[1829] - Catholic Relief Act

The Roman Catholic Relief Act of 1829 was the culmination of a popular movement for Catholic emancipation which began with the founding of the Catholic Association in May 1823 by the Irish lawyer Daniel O’Connell. For centuries a body of legislation had curtailed the civic and political rights of Catholics, preventing them from holding public office. With the support of the Duke of Wellington, O’Connell led a campaign that resulted in the repeal of anti-Catholic legislation. Despite vigorous opposition from George IV and the House of Lords, the Home Secretary Robert Peel drew up the Catholic Relief Bill. Although a long-standing opponent of Catholic toleration, Peel, fearing a revolution in Ireland, helped to guide the bill through parliament. It received royal assent on 13 April.

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