In its early stages, the Chartist movement consisted entirely of local groups with no central co-ordination. Following the failure of the first Charter petition and a series of arrests up and down the country, many of these groups had become disorganised. Continue reading Manchester Conference 1840→
By November 1848, with many of its leading activists in prison, the National Charter Association was in such a state of crisis that a conference ostensibly called to deal with the land company’s affairs now decided to overturn the organisation’s constitution and abolish the paid executive in favour of a voluntary body and paid secretary. Continue reading Fourth national petition – 1849→
With Ernest Jones now at its head, the National Charter Association managed a brief flicker of revival in membership during 1850. The NCA convention held on 31 March 1851 adopted a platform of “the Charter and something more”, along with an ambitious work programme, including a further national petition. Continue reading Fifth national petition – 1851→
There is something very special about being able to hold artefacts from the past – whether created deliberately to commemorate historic events or simply because they have a connection with people and events that mean something to us.
Over the years I have built up a small collection of memorabilia associated with Chartism: the National Charter Association membership card that features elsewhere on Chartist Ancestors, some commemorative medallions, and a letter written and signed by Feargus O’Connor.
In addition, I have accumulated a few bits and pieces which to me have a slightly less direct link with Chartism: a membership certificate and tokens produced by the Anti Corn Law League, and some medallions commemorating the Reform Acts of 1832 and 1884.
None of these items is especially valuable. But for me they provide a physical link with the Chartist era – and the knowledge that some at least meant something important to the people who owned them then, and who may have worn them as a constant reminder of then-recent events.
(Incidentally, if you click on an image, you should be shown a larger version.)
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