Wednesday, 30 March 2016

55 Old Bailey: the Chartist meeting rooms

The history of Chartism has been told largely through the people who shaped and in turn were shaped by the Chartist movement, their words and actions, and the ideas they developed and passed on to future generations.

But there is another way of looking at their history, by investigating the spaces and places that were important to the Chartists.

One such location stood at 55 Old Bailey, which in the early 1840s offered a home to the City of London Chartists and enabled them to organise more effectively than was possible when they had to rely on hiring meeting rooms one evening at a time.

The Chartist Hall was somewhere the Chartists could collect and count the names on their petition to Parliament, discuss business, host Chartist lectures and sermons, sell radical newspapers and hold convivial social events.

It was also the venue in which the City of London Female Charter Association met, and from which emerged two of the most interesting of all the women who were drawn to the Chartist movement: Mary Ann Walker and Susanna Inge.

The story of 55 Old Bailey can be found here.

Read more about Chartism, space and place in this interview with Dr Katrina Navickas.

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