ANTI-CATHOLIC HANDBILL Speech of his Late H.H. the Duke of York in the House of Lords, April 25th. 1825. [The Protestant Union?], printed by John Whittaker, c. 1827? Handbill, 335 x 255 mm. printed in gold on thick parchment The Duke of York chose to declare his opposition to any Catholic concession, with a speech in the House of Lords which was greeted by anti-Emancipationists as the charter of their cause. This was the declaration—in fact written by the Duke himself, though attributed by some of his contemporaries to Lord Eldon—which John Bull proposed should be printed in letters of gold. Following the Duke’s intervention emancipation for Catholics had to wait for the Catholic Relief Act passed in 1829 which granted Catholic Emancipation in Great Britain and Ireland. It allowed Roman Catholics to sit as Members of Parliament, but raised the voting qualification in Ireland to £10, thus disenfranchising the 40 shilling freeholders, the majority of whom were Catholics.
It is known that The Protestant Union had a copy printed in gold on vellum for presentation to the Duke and it is possible that they also printed copies on paper for their members. It is certain that at least two versions were produced; a smaller example printed in gold on purple paper [which we recently sold], and this larger, superior version, in a different setting which perhaps more closely resembles the presentation copy.
Author ANTI-CATHOLIC HANDBILL