John Bright addresses an anti-war rally of 1,500 people

The rally was organised in response to the increased prospect of war with Russia and Bright agreed to speak against Britain’s potential involvement in the Balkans. The meeting was by all accounts a lively one. Bright recorded ‘a disturbance’ and in his diary George Trevelyan described the event. ‘As he came out he was attacked and his hat was smashed over his head by the Jingoes, who were being set on in all parts of the country to intimidate the advocates of peace.’ The danger of war was averted the following July with the Treaty of Berlin.