The Fifth Case, The Rosewood Octagonal Cabinet 1827 - 1877

This case is highly decorated with a door in the side to accept the previous cases. There are fewer engravings but a great many

inscriptions commemorating wide range of events. They give an interesting insight into the expansion of the Empire and defense of the Realm in far-flung places- China, India, the Crimea.

The choice of events to be recorded demonstrates their significance to the Overseers of the time, which was one of gradual political and social reform.

There are several plates honouring William IV, who was declared to be one of the most popular monarchs of the Realm. The first of the political Reform Bills 1832, the first Reformed Parliament 1833, and the Poor Law Amendment Act 1834 are all recorded.

The accession of Queen Victoria in 1837 heralded a huge number of events covering her long reign, starring with the rebuilding of the Houses of Parliament after the great fire of 1834.

The Queen’s marriage to Albert, Prince of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha, and the birth of their first child are both recorded, as are the births and marriages of other members of the Royal Family.

A single plate marks the deaths of Queen Victoria’s mother and Prince Albert in 1861.

Inscriptions added during the 1840s record the famine years in Ireland, revolution throughout Europe in 1848, and the Chartist movement in England.

In 1851 the Great Exhibition was held in London’s Hyde Park, marking an age of considerable industrial advancement: the first Submarine Telegraphic Communication was formed, Brunel’s iron steamship launched, and Westminster and Lambeth bridges over the Thames completed. These are all noted here.

The final plate, added in 1877,  records two important events, the proclamation of Queen Victoria as Empress of India, and the exhibition of the Past Overseers’ Tobacco Box and Cases to the Society of Antiquaries.