1. [Add. Ms. 27789, f. 145]
On the 8 March  an immense meeting of the people principally the
working people was held in the grounds at the Eagle Tavern in the City
Road, for the purpose of forming a Metropolitan Union, Daniel O'Connell
took the chair, and Henry Hunt took a conspicuous part in the proceedings.
A council of thirty-six was appointed and Henry Hunt accepted the office
of Treasurer. This appointment ruined the Union. Several who had been
named on the council refused to act and nobody would subscribe money to
be under the controul [sic] or the care of Mr. Hunt, and the Union was
soon extinguished from want of money to pay its current expenses.
[Add. Ms. 27822, ff. 11-14. Printed.]
Authorised Copy of the Resolutions Adopted at the
Great Public Meeting, Consisting of 30,000 People, Held
At the Eagle Tavern, City-Road, on Monday, 8th March, 1830, for forming a Metropolitan Political Union for The Recovery
and Protection of Public Rights. Daniel O'Connell,
Esq., M.P. in the chair. Metropolitan Meeting.
At a public Meeting of the Merchants, Manufacturers, Tradesmen,
Mechanics, Artisans, and other Inhabitants of the Metropolis, held at the
Eagle Tavern, City Road, on Monday morning, the 8th March, 1830,
the following Resolutions were entered into:—
Daniel O'Connell, Esq., M.P., in the chair
Resolved, 1st.—That the ruinous depression of the trade of the City of
London and its Suburbs has been progressively increasing for many years
past, and has now arrived at an extent never before equalled; and as all the
great productive interests of the nation are suffering, we are convinced that
the hopes of amelioration, which have been so long and so frequently held
out, are altogether fallacious and delusive.
Resolved, 2nd.—That, in the opinion of this Meeting, the general distress which now afflicts the country, is entirely to be ascribed to the long,
sanguinary, extravagant, and unnecessary wars, waged against the liberties
of the people of America and of France; and this general distress has
been greatly heightened by the gross mismanagement of public affairs; and
that such mismanagement can only be effectually and permanently remedied
by real Radical Reform in the Commons' House of Parliament; and this
Meeting is also of opinion, that for the legal and constitutional accomplishment of this great object, and for the further redress of public wrongs
and grievances, through the medium of reformed Parliaments, it is expedient to form a General Political Union between the middling and labouring
Classes of the People in the Metropolis.
The plan of a Political Union, between the middling and labouring
Classes of the People in the Metropolis, for the protection of public rights,
with a Political Council attached to it, having been read to this Meeting,
and the same having been duly considered—
Resolved, 3rd.—That it be approved, adopted, ratified, and confirmed,
as the act of this Meeting, and of the Friends of real, that is, Radical
Reform, resident in this Metropolis.
Resolved, 4th.—That the thirty-six Gentlemen hereby named, be
appointed to the Political Council, for the year ending the 1st Monday in
July, 1830, with power to add to their numbers, so that the whole do not
exceed fifty; and on that day the Council shall be elected by the Members
of the Union, agreeably to the Rules and Regulations.
Emanuel Dias Santos
William E. Andrews
F. A. Augero
C. J. Hand
C. E. Mawbey
W. H. Jones
Resolved, 5th—That Henry Hunt, Esq., be appointed Treasurer.
Resolved, 6th.—That this Meeting pledges itself, collectively and individually, to support the objects of the Political Union by every just, legal,
peaceful, and constitutional means.
Resolved, 7th.—That we recommend to all our fellow-citizens to subscribe to the Funds of the Political Union, so far as they can conveniently
afford, and to obey all the just, legal, and constitutional advice of the
Council, as far as they can be legally, constitutionally, and conveniently
Resolved, 8th.—That the Petition now read to this Meeting be adopted
as the Petition of the Inhabitants of the Metropolis, subject to such alterations as the Political Council may direct.
Copy. to the Honourable the Commons of, &c. &c.
Humbly Sheweth, That your Petitioners have long suffered under
accumulated difficulties and intolerable distresses; their industry has become abortive, their skill and capital are without profit, their sufferings
are daily increasing, their resources are wasting, and they are without prospect of change or relief.
That, having long reflected upon the primary and immediate causes of
these misfortunes, your Petitioners ascribe them entirely to the want of a
Radical Reform of your honourable House; the members of which not
being chosen by, or duly sympathising with, the people, have for a series
of years compromised the nation's welfare, by erroneous and pernicious
measures; and by a policy which prefers personal and particular interests
to the general welfare of the whole of the community.
That to the want also of a Radical Reform of the Representation,
your Petitioners ascribe the ruinous war with the American Colonies,
which ended in their separation from, and entire independence of, this
country; that to the same fatal cause, your Petitioners ascribe the late
bloody, long-continued, and unjust wars against the liberties of France,
which your Petitioners believe were waged and carried on to prevent that
reform at home, for which the people had so long and so earnestly
That to the same cause, also, they ascribe the enormous debt of eight
hundred and fifty millions(!) and the oppressive and grinding taxes
annually required to pay the interest of the same; to the same cause also
your Petitioners ascribe the upholding of the unparalleled and prodigal
establishments in time of peace, by taxes drawn from the people, who, at
the same time, are suffering the severest, the most cruel and most degrading
privations; privations abhorrent and inconsistent with the character of
Englishmen, and disgraceful to the nation at large.
That to the same cause also, namely, the want of a Radical Reform
in the Commons House of Parliament, your Petitioners ascribe the utter
neglect and shameful disregard of their distresses; the professed inability
to relieve them, and the total indifference with which the petitions of the
people have been hitherto received, and the accumulation of Fiscal
Statutes, diminishing their personal independence; and restraining, by
innovations of every kind, the privileges which have hitherto been the
birth-right of all Englishmen.
That your Petitioners pray therefore that your honourable House will
restore, in purity of form and efficiency of practice, the rights and civil
privileges assured to them by their ancestors, in Magna Charta, in the
Petition of Right, and in the Bill of Rights; the fundamental principles of which, all the kings of England, from Edward the First down to
George the Fourth, have, by their Coronation Oaths, been bound to maintain; and which guarantee civil liberty, by providing 'that no man shall be
taxed who is not represented in Parliament; and that none shall be imprisoned, fined, or destroyed, except by the verdict of his equals;' and which
also guarantee individual property, by protecting, even from debts 'to the
Crown, a man's tools and means of obtaining future subsistence!'
That your Petitioners further pray, that your honourable House will not
continue longer to oppose such measures as may be proposed for your own
radical and effectual Reform; and your Petitioners make this prayer not
only for their own benefit, the welfare of their families, and the salvation of
their country, but for the preservation of your honourable House itself,
which can only exist in power and honour through the voice, influence,
affection, and confidence of the people.
And your Petitioners will ever pray.
Resolved, 9th.—That the thanks of this Meeting be given to the Chairman, for the able and impartial manner in which he has conducted the
business of the day.
The following are the Objects of the Political Union
1st.—To obtain, by every just, legal, constitutional, and peaceful means, an
Effectual and Radical Reform in the Commons' House of Parliament.
2nd.—To inquire, consult, consider, and determine, respecting the rights
and liberties of the industrious classes, and respecting the legal means of
securing those which remain, and recovering, through the modes sanctioned
by the law, and by the principles of the free Constitution of this Realm,
those which have been lost.
3rd.—To prepare Petitions, Addresses, and Remonstrances to the Crown,
and both or either of the Houses of Parliament, respecting the preservation
and restoration of Public Rights, and respecting the repeal of bad laws, and
the enactment of a wise and all-comprehensive code of good laws.
4th.—To prevent and redress, by legal and constitutional means, all local
Public Wrongs and Oppressions, and all local encroachments upon
the rights, interests, and lawful privileges, of the Community.
5th.—To promote peace, union, and concord, among all classes of his
Majesty's subjects, and to guide and direct the public mind into uniform,
peaceful, and legitimate operations, within the strict limit of law and constitutional principles, instead of leaving it to waste its strength in loose,
desultory, and unconnected exertions, or to deviate into any course which
would deserve the condemnation of sober, rational, and just men.
6th.—To collect and organise the peaceful expression of the public opinion,
so as to bring it to act upon the Houses of Parliament in a just, legal, constitutional, and effectual way.
7th.—To adopt such measures as may be legal and necessary for the purpose of obtaining relief for the National Distress, of rendering justice
to the injured, and of bringing to trial, according to due course of law, any
individuals, in whatever station, who may be found to have acted from
criminal or corrupt motives.
8th.—To avoid all private or secret proceedings of any kind or nature, and
all concealment of any of the views or objects of the Union.
9th.—To facilitate, for all persons clothed with any legal authority, full,
free, and constant access to all the books, documents, regulations, and
proceedings of the Union; it being the fixed basis of this Union, in all
things to obey and conform to the Law, and in nothing to violate the spirit
or even the letter of the Constitution.
The following are the Rules and Regulations of the
1st.—The Constitution of this Union is essentially popular. It admits, as
equal members, all persons whatever, whose names shall be registered in
the Books of the Union, so long as they shall conform to the Rules and
Regulations of the Union.
2nd.—The general management of the affairs of the Union is committed
to a Political Council, chosen annually at the General Meetings
of the Members of the Union, and subject only to the control of such
annual or other general meetings.
3rd.—All persons becoming members of the Union, are expected to contribute such donations, and annual or quarterly subscriptions, as they
can conveniently afford, the subscriptions not being less than 1s. per
4th.—A general annual meeting of the members of the Union takes place
on the first Monday in July. The members of the Union also meet whenever
called together by order of the Political Council, or by a requisition signed
by the Chairman or Deputy Chairman of the Political Council, and countersigned by the Secretary; or by a Requisition signed by any seven of the
Political Council, or by not less than 200 Members of the Union. No
General Meeting can be held unless the Requisition is advertised in three
morning newspapers. The Secretary produces the books for inspection at
all general meetings.
5th.—The General Meetings of the members of the Union choose annually,
on the first Monday in July, the Political Council of not less than 36
individuals; into whose hands the disposition and expenditure of the funds
of the Society, and the general management of its concerns for the ensuing
year, are confided.
6th.—The Political Council cannot exist more than one year without being
re-chosen by the general meetings. At the General Meetings each individual
is put in nomination separately (or in such a way as the General Meetings
may direct), and is declared a member of the council by the majority of
members of the Union present. The Chairman decides on which side is the
majority; unless a division is demanded by fifty members present, in which
case a division takes place, and tellers are appointed on each side.
7th.—The General Meetings choose annually three Auditors for the ensuing year, who shall pass the accounts of the Council for such year; and in
case two of such Auditors shall not agree in passing the accounts, the subject of difference shall be submitted to the General Meeting.
8th.—The General Meetings choose a Treasurer and Trustees, in whose
hands the funds of the Society are deposited.
9th.—The Political Council meet weekly, or as often as they may deem
necessary; at such meetings seven of them are competent to act; they keep
a record of their proceedings, and they appoint General Meetings of the
Society as often as may become expedient.
10th.—The Political Council appoint a Chairman, a Deputy Chairman, a
Secretary, Collectors of Contributions, and such other officers, either with
or without salaries, as may be found expedient.
11th.—The Council employ such solicitors and legal advisers as they may
12th.—The Council employ the funds of the Society solely in effecting the
objects of the Society, to the best of their judgment and discretion; and no
money can be drawn from the treasurer or trustees, without an order
passed by the Council, and signed by seven of its members.
13th.—No part of the funds of the Society can be expended in any object
in which a member of the Council is personally interested, without the
previous consent of two-thirds of the members of the Council present at a
meeting specially called for the purpose of considering the subject.
14th.—The Council pay their own expenses. They hold no secret meetings.
They have power to add to their number, and to dismiss from the General
Meetings any persons disturbing the peace, or violating the rules and regulations of the Society.
15th.—No alteration of, or addition to, the rules and regulations of the
Society can be adopted, without being previously submitted to the Council,
and recommended by a majority to a General Meeting of the Society.
16th.—The subscriptions of all classes of his Majesty's subjects are invited
in support of the Metropolitan Political Union, the objects of which being
strictly conservatory, are calculated to restore the just rights and interests of
the Industrious Classes; to confirm and preserve the constitutional privileges
of every class of the community from all illegal violation whatever.
The following are the Duties of the Members of the
1st.—To be good, faithful, and loyal subjects to the King.
2nd.—To obey the laws of the land; and where they cease to protect the
rights, liberties, and interests, of the community, to endeavour to get them
changed by just, legal, constitutional, and peaceful means, only.
3rd.—To present themselves at all General Meetings of the Political
Union, as far as they conveniently can; to conduct themselves peaceably
and legally at such meetings, and to depart to their respective homes as
soon as the Chairman shall leave the chair.
4th.—To choose only just, upright, and able men, as members of the
Political Council, and to dismiss them and elect others in their stead,
whenever they shall cease to watch over and defend, The Rights,
Liberties, and Interests, of the Middling and Labouring
Classes of the People.
5th.—To obey strictly all the just, legal, and constitutional advice of the
Political Council, so soon as they shall be made public, and so far as
they can legally and conveniently be followed.
6th.—To bear in mind that the strength of our Society consists in the
Peace, order, unity, and Legality, of our proceedings; and to consider
all persons as enemies who shall, in any way, invite or promote violence,
discord, or division, or any illegal or doubtful measure, and to exclude all
such persons from the Union.
7th.—Never to forget that, by the exercise of the above qualities, we shall
produce the peaceful display of an immense organised moral power, which
cannot be despised or disregarded; but that, if we do not keep clear of the
multitudinous and intricate chicanery which surrounds us, the corrupt
Crown lawyer and hired soldier will probably break in upon us, and render
all our exertions vain.
The Following are the duties of the Members of the
1st.—To endeavour, to the utmost of their power, to carry into effect the
Objects of the Political Union, by every just, legal, constitutional,
and peaceful means.
2nd.—To use none other than just, legal, constitutional, and peaceful
3rd.—To seek no private objects of their own, and to use the funds of the
Society solely in promoting the objects of the Union.
4th.—To watch closely the proceedings of the Legislature, and to present
petitions and remonstrances to the Crown and both Houses of Parliament,
whenever the rights, liberties, and interests, of the middling and labouring
classes of the Community are invaded, or whenever they can be restored
5th.—To endeavour to devise the means of assisting to preserve the peace
and order of this City and neighbourhood, during any political convulsions
which may be brought upon the country, through the distress occasioned
by the mismanagement of public affairs.
6th.—To consider and report upon the legality and practicability of holding
Central Meetings of Delegates from the Industrious Classes,
in the manner as similar kinds of meetings were lately held by the Delegates
of the Agriculturists assembled at Henderson's Hotel.
7th.—To consider the means of organising a system of operation, whereby
the public press may be influenced to act generally in support of the public
8th.—In all their proceedings to look chiefly to the recovery and preservation of the Rights and Interests of the middling and labouring classes
of the people.
9th.—To avoid any thing secret, private, or concealed, or in any way inconsistent with the spirit or letter of the Law or Constitution.
In conclusion, let it be ever held in mind, that the basis of this Union is
obedience to the laws, and conformity to the principles of our Constitutional rights, so that any act or proceeding inconsistent with either the one
or the other, is declared to be, and shall be held and deemed to be, utterly
void as to all persons, save such as personally and individually take any
part in such act or proceeding; and every such person is hereby declared to
cease to be a member of this Union, and his expulsion is declared to be a
matter of right.
All letters and communications to be addressed (post paid) to C.M.
Riley, Secretary, at the office of the Metropolitan Political Union, 9, Red
Lion Court, Fleet Street, or at the Globe Tavern, Shoe Lane, Fleet Street,