Resource : Memorial to Joseph Blanco White

Joseph Blanco White was a Spanish theologian, writer and poet. He campaigned against intolerance in different ways: against Napoleonic invasion of Spain, for the religious right to convert between churches (which he did from Catholic priesthood to Anglicanism), and in support of the independence of South American countries from Spanish colonial rule. He is best remembered for his sonnet Night and Death which he dedicated to Samuel Coleridge.

Resource : Holy Willie’s Prayer

Robert Burns also known as Rabbie Burns and as ‘the Bard’ in Scotland, was a Scottish poet and lyricist. He is widely regarded as the greatest Scottish poet and is celebrated each year in Scotland on Burns Night, with traditional suppers including haggis and whiskey, followed by readings of his poetry. His poems used humour and familiar subjects to express big ideas, making them instantly accessible to a wide range of people and are still popular today. Their subject matter, egalitarianism (stressing equality and ordinary people), and underpinning Romanticism left an important imprint that inspired many future reformers.

Resource : Figures by Chelsea Waterworks, London, observing the fires of the Gordon Riots, 7 June 1780

The Gordon Riots were a series of anti-Catholic protests which took place in London between 2 and 9 June, 1780. The protests began peacefully but descended into chaos. Crowds paralysed the city with an unparalleled level of violence, with rioters attacking and setting fire to official buildings and people’s homes. The riots are considered by some historians as being the closest Britain has ever come to a full-scale revolution, and shocked fellow European powers.