Exploring the Life and Legacy of Mark Hovell, 9 June. 3-5pm
2016 marks the centenary of the death of the pioneering historian of Chartism, Mark Hovell. Hovell (born Manchester, 1888) had been a student and later a lecturer at the University of Manchester specialising in nineteenth century history. He had almost completed a book on the history of Chartism when he was called to the Western Front in July 1916. Before leaving, he entrusted his manuscript to his friend and mentor, the medievalist Professor Thomas Tout, requesting that should anything happen to him, Tout would see the book through to publication. Hovell died a month trying to rescue colleagues from the fumes of a mine explosion.
The Chartist Movement was completed by Tout and published in 1918. Hovell’s work was the first scholarly study of its subject and profoundly influential. Organised as part of the University of Manchester’s First World War series, this event will mark the centenary of Hovell’s death and serve as an opportunity to reflect on the life, work and legacy of a scholar whose research in Chartism remained in print for over half a century – an unparalleled achievement.
Speakers will include Malcolm Chase and Ian Wood (University of Leeds), and Henry Miller and Michael Sanders (University of Manchester).
People’s History Museum, Left Bank. Manchester, M3 3ER
Free – but booking is required via Eventbrite:
Chartism Day 11 June
Kate Bowan (Canberra): The Marseillaise and British radicalism
Victoria Clarke (Leeds): Pledges and pint pot politics: journalistic representations of the rise of temperance Chartism
Jacob Dengate (Aberystwyth): The “time honoured humbug of our ancestors”: Helen Macfarlane’s critique of the British constitution and late Chartism, 1849-50
Josh Gibson (Cambridge): Chartism and the age of democratic revolutions
Katrina Navickas (Hertfordshire): The meanings of space and place in the Chartist movement
Paul Pickering (Canberra): ‘The Celestial Empire’: Chartists and the Far East
Matthew Roberts (Sheffield): Chartism and Repeal: parallel movements
Michael Sanders (Manchester): ‘Tilting with the Parsons’: Chartism’s challenge to the Churches, 1840-1842
Department of History and Archaeology, University of Chester
Further details or to register contact Mike Huggins
Indispensible source of information and news about all Welsh Chartist matters, publications and events. Available from
You can now access as a single database details of over 10,000 (yes, ten-thousand!) Chartists. See
Other recent additions include portraits and a wealth of new research on the London Chartists Susanna Inge and Mary Ann Walker, as well as for Major Bartlomiej Beniowski (‘Chartism’s Military Adviser’) and an interview with Stephen Roberts about Dorothy Thompson as a teacher and a scholar.
Parliament and the Chartist Petition
The 1842 National Petition is the featured petition of the month for March on the website of the House of Commons Select Committee on Petitions. See
Death or Liberty
A feature length ‘drama-doc’ narrating the story of the Chartists and other convict rebels exiled ‘to the prison without walls’. Recently released in Australia, a trailer and further information can be found here
Publications on Chartism, 2015: Addenda
John P H Frearson, John Frearson of Manchester and Birmingham: the forgotten socialist c. 1811-1888 (Rugby: John Frearson Publications, 2015). Available from publisher, price £6.50 (incl. UK p&p), see
(Chartist bookseller and speaker in Manchester; re-located to Birmingham where he established the Saturday half-holiday; later ran a temperance hotel. Invented the cross-head screwdriver)
David Mills, William Foster Geach (Gelligaer, 2015). Available from 153 Electra House, Falcon Drive, Cardiff, CF10 4RD. Price £9 (incl. p&p; cheques payable to David Mills)
(Geach was John Frost’s stepson and his solicitor when he was tried for treason after the Newport Rising. Geach was himself tried for forgery and sentenced to transportation the following August.)
Jen Morgan, ‘Uses of Shelley in Working-Class Culture: Approximations and Substitutions’, Key Words 13 (2015), 117–136.
Simon Rennie, ‘The Poetic Negotiations of a Gentleman Radical: Ernest Jones and the “Mighty Mind”‘, Victorian Poetry, 53:1 (2015), 57-76
Simon Rennie, ‘Myth, Land, and History in the Poetry of James Clarence Mangan and Ernest Jones’, Identity papers: a journal of British and Irish studies, 1:2 (2015 – open access journal available from
The recent death of the historian of Asa Briggs, a formative influence on Chartist Studies (the title of the book he edited in 1959) has been rightly and widely reported. But another notable nonagenarian to whom everyone who cares about Chartism is indebted died recently. Gordon Long, (born 1927) was a key figure in ensuring that Rosedene, the last unmodernised Chartist Land Plan cottage and smallholding, was preserved for the future. The property was acquired by the National Trust. With his wife Zoë (who died in 2010) Gordon devoted much of an exceptionally active retirement to promoting and caring for Rosedene. There’s an obituary at
Guided tours of Rosedene resumed this month. See
Edited from Malcolm Chase’s Chartism Newsletter.
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