Show Less
Restricted access

House of Lords Reform: A History

Volume 1. The Origins to 1937: Proposals Deferred- Book One: The Origins to 1911- Book Two: 1911–1937

Peter Raina

One of the peculiarities of British history is the development of a constitution headed by the Crown and the two Houses of Parliament. This system emerged to become a balance of democracy, efficiency and moderation that became the admiration of the world.
The contribution of the House of Lords to this balance is all too often overlooked. In this richly documented two-volume work, the author offers a detailed examination of the Lords’ constitutional position and the predicament they faced as the Commons increasingly championed popular rule. With a landowning membership based on the hereditary principle, the Lords struggled to adapt. Yet, valiant attempts were made. The author gives us the first thorough, full-length history of the Lords’ ambiguous responses to the new democracy and the stream of arguments, proposals and bills raised for reform of their House.
Drawing on speeches, letters, reports and memoranda of the times (some never previously published), the book brings to life the inner wranglings and arresting personalities, the hopes and anxieties and the sheer frustrations of a House divided between entrenched interests and idealism, and often threatened by progressives outside.
The two books in Volume One cover the period from the medieval origins of the House of Lords and proceed, through many tumultuous events, to the outbreak of the Second World War.
Show Summary Details
Restricted access

Chapter 5: The Exclusion of Bishops from the House of Lords: 1834–1837


← i. 100 | i. 101 → CHAPTER FIVE

The Exclusion of Bishops from the House of Lords: 1834–1837

The debate in the House of Commons, 1834

The Reform Act of 1832 now became the springboard for further social and political reform. The Slavery Abolition Act of 1833 gave freedom to slaves in the whole British Empire and the Factory Act of 1833 fixed limits for the working hours of children and provided for state inspection of factories. In 1834 the Poor Law Reform Act was passed, and an Ecclesiastical Commission was appointed to look into abuses in the Church and to recommend reforms there. In the same year, a major reform of the House of Lords was proposed in the House of Commons.

On 13 March 1834, Mr C. Rippon, the member for Gateshead, rose in the House of Commons to move ‘for leave to bring in a Bill for relieving the Archbishops and Bishops of the Established Church from their Legislative and Judicial Duties in the House of Peers’. Time, Mr Rippon observed,1 had changed

You are not authenticated to view the full text of this chapter or article.

This site requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books or journals.

Do you have any questions? Contact us.

Or login to access all content.