September 7, 2018 - Richard Moss
Ian Hislop has been on a mission to find stories of dissent, subversion and satire hidden within the vast collections of the British Museum for a new exhibition I object: Ian Hislop’s search for dissent. Showcasing over 100 objects that challenge the official version of events and defy established narratives, the items span three millennia […]
During the Revolutionary and Napoleonic wars, prisoner exchanges between Britain and France only occurred rarely, meaning large numbers of captives were held for long periods in each country. French prisoners in Britain were often invited or compelled to practice crafts, and manufactured many intricate models made from bones and other recycled goods.
This is part of a metal-tipped stick of the sort carried by constables in the 1800s. It was used in 1831 during the arrest of Dic Penderyn who was wrongly convicted and hanged for stabbing a soldier during the Merthyr Rising in South Wales.
This protest banner was one of many carried to a Reform meeting convened by the Manchester Radical Union at St Peter’s Field in Manchester on 16 August 1819. By mid-afternoon as many as fifteen people, including four women and a child, were either dead or fatally injured. A further 400-700 suffered serious wounds, including Thomas Redford, who carried this banner.
This set of dentures is fitted with real human teeth, extracted from the mouths of the dead.
The guillotine is best known as a method of executing those condemned to death during the French Revolution.
This is a Royal Naval undress coat of the standard pattern for 1795-1812, worn by Admiral Lord Horatio Nelson when commanding the British fleet at the Battle of Trafalgar in 1805. In this major naval battle, the British defeated the combined fleets of French and Spanish navies, ending Napoleon's threat to invade Britain. However, Admiral Nelson was shot at the height of the battle and mortally wounded. Ten years later, Napoleon's defeat at Waterloo would end his threat to Britain forever.
In the 1700s smallpox was probably the single most lethal disease in Britain – especially among children. But in 1796 Edward Jenner made a discovery that would eradicate the disease and lead to a revolution in public health – it would become known as vaccination.
A lamp that could light the way, without causing a disastrous explosion, was as essential a piece of a miner’s kit as a pick-axe.
The loom contributed to the transformation of textile weaving from a ‘cottage industry’ to a focus of mass production on an industrial scale.