Note #13: George W.M. Reynolds, A Curious Reference

March 15, 2022

Note #13:  George W. M. Reynolds

A Curious Reference


R.E. Prindle

The following quotation is taken from Alexander Charles Ewart’s ‘The Right Hon. Benjamin Disraeli, Earl Of Beaconsfield, K.G. And His Times, Div. 3 of 5. Vol. II. P.25.

I have no dates for Ewald, but since he died in his nineties in the 1890s it must have been c. 1800.  He was born in Jerusalem and like Disraeli, possibly in emulation of him, he also accepted Jesus of Nazareth as completing the Jewish ethos.  He makes no point of being Jewish and/or Christian.  He is, however, a near worshipper of Disraeli.

If he had been born c. 1800 he was forty-eight  in ’48 and a witness to the Trafalgar Square demonstrations.  In 1883 he was still indignant.


Mr. Disraeli had, as we have seen, expressed himself with equal caution upon the subject, though in more encouraging tones; but the masses, turbulent, ignorant, and out of work, and completely under the influence of their unscrupulous agents, had made up their minds that the Conservative party was hostile to the cause of reform, and that their object could only be attained  by assuming a threatening  attitude.  Meetings were held at Primrose Hill and at Trafalgar Square, where speakers who could obtain notoriety after no other fashion than a base and disloyal agitation, vehemently denounced the policy of the government, of which they knew nothing, to a rabble composed of the scum and outcasts of London, who no more represented the sober, intelligent working classes desirous of the franchise than our convicts represent the honesty and industry of the country.  It was arranged that a monster meeting should be held in Hyde Park, when certain conclusions, based upon spite and inspired by ignorance, which were termed “resolutions,”  were to be passed condemnatory of all opposition to the cause of reform.  The government, however, fully alive to the dangers which might ensue from the assembling in our chief public park of all that was vile and disorderly, promptly forbade the meeting.  A notice to that effect was delivered  to Sir Richard Mayne, the chief commissioner of police.  “There is nothing,’ said Mr. Walpole the home secretary, in defence of the instructions he had issued,  ‘there is nothing in the notice signed by Sir Richard Mayne to imply that processions, orderly conducted, are illegal–to prevent persons from holding meetings in the usual way for the purpose of discussing politics or ;any other subject but I think that any one holding the office which I have the honour I hold is bound to attend to the public peace of this metropolis; and if he believes that the parks, which are open by the permission of Her Majesty for benefit of all Her Majesty’s subjects, are little to be devoted to any purpose that would interfere with the quiet recreation of the people, and might lead to riot and disorderly demonstrations, he would be most blamable if he did not issue an order similar to that which I have given.”


You will notice that there was no reference to the ’48 revolution going on in Europe.  Nor did he mention any names, although George W.M. Reynolds’ name must have been on his mind.  Reynolds as the key speaker who was carried home on the shoulders of the Demonstrators must have called attention to himself as a key agitator ‘having no other way to call attention to himself.’  Likely that Ewald couldn’t force himself to eighter speak or write the name

Anyway, there is an official account of the demonstrations.

A small point of interest.

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