Formed in December 1779 to lobby for economical reform—a reduction of places and pensions—at a time of high taxation during the American War. Though conservatives denounced associations as potentially seditious, a number of other counties formed committees and joined with Yorkshire in petitioning Parliament. Their greatest success came in April 1780 when Dunning's motion, deploring the influence of the crown, was carried against Lord North, and in 1782 the short‐lived Rockingham administration undertook some useful reforms. The association was a remarkable attempt to mobilize public opinion and bring it to bear on Parliament, looking back to the Wilkites and forward to the chartists.
Subjects: British History.