Conscientous objectors: A Gaol Bird’s Lay

This is a pamphlet from the Peace Collection held at the Working Class Movement Library in Salford. From August 1914 until January 1916, the British government relied on volunteers to produce an army to fight on the Western Front and other areas of the war. Towards the end of 1915, a reduction in the numbers volunteering and the sheer scale of casualties meant that conscription … Continue reading Conscientous objectors: A Gaol Bird’s Lay

Socialist International delegate’s card, 1896

In 1896 the Socialist International met in London. Edward Aveling was in charge of its organisation. His partner, Eleanor Marx, (daughter of Karl) was secretary of the ‘Hotels Committee’, which meant the delegates’ accommodation. In charge of printing and publicity was H.A. Barker, who had formed an early Socialist organisation, the Labour Union. Barker wrote to Walter Crane, the Socialist artist to design the delegates’ … Continue reading Socialist International delegate’s card, 1896

The Miners’ Lockout

This image comes from a recent addition to Bishopsgate Institute archives: a photo album bearing the inscription ‘Memories of the Miners Lock-out 1926 Fife’ (Ref: Labour History Manuscripts/67). The Miners’ Lockout was part of the General Strike of 1926, called by the General Council of the TUC (Trades Union Congress) in an attempt to prevent the Government of the day from lowering the wages and … Continue reading The Miners’ Lockout

John Fielden and William Fitton letter

This letter, currently held privately, was exchanged between Radical reformers John Fielden and William Fitton in 1836. John Fielden was a cotton industrialist and Radical MP for Oldham (1832-47) and was involved in Reform Bill agitation in Manchester in the 1830s and a supporter of Chartism. William Fitton, surgeon, was a Radical advocate of parliamentary reform who was indicted for seditious activity in 1819 (though … Continue reading John Fielden and William Fitton letter

Notice of the founding of New Harmony, Indiana, 1825

Robert Owen was a social reformer who is considered by many to be the father of co-operation and a pioneer of modern British socialism. Owen believed that a person’s character is formed by the environment in which they live. He developed many ideas on infant and adult education, and campaigned to reduce working hours and improved the living and working conditions of factory workers. In … Continue reading Notice of the founding of New Harmony, Indiana, 1825

North Yorkshire ‘radical reformers’

This image reproduces a letter from a group of North Yorkshire ‘Radical Reformers’ to a Mrs Lawrence of Studley Hall, c. 1817. A keen eye will discern a very definite threat, mainly that the Hall and Fountains Abbey would be blown up unless Mrs Lawrence gave the out-of-work men £100 in alms! The letter reads: ‘[They] are all hungering to death for want of work … Continue reading North Yorkshire ‘radical reformers’

William Pare’s scrapbook

Our image shows one page from a scrapbook of manuscript and printed material collected in the mid 19th century and now held at Senate House Library at the University of London. The creator of the scrapbook was William Pare (1804-1873) a Birmingham tobacconist, who was one of the founders of the first Birmingham Cooperative Society. He left Birmingham in 1842 to become acting governor of … Continue reading William Pare’s scrapbook

LHR postgraduate essay prize 2021

Postgraduates are encouraged to submit articles for consideration for the 2021 essay prize to the editors of Labour History Review. This annual prize awards £500 for the best essay which will be published in the LHR.  The deadline for the 2021 prize is the 28 February 2021. The 2020 prize was won by Matt Beebee of Exeter University for his essay entitled ‘Navigating deindustrialization in 1970s Britain: … Continue reading LHR postgraduate essay prize 2021

‘The town that bought itself’

One hundred years ago this month, the West Yorkshire town of Huddersfield effectively “bought itself” when its corporation paid £1.3m for the Ramsden estate, which included the whole of the town centre and over half of the land within the Borough boundary. Now, marking the centenary of the event, Huddersfield Local History Society has brought together a series of original essays on the Ramsden family’s role in … Continue reading ‘The town that bought itself’