The Roman Catholic Relief Act

Today in History, April 13: 1829 – The Roman Catholic Relief Act is passed by the English Parliament, topping of efforts at Catholic Emancipation in Britain. Irish Catholic Daniel O’Connell had won election to a seat in the Westminster Parliament the year before, but could not take his seat due to centuries old laws forbidding it. The Duke of Wellington and Sir Robert Peel, the Home Secretary supported O’Connell’s efforts to overturn the laws. Their support was mostly to prevent revolt, not necessarily out of sympathy (Peel had challenged O’Connell to a duel in 1815). It took a threat of resignation by Prime Minister Wellington to gain passage in the House of Lords and Royal assent from King George IV.

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