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Hampden clubs

Hampden clubs (1812–17), named after the 17th-cent. parliamentarian, marked a new era of agitation for parliamentary reform after the radicalism of the 1790s. Founded by Major Cartwright, the clubs were at first gentry-dominated, but spread rapidly in the provinces among the working classes. Each club was nominally a separate unit in order to circumvent the 1799 ban imposed on such organizations. They met for discussion, lectures, and adult education, as well as to further demands for reform. A national convention was held in 1817; whereupon the clubs were immediately suppressed by government legislation.

John F. C. Harrison

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