Lithograph of a banquet for Daniel o'Connell
London: 1844. A large Lithograph of a banquet for Daniel O'Connell. Chalk lithograph by an unknown engraver and publisher. C1844
Although not stated on the image, this almost certainly represents the banquet given in honour of O'Connell at the Covent Garden theatre on March 13th 1844. This was reported on in the Illustrated London News of the time, which bore a much smaller illustration. An article in the Times recorded that the dinner was given "to show," as the announcements expressed it, "the admiration entertained by Englishmen for his constant and consistent advocacy of the rights and privileges of Irishmen, for more than 40 years." This was a fascinating time in Irish Politics. Following the massive rallies and gatherings in Ireland to obtain the repeal of repressive legislation, O'Connell was arrested and charged with "creating discontent and disaffection" among the Queen's subjects. The trial began in January 1844 and O'Connell was of course found guilty in February. Sentence was deferred, and O'Connell began the equivalent of a "grand progress" through England, and to Westminster, where he presented a bill to Parliament. In May (after this banquet) he was sentenced to a year's imprisonment. The Covent Garden theatre burnt down in the 1850's. Some pencil notes to the rear. A little marginal nicking to the corners and small closed tear. Single pin hole to the side. 280 by 410mm (11 by 16¼ inches).