The purpose of this article "is to chronicle the impact of reform on Bristol public life. An earlier piece dealt with the Tory opponents of the Reform Bill. The present essay covers the Whigs, radicals and others who, with varying degrees of enthusiasm, supported it". Stevenson provides information about who was involved in a vital period of change for the City of Bristol.
"During the 1810s and 1820s, the Tory merchant and banker Richard Hart Davis rode high in Bristol electoral politics. Elected as one of the city's two MPs at a bye-election in 1812, he retained his seat at the general election of that year and at subsequent elections in 1818, 1820, 1826 and 1830". John Stevens looks at how Toryism was in the ascendancy, restricting the influence of Whiggism in Bristol.
In the years after 1600 Taunton was marked by a heady mixture of radical Puritanism and the volatile wool trade. Together these pitched Taunton into the centre of the Civil War in the area and, on two occasions in the second half of the seventeenth century, into open rebellion against the government. William Gibson follows Taunton’s transition from a centre of rebellion to peaceable borough in the eighteenth century.
'Admiral Keppel's trial for cowardice in 1779 made him one of the most talked-about naval figures of the age. The political ramifications of his recovery and reinstatement as a popular Whig hero are well-known; much less familiar however, is the enormous impact the affair had upon Georgian Bath. Trevor Fawcett probes the local angle'.
In the summer of 1832, Bristol artist William Muller followed an extensive series of paintings and sketches recording the previous year’s Reform riots, with this interesting drawing of a Reform celebration. Steve Poole analyses the details present in the picture, as well as the significance of the events in the picture, placing them in larger context.