Preparing for the Exhibition

Geoffrey Cantor

in Religion and the Great Exhibition of 1851

Published in print February 2011 | ISBN: 9780199596676
Published online May 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780191725685 | DOI:
Preparing for the Exhibition

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This chapter examines how religious issues permeated preparations for the Exhibition. Most importantly, at the Mansion House banquet on 21 March 1850 Prince Albert unambiguously portrayed the Exhibition as an event to celebrate God's providence. The religious ethos of the Exhibition was further stressed at the opening ceremony on 1 May 1851 both by Albert and in the Archbishop of Canterbury's benediction. Although some High Churchmen and Catholics strongly objected to the Archbishop blessing a manifestly secular event, these interventions were widely seen as providing a religious sanction for the Exhibition. This chapter also draws attention to such publications as James Emerton's Moral and Religious Guide to the Great Exhibition and the competition with a £100 prize for an essay that supported the Exhibition from a religious perspective.

Keywords: Archbishop of Canterbury; Emerton; Great Exhibition; High Church; Prince Albert; providence

Chapter.  12130 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: History of Christianity

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