Posts Tagged ‘William Lovett’

Regency Personalities Series

In my attempts to provide us with the details of the Regency, today I continue with one of the many period notables.

William Johnson Fox
1 March 1786 – 3 June 1864


William Johnson Fox

William Johnson Fox was born at Uggeshall Farm, Wrentham, near Southwold, Suffolk on 1 March 1786. His parents were strict Calvinists. When he was still young, his father dropped out of farming, and after time at a chapel school, Fox became a weaver’s boy, an errand-boy, and in 1799 clerk in a bank. An autodidact, he entered prize competitions.

From September 1806 Fox trained for the Independent ministry, at Homerton College. His tutor there was John Pye Smith, the Congregational theologian. Early in 1810 he took charge of a congregation at Fareham in Hampshire. Within two years he had become minister of the Unitarian chapel at Chichester, after failing to make a small seceding congregation at Fareham viable.

In 1817 Fox moved to London, becoming minister of Parliament Court Chapel. In 1824 he moved the congregation to South Place Chapel, in Finsbury on the edge of the City of London; the chapel had been built especially for him in South Place. Around Fox and the chapel gathered progressive thinkers. In particular there was an associated group of feminists, and a link to Chartism through William Lovett. The circle included Sophia Dobson Collet, who saw some of Fox’s sermons into print; Mary Leman Gillies, who wrote on women’s rights; and Caroline Ashurst Stansfeld, married to James Stansfeld by Fox.

A scandal in Fox’s personal life broke in 1834 and 1835; it led to a secession from the Chapel, Fox’s resignation from the Unitarian ministry, and a new household for him in the Craven Hill area of Bayswater. He-re-established himself as a preacher of rationalism. Charles Hardwick grouped Fox with Theodore Parker and Robert William Mackay as proponents of “absolute religion”. Later the chapel was better known as the South Place Ethical Society.

As a supporter of the Anti-Corn-Law movement, Fox won celebrity as an impassioned orator and journalist, and from 1847 to 1862 he intermittently represented Oldham in Parliament as a Liberal.
Fox died 3 June 1864, in London.

He was editor of the Monthly Repository, and a frequent contributor to the Westminster Review, and published works on political and religious topics. An edition of his Works was edited by William Ballantyne Hodgson and Henry James Slack, and appeared from 1865.

Fox was a friend of radical journalist Benjamin Flower. On Flower’s death in 1829, his two daughters, Eliza Flower and Sarah Fuller Flower Adams, became Fox’s wards. Fox separated from his wife in the 1830s, and, causing much scandal, apparently set up home with Eliza Flower and his children. Following the separation from his wife, Fox brought up his ward himself, living first in Stamford Hill and later Bayswater. One of Fox’s daughters, also named Eliza, married Frederick Lee Bridell; both were accomplished artists.

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Regency Personalities Series
In my attempts to provide us with the details of the Regency, today I continue with one of the many period notables.

John Cleave

Born of Irish stock, as a young boy John Cleave went to sea and is first documented for his political activities as late as 1828, in London, working to assist Henry Hetherington at the Civil & Religious Association.

A few years later in 1831 Cleave was a printer at Snow Hill in London then at Shoe Lane where he also operated a bookshop and coffee house alongside his printing business. Cleave was now working on The Poor Man’s Guardian along with Henry Hetherington and James Watson.

In 1834 he felt ready to start his own newspaper Cleave’s Weekly Police Gazette which as well as reporting on recent crimes also contained a political campaigning and reform element within its pages, a combination that was very successful, being sold to over 40,000 avid readers per week by 1836.

Cleave was refusing to pay stamp duty on his newspaper, in line with other radical publishers and pampleteers, which of course brought him into conflict with the authorities who levied fines and wanted such seditious radicals imprisoned. It was the view of radical publishers that a free press was vital to social, political and moral improvement and that the government were oppressing the people’s firmly held beliefs and rights to communicate. The law was gradually reformed and the fourpenny tax on newspapers was reduced to one-penny and pamphlets had their tax removed altogether.

Also in 1836 Cleave joined forces with William Lovett and Henry Hetherington to form the new London Working Men’s Association. He was soon to be closely involved in the National Charter Association too, and was its first Treasurer. In 1837 Cleave accompanied Henry Vincent, a gifted younger orator and emerging Chartist leader, on a speaking tour of northern England where the two men initiated the establishment of Working Men’s Associations in northern cities such as Leeds, Kingston upon Hull, and towns such as Bradford, Halifax and Huddersfield. The two men formed strong bonds during this time and Henry Vincent was later to marry Cleave’s daughter Lucy in 1841.

In the 1840s as the National Charter Association divided over policy differences and the careers of the early leaders ran their differing courses Cleave sided with the moderate moral force Chartists alongside William Lovett and continued to work for universal suffrage and the complete removal of stamp duty from all newspapers until his death in 1847.

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Regency Personalities Series
In my attempts to provide us with the details of the Regency, today I continue with one of the many period notables.

Henry Hetherington
17 June 1792 – 23 August 1849


Henry Hetherington

Henry Hetherington was the son of a London tailor, John Hetherington, and was born on 17 June 1792, at Soho, London. He was one of four children and was baptised in the church of St Giles-in-the-Fields.

When he was thirteen, in 1805, he began work as an apprentice printer at Luke Hansard’s printing works at Holborn. In 1810 he worked as a shopman for Richard Carlile, and from 1812 to 1815 he worked as a printer in Belgium.

In 1811 Hetherington married Elizabeth Thomas, and the marriage produced nine children. Only one son, David, was still living at time of Henry’s death.

In the 1820s Hetherington became influenced by the ideas of Robert Owen and joined the Co-operative Printers Association, and became active in the Radical Reform Association. In 1821 he became a member of the London Co-operative and Economical Society community, led by George Mudie.

In 1822 Hetherington registered his own press and type at 13 Kingsgate Street, Holborn (now Southampton Row), an eight-roomed house, including shop and printing premises, costing £55 per annum rent

On 11 January 1823 he published the first (and possibly only) edition of the Political Economist and Universal Philanthropist, edited by George Mudie.

This was a time when reformers like Richard Carlile were being imprisoned for publishing material that was critical of the government. However, for people like Hetherington and Carlile, the publication of newspapers and pamphlets were vitally important in the political education of the working class.

In the 1830s Hetherington published a series of radical newspapers including: The Penny Papers for the People (1830); The Radical (1831) and The Poor Man’s Guardian (1831–1835). In 1833 Hetherington was selling 220,000 copies a week of The Poor Man’s Guardian. Hetherington was punished by the authorities several times for these activities. This included being fined on numerous occasions, imprisoned in 1833 and 1836, and having all his printing presses seized and destroyed in 1835.

Hetherington played a leading role in the campaign against the heavy stamp duty taxation on newspapers and pamphlets. This campaign resulted in several reforms in the law. In 1833 when the four-penny tax on newspapers was reduced to one-penny. The same year Parliament agreed to remove the tax on pamphlets.

Tried in 1840 for selling Charles Junius Haslam’s Letters to the Clergy of All Denominations, a serial one-penny publication containing Haslam’s Deist criticism of the Bible, Hetherington was indicted on a blasphemous libel charge in 1840. Despite being willing to plead guilty in return for a suspended sentence, Abel Heywood, the publisher, was let go unpunished by the authorities. Hetherington was convicted.

In his newspapers Henry Hetherington campaigned against child labor, the 1834 Poor Law and political corruption. Hetherington joined William Lovett, James Watson and John Cleave to form the London Working Men’s Association (LWMA) in 1836. Hetherington, who became the LWMA first treasurer, helped draw up a Charter of political demands. By 1836 Hetherington was one of the leaders of the Chartist movement. Hetherington was a moral force Chartist and was very critical of the ideas of Feargus O’Connor and in 1849 helped create the moderate People’s Charter Union.

Hetherington continued his campaign against taxes on newspapers and in 1849 formed the Newspaper Stamp Abolition Committee. A few months later, on 23 August 1849, Hetherington died of cholera at his residence at 57 Judd Street, Brunswick Square, London. He had been ill for some days, but held anti-medicinal views.

On 26 August two thousand people gathered at Kensal Green Cemetery to pay their respects to the man who had spent his adult life fighting for social reform. Orations were given by George Holyoake and James Watson.

In his will, Hetherington left only £200-worth of goods and chattels, and James Watson and Whitaker, his executors, had trouble in meeting the claims on his estate.

Organisations with which Hetherington was involved:

  • London Co-operative and Economical Society (1821)
  • London Mechanics’ Institution (now Birkbeck, University of London) (1823-) (Hetherington was on the Committee in 1824)
  • First London Co-operative Trading Association (1824–29) (Became BAPCK)
  • Civil and Religious Liberty Association (1827/28-29) (Became RRA)
  • British Association for Promoting Co-operative Knowledge (May 1829-30)
  • Radical Reform Association (1829) (Hetherington was Secretary of the Association)
  • First Middlesex Society (1930)
  • Metropolitan Political Union (1830)
  • London Working Men’s Association (1830-)
  • National Union of the Working Classes (Late 1830-)
  • Metropolitan Trades Union (March 1831)
  • Marylebone Radical Association (1834–36)
  • Society for the Protection of Booksellers (April 1834)
  • Association of Working Men to Procure a Cheap and Honest Press (April 1836)
  • Working Men’s Association (July 1836-39)
  • Universal Suffrage Club (September 1836)
  • Metropolitan Charter Union (March 1840)
  • Independent Order of Odd Fellows, Manchester Unity (1840)
  • National Charter Association (November 1841-46)
  • Metropolitan Parliamentary Reform Association (May 1842-49)
  • Literary and Scientific Institution, at John Street, Fitzroy Square, Branch a1 (Mid/Late 1840s)
  • Anti-Persecution Union (September 1843-44)
  • Democratic Committee for Poland’s Regeneration (March 1846)
  • People’s International League (April 1847)
  • Democratic Committee of Observation on the French Revolution (Early 1848)
  • People’s Charter Union (March 1848)
  • League of Social Progress (November 1848)
  • Newspaper Stamp Abolition Committee (March 1849-)

Pamphlets and leaflets

  • Principles and Practice contrasted; or a Peep into “the only true church of God upon earth,” commonly called Freethinking Christians. London: Henry Hetherington, c.1827. The only extant copies are the 2nd edition of 1828.
  • Swing, Eh! Outrages in Kent. London: Henry Hetherington, 1830
  • Cheap Salvation; or, An Antidote to priestcraft: Being a Succinct, Practical, Essential, and Rational Religion, Deduced from the New testament, the general Adoption of Which Would Supersede the Necessity for a Hireling Priesthood, and save This Overtaxed Nation Fifteen Million per Annum. London: Henry Hetherington, 1838.
  • A Full Report of the Trial of Henry Hetherington, on an Indictment for Blasphemy, before Lord Denman and a Special Jury, at the Court of Queen’s Bench, Westminster, on Tuesday, 8 December 1840; for Selling Haslam’s Letters to the Clergy of all Denominations: With the Whole of the Authorities Cited in the Defence, at Full Length. London: Henry Hetherington, 1841.
  • John Bull’s Political Catechism. London: Henry Hetherington, n.d.

Articles and letters

  • ‘To the Editor of the “Times”‘ in Poor Man’s Guardian, 8 October 1831, p. 108.
  • ‘To “Sir” Richard Birnie” in Poor Man’s Guardian, 8 October 1831, p. 108.
  • ‘Resistance of Oppression’ in Poor Man’s Guardian, 22 October 1831, pp. 131–33. Piece dated 13 October 1831.
  • ‘Magisterial Deliquency’ [sic?] in Poor Man’s Guardian, 12 November 1831, p. 163.
  • ‘Mr Carpenter and the Reform Bill!’ in Poor Man’s Guardian, 19 November 1831, pp. 170–72.
  • ‘Mr Attwood and the Birmingham Union’ in Poor Man’s Guardian, 3 December 1831, pp. 186–88.
  • ‘”Infamous Conduct” of Mr Hunt’ in Poor Man’s Guardian, 17 December 1831, p. 205.
  • ‘To the Industrious Millions and the Friends of Liberty and Justice’ in Poor Man’s Guardian, 24 December 1831, pp. 223–24.
  • ‘More “Infamous” Conduct of Mr Hunt’ in Poor Man’s Guardian, 31 December 1831, p. 229. Following a response to Hetherington’s piece in issue dated 17 December 1831, p. 205.
  • ‘Mr Owen and the Working Classes [1]’ in Poor Man’s Guardian, 14 January 1832, 245-46. A response to a letter from James Tucker.
  • ‘Special Commission – Even-handed Justice’ in Poor Man’s Guardian, 21 January 1832, pp. 251–52.
  • ‘Mr Owen and the Working Classes [2]’ in Poor Man’s Guardian, 21 January 1832, p. 255. This is my own title. The ‘article’ is a response to a letter from Benjamin Warden, in response to Hetherington’s article of 14 January 1832, pp. 245–46.
  • ‘Search for Arms’ in Poor Man’s Guardian, 11 February 1832, p. 278.
  • ‘Police – Villany of Magistrates’ in Poor Man’s Guardian, 18 February 1832, p. 285.
  • ‘Robbery and Treachery in Support of the Militia Laws’ in Poor Man’s Guardian, 25 February 1832, pp. 294–95.
  • ‘Military Outrage at Cletheroe’ in Poor Man’s Guardian, 11 August 1832, pp. 489–90.
  • ‘Progress of the Struggle of “Right Against Might”‘ in Poor Man’s Guardian, 19 January 1833, pp. 17–18.
  • ‘To Henry Hunt, Esq.’ in Poor Man’s Guardian, 19 January 1833, pp. 18–19. Letter dated 14 January 1833, from Clerkenwell Prison.
  • ‘Whig Persecution of the Press: To the Readers and Supporters of the Guardian’ in Poor Man’s Guardian, 23 February 1833, pp. 60–61. Letter dated 20 February 1833, from Clerkenwell Prison.
  • ‘Mr Hetherington’s Petition to the House of Commons’ in Poor Man’s Guardian, 23 February 1833, p. 62.
  • ‘Health and Recreation of the People’ in Poor Man’s Guardian, 2 March 1833, pp. 70–71. Letter dated 26 February 1833, from Clerkenwell Prison.
  • ‘To Mr. Dallas’ in Poor Man’s Guardian, 30 March 1833, pp. 99–100. Letter dated 27 March 1833, from Clerkenwell Prison, in response to Dallas’ letter in issue dated 23 March 1833, pp. 94–95.
  • ‘The Guardian and Machinery’ in Poor Man’s Guardian, 13 April 1833, p. 115. [No actual title, this is one given by David M. Smith]
  • ‘The Dorchester Labourers’ in Poor Man’s Guardian, 25 October 1834, p. 303. Letter dated 18 October 1834, from Tolpuddle, Dorsetshire
  • ‘To Mr. Richard Carlile, Editor of a Scourge [1]’ in Poor Man’s Guardian, 1 November 1834, pp. 308–10. Letter dated 28 October 1834, from Southampton.
  • ‘To Mr. Richard Carlile, Editor of a Scourge [2]’ in Poor Man’s Guardian, 15 November 1834, pp. 326–7.
  • ‘To Mr. Richard Carlile, Editor of “A Scourge” [3]’ in Poor Man’s Guardian, 6 December 1834, pp. 347–9. Letter dated 3 December 1834, from London.
  • ‘To Mr. Richard Carlile, Editor of “A Scourge” [4]’ in Poor Man’s Guardian, 27 December 1834, pp. 373–6. Letter dated 23 December 1834, from Colchester.
  • ‘Rights of Man and Wrongs of Property’ in Poor Man’s Guardian, 3 January 1835, pp. 380–81. Piece dated 26 December 1834, from Chelmsford.
  • ‘To the Friends and Supporters of an Unstamped Press’ in Poor Man’s Guardian, 1 August 1835, p. 625. Letter dated 1 August 1835, from Dulwich.
  • ‘To the Friends and Supporters of an Unstamped Press’ in Poor Man’s Guardian, 1 August 1835, pp. 627–30. Letter dated 5 August 1835, from Sydenham.
  • ‘To the Readers of the Poor Man’s Guardian’ in Poor Man’s Guardian, 26 December 1835, pp. 793–4.
  • ‘Stamp Office Spy Unmasked’ in The London Dispatch, 4 December 1836. p. 92.
  • ‘The Decrees of the Triumvirate – The Central National Association’ in The London Dispatch, 9 April 1837, p. 236.
  • ‘Working Men’s Associations’ in Lovett Papers, Birmingham Central Library, Vol. 1, letter dated 9 October 1837, f.109.
  • ‘Treatment of Political Prisoners’ in Lovett Papers, Birmingham Central Library, Vol. III, letter dated 24 October 1839, f.114.
  • ‘Mr Jenkins and the Halfpenny Magazine’ in The Halfpenny Magazine of Entertainment and Knowledge (hereafter Halfpenny Magazine), No. 2, 9 May 1840, pp. 9–10. (This ‘leader’ being an untitlted introduction to the magazine, the title is that given by David M. Smith)
  • ‘Why and Because’ in Halfpenny Magazine, No. 3, 16 May 1840, pp. 17–18.
  • ‘Poverty’ in Halfpenny Magazine, No. 4, 23 May 1840, pp. 25–27.
  • ‘Enjoyment Through the Senses’ in Halfpenny Magazine, No. 5, 30 May 1840, pp. 33–34.
  • ‘Socialism’ in Halfpenny Magazine, No. 6, 6 June 1840, pp. 41–42.
  • ‘The Religion of Socialism’ in Halfpenny Magazine, No. 7, 13 June 1840, pp. 49–51.
  • ‘Napoleon Bonaparte’ in Halfpenny Magazine, No. 8, 20 June 1840, pp. 57–58.
  • ‘Napoleon Bonaparte – II’ in Halfpenny Magazine, No. 9, 27 June 1840, pp. 65–67.
  • ‘Napoleon Boanaparte – III’ in Halfpenny Magazine, No. 10, 4 July 1840, pp. 73–76.
  • ‘Napoleon Bonaparte – IV’ in Halfpenny Magazine, No. 11, 11 July 1840, pp. 81–83.
  • ‘Napoleon Bonaparte – V’ in Halfpenny Magazine, No. 12, 18 July 1840, pp. 89–91.
  • ‘Napoleon Bonaparte – VI’ in Halfpenny Magazine, No. 13, 25 July 1840, pp. 97–99.
  • ‘Napoleon Bonaparte – VII’ in Halfpenny Magazine, No. 14, 1 August 1840, pp. 105–7.
  • ‘Chartism – Lovett and Collins’ in Halfpenny Magazine, No. 15, 8 August 1840, pp. 113–4.
  • ‘Napoleon Bonaparte – VIII’ in Halfpenny Magazine, No. 15, 8 August 1840, pp. 114–5.
  • ‘The Condition of the People – The Cotton Trade’ in Halfpenny Magazine’, No. 16, 15 August 1840, pp. 121–3.
  • ‘Napoleon Bonaparte – IX’ in Halfpenny Magazine, No. 16, 15 August 1840, pp. 123–4.
  • ‘Human Happiness’ in Halfpenny Magazine, No. 17, 22 August 1840, pp. 129–32.
  • ‘The Condition of the People – The Three Classes’ in Halfpenny Magazine, No. 18, 29 August 1840, pp. 137–9.
  • ‘The Condition of the People – The Dealing Class’ in Halfpenny Magazine, No. 19, 5 September 1840, pp. 145–7.
  • ‘The Condition of the People – The Idle Class’ in Halfpenny Magazine, No. 20, 12 September 1840, pp. 152–5.
  • ‘The Connection of Moral and Political Reform’ in Halfpenny Magazine, No. 21, 19 September 1840, pp. 161–3.
  • ‘The Scottish Character’ in Halfpenny Magazine, No. 22, 26 September 1840, pp. 169–71.
  • ‘The Ignorance of the Aristocracy’ in Halfpenny Magazine, No. 23, 3 October 1840, pp. 177–9.
  • ‘Robert Owen’ in Halfpenny Magazine, No. 24, 10 October 1840, pp. 185–7.
  • ‘The Dead Infant’ in Halfpenny Magazine, No. 25, 17 October 1840, pp. 193–5.
  • ‘Paper Money’ in Halfpenny Magazine, No. 26, 24 October 1840, pp. 201–4.
  • ‘Free-will and Necessity’ in Halfpenny Magazine, No. 27, 31 October 1840, pp. 209–13.
  • ‘War’ in Halfpenny Magazine, No. 28, 7 November 1840, pp. 217–20.
  • ‘Congress of nations’ in Halfpenny Magazine, No. 29, 14 November 1840, pp. 225–7.
  • ‘Peers, Parsons and Peasants’ in Halfpenny Magazine, No. 30, 21 November 1840, pp. 233–4.
  • ‘Corn, Currency and Cotton’ in Halfpenny Magazine, No. 31, 28 November 1840, pp. 241–3.
  • ‘Tories, Whigs and Radicals’ in Halfpenny Magazine, No. 32, 5 December 1840, pp. 249–51.
  • ‘Habit’ in Halfpenny Magazine, No. 33, 12Dec 1840, pp. 257–9.
  • ‘Decision of Character’ in Halfpenny Magazine, No. 34, 19 December 1840, pp. 263–5.
  • ‘Double Dealing’ in Halfpenny Magazine, No. 35, 26 December 1840, pp. 273–4.
  • ‘Bores and Bored’ in Halfpenny Magazine, No. 36, 2 January 1841, pp. 283–4.
  • ‘The Power of Goodness’ in Halfpenny Magazine, No. 37, 9 January 1841, pp. 289–90.
  • ‘The Ruling Passion’ in Halfpenny Magazine, No. 38, 16 January 1841, pp. 297–98.
  • ‘The System of Nature’ in Halfpenny Magazine, No. 39, 23 January 1841, pp. 305–9.
  • ‘Congress of Nations [2]’ in Halfpenny Magazine, No. 40, 30 January 1841, pp. 313–5.
  • ‘The Immortality of the Soul’ in Halfpenny Magazine, No. 42, 13 February 1841, pp. 329–31.
  • ‘The Eternity of the Universe – Section 1’ in Halfpenny Magazine, No. 45, 6 March 1841, pp. 353–4.
  • ‘The Eternity of the Universe – Section 2’ in Halfpenny Magazine, No. 46, 13 March 1841, pp. 361–2.
  • ‘To the Editor of the Northern Star’ in The Northern Star, 8 May 1841.
  • ‘To Feargus O’Connor, Esq, “One of the Aristocracy”‘ in The Northern Star, 12 June 1841, p. 7.
  • ‘Mr. O’Connor and the London Committee Men’, by Hetherington and others, in The Northern Star, 10 July 1841, p. 3.
  • ‘Challenge to Feargus O’Connor, Esq’ in The Northern Star, 18 September 1841, p. 7.
  • ‘To the Political and Social Reformers of the United Kingdom’, by Hetherington and William Lovett, in The Northern Star, 25 September 1841, p. 6.
  • ‘Is Man a Free Agent, or is he Subject to a Law of Necessity?’ in The Library of Reason, No. 9, c.1844, pp. 1–5. The only extant copies of this periodical are the bound 2nd edition of 1851.
  • ‘The Influence of Habit on the Human Character’ in The Reasoner, Vol. 2, No. 29, 1847, pp. 13–16.
  • ‘Address of the Social Friends’ Society’ in The Reasoner, Vol 2, 1847, pp. 119–20.
  • ‘A Few Plain Words on Communism’ in The Reasoner, Vol. 4, No. 97, 1848, pp. 253–56.
  • ‘Last Will and Testament’ in The Life and Character of Henry Hetherington. Ed: George Jacob Holyoake. London: James Watson, 1849, pp. 5–6. Also reprinted in Ambrose G. Barker. Henry Hetherington. 1792-1849. Pioneer in the Freethought and working class Struggles of a Hundred Years Ago for the Freedom of the Press. London: Pioneer Press, 1938, pp. 57–60.

During his career Hetherington made a great number of speeches, and many of these were reported in the press. The following are speeches which, by their length, can be considered a good representation of Hetherington’s views, plus his ability as a speaker – in essence, they are of article length. There are numerous other occasions when Hetherington spoke at a meeting, but either he spoke only briefly or the reporter edited the speech to the extent that what remains is a short precis, and cannot provide any real information.

  • 2 August 1829, in Weekly Free Press, 8 August 1829.
  • 14 October 1829, in Weekly Free Press, 21 October 1829.
  • 3 November 1829, in Weekly Free Press, 3 November 1829.
  • 27 October 1830, in The Magazine of Useful Knowledge and Co-operative Miscellany, No. 3, 30 October 1830, p. 43.
  • 4 November 1830, in The Magazine of Useful Knowledge and Co-operative Miscellany, No. 4, 13 November 1830, p. 59.
  • 10 January 1831, in Penny Papers for the People, 15 January 1831, p. 6.
  • 21 March 1831, in Penny Papers for the People, 26 March 1831, pp. 7–8.
  • 11 April 1831, in Republican; or, Voice of the People, 16 April 1831, pp. 15–16.
  • 16 May 1831, in Republican; or, Voice of the People, 21 May 1831, pp. 2–4.
  • 25 July 1831, in Coventry Herald and Observer, 29 July 1831, p. 4.
  • 8 August 1831, in Poor Man’s Guardian, 27 August 1831, pp. 61–62.
  • 14 September 1831, in Poor Man’s Guardian, 17 September 1831, pp. 86–87.
  • 19 March 1832, in Poor Man’s Guardian, 24 March 1832, pp. 322–3.
  • 26 March 1832, in Poor Man’s Guardian, 31 March 1832, p. 330.
  • 2 April 1832, in Poor Man’s Guardian, 7 April 1832, p. 339.
  • 25 June 1832, in Poor Man’s Guardian, 30 June 1832, p. 442.
  • 30 June 1832, in The Political Unionist, 2 July 1832, p. 16; Also in Poor Man’s Guardian, 4 August 1832, p. 482.
  • 9 October 1832, in Brighton Herald, 13 October 1832.
  • 31 October 1832, in Henry Hunt, Lecture on the Conduct of the Whigs, to the Working Classes, delivered at Lawrence Street Chapel, Birmingham, on Wednesday, 31 October 1832. London: William Strange, 1832, p. 6.
  • 1 July 1833, in Poor Man’s Guardian, 6 July 1833, pp. 215–17.
  • 23 September 1833, in Weekly True Sun, 6 October 1833, p. 2.
  • 2 December 1833, in Poor Man’s Guardian, 7 December 1833, p. 393.
  • 13 July 1836, in Lovett Papers, Birmingham Central Library, Vol. I, f.5.
  • 5 December 1836, in Lovett Papers, Birmingham Central Library, Vol. I, f.14.
  • Oct 1837, in Lovett Papers, Birmingham Central Library, Vol. I, f.53.
  • Nov 1837, in Lovett Papers, Birmingham Central Library, Vol. I, ff.136-7.
  • 12 December 1837, in Birmingham Journal, 16 December 1837, p. 3; Also in Lovett Papers, Birmingham Central Library, Vol. II, ff.153-4.
  • 17 September 1838, in The Northern Star, 22 September 1838, pp. 2–3; Also in Lovett Papers, Birmingham Central Library, Vol. II, 242-3; Also in The Times, 18 September 1838.
  • 11 April 1839, in The Northern Star, 20 April 1839, p. 6.
  • 22 April 1839, in The Northern Star, 27 April 1839, p. 1.
  • 25 April 1839, in Lovett Papers, Birmingham Central Library, Vol. II, f.360, same as Vol. III, ff.1-2.
  • Late April 1839, in Shrewsbury Chronicle, 3 May 1839; Also in The Times, 6 May 1839, p. 5.
  • 28 December 1842, in The Northern Star, 31 December 1841.
  • 10 June 1844, in The Movement, 22 June 1844, pp. 220–22. Also see Ambrose G. Barker. Henry Hetherington. 1792-1849. Pioneer in the Freethought and Working Class Struggles of a Hundred Years Ago for the Freedom of the Press. London: Pioneer Press, 1938, pp. 43–46.
  • 27 August 1844, in The Movement, 7 September 1844, pp. 323–25
  • 15 November 1844, in The Movement, 27 November 1844, pp. 433–34.
  • 19 June 1849, in The Northern Star, 23 June 1849, p. 5.
  • 30 July 1849, in The Northern Star, 4 August 1849, p. 1.

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Regency Personalities Series
In my attempts to provide us with the details of the Regency, today I continue with one of the many period notables.

William Lovett
1800 – 1877


William Lovett

William Lovett was a British activist who was a leader of the political movement Chartism as well being as one of the leading London-based Artisan Radicals of his generation.

A proponent of the idea that political rights could be garnered through political pressure and non-violent agitation, Lovett retired from more overt forms of political activity after a year of imprisonment on the political charge of seditious libel in 1839-1840, and subsequently devoted himself to the National Association for Promoting the Political and Social Improvement of the People, desiring to improve the lives of the poor workers and their children by means of a Chartist educational programme put into practice.

Born in the Cornish town of Newlyn in 1800, Lovett moved to London as a young man seeking work as a cabinet maker. He was self-educated, became a member of the Cabinetmakers Society, and later its President. He rose to national political prominence as founder of the Anti-Militia Association (slogan: ‘no vote, no musket’), and was active in wider trade unionism through the Metropolitan Trades Union and Owenite socialism. In 1831, during the Reform Act agitation, he helped form the National Union of the Working Classes with radical colleagues Henry Hetherington and James Watson. After the passage of the Reform Act he turned, with Hetherington, to the campaign to repeal taxes on newspapers known as the War of the Unstamped. However, Lovett is best known for his role in the Chartist movement. Chartism, a campaign for parliamentary reforms intended to correct of the inequities remaining after the Reform Act of 1832, spanned roughly 1838 to 1850.

In June 1836 Lovett founded the London Working Men’s Association with several radical colleagues including Hetherington. The LWMA’s membership was restricted to 100 working men, although it admitted 35 honorary members including the later Chartist leader Feargus O’Connor. Other honorary members included radical MP’s, but the LWMA was strictly a working-class organisation, unlike groups such as the Birmingham Political Union, whose executive was dominated by the middle-class. The original purpose of the LWMA was education, but in 1838 Lovett and fellow Radical Francis Place drafted a parliamentary bill which was the foundation of the Peoples’ Charter, and the Association was effectively sidetracked into Chartism. The Bill was signed by Lovett and five other LWMA members, along with six Radical MPs including Daniel O’Connell.

Like most leading Chartists, Lovett was arrested. In February 1839 the first Chartist Convention met in London, and on 4 February 1839 unanimously elected Lovett as its Secretary. The Convention later moved to Birmingham. Many supporters gathered in the city’s Bull Ring, but local authorities had prohibited assembly there, and several were arrested. The Convention condemned the actions of police in breaking up the “riot”, and posted placards which described the police who put down the riot as a “bloodthirsty and unconstitutional force”. Lovett, as secretary, accepted responsibility for the placards, and was arrested along with John Collins, who had taken the placards to a printer. Lovett and Collins were later found guilty of seditious libel, and were sentenced to twelve months imprisonment in Warwick Gaol. They were released in July 1840.

While in prison Lovett, with Collins, wrote “Chartism, a New Organisation of the People”, which focused on Chartist Education. Once released Lovett retired from politics, and in 1841 formed the National Association for Promoting the Political and Social Improvement of the People, an educational body. The body was to implement his New Move educational initiative, through which he hoped poor workers and their children would be able to better themselves. The New Move was to be funded through a 1 penny per week subscription paid by those Chartists who had signed the national petition. Hetherington and Place supported the move, but O’Connor opposed the scheme in the Northern Star, believing it would distract Chartists from the main aim of having the petition implemented. The New Move was unable to generate the popular support that Lovett had hoped for. Membership never surpassed 5000, and education was limited to Sunday schools. The National Association Hall was opened in 1842, but closed in 1857 when the operation was evicted. Lovett opened a bookshop, and wrote his autobiography, The Life and Struggles of William Lovett, in 1877. He died impoverished the following year.

Lovett was a moral-force Chartist, and decried the use or threat of violence to achieve political change. He believed in temperance, and was a staunch advocate of sobriety. Against the educational standards of the time, he believed in teaching methods founded on kindness and compassion.

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Regency Personalities Series
In my attempts to provide us with the details of the Regency, today I continue with one of the many period notables.

Francis Place
November 3 1771 to January 1 1854


Born in a debtor’s prison, but not the child of a debtor. His father oversaw the prison near Drury Lane. Place was schooled for ten years before being apprenticed to a leather-breeches maker. (DWW-Images of Motorcycle riders and leather pants come to mind. In vogue 200 years ago) By 18 he was a journeyman. In 1790 he married and moved to a house near the Strand. In 1793 he became the leader of a strike of leather-breeches makers, and was refused work for years after by the master tailors.

In 1794 he joined the London Corresponding Society, a reform club but resigned in 1797 when the direction of the club to turned to violent tactics and rhetoric. 1799 saw him a partner in a tailor’s shop and 1800 he had his own at 16 Charing Cross.

He withdrew from politics but studied each night for 3 hours. Then, overtime his library grew in the shop and it became a meeting place for radicals. In 1807 he supported Sir Francis Burdett, the 5th Baronet, and met William Godwin, James Mill, Robert Owen, Jeremy Bentham, Joseph Hume and John Stuart Mill. When he retired in 1817 he went to live with Bentham and Mills at Ford Abbey.

He started then his work to organize for public education. Though he had 15 children he now campaigned for the use of contraception. In 1822 he published Illustrations and Proofs of the Principles of Population. He lobbied for Trade Unionism. In 1827 his wife died of cancer and he became depressed. But in 1830 remarried an actress (who might have been a little bit circumspect in her respectability.) Place seems to walk a line of advocating change without the radicalism and violence that was taking place in Northern England.

In 1838 he and William Lovett drafted the People’s Charter. When the Chartists began to advocate violence he left the movement. He died in 1854. He had hoarded a great many documents from his involvement with these reform movements and they are in the British Library as the Francis Place Collection.

Previous Notables (Click to see the Blog):

George III George IV Georgiana Cavendish
William IV Lady Hester Stanhope Lady Caroline Lamb
Princess Charlotte Queen Charlotte Charles James Fox
Queen Adelaide Dorothea Jordan Jane Austen
Maria Fitzherbert Lord Byron John Keats
Princess Caroline Percy Bysshe Shelley Cassandra Austen
Edmund Kean Thomas Clarkson Sir John Moore
John Burgoyne William Wilberforce Richard Brinsley Sheridan
Sarah Siddons Josiah Wedgwood Emma Hamilton
Hannah More John Phillip Kemble John Jervis, Earl St. Vincent
Ann Hatton Stephen Kemble Mary Robinson
Harriet Mellon Zachary Macaulay George Elphinstone
Thomas Babington George Romney Mary Moser
Ozias Humphry William Hayley Daniel Mendoza
Edward Pellew Angelica Kauffman Sir William Hamilton
David Garrick Pownoll Bastard Pellew Charles Arbuthnot
William Upcott William Huskisson Dominic Serres
Sir George Barlow Scrope Davies Charles Francis Greville
George Stubbs Fanny Kemble Thomas Warton
William Mason Thomas Troubridge Charles Stanhope
Robert Fulke Greville Gentleman John Jackson Ann Radcliffe
Edward ‘Golden Ball’ Hughes John Opie Adam Walker
John Ireland Henry Pierrepoint Robert Stephenson
Mary Shelley Sir Joshua Reynolds

There will be many other notables coming, a full and changing list can be found here on the blog as I keep adding to it. The list so far is:

Sir Francis Burdett

William Godwin

James Mill

Robert Owen

Jeremy Bentham

Joseph Hume

John Stuart Mill

Claire Clairmont

William Lovett

Fanny Imlay

William Godwin

Mary Wollstonecraft

General Sir Robert Arbuthnot

Harriet Fane Arbuthnot

Richard Harding Evans
Joseph Antonio Emidy
William Gifford
John Wolcot (Peter Pindar)
Amelia Opie
Sir Joseph Banks
Richard Porson
Eva Marie Veigel
Edward Gibbon
James Smithson
William Cowper
Richard Cumberland
Richard Cosway
Jacob Phillipp Hackert
Maria Foote
Sir George Warren
John Thomas Serres
Wellington (the Military man)
Horatio Nelson
William Vincent
Cuthbert Collingwood
Admiral Sir Graham Moore
Admiral Sir William Sydney Smith
Henry Dundas, 1st Viscount Melville
Viscount Hood
Thomas Hope
Colin Mccaulay
Baroness de Calabrella
Thomas Babington Macaulay
Napoleon Bonaparte
Admiral Israel Pellew
General Banastre Tarleton
Henry Paget
Francis Leggatt Chantrey
Stapleton Cotton
Sir Charles Grey
Thomas Picton
Thomas Lawrence
James Northcote
Thomas Gainsborough
James Gillray
George Stubbs
Joseph Priestley
William Aubrey de Vere Beauclerk 9th Duke of St. Albans
Hugh Percy, 3rd Duke of Northumberland
Horace Walpole
John Thomas ‘Antiquity’ Smith
Thomas Coutts
William Blake
Isambard Kingdom Brunel
Sir Marc Brunel
Marquis of Stafford George Leveson-Gower
George Stephenson
Nicholas Wood
George Parker Bidder
Edward Pease
Thomas Telford
Joseph Locke
Paul III Anton, Prince Esterházy
Thomas Egerton, 2nd Earl of Wilton
Henry Herbert Southey
John Nash
Matthew Gregory Lewis
Samuel Taylor Coleridge
Thomas Hope
William Beechey
Henry Holland
Sir Walter Scott
Lord Elgin
Henry Moyes
Jeffery Wyatville
Hester Thrale
William Windham
Madame de Stael
James Boswell
Edward Eliot
George Combe
William Harrison Ainsworth
Sir Harry Smith
Thomas Cochrane
Warren Hastings
Edmund Burke
Charles Lennox, 3rd Duke of Richmond
Juana Maria de Los Dolores de Leon (Lady Smith)
Duke of Argyll, George William Campbell (1766-1839)
Lord Barrymore, Richard Barry (1769-1794)
Lord Bedford, Francis Russell (1765-1802)
Mr. G. Dawson Damer (1788-1856)
Duke of Devonshire, William Cavendish (1748-1811)
Lord Foley, Thomas Foley (1780-1833)
Colonel George Hanger (c.1751-1824)
Lord Hertford, Francis Seymour-Ingram (1743-1822)
Lord Yarmouth, Francis Charles Seymour-Ingram (1777-1842)
Earl of Jersey, George Bussey Villiers (1735-1805)
Sir John , John Lade (1759-1838)
Duke of Norfolk, Charles Howard (1746-1815)
Duke of York , Frederick Augustus Hanover (1763-1827)
Louis Philippe Joseph, Duc de Chartres, acceded 1785 as Duc d’ Orleans (1747-1793)
Louis Philippe, Duc de Chartres, acceded 1793 as Duc d’ Orleans (1773-1850)
Captain John (Jack) Willett Payne (1752-1803)
Duke of Queensberry, William Douglas (1724-1810)
Duke of Rutland, John Henry Manners(1778-1857)
Lord Sefton, William Philip Molyneux (1772-1838)
Admiral Lord Hugh Seymour (1759-1801)
Sir Lumley St. George Skeffington Baronet (1771 – 1850)
Lord Worcester, Henry Somerset (1766-1835)
Lord Worcester, Henry Somerset (1792-1853)
Hon. Frederick Gerald aka “Poodle” Byng

The Dandy Club
        Beau Brummell
        William Arden, 2nd Baron Alvanley
        Henry Mildmay

Patronesses of Almacks
        Emily Lamb, Lady Cowper
        Amelia Stewart, Viscountess Castlereagh
        Sarah Villiers, Countess of Jersey
        Maria Molyneux, Countess of Sefton
        Mrs. Drummond Burrell
        Dorothea Lieven, Countess de Lieven, wife of the Russian Ambassador
        Countess Esterhazy, wife of the Austrian Ambassador

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