This film is part of Free
Gladstone's Funeral - Entering Westminster Abbey
Almost all of the long life of William Ewart Gladstone - among the most eminent of all Victorians - preceded the invention of film. But the former Prime Minister's death and State Funeral prompted a media event that saw at least five film companies present. Most of their footage of the day does not survive, making these images of the procession all the more precious.
Few statesman held such sway over the politics of Victorian Britain as William Gladstone. Four times Prime Minister, he is still the oldest person to hold the position, earning himself the nickname of the 'Grand Old Man'. But it was his leadership of the Liberal Party, and his association with a new democratic politics that earned him the respect of working-class Britain.