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Harry Furniss: Bradlaugh Caricature

Charles Bradlaugh (1833 – 1891) was a Liberal MP for Northampton. He was an atheist and political activist, and founded the National Secular Society in 1866. When he came to the House of Commons as a new member of Parliament, he requested to take an affirmation rather than a religious oath of allegiance. This was refused, and in June 1880 Bradlaugh was arrested at the bar of the House of Commons by the Serjeant at Arms and imprisoned in Elizabeth Tower. He was also an early campaigner for extending the franchise in Britain. Bradlaugh's political career provided much inspiration for Furniss, and he appears frequently in his drawings for Punch magazine.