THOMAS COOPER AND THE POTTERIES
In 1841 Thomas Cooper began his Chartist work in Leicester.
He established and edited The Commonwealthsman, a radical paper (weekly,lid) and distributed this and other pamphlets to agents in the Midlands. Jeremiah was one of these agents and sold this literature to Chartists from his house.
Dorothy Thompson writes that newspapers and pamphlets were available at beerhouses, inns, coffee shops and newsagents.
Jeremiah also sold a Beverage", a cheap coffee substitute, which he bought through Thomas Cooper from the Leicester manufacturers Crow and Tirrell. It is described in a Northern Star advertisement in 1842 as "a cheap and wholesome substitute for (Peel's) taxed coffee and a family beverage. The immense quantity which is sold every week of this very superior article is its beat recommendation. A liberal allowance to those who purchase a quantity to sell again. An active person might realise a handsome profit weekly be selling it. No licence is required to sell it.
Sold in half pound packets
Best 8d per lb
Common 6d per lb
Why pay 2s per lb for Coffee when a Beverage like this can be obtained for eightpence?"
We learn from 'Edwards Breakfast Powder'
'It is prepared from a grain of British growth and is known to be far more nutritious than Tea or Coffee. The public are cautioned against imitators. All others are spurious and some of them are highly pernicious'
NS 9 JULY 1842 (and several other entries)
The proceeds due to the Executive from the sale of Messrs Crow and Tyrrell's Chartist Beverage from 18th to 25th June are as follows.
Mr Yates, Staffordshire Potteries 6s
Several letters from Jeremiah Yates to Thomas Cooper are in the Public Record Office in London (Boxes TC11, 600 and 601). They are:-
1. 7 MARCH 1842 Miles Bank, Shelton
You will please send me
25 Headings for the National Petition
8 Petition sheets for signature
I shall push the paper all I can
I remain yours in the cause of truth and justice Jeremiah Yates
2. 28 MARCH 1842
Sir, I send you a Post Office order for £1-6s-od to Messrs Crow & Tirrell for 34lb Beverage to be left at the Queen Inn, Stoke. Please send it by Mr. Gregory's Coach from Derby to Stoke.
3. 1 APRIL 1842
mentions receiving 801b of Beverage but says "The carriage is so much by Coach I have made Enquiries What the Carriage will be by Boat and I find it will be much less" #
4. 13 APRIL 1842
Sir, I sent an order to Messrs Crow and Tirrell for
200 lb of Beverage to come by Pickford and Co.
Boat which should start by Monday to arrive in
the Potteries by Saturday.
5. There is also a scrap of a letter from Jeremiah Yates to Thomas Cooper, 11 Church Gate, Leicester in April 1842
P.S. Please to send word the Earleys You Could Post My Papers as I Could have them by Boat if they could be sent on a Monday which would be Much Cheaper
Jeremiah requested his beverage "Direct by boat for Mr. J. Yates Miles Bank, Shelton, Staffordshire Potteries"
# There was in 1842 no railway to the Potteries but the Trent and Mersey Canal, sponsored by Josiah Wedgwood, had been operating for many years.