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The Art of Monarchy

A collaboration with BBC Radio 4 to mark Her Majesty The Queen’s Diamond Jubilee

William Edward Kilburn (1818-91)

The Chartist Meeting on Kennington Common, 10 April 1848 10 Apr 1848

RCIN 2932484

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This daguerreotype records the immense crowds at one of the Chartist rallies held in South London in 1848. Calling for political reform, and spurred on by the recent February Revolution in France, the Chartist movement was seen by many as a terrifying threat to the established order. Fears were so great that on the eve of the meeting pictured, the Duke of Wellington stationed troops across London and the royal family were removed to Osborne House, their holiday home on the Isle of Wight. This is one of two daguerreotypes of the event acquired by Prince Albert.