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Lord Grey 1764–1845$
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E. A. Smith

Print publication date: 1990

Print ISBN-13: 9780198201632

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: October 2011

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198201632.001.0001

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The Commitment to Reform, 1792–1802

The Commitment to Reform, 1792–1802

(p.36) 2 The Commitment to Reform, 1792–1802
Lord Grey 1764–1845

E. A. Smith

Oxford University Press

This chapter discusses the formation of the Friends of the People and Grey's commitment to parliamentary reform. The Friends of the People was a society formed primarily to save the Whig Party from Burkean extremism and to further its political objective of destroying Pitt's administration, and to provide a check to the wilder radicalism of Paine and the popular societies. Though the Friends of the People failed in its primary objectives, it raised Grey into greater public prominence and put him in touch with many of the local leaders of reform. Between 1792 and 1802, Grey supported liberal causes in Parliament. He spoke in March 1796 in favour of Curwen's Bill to repeal the Game Laws, voted for the abolition of the slave trade in 1796, and condemned the penal laws against the Irish Catholics in 1797.

Keywords:   Friends of the People, parliamentary reform, Whig Party, Games laws, slave trade, penal laws

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