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Room 12

Radicals, Resistance and Reform

For most of its history, Britain was far from a modern democracy. Many of the population could not vote in Parliamentary elections and had little influence over the laws that affected their lives. Demands for more people to have the vote, and a fairer distribution of Parliamentary seats, began to grow in the 1760s. During the same period, the campaign for the abolition of slavery gained momentum. Radical politicians and working-class activists pushed for change, leading to the Reform Act of 1832. This was a first step towards democracy in Britain. The new, more representative Parliament was among the first in Europe to abolish slavery in 1833. Women could not vote in Parliamentary elections until 1918.

24 portraits on display in Room 12 on Floor 3 at the National Portrait Gallery

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Ayuba Suleiman Diallo, by William Hoare - NPG L245

Ayuba Suleiman Diallo

by William Hoare
oil on canvas, 1733
On display in Room 12 on Floor 3 at the National Portrait Gallery
NPG L245

John Wesley, by Nathaniel Hone - NPG 135

John Wesley

by Nathaniel Hone
oil on canvas, circa 1766
On display in Room 12 on Floor 3 at the National Portrait Gallery
NPG 135

Edmund Burke, studio of Sir Joshua Reynolds - NPG 655

Edmund Burke

studio of Sir Joshua Reynolds
oil on canvas, circa 1769 or after
On display in Room 12 on Floor 3 at the National Portrait Gallery
NPG 655

William Murray, 1st Earl of Mansfield, by John Singleton Copley - NPG 172

William Murray, 1st Earl of Mansfield

by John Singleton Copley
oil on canvas, exhibited 1783
On display in Room 12 on Floor 3 at the National Portrait Gallery
NPG 172

Thomas Paine, by Laurent Dabos - NPG 6805

Thomas Paine

by Laurent Dabos
oil on canvas, circa 1791
On display in Room 12 on Floor 3 at the National Portrait Gallery
NPG 6805

Mary Wollstonecraft, by John Opie - NPG 1237

Mary Wollstonecraft

by John Opie
oil on canvas, circa 1797
On display in Room 12 on Floor 3 at the National Portrait Gallery
NPG 1237

John Thelwall, attributed to John Hazlitt - NPG 2163

John Thelwall

attributed to John Hazlitt
oil on canvas, circa 1800-1805
On display in Room 12 on Floor 3 at the National Portrait Gallery
NPG 2163

William Wilberforce, by Sir Thomas Lawrence - NPG 3

William Wilberforce

by Sir Thomas Lawrence
oil on canvas, 1828
On display in Room 12 on Floor 3 at the National Portrait Gallery
NPG 3

Sir John Gladstone, by Thomas Gladstones - NPG 5042

Sir John Gladstone

by Thomas Gladstones
oil on canvas, circa 1830
On display in Room 12 on Floor 3 at the National Portrait Gallery
NPG 5042

William Cobbett, possibly by George Cooke - NPG 1549

William Cobbett

possibly by George Cooke
oil on canvas, circa 1831
On display in Room 12 on Floor 3 at the National Portrait Gallery
NPG 1549

The House of Commons, 1833, by Sir George Hayter - NPG 54

The House of Commons, 1833

by Sir George Hayter
oil on canvas, 1833-1843
On display in Room 12 on Floor 3 at the National Portrait Gallery
NPG 54

Francis Place, by Samuel Drummond - NPG 1959

Francis Place

by Samuel Drummond
oil on canvas, exhibited 1833
On display in Room 12 on Floor 3 at the National Portrait Gallery
NPG 1959

Harriet Martineau, by Richard Evans - NPG 1085

Harriet Martineau

by Richard Evans
oil on canvas, exhibited 1834
On display in Room 12 on Floor 3 at the National Portrait Gallery
NPG 1085

Lionel Nathan de Rothschild, by Moritz Daniel Oppenheim - NPG 3838

Lionel Nathan de Rothschild

by Moritz Daniel Oppenheim
oil on canvas, 1835
On display in Room 12 on Floor 3 at the National Portrait Gallery
NPG 3838

Sir Francis Burdett, 5th Bt, by Sir Martin Archer Shee - NPG 432

Sir Francis Burdett, 5th Bt

by Sir Martin Archer Shee
oil on canvas, 1843
On display in Room 12 on Floor 3 at the National Portrait Gallery
NPG 432

Frederick Douglass ('Frederick Douglass, 1850'), by Elizabeth Peyton - NPG L295

Frederick Douglass ('Frederick Douglass, 1850')

by Elizabeth Peyton
oil on board, 2021
On display in Room 12 on Floor 3 at the National Portrait Gallery
NPG L295

Ignatius Sancho, by Francesco Bartolozzi, published by  John Bowyer Nichols, after  Thomas Gainsborough - NPG D23441

Ignatius Sancho

by Francesco Bartolozzi, published by John Bowyer Nichols, after Thomas Gainsborough
stipple engraving, published 2 July 1781 (1768)
On display in Room 12 on Floor 3 at the National Portrait Gallery
NPG D23441

Olaudah Equiano ('Gustavus Vassa'), by Daniel Orme, published by  Olaudah Equiano ('Gustavus Vassa'), after  W. Denton - NPG D8546

Olaudah Equiano ('Gustavus Vassa')

by Daniel Orme, published by Olaudah Equiano ('Gustavus Vassa'), after W. Denton
stipple engraving, published 1 March 1789
On display in Room 12 on Floor 3 at the National Portrait Gallery
NPG D8546