Francis Place

Francis Place, by Samuel Drummond, exhibited 1833 - NPG 1959 - © National Portrait Gallery, London

© National Portrait Gallery, London

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Francis Place

by Samuel Drummond
oil on canvas, exhibited 1833
36 in. x 28 1/8 in. (914 mm x 714 mm)
Given by the sitter's great-grandson, Sir Henry Miers, 1922
Primary Collection
NPG 1959

Sitterback to top

  • Francis Place (1771-1854), Political and social reformer. Sitter in 1 portrait.

Artistback to top

  • Samuel Drummond (1765-1844), Portrait and history painter. Artist associated with 58 portraits, Sitter in 1 portrait.

This portraitback to top

The tailor Francis Place was one of the most influential popular radicals of the day. Not only a key campaigner for political reform, he also wanted to free people from the tyranny of idleness, drunkeness and superstition. Place argued that self-improvement could be encouraged by rational recreations such as visiting museums, enrolling in friendly societies, joining reading circles and radical corresponding societies and attending public lectures. His shop on London's Charing Cross Road was a gathering place for reformers and was piled high with pamphlets and books. By the early 1800s, Place was an unofficial spokesman for English workers and a bridge between them and middle-class radicals such as Jeremy Bentham and Sir Francis Burdett.

Linked publicationsback to top

Events of 1833back to top

Current affairs

Shaftesbury's Factory Act is passed regulating women's hours and providing for the education of children working in the textile industry.
Bank Act is passed, making Bank of England notes Britain's legal tender.

Art and science

Charles Lamb publishes Last Essays of Elia after the enormous success of his earlier Essays. A comic allegorization of his humdrum clerical job they become one of the period's literary sensations.
Charles Dickens begins his series Sketches by Boz in the Monthly Magazine.

International

Abolition of slavery in the British Empire; 780,000 slaves are freed, £20 million is allocated as compensation for slave owners and a six year apprenticeship system for freed slaves is established.

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