Ashby v White

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Ashby v White
William Hogarth 031.jpg
Court Court of King's Bench
Decided 1 January 1703
Citation(s) (1703) 92 ER 126, (1703) 2 Ld Raym 938, (1703) 1 Sm LC (13th Edn) 253
Case opinions
Holt CJ, Powell J, Powys J, Gould J
Rights, vote, property

Ashby v White (1703) 92 ER 126, is a foundational case in UK constitutional law and English tort law. It concerns the right to vote and misfeasance of a public officer.


Mr Ashby was prevented from voting at an election by the misfeasance of a constable, Mr White, on the apparent pretext that he was not a settled inhabitant.

At the time, the case attracted considerable national interest, and debates in Parliament. It was later known as the Aylesbury election case. In the House of Lords, it attracted the interest of Peter King, 1st Baron King who spoke and maintained the right of electors to have a remedy at common law for denial of their votes, against Tory insistence on the privileges of the House of Commons.

Sir Thomas Powys defended William White in the House of Lords. The argument submitted was that the Commons alone had the power to determine election cases, not the courts.


Lord Holt CJ was dissenting from the judgment in the Court of King's Bench, but his dissent was upheld by the House of Lords by a vote of fifty to sixteen. His judgment reads as follows.[1]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ (1703) 92 ER 126, 137-139 and (1703) 2 Ld Raym 938, 953-958