Other Resources

British Parliamentary Debates: 1803-1891, the Era of Empire is a record of debates in the Parliament of the United Kingdom during the era of Empire.

The debates, now known as the Hansard Debates, is the official, edited verbatim report of proceedings in both Houses of Parliament. Hansard’s British Parliamentary Debates is roughly equivalent to the United States of America's Congressional Record. For the period of 1803-1909, the Debates represent the best record of political events and discourse in the United Kingdom and its global Empire. This collection of materials covers such important historical events as the Napoleonic Wars, the Peninsular Wars, the War of 1812, British support of nationalist activities in Latin America, the Irish Potato Famine, slavery, British colonial expansion, the corn laws, and the enclosure acts, just to name a few.

British Parliamentary Debates: 1803-1891, the Era of Empire represents the early part (1803-1909) of the official record not available online either from the official Hansard Parliamentary records for both the House of Commons and the House of Lords or from the TheyWorkForYou.com site administered by the mySociety project of the UK Citizens Online Democracy organization. British Parliamentary Debates: 1803-1891, the Era of Empire is intended to be inclusive of the first through third series. The 1st series, also known as Cobbett's Parliamentary Debates, was published between 1803 and 1820 in 25 volumes. The 2nd series, also known as the "New” series, was published between 1820 and 1830 in 25 volumes. And, the 3rd series was published between 1830 and 1891 in 356 volumes. A more complete history of the Hansard Debates is available by the United Kingdom's House of Commons and by Wikipedia.

The Debates of this period, 1803-1891, are particularly valued for their insight into British history and politics, as well as the United Kingdom's place in European history and especially that of Ireland. But, the Debates are also highly prized for their record of the Empire's growth and administration, including colonies in Africa, Asia and the Caribbean.