Labour History Review

Late Chartism in the Potteries, 1848–1858

Labour History Review (2009), 74, (1), 111–129.

Abstract

In the Potteries, as in most industrial districts, Chartism revived in 1848. Chartist activity in 1850–2 was centred on the Hanley People's Hall and its journal the Lever, also (until 1853) the Longton Working Men's Hall. Thereafter a hard core of thirty or forty Chartists sustained the movement, through support for Ernest Jones and the People's Paper until 1858. Chartists also supported trade union struggles, especially a number of short-lived miners' unions, throughout the 1850s. They made a considerable impact on local politics through their control of the elected Hanley and Shelton Highways Boards, through pressure on the Stoke-on-Trent Poor Law Board of Guardians, through spearheading opposition to the introduction of the Public Health Act, and finally through defending the right of working men to live in old railway carriages. The essay concludes with a brief discussion of Chartist involvement in the Reform League and a comparison with Halifax where Chartism was similarly long-lived.

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Author details

Fyson, Robert