KS3 > Political Reform > Constituencies > Marylebone
Marylebone was one of the new constituencies created in London in 1832. It covered the areas of Marylebone, Paddington and St Pancras – a mix of populations in the growing capital city. In the 1860s, its MPs were Liberals.
Marylebone was the scene of the ‘Hyde Park riots’ of 1866. As Parliament increasingly debated reform, a number of societies sprang up to demonstrate popular support for the bill. One of the more radical of these was the Reform League, formed in 1865. The League campaigned for votes for every man and the secret ballot. Many skilled working class people joined the league. Over 400 branches were opened around the country.
Many of their largest marches took place in London. In July 1866 the group planned to march from their London headquarters to Hyde Park. Afraid of the number of marchers, the Home Secretary, Spencer Walpole, tried to ban the march. He brought in troops and special constables to try and stop the crowds entering the park. The Reform League decided to go ahead anyway. Crowds of 200,000 joined in. At the entrance to the park the police stopped the marchers.
However, there were so many marchers that they broke in to the park, removing all the iron railings that surrounded it. As they were outnumbered, the police and army did not try to stop them. Once inside, the meeting took place as planned. Another rally was organised for the next day, and the Home Secretary was forced to give his permission.
Borough in London
Parliamentary constituency from 1832
The Home Secretary, Spencer Walpole, was severely criticised for his handling of the Reform League protest. He resigned in May 1867.