The events in the Potteries in 1842 & Social Control

ln the late 1830s, a number of leaders and groups came together in the Chartist movement, the charter being a set of demands for the reform of parliament which was inadequately achieved in the Reform Act:

The Chartist Demands - the 6 points: 

l. Manhood suffrage 
2. Vote by ballot 
3. Annual parliaments 
4. Abolition of property qualification for MP's 
5. Payment of members 
6. Equal electoral districts

In 1838, there were large meetings in many towns and in the following year representatives met in London in a Convention (so named to echo the revolutionary Convention in France). A petition, supposedly signed by 1,200,000 people was presented to Parliament, but rejected by a big majority. But tensions between the Chartists themselves also weakened the movement, divided between "physical force" groups and "moral force" supporters, and the Convention broke up.


The sources 1-5, below, are taken from the Staffs County Council Study Book S12, Chartism in North Staffordshire and give some insight into the local movement.


1. Meeting at Hanley in support of the National Petition. From a correspondent: North Staffordshire Mercury Newspaper, 11th August, 1838:

A Meeting, called by the town-crier, was held in the Large room of the Sea Lion Inn, Hanley on Thursday morning, when Mr Collins, from Birmingham; Mr Richardson, delegate from Manchester to the great Birmingham meeting; and the Glasgow deputation attended the meeting. Considering the suddenness and altogether unexpectedness of it, attendance was numerous and respectable...

In the evening a considerable number of electors and non-electors met at the same place: speeches of an interesting character were made, and a number of names given, and resolutions passed favourable to the formation of a society for carrying into effect the principles of the national petition.