Friday, 2 March 2012

2,500 Chartists from Lancashire

The names of more than 2,500 Lancashire subscribers to the Chartist land plan have now been added to Chartist Ancestors. You can see them here.
The names are taken from a share register held at the National Archives in London, and almost all entries include both an occupation and at least a partial address.
The Chartist Cooperative Land Society was launched by the National Charter Association in 1845 with the aim of resettling industrial workers from the cities on smallholdings, making them independent of factory employers and potentially qualifying them for the vote.
Chartists were invited to subscribe regular amounts towards an eventual £2.50 (£2/10s) share in the venture. Soon the money began to flood in, pennies and shillings at a time, and was deposited in an account held by Feargus O'Connor in the London Joint Stock Bank.
The idea – eventually carried into reality in five locations – was to allocate parcels of land by lot.
By early 1848, when Chartism itself was once again on the rise following a lengthy period in the doldrums after the failure of the 1842 petition, more than 70,000 supporters had subscribed.
The work of transcribing the names of subscribers in Lancashire was carried out by Professor Jamie Bronstein of New Mexico State University during the course of her PhD research in the early 1990s. Chartist Ancestors is grateful to her for permission to reproduce the lists here, believing that many family historians will find something of interest in them.
Still to come are the names of subscribers in:
These will be added over the next few weeks. I’m hoping to get them all up by Christmas.