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[21 FEB 99] FAMILY HISTORY NEWS
'A Collection From Coventry's Past 1833/5'

Local family historian John Russell has just published a new collection of genealogical records covering the period 1833 to 1835. The book, entitled 'A Collection From Coventry's Past 1833/5', lists all the entries for the Freemen, Court Leet Suitors and Precepts from the period.

Here is small sample of the 9,000 records in the book:

SURNAME CHRISTIAN NAME QUALIFICATION ABODE DATE WARD
ABBOT ROBERT COURT LEET SUITOR    1834 CROSS CHEAPING WARD
ABBOTT ROBERT 10.00 PRIORY ROW 1834 JORDAN WELL WARD
ABELL THOMAS FREEMAN BAYLEY LANE 1834 BAYLEY LANE WARD
ABELL THOMAS FREEMAN BAYLEY LANE 1834 BAYLEY LANE WARD
ABLE THOMAS COURT LEET SUITOR    1834 BAYLEY LANE WARD
ACKINS JAMES COURT LEET SUITOR    1834 MUCH PARK STREET WARD
ACKROYD JAMES LLOYD 10.00 WHITE FRIARS LANE 1834 MUCH PARK STREET WARD

The book is available from:

John Russell
5 Chepstow Close
Willenhall
Coventry  CV3 3HG
E-mail: covkid@lineone.net

The full printed book in A4 format costs 5.00 + postage. A 'zipped' version of the book sent on disk with pictures sent loose is 3.50 + postage. A 'zipped' version without pictures via email is 3.00.

[POSTAGE FOR THE BOOK: UK = 1.00, USA = 3.00, Australia = 3.50]

Payment to be made in sterling only.

The book is published by John Russell, 1999. ISBN 1 902898 00 1.

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Also included in the book is a historical background to the period:

PERIOD OF CHANGE 1830 TO 1835

Despite much opposition, Coventry in 1835 had changed quite dramatically due to the reforms started in the early 1830s - culminating in the Parliamentary Reform Act passed in June 1832.

This Act brought to an end the Leet and replaced the closed corporation with an elected city council of 12 aldermen and 36 councillors. These reforms were celebrated within the city with a triumphant procession and the striking of a medal. This medal recorded the names of the new council members and carried the inscription:

"To commemorate the termination of the close Corporation and the triumph of reform in the first municipal election by the people."

This Act introduced the right of the 10 household franchise to vote. This led to large numbers of burgesses voting alongside the freemen of the city.

This for the first time meant that the rising manufacturing class of wealthy Coventry citizens had the opportunity to push out the old guard of professional men and gentry from the running of the city council.

Commissioners divided the old city into five 'wards':

  • Bishop Street
  • Cross Cheaping
  • Earl Street
  • Gosford Street
  • Spon Street

with one further ward - the Northern Ward - which covered Ansty, Exhall, Foleshill, Wyken and the hamlet of Keresley.

Each ward had six councillors and elections took place on the 29 December 1835.

The newly elected Council, in trying to remove all the trappings of the old one, even sold by auction most of the contents of St Mary's Hall including plates, glasses, dining equipment and the side saddle, whip and bridle used in the Lady Godiva processions. The prayer books from St Michael's and Holy Trinity were also sold.

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Sources used in the book include:

  • 1834 Voters List  [Coventry Central Library Local Studies section]
      
  • 1834 Court Leet Suitors  [Coventry Archives, film number 1072/4]
      
  • Precepts files (warrants and jury lists)
    [Coventry Archives BA/E/K/13/5768 downwards]

      
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CWN / Heritage / Family History / 21 Feb 99

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This page modified on 10 November 2008 09:49:15AM