In July 1840 a convention of twenty-three delegates met at the Griffin Inn, Great Ancoats Street, Manchester. Elected by Chartist bodies from across Britain, their purpose was to put together a plan for reorganising the movement following a year of repression, in which much of their leadership had been imprisoned, transported, or forced into exile. On July 20 the delegates agreed a plan for a permanent organisation of all the Chartist groups across the country within ‘one Society to be Called “The National Charter Association of Great Britain”’. With this they made history: the formation of the first working-class, mass-member political party in the world.
Author: Tom Scriven
Why has commemoration tended to deprive the Tolpuddle martyrs of their political acumen and capable militancy? To coincide with the annual Tolpuddle Martyr’s Festival, Tom Scriven explores omissions from the ‘martyrdom narrative’ of the six Dorchester labourers who are at the centre of these events.