1842 and 1848 Chartist Petitions

Chartist procession through London to present petition to Parliament, 1842.  WOA 4171

Further Chartist petitions were compiled and presented to Parliament in 1842 and 1848.

A second Chartist petition was presented to the House of Commons in 1842.  This petition contained 3.3 million signatures.  43,000 of these were from Birmingham.  It was again rejected, buy 287 to 49.  Further unrest followed around the country.

The last of the great Chartist Petitions was presented to the House of Commons in 1848.  It was presented by Feargus O’Connor, one of the Chartist leaders, who was by this time MP for Nottingham.

O’Connor claimed that the petition contained 5.75 million signatures.  After three days, the Commons Committee for Public Petitions claimed to have counted all the signatures, and found just under 2 million.  Despite O’Connor’s claims that such a task could not have been accomplished in such a short length of time, only 15 MPs supported O’Connor’s motion to adopt the Charter.

Although it was widely expected that massive unrest would follow the rejection of the petition, this did not in fact occur.