Bahamian general election, 1729

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General elections were held in the Bahamas in September 1729, the first elections in the territory.

Background[edit]

In August 1729, new Governor Woodes Rogers was instructed by King George II to create a 24-member General Assembly for the Bahamas. Rogers issued a proclamation on 8 September, ordering eligible voters to meet at polling places during the next two weeks.[1] The reforms had been planned by the previous Governor George Phenney and authorised in July 1728.[2]

Electoral system[edit]

The General Assembly had 24 members elected from five constituencies; eight representatives were elected in Nassau elected eight representatives, whilst Eastern District, Western District, Eleuthera and Harbour Island all had four representatives.[1] Voting was restricted to around 250 white men aged over 21,[3] and the elections took place between 12 and 20 September.[1] In Nassau the elections were held at the house of Samuel Lawford, in the Eastern District they took place at Samuel Frith's house, and in Western District they took place at the house of John Watkins.[1]

Results[edit]

Constituency Date of election Elected members
Eastern District 18 September John Bennet
Thomas Downham
Samuel Frith
Thomas Saunders
Eleuthera 20 September John Bethall
John Carey
Joseph Ingham
Paul Newbould
Harbour Island 20 September Seaborn Pinder
John Roberts
John Thompson Jr
John Thompson Sr
Nassau 12 September John Colebrooke
Edward Elding
Peter Goudet
Benjamin Hall
Samuel Lawford
William Pinder
Roger Reading
Moses Sims Sr
Western District 20 September Jacob Jarrold
Claude Belon
Flar Cox
Thomas Lory
Source: Hart[3]

Aftermath[edit]

The General Assembly met for the first time on 29 September at the house of Samuel Lawford. John Colebrooke was elected as its first speaker.[3] It was dissolved on 7 December 1730 by the Governor after it voted against continuing to pay his £200 salary and also voted out the Speaker, who was sympathetic to the Governor.[4]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d Dwight C. Hart (2004) The Bahamian parliament, 1729-2004: Commemorating the 275th anniversary Jones Publications, p4
  2. ^ Hart, p8
  3. ^ a b c Hart, p9
  4. ^ Harcourt Gladstone Malcolm (1921) A history of the Bahamas House of assembly written and presented to the House by Mr. Speaker, Nassau Guardian, p47