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Tuesday, 3 November 2015

Sir Francis Burdett: Radical Reformer

Following on from my first guest blog post on Geri Walton's website, the next stop on my blog tour is on the wonderful All Things Georgian website.
Sir Francis Burdett, the Radical reformer, was an outspoken critic of repression, in particular the Tory government's repeated suspensions of Habeas Corpus during this era. This 1809 print by James Gillray, titled 'True reform of parliament, or Patriots lighting a revolutionary bonfire’ shows Sir Frances Burdett waving a red cap of liberty while Horne Tooke sets fire to a mass of papers including the Bill of Rights, and an angry mob attacks parliament. The building shown ablaze on the far right is the old Westminster Hall. The Houses of Parliament really did burn down (by accident) in 1834, but luckily Westminster Hall survived.  Courtesy Library of Congress, LC-DIG-ds-01039.   

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