A Chronology Of The Chartist Movement

Chartism & The Chartists Musings, information & illustrations about the Chartists from Stephen Roberts

1836 London Working Men's Association established. William Lovett is secretary (June).

1837 East London Democratic Association established (January); Birmingham Political Union re-established (May); First issue of Northern Star appears in Leeds. Feargus O'Connor is proprietor and William Hill editor (November).

1838 Great Northern Union established in Leeds by O'Connor (January); The People's Charter, in the main the work of Lovett, published in London. National Petition launched in Birmingham (May); Northern Political Union established in Newcastle (June); Great meetings in Birmingham (August) and on Kersal Moor, Manchester, (September) emphasize emergence of national protest movement.

1839 National Convention of 53 delegates meets in London (February); Re-locates to Birmingham (May); Bull Ring riots lead to arrest of Lovett and others. House of Commons refuses to consider by 235 votes to 46 National Petition of 1,280,000 signatures. Sales of Star reach 50,000 a week (July); A 'sacred month' of strikes abandoned amid arrests (August). Newport Rising results in some 22 deaths and 125 arrests (November).

1840 Small scale risings in Sheffield and Bradford (January); Newport leaders transported (February); O'Connor imprisoned for seditious libel (May); National Charter Association established as organizing force of the movement (July).

1841 National Association established by Lovett and denounced in the Star (April); Chartist candidates appear on hustings in general election (July); O'Connor released from prison (August).

1842 Launch of Complete Suffrage Union in Birmingham (January); National Convention meets in London (April); House of Commons refuses to consider by 287 votes to 49 National Petition of 3,317,752 signatures (May); Strikes against wage cuts and in support of People's Charter widely supported in industrial districts. Many of Chartist leaders arrested (August); CSU conference in Birmingham encounters hostility from Chartists (December).

1843 Trial of O'Connor and other Chartists at Lancaster. Not sentenced, but others tried elsewhere, including Thomas Cooper, imprisoned (March); Joshua Hobson becomes editor of the Northern Star (August); Land question discussed at Chartist Convention in Birmingham (September).

1844 Lecture tours maintained by O'Connor and other leaders such as Thomas Clark (January-March); Land question discussed at Chartist Convention in Manchester (April).

1845 Chartist Co-operative Land Society established (April); Fraternal Democrats established in London. George Julian Harney is secretary of this internationalist organization (September); Harney becomes editor of the Northern Star (October); Land Plan considered by special conference in Manchester (December).

1846 Heronsgate, the first Land Plan estate, acquired (March); Cooper's arguments with O'Connor culminate in his expulsion from Chartist Convention at Leeds (August); National Land Company created (December).

1847 Land Plan journal, the Labourer, edited by Ernest Jones, appears. Land Bank opens (January); Heronsgate opens as O'Connorville (May); O'Connor elected MP for Nottingham (July); Chartist estate of Lowbands opens (August).

1848 National Convention meets in London; Kennington Common demonstration; Committee of House of Commons examines National Petition and reports far fewer signatures than claimed (April); National Assembly meets; Arming and drilling in the north (May); Chartist estates of Snigs End and Minster Lovell opened. Committee of House of Commons considers Land Company. Plots in London. Jones and other leaders arrested (June-August).

1849 National Parliamentary and Financial Reform Association established (January); O'Connor's motion in House of Commons for the People's Charter defeated. Chartist estate of Dodford opened (July).

1850 National Charter League, led by Clark, established (April); Red Republican, edited by Harney, appears (June); Jones released from prison (July).

1851 O'Connor opposes alliance with NPFRA at Chartist Conference in Manchester (January); Chartists Conference in London adopts socialist programme (March); Notes to the People, edited by Jones, appears (May); Act of Parliament to wind up Land Company (August); Northern Star is sold (December).

1852 Northern Star re-emerges as Harney's Star of Freedom (April); People's Paper is launched by Jones (May); O'Connor arrested in House of Commons and taken to Tuke's asylum (June).

1855 40,000 attend O'Connor's funeral (September).

1857 O'Connorville sold (May).

1858 Last Chartist Convention (February).