In the late 1830s and early 1840s, a series of riots took place in south and mid Wales. Male farmers and labourers – many of them dressed in women’s clothes – rioted in protest against unfair laws and taxes, low wages and toll roads. The rioters called themselves ‘Rebecca’s daughters’ and their actions became known as the Rebecca riots.
This print was one of over a thousand satires produced by the celebrated caricaturist, James Gillray, who became known as the ‘father of the political cartoon’. In the 18thcentury, cartoons and caricatures were a popular way of mocking the establishment and calling them to account. They would be discussed and enjoyed in shop windows, coffee houses and taverns. The arrival of the industrial printing press in the 1800s helped to spread them far and wide, through broadsides (posters), newspapers and pamphlets. This one was inspired by the resumed hostilities and ongoing rivalrybetween Britain and France in 1805.
This print was made to highlight the inhumane conditions under which enslaved Africans were transported across the Atlantic Ocean, forced to make the long voyage from West Africa to the Americas, tightly packed into the hold of ships and held in chains.
This satirical cartoon is a comment on the Corn Laws - one of the most unpopular pieces of legislation ever to be introduced by the British Government.
Thomas Paine was one of the most influential writers and activists of his time who heavily influenced the American and French revolutions.
The Pussyhat project is a social movement focused on raising awareness about women's issues and advancing human rights.
Mary Wollstonecraft was a revolutionary writer who made a powerful case for educating and emancipating women. She is still regarded as one of the founders of modern British feminism.
The Penny Black postage stamp marked the beginning of a brand new postal system that would transform communication across the world.
The Chartists were a national protest movement who campaigned between 1838 and 1857 for political reform and representation of working class people.