You are here:


  • Dr. Diego Palacios Cerezales (Complutense University of Madrid) [remote]
  • Dr. Henry Miller (Durham University)
  • Prof. Katrina Navickas (University of Hertfordshire)
  • Dr. Kathryn Rix (History of Parliament Trust)
  • Prof. Miles Taylor (Humboldt University of Berlin) [remote]

A roundtable of historians and the author discuss A Nation of Petitioners (publication date 31 March 2023). The book is based on over a million public petitions that were sent to the House of Commons between 1780 and 1918, plus the archives of leading politicians, political institutions and social movements. The first study of the nineteenth-century heyday of petitioning in the UK, the book explores how ordinary men and women engaged with politics in an era of democratisation, but not democracy. The book argues that petitionary practices were central to representation, collective action, and forging collective identities at the local and national level. From the early nineteenth century, the massive growth of petitions underpinned and reshaped the popular authority of the UK state. Challenging accounts that have stressed disciplinary or exclusionary processes in the evolution of popular politics, A Nation of Petitioners conclusively establishes the importance of the mass participation of ordinary people through petitions.

Dr Henry Miller is Associate Professor (Research) at Durham University. He has published widely on parliamentary and political history, including in English Historical Review, Past & Present, Historical Journal, Journal of British Studies, History, Parliamentary History,  and Cultural and Social History, among other journals.

All welcome- this seminar is free to attend, but advance booking is required.