'Churchill giving evidence regarding the Sidney Street incident', 1911, (1945). Artist: Unknown
'Churchill giving evidence regarding the Sidney Street incident', 1911, (1945). The Sidney Street siege occurred after a gang of heavily armed Latvian burglars shot five police officers who attempted to arrest them as they broke into a jeweller's shop. Four of the policemen died. Three members of the gang were cornered at 100 Sidney Street and surrounded by police. A gunfight ensued, but the police had inferior weapons and reinforcements in the form of soldiers from the Scots Guards were called by order of Churchill, who arrived at the scene himself. After six hours of fighting, the building caught fire and Churchill controversially gave the order that the Fire Brigade take no action. Two of the burglars' bodies were discovered in the burned out building but no trace of the third was ever found. From Winston Churchill: His Life in Pictures, by Ben Tucker. [Sagall Press, Ltd., London, 1945]
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Charles I demanding that the five members he accused of treason be handed over to him, 1803.Artist: Deeves
King Charles I (1600-649) demanding that the five members he accused of treason be handed over to him, 1803. Charles I was King of England, Scotland and Ireland from 1625 until his execution in 1649. He famously engaged in a struggle for power with the Parliament of England, indeed many feared he was attempting to gain absolute power. His last years were marked by the English Civil War. Charles was defeated in the first Civil War (1642-1645), after which Parliament expected him to accept demands for a constitutional monarchy. He instead remained defiant by attempting to forge an alliance with Scotland and escaping to the Isle of Man. This provoked a second Civil War (1648-1649) and a second defeat for Charles, who was subsequently captured, tried, convicted, and executed for high treason. The monarchy was then abolished and a republic called the Commonwealth of England was declared. Charles's son, Charles II, became King after the restoration of the monarchy in 1660.
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Retrial of Albert Dreyfus, Rennes, France, 1899. Artist: Unknown
Retrial of Albert Dreyfus, Rennes, France, 1899. A French army officer of Jewish extraction, Dreyfus (c1859-1935) was wrongly accused of handing secret documents to a German agent. He was court-martialled and disgraced, and sentenced to life imprisonment on Devil's Island as a traitor. Although the legal proceedings were irregular, the verdict was widely approved of in French society and the press, where anti-Semitism was rife. The case, which became known as 'l'Affaire Dreyfus' continued to divide France, with the author Emile Zola writing a famous open letter accusing the army of a cover-up. A retrial, at Rennes in 1899, again found Dreyfus guilty, although the sentence was reduced to 10 years. Eventually, in 1906, Dreyfus received a full pardon from the President of France, and he went on to serve with distinction in the French army in the First World War. From Vanity Fair. (London, 23 November 1899).
© Ann Ronan Picture Library / Heritage-Images