Jennie Willing McMullin.

The English radicals, 1833-1837 online

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of tbc

mntverdtti? of Mieconstn


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University of Wisconsin Library
Kanuscript Theses

Unpublished theses sulxnitted for the Vaster *s and
Doctor^s degrees and deposited in the University of Wis-
consin Library are open for inspection, but are to be used
only with due regard to the rights of the authors. Biblio-
graphical references may be noted, but passages may be copied
only with the permission of the authors, auid proper credit
must be given in subsequent written or published work. Ex-
tensive copying or publication of the thesis in whole or in
part requires also the consent of the Dean of the Graduate
School of the University of Wisconsin.

This thesis by

has been used by the following persons, whose signatures
attest their acceptance of the above restrictions.

A Library which borrows this thesis for use by its
patrons is expected to secure the signature of each user.


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THS XNQLISH RA2)ICia.S 1833-1837

A. Thesis Submitted for the Degree of
Master of Arts


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> t*

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399416 ^

OCT 17 1933

Tb# following four ohapters ooyer tho work in
Pari lament of tho Badloal faotlon of tha Liberal Party dur»
Ing the four years from 1833 to 1837 • The first ohapter
deeorlbes that faotlon; the seoond dlsoueees Its aotlrlties
during the first Reformed Parliament; the third does the
same for the seoond Reformed Parliament; and the fourth
introduoes the reader to the situation of the parties at
the beginning of the third Reformed Parliament*

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Prefao# 1

Otepter Z«* Zntroduotlon 1-3

A^ Teste for BMloals*

B. Slff loultleB in testing Radioals
Chapter ZZ*- The Virst Reformed Parliament* 4 «S4

Ai First Session. 4-25

1. Composition of Parliament. 4-6

2. Badioal Aotion on the question of

a. The Speaker. 7

b. Newspaper duty. 7

0. The Speeoh from the Throne-Ireland. 7
d. Address in answer to the Speeoh from

the Throne.





Ofbeerranoe of Sabbath.



Soanoipatlon of the Jews*



Irish Coercion.



Irish Teniporalities.



Esqpenditure •



New House of Commons.



Distribution of taxation.


1. Succession duties.


2. Newspapers.


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3# Sugar duties* 19

4. Product ire Industry. 19

5. Halt* 19
6* Auction sales* 20
7* General question-attack on Peel* ^20
8* House and window taxes* 21

m* Factory legislation. 22
n* Sisestatlishment of Church of England* 23

o* The Ballot* 24

p* Property qualification for yoting* 24

q* Shorter Parliaments* 25
B* Seeond Session* 25-34
1* Bad leal action on

a* Address in answer to the Speech f ron

the Throne* 26

h* Remoral of bishops from upper house« 26

o« Shorter Parliaments* 26

d« Hewspaper tax* 26

e« Political disabilities of the Jews* 26
f# Admission of Dissenters to Oxford^ eto* 27

g« Xational system of education* 27

h* Xnglish Poor Law* 27

1* Irish Tithe Bill* 28

J* Irish Coercion* 29

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£• Blsintagxation of the Cabinet* 30-31

S« Dlemieeal of the Cabinet* 31

4« Reaaone for a new elect ion« 32-33

5« Toxy Judgment of the Badioala« 33*34

Chapter III« The Second Reformed Parliament* 36-78
Ai Viret Session* 35-53

!• Composition of Parliament* 35-37

2. Coalition of Liberals , Irish, and Radicals
against the gorernment and defeat of the
goyernment* 37-43

3* Return of the Liberals-changed relations

between Liberals and Radicals* ' 44-46
4* Radical action on

a* Municipal Corporations Bill for England* 46-48
b* Irish Tithe Bill* 49

c* The ballot* 50

d* House and window tax* 50

e* Regulation of wages of wearers* 50
f * Sabbath obserianoe- trains* 50
5* Organization of Radical forces* 51
6* Preparations for the next session-plans
for reform of the House of Lords* 52
B* Second Session* 53-58

1* Measures desired by ministry, king, and Irish*

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2. Radical aotion on

a# The Corporation Bill. 55

b. Irish Tithe Bill» 55

o« Newspaper tax* 56

d* Limitation of the hours of businesses?

e. Discontinuing fees of officers of

the Bouse • 5?

f • Reduction of the amy* 57

g. ftegistimtlOB ef rotes* 57

h. Pension list* 57

1* RemoTal of bishops from House of

Lords* 57

J* Franchise of tenants* 58

k* Income of the archbishop of

Canterbury* 53

1* The ballot* 56

m. ClTll Disabilities of the Jews* 5S
n* Obstruction by the Lords* 53
3* RBtdlcal intentions for the next session* 59*
C* Third Session* 62^75

1* Cong^osition of Parliament* 62-

2* Radical aotion on

a* The Address in Answer to the Speech
from the Throne.- Speeches of Roe*

buok» Eune, and I>r« Bowrlng-

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disagreement among the Radioale* 62«-64
b« AdmlBslcn of Stnngere to the House* 65

0* Abolition of property qiialification

for members of Pari lament • 66
d« Sxolusion of bishops from Pari lament «66

• • Amendment of Uunloipal Corporations

Aot* 66

f • The ballot • 55
g. Returns of promotions in army and

nary* 55

h* Abolition of primogeniture* 55

i* Newspaper tax* ^7

J* House and Window Tax* 57
k* Repeal of rate^paying olauses of the

Reform Act* 57

1* Repeal of Septennial Act* 57

m* Voting by proxy* 57

n* Irish Poor Law* . 57

o* Irish Mimicipal Corporation Bill* 57

p* English Church Rate Bill* 59

q* Irish Tithe Bill* 70

r* Canadian affairs* 70

s* Chartism* 73

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t* Obstruction by the Lords* C^nc%es]c>


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S* DlBBolutlon* 75

H. J. S. Bill* 8 judgnent cf the Radicals • 75

Chapter 17% The Sleotione of ISS?^ and conoluslon* 78-»8S

A« Result B of the elect Ions • 68

B« Explanations of the results of the elect lone • 79->64
C* Conclusion*

1% loxy opinion that the masses are radical* 34
2* Writer* s opinion that apologies for the

failure of the Radicals are superfluous* 85
Bap showing Radical towns and counties,

Eey to map-select Ion tables* 86-95

Blbllographj 95-98

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Chapter I

The period 1833-1841 marlce the riae and decline of
a group of men in the English Parliament known as the Radi-
cals. It is their foi^tunes from 1832 to 1837 v/hich will be
discussed in the following pages*

The official returns of the elections of December, 1832,
make no mention of the Radicals, who must therefore be fer-
reted out and distinguished from the Whigs, or Liberals,
under whose name they were elected. They were ultra-Liberals,
who had no party oiganization or platform, whose constituen-
cies demanded certain reforms beyond those supported by the
body of the Whigs. We can know them only by the means by
which they became known to each other; viz., by their favor-
able attitude to the oft repeated requests for certain re-
forms during the decade following the Reform Bill of 1832 •
These reforms are fairly well summarized in the list of
pledges which Mr. Francis Place, who became the almoner of

the Radicals, suggested for members of the Reformed Parlia-

ment. They were, (1) Parliamentary reform; i.e., shorter

parliatments and the use of the ballot; (2) law reform; (3)

financial reform; (4) the adoption of free trade: (5) church

1. Wallas: Life of Francis Place, p. 327.

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reform, which meant anything to those who favored it, from
the commutation of tithes and the abolition of the church
rates to the removal of the "bishops from the House of Lords
and the entire disestablishment of the Church in England and
Ireland; (6) the abolition of slavery; and (7) the abolition
of taxes on knowledge.

These tests are not infallible, however, because many who
held Radical opinions upon one or more questions, were de-
cidedly conservative on others. It is true that almost every
Radical at some time between 1832 and 1841 voted for the a-
doption of the ballot, the repeal of the property qualific-
ation for voting for members of the House of Commons, and the
repeal of the stamp tax on newspapers; but not every one who
voted on some one of these measures can be accepted unquestion-
ingly as a Radical, without consideration of his vote on other
questions. The date at which an individual was converted to
a particular view is also of value in detenning his classi-
fication: the man who advocated the ballot in 1833, when 106

voted for it, and 211 against it, could be stami^^ed as a Radi-
cal with much more probability of correctness thjan could the
man who voted for the same measure in 1838 when 198 voted for
it and 315 against it. Race x^rejudice must also be taken

1. See bfelow, p. 24.

2.. Hansard, LX, p. 1221.

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into account* An English or Scotch member who joined with
the Irish in their protests against Liberal and Conservative
coercion of Ireland, can be set down as sufficiently inde-
peaident to be a radical upon any subject; but on the other
hand, many whose attitude on other subjects entitles them to
be classed as radicals, will not be found in the list of
those who stood by Ireland* Similarly, these who are anxious
to curtail the privileges of the Established Church in Eng-
land and Ireland are radicals in other things; but some who
favor the ballot, short parliaments, and free trade, support
the Established Church in England or in Ireland* Thus re-
ligious conservatism frequently lingers when political and
financial conservatism h^ve fled*

It must be recognized, therefore, that no rigid set of
rules can be ajjplied in determining the members who belong
within the scope of this paper; and that there must be al-
most as many fluctuations in the meaning of the word ••Radical ••,
as there were individuals in the parliamentary group which
bore that name.

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Chapter II
The First Reformed Parliament, Jan., 1833-Aug • , 1885 •

According to the Tories,* the first elections after
the passing of the Reform Bill of 1832"were marked by more
than ordinary riot and tumult, although their duration was
so short. At Sheffield, five men were killed. •••At Hull,

Mr, Hill, who was returned, was almost murdered ••••

The brickbat and the bludgeon, in compliance with the advice
of high authority, were liberally employed; and yet in the
midst of all this, we find the ministerial papers congratu-
lating themselves on the peaceable and orderly returns, which
they attribute to their bill. The representatives are in
many cases worthy of such modes of election* Hunt, Wilde,
Mayhew, to be sure have been thrown out, •••but we have Gullj'-,
Gronow, Key, Buckingham, Cobbett, Walter, and others of the
same order, sent in to swell the company of Whittle Harvey
and Lytton Bulwer,** It is these representatives, stigma-
tized by their enemies as ••worthy of such modes of election**
whose acts are to be followed through the first and second
Reformed Parliaments, and who are to be known as the Radicals •

The first Reformed Parliament, which met January 29,1833,
contained 658 members, of whom 479 were elected as Whigs, or

1. Editorial: The Elections, in Eraser's Ivlagazine, Jan,,
1833, Vol. VII, pp. 122 - 124*

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Liberals, and 179 as Tories, or as they preferred to be called,

1 •
ConseiratiTest This gave the Whigs an apparent majority of

300, but from that majority there must be deducted perhaps

108 English and Welsh Radicals who were much more progressive

than the rank and file of the Liberal party, though elected

under that name; a few Scotch members of the same type; and

less than 70 Irish members who stood with the English and

Scotch Radicals on many progressive measures, and who were
pledged to work for the repeal of the union between England
and Ireland* This left the orthodox Liberals with a clear
majority of less than 100~a majority sufficient to make them,
in this first Reformed Parliament, practically independent
of the ultra-reformers— the Radicals and Repealers*

The Tories, or Conservatives, h^d fought the Reform Bill
and were expecting attempts at radical legislation, as a result
of the disturbance in the relations between classes; the ortho-
dox Whigs or Liberals had favored that bill but were ready to
oppose the further liberal legislation which was the logical
consequence of that act, but which would give the conserva-
tives a chance to croak. The Radicals accepted the act, and
came armed with its logical consequences in the form of pro-
It McCalmont: The Parliamentary Poll Book, p. 332 Bt

2. Computed with reference to the measures for which they stood*

3. The Elections: Eraser's IJag. Vol. VII, p. 122. Also l!orley:
Life of Gladstone, Vol. I, p. 101.

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posale for further changes* Several of them came from the

newly created boroughs, and thus owed their presence in

Parliament to the Reform Bill; i.e., II. A. W. Pellowes of

Andover, T. Attwood and Joshua Soholefield of Birmingham,

Heniy Warburton and John Romilly of Bridport, Benry Aglionby

of Ccckermouth, Sir William Molesworth of Leeds, William

Ewart of Liverpool, Mark Philips and the Right Hon* C.P. L*

Thompson of Ivlanchester, and Joseph Brotherton of Salf ord.

Among those who were to be the leaders in the demands for

reform during the next decade were Charles Buller, who had

been in Parliament in 1832, had voted for the extinction of

his own borough, Looe, and had been returned by Liskeard in

1833; George Grote, from the city of London, whose spcial
hobby was vote by ballot; the Right Hon. Charles Tennyson
(later d^Eyncourt), M.P. for Lambeth, and sponsor for the
cause of shorter Parliaments; ICr. Williajn Cobbett of Oldham,
whose mind was so set upon reduction of the taxes upon the
poor that every line of argument on which he embarked invar-
iably led back to his favorite theme; and Joseph Kume, the
Middlesex member who fought against extravagance in every de-
partment of the goverhment.

It was this Mr. Kume who on the first day of the first Re-
formed Parliament, Jan. 29, 1833, brought out the first dis-

1* IvIcCalmont: Pari. Poll Book* See under Andover, Birmingham,

2. Mrs. Pawtett: Sir Wm. Kolesworth, p. 35*

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tinctly Radical vote, when he moved that Mr. Littleton take

the chair. 31 supported the motion. On February 5, the

Radicals aigain made themselves heard v/hen Ivlr. Warburton
asked Lord Althorp if it was the intention of the government
to bring forward a measure with respect to the duty on news-
papers. Lord Althorp wished to, but could give no pledge

until he knew the state of the finances* On the 8th of

February, Mr. 0*6onnell moved for a Committee of the whole

House to consider his l^jesty's Speech. Only 4. English

and 2 Scotch members were radical enough to ignore racial

differences and vote with the Irish repealers. The English

members were Attwood of Birmingham, Cobbett of Oldham, Hume

of Middlesex, and Kennedy of Tiverton. Eighteen were hardjr

enough to support llr. Tennyson's amendment to that part of the

message which foreboded the coercion act for Ireland, that

••if under the circumstances which may be disclosed to us, we

shall be induced to trust his Majesty with additional powers,

we shall feel it our duty to accompany that acquiescence in

his Majesty's wishes by a close and diligent investigation

into the causes of discontent in Ireland with a view to the

application of prompt and effectual remedies; and that although

1. Hansard: Parliamentary Debates, 3rd Series, Vol. XV, p. 76.

2. Ibid, p. 136.

3. Hansard, XV, p. 177.
4* Ibid, p. «61*

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it is our duty to receive the petitions of the people of
Ireland with regard to the Legislative Union of the two
countries, and to leave ourselves free to consider that suId-
ject, yet we are rep.dy to support his Majesty in maintaining
that Union against all lawless attempts to defeat it, or to
invade the peace, security, and welfare of his Majesty •s do-

Mr, Cobbett made the startling announcement (Feb .11) that
he objected to every tittle of the speech in answer to his
I1ajest3''*s ITessage eifter the words "Llost Gracious ilajesty*,
and he thereupon moved an Address of which the following is
a part.

••We beg your majesty to be assured that we shall enter
upon the task (of making great and extensive changes with re-
gard to the temporalities of the Church) with all the pat-
ience, all the diligence, and all the absence of passion and
prejudice, which the interesting and momentous subject so
imperiously demands. •• .Our bounded duty to our constituents
compels us to express to your majesty our deep regret that
your majesty should not have been advised graciously to sug-
gest to us to consider of the means of lightening the numerous
and heavy burthens which are a discouragement to industry and
and which so cruelly oppress the meretorious and suffering
!• Hansard: XV, p. 462*

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classes, and v/e assure ycur majesty that we will with all

diligence and zeal, proceed to an investigation of the

causes which have produced those burdens and their consequent

sufferings, and to the adoption of measures which shall in

our judgment be calculated to produce effectual and perma-

nent relief*''

The amendment was seconded by Iv^r, John Fielden, and the

House divided on it% Twenty-three voted for, three hundred

twenty- three against it% Mr, T. Attwood, who would not vote

for the amendment of Yv. Cobbett, still insisted that it was

••poverty th^t was making discontent, and the raoxe poverty

is coerced the more it will increase, I am no friend of the

Repeal of the Union, I wish to try what a Reforming House of

Commons will do to relieve the distress and ameliorate the

condition of Ireland, •• .but if I find that this House wants

either the power or the will to apply the remedies, then I

shAll declare myself a friend to repeal •••

As on the Irish question, so on the religious question,
the Radicals did not stand together, A petition was present-
ed (Feb. 14), praying for the release of all persons incar-

cerated for blasphemy, iJr, Cobbett immediately declared his

1, Hansard, XV, p, 524.

2* Ibid, p, 550,

3. Ibid, p, 543,

4. Ibid, p, 63i,

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intention to oppose every such attempt to unchristianize

the country* Mr. Hume hoped the petition would be con-

sidered, Mr* 0*Connell thought that punishment tended to

Increase "blasphemy. The petition vas laid upon the table.

On the question of the observance of the Sabbath they

were pretty well agreed* Mr* Plumptre presented a petition

from Broadstairs(Peb. 19) praying for an act to compel the

2. 3.
better observance of the Sabbath* Mr. Cobbett, Mr. Kume,

3. 3.

Colonel Torrens and Mr* Warburton spoke strongly against such

action. Mr. Warburton criticized the report of the Committee

of the last session, the object of which appeared to be not

only "to put an end to all amusement, but to all that exercise

so necessary to the smoke-dried population of large towns.*

In regard to a similar petition (Larch 6), Mr. Cobbett said

that the rich tradesman who cculd go out on Sunday to see

his children at boarding schod, wished to prevent the poor

one from selling on Sunday so he would sell more. Monday •

This extraordinary liberality is a startling contrast to
the bigoted views which he had expressed (l^Iarch 6) on a pe-
tition for the emancipation of the Jews*

"Sir,** said he on that occasion, ••this is a petition for
abolishing Christianity in England. .. .God knows, the Jews

1* Hansard, XV, p. 635%

2. Ibid, p* 950.

3* Ibid, p. 951.

4. Ibid, XVI, p. 2 91. r" T

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make free enough already, and certainly get more money to-
gether than any set of Christians. As if this were not enough,
a clause w?=i8 slipped into an Act of Parliament a few years
back to enahle them to possess freehold property in England.
• •••But let the Honorable Gentleman, I say, tell me wh^t
would be our position with a Jew Judge upon the Bench — a
blashpemer by prof ession— one who calls Jesus Christ an im-
postor? What would the Honorable Vember do with this Judge

1 •
stuck up there, to try a man for blasphemy?"

Cobbett was the only Radical of prominence, however, who
took this standt

On the 22nd of February, Government introduced In the

House a Bill to enable them to suppress disturbances in Ire-

land, alleging that disturbers had prevented the payment of

tithes in certain districts, had prescribed the terms on which

land was to be let, and had killed, or destroyed the property

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