William Cuffay was a leading figure in the Chartist movement of 1836-1848. This was a national movement which called for electoral reform and representation for working class people in Parliament. It was largely peaceful, but in times of stress was suspected of violent aims and methods. The original sketch for this print was made while Cuffay was confined in the notorious Newgate prison, awaiting transportation to Tasmania for allegedly planning an uprising against the British government.
May 7, 2019 - Richard Moss
This fascinating project, which launched in 2016 in Wales, has seen volunteers working to transcribe more than 3,000 important documents gathered together shortly after the famous Newport Chartist Rising of November 3rd and 4th 1839. Unlocking the Chartist Trials uses online volunteers to transcribe the court records relating to the famous Rising, which is cited […]
The 1800s saw a series of protests and uprisings in Britain, as people campaigned against slavery, unjust taxes and laws imposed by the government and in support of fair wages, the right to vote and to have their voices heard in parliament. Protest flags, posters and banners carrying radical slogans were a popular way for campaigners to get their message across at marches and rallies, and to cooperate without endangering individuals. The Skelmanthorpe flag was created in secret, in Huddersfield, initially to honour the victims of what became known as the Peterloo Massacre, in 1819.
The Chartists were members of a national and generally peaceful protest movement who campaigned between 1838 and 1857 for political reform and representation of working class people. It was the first British mass movement to be driven by the working classes. The development of the industrial printing press helped spread the word and gather support for peaceful protests. The Chartists’ ‘demands’ still underpin British democracy today.
The continued calls for the reform of British politics and representation of marginalised sectors of society, and the establishment’s unprecedented measures to restrict and suppress these ‘radical’ ideas and demands.