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The Chartist Demonstration in London, 1848

Taken from Norman Gash, The Age of Peel (London, Edward Arnold, 1973), with the kind permission of Professor Gash. Copyright of this document, of course, remains with him.

Lady Palmerston to Mrs Huskisson, 14 April 1848

I am sure it is very fortunate that the whole thing has occur'd as it has shewn the good spirit of our middle classes, and almost one may say of the whole population of London, as well as the activity and courage of the aristocracy. 2 hundred thousand were sworn in special Constables and all higgledy piggledy Peers and Commons, servants, workmen, and all kinds ofpeople, all hale fellow well met an example of union and loyalty and a determination to stand by our constitution which will have a great effect everywhere in England, in Ireland, and in Europe. Besides I think it a positive advantage to bring the higher classes in contact with the lower ones, to see them unite cordially and without pride and ready to stand out in the wet, and the rain, and to fight like Journeymen with no other arms than staffs.

Our Police too are highly gratified to find themselves supported, and to see these specials taking upon themselves as they did the whole police of the Town for 5 hours from 6 to 11 while the real policeman went to their quarters to rest.

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