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Petitioning Parliament

From its very beginnings, Parliament was conceived as the superior court of the realm with powers to address any grievance or request brought to it by the king's subjects. Since the 13th century through to today hundreds of petitions are received in Parliament each year.

Helen Jones MP will lead an exploration into the development this fundamental right has had, from the medieval period to today. Leading historians Henry Miller, Richard Huzzey and Malcolm Chase will show how the use of parliamentary pressure by abolitionists (who called for the end of slavery and the slave trade) and by the Chartists (who advocated for universal male suffrage) changed the nature of British politics.

This Festival of Freedoms event aligns with The People's Charter banner from ‘The Beginnings of that Freedome' exhibition in Westminster Hall.


This event is free of charge, but please book your place.
If you have any questions, please contact

Find out about the Festival of Freedoms programme


2015: Parliament in the Making

Join Parliament as we commemorate a series of major anniversaries in 2015: 750 years since De Montfort Parliament and 800 years since the sealing of Magna Carta.