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book cover of The King and the Catholics

The King and the Catholics

(2018)
The Fight for Emancipation 1829
A non fiction book by

 
 
The Gordon Riots of 1780 were the worst civil disturbance in British history, causing 285 deaths and widespread looting in central London. The riots had begun as an anti-Catholic protest against the Papist Act two years earlier, which intended to reduce official discrimination against British Catholics after over one hundred years of penalties against them.

It is against this backdrop that the 50-year battle for Catholic Emancipation developed, culminating in the Roman Catholic Relief Act of 1829. A hugely sensitive issue during the Napoleonic Wars, William Pitt's government had fallen in 1806 over it. Its successful passage followed a vigorous campaign by Irish lawyer Daniel O'Connell, who had firm support from the Prime Minister - the Duke of Wellington, no less - as well as from the Whigs and liberal Tories. The Act permitted Catholics to sit in the parliament at Westminster, something denied O'Connell when he won a by-election seat for Clare in 1828. Robert Peel, the Home Secretary, who had until then opposed emancipation concluded that although 'emancipation was a great danger, civil strife was a greater danger'. Fearing a revolution in Ireland, Peel drew up the Catholic Relief Bill and guided it through the House of Commons. To overcome the vehement opposition of the House of Lords and King George IV, the Duke of Wellington threatened to resign as Prime Minister if the King did not give the Royal Assent.

England in 1828 was a nation in which most people believed in the divine right of kings, the legitimacy of a hereditary nobility, and in the rights and privileges of the Anglican church. The system remained virtually intact until it suddenly collapsed in 1828, because Catholic Emancipation undermined its central symbolic prop, Anglican supremacy.

The King and the Catholics is a gripping character-driven piece of narrative history at its best. It is also a distant mirror of our times, posing the abiding question of balancing the religious rights of the individual against the contravention of the laws of the land.

    

Used availability for Antonia Fraser's The King and the Catholics

Hardback Editions

May 2018 : UK Hardback
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Title: The King and the Catholics: The Fight for Rights 1829
Author(s): Lady Antonia Fraser
ISBN: 1-4746-0193-6 / 978-1-4746-0193-1 (UK edition)
Publisher: W&N
Availability: Amazon UK   


Paperback Editions

May 2019 : UK Paperback

Title: The King and the Catholics: The Fight for Rights 1829
Author(s): Lady Antonia Fraser
ISBN: 1-4746-0194-4 / 978-1-4746-0194-8 (UK edition)
Publisher: W&N
Availability: Amazon UK   


May 2018 : UK Paperback
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Title: The King and the Catholics: The Fight for Rights 1829
Author(s): Lady Antonia Fraser
ISBN: 1-4746-0966-X / 978-1-4746-0966-1 (UK edition)
Publisher: W&N
Availability: Amazon UK   


Kindle Editions

May 2018 : UK Kindle edition
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Title: The King and the Catholics: The Fight for Rights 1829
Author(s): Antonia Fraser
Publisher: Weidenfeld & Nicolson
Availability: Amazon UK