Palace of Westminster

Commonly known as the House of Parliament, the Palace of Westminster is located in central London along the Thames and hosts the House of Commons and House of Lords. The building first served as the residence for the Kings of England and was erected in the eleventh century but was destroyed by a fire in 1512. In 1834, another fire ravaged the structure, with only a few medieval structures surviving. Noted Victorian architect Charles Barry, famous for his Gothic Revival architecture, designed the reconstruction. The Elizabeth Tower housing the famous Big Ben bell is one of the most iconic aspects of Westminster.

See the associated timeline (below) for a history of British legislation tied to the Palace of Westminster.

Coordinates

Latitude: 51.499479400000
Longitude: -0.124809200000

Timeline of Events Associated with Palace of Westminster

Date Event Manage

Houses of Parliament

May 1781

Sunday Observance Act

In 1781, passage of what is commonly known as the Sunday Observance Law. Discussion of the bill in the House of Commons started on May 3, 1781. Image: The Rt. Revd. Beilby Porteus, Bishop of London, printed by Fisher, Son & Co., London, 1833. Print of engraving by H. Meyer after J. Hoppner R. A.. This is a faithful photographic reproduction of an original two-dimensional work of art, and, so, is public domain, following U.S. case of Bridgeman v. Corel (1999).

Passage of this Act, formally titled “Act for Preventing Certain Abuses and Profanations on the Lord’s Day, Called Sunday,” had a powerful, repressive effect on British society and culture for more than a century-and-a-half, as noted by both its proponent (Bishop Beilby Porteus) and its many Victorian critics, among them John Stuart Mill in On Liberty.

Articles

Christopher Lane, "On the Victorian Afterlife of the 1781 Sunday Observance Act"

Jan 1801

Inclosure Act

Detail from Rubens, Het SteenIn 1801, the Consolidation (Inclosure Act) was passed: Parliament thus formalized procedures for enclosing common land, removing previously existing rights of the people to carry out certain activities in these "common" lands. Exact month of passing unknown; if you have information about the correct date, please email felluga@purdue.edu with this information. Image: Detail from Peter Paul Rubens, A View of Het Steen in the Early Morning, c. 1636 (National Gallery, London), illustrating a pre-Enclosure landscape. This image is in the public domain in the United States because its copyright has expired.

Articles

Carolyn Lesjak, "1750 to the Present: Acts of Enclosure and Their Afterlife" (forthcoming)

Ellen Rosenman, “On Enclosure Acts and the Commons”

22 Jun 1802

Criminal Jurisdiction Act passed

British Coat of ArmsAn amendment of the Colonial Governors Act (1700), the Criminal Jurisdiction Act holds colonial officials accountable to the Court of King’s Bench in England for crimes committed in the colonies. Image: The Royal coat of arms of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland.

Articles

Sarah Winter, “On the Morant Bay Rebellion in Jamaica and the Governor Eyre-George William Gordon Controversy, 1865-70″

2 Mar 1815

Corn Law Act

On 23 March 1815, parliament passed the Corn Law Act of 1815. Image: the Royal coat of arms of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland.

The Corn Law Act of 1815 prohibited the importation of grain when the prices in the domestic market were high. The Act was repealed on 25 June 1846.

Articles

Ayse Çelikkol, "On the Repeal of the Corn Laws, 1846"

22 Jul 1822

Richard Martin's Act

Painting of the Trial of Bill Burns On 22 July 1822, Richard Martin’s Act — or the “Act to prevent the cruel and improper treatment of Cattle” — becomes law in Parliament. Image: The Trial of Bill Burns. This image is in the public domain in the United States because its copyright has expired.

The painting depicts the Trial of Bill Burns, the first prosecution under the 1822 Martin's Act for cruelty to animals, after he was found beating his donkey. It is the first known prosecution for animal cruelty in the world. The prosecution was brought by Richard Martin, MP for Galway, also known as Humanity Dick, and the case became memorable because he brought the donkey into court. The painting was made at the time of the trial.

Articles

Ivan Kreilkamp, “The Ass Got a Verdict: Martin’s Act and the Founding of the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, 1822″

Related Articles

Susan Hamilton, “On the Cruelty to Animals Act, 15 August 1876″

Philip Howell, “June 1859/December 1860: The Dog Show and the Dogs’ Home”

Mario Ortiz-Robles, “Animal Acts: 1822, 1835, 1849, 1850, 1854, 1876, 1900″

9 May 1828

Sacramental Test Act

Portrait of John RussellSacramental Test Act passed on 9 May 1828. Image: John Jabez Edwin Mayall, Portrait of Lord John Russell. This image is in the public domain in the United States because its copyright has expired.

Introduced by Lord John Russell and passed in 1828, the Sacramental Test Act repealed the Corporation Act of 1661 and the Test Act of 1673. Those Acts had required individuals who held municipal, civil, or military office to take communion in the Church of England and to declare that they did not believe in transubstantiation. Initially aimed at keeping Catholics out of public office, these Acts ended up restricting Protestants who were not Anglicans. However, in the century and a half following the passage of the Test and Corporation Acts, the growing social power of Dissenting religions in England gradually eased those strictures.

Articles

Elsie B. Michie, "On the Sacramental Test Act, the Catholic Relief Act, the Slavery Abolition Act, and the Factory Act"

27 Jun 1828

Offenses Against the Person Act

British Coat of ArmsOn 27 June 1828, the Act for Consolidating and Amending the Statutes in England, Relative to Offenses Against the Person received the royal assent. Part of Sir Robert Peel’s larger project for streamlining and consolidating the criminal law, the 1828 Offenses Against the Person Act overhauled the law concerning assaults against the person, establishing new, higher penalties for assault and granting to magistrates summary powers over common assaults. Image: The Royal coat of arms of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland.

Articles

Lisa Surridge, “On the Offenses Against the Person Act, 1828″

1 Apr 1829

Roman Catholic Relief Act

British Coat of ArmsRoman Catholic Relief Act received the Royal Assent on 13 April 1829 (sometimes called the Catholic Emancipation Act). Image: the Royal coat of arms of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland.

The Catholic Relief Act of 1829 allowed Catholics to become Members of Parliament and to hold public offices, but it also raised the property qualifications that allowed individuals in Ireland to vote. The passage of the Catholic Relief Act marked a shift in English political power from the House of Lords to the House of Commons. The Act was led by the Duke of Wellington and passed despite initially serious opposition from both the House of Lords and King George IV.

Articles

Elsie B. Michie, "On the Sacramental Test Act, the Catholic Relief Act, the Slavery Abolition Act, and the Factory Act"

Related Articles

Carolyn Vellenga Berman, “On the Reform Act of 1832″

Sean Grass, “On the Death of the Duke of Wellington, 14 September 1852″

Jun 1832

Reform Act

first page of Reform ActThe Great Reform Act of 1832 was passed in June 1832 after long discussion, with King William IV giving the royal asses on 7 June 1832. This followed a failed attempt on September 1831 that was vetoed by the House of Lords. A second draft was passed after the King intervened. The Bill eliminated many rotten boroughs and created a new class of eligible voters, providing a model by which non-landowners might claim representation in Parliament. Image: First page of the Reform Act, from the British government's national archives. This image is in the public domain in the United States because its copyright has expired.

Articles

Carolyn Vellenga Berman, “On the Reform Act of 1832″

Related Articles

Janice Carlisle, “On the Second Reform Act, 1867″

Pamela Gilbert, "On Cholera in Nineteenth-Century England"

Jul 1832

Anatomy Act

British Coat of ArmsIn response to the growing trade in corpses for anatomy schools, and in particular to the sensational murders of Burke and Hare to acquire such corpses, Parliament passed The Anatomy Act in July 1832, giving access to corpses that were unclaimed after death. Most of these were those who died in prison or workhouses, and whose families could not afford to claim or bury them. Image: The Royal coat of arms of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland.

Related Articles

Pamela Gilbert, "On Cholera in Nineteenth-Century England"

14 Aug 1833

Irish Church Temporalities Act

The Irish Church Temporalities Act received the Royal Assent (i.e. became law) on 14 August 1833. The Act reorganized the ecclesiastical structure of the Irish Church by suppressing ten of its twenty-two bishoprics and removing those parish clergy who had no parishioners.

Articles

Barbara Charlesworth Gelpi, "14 July 1833: John Keble’s Assize Sermon, National Apostasy"

29 Aug 1833

Slavery Abolition Act

British Coat of ArmsThe Slavery Abolition Act of 1833 received the Royal Assent (which means it became law) on 29 August 1833. The Act outlawed slavery throughout the British Empire; Britain’s colonial slaves were officially emancipated on 1 August 1834 when the law came into force, although most entered a form of obligatory apprenticeship that ended in 1840. Image: The Royal coat of arms of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland. Image: the Royal coat of arms of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland.

Articles

Elsie B. Michie, "On the Sacramental Test Act, the Catholic Relief Act, the Slavery Abolition Act, and the Factory Act"

Sarah Winter, “On the Morant Bay Rebellion in Jamaica and the Governor Eyre-George William Gordon Controversy, 1865-70″

29 Aug 1833

Factory Act

British Coat of ArmsAct to Regulate the Labour of Children and Young Persons in the Mills and Factories of the United Kingdom passed on 29 August 1833. Image: the Royal coat of arms of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland.

Articles

Elsie B. Michie, "On the Sacramental Test Act, the Catholic Relief Act, the Slavery Abolition Act, and the Factory Act"

Related Articles

Peter Capuano, “On Sir Charles Bell’s The Hand, 1833″

31 Aug 1835

Lord Lyndhurst's Act

Portrait of Lord LyndhurstLord Lyndhurst's Act passed on 31 Aug 1835. Image: Joseph Brown, engraver; after a painting by F. Roffe, Portrait of John Copley, 1st Baron Lyndhurst (1859). This image is in the public domain in the United States because its copyright has expired.

This Act validated all marriages voidable under the canon law’s prohibited degrees of relation (for instance, uncles forbidden to marry nieces) performed before 31 August 1835, and absolutely invalidated any performed after that date. Parliament's passage of this Act was the beginning of a protracted and heated debate over whether there should be an exception that allowed the marriage of a man to his deceased wife's sister. The controversy ended more than 70 years later with the passage of the Deceased Wife's Sister's Marriage Act in 1907.

Articles


Anne Wallace, “On the Deceased Wife’s Sister Controversy, 1835-1907″

1 Aug 1836

Newspaper Act

British Coat of ArmsOn 13 August 1836, the Newspaper Act was passed, an Act to Consolidate and Amend the Laws relating to the Conveyance of Newspapers by the Post. The bill reduced the stamp duty on newspapers to 1d, thus allowing the channels for communication to increase dramatically. Image: The Royal coat of arms of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland.

Related Articles

Elaine Hadley, “On Opinion Politics and the Ballot Act of 1872″

17 Aug 1839

Act on Custody of Infants

British Coat of ArmsOn 17 August 1839, passage of an Act to Amend the Law Relating to the Custody of Infants. The Act allowed a separated wife to petition the court for custody of her children under the age of seven. Image: The Royal coat of arms of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland.

Related Articles

Rachel Ablow, “‘One Flesh,’ One Person, and the 1870 Married Women’s Property Act”

Kelly Hager, “Chipping Away at Coverture: The Matrimonial Causes Act of 1857″

Jill Rappoport, “Wives and Sons: Coverture, Primogeniture, and Married Women’s Property”

1840 to 1860

Gothic Revival: House of Parliament

In 1840 England's Houses of Parliament began construction under the design direction of Sir Charles Barry. These buildings hearkened back to the grand nature of the medieval era of architecture that featured artistic imprints on many parts of the structures. "As in many of the early Gothic Revival buildings, the Gothic was used here for its picturesque and romantic qualities without regard for its structural possibilities or original function" (Brittanica). Also known as Palace of Westminster, the Houses of Parliament were not completed until 1860. Image: Picasa 2.7. Palace of Westminster. Londontopia. http://londontopia.net/wp-content/uploads/2015/09/a43792be25e33138c120cbf7a74be9d93b0d0edf.jpg

Articles

https://www.britannica.com/art/Gothic-Revival

https://www.britannica.com/topic/Houses-of-Parliament-buildings-London-United-Kingdom

14 Jun 1844

Petition on Post Office spying

Photo of MazziniOn 14 June 1844, a petition was presented to the House of Commons concerning secret Post Office spying on the contents of the letters of Joseph Mazzini and three associates. Image: Photograph of Giuseppe Mazzini, 1 January 1860 (author unknown). This image is in the public domain in the United States because its copyright has expired.

Articles

Marjorie Stone, “On the Post Office Espionage Scandal, 1844″

Kate Lawson, “Personal Privacy, Letter Mail, and the Post Office Espionage Scandal, 1844″

2 Jul 1844

House of Commons investigates Post Office spying

Photo of MazziniOn 2 July 1844, evidence was presented to the House of Commons for collusion between British and Austrian authorities in the rendition of information from Mazzini’s letters. Image: Photograph of Giuseppe Mazzini, 1 January 1860 (author unknown). This image is in the public domain in the United States because its copyright has expired.

Articles

“On the Post Office Espionage Scandal, 1844″

Kate Lawson, “Personal Privacy, Letter Mail, and the Post Office Espionage Scandal, 1844″

21 Jul 1845

Museums of Art Act

British Coat of ArmsOn 21 July 1845, the Museums of Art Act received Royal Assent. This Act encouraged the establishment of museums of art or science by granting towns with over 10,000 inhabitants the right to buy land and erect buildings, to be supported with an increase in rates (property taxes) of no more than ½ penny to the pound; such lands, buildings, and collections were to be owned and managed by the Council. Town Councils could fix admission charges not to exceed one penny per person, to be used for museum employees’ salaries and museum maintenance. Image: The Royal coat of arms of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland.

Articles

Amy Woodson-Boulton, “The City Art Museum Movement and the Social Role of Art”

21 Jul 1845

Protection of Works of Art Act

British Coat of ArmsOn 21 July 1845, the Protection of Works of Art Act received Royal Assent. This Act established punishment for attacks on works of art and science exhibited in both public and private settings. It set a maximum sentence of 6 months, reserving the option of hard labor for men and 1, 2, or 3 private whippings at the discretion of the sentencing Court. Image: The Royal coat of arms of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland.

Articles

Amy Woodson-Boulton, “The City Art Museum Movement and the Social Role of Art”

25 Jun 1846

Repeal of Corn Laws

British Coat of ArmsThe repeal of the Corn Laws on 25 June 1846. Reversing decades of protectionism, the repeal of the Corn Laws lifted restrictions on the importation of foreign grain. Image: the Royal coat of arms of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland.

Articles

Ayse Çelikkol, "On the Repeal of the Corn Laws, 1846"

Related Articles

Peter Melville Logan, “On Culture: Matthew Arnold’s Culture and Anarchy, 1869″

Robert O’Kell, “On Young England”

31 Aug 1848

Public Health Act

British Coat of ArmsSpurred by the 1848 cholera epidemic and Edwin Chadwick’s report on The Sanitary Conditions of the Labouring Population, a Central Board of Health was established that provided for taxation to enforce sanitary reform and the creation of local Boards of Health. Image: The Royal coat of arms of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland.

Articles

Pamela Gilbert, "On Cholera in Nineteenth-Century England"

Barbara Leckie, “‘The Bitter Cry of Outcast London’ (1883): Print Exposé and Print Reprise”

14 Aug 1850

Public Libraries Act

British Coat of ArmsOn 14 Aug 1850, the Public Libraries Act received Royal Assent. This Act repealed the 1845 Museums of Art Act, making the adoption of the Act a matter of city-wide rather than just council vote, and adding libraries to the provision; still put maximum new levy at ½ penny per pound of taxable property, but disallowed admission charges. Image: The Royal coat of arms of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland.

Articles

Amy Woodson-Boulton, “The City Art Museum Movement and the Social Role of Art”

10 Aug 1854

Corrupt Practices Act

British Coat of ArmsOn 10 August 1854, the Corrupt Practices Act of 1854 was passed, an Act to Consolidate and Amend the Laws Relating to Bribery, Treating and Undue Influence At Elections of Members of Parliament. The bill introduced small fines for bribery, cheating and the use of undue influence and voter intimidation. Candidates had to itemize expenses that were then reviewed by an auditor. Image: The Royal coat of arms of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland.

Related Articles


Elaine Hadley, “On Opinion Politics and the Ballot Act of 1872″

15 Jun 1855

Stamp Act

British Coat of ArmsOn 15 June 1855, the Stamp Act was passed, an act to amend the laws relating to the stamp duties on newspapers, and to provide for the transmission by post of printed periodical publications. The act abolished the stamp duty on newspapers, thus reducing the cost of such publications (for instance, the Manchester Guardian's price went from 7d. to 2d.) and facilitating the mass dissemination of the new medium of communication. Image: The Royal coat of arms of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland.

Related Articles

Elaine Hadley, “On Opinion Politics and the Ballot Act of 1872″

Claudia Nelson, “Mass Media Meets Children’s Literature, 1899: E. Nesbit’s The Story of the Treasure Seekers

30 Jul 1855

Public Libraries Act

British Coat of ArmsOn 30 July 1855, the Public Libraries Act received Royal Assent. This Act repealed the 1850 Act, expanding it to include towns, improvement districts, and parishes (or two parishes with combined population) of 5,000 or more. Town councils or a minimum of ten ratepayers could now request adoption of Act, which required a two-thirds vote of a meeting of ratepayers called by the Mayor, by the Improvement Board, or by the Parish Overseers of the Poor. (The Act specified how to call this meeting, but does not give a quorum.) This Act also doubled the library and museum rate to 1 penny in the pound, all libraries and museums created under Act to be free of charge; the law specifies detailed requirements for oversight of libraries, museums, and/or schools of art or science. Image: The Royal coat of arms of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland.

Articles


Amy Woodson-Boulton, “The City Art Museum Movement and the Social Role of Art”

28 Aug 1857

Matrimonial Causes Act of 1857

British Coat of ArmsOn 28 August 1857, passage of the Matrimonial Causes Act of 1857. The Act legalized divorce and protected a divorced woman’s property and future earnings. The grounds for divorce for men was adultery (in legal terms, criminal conversation), for women adultery combined with bigamy, incest, bestiality, sodomy, desertion, cruelty, or rape. Image: The Royal coat of arms of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland.

Articles

Kelly Hager, “Chipping Away at Coverture: The Matrimonial Causes Act of 1857″

Related Articles

Rachel Ablow, “‘One Flesh,’ One Person, and the 1870 Married Women’s Property Act”

Lorraine Janzen Kooistra, “The Moxon Tennyson as Textual Event: 1857, Wood Engraving, and Visual Culture”

Jill Rappoport, “Wives and Sons: Coverture, Primogeniture, and Married Women’s Property”

12 Nov 1857

Suspension of the Bank Charter Act of 1844

British Coat of ArmsOn 12 November 1857, Palmerston, the current British Prime Minister, signed the Bill of Indemnity that suspended the Bank Charter Act for the second time in ten years. Image: The Royal coat of arms of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland.

Articles

Lynn Shakinovsky, “The 1857 Financial Crisis and the Suspension of the 1844 Bank Act”

15 Aug 1867

Second Reform Act

British Coat of ArmsOn 15 August 1867, the Representation of the People Act, 1867 (also known as the Second Reform Act), received the royal assent. This act increased the electorate of England and Wales to approximately one man in three, theoretically including substantial numbers of working-class men. Image: The Royal coat of arms of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland.

Articles

Janice Carlisle, "On the Second Reform Act, 1867"

Related Articles

Carolyn Vellenga Berman, “On the Reform Act of 1832″

Elaine Hadley, “On Opinion Politics and the Ballot Act of 1872″

Herbert F. Tucker, "On Event"

Sarah Winter, “On the Morant Bay Rebellion in Jamaica and the Governor Eyre-George William Gordon Controversy, 1865-70″

26 Jul 1869

Poor Rate Assessment and Collection Act

British Coat of ArmsOn 26 July 1869, the Poor Rate Assessment and Collection Act, 1869, received the royal assent. This act reinstated compounding, the collection of tenants’ poor rates along with their rent, a practice that had been eliminated by the passage of the Second Reform Act Image: The Royal coat of arms of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland.

Articles

Janice Carlisle, "On the Second Reform Act, 1867"

Feb 1870

Elementary Education Act

British Coat of ArmsIn February 1870, passage of the Elementary Education Act Parliament provides for universal, nonsectarian education of British children at public expense and with public oversight. Image: The Royal coat of arms of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland.

Related Articles

Herbert F. Tucker, "On Event"

9 Aug 1870

Education Act of 1870

British Coat of ArmsOn 9 August 1870, the Education Act of 1870 (England), written by William Edward Forster, received the royal assent. The Act established local education boards empowered (but not required) to levy taxes to support the education of children ages 5-13 in “Board Schools,” for which fees could also be charged. It also permitted local boards to fund existing and future religious schools. Image: The Royal coat of arms of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland.

Articles

Florence S. Boos, “The Education Act of 1870: Before and After”

Herbert F. Tucker, “In the Event of a Second Reform”

9 Aug 1870

1870 Married Women's Property Act

British Coat of ArmsOn 9 August 1870, the Married Women’s Property Act was passed. Image: The Royal coat of arms of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland.

This Act established limited protections for some separate property for married women, including the right to retain up to £200 of any earning or inheritance. Before this all of a woman's property owned before her marriage, as well as all acquired after the marriage, automatically became her husband's alone. Only women whose families negotiated different terms in a marriage contract were able to retain control of some portion of their property.

Articles

Rachel Ablow, "On the Married Woman's Property Act, 1870"

Related Articles

Kelly Hager, “Chipping Away at Coverture: The Matrimonial Causes Act of 1857″

Jill Rappoport, “Wives and Sons: Coverture, Primogeniture, and Married Women’s Property”

Anne Wallace, “On the Deceased Wife’s Sister Controversy, 1835-1907″

18 Jul 1872

Ballot Act

British Coat of ArmsOn 18 July 1872, the Ballot Act, an Act to Amend the Law relating to Procedure at Parliamentary and Municipal Elections, was passed. The bill introduced secret voting and increased the number of polling stations. Image: The Royal coat of arms of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland.

Articles

Elaine Hadley, “On Opinion Politics and the Ballot Act of 1872″

Related Articles

Carolyn Vellenga Berman, “On the Reform Act of 1832″

Janice Carlisle, “On the Second Reform Act, 1867″

27 Apr 1876

Royal Titles Bill

British Coat of ArmsOn 27 April 1876, parliament passed the Royal Titles Bill. The Royal Titles Act was "An Act to enable Her most Gracious Majesty to make an addition to the Royal Style and Titles appertaining to the Imperial Crown of the United Kingdom and its Dependencies." There was considerable resistance in Parliament and in the press, since the title emperor/empress was deemed un-English and associated with Britain's competitors Russia and Germany (Wilhelm I was elevated to Emperor on 18 January 1871 during the Franco-Prussian War, which may have provoked Victoria to want this title, too). Image: The Royal coat of arms of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland.

Related Articles

Julie Codell, “On the Delhi Coronation Durbars, 1877, 1903, 1911″

15 Aug 1876

Cruelty to Animals Act

British Coat of ArmsOn 15 August 1876, the Cruelty to Animals Act received Royal Assent. The Cruelty to Animals Act (15 August 1876) was the world’s first legislation to regulate the use and treatment of live animals in scientific research. Image: The Royal coat of arms of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland.

Articles

Susan Hamilton, “On the Cruelty to Animals Act, 15 August 1876″

Related Articles

Philip Howell, “June 1859/December 1860: The Dog Show and the Dogs’ Home”

Ivan Kreilkamp, “The Ass Got a Verdict: Martin’s Act and the Founding of the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, 1822″

Mario Ortiz-Robles, “Animal Acts: 1822, 1835, 1849, 1850, 1854, 1876, 1900″

1 Jan 1883

1882 Married Women's Property Act

British Coat of Arms1882 Married Women's Property Act passed on 1 Jan 1883. Referred to as the 1882 MWPA, the Act came into effect at the beginning of 1883. Although still identifying some married women's property as "separate," this Act significantly increased the scope and protections for married women's acquisition and retention of property separate from their husbands. Image: The Royal coat of arms of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland.

Articles

Jill Rappoport, “Wives and Sons: Coverture, Primogeniture, and Married Women’s Property”

Anne Wallace, “On the Deceased Wife’s Sister Controversy, 1835-1907″

Related Articles

Rachel Ablow, “‘One Flesh,’ One Person, and the 1870 Married Women’s Property Act”

15 Oct 1883

Corrupt Practices Act

British Coat of ArmsOn 15 October 1883, the Corrupt Practices Act of 1883 was passed, or, to be more precise, the Corrupt and Illegal Practices Prevention Act. The bill increased the penalties of the 1854 Corrupt Practices Act, and determined spending limits for candidates of parliamentary elections. Image: The Royal coat of arms of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland.

Related Articles

Elaine Hadley, “On Opinion Politics and the Ballot Act of 1872″

Jan 1885

Franchise Act

British Coat of ArmsThe Representation of the People (Franchise Act) came into effect January 1885. Image: The Royal coat of arms of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland.

14 Aug 1885

Criminal Law Amendment Act

British Coat of ArmsCriminal Law Amendment Act passed on 14 August 1885. The Act raised the age of consent for girls from 13 to 16 and introduced the misdemeanor of “gross indecency” to criminalize sexual acts between men in public or private. Image: The Royal coat of arms of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland.

Related Articles

Mary Jean Corbett, “On Crawford v. Crawford and Dilke, 1886″

Andrew Elfenbein, “On the Trials of Oscar Wilde: Myths and Realities”

25 Jul 1890

Western Australian Constitution Act

coat of arms of AustraliaOn 25 July 1890, the British parliament passed the Western Australian Constitution Act, 1889 (52 Vict. No. 23), including Section 70 which attempted to protect and support the welfare of Aboriginal people. Image: Coat of Arms of Australia. This image is in the public domain in the United States as its copyright has expired.

Articles

Ann Curthoys, “Settler Self-Government versus Aboriginal Rights, 1883 – 2001: The Shocking History of Section 70 of the Western Australian Constitution”

11 Dec 1897

Aborigines Act 1897 of Western Australia

coat of arms of Australia11 December 1897 saw the Royal assent to the Aborigines Act 1897 of Western Australia (61 /Vict. No. 5), in which the provisions of Section 70 of the Western Australian Constitution Act were repealed. Section 70 had sought to protect and support the welfare of Aboriginal people. Image: Coat of Arms of Australia. This image is in the public domain in the United States as its copyright has expired.

Articles

Ann Curthoys, “Settler Self-Government versus Aboriginal Rights, 1883 – 2001: The Shocking History of Section 70 of the Western Australian Constitution”

Dec 1902

(Balfour) Education Act

British Coat of ArmsIn December 1902, the (Balfour) Education Act extended the power of centralized local boards to permit (but not require) them to establish secondary schools. Image: The Royal coat of arms of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland.

Articles

Florence S. Boos, “The Education Act of 1870: Before and After”

4 Apr 1906

Aborigines Act 1905

coat of arms of Australia4 April 1906 saw the royal assent to the Aborigines Act 1905 (5 Edw. VII No. 14), in which Section 70 (which sought to protect and support the welfare of Aboriginal people) was repealed for a second time. Image: Coat of Arms of Australia. This image is in the public domain in the United States as its copyright has expired.

Articles

Ann Curthoys, “Settler Self-Government versus Aboriginal Rights, 1883 – 2001: The Shocking History of Section 70 of the Western Australian Constitution”

28 Aug 1907

Deceased Wife's Sister's Marriage Act

British Coat of ArmsDeceased Wife's Sister's Marriage Act passed on 28 Aug 1907. Although there are minor clauses and clarifications, the Act's opening and primary clause is simply this: "[n]o marriage heretofore or hereafter contracted between a man and his deceased wife’s sister, within the realm or without, shall be deemed to have been or shall be void or voidable, as a civil contract, by reason only of such affinity." Image: The Royal coat of arms of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland.

Articles

Anne Wallace, “On the Deceased Wife’s Sister Controversy, 1835-1907″