Until the late 1820s, the civil and political rights of Catholics in the United Kingdom were restricted, and they were not allowed to be members of Parliament. However, an Irish Catholic lawyer, Daniel O'Connell, was elected to the House of Commons in 1828. The prime minister (the Duke of Wellington), with the support of the home secretary, Robert Peel, and the lord chancellor, Lord Lyndhurst, decided to support the Roman Catholic Relief Act 1829, allowing O'Connell to take his seat. In this 1829 cartoon opposing Catholic emancipation, Wellington, Peel and Lyndhurst receive absolution from a group of Catholic prelates (high-ranking clergy).
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