Wednesday, December 21, 2011

London Anarchists and the Royal Wedding of 1893

Thomas Cantwell & Ernest Young
London Anarchists

"Anarchists" and the Royal Wedding

Buckinghamshire Advertiser July 1893

On Friday 30th June 1893 at the Clerkenwell Police Court, Thomas Cantwell 27 of Sidmouth Street, Grays Inn Road and Ernest Young 30 refusing his address, were charged before Mr Horace Smith with posting and dispensing bills, the same not having the printers and publishers name and address thereon - Detective Powell, E Division said the previous evening he saw the two prisoners walking along Gray's Inn Road.

Cantwell was carrying a pot of paste and Young had a roll of bills in his possession. they stopped before a hoarding and posted thereon a bill upon which were printed the following words
"Royal wedding - the London Anarchists will hold an indignation meeting on Sunday 2nd July at Hyde park at 3:30 as a protest against the waste of wealth upon these Royal vermin, while the workers are dying of hunger and overwork.

Fellow workers prepare for the revolution, and remember that he who would be free must strike a blow. Down with Flunkeyism"
Being that the bill had not the printers name and address upon it Detective Kerr took the prisoners into custody Cantwell, in answer to the charge said "The time will come when we shall use more effective means than the poster. We will use bombs, Knowledge of the use of chemicals is advancing".

Asked by the magistrate whether he wished to question the officers Cantwell said " Why don't they prosecute other people for printing bills that haven't the printers name upon them ? It's only because we are Anarchists, and because these bills protest against this fawning for royal vermin that we are arrested
The magistrate remanded the pair until Tuesday

According to a excellent biography of Thomas Cantwell at

On Thursday 29th June 1898 Cantwell and Ernest Young were arrested for flyposting a poster about the wedding of the Duke of York. The poster advertised an indignation meeting to be held in Hyde Park on 2nd July to protest against the “waste of wealth” expended on “these Royal Vermin”. Apparently Cantwell was behind the idea of the poster and of meetings around the theme.

The case was finally dismissed, both Cantwell and Young remaining in prison until the trial, though the owner of the hoarding fined them both.

Thomas Edward Cantwell 1864-1906

Thomas Cantwell was buried at
Edmonton Cemetery
3rd January 1907