Peter Murray M'Douall (McDouall)

© National Portrait Gallery, London

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Peter Murray M'Douall (McDouall)

by Unknown artist
stipple and line engraving, 1840
16 1/8 in. x 11 3/4 in. (409 mm x 297 mm) plate size; 17 1/4 in. x 12 3/8 in. (437 mm x 314 mm) paper size
Reference Collection
NPG D21602

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  • Unknown artist, Artist. Artist or producer associated with 6578 portraits.

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The Northern Star portrait depicts McDouall defending himself in court. It was issued at the time of his release in 1840 and further contributed to his radical status. An uncompromising militant, he was again imprisoned for insurrectionary conspiracy and died in exile.

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Events of 1840back to top

Current affairs

Victoria marries her cousin, Prince Albert of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha; he is given the title of Prince Consort.
The Penny Black stamp is introduced by Rowland Hill; the first pre-paid, self-adhesive stamp, it marks the start of the modern postal system.
The start of the Irish potato famine, which by the time of its peak in 1851, had caused the deaths of one million, and contributed to the sharp rise of emigration from Ireland to England and America.

Art and science

Beau Brummel, the fashion leader responsible for sparking the culture of 'Dandyism', dies of syphilis.
The first stone is laid on the new Houses of Parliament, based on the gothic designs by the architects Charles Barry and Augustus Pugin. The old buildings had burned down in 1834, following a blaze caused by burning wooden tallies used by the Exchequer to calculate tax.


The Afghans surrender to Britain during the Afghan-British war (1839-42). The war was sparked by British fear over Russian influence in Afghanistan, with the British East India Company resolving to depose the Afghan leader, Dost Muhammad, who was insistent on Afghan independence, and restore the former leader Shoja Shah.
The Maoris yield sovereignty of New Zealand under the Treaty of Waitangi.

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Keith Burroughs

27 September 2019, 23:36

Blue plaque on the wall of Greenless Jeweller, 18 Bolton Street, Ramsbottom, Bury, Lancashire, BL0 9HX.
Blue Plaque installed 2006, by Ramsbottom Heritage Society.
"Chartist leader.
Peter Murray McDouall (1814-54)
practised medicine in Ramsbottom from 1835-42, and was living here in 1842.
In that year he alleged before a parliamentary committee that the Grant Brothers illegally paid wages in truck and led the two mile procession that delivered the Chartists' National Petition to Parliament."