1792 Parliamentary Register (House of Commons) -- Three rare issues from the 2nd Session of the 17th Parliament of Great Britain, dated March 1st, June 12th and June 30th. Various items of interest and reform including: An Inquiry into the Evils Arising from Lotteries, Wine License Bill, African Slave Trade and Slave Trade Bill. Each issue is about 60 pages, in quite good condition. London: printed for J. Debrett, 1792.
BACKGROUND: The British Parliament is the legislative body of Government in the United Kingdom. It is comprised of two chambers: the House of Lords, where members are appointed by past or current governments, and the House of Commons, a democratically elected chamber with elections to it held at least every 5 years. The Parliamentary Register is the record of Parliamentary deliberations in the form of bills, reports, minutes, committee proceedings, and appropriations. You will notice that in these two June issues of The Parliamentary Register a number of the speeches are about the Slave trade. In April 1791 with a closely reasoned four-hour speech, Wilberforce introduced the first parliamentary bill to abolish the Slave Trade. His first bill was easily defeated. On 2 April 1792, Wilberforce again brought a bill calling for abolition. The memorable debate that followed drew contributions from the greatest orators in the house, William Pitt and Charles James Fox, as well as from Wilberforce himself. Henry Dundas, as home secretary, proposed a compromise solution of so-called "gradual abolition" over a number of years. This was passed by 230 to 85 votes, but the compromise was little more than a clever ploy, with the intention of ensuring that total abolition would be delayed indefinitely. But from that time on Wilberforce tirelessly introduced a bill to abolish the Slave Trade every year until it was accepted on 25 March 1807.
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