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Voters List County Londonderry, 1697

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Following the death of George Phillips, one of the two MPs for County Londonderry, in 1697 a by-election to chose a new MP was held on 11 May that year. The candidates were James Lennox (or Lenox) Esq., the mayor of Londonderry and William Jackson, a landowner with estates near Coleraine. The result was a victory for Lennox by 90 votes to 72. However, this was challenged by Jackson who succeeded in having the result overturned and himself declared the MP for the county. Lennox later became MP for the city of Londonderry.

The list of voters is divided into two sections, one indicating who had voted for Lennox and the other naming those who had voted for Jackson. The list includes the status of the voter – most were styled ‘Gent.’ – and usually his residence.

This is the earliest surviving document of its kind for Ulster and is additionally valuable in that it covers a county for which pre-1800 election records are sparse. It does not feature on PRONI’s digitised freeholders’ lists.

Database provided by Guild member Robert Forrest.

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