Tuesday, 17 November 2015

Was your ancestor a Manchester Chartist?

Manchester was a hotbed of the Chartist movement, so it comes as no surprise to discover that hundreds signed up to support the Chartist land plan.

Thanks to the hard work of Dr Katrina Navickas, Chartist Ancestors can now name 644 men and women who subscribed a few hard-earned shillings towards shares in the Chartist Land Company, hoping that they might be allocated a cottage and smallholding to farm.

Go straight to the list of names.

The names come from the Chartist Land Company share register, now held in the National Archives. Handwritten and often hard to decipher, the names are the most comprehensive guide we now have to the identities of the thousands of Chartists who never featured in newspaper or court reports.

So, if you have an Elizabeth Barton, seamstress, of 1 Haighs Court, London Road, or a Robert Bellis, tripe dealer, of 30 Pollard Street in your family tree, you can now add “Chartist” to what you know about them.

Dr Navickas, senior lecturer in history at the University of Hertfordshire, transcribed the names while researching her new book Protest and the Politics of Space and Place, 1789-1848.

In almost all cases, the entries include a first name and surname, occupation and full address.

This valuable new resource adds to the database of more than 5,000 named subscribers to the Chartist land plan from other Lancashire towns which is already available.

I am immensely grateful to Dr Navickas for sharing the Manchester names. She has also kindly let me have a second list covering Manchester nominations to the General Convention from 1841-1842. More on this will follow in due course.

In the mean time, please have a look at the Manchester land plan names and find out more about Protest and the Politics of Space and Place, 1789-1848. You can even buy a copy here.

Find out more about Manchester Chartists on Chartist Ancestors.

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