179 voters



In the general election of May 1796, 179 people voted. There were 4 candidates, with John Fownes Luttrell I & John Langston elected.

Poll book data from:
Holding: Somerset Heritage Centre
Citation: DD/L/1/59/13/16
Source: Edmund Green

Timeline & Key Statistics

Contexts & Remarks

  • Dates: Saturday 28 May-Monday 30 May 1796.
  • Poll book reference: Somerset Heritage Centre, DD/L/1/59/13/16.
  • In the first contest for almost thirty years, four candidates progressed to the poll: against the brothers John Fownes Luttrell and Thomas Fownes Luttrell stood John Langston and his wife's brother-in-law Admiral Charles Morice Pole (who was abroad during the election). Opposition to the Luttrells in Minehead was spearheaded by a Quaker merchant named William Davis, who hoped to revive the 'fallen trade of this ancient town' and produced handbills which emphasised the Luttrells's 'tyrannical sway' over Minehead (Somerset Heritage Centre, DD/L/1/59/12/11; DD/L/1/59/13/12). Langston had purchased land in the borough and quickly constructed houses on it to create new voters, which allowed him to secure the second seat behind John Fownes Luttrell.
  • The poll sheet, which forms part of the Luttrell family papers, is entitled 'A Poll taken for the Elect[io]n of Burgess's for the Boro[ugh] of Minehead in the County of Somerset to serve the ensuing Parliament for s[ai]d Borough the 28th day of May 1796 Before Edwd. Lee & Hugh Payne Constables of the s[ai]d Boro[ugh]'. Several canvass books survive for the election in which townsmen and 'occasional voters' were listed alongside both 'Proofs to Support' and 'Proofs to Disqualify' their votes. In some cases, where the voter's intentions were unclear, notes have been added to both columns (DD/L/1/59/13/21).

Poll Book

Below is a digitised version of the poll book for this election: