On the 2nd and 16th of October 1837 two sittings took place; at the latter of which a sub-committee, which had been appointed for the purpose, brought in a design for a seal. An African was seen, in chains, in a supplicating posture, kneeling with one knee upon the ground, and with both his hands lifted up to heaven, and round the seal was observed the following motto, as if he was uttering the words himself,—"Am I not a Man and a Brother?" The design having been approved of, a seal was ordered to be engraved from it. This seal, simple as the design was, was made to contribute largely towards turning the attention of our countrymen to the case of the injured Africans, and of procuring a warm interest in their favour.
The thumbs are put into this instrument through the two circular holes at the top of it. By turning a key, a bar rises up by means of a screw from C to D, and the pressure upon them becomes painful. By turning it further you may make the blood start from the ends of them. By taking the key away, as at E, you leave the tortured person in agony, without any means of extricating himself, or of being extricated by others. This screw, as I was then informed, was applied by way of punishment, in case of obstinacy in the slaves, or for any other reputed offence, at the discretion of the captain.
The dotted lines in the figure on the right hand of the screw represent it when shut, the black lines when open. It is opened, as at G H, by a screw below with a nob at the end of it. This instrument is known among surgeons, having been invented to assist them in wrenching open the mouth as in the case of a locked jaw; but it had got into use in this trade.
On asking the seller of the instruments on what occasion it was used there, he replied that the slaves were frequently so sulky as to shut their mouths against all sustenance, and this with a determination to die; and that it was necessary their mouths should be forced open to throw in nutriment, that they who had purchased them might incur no loss by their death.
A pair of the iron hand-cuffs with which the men-slaves are confined. The right-hand wrist of one, and the left of another, are almost brought into contact by these, and fastened together, by a little bolt with a small padlock at the end of it.
Dragoon sitting on his bed eating from mess-tin
Dragoon in full dress uniform 1880
A Fatigue Party of Dragoons
A Duel in the Riding School
Exercises in Riding School (vaulting)
Here is a sketch of the uniform of the "New Police" as they were called, copied from a satirical print of Sir Robert Peel, by the celebrated H. B. (John Doyle, father of Richard Doyle, to whom Punch owed so much). The hats were worn until a comparatively recent period, and in summer-time they wore white trousers.
But it was a very noisy city, this London. The watchmen, not altogether done away with, would croak out his "Past twelve o'clock, and a frosty morning;" the milkwoman made the early morning hideous with her shrieks, as also did the chimneysweep and the newsman, who brought your morning paper; the peripatetic vendor of fish, or cats' meat, cried out, the dustman rang a bell and yelled, whilst all sorts of street hawkers helped to swell the din. Muffin men not only cried out but rang a bell, as did also the postman; but then his bell was legalized and useful, as, on hearing it, people could rush to the door and give him the letters needing posting instead of going to a post-office, which might be some distance off, and there were no pillar-boxes in those days.
The hackney coach was a cumbrous vehicle with two horses, and, in 1823, one-horsed vehicles were introduced, called cabriolets, speedily shortened into cabs. They began modestly with twelve, and in 1831 had increased to one hundred and sixty-five.
On December 23, 1834, Joseph Aloysius Hansom, an architect, took out a patent, No. 6733, for "a vehicle for conveying loads, etc.," and from that time to this his name has been inseparably connected in England with cabs. Not that his cab was like the present "hansom," which is a product of much evolution. There was no back seat for the driver, and its "safety" consisted in its cranked axle. He sold his rights to a company for £10,000, but never got a penny piece of it. The only money he ever got out of it was £300, which, when the company had got into a muddle, was paid him to take temporary management and put things straight again.
The royal assent was given on September 22, 1831, to "An Act to amend the laws relating to Hackney Carriages," etc., by which it was enacted that, up to January 5, 1833, they should be limited to twelve hundred, and, after that date, there was to be no limitation to their number, except that caused by the law of demand and supply. The hackney coach was a cumbrous vehicle with two horses, and, in 1823, one-horsed vehicles were introduced, called cabriolets, speedily shortened into cabs.
The illustration, by an anonymous artist, shows the Duke of Wellington providing the people with beer, in a popular manner. It is entitled "Opening the Beer Trade; or, Going into a New Line of Business."
Order ordered by the King William IV
"The four regiments of Hussars to be dressed exactly alike. Their officers to have one dress only, and that of a less costly pattern, which will forthwith be prepared."
Of course, this, like the former ukase, could not escape the satirist, and we have the accompanying illustration by R. S. entitled, "Raising the Wind by Royal Authority. His Majesty intends diminishing the extravagant expense of the Military Officer's dress. See the papers."
Here we see the Jew old clothesmen chaffering against each other and bargaining with Hussar Officers for their compulsorily left-off finery.
The Water-Gate of London - Tower Bridge from the East Side of the Tower
An East End Wharf
An East End Factory
A Typical Street in Bethnal Green
A Street Row in the East End
The Tower of London
The Bank of “The Pool.” Looking Toward Tower Bridge
London Street, Limehouse
In the Docks
Storms, floods, and burnings were favourite themes with the early newswriters, and several illustrated tracts exist describing such calamities. They are more or less interspersed with pious exhortations, but the narrative is rarely allowed to flag, and every incident is minutely described. There is ‘Woeful newes from the West parts of England of the burning of Tiverton,’ 1612; and a small quarto pamphlet of 1613, printed in old English, affords another good example of this kind of news. It is entitled—it will be observed how fond the old newswriters were of alliterative titles—‘The Wonders of this windie winter, by terrible stormes and tempests, 16to be losse of lives and goods of many thousands of men, women, and children. The like by Sea and Land hath not been seene nor heard of in this age of the world. London. Printed by G. Eld for John Wright, and are to be sold at his Shop neere Christ-Church dore. 1613.’ On the title-page is a woodcut, a copy of which is annexed.
In one dated 1607 occurs the earliest instance I have met with of an attempt to illustrate the news of the day. It is entitled ‘Wofull Newes from Wales, or the lamentable loss of divers Villages and Parishes (by a strange and wonderful Floud) within the Countye of Monmouth in Wales: which happened in January last past, 1607, whereby a great number of his Majesties subjects inhabiting in these parts are utterly undone.’
In 1587 there was published an illustrated tract giving an account of the doings of Sir Francis Drake, who was employed by Queen Elizabeth to harass the Spaniards in their harbours, and hinder them in their preparations for invading England. These operations, which Drake himself described as ‘singeing the King of Spain’s beard,’ delayed the sailing of the Armada, and gave Elizabeth time to prepare for defence. The tract referred to is entitled, ‘The true and perfect Newes of the worthy and valiant exploytes performed and done by that valiant Knight Syr Frauncis Drake; Not only at Sancto Domingo, and Carthagena, but also nowe at Cales, and upon the Coast of Spayne, 1587'
The British Empire in 1815 consisted of the thinly populated coastal river and lake regions of Canada, and a great hinterland of wilderness in which the only settlements as yet were the fur-trading stations of the Hudson Bay Company, about a third of the Indian peninsula, under the rule of the East India Company, the coast districts of the Cape of Good Hope inhabited by blacks and rebellious-spirited Dutch settlers; a few trading stations on the coast of West Africa, the rock of Gibraltar, the island of Malta, Jamaica, a few minor slave-labour possessions in the West Indies, British Guiana in South America, and, on the other side of the world, two dumps for convicts at Botany Bay in Australia and in Tasmania.
When in December, 1919, Mr. Lloyd George introduced his Home Rule Bill into the Imperial Parliament there were no Irish members, except Sir Edward Carson and his followers, to receive it. The rest of Ireland was away. It refused to begin again that old dreary round of hope and disappointment. Let the British and their pet Ulstermen do as they would, said the Irish....
William Ewart Gladstone (1809 - 1898)
Mr. Gladstone was one of the most central and representative politician statesmen of the later nineteenth century, and it will be worth while to devote a paragraph or so to his ideas and intellectual limitations. They will help us to understand better the astonishing irrelevance of the political life of this period to the realities that rose about it. He was a person of exceptional intellectual vigour; he had flashes of real insight; but his circumstances and temperament conspired against his ever attaining any real vision of the world in which he lived.
He was the son of Sir John Gladstone, a West Indian slave-holder, the mortality among whose slaves was a matter of debate in the House of Commons; he was educated at Eton College, and at Christ Church, Oxford, and his mind never recovered from the process
Farmers sowing and plowing their fields
Henry VIII of England, who had begun his career with a book written against heresy, and who had been rewarded by the Pope with the title of “Defender of the Faith,” being anxious to divorce his first wife in favour of an animated young lady named Anne Boleyn,and wishing also to turn against the Emperor in favour of Francis I and to loot the vast wealth of the church in England, joined the company of Protestant princes in 1530. Sweden, Denmark, and Norway had already gone over to the Protestant side.
King William Street, Gracechurch Street (Bank and
Royal Exchange in the distance.)
Houses of Parliament, Westminster Abbey, Westminster Hall, Crimean and Canning Monuments. Penitentiary, Vauxhall Bridge,Lambeth Suspension Bridge, Lambeth Place, and Bethlehem Hospital in the distance
Bank of England, Royal Exchange, Mansion House
(Cornhill, Lombard, Threadneedle Streets.)
Eustace, Count of Boulogne, who had married Edward's sister, having paid a visit to the king, passed by Dover in his return. One of his train being refused entrance to a lodging which had been assigned him, attempted to make his way by force, and in the contest he wounded the master of the house. The inhabitants revenged this insult by the death of the stranger; the count and his train took arms, and murdered the wounded townsman; a tumult ensued; nearly twenty persons were killed on each side; and Eustace, being overpowered by numbers, was obliged to save his life by flight from the fury of the populace.
Roman Soldiers Leaving Britain
There is another piece of Roman work in the neighbourhood of Newport Gate, which is a piece of wall built with ashlar and binding courses of tile. It is known as the Mint Wall
Map of England showing the Anglo-Saxon Kingdoms and Danish Districts
Had it not been for the impossibility of keeping the English host together, and for the absence of Harold in the north, it is difficult to see how William could ever have effected a landing. As it was, however, his course was perfectly unopposed upon the sea, and a landing was safely effected at Pevensey on September 29th, four days after the battle of Stamford Bridge.
Dunstan rebuking Edwy in the presence of Elgiwa
he Danes by this time had formed settlements in Ireland as well as England, and we are told that one of their kings, named Anlaff, whom some think to be identical with Anlaff, the son of Sithric, others a different person, arrived from Ireland with many ships, and was joined by Owen of Cumberland, and Constantine, the king of the Scots. According to a late, and not very trustworthy, account of the campaign, it would appear that it was arranged so secretly that Anlaff entered the Humber with a fleet of six hundred sail, and invaded Northumbria before Athelstan had any intelligence of his landing; and with such forces, and the assistance of the Danes settled there, he easily became master of several small ill-guarded towns.
Britons with Coracles
(From the Bust in the British Museum.)
Stonehenge from the North-West
In mechanics they (the Druids) were equally advanced, judging from the monuments which remain to us. Of these, the most remarkable in England are Stonehenge, consisting of 139 enormous stones, ranged in a circle; and that of Avebury, in Wiltshire, which covers a space of twenty-eight acres of land.
(From the Model in the Blackmore Museum, Salisbury, after the Restoration by Dr. Stukeley.)
Roman Soldiers on Bridge of boats
(From the Trajan Column.)
After an imprisonment of twelve years in the Tower of London, Sir Walter was beheaded.
The well-known Hurdy-Gurdy player
One of the most deserving and peculiar of the street musicians was an old lady who played upon a hurdy-gurdy. She had been about the streets of London for upwards of forty years, and being blind, had had during that period four guides, and worn out three instruments. Her cheerfulness, considering her privation and precarious mode of life, was extraordinary. Her love of truth, and the extreme simplicity of her nature, were almost childlike. Like the generality of blind people, she had a deep sense of religion, and her charity for a woman in her station of life was something marvellous; for, though living on alms, she herself had, I was told, two or three little pensioners.