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Title: The political career of Sir Francis Burdett
Author: Hodlin, Caroline Sarah
ISNI:       0000 0001 3579 9105
Awarding Body: University of Oxford
Current Institution: University of Oxford
Date of Award: 1989
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This thesis focusses upon the political career of one of the most popular radicals of the early nineteenth century, and yet a politician whose significance has been vastly underestimated. The thesis argues that Sir Francis Burdett's position inside the established political world, he was M.P. for Westminster from 1807 to 1837, made him absolutely vital to grassroots political radicalism. His willingness to champion the cause of parliamentary reform enabled a national rejuvenation of the radical cause to take place after the success of Pitt's repressive legislation in the 1790s. Following a chronological pattern, this thesis therefore traces Burdett's early campaigns for Middlesex in 1802 and 1804; his election for Westminster in 1807; his protest against the government in 1810; his leadership of the reform cause up to 1815; his break with other radical leaders in 1817; his subsequent role as an independent politician, and his part in the passing of the Reform Bill. The thesis argues that Burdett was not a wildly inconsistent politician, a view shared by contemporaries and historians, but was the very model of an early eighteenth century country gentleman. He was obsessed with independence, both as a political creed and code, and espoused an essentially moderate, and intrinsically English reform programme. Burdett's career is therefore a striking illustration of the immense longevity and popularity of early eighteenth century values right up to 1832. This thesis hopes to reveal the vital importance of the aristocratic politician to popular politics in the period, and to emphasise the eccentric, insular and retrospective character of English radicalism in these years.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Political science