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Period referred to: 1819
Sound category: Political > Demonstrations
Title of work: The Statesman
Type of publication: Newspaper
Year of publication: 1819
Page/volume number: 14 September 1819
The radical speaker Henry Hunt returns to London from prison
From the Angel up to Highgate Hill, each side of the road, as well as the centre of the road, was so completely thronged as to render a passage extremely difficult. The windows and balconies of the houses were filled with respectable females. From Highgate the crowds came pouring down; the dust thickened; shouts and acclamations rent the air; laurels were seen in every hat; the windows presented a display of beauty scarcely ever before paralleled. Triumph looked in every face. Military phrases were used in tones of sneering and contempt, and wherever the slightest disposition appeared to disorder, a general cry of 'Order!' was thundered out, until it passed through the crowd, and peace and quietness succeeded, as if the creation of some talismanic influence.
About four, Mr Hunt reached the Angel Inn, and the coup d'oeil which presented itself at the confluence of the Pentonville, Islington and City roads completely sets description at defiance. The heat and the dust, and the almost overwhelming pressure of the increasing multitude did not seem to have the least effect on those who were assembled to witness a sight at once so novel and so imposing. Amidst this assembly there was certainly much poverty, much of borrowed finery, but still much more of apparent affluence and unsubduable spirit of freedom.
In going along Sun Street etc. the band played 'The Exile of Erin' and 'Erin go Bragh' in which they were cordially joined by the immense crowd, while from many windows red flags were held out by the most respectable females. The procession then went along Bishopsgate Street, and on arriving at the Mansion House, the crowd gave three groans of the loudest nature we ever witnessed.