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Dissolution of Parliament

The dissolution of Parliament took place on Thursday 30 May 2024. All business in the House of Commons and House of Lords has come to an end. There are currently no MPs and every seat in the Commons is vacant until after the general election on 4 July 2024.

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Orator Hunt and the first suffrage petition 1832

In 1832 Henry Hunt MP presented the first petition from an individual woman asking for the vote. ‘Orator Hunt' was a radical MP known for his role at the Peterloo Massacre in 1819, when women also spoke from the platform. The 1832 petition was from Mary Smith from Stanmore in Yorkshire, who stated that she paid taxes and was subject to the rule of law, and therefore did not see why she should not vote. But it was laughed out of the House of Commons.

This is a suffrage postcard from 1908 showing Henry Hunt on the platform at Peterloo, linking his demands to the continuing struggle for the vote in the early 20th century.  The text on the right reads: 'The Demand at Peterloo for universal adult suffrage in 1819!!! The Demand at Westminster for universal adult suffrage in 1908???' The back of the postcard is addressed to 'Mrs Thompson Price' in Hampstead, and dated 1914. This is Louisa Thomson Price, a Women's Freedom League supporter who lived in Hampstead. 


Suffrage postcard showing Henry Hunt at Peterloo



Catalogue number

WOA Reference Collection