Robert Emmet

© National Portrait Gallery, London

 Like voting
is closed

Thanks for Liking

Please Like other favourites!
If they inspire you please support our work.

Buy a print Buy a greetings card Make a donation Close

Robert Emmet

by William Read, after Unknown artist
stipple and line engraving, 1841
16 in. x 11 7/8 in. (407 mm x 302 mm) plate size; 20 3/8 in. x 14 3/8 in. (519 mm x 365 mm) paper size
Given by the daughter of compiler William Fleming MD, Mary Elizabeth Stopford (née Fleming), 1931
Reference Collection
NPG D21604

Sitterback to top

  • Robert Emmet (1778-1803), Irish nationalist. Sitter in 2 portraits.

Artistsback to top

  • William Read (active 1824-1837), Engraver. Artist or producer associated with 30 portraits.
  • Unknown artist, Artist. Artist or producer associated with 6578 portraits.

This portraitback to top

This print records his celebrated speech during the trial, which was widely distributed and became a benchmark of radical rhetoric. His hasty execution the following day confirmed his romantic status and was hailed as a martyr to republicanism. His inclusion in the Northern Star series reflects the consistent Chartist opposition to British rule in Ireland. It was reportedly the most popular print of the series.

Placesback to top

  • Place portrayed: Ireland (Green Street Court House, Dublin, Ireland)

Linked displays and exhibitionsback to top

Events of 1841back to top

Current affairs

Sir Robert Peel's second term as Prime Minister. Peel replaces the Whig Prime Minister Lord Melbourne after a Conservative general election victory. The English comic periodical Punch is first published, under the auspices of engraver Ebenezer Landells and writer Henry Mayhew, and quickly establishes itself as a radical commentary on the arts, politics and current affairs, notable for its heavily satirised cartoons.

Art and science

Thomas Carlyle publishes his set of lectures On Heroes and Hero Worship, in which he attempts to connect past heroic figures to significant figures form the present.
William Henry Fox Talbot invents the calotype process, in which photographs were developed from negatives. This allowed for multiple copies of images to be made, and was the basis of modern, pre-digital, photographic processing.


Signing of the Straits Convention, an international agreement between Britain, France, Prussia, Austria, Russia and Turkey, denying access to non-Ottoman warships through the seas connecting the Mediterranean and the Black Seas, a major concession by Russia. Whilst signalling a spirit of co-operation, the convention emphasises the decline of the Ottoman Empire.

Comments back to top

We are currently unable to accept new comments, but any past comments are available to read below.

If you need information from us, please use our Archive enquiry service . Please note that we cannot provide valuations. You can buy a print or greeting card of most illustrated portraits. Select the portrait of interest to you, then look out for a Buy a Print button. Prices start at around £6 for unframed prints, £16 for framed prints. If you wish to license an image, select the portrait of interest to you, then look out for a Use this image button, or contact our Rights and Images service. We digitise over 8,000 portraits a year and we cannot guarantee being able to digitise images that are not already scheduled.