Story: Religion and society

Anti-Catholic emancipation cartoon, 1829

Anti-Catholic emancipation cartoon, 1829

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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How to cite this page:

John Stenhouse, 'Religion and society - European origins', Te Ara - the Encyclopedia of New Zealand, (accessed 28 May 2022)

Story by John Stenhouse, published 5 May 2011, reviewed & revised 4 Apr 2018