Category Archives: Chartism: Sources

Hymns and the Chartists

The recently reported discovery of a possibly unique copy of the National Chartist Hymn Book in Todmodern Library has raised the neglected question of the significance of hymns and hymn singing and more broadly religion to the Chartist movement. [1] … Continue reading

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Sources on Chartism: The Barnsley Manifesto, June 1838

On 11th June, one of the delegations from the Birmingham Political Union addressed a large public meeting in Barnsley. The Barnsley meeting unanimously adopted the petition and resolved to form a local association on the Birmingham model. A 24-man committee, … Continue reading

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Sources for Chartism: Mather on 1842

  In the eyes of contemporaries the semi-revolutionary strike movement, which engulfed the manufacturing districts of Britain in the summer of 1842, assumed an importance which the historian has seldom recognised. Graham, who was then Home Secretary, thought it `more … Continue reading

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Sources for Chartism: Harrison on 1842

  …Meanwhile throughout the summer of 1842 preparations were going forward for the November municipal elections. A Central Municipal Election Committee was set up in July to organise the return of Chartist councillors. The officers appointed at the first meeting … Continue reading

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Sources for Chartism: Donald Read on 1842

  Yet although by the summer of 1842 despair about the prospects of Chartism was setting in, as it had done in 1839, this time despair did not lead to apathetic acceptance of distress but (after a pause) to direct … Continue reading

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Source for Chartism: Ward on 1842

  In the industrial areas 1842 was a year of depression, widespread unemployment and wage reductions. The choice for many operatives, as Factory Inspector Horner reported, was ‘employment on any terms, or starvation’. Inevitably, tempers in many districts ran high. … Continue reading

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Sources for Chartism: Hovell on 1842

  Chartism stood helpless when the combination of Whigs and Tories had thrown out of Parliament the National Petition of 1842. The autocrat of Chartism [Feargus O’Connor] had staked everything on a false move. Once more “moral force” had failed … Continue reading

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Sources for Chartism: Frank Peel on 1842

  Trade in 1842, the year of the plug riots, was worse than ever, and the sufferings of the working classes throughout Yorkshire and Lancashire were very great. It was hoped that as summer came on matters might improve, but … Continue reading

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Sources for Chartism: Riots in the Potteries 1842

  The Staffordshire potteries saw the worst of the 1842 general strike and the harshest crackdown. During the strike, which had been sparked by wage cuts, workers stopped the pumps that kept coal mines clear of water and closed down … Continue reading

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Sources for Chartism: Chartist Women 5

  Women in Public For some women Chartists, the movement allowed them to develop from being supporters of the demand for universal male suffrage to the claim for a public political role for themselves. They too might stress their domestic … Continue reading

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Sources for Chartism: Chartist Women 4

  The rights of women Chartist leaders needed to appeal to women workers and gain their support, especially in northern industrial areas. At the same time, they were asking for the vote in order to protect women from the exploitation … Continue reading

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Sources for Chartism: Chartist Women 3

  Chartism and temperance Source 7: ‘Address of the East London Female Total Abstinence Association’, The Northern Star, 30th January 1842, page 1 Sisters and Countrywomen, The age in which we live is perhaps the most remarkable and important page … Continue reading

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Sources for Chartism: Women Chartists 2

  Women and the family Many of women’s activities within Chartism reflected their family roles. When they raised money for the cause, it was often for the families of imprisoned men. Many Chartist children were named for Chartist leaders: for … Continue reading

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Sources for Chartism: Women Chartists 1

  Political action In the first phase of Chartism, women were especially active in mass demonstrations and street activity. The cohesion built up in women’s campaigns against the New Poor Law and for the limitation of factory hours carried through … Continue reading

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Sources for Chartism: Merlin 5th November 1839

  Merlin – 5th November, 1839 – Chartist Insurrection at Newport – Total Defeat of the Insurgents – Upwards of 20 Killed and a Large Number Wounded We have this day to perform the most melancholy duty that ever devolved … Continue reading

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