The Society's seal and three photographs

Introduction to the 1780-84 Poll Book

The 1780-84 Poll Book

The 1780-84 Poll Book is a record of the voting in the Newcastle Election of 1780 with additional manuscript notes from the 1784 election, made by the agent for Andrew Stoney Bowes of Gibside in the 1784 Parliamentary election for Newcastle upon Tyne. The digitised version was one of the hits of Newcastle Antiquaries’ 200 Years exhibition in 2013 at the Great North Museum, with visitors able to look for their own surnames. The contents page now includes a search function so people can do this once again.

There is still work to be done on the website, but once complete, it will be possible to search by name, guild, and abode. We will also be able to provide the full contents in an Excel spreadsheet to bona-fide researchers, which will allow for extensive analysis.

Stoney Bowes

Bowes stood as MP for Newcastle in a by-election in 1777, and won one of the two seats in the General Election of 1780. In 1784, however, he withdrew as candidate at a late stage -  and the two other candidates, Sir Matthew White Ridley and Charles Brandling, were elected unopposed. Bowes was an adventurer, originally called Andrew Robinson Stoney, who had married Mary Ellen Bowes of Gibside by a trick in 1777, and squandered her money over the coming years. He has been called 'Britain's worst husband' and was the model for William Thackeray's novel The Luck of Barry Lyndon, adapted by Stanley Kubrick for a 1975 film starring Ryan O'Neal.

In the future, don’t forget your past