Famous Petitions in History

GoPetition now lists petitions of historical significance. These petitions are of great interest to historians, genealogists, census experts and social scientists. Photo images of the petitions are attached if available. Famous petitions in history have often changed the world in significant ways.

Women's Suffrage Petition (1891) : Victoria, Australia

Published on May 08, 2008

In an extraordinary effort to gain the right to vote for all Victorian women, a handful of dedicated women took to the streets in 1891 to collect signatures for a petition to present to the Parliament of Victoria. The result was an impressive collection of close to 30,000 signatures from… more

The Olive Branch Petition 1775

Published on May 09, 2008

"...the apprehensions which now oppress our hearts with unspeakable grief, being once removed, your Majesty will find your faithful subjects on this continent ready and willing at all times...to assert and maintain the rights and interests of your Majesty and of our Mother Country." - Extract from the Olive Branch… more

Bendigo Goldfields Petition 1853

Published on May 09, 2008

The 1853 Bendigo Goldfields Petition from Victoria, Australia, is 13 metres in length and bound in green silk. Drawn up in mid-1853, the petition was signed by over 5000 diggers on the Victorian goldfields who were angry about the mining licence fees imposed by the government and the system by which… more

The Women's Petition Against Coffee 1674

Published on May 10, 2008

When coffee was first introduced into England in the late 1600s, it was largely drunk by men only, and in coffeehouses rather than at home. Doctors welcomed this as a substitute for drinking alcohol in taverns, but married women were not so happy with the new drink. In 1674 a… more

Yirrkala Bark Petitions 1963

Published on May 10, 2008

The Yirrkala bark petitions 1963 of Australia are the first documents bridging Commonwealth law as it then stood, and the Indigenous laws of the land. These petitions from the Yolngu people of Yirrkala were the first traditional documents recognised by the Commonwealth Parliament and are thus the documentary recognition of… more

Petition for Reprieve of Ned Kelly 1880

Published on May 10, 2008

After the infamous Australian bushranger and iconic legend, Ned Kelly, was sentenced to death by Irish-born judge Sir Redmond Barry, Ned Kelly's friends and family, along with David Gaunson (the parliamentarian) organised a petition for reprieve and did their best to obtain as many signatures as possible to try and save… more

The Great Chartist petitions of 1839 to 1848

Published on Oct 26, 2008

Chartism was a movement for political and social reform in the United Kingdom during the mid-19th century between 1838 and 1848. It takes its name from the People's Charter of 1838, which stipulated the six main aims of the movement as: * Suffrage for all men age 21 and over… more

1897 Petition Against the Annexation of Hawaii

Published on Dec 20, 2008

The Republic of Hawaii was the formal name of Hawaii from 1894 to 1898 when it was run as a republic. The republic period occurred between the administration of the Provisional Government of Hawaii which ended on July 4, 1894 and the adoption of the Newlands Resolution in Congress in… more