Update: this article was published to publicise and promote the event. A full report of Chartism Day 2022 can be found here.
Chartism Day returns in March 2022 after an enforced absence of two years. This year’s event, held jointly with the Social History Society, is in honour of Professor Malcolm Chase, who died in February 2020. Malcolm was a great historian of Chartism, a stalwart of the Society for the Study of Labour History over many years, and a central figure at Chartism Days.
This year’s event takes place at the University of Leeds, on 19 March 2022. Tickets have been sent by email to all those who registered.
The event will take place in Room LG 10 of the Michael Sadler Building. Directions: Go through the main front doors to the Michael Sadler building, go down the stairs, turn left, LG.10 is on the left just after the lifts. Campus map
9.30–9.40 Welcome (Simon Hall, Leeds University)
9.40–9.50 Introduction and (Joan Allen and Richard C. Allen)
9.50–10.30 Richard C. Allen (Newcastle University / The Australian National University). ‘Some Ungodly Immoral Principle in the Human Heart’: Exploring Opposition to Physical Force Chartism in Wales, 1839 (Chair: Joan Allen)
10.30–10.45 Janette Martin (John Rylands, Manchester). A Chartist Life (1): Samuel Collins (1802–1878)
11.15–12.00 Mike Sanders (University of Manchester). From ‘Ludding Time’ to ‘The Welsh Patriots’: John Stafford and the Construction of a Radical Tradition Through Song. (Chair: Richard C. Allen)
12.00–12.15 Jennifer Reid. Chartist Songs from Stafford
12.15–13.00 Joan Allen (Newcastle University). Trials and Tribulations: Political Identity, Class and Status in the Age of the Chartists, 1839–1843. (Chair: tbc)
13.00–13.15 Mark Crail, (SSLH / Chartist Ancestors). A Chartist Life (2): James Grassby (1807–18??)
14.15–14.25 Henry Irving (Social History Society)
14.25–15.10 Vic Clarke (University of York). The ‘Northern’ Star? From Leeds General Advertiser to National Trades’ Journal, 1843–1845. (Chair: tbc)
15.10–15.25 David Osmond (Independent Scholar). A Chartist Life (3): William Edwards (1796–1849)
15.55–16.40 Matt Roberts (Sheffield Hallam University). ‘Ever Present to the Progressive Mind’: Heritage Politics and the Memory of Chartism in England and Wales, 1918–2020. (Chair: Richard Allen)
16.40–16.50 Shirley Chase
End of Conference
Sponsors: with grateful thanks to the School of History, University of Leeds; Social History Society; and the Society for the Study of Labour History
Leeds is a fitting venue for the event as it was where Malcolm spent much of his academic career, as Reader in Labour History and Head of the School of Continuing Education, moving to the School of History in 2005 and subsequently becoming Professor of Social History.
The city also played a significant part in Chartism. The Northern Star newspaper, though originally launched in Barnsley, moved shortly thereafter to Leeds in 1837 and remained there until 1844. At that time its masthead proclaimed it to be the Northern Star and Leeds General Advertiser.
Leeds was also home in the early period of Chartism to a number of ‘monster meetings’, including a gathering on Hartshead Moor on 15 October 1838 that was said to have been attended by a quarter of a million people.
Chartism Day began in 1995 as the brainchild of Owen Ashton and Dorothy Thompson. However, its co-convenors have for many years been Joan Allen and Richard Allen. Over the years the event has been held in London, Manchester, Newcastle, Newport, Chester and other locations around the UK – as well as in Galway and Paris. It was last in Leeds in 2011.