arrowbookcheckclosecommentfacebookfavourite-origfavouritegooglehomeibapdfsearchsharespotlighttwitterwelsh-government

The Newport Uprising

On the 4th November 1839 a group of over 4,000 men marched on Newport from the surrounding valleys and villages to demand the ‘Peoples Charter’ be made law.

The Peoples Charter had six points: A vote for every man over 21; A secret ballot so voters could vote without intimidation; No property qualifications for MPs allowing any man to stand for parliament; The payment of MPs, so ordinary men could become MPs; Equal constituencies to ensure the same representation for the same number of votes and annual parliaments to keep MPs accountable. In June 1839, a petition had been presented to Parliament calling for the Peoples Charter to be made law. It was immediately rejected. If government would not acknowledge the petition then more aggressive tactics would be sought.

John Frost, a former mayor and magistrate of Newport, led Chartists from the Rhymney and Sirhowy valleys into Newport. With other men from the Ebbw and Eastern Valleys, they marched down Stow Hill in Newport and gathered outside the Westgate Hotel where Chartist prisoners were being held. Inside, the Mayor - Thomas Phillips was waiting with Special Constables and soldiers from the 45th Regiment.

No one knows who fired the first shot but the 45th Regiment flew open the shutters of the Westgate Hotel and fired into the crowd. The Chartists scattered in panic. They did not think the soldiers, who were working men like them, would fire. That day, twenty two Chartists were killed. Had the Newport Uprising been successful, it would have been a signal to other Chartists across Britain to rise up and take power.

John Frost fled into Friars Fields – a notorious slum, where he was captured at a friend’s house. When he was arrested three pistols were seized from him. The government was terrified of a rebellion and sentenced Frost and the other leaders to be hanged, drawn and quartered for High Treason. This was later commuted to Transportation to Tasmania. In 1856, they were unconditionally pardoned.

Today all of the six points of the Peoples Charter are law, except annual parliaments.

There are 39 items in this collection

  • 135
  • login to save
  • 113
  • login to save
  • 130
  • login to save
  • 168
  • login to save
  • 107
  • login to save
  • 107
  • login to save
  • 102
  • login to save
  • 143
  • login to save
  • 486
  • login to save
  • 161
  • login to save
  • 175
  • login to save
  • 146
  • login to save
  • 156
  • login to save
  • 167
  • login to save
  • 148
  • login to save
  • 163
  • login to save
  • 162
  • login to save
  • 157
  • login to save
  • 162
  • login to save
  • 165
  • login to save
  • 145
  • login to save
  • 172
  • login to save
  • 168
  • login to save
  • 219
  • login to save
  • 174
  • login to save
  • 234
  • login to save
  • 177
  • login to save
  • 184
  • login to save
  • 159
  • login to save
  • 155
  • login to save
  • 160
  • login to save
  • 187
  • login to save
  • 218
  • login to save
  • 197
  • login to save
  • 236
  • login to save
  • 251
  • login to save
  • 740
  • login to save
  • 534
  • login to save
  • 419
  • login to save

Comments (0)

You must be logged in to leave a comment