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Reform Act Jug

circa 1832

Ceramic jug commemorating the Reform Act of 1832.

The Reform Act of 1832 changed the parliamentary system in England and Wales. The act made Stockport a new parliamentary borough with two seats in the Commons. The act came after a long period of active struggle and campaigning to address inequality between workers, business owners and the landed gentry. Even though the act did increase the number of people who could vote, the right to vote was still reserved for men who owned enough property, a number totalling only 936 in 1834.

Four candidates stood in Stockport’s first election. They were formally nominated at a meeting in the Market Place which was attended by 12000 people. The two men elected were, Thomas Marsland, the Conservative owner of Daw Bank print works and Wellington Mill, and political radical, John Horatio Lloyd.