Parliaments, Politics and People seminar: Martin Spychal, ‘One of the best men of business we had ever met’: Thomas Drummond, the boundary commission and the 1832 Reform Act

Our PhD student Martin Spychal (on an AHRC collaborative doctoral award with the History of Parliament and the Institute of Historical Research) shares some of his research on the 1831-2 boundary commission, an undertaking of great significance for our project.

The History of Parliament

At our last ‘Parliaments, Politics and People’ seminar, Martin Spychal, holder of an AHRC collaborative doctoral award with the History of Parliament and Institute of Historical Research, gave a paper on Thomas Drummond and the 1832 Reform Act. Here Martin gives an overview of his paper…

Thomas Drummond (c) The University of Edinburgh Thomas Drummond (c) The University of Edinburgh

Thomas Drummond is best known for his invention of a portable limelight device (which would illuminate the world of nineteenth-century theatre) and his tireless efforts as Under-Secretary for Ireland between 1835 and 1840, which would contribute to his premature death at the age of 43. Comparatively less is known about his work supervising the English and Welsh borough boundary commission for the Grey ministry between August 1831 and September 1832. This is something of an anomaly given that so much historical ink has been spilled over Britain’s first Reform Act. Whereas Whig reforms to the…

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