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The Reform Act Crisis: a Table of Events

26 June Death of George IV
24 July Parliament is dissolved and a General election is called
9 July/1 September First/last returns in the election
28 August Agricultural unrest: first destruction of a threshing machine
15 September William Huskisson is killed at the official opening of the Manchester-Liverpool railway
31 October Meeting of Whig MPs. Brougham announces his intended Reform motion
2 November Address debate: Wellington declares against Reform
15 November The government is defeated by 233 votes to 204 on the Civil List
16 November Wellington resigns: Grey is summoned to form a government
1831 — See the Greville Memoirs for an eyewitness account.
14 January Reform proposals: committee of four sign their report
30 January Reform proposals: Grey presents cabinet's scheme to king
1 March Russell outlines Reform Bill to Commons:
2 March The debate on the Reform Bill
3 March Peel's speech to the House of Commons expressing his opposition to the measure
18 March Government defeated in Commons on timber duties, 236 to 190
23 March Second reading of the Reform Bill, passed by 302 to 301 (early morning)
18 April Russell outlines amendments to Bill to be made by government: General Gascoyne moves that number of MPs for England and Wales be not reduced
20 April Government defeated on Gascoyne's motion by 299 to 291(early morning)
23 April Parliament dissolved, precipitating a General Election (see here for an assessment of the ministry)
28 April/1 June First/last returns in the election
24 June Reform Bill reintroduced in Commons
7 July Second reading division: Bill passed by 367 to 231(early morning) see Peel's speech of 6 July here
12 July Government motion for Bill to go to committee (usually regarded as first day of committee stage, although the House resolved itself into committee only at the very end of the sitting
7 September Fortieth and last committee sitting
21 September Backbench reforming MPs meet and protest against suggestion that the government might resign if it was defeated in Lords
22 September Bill passes Commons by 345 votes to 236 and is brought up to Lords
8 October Second reading division in Lords: government defeated by 199 to 158 (early morning)
8-10 October Riots at Derby and Nottingham
18 October Open letter by Grey, promising a 'not less efficient' Bill, published in The Times
29-31 October Bristol riots
22 November Proclamation against the organisation of political unions on military lines
6 December Reassembly of Parliament
12 December New Reform Bill introduced to the Commons
18 December Second reading division: Bill passed by 324 to 162 (early morning)
13 January A Cabinet minute is sent to the king, asking for a promise that peers will be created if this is needed to prevent defeat of the Bill
15 January William IV agrees to a creation of this kind
20 January First committee sitting on the Bill
10 March Twenty-second and last committee sitting
22 March Third reading in the Commons: the Bill passed by 355 to 239
26 March Bill brought up to Lords
14 April Second reading of the Bill in the Lords: passed by 184 to 175 (early morning)
7 May Government defeated by 151 to 116 on Lyndhurst's motion to postpone disfranchising clauses
9 May The king refuses the cabinet's demand for the creation of 50 to 60 peers and accepts their resignations
10 May Ebrington's motion in Commons of support for outgoing ministers passed by 288 to 208
15 May Wellington advises the king to recall Grey
18 May William IV gives Grey full authority for a creation of peers
4 June Third reading of the Bill in the Lords: passed by 106 to 22
7 June Royal Assent given to Bill by commission
17 July Reform Act for Scotland received Royal Assent
7 August Act for Ireland received Royal Assent

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Last modified 4 March, 2016

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