William Godwin's Diary


Daniel O’Connell (1775-1847), the Irish nationalist leader, was elected to the House of Commons with a substantial majority, although as a Catholic he could not take his seat. The stand-off with the government ended in February 1829 when George IV and his ministers agreed to concede emancipation, and a Catholic Relief Bill was published the following month. The Bill received royal assent on 13 April 1829. When O’Connell subsequently attempted to be sworn in at the House he found that the new regulations applied only to those elected after the act. His election was voided, and he was elected unopposed at the subsequent by-election. Godwin’s diary follows the proceedings with close attention, noting when the resolution on Ireland is moved, and following the Bill through its Commons’ and Lords’ stages until it is finally passed.

See The Times, 6 , 7, 19 and 31 March, and 3, 6 and 14 April 1829.