Thursday, 7 June 2012

Blue Plaque for Chartist William Cuffay

William Cuffay, among the most iconic figures in Chartism, is to get a one of London’s famous commemorative Blue Plaques.

The plaque will be placed on 409 Strand, on the site of his former central London home; and former TGWU union general secretary Lord Bill Morris has agreed to do the unveiling, which should take place, all being well, some time in the autumn of 2012.

The campaign to get the plaque has been masterminded by author and academic Martin Hoyles, whose book on Cuffay should be out soon. Here is an interview with Hoyles back in 2008, when he was still in the early stages of the project.

I am indebted to Professor Malcolm Chase for news of this event, which first appeared in his email-based Chartism Newsletter. To get on the circulation list, Google Malcolm Chase in the School of History at Leeds University and drop him an email (I’m not publishing his email address here to spare him the inevitable spamming).

On the subject of Cuffay (whose name also appears as Cuffey and Cuffy in contemporary sources), I also came across this excellent William Cuffay website.

Cuffay was  black London radical who was arrested in 1848 and transported to Australia when police foiled the Orange Tree plot to seize the centre of the capital and spark a general revolution.