Monday, 11 April 2016

Where did those alloted land under the Chartist land plan come from?

The Chartist land plan was a bold if doomed attempt to settle industrial workers on smallholdings bought with the shareholder contributions of thousands of ordinary Chartists.

Although the plan collapsed amid acrimony and accusations of illegality, it succeeded in allocating land and cottages to some 250 Chartists. The map below shows the location of the settlements and home towns of the settlers.

The map is colour coded. Each settlement is shown as a star: Lowbands in red; Dodford in green; Minster Lovell in blue; Snig’s End in yellow; and Heronsgate (otherwise known as O’Connorville) in brown).

Those who were allocated land at Lowbands, Snig’s End, Heronsgate and Minster Lovell are colour coded in the same way, using placemarkers (the upside-down teardrop shape). Dodford was only ever partially settled because of the legal and parliamentary disputes over the land plan.

By ticking and unticking the boxes to the left of the screen, you should be able to control which group of settlers show at any one time. First click the icon to the top left of the map that gives you a larger version of the map.

As can be seen from the map, there is a concentration of settlers from Lancashire and West Yorkshire. There is little surprise in this as Chartism was particularly strong in these areas, so drawing names by lot was always likely to result in a good showing for the region.

However, one of the most striking aspects of the map is that it shows the wide geographical spread of supporters allocated land – from Aberdeen in the north to Torquay in the south west. Interestingly, although a number of Chartists were clearly living in France at the point where they were allotted their smallholding (their names, however, are decidedly un-French), there were none from Ireland.

A small number of those allocated land are not shown on the map. This is because their address is given by the Northern Star as "office list",

There is more information on Chartist Ancestors about the land plan and the Chartist land company which ran it.

Find out more...

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