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Victoria and Albert collected works documenting political and military events

William Edward Kilburn (1818-91)

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

Daguerreotype | 10.7 x 14.7 cm (image) | RCIN 2932484

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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. Prince Albert later spoke about his concern for the working classes at a meeting of the Society for the Improvement of the Condition of the Labouring Classes, 18 May 1848. This is one of a pair of daguerreotypes of the event acquired by Prince Albert.
  • Creator(s)

    William Edward Kilburn (1818-91) (photographer)

  • 10.7 x 14.7 cm (image)

    17.5 x 21.4 cm (whole object)

    10.1 x 14.2 cm (sight)

  • View of the Great Chartist Meeting on Kennington Common

  • One of a pair of daguerreotypes of the Chartist Meeting on Kennington Common purchased by Prince Albert in 1848

  • Object type(s)
      • visual works
        • photographs
    Subject(s)
    • Places
      • Europe
        • Great Britain
          • England
            • Greater London [England]
              • London [Greater London]
                • Lambeth [London]
                  • Kennington [London]
                    • Kennington Common [London]