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Mitchell and Kenyon: Earl Roberts and Viscount Kitchener (1902)


Main image of Mitchell and Kenyon: Earl Roberts and Viscount Kitchener (1902)
Mitchell and Kenyon 416 & 417 - Visit of Earl Roberts and Viscount Kitchener to Receive the Freedom of the City of Liverpool
35mm, black and white, silent, 226 feet
Production CompanyMitchell and Kenyon
Commissioned byRalph Pringle

Two Boer War heroes receive the Freedom of the City of Liverpool.

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It is evident from this film - shot on the 11th of October 1902 - and from others shot in the city by James Kenyon and Sagar Mitchell, that the early 1900s were a particularly proud and confident time for Liverpool. The inhabitants found plenty of reasons to celebrate publicly local and national achievements.

This film shows the huge civic parade with a large police presence. Despite the Boer War being considered a failure, war heroes Earl Frederick Roberts and Viscount Horatio Kitchener (later Lord Kitchener, of WWI recruitment-poster fame) proved to be quite a crowd puller. We see huge numbers of spectators assembled to witness these two military celebrities being awarded the 'freedom of the city'. This was one of a handful of larger-scale events on the streets of Liverpool that were captured by Mitchell & Kenyon for the viewing pleasure of local people - and us.

The new electric tram seen in the background was designed and built to mark the coronation of Edward VII in August 1902. For the first time, developments in electrical engineering were giving the working classes alternative public forms of transportation to the horse-drawn cart. The new tramway that linked Liverpool with most of Lancashire is lavishly decorated and on display for all to see, and symbolises the city's municipal pride as it entered the Edwardian era.

Rebecca Vick

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Video Clips
Mitchell and Kenyon 416 (2:35)
Mitchell and Kenyon: Employees Leaving Alexandra Docks (1901)
Mitchell and Kenyon: Everton v. Liverpool (1902)
Mitchell and Kenyon: Liverpool Street Scenes (1901)
Mitchell and Kenyon: SS Saxonia in Liverpool (1901)
Mitchell and Kenyon: Trafalgar Day in Liverpool (1901)
Mitchell and Kenyon: Visit of the Prince of Siam (1901)
Liverpool: Days in the Life