This popular print wood engraving depicts the destruction of the Houses of Parliament in London by fire on October 16, 1834. The engraving offers a detailed and dramatic representation of the event, showing the flames consuming the buildings and the crowds gathered to witness the disaster.
The fire that destroyed the Houses of Parliament in London on October 16, 1834, was a major disaster that had significant consequences for the city and the country as a whole. The fire began in the early evening and quickly spread, consuming both the House of Lords and the House of Commons. Despite the efforts of the fire brigade, the buildings were completely destroyed, along with a large number of historical documents and other valuable materials. The fire caused widespread panic and chaos in the city, with crowds gathering to witness the disaster and numerous people suffering from smoke inhalation. In the aftermath of the fire, efforts were made to rebuild the Houses of Parliament, leading to the construction of the iconic buildings that still stand today.
The print is quite rare, though we locate this example in the British Museum.
James Catnach was a 19th-century English printer and publisher. He is known for publishing cheap, illustrated ballads and broadsides, which were popular among working-class readers. He operated his business from a shop in Seven Dials, London, and was known for his aggressive marketing tactics, which often involved selling his publications on the streets and in public places. He was also involved in a number of legal battles over the content of his publications, which were often seen as controversial or offensive. Despite this, he was successful in his business and became one of the most well-known publishers of his time.