 3538 Freeholders voted.

The Poll of Electors is split into two sections the Sheriff’s Court and the Deputy Court. The home of the elector is listed first in the column ‘Lived’- followed by the name of the Freehold in cases where the elector lives elsewhere. “10” following this information denotes the value of the Freehold owned by this individual i.e. £10.

In the column ‘Voted for’ the initials RO refers to Hercules Rowley and John O’Neill, while LM refers to James Leslie and Edmund Alexander McNaughton.

(3538 names with townlands in which they lived)