Records of the House of Lords: Parliament Office: Petitions
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- Held At: Parliamentary Archives: GB-061
- Catalogue Reference: HL/PO/6
- Date: 1875-1949
- Level: Series
- Extent: 41 files; 3203 items
- Description: This series consists of petitions to the House of Lords. HL/PO/6/1-15 consists of "legislative" petitions (petitions praying for or against public bills, or their amendment) and "public policy" petitions (petitions seeking legislation in general terms on matters of concern, such as religion, women's suffrage and vivisection). HL/PO/6/16-40 consist mainly of petitions praying against private bills.
Petitions to the House of Lords may be roughly divided into four main categories: (1) legislative, i.e. seeking permission to introduce a specific Bill, or intended to help or hinder the passage of a Bill already introduced; (2) judicial, i.e. arising from a supposed miscarriage of justice in a court of law and asking for a hearing in the Lords or for an alteration in an appeal process already under way; (3) administrative, i.e. arising from the needs or grievance of a private individual or group of individuals, and calling for administrative intervention; and (4) "public policy" petitions, i.e. those by an individual, corporation, or group calling attention to a general matter of policy, or seeking legislation in general terms.
- Appraisal Information: Up to 1950, petitions were frequently destroyed. Since then, all petitions have been preserved, but not in this series. Most post-1950 petitions are in the Main Papers (HL/PO/JO/10) and in the bill files (HL/PO/PB/7-9).
- Related Material: Most petitions to the House of Lords are among the Main Papers (HL/PO/JO/10). However, petitions against private bills may be found among the bill files, HL/PO/PB/7-9. Papers of the House of Commons Committee on Public Petitions are in HC/CP, and the committee reports petitions presented in the Appendix to Votes and Proceedings (see HC/CL/JO). Petitions to the House of Commons regarding private bills are in HC/CL/PB. See also PET.
- Access Status: Open
- Publication Notes: For further information about petitions see M Bond, "Guide to the Records of Parliament" (London, 1971), pp 172-173 and House of Lords Record Office Memorandum No.20, "A Guide to House of Lords Papers and Petitions" (London, 1959), pp 22-28.