When did Britain allow naturalized British citizens to run for and hold elected office?

Jan 2010
4,439
Atlanta, Georgia USA
#3
I'm not aware of there ever being a law that forbid it.
If you were willing to swear an oath of allegiance to the King/Queen you could enter the House of Commons as an elected member.
Can you give some examples? I know that one of the main characters in Trollope’s The Way We Live Now achieves this, but that’s a novel.
 
Likes: Futurist
Mar 2015
1,427
Yorkshire
#7
I'm not aware of there ever being a law that forbid it.
If you were willing to swear an oath of allegiance to the King/Queen you could enter the House of Commons as an elected member.
Also be prepared to swear on the Christian Bible and be prepared to to take Anglican communion. Test Act of 1672 barred Catholics and Puritans from Office.

Lionel de Roschild was the first Jew (had thought he was non-British but was born in England) in 1847) Law was changed in 1848 to allow him to swear on the Old Testament - money helps!

Lionel de Rothschild - Wikipedia

Dadabhai Naoroji in 1892 was the first Indian member of Parliament and probably the first MP born outside of the British Isles.

The History Press | Dadabhai Naoroji: The UK’s first Indian MP
 
Likes: Futurist
Nov 2011
8,874
The Dustbin, formerly, Garden of England
#8
There was no method for an ordinary individual to become naturalised as a British or English subject before 1844 without an Act of Parliament being passed. The cost and the need for existing MPs and peers to sponsor such an Act and guide it through both houses of Parliament was prohibitive to all but the very wealthy or the very well connected, like Handel and Herschel. There had been some special Acts passed in the 18thC , notably naturalising foreign Protestants, principally Huguenots and confirming the Nationality of children born abroad to British fathers, but most individuals chose a method called Denization, this was a non-legislative method whereby a foreign born individual could gain the "protection" of the crown" and have most of the rights of a native born, but with some restrictions on holding certain appointed or elected posts--including standing as an MP of even town councillor. D'Israeli's grandfather for instance (also called Benjamin) had been born in Italy and obtained Denization after fifty years of living in Britain.
British Nationality followed the flag and before the mid 20thC anyone born in the Empire was automatically considered a British subject with the same rights as those born on home soil, thus allowing them to travel to Britain, vote in elections and stand for Parliament as many have dome over the years--Bonar Law, a Canadian, was briefly Prime Minister and many MPs and peers have been from the, what was Empire, now Commonwealth. Since the 1960s Commonwealth citizens no longer had an automatic right to live and vote in the UK, but once obtaining indefinite permission to remain, they may stand for Parliament--no naturalisation required. Irish citizens have always had the right to vote and stand for election in Britain.
 
Mar 2015
1,427
Yorkshire
#9
There were four Americans sitting in the House of Commons when the American Revolution broke out. The Attitudes were split:

Henry Cruger, born in New York of a merchant family long prominent in provincial politics, illustrates in his career the tragedy of the American revolution. Cruger came to England in about 1757, settled as a merchant in Bristol, married the daughter of a Bristol merchant, and engaged as a radical in local politics. In 1766 he was one of the deputation of Bristol merchants who came to London to press for the repeal of the Stamp Act, and in 1774, after a visit to America, was elected for Bristol together with Edmund Burke. Cruger sympathized with American grievances, thought the policy of the British Government unwise and even unjust, but was not prepared to deny that Great Britain had a case or that the Americans had not been provoking. His theory of empire was similar to that of his colleague Burke (with whom, incidentally, Cruger was on bad terms). Cruger said in his first speech in the House, 16 December 1774:

I acknowledge that there must exist a power somewhere to superintend and regulate the movements of the whole for the attainment and preservation of our common happiness; this supreme power can be justly and adequately exercised only by the legislature of Great Britain.​
And his approach to the problem of taxation was that of a practical man, concerned with consequences rather than abstract principles:

When Great Britain derives from her colonies the most ample supplies of wealth by her commerce, is it not absurd to close up those channels for the sake of imposing taxes, which ... never have and probably never will defray the expense of collecting them?​
He held on as long as he could to the belief that the Americans could be persuaded by concessions from Great Britain to revoke the Declaration of Independence, and when that illusion was shattered urged that Britain should treat with America as an independent state. Defeated at Bristol at the general election of 1780, Cruger returned to America for a visit after the conclusion of peace and was elected in absentia for Bristol in 1784. In March 1790, while still a Member of the British Parliament, he went to live in America permanently, in 1792 was elected to the senate of New York, and died at New York in 1827.

Staats Long Morris, the fourth American to sit in the House during this period, was a different type of man altogether. Like Cruger he was a New Yorker, a half-brother of Gouverneur Morris, the revolutionary leader; but unlike Cruger, having settled in Britain, he identified himself completely with his adopted country. An army officer, he came over to England in 1755 with despatches, and had the good fortune to captivate the dowager Duchess of Gordon, more than ten years his senior, whom he married in 1756. She promoted his career in the British army, and in 1774 had him brought into Parliament on the Gordon interest for Elgin Burghs. Morris was a careerist pure and simple, and in Parliament was a steady supporter of North’s American policy. His only speech in the House, on 7 December 1775, was to defend the conduct of the British troops at the battle of Bunker Hill.