Wolfe Tone was a founder of the United Irishmen and a leading figure in the fight for Irish independence from British rule. In 1798, Tone led the United Irishmen in a major uprising, hoping to begin a nationalist and republican revolution in Ireland with the support of French troops.
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 portrait shows the flamboyant and controversial figure Sir Banestre Tarleton, a cavalry officer best known as commander of the ‘Tarleton Raiders’ during the American war of independence. It was painted by Sir Joshua Reynolds, the leading British portrait painter of the 18th century. Reynolds was a founding member of the Royal Academy and its first President, and was knighted by King George III.
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 set of dentures is fitted with real human teeth, extracted from the mouths of the dead.
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.
The Marseillaise is one of the most memorable war songs ever written. It tells us about the hopes and fears of French soldiers in the French Revolution.
This is one of three artificial legs made for Henry Paget, Lord Uxbridge, who commanded the British cavalry at the Battle of Waterloo. He was hit on the right knee by a canister shot, after the missile had passed over the neck of Wellington’s horse, Copenhagen.
This hat was worn by the French Emperor Napoleon when he commanded the French Army at the Battle of Waterloo.
Thomas Paine was one of the most influential writers and activists of his time who heavily influenced the American and French revolutions.