Read transcripts of debates in both Houses
Produced by Commons Library, Lords Library and Parliamentary Office Science and Technology
Search for Members by name, postcode, constituency and party
Learn about their experience, knowledge and interests
Celebrating people who have made Parliament a positive, inclusive working environment
Four staff networks for people to discuss and consider issues.
Contact your MP or a Member of the House of Lords about an issue that matters to you
Sign up for the Your Parliament newsletter to find out how you can get involved
Explore the Houses of Parliament on this virtual tour
Sign up to our newsletter for regular updates about visiting
Book a school visit, classroom workshop or teacher-training session
Access videos, worksheets, lesson plans and games
Signatures were sought by the petition organisers from their family circles and friendship networks. Women from a wide variety of backgrounds signed, including teachers, dressmakers and shopkeepers, as well as women from the leisured classes, from all over the UK and Ireland. Some women systematically collected signatures from neighbours up and down their street, and from local acquaintances such as the wives of their butchers, greengrocers and blacksmiths. Hundreds of signatures were gathered from women in large cities such as London, Leeds, Manchester and Edinburgh. Signatures were collated at Aubrey House in London, the home of organiser Clementia ('Mentia') Taylor and her husband Peter Taylor MP.
The signatories included some prominent 19th century campaigners for women’s rights, including Priscilla Maclaren Bright, Josephine Butler, Harriet Martineau, Frances Buss, Bessie Rayner Parkes and Frances Power Cobbe. Other signatories included Scottish mathematician and scientist Mary Somerville (1780-1872) a rare female public intellectual in this field at this time. She and other female Somerville family members sent their signatures for the 1866 petition from their home in Italy. Subsequently, John Stuart Mill wrote asking her to be the first signatory on another mass petition in 1868.
Explore Parliament's collection of works of art
Find out more about the Parliamentary Archives