3: A Wounded Welshman
Lucy Worsley explores Victoria's reign via significant encounters. Following Chartist upheaval Victoria dines with the wounded Mayor of Newport.
Lucy Worsley, Chief Curator, Historic Royal Palaces, explores Queen Victoria's reign through significant encounters
3: A Wounded Welshman - 9 December 1839.
Welshman Thomas Phillips, Mayor of Newport, was not the usual sort of person who got invited to dinner at Windsor Castle, a point that Victoria's courtiers made very clear. But in 1839, he was invited to the castle to receive a knighthood. A month earlier, he’d been wounded while helping to put down an armed rebellion of 10,000 Chartist sympathisers. Many of them coal miners, they’d marched on Newport, many furious about the recent rejection of the People's Charter calling for Universal Suffrage. This was the last large-scale armed uprising against the state in mainland Britain, and it became a massacre as hidden troops opened fire. Phillips, the Mayor, was wounded in the fracas and now became lionised for quelling the revolution. After receiving his knighthood at Windsor Castle, and after a good deal of muttering from her courtiers, he did indeed sit down to eat with the Queen. It was her way of dealing with the demands - to which she would lifelong be deaf - for widening the electoral roll. But the Chartists so spooked the Royals that they fled for the 'safety' of the Isle of Wight.
With historians Les James, Rhian E. Jones & curator Oliver Blackmore .
Readers: Sarah Ovens, Michael Bertenshaw & Kenny Blythe
Producer: Mark Burman