Seditious Meetings Act 1819

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Seditious Meetings Act 1819
Territorial extent United Kingdom
Other legislation
Repealing legislation Public Order Act 1986

The Seditious Meetings Act 1819 (60 Geo. III & 1 Geo. IV c. 6) was an Act of the Parliament of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland which made it illegal to hold a meeting of more than 50 people.



The Act was passed by Lord Liverpool's government in March 1817 in retaliation to the March of the Blanketeers in the same month.[1]

John Ehrmann, biographer of William Pitt, refers to the Act as being, "open-endingly severe". On the other hand, this piece of legislation can be seen as exploiting The Sword of Damocles effect by quickly suppressing any symptom of distress effectively and efficiently in order to prevent a major outbreak of revolution. This was one piece of legislation among many others that blackened the reputation of Lord Liverpool's government until the Prime Minister's cabinet reshuffle in 1822, which ushered in Enlightened Liberal Toryism, an ideology that characterised British Politics during the mid-1820s.

The Act was repealed by the Public Order Act 1986 (although much of the Act had already been repealed by earlier legislation in 1824).[2]


  1. ^ "Access to History: Reforming Britain 1815-50" by Michael Scott-Baumann published by Hodder Murray
  2. ^ Marjie Bloy, The Six Acts

See also[edit]