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Happy Catholic Emancipation Day (1829)

April 14, 2017




Happy Catholic Emancipation Day.

The process of what’s now called Catholic Emancipation took place over a longish period of time, evolving between 1778 and 1829, during in which a series of legal and political disabilities suffered by Catholics in Britain and Ireland were gradually removed.

The monarchy represented a significant barrier to redressing of these palpable injustices. Both George III and George IV took the view that they were protestant kings of protestant kingdoms and that permitting Catholics to take part in government would be in violation of their coronation oaths, as well as a betrayal of the terms of the 1701 Act of Settlement that had bestowed the crown upon the descendents of Sophia, Electress of Hanover subject to certain conditions. The Georges would have felt, therefore, that if Catholics were allowed to hold political office, then the Hanoverian dynasty itself was somewhat redundant if not illegitimate.  Some…

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