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This petition was drafted by the manufacturers and inhabitants of Gloucester. Though undated, judging by the rhetoric it can be presumed that it dates from between the first Reform Act of 1832 and the second Act passed in 1867.
The petitioners' recommendations bear the distinct influence of Chartism as they requested the basic right of householders suffrage and vote by ballot. They stated that anything short of this would be a ‘mockery & dilusion’. The one variation from the Chartist demands was their call for triennial Parliaments which differed from the movement’s belief in yearly elections.
Its language was typical of the hundreds of petitions from all over Britain calling for male enfranchisement which flooded Parliament in this period. Judging from the records of public petitions it would seem this particular petition was never actually presented to Parliament. The Parliamentary Archives purchased the document in 1981 at a Sotheby’s auction as part of a collection of the 19th Century Antiquarian, Sir Thomas Phillipps.
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