Thursday, July 17, 2008

Chartist Meeting on Blackheath, 1844

Following on from the previous two posts, here a report of another radical gathering on Blackheath, this time a Chartist meeting from 1844 featuring Chartist leader Feargus O'Connor. Not sure whereabouts Princess Sophia's estate was, maybe a Blackheather can enlighten us (Blackheath Bugle are you out there?)

On Wednesday a meeting was held on Blackheath, near to the Princess Sophia's estate, pursuant to announcement, for the purpose (according to the placards) of considering the propriety of petitioning Parliament against three measures now before the house - namely, the Registration for Ireland Bill, the Commons Enclosure Bill, and the Twelve Hours' Factory Bill. A van was used as a platform, on which there were some half dozen speakers, of which Mr. Feargus O'Connor was the chief. The chair having been taken at 7 o'clock, Mr. M'Donell proposed a resolution and the adoption of a petition based upon the principles of the Charter, but more especially praying that the Registration for Ireland Bill, as proposed by Lord Eliot, might not pass into a law, as the provisions of the bill were calculated to curtail the privileges which ought to be enjoyed by the community at large.

Mr O'Connor addressed the meeting at great length, and dwelt very forcibly upon the hardships endured by factory women and children, and called upon those assembled to use their best endeavours in relieving that unfortunate class of labourers from the yoke which they laboured under. The speaker then referred to the other subjects set down for discussion, and contended that the only effectual remedy for the evil was making the Charter the law of the land. Another resolution and a second petition were afterwards moved and adopted, which, however, varied little in principle from the first, and some time after sunset, the meeting dispersed.

(The Times, May 17 1844)

1 comment:

Andrew Brown said...

I'm pretty sure that Princess Sophia lived in the Pagoda.