Poor Law Amendment Act is passed
Feargus O’Connor founds the Marylebone Radical Association
Foundation of the London Working Men’s Association. William Lovett is appointed its Secretary
Poor Law Commissioners begin implementation of the New Poor Law in the north.
General Election – Whig Government led by Viscount Melbourne
Draft petition by the LWMA includes the Six Points
First public meeting of LWMA at the Crown and Anchor in the Strand
Thomas Attwood re-establishes Birmingham Political Union
Meeting at British Coffee House in Charing Cross. Committee of six LWMA members and six Radical MPs established
Publication of the Northern Star in Leeds.
Great Northern Union formed in Leeds
Publication of The People’s Charter
BPU adopts the National Petition
Mass meeting at Glasgow Green, The People’s Charter and National Petition are accepted
Mass meeting at Holloway Head in Birmingham. Beginning of Chartism
Mass meetings across the country to collect signatures for the National Petition and elect delegates to the National Convention
Reverend Joseph Rayner Stephens arrested
National Convention meets in London. William Lovett elected Secretary.
Convention moves to Birmingham
Thomas Attwood and John Fielden present the Petition to Parliament. It has 1,280,000 signatures.
Bull Ring Riots in Birmingham
Resolutions denouncing the police are passed by the Convention
William Lovett and John Collins are arrested for seditious libel
House of Commons rejects the first Petition by 235 votes to 46
Sacred Month is called off
William Lovett and John Collins are sentenced to 12 months in Warwick Gaol
Chartist Convention dissolved
Attempted uprisings in Sheffield and Bradford
John Frost, Zephaniah Williams and William Jones are sentenced to death for their part in the Newport Rising. This is later commuted to transportation for life.
Feargus O’Connor sentenced to 18 months in York Castle for seditious libel
National Charter Association founded in Manchester
William Lovett and John Collins released from prison
General Election – Conservative Government led by Robert Peel
National Association founded. William Lovett’s ‘New Move’
Feargus O’Connor released from prison.
The NCA begins the campaign for the second Petition
Mines Act passed
Complete Suffrage Union founded in Birmingham by Joseph Sturge
CSU conference in Birmingham
National Convention meets in London
CSU petition rejected by the House of Commons 226 votes to 67
Second Chartist Petition with 3 317 752 signatures presented to the House of Commons by Thomas Duncombe. It is rejected by 287 votes to 49
Plug Plot develops into a general strike
Manchester Trades Conference resolves to remain on strike until Charter becomes law
Manchester trade societies call for a return to work
Joint conference of CSU and Chartists in Birmingham
Feargus O’Connor tried along with 58 others at Lancaster.
NCA Convention in Birmingham, O’Connor’s Land Plan discussed
Factory Act passed
NCA Convention in Manchester
NCA Convention in London
NCA agrees to O’Connor’s Land Plan at the Manchester conference
Corn Laws are repealed
General Election – Whig Government led by Lord John Russell
Abolition of Poor Law Commission
‘Ten Hour’ Factory Act passed
O’Connorville, the first of the Chartist communities, opened near Watford
Feargus O’Connor elected MP for Nottingham
Public Health Act passed
Revolution in France
Convention meets in London
Chartist mass meeting on Kennington Common. Feargus O’Connor persuades the crowd to disperse peacefully. The third Petition is delivered to Parliament.
Select Committee discovers several fictitious names on the Petition and gives a total of 1,975,496 signatures, far fewer than the figure of 5.7 million given by O’Connor. The Petition is derided and rejected by the House of Commons.
National Assembly meets, replaces the Convention
May – June
Riots in Bradford and London
Arrest of Ernest Jones in Manchester, charged with seditious behaviour and unlawful assembly
Day of protest
Irish uprising fails after arrest of leaders
Planned uprising in Britain. Rising in London called off after all main conspirators are identified by Government spies and arrested.
Ernest Jones released from Prison
NCA Convention accepts social democratic policy
The Land Company is wound up by an Act of Parliament
General Election – Conservative Government led by Lord Derby
Last issue of the Northern Star
Feargus O’Connor is declared to be of unsound mind and committed to a private mental asylum in Chiswick
Death of Feargus O’Connor. Around 50,000 people turn out for his funeral on the 10 September
John Frost returns to Britain after receiving a free pardon in May 1856
General Election – Whig Government led by Lord Palmerston
Chartist conference adopts a motion by Ernest Jones to co-operate with moderate Radicals for limited reform
End of Chartism