Royal Collection Trust/© Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II 2014
The Chartist Meeting on Kennington Common, 10 April 1848
Daguerreotype of a large crowd of supporters of the Chartist movement gathered together on Kennington Common. At the centre of the crowd there is a platform for the speakers, and a number of people hold banners and flags. Behind the crowd there is a tall factory chimney and a large house to the right. In the foreground a man stands facing the crowds in a horse-drawn cart. The daguerreotype is mounted under glass.
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, the Duke of Wellington stationed troops across London and the royal family were moved to Osborne House on the Isle of Wight. In the event the rally passed peacefully and Prince Albert later spoke at a Chartist meeting about the sympathy and concern the royal family felt for the working classes. This is one of a pair of daguerreotypes of the event acquired by Prince Albert.