International Review of Social History

Research Article

Republicanism in Nineteenth Century England

Norbert J. Gossman

To one familiar with the attitude of “near devotion” accorded the monarchy by the majority of Englishmen today, it may come as a shock to discover a lack of this devotion in mid-Victorian England. A sampling of comments from the radical press is a striking example. The regular arrival of Victoria's progeny evoked this impious suggestion in the Northern Star: That, rather than reciting national prayers of thanksgiving, congregations should sing “hymns of despair for their misfortune in being saddled with another addition to the brood of royal Cormorants.” The National Reformer referred to “our good kind, and dear Queen, who…could easily dispense with the allowance which her loyal subjects make her…unless she desires to be the last of England's monarchs…”