Online Encyclopedia

POTWALLOPER, or POTWALLER

Online Encyclopedia
Originally appearing in Volume V22, Page 213 of the 1911 Encyclopedia Britannica.
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POTWALLOPER, or POTWALLER, the name of a class of persons who were entitled in certain English boroughs to the parliamentary franchise. The word is usually taken to mean literally " one who boils a pot," from " wallop " or " gallop," which Skeat (Etym. Dict., 1898) connects with the Old Low Ger. wallen, to boil, cf. " well," i.e. which springs or boils up. The " Potwalloper " was defined in Curry's Case, 1838 (Falc and Fitz., p. 311) as " one, whether he be a householder or a lodger, who has the sole dominion over a room with a fireplace in it, and who furnishes and cooks his own diet at his own fireplace." The Representation of the People Act (1832) reserved these ancient franchise rights to their then holders only. In the Return of Parliamentary Constituencies (Electors, &c.), 1898, there was one " potwalloper " on the register.
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