A History of Chartism IV.
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CHAPTER VIII

1848


THE last important manifestation of Chartism drew its inspiration from abroad.  A number of circumstances had tended to draw the attention of Chartists towards foreign revolutionary movements.  The Polish rising of 1830-31 had scattered refugees all over Europe.  To England Poles came in small numbers; France held greater attractions for them.  Their greatest poet, Adam Mickiewicz, had in 1840 received the professorship of Slavonic literature in the College de France, which became a political centre forthwith.  Several years, therefore, had to elapse before London contained many Polish revolutionists with sufficient knowledge of the English language to have any practical influence.  But by 1844 this was beginning to show quite distinctly.  One Pole, Major Beniowski, went so far as to incur the suspicion of being a police agent, but lived this down.  Among the Poles there exists to this day a tradition of participation in Chartism and a memory of past sympathy received from English Radicals. [p.227-1]  Poles not domiciled in England acted as connecting links in all the European revolutions of 1848.  "The exiles of Poland, being scattered far and wide over the Continent, formed a cosmopolitan network of conspiracy, and were the means of bringing into a loose communion the disaffected portions of the European proletariat." [p.227-2]

    In 1844, Nicholas I of Russia paid a visit to England.  The National Association held a meeting of condemnation directly the project was mooted.  The sympathies of Lovett had never been confined to the sufferers of his own country.  He, with Moore and several others, addressed a packed and enthusiastic meeting, which listened with horrified astonishment to the long list of detailed charges laid against the Emperor. [p.228-1]  Several Poles, we are told, were present at the meeting.  Punch, of all papers, came whole-heartedly to the side of the revolutionists, publishing, in addition to the inevitable cartoon depicting Nicholas as a bear, a list of toasts, suggested as appropriate to the occasion. [p.228-2]  "To the immortal memory of Nero," is a fair specimen of these.  The toasts were reprinted, with admiring comments, by The Northern Star.  Such was one of the lines along which the Chartists were led to take an interest in the revolutionary movements of Europe.

    Lovett had for many years been contributing to the same object, and had taken a strong interest in nationalist movements.  As far back as 1839, the Working Men's Association sent an address to "The People of Canada," drafted by the indefatigable Lovett on the occasion of the risings of the two previous years.  This was warmly acknowledged by the Permanent and Central Committee of the County of Montreal, in another address.  A point of interest, which appears to have escaped the notice of Canadian historians, lies in the signatures to this reply.  They include L. J. Papineau, Andre Ouimet, and G. E. Cartier, the latter as a joint-secretary.  The future Premier of the Dominion on this occasion put his name to a declaration which was extremely near to being a declaration of independence. [p.228-3]

    By the middle of the 'forties Frederick Engels had settled in England, and was hard at work formulating the theories he was to teach his friend, master, and pupil, Karl Marx.  The German struck up a friendship with the editor of The Northern Star, and proceeded to educate him in international politics, and the crimes of living rulers.  In 1844 the paper begins to show signs of this instruction.  Articles appear on such subjects as Chartism in Sweden, [p.229-1] and on the internal affairs of Spain and Switzerland, in which no previous interest had been shown.

    In the same year Duncombe, still the parliamentary agent of O'Connor, exposed the Mazzini letters scandal.  The Government, in particular Sir James Graham, had ordered the private correspondence of Mazzini to be opened and read, in the interests of the Papal States.  The indignation aroused by this exposure was altogether to the taste of the Chartists, for Graham, as Home Secretary, had come in for all the unpopularity which democratic movements seem inevitably to bestow upon the holder of his post.  Chartists were perforce made to take an interest in Mazzini, and his ideals. [p.229-2]

    And so we find that foreign revolutions and revolutionists gradually become the centres of new groups.  Chartists are, as it were, reshuffled and mixed with men belonging to other groups.  We have an illustration of the process at work in the accounts of two suppers held in 1845.  In the August of that year, a supper was held to celebrate the anniversary of the formation of the Democratic Association of 1838-39.  Harney took the chair, and was supported by Rider (a member of the Convention of 1839) and Cooper, who had but recently been set free from Stafford Gaol.  Beniowski was also a guest.  Harney talked extreme republicanism, and Cooper moved the toast of Joseph Mazzini in an oration which suggested that his excellent and copious sentiments had been stimulated by the refreshment he had taken. [p.229-3]  The conjunction of speakers is curious in the light of their past history; the sentiments are also curious.  This festivity was so successful that those present unanimously then and there resolved to have another such supper on November 6, the birthday of Henry Hunt.  On this second occasion, O'Connor took the chair.  Among the speakers were Michelot and Berrier Fontaine; and two Germans, Schapper and Weitling.  Harney spoke on the sorrows of Poland. [p.229-4]  The first three of these foreigners were to attain a minor celebrity in 1848, when Michelot fell at the barricades during the June counter-revolution.  Weitling (1808-1871) was an extraordinary tailor who spent the first forty years of his life in wandering over Western Europe preaching and organizing the incipient revolutionary Socialism which came to a head in 1848.  The Chartist leaders, in fact, were on the way to regarding themselves as participants in a movement which, if not world-wide, was at least European.

    Then there were the Fraternal Democrats.  This was a small body, but it greatly influenced the Chartist movement in its next phase.  It may be described in the words of Thomas Frost, whose brief description commands more confidence than do many of his other accounts, even when they relate to matters nearer than these to the time of writing.  "I was at this time a member of the Association of Fraternal Democrats, meeting monthly at a dingy public-house in Drury Lane, called the White Hart.  It was composed of democratic refugees from most parts of Europe, but chiefly of Frenchmen, Germans, and Poles, with a sprinkling of such advanced reformers of this country as, like Julian Harney and Ernest Jones, were 'Chartists and something more.'" [230]  Oborski was a prominent member of the Fraternal Democrats, and appears to have enjoyed the confidence and friendship of the leading Chartists.  He was a Polish refugee, who had been a colonel in the days before 1831.  In the year of revolutions he served under Mieroslawski in Baden, where it is presumed that he fell, as this is the last we hear of him.

    References have already been made to Ernest Jones, who was to be one of the main supports of Chartism in and after 1848.  He was born in Germany, in 1819, and was the son of Major Jones, equerry to Ernest, Duke of Cumberland (afterwards King of Hanover), who stood godfather to young Ernest.  The boy was educated in Germany and soon showed himself to be extraordinarily precocious.  At the age of eleven he had published a book of poems, and had made a fruitless endeavour to run away from home and walk across Europe "to help the Poles."  In 1838 father and son took up their abode in England. Ernest read law, wrote romance, and lived the life of the fashionable youth of the time.  By the middle of the 'forties he had however developed an unmistakable Radicalism, and in 1846 attached himself to O'Connor, throwing up the prospects of a brilliant if conventional future for the advocacy of what he considered right.  His knowledge of foreign languages and continental affairs naturally brought him into touch with the radically-minded refugees in London.

    Another influence tending in the same direction is that of Mazzini, who had in 1847 been living in England for ten years, had mastered the language and was well known to all the liberal intellectuals of the time.  It was he who held all the wires of the People's International League, which was started at a public meeting held on April 28, 1847, at the Crown and Anchor Tavern in the Strand; Dr. Bowring, M.P., in the chair.  This organization was founded at Mazzini's direct instigation and had the following objects:

    1. To enlighten the British public as to the political condition and relations of foreign countries.

    2. To embody and to manifest an efficient public opinion in favour of the right of every people to self-government and the maintenance of their own nationality.

    3. To promote a good understanding between the peoples of all countries.

    The Council appointed at the above meeting for the first year is as follows:
 

W. Bridges Adams,

Dr. Bowring, M.P.

W. H. Ashurst,

William Carpenter,

Goodwin Barmby,

Thomas Cooper,

William Cumming,

 J. Humphreys Parry,

T. S. Duncombe, M.P.

William Shaen,

Dr. Epps,

James Stansfeld,

W. J. Fox,

P. A. Taylor,

S. M. Hawkes,

P. A. Taylor, Junr.,

Thornton Hunt,

Richard Taylor,

Douglas Jerrold,

Joseph Toynbee,

W. J. Linton,

Henry Vincent,

Richard Moore,

James Watson.


    The personnel of this Council shows with unmistakable clearness the changed direction of thought of the ablest founders and friends of the Chartist movement.  In the first place we find three of the six working men of the W. M. A. Charter Committee—the exceptions are Lovett and Hetherington, who were both fully in sympathy and acquainted with Mazzini, and Cleave, who apparently died about this time.  Linton, too, we have met: he had been in the Chartist movement from the start, although he rose to prominence only after 1848.  With Cooper we are also acquainted, and we have nodded at Carpenter (1797-1874), who had made his reputation, well before the days of the Charter, by the publication of unstamped periodicals, which were held to be newspapers within the meaning of the Act.  Ashurst, Hawker, Parry, Shaen, and Stansfeld were all able young lawyers in sympathy with Chartism and frequent speakers at Chartist meetings. [p.232]  Parry (1816–1880) had edited the National Association Gazette with Lovett, and became Serjeant-at-law.  Stansfeld (1820-1898) was the Liberal M.P. for Halifax from 1859 to 1895, held several posts between 1863 and 1874, and was the first President of the Local Government Board (1871-4): he was knighted in 1895.  He is now perhaps best remembered on account of his fine support of Josephine Butler's crusade.  Thornton Hunt was the son of Leigh Hunt; Dr. Epps was a friend of Lovett and, it may be remembered, was one of the speakers at the dinner held to welcome Lovett and Collins on their release from prison in 1841.  Joseph Toynbee was another doctor, and the father of Arnold Toynbee.  The P. A. Taylors, father and son, were well-known as anti-Corn Law leaders.  Richard Taylor was one of the founders of University College, London.  Barmby (1820–1881), like Fox and the younger P. A. Taylor, was a Unitarian, who spent his intellectual life in gradually working his way from undiluted Owenism to the politics of the Liberal party.

    These biographical data, relating mainly to a body of men who are outside the necessary narrative of events, may seem superfluous.  All these people, however, should be taken as random specimens of the new blood which was suddenly being infused into the Chartist movement.  Although Mazzini had founded the People's International League, he had taken care to have a purely British Committee, and he himself, although he drafted the first manifesto, was ostensibly unconnected with the management of the League.  The Council, in fact, was a foreigner's effort to mingle the most vigorous and progressive Englishmen with one another.  The mingling of such Englishmen with similarly-minded foreigners, as we have seen, had been proceeding for some time.

    As far back as February, 1840, a group of German working men had formed a little Communist Society, holding its meetings at the Red Lion, in Great Windmill Street.  This club had an anniversary dinner in commemoration of its sixth birthday, at which Harney again held forth.  So, too, did Michelot, Colonel Oborski, Schapper, Heinrich Bauer, and some others.  A few days later the insurrection of the Polish Republic of Cracow against Austria, in February, 1846, aided the process.  The N.C.A. convened a meeting at the "Crown and Anchor," where O'Connor, Harney, W. J. Linton and lesser lights held forth.  Mazzini was expected to attend, but sent a letter of apology.  For months The Northern Star gave up a large proportion of its columns to such accounts of the progress of the struggle as could be obtained.  On May 20 a meeting was held at the National Hall, among the speakers on this occasion being Hetherington, T. M. Wheeler, Ernest Jones, Harney and G. J. Holyoake.

    It will be seen that O'Connor's participation in this new internationalism was scanty, and almost unwilling.  To Engels and Marx, this appears to have been a cause of regret.  Foreseeing the events of 1848, they regarded the Chartist movement as an organization of the proletariat, numerically unsurpassed in any country, which only needed a dose of republicanism to make it take its place possibly at the head of the coming European revolution.  O'Connor, more than any other man, could satisfy their wishes and effect the conversion of the British working man from a domestic to an international political faith.  And since O'Connor would not come to Engels and Marx, Engels and Marx came to O'Connor.

    In July, 1846, a by-election took place at Nottingham on the appointment of Sir John Cam Hobhouse to a Cabinet post.  O'Connor turned up and was nominated as the Chartist candidate, made a great speech attacking the Whigs, and defeated the newly-fledged minister on the show of hands.  He did not go to the poll, and Hobhouse was therefore duly elected.  But O'Connor's interference, even though for all practical purposes it amounted only to one speech, supplied an opportunity to his wooers.  He promptly received an Address from the German Democratic Communists of Brussels. [p.234]  This congratulated him on a number of things.  "The ground is now cleared by the retreat of the landed aristocracy from the contest; middle class and working class are the only classes betwixt whom there can be a possible struggle."  The Address further congratulated O'Connor on his victory over the calumnies of Thomas Cooper, on the noble and enlightened manner in which The Northern Star is conducted, etc.  The signatories are three: Engels, Ph. Gigot, and Marx.

    A year later the attack, still unsuccessful, was renewed.  On November 27, 1847, the Fraternal Democrats, in conjunction with the Democratic Committee for Poland's Regeneration, held a meeting to celebrate the anniversary of the Polish Insurrection of 1830.  J. Arnott was in the chair.  Stanwood moved a resolution of sympathy with Poland, which was seconded by Ernest Jones, supported by Michelot, and carried unanimously.  Then Schapper moved the second resolution, and explained that it was to be seconded by "Dr. Charles Marx," vice-president of the Brussels Committee of the Democratic Society, who had been delegated by it to the Fraternal Delegates "for the purpose of establishing relations of correspondence and sympathy between the two societies."  The delegate from Brussels, in fact, had a much more serious task on hand than the mere moving of an academic resolution, identical in spirit with the first.  Marx came forward and was tumultuously acclaimed.  Speaking in German, he told the meeting that the Democrats of Brussels had delegated him to speak in their name to the Democrats of London, and through them to the Democrats of Britain, to call on them to cause to be held a congress of nations—a congress of working men, to establish liberty all over the world. (Loud cheers.)  The Democrats of Belgium felt that the Chartists of England were the real Democrats, and that the moment they carried the Six Points of the Charter the road to liberty would be opened to the whole world.  "Effect this grand object, you working men of England, and you will be hailed as the saviours of the whole human race."  Marx sat down to tremendous cheering, having said of Poland not a word.

    Harney next moved the meeting's approval of the plan of a congress of the nations, and was seconded by Stallwood.

    Charles Keen then moved a resolution to the effect that, given the Charter, the Democracy of England would be able to help Poland, otherwise it would not.  He was seconded by "Citizen Engels (from Paris)," who "had resided for some time in England, and was proud to boast himself a Chartist, name and all. . . . (Rapturous applause.)"  Citizen Tedesco (from Brussels), and Oborski followed; after which Engels, Harney, and Schapper spoke for the second time, the Times was hooted, the Marseillaise sung, and the proceedings closed.  As the immediate result of this meeting arrangements were made "to render effective the union of the two associations," i.e., the Fraternal Democrats and the Brussels Democrats. [p.235-1]  The nature of these is undisclosed.  The Fraternal Democrats, who had been hitherto rather an unorganized body, now adopted a constitution, and set to work to induce the Chartists to send delegates to the first congress of the nations, which had been fixed for September 25, 1848, in Brussels (the anniversary of the Belgian Revolution).  The second congress, in 1849, was to be held in London. [p.235-2]

    With enormous energy Harney, Keen, and the other Englishmen set to work to create the desired response from the Chartists.  Events abroad were beginning to take definite shape.  Crowns were becoming suddenly evasive and slippery things.  The prophecies of Mazzini and Marx were to be fulfilled.  Yet still the leader of the Chartist movement would not define his attitude.  Perhaps Engels had overrated his importance: he had certainly over-estimated his intelligence.  In a letter to Marx, written apparently in November, 1847, he says: "Just read the article by O'Connor in the last Star against the six Radical newspapers.  It is a masterpiece of inspired abuse, in places better than Cobbett, and approaching Shakespeare." [p.236-1]  Yet this alleged approximation did not enable O'Connor to understand foreign politics.  The gradual absorption of the other Chartist leaders in internationalism left him uninfluenced.  Near the end of 1845 he had spent two months travelling in Belgium, France, Italy, Germany, and Austria, ostensibly in order to study the land systems of those countries.  He had seen the preparations made by the Austrians in Milan to quell any possible rising; he had visited the capitals where the storms of 1848 were already gathering, and at the end of the journey he had reported that in the countries he had seen "people possessed less liberties, but were more contented and happier, because each possessed more or less of the land." [p.236-2]  He had, it is true, made advances to the Irish.  But the leaders of the Repeal movement rejected them.  The Nation [p.236-3] wrote: "We desire no fraternization between the Irish people and the Chartists—not on account of the bugbear of 'physical force,' but simply because some of their five points [sic] are to us an abomination, and the whole spirit and tone of their proceedings, though well enough for England, are so essentially English that their adoption in Ireland would be neither probable nor at all desirable.  Between us and them there is a great gulf fixed; we desire not to bridge it over, but to make it wider and deeper."  Thus repulsed, O'Connor spent much labour in trying to win over the Irish by iterated explanations of the Six Points in The Northern Star, which probably had no Irish circulation to speak of.

    So it came to pass that the Cracow insurrection left O'Connor unmoved, and unconcerned because Switzerland had got over the Sonderbund trouble.  The first days of the Year of Revolutions find him planning a scheme to raise £5,000 to erect a Chartist Hall in London, M'Grath acting on this occasion as principal understudy.  Yet the attention of the public was being directed abroad by a variety of circumstances.  The Times was confidently predicting a more or less immediate invasion on the part of France, having been led to this conclusion by the Duke of Wellington, who in his dotage had suddenly decided that England was defenceless and undefensible.  Everybody clamoured for a larger army, when a dead duke would have met the case equally well.  The agitation lasted exactly two months.  Then Lord John Russell proposed to raise the income-tax by fivepence in the pound in order to cover the cost of increased armaments.  Brought face to face with the stern realities of war the panic-mongers suddenly, and quite literally, held their peace.  A month later, on February 24, the situation was farcically ended by the abdication of Louis Philippe, who came to England, not as an invincible invader, but as a very tame refugee.

    During January, 1848, crowded meetings were addressed in many parts of England by Samuel Kydd, John West, and W. P. Roberts.  The directors of the National Land Company and various others, especially Dixon, Ernest Jones, Harney, Clark, Skelton, Fussell, and Keen, spoke in London.  O'Connor addressed meetings in Birmingham and London, but talked no internationalism.  By February the course of events in France had become obvious to all except O'Connor.  On the 12th he made another great speech, but still had nothing to say on foreign events, although by this time Palermo had given Sicily the lead and the Neapolitan garrison had been expelled from the island, and revolutionists in France, Prussia, Bavaria, Austria, Hungary, Italy, Denmark, and Holland were giving the finishing touches to their plans.

    At last the current overcame O'Connor, who had to change his course accordingly.  The leading article of The Northern Star of February 26, 1848, is headed "The Tossin," and ends up with a P.S. "Amiens is in full revolt; insurrection, began on the 22nd, is spreading."  O'Connor addresses an article "To the Old Guards."  He believes a revolution is to swamp the governments of Europe, but "I tell you as long as I live the Charter and the Land shall never be lost sight of, nor placed in abeyance by any foreign excitement or movement, however we may use events for the furtherance of those great objects.  Old Guards, the mind of England is now astir, and though mine is absorbed in the consideration of those means by which I can insure happy homes, and protection for all—the release of women from slave labour, and the release of little children from the abodes of pestilence, disease, immorality, and death—yet if a greater sphere of action should open upon us, I pledge myself that I shall not be found backward in moulding passing events to future advantage."  February ended, but still O'Connor was unruffled.  On the other hand the members of the Government were beginning to show signs of a nervous disposition.  Revolution in France and talk of war were not the only uncomfortable features of the time.  1847 had been a bad year.  The price of wheat had risen from 50s. 10d. per quarter in 1845 to 69s. 9d. in 1847.  A period of over-investment in railways had ended in a financial crisis.  The Bank Act had been suspended.  Unemployed workmen began to accumulate in the towns.  The Government could not make up its mind whether the rumblings of discontent might not end in revolution.

    On March 6 the Government showed its hand.  One Charles Cochrane had organized a meeting protesting against the proposal to raise the income-tax, to take place in Trafalgar Square on this day at 1.30 p.m.  The Home Office informed him of the rule that meetings were prohibited within one mile of the Houses of Parliament during their sittings.  On the morning of March 6, therefore, Cochrane published his intention of not holding the meeting.  A crowd nevertheless turned up; G. W. M. Reynolds [p.238] leaped on to the plinth and made himself chairman, and all went well for the time, although the police were present in large numbers.  At 3 p.m. the crowd began to disperse, when an altercation took place: somebody had called somebody else a lazy fellow, and the person addressed had resented it with some emphasis.  This developed into a stand-up fight which lasted until midnight.  The battle proliferated itself along every street within a mile of the Square, and skirmishing continued for three days.  Innumerable arrests were made.  During the same week commotions in Glasgow were caused by the local unemployed, five of whom were killed by the soldiers called out to calm things down.  In Manchester a riot took place outside a workhouse.  In various parts of Ireland sundry rowdinesses occurred.  A few days later' disturbances were expected in Liverpool, but nothing serious happened.

    And the Chartists?  Ernest Jones, P. M'Grath and Julian Harney were sent to Paris to convey congratulations to the new Government.  In great haste a National Convention was convened for April 3 and the following days, to arrange for the presentation of a monster Petition to the House of Commons.  The Petition was also hurried up. [p.239-2]  Forty-nine delegates were to meet.  Mazzini and Linton also went over to Paris, where they met Lamennais.  Linton, like Ernest Jones and the others, returned bubbling over with republicanism.

    A revolution was now seriously regarded as imminent.  Owen published a set of "Practical measures required to prevent greater political changes in Great Britain and Ireland."  These were as follows:

    1. Full liberty of thought, speech, writing, and publication on all civil and religious subjects.

    2. Representation co-extensive with taxation; the voters to be protected by the ballot, and the representatives to be paid for their services.

    3. No connexion between the State and any one creed, but equal protection to all; and admissibility of men of all creeds to offices of trust and influence.

    4. National education, unexclusive and practical; and profitable employment to all who require them.

    5. Graduated property-tax, to the exclusion of all other imports; customs and excise to be gradually abolished.

    6. National Bank with branches wherever required; and national currency in notes secured upon the whole property of the British Empire.

    7. No other bank or currency to be legal, but reasonable compensation to the "Bank of England" and all other banks, unless employed by the national bank.

    8. National notes, in convenient amounts, to be issued in payment of the "national debt," and to the extent required for the currency, or circulation of the Empire

    9. Free trade in all things, with all the world.

    10. Organizing and training of the people, in local districts, as being the most effectual and the cheapest national defence.

    These preliminary changes by the British Government the state of public opinion in Great Britain and Ireland and over Europe renders immediately necessary to prevent greater changes being forced upon the Government from without.

ROBERT OWEN. [p.240]

LONDON, March 15, 1848.

    After the middle of March it became difficult to keep count of the revolutionary movement in Europe.  Charles Greville writes in his diary on March 25: "Nothing is more extraordinary than to look back at my last date and see what has happened in the course of five days. . . . Within these last four or five days there has been a desperate battle in the streets of Berlin between the soldiers and the mob; the flight of the Prince of Prussia; the King's convocation of his States; concessions to and reconciliation with his people; and his invitation to all Germany to form a Federal State; and his notification of what is tantamount to removing the Imperial Crown from the head of the wretched crétin at Vienna, and placing it on his own.  Next, a revolution in Austria; an émeute at Vienna; downfall and flight of Metternich, and announcement of a constitutional régime; émeutes at Milan; expulsion of Austrians and Milanese independence; Hungary up and doing, and the whole empire in a state of dissolution.  Throughout Germany all the people stirring; all the sovereigns yielding to the popular demands; the King of Hanover submitting to the terms demanded of him; the King of Bavaria abdicating; many minor occurrences, any one of which in ordinary times would have been full of interest and importance, passing almost unheeded." [p.241-1]

    Wilhelm, Prince of Prussia, grandfather of Wilhelm II, was over here as a refugee, having been hastily sent abroad by his more popular father.  At a meeting on Kennington Common on March 13, fourteen or fifteen thousand men (according to the conservative estimate of the TimesThe Northern Star put the number at over 20,000) had listened to revolutionary though not inflammatory harangues by Reynolds, Jones and others, at the expense of Louis Philippe and Guizot.  The Northern Star had adopted the meaningless but terrifying slogan, "France has a Republic: England must have the Charter."  Fear had made it impossible to ignore the Chartists, and ignorance multiplied their numbers, exaggerated their power, and overlooked their objects.  At the beginning of April O'Connor's dominance began to waver.  Rumours reached him of his own expected defection.  He learned that many of his followers feared that on April 10 he would not be present.  He protests against this [p.241-2]: "I would rather be taken a corpse from amid that procession than dishonour myself, disgrace my country, and desert you, by remaining away."  In point of fact he had outrun himself.  He had, unwittingly perhaps, reduced demagogy to a science.  He had discovered that the quickest and surest way to the leadership and applause of numbers was high-flown blather and magniloquent promises.  The fulfilment of the promises would have redeemed the oratorical excuses, but it never came.  He had spoken of fleshing swords to the hilt in order to obtain leadership, and now he was counselling peace and, very nearly, goodwill.  It is curious to read in The Northern Star [p.242-1] letters from O'Connor and Duncombe urging the utmost propriety for April 10, side by side with a flamboyant manifesto signed by the three faithful ones, Clark, M'Grath, and Doyle.  It is pretty certain that the influence of such men as Mazzini and Engels on the periphery of the movement had a great effect upon O'Connor's position.  A movement demands intellectual leadership as well as figureheads; O'Connor provided Chartism with the former alone.  As a consequence of the revolutionary movement in Europe, the rank and file of the Chartists had become suddenly infected with republicanism.  O'Connor's response to this new idea was so slight that it is in a sense true to say that he was rapidly placed outside the pale.  Ernest Jones and G. W. M. Reynolds, moreover, were middle-class men of good education, and not easily to be detached from his side.  Besides, he had rid himself of so many capable supporters, turning them into opponents, that further detachment may well have seemed undesirable.  Five years later Jones gave evidence to the effect that it was about the beginning of 1848 that his leader's mind began to show signs of shakiness. [p.242-2]  An insignificant incident about the same time had helped to draw together the Chartists who had not attached themselves to O'Connor.  On March 17 the Times published an attack on the Socialism of Robert Owen, who forthwith summoned a meeting at the John Street Institute to explain his principles, to denounce the Times, and to congratulate France.  The meeting was addressed by Owen (for over an hour), by Lloyd Jones, Hetherington, Watson, and Bronterre O'Brien.

    On Tuesday, April 4, the Convention met at the John Street Institute.  M'Grath was elected chairman and Doyle secretary.  The first incident related to the election of G. W. M. Reynolds, who admitted he "had only become a Chartist within the last few days."  Then a slightly stormy discussion ensued on the position of the Executive.  O'Connor, foreseeing trouble, did not wish to be entitled to vote; by waiving his right to vote he would bear no share in the responsibility for any illegality proceeding from the Convention.  He was, however, overruled, and it was resolved that the Executive should be entitled to speak and to vote, and to sit ex-officio as members of the Convention.  The afternoon of the first and the morning of second day were taken up with the verbal reports of the delegates on the political and social state of their constituencies.  The Lancashire delegates unanimously testified to the terrible industrial conditions prevailing in their county.  The Scottish delegates gave, comparatively speaking, more cheerful accounts.  As might be expected, the representatives of the most distressed areas uttered the most revolutionary sentiments.  O'Connor made his first important speech in an endeavour to suppress the incipient intransigence of these speakers.  He began, as usual, by self-glorification on an autobiographical basis.  Thence he passed on to declare that "he was now becoming a quasi-minister, and doubtless would be asked what they intended to do on Monday.  On the faith of that Convention, he should reply that not one pane of glass nor one pennyworth of property would be injured.  That peace and good order would prevail while their grievances were under discussion."  Having thus committed himself to good behaviour, he concluded by blusteringly promising to be in the front row of the first rank; and now they might shoot away.  Then he left the Convention, announcing that he must go to the House.

    On Thursday the Convention discussed a programme, wasting many hours by inconsecutive argument and bad chairmanship.  At last an amended programme was drafted and unanimously accepted amid immense cheering.  This was as follows:

    1. That in the event of the National Petition being rejected by the House of Commons, this Convention prepare a National Memorial to the Queen to dissolve the present Parliament, and call to her council such ministers only as will make the People's Charter a cabinet measure.

    2. That this Convention agree to the convocation of a National Assembly, to consist of delegates appointed at public meetings, to present the National Memorial to the Queen; and to continue permanently sitting until the Charter is the law of the land.

    3. That this Convention call upon the country to hold simultaneous meetings on Good Friday, April 21, for the purpose of adopting the National Memorial, and electing delegates to the National Assembly.

    4. That the National Assembly meet in London on Monday, April 24.

    5. That the present Convention shall continue its sittings until the meeting of the National Assembly.

    On the Friday the Convention was brought up against a proclamation published by the Commissioner of Police declaring the procession proposed for April 10 to be illegal.  The previous day O'Connor had argued the matter in the House against the Attorney-General and Sir G. Grey.  He had pointed out that on several occasions within the last ten years processions had marched down to the House of Commons and there presented their petitions, and had gone on to assure the House that the Chartists had no intention of overawing it, and to plead the generally pacific nature of his intentions.  The Convention, faced with the proclamation, met it with another one to the effect that it was based on a "statute passed in the arbitrary reign of King Charles II," that it was "an infringement on the right of petition and public meeting," and declaring a "firm determination to hold such meeting and procession," promising that the whole affair would be "an unarmed moral demonstration," and calling on the inhabitants of London to come to the support of the Chartists.  On Saturday O'Connor solemnly harangued the Convention and warned them that there must be no display of force.  After a discussion on what was to be done in the event of the wholesale arrest of the delegates, the Convention adjourned until 8 a.m. on Monday morning.  Innumerable circumstances had been contributing to the excitement of the public.  Events in Ireland seemed to be getting uncontrollable.  At a crowded Chartist meeting in Liverpool a Matthew Somers had declared that there were organizations in Liverpool, Manchester, and "at the foot of the Throne itself," which, in the event of "an attempted massacre of my countrymen," would cause the skies to be "reddened with the blaze of the Babylons of England." [p.245-1]  The Times was declaring that "the Chartists, in fact, are but tools in the hands of a gang of desperadoes.  The true character of the present movement is a ramification of the Irish conspiracy.  The Repealers wish to make as great a hell of this island as they have made of their own."  The Queen left London for the safety of the Isle of Wight on Saturday.  Innumerable meetings had been held in London throughout the week.  The members of the Inns of Court and the clerks in Government departments were swearing themselves in wholesale as special constables.  O'Brien left the Convention, refusing to be associated with illegal proceedings, and by so doing he gave the remaining delegates a definitely illegal stamp to the eyes of the non-Chartist world.  The theatres announced that they would be closed on the night of the 10th.

    Lord Campbell, Chancellor of the Duchy, writing to his brother on Sunday night, said: "This may be the last time I write to you before the Republic is established!  I have no serious fears of revolution, but there maybe bloodshed. . . ."  The day before the Cabinet had requested Wellington to attend, and "we had then a regular Council of War, as upon the eve of a great battle.  We examined maps and returns and information of the movements of the enemy. . . . [p.245-2]  It was not I alone who was struck with the consultation yesterday.  Macaulay said to me that he considered it the most interesting spectacle he had ever witnessed, and that he should remember it to his dying day."  Fortunately the Duke had the sense to order the forces under his command to remain in ambush, in fact, safely out of the way.

    Harriet Martineau in her Autobiography gives us another glimpse of the panic-stricken state of political circles.  The wife of a Cabinet minister wrote to her, "under her husband's sanction," to enlist her help in bringing the working classes to reason [!], fearing that the Chartists were about to "hold the metropolis."  Lord Malmesbury, in his Memoirs of an Ex-Minister, supplies more evidence of the state of feeling in London.  On April 5 he writes in his diary: "The alarm about the Chartists increases.  Everybody expects that the attack will be serious."  On April 9: "The alarm of to-day is very general all over the town. . . . The Duke of Wellington is to command the troops, and the orders he has given are that the police are to go first to disperse the meeting; if resistance is offered and they are likely to be beaten, then the troops are instantly to appear, and the cannon to open with shell and grenades, infantry and cavalry are to charge—in short, they are to be made an example of."  On the morning of The Day: "My five keepers have arrived at my house this morning, armed with double-barrelled guns, and determined to use them if necessary." [p.246-1]

    At last the 10th dawned upon the waiting world.  Prodigious preparations had been made by the authorities.  Four thousand policemen guarded the bridges, Palace Yard, and Trafalgar Square; 1,500 Chelsea pensioners had been fetched out from their retirement and entrusted with the defence of Battersea and Vauxhall.  Eight thousand soldiers were distributed over various strategic points along the Embankment between the Tower and Millbank.  Twelve guns were in readiness at the Royal Mews.  Three steamboats had been procured in order to move soldiers about from point to point should occasion arise for their services.  The clerks at the General Post Office had been equipped with rifles.  And, finally, over one hundred and fifty thousand special constables had been sworn in to protect property behind the firing line. [p.246-2]  Among these was Louis Napoleon, who paced a beat in the West End in the company of the cook of the Athenæum Club, meditating the while, one likes to imagine, on the theory and practice of coups d'état.  It is certainly one of the minor humours of history that while the last King of the French was painfully adapting himself to life in a London suburb, the future (and also the last) Emperor of the French, with a white band on his arm and a stave in his pocket, was acting as an amateur London policeman.  At four o'clock in the morning the special constables were at their posts.  The late Sir Spencer Ponsonby-Fane, [p.247-1] then a junior clerk in the Foreign Office, has described the internal defences of his Department on the great day.  "The ground-floor windows of the office were all blocked up with the huge bound volumes of the Times newspaper, which it was supposed would resist bullets."  The clerks were armed with new service muskets and ball cartridges.  We gather from the Greville Memoirs that similar precautions had been taken in the other Government offices, where the joyous clerks were improvised into ready-made garrisons, provisioned to stand a short siege.  Special trains brought up Chartists, wishing to march in procession, from all parts of England.  The papers published bulletins from hour to hour, by staffs of correspondents distributed all over London.  At eight o'clock the Convention met, principally in order to hear O'Connor deny that he had ever intended not to be present, and to read aloud anonymous messages he had received from friends, to the effect that his life would be certainly ended by a bullet, should he insist on marching.  At ten o'clock a car drawn by six horses arrived, decorated with flags and mottoes, and the delegates mounted and were driven to Kennington Common, via Holborn, where the Petition was fetched out of the offices of the N.C.A. and loaded into another car, and Blackfriars Bridge.  At eleven o'clock they arrived, almost at the same time as a small procession of trade unionists.  Within the next hour a number of other processions from various parts of London had congregated.  What was the total number of Chartists present?  According to the Evening Sun, [p.247-2] "at least 150,000"; according to the next day's Times, about 20,000, only about half of whom were Chartists.  According to The Northern Star, 250,000.  There is no reason to doubt the correctness of the official estimate of "15,000 to 20,000."  Before the speeches began a police officer approached the car and said that Mr. Richard Mayne, one of the Commissioners of Police, wished to speak to O'Connor.  The latter immediately left the car and spoke to Mayne.  The crowd showed a hostile attitude towards the messenger, who was saved by O'Connor's declaration that Mayne was his "best friend."  Then the Duke's strategy was revealed.  O'Connor was told that the meeting could be held, but that the bridges were closed by the police, and no procession would be allowed to cross.  O'Connor at once promised to abandon the procession.  He returned to the Common from the Horns Assembly Rooms, where the interview with Mayne had taken place, and the speech-making began.  Doyle was put in the chair, and started proceedings.  Then O'Connor broke the news.  In accordance with his usual tactics he first allowed his prestige full play, adding to it for the occasion.  Posing as a revolutionary of the deepest dye, he told the astonished crowd that his father had been tried five or six times for high treason, and was in prison for seven years of his life, that his uncle "is now in the fifteenth year of his banishment, and is about to be made the first President of the Republic in France.  My brother is Prime Minister and Commander-in-Chief of a Republic in South America."  Having by these means sufficiently impressed his listeners with the sense that he, O'Connor, was a man whose advice was well worth taking, he explained the situation as regards the police, and urged those present to pin their faith to the moral force of the six million signatures to the Petition, and to do nothing rash.  Ernest Jones followed, echoing his leader's exhortations.  O'Connor left the Common on the conclusion of Jones' speech, and the last speakers, Clark and Reynolds, were not very well listened to.  About 2 p.m. the meeting dispersed.  The Petition was packed into three cabs and, accompanied by Doyle, Clark, and M'Grath, was driven off to the House of Commons.  They were refused a safe-conduct across Westminster Bridge, and had ignominiously to reach Westminster through back streets and over Black-friars Bridge.  A few Chartists stayed behind to listen to an Irish meeting in a corner of the Common, which Harney, West and Reynolds were invited to address.  The remaining Chartists slowly dispersed, wondering greatly.  The demonstration was at an end.  At 2 p.m. Lord John Russell wrote out a report, and sent it to the Queen.  "Lord John Russell presents his humble duty to your Majesty, and has the honour to state that the Kennington Common meeting has proved a complete failure." [p.249-1]

    Yet the demonstration of April 10, 1848, has grown into a curious legend, easily explicable by anybody with the slightest acquaintance of crowd-psychology.  Thus in the preface to Kingsley's Alton Locke it is stated that "on the 10th April the Government had to fill London with troops, and put the Duke of Wellington in command, who barricaded the bridges and Downing Street, and other public buildings."  Dean Stubbs in his book on Kingsley is under the same hallucination.  "On the 10th of April, 1848, a revolution was threatened in England.  One hundred thousand armed men were to meet on Kennington Common and thence to march to Westminster, and there to compel, by physical force, if necessary, the acceptance of the People's Charter by the Houses of Parliament." [p.249-2]  The preposterously extensive arrangements made by the Duke to keep the peace vanish into insignificance beside the exaggerated memories which the demonstration left behind it.

    The Duke of Wellington, speaking in the House of Lords on April 10, said that the effect of the meeting on Kennington Common was "to place all the inhabitants of the metropolis under alarm, paralysing all trade and business of every description, and driving individuals to seek for safety by arming themselves for the protection of the lives of themselves and of their neighbours, and for the security of their property."  The recent revolutions supply the explanation of this timorousness.  It is apparently an instinct of the crowd to hope for the worst, and this instinct is communicable to individuals.

    The fate of the Petition was even more ignominious than that of the projected procession.  Even before its presentation voices had been heard to suggest that the alleged total number of signatures—5,706,000, according to O'Connor's most frequent estimate—was largely inflated.  Some ingenious but anonymous person wrote to the Times to point out that the total number of adult males in Great Britain was just 300,000 less than the number of signatures.  The Government worked on the line suggested by these doubters.  The Petition was immediately on its arrival handed over to a staff of clerks, who counted up the signatures and found that there were no more than 1,975,496.  On April 13 the Committee on Public Petitions presented its report.  It stated that large numbers of signatures on consecutive sheets were in the same handwriting; and that a large number of distinguished individuals whose allegiance to Chartism had been completely unsuspected had put their names to the Petition.  Among these, the Committee grieved to find Victoria Rex [sic], April 1, the Duke of Wellington, Sir Robert Peel, and Colonel Sibthorp.  Another class of signatures was represented by a few specimens, such as No Cheese, Pugnose, Flatnose, Punch.  And "there are other words and phrases which, though written in the form of signatures, and included in the number reported, your Committee will not hazard offending the House and the dignity and decency of their own proceedings by reporting, though it may be added that they are obviously signatures belonging to no human being."  The Committee did not even give O'Connor's estimate of the weight of the Petition the benefit of the doubt.  He had declared that it weighed five tons; the Committee, after trial, reduced the estimate to five hundredweight and three-quarters.

    O'Connor was in the House when these devastating facts were published.  He immediately rose and challenged them, suggesting that the bogus signatures had been inserted by spies for the purpose of discrediting the remainder, and that the thirteen clerks employed by the Committee on Petitions could not possibly have counted nearly two million signatures in the time.  He was, however, entirely unsupported by any sympathizers.  One member after another rose to denounce the Petition and the petitioners.  Cripps, a member of the Committee on Petitions, declared that he could never believe O'Connor again, whereupon the latter protested against being held personally responsible for the affair and left the House.  A wrangle then took place on the subject of the dignity of the House, which was terminated by the arrest of O'Connor by the Serjeant-at-Arms, and apologies to the House from him and from Cripps. [p.251]  On Tuesday, April 11, the Convention reassembled, and confessed itself neatly trapped on the previous day, by the valve-like action of the bridges.  O'Connor was away, ill, after the strenuous days he had passed in and out of the House.  The Convention decided that the National Assembly should consist of 100 members, seventy- eight of whom would be delegates chosen in the same manner as the members of the Convention, and the other twenty-two of whom would be elected by the trade unions.  There was some talk of joining forces with an Irish National Assembly of 300 members which was being mooted, but nothing was decided.  On Wednesday the Convention received the offer by letter of a large bribe from O'Connor, who offered to give up the profits of The Northern Star for the support of the Convention.  Acceptance of this would, of course, have placed the Convention in O'Connor's pocket, but the delegates knew better and unanimously declined the offer.  O'Connor put in a brief appearance in the afternoon and declared that "between 400,000 and 500,000 people" had been present on Kennington Common.  He referred to the Crown and Government Security Bill, denouncing it vigorously.  If it was passed, he promised to become a republican, although he had always previously contended for a constitutional monarchy.  Once more he spoke of the benefits which the Charter would bring, in terms remarkably similar to those in which Shakespeare makes Jack Cade address his followers.  On Thursday, the Convention decided to send Leach, Kydd and M'Grath over to Ireland as missionaries, to invite the middle classes and the Irish to be represented in the National Assembly, and to ask the trade unions to support the Charter.  On Friday, the 14th, O'Connor again appeared and attempted to explain away the fiasco of the Petition, which had been exposed in the Commons the day before.  He repeated the argument that 1,900,000 signatures could not have been counted by thirteen clerks in the time stated, and attempted to make out that the report of the Committee was deliberately fraudulent.  The Government was verging on a financial crisis, therefore his advice to the Chartists was to go on petitioning, as the Cabinet would have to make concessions to the people to avoid coming down with a crash.  His statement appears to have met with a slightly critical reception; several delegates did not like either the suggestion of more petitioning, or that of memorializing the Queen.  A discussion ensued as to the actual number of signatures, and it appeared that many thousands had not been presented, having been delayed.  On Saturday, April 15, a memorial to the Queen was adopted; it was to be laid before the country at the simultaneous meetings.  This document briefly recited the grievances of the working classes of Great Britain and Ireland, and declared that the Government was attempting to take away the liberties of the subject, "arraying class against class," and bringing forward "the Gagging Bill, falsely denominated a Bill for the better security of your Majesty's Crown and Government . . . conceived in the spirit of that tyrannical dynasty, whose expulsion led to the introduction of your Majesty's family to the British throne."  The memorial therefore prayed for the dissolution of the present Parliament, and for the appointment of a Cabinet in sympathy with the Charter. [p.252]  During its third week the proceedings of the Convention descended to complete triviality.  The National Assembly was postponed until May 1.  On April 22 the Crown and Government Security Bill, having passed through all its stages, was made law.  O'Connor addressed meetings in Manchester and Nottingham.  The Convention adjourned on April 25, the majority of the delegates having already left London in order to address the simultaneous meetings.

    On Monday, May 1, the National Assembly met at the John Street Institute.  Dixon was put into the chair, and Shirren was made secretary.  The delegates at first numbered twenty-nine, and had virtually all been members of the late Convention, the exceptions were quite unimportant.  The members of the Assembly met as the chosen of public meetings, and were therefore entirely unrepresentative.  The first two days were mostly occupied with the reports of the delegates as to the conditions of their constituencies, as observed in the course of their lecturing tours.  On its third day the Assembly considered the necessity of a programme.  M'Douall moved that the Assembly should receive a programme stating the Chartist policy in relation to social and political grievances, industrial and commercial questions, education, the Church, the criminal code, and the freedom of the press, in addition, of course, to the business for which the Assembly had been brought into life.  Led by Ernest Jones, however, the majority refused to touch anything not immediately connected with the enactment of the Charter, and adopted a programme drafted accordingly.  During its second week the Assembly reorganized the N.C.A. and elected a provisional new Executive, consisting of M'Crae, Jones, Kydd, Leach, and M'Douall.  The prevailing atmosphere was distinctly unfriendly to O'Connor, who stayed away, addressing meetings in his defence in the provinces, and attempting to organize a fund to run a daily paper, to be called the Democrat.  On Saturday, May 13, the Assembly dissolved itself.  The memorial to the Queen was presented through the post, as the authorities, in accordance with the "established practice," would not allow it to be handed over by the delegates in person.  Resolutions, more or less academic, were adopted, and an address to the people was unanimously passed for publication.  The one achievement of the Assembly was the reconstitution of the N.C.A., in the circumstances an altogether unconstitutional action, as the authority of the body was not derived from the N.C.A., and the delegates were not necessarily members of it.  This move, however, had much to recommend it.  The new N.C.A. was to consist of groups of ten: each group to select a leader, who with nine other leaders, formed an upper circle, which was again under a tenth of its members and so on.  This scheme had the advantage of keeping the members in touch with the central organization.  The Northern Star began to devote itself to the affairs of Ireland and of Europe, and Chartism sank rapidly into a lethargic condition.

    It was awakened suddenly at the beginning of June by reports of the arrests of several of its leaders for violence of language regarded as equivalent to sedition.  Ernest Jones was one of the first, and with him Fussell and three others.  A number of arrests were made in various parts of Yorkshire.  Towards the end of May the Government once more began to fear a Chartist outbreak.  Inflammatory meetings on Clerkenwell Green were coming to be of nightly occurrence, and were as often as not accompanied by minatory processions into the City and towards Westminster.  The result of these prosecutions was to drive the insurrectionary section of the movement underground.  North of England Chartists met in cellars and came out of them armed with pikes.  Several arrests were made in Manchester, Liverpool, Birmingham, and Bradford; in each case the police seized a quantity of these picturesque but harmless weapons.  In September a Committee of fourteen Chartists was arrested in the Angel Tavern in Webber Street, Blackfriars, on the information of certain police spies.  A small quantity of arms and ammunition was found on this occasion.  Other arrests and seizures were made in Great Ormond Street, Holborn, and York Street, Westminster.  Powell, the informer responsible for these arrests, was an obvious and blatant perjurer, and came out very badly in cross-examination.  He had acted as agent provocateur, and had himself made and given away bullets and powder to the Chartists against whom he afterwards informed.  However, four prisoners were sentenced to transportation for life, and fifteen, Ernest Jones among them, were sentenced to two years' imprisonment.  A larger number received lighter sentences, or were merely bound over.  In Manchester, about the same time, P. M. M'Douall was sentenced to two years' imprisonment.  Towards the end of the year almost wholesale arrests took place in the North, the attempted rising of Smith O'Brien in Ireland having by this time reduced the Government to a condition bordering on hysteria.  In Liverpool John West was sentenced to one year's imprisonment, and James Leach to nine months.  There were in all sixty-five Chartists tried here at a single special assizes in December, on charges gently graduated from conspiracy downwards.  In Edinburgh and Glasgow the same thing happened.  The greater number of these trials depended on the evidence of police spies and agents provocateurs.  By the end of the year these had exhausted their information, and the prosecutions ceased.  It is possible that these arrests were the result of the Government's fear of something more dangerous than a demonstration.  Both Thomas Cooper [p.255-1] and Thomas Frost [p.255-2] have fearsome tales to tell of individuals who, assisted by police spies, attempted to work up violent outbreaks.  Certainly some new motive had been brought into action.  As in 1839 wholesale arrests were made, and in that year the judges and magistrates who tried the prisoners were unanimously severe in inflicting sentences.

    It is not necessary to record at length the different stages of shattered helplessness into which the Chartist movement degenerated with the arrest of its leaders.  Hume attempted to bring the Government to accept a compromise—the "Little Charter," or household suffrage.  On Tuesday, May 23, 1848, he brought forward a motion in the House of Commons with reference to the extension of the franchise to householders.  The moment was not propitious.  The day's proceedings had begun with a motion by Lord George Bentinck for the adjournment of the House from its rising until the following Thursday, on the ground that Wednesday was to be Derby Day.  There had been a little opposition, from Hume, Bright, and Fox Maule, on the ground that the House had its time very fully occupied.  This plea, however, was regarded as frivolous by Lord John Russell, who could not understand how anybody could possibly wish to discuss such things as the Law of Entail in Scotland on a "national fêtê," and the House agreed with him, 103 voting for adjournment and 90 against.  With the prospect of a holiday before them, members were not, by the time Hume's motion was brought on after 11 p.m., in a mood to discuss household enfranchisement with any enthusiasm, and the mover had to content himself with a promise to try again on June 20.  O'Connor followed, and attacked Hume for this postponement.  Cobden rose to Hume's defence and told the House that O'Connor "has done more to retard the political progress of the working classes of England than any other public man that ever lived in this country."  Lord John Russell then stepped in, and the subject dropped. [p.256]

    For the rest, Ernest Jones was grossly ill-treated in prison.  O'Connor, after the exposure of his ill-usage, was allowed to purchase Jones a certain alleviation of the conditions of his imprisonment.  Owen published a lengthy constitution and code of laws for a perfect state of society, apparently with the usual hope.  The Land Company's proceedings were centred round the report of the Select Committee.  O'Connor addressed meetings and quarrelled.  The revolutionary tide had ebbed, and the land scheme no longer inspired.  Chartism, in fact, returned to the hopeless position it had occupied four years earlier.


――――♦――――

APPENDIX

DELEGATES TO THE CONVENTION
OF APRIL 4, 1848.
 

J. P. Wilkinson, Exeter.

 Jas. Shirren, Aberdeen.

S. G. Francis, Ipswich.

 G. W. M. Reynolds, Derby.

M. Stevenson, Bolton.

 Geo. Stevens, York.

Ernest Jones, Halifax.

 Robert Cochrane, Paisley.

Jas. Hutchins, Wigan.

 Jas. Adams, Glasgow.

Geo. Buckby, Leicester.

 C. M'Carthy, Irish Democratic

G. J. Harney, Nottingham.

          Confederation.

Jos. Jinney, Birmingham.

Chas. Baldwin, Bath.

J. A. Fussell, Birmingham. D.

D. Lightowler, Bradford.

Samuel Kydd, Oldham.

F. O'Connor, Leeds.

D. Donovan, Manchester.

J. Shaw, Leeds

Jas. Leach,  Manchester.

John Lowery, Carlisle.

Edmund Jones, Liverpool.

D. Thomas, Merthyr.

Henry Smith, Liverpool.

R. Wild, Ashton-under-Lyne.

Dr. Hunter, Edinburgh.

Edw. Walter, Worcester.

Jas. Cumming, Edinburgh.

Wm. Cuffay, London

Jas. Graham, Dundee.

H. Child, London

J. T. Lund, Lancaster.

B. O'Brien, London

F. Mirfield, Barnsley.

 J. Petrie, Plymouth.

Jas. Watson, Newcastle.

 Dixon, Norwich.

W. Ashton, Northampton.

 Murphy, Huddersfield.

Thos. Tattersall, Bury.

 Tanner, Totnes.

John West, Stockport.

 Glenister, Cheltenham.

E. Bevington, Staffs. Potteries.

Edw. Sale, Staffs. Potteries.


――――♦――――

 
CHAPTER IX.

THE PASSING OF CHARTISM


THE majority of the historical works dealing with the last century regard April 10, 1848, as the day on which Chartism died.  Even the massive work of Professor Dolléans deliberately comes to a stop on arriving at this date.

    Historians are almost unanimous in regarding Kennington Common as the burial-ground of the movement, and the laugh that went up over the Petition as its funeral sermon.  But the date is too early.  It overlooks an essential episode in the evolution of the Chartist movement.

    On April 8 Lovett attempted to revive the project of uniting the Chartists and the Radical middle-class men.  He secured the support of Miall, Parry, Howitt, Vincent, Dr. Epps, Elt, Shaen, Lowery, and Neesom, and the People's League was the outcome.  Place sadly remarks to Lovett on April 19 that "it will be some time to come before the words Chartism and Universal Suffrage will meet with favour in the direction you seem to be looking, and F. O'Connor will presently give both a more terrible blow than any or all they have yet received." [p.258-1]  The People's League died in September, 1849, [p.258-2] apparently the result of the competition of its twin-brother, the People's Charter Union, the membership of which was largely duplicate.  This organization was virtually the successor of the National Association, which was actually wound up in 1849, [p.258-3] after having been in a moribund condition since Lovett's resignation from the secretaryship in 1846.  The People's Charter Union held its first meeting at the Farringdon Hall on the evening of April 10, 1848.  Cooper was elected president, and Richard Moore, treasurer.  The Council included Hetherington, Watson, Holyoake and Collett.  A little later on it was joined by Dr. Black, who had now become private secretary to Sir William Molesworth.  The Council soon found itself negotiating with Cobden on the subject of the Stamp Duties.  In order to act with greater freedom, ten members of the Council, on Cobden's advice, formed themselves into an independent body, the Newspaper Stamp Abolition Committee.  This was in March, 1849.  The ten co-opted Dr. Black and appointed Collett secretary and Francis Place treasurer, Moore becoming chairman, and subsequently added to their number by the accession of prominent members both of the People's Charter Union and of the N.C.A.  Among these were Holyoake and James Stansfeld, afterwards Chairman of the Local Government Board.  Black and Place prepared appeals and provided statistical information.  Little by little the Committee won over the more progressive M.P.'s.  In February, 1851, it decided to expand, and became the Association for the Repeal of the Taxes on Knowledge, and invited members not necessarily belonging to the Chartist Movement.  Milner-Gibson, M.P., became President.  Dr. Bowkett, John Bright, M.P., R. Cobden, M.P., Passmore Edwards, W. Ewart, M.P., Joseph Hume, M.P., Thornton Hunt, G. H. Lewes, and several other Radicals, in and out of Parliament, went on the Committee.  The Association gained its first victory in 1853, when the advertisement duty was repealed.  The compulsory stamp on newspapers was repealed two years later.  The paper duty followed in 1861.  Finally the last restrictions were removed in 1869, and the year after the Committee met for the last time in the house in Hart Street, Bloomsbury, where Richard Moore, chairman for twenty-one years, had lived since his first participation in the Chartism Movement. [p.259]

    Now this episode is of considerable importance, for it gives the Chartist movement a definite character.  We have read Place's account of the evolution of the W.M.A., from the little Committee presided over by Place and Black, which had come into existence to fight the newspaper taxes.  From the agitation against "the taxes on knowledge," intellectual working-class Chartism had arisen.  To the agitation against the same taxes, intellectual working-class Chartism, eleven years later, returned.  The same agitation, the same Committee.  Place and Black, Hetherington, Watson and Moore all follow the same path.  And we may be sure that Lovett and Vincent were with them, although they played no prominent parts in the renewed campaign.  More than any other fact of the movement, this emergence from and return to the agitation against "the taxes on knowledge" marks Chartism as a protest against ignorance.  Chartism had failed because the masses were not yet intelligent enough to realize the necessity of political enfranchisement.  This, at least, was the view of the intellectual leaders of Chartism.  Just as Lovett had given up political agitation for the far more wearing occupation of educating the young, so the other leaders gave up their parts in the struggle in order to secure that essential to the education of the people—a free press.  For the next year or two Chartism, as an organization of the people, was quiescent.  O'Connor's influence was waning.  The other leaders of the N.C.A. were exhibiting an extraordinary quarrelsomeness, into the details of which it is not necessary to enter.  On July 3, 1849, O'Connor moved that the "House do adopt the principles embodied in the People's Charter."  Exactly forty members were present during the early part of the discussion.  Once again the old assertions were repeated, and met by the old denials.  O'Connor's speech on this occasion was one of his most closely-reasoned performances.  Among his arguments he adduced that of the inadequate representation of working-class interests in a House constituted on the existing lines, and the unequal representation of the towns.  Lord John Russell [p.260] replied at great length, and made out a case which was not merely negative, but was in fact a statement of the advantages of government by a social hierarchy as against government by the whole people.  "I therefore meet the proposition of the Hon. Gentleman with a direct negative, conceiving that, if adopted, it would tend to the greatest evils, and that in adopting it we should run the risk of losing the liberties which we now possess, and that to do so would be a most foolish and unwise proceeding."  On the division fifteen members, including tellers, supported the measure, and 224 voted against it.

    On March 16, 1850, the National Reform League for the Peaceful Regeneration of Society came into existence, and at last Bronterre O'Brien had an organization to help him in the propagation of his views, which, incidentally, had by this time received the official assent of the N.C.A. and the Fraternal Democrats.  The programme is too long to quote in full: it contains an assertion of the principles laid down in the Charter, a demand for the repeal of the Poor Law, a claim for the generous treatment of paupers, land nationalization and colonization, the National Debt to be paid off by a mortgage on the real estate of the country, nationalization of mines, fisheries, etc., a system of national credit to enable the people to borrow from national funds in order to set up as a cultivator, public market places, fixed prices, paper money based "either upon a corn or a labour standard," and a hint at wider schemes of nationalization, especially of railways, canals, bridges, docks, gasworks, waterworks, a more human code of laws, etc.

    On July 11, 1850, O'Connor, once more and for the last time, brought forward a motion in support of the Charter, with a more than usually Socialist preamble.  The motion, in fact, consisted in a series of postulates leading up to the Six Points.  Just before O'Connor's discussion of this resolution, the House had refused leave by a small majority of the small number of Members present to William Ewart to bring in a Bill to abolish the punishment of death.  O'Connor's first argument in support of his motion was that one way of putting an end to the crime of murder was to place the representative system on such a sound and representative basis as that every person in the kingdom should be represented in the House.  He was not allowed to continue long in this strain; the attendance had diminished beyond the requisite forty, and the House was counted out. [p.262-1]  So, ingloriously, ended the parliamentary career of the Charter.

    In the same month O'Connor began a great effort to revive Chartism and addressed meetings all over the country.  Arnott, perhaps with a better grasp of the situation, raised the question of uniting into one body the N.C.A., the Fraternal Democrats, and the National Reform League. [p.262-2]  A little later on a round table conference of these three bodies, in addition to the ephemeral Social Reform League, was suggested, but nothing came of this. [p.262-3]  In August the Haynau affair took place.  The Austrian General, whose behaviour in Italy and Hungary, especially his flogging of women, had gained for him a reputation in England which he probably did not suspect, happened to visit London.  Anxious to see sights, he obtained through a friend an invitation to go over Barclay and Perkins's Brewery, Bankside.  He arrived, accompanied by a nephew and an interpreter.  The draymen, discovering his identity, inflicted a severe flogging upon the General, who escaped with great difficulty, and spent the brief remainder of his stay in England in bed.  This incident, as it were, brought home to the English democracy the idea that there is a democracy of action and instinct, as of politics.  It received an enormous amount of attention in Chartist papers and on Chartist platforms, and, in fact, throughout the English press, with the exception of the Times and the Morning Chronicle.

    The election figures of the 1851 Executive are sadly smaller than those of earlier occasions; they illustrate, too, O'Connor's fall from his once unchallenged position: Reynolds, 1,805; Harney, 1,774; Jones, 1,757; Arnott, 1,605; O'Connor, 1,314; Holyoake, 1,021; Davis, 818; Grassby, 811; Milne, 709.  Thornton Hunt and Linton were unsuccessful candidates.  Robert Owen, O'Brien, Cooper, Gerald Massey, and Kydd were nominated but refused to stand. [p.262-4]  Davis resigned immediately after the election, and Hunt took his place.  Manchester Chartism, feeling that the London Executive did not represent it, virtually declared its independence, and held a conference in January which, although solemnly repudiated by the Executive, turned out to be a small and harmless affair.  O'Connor attended it, and was warmly received.  In London another National Convention was arranged.  As before, there were to be forty-nine delegates who were duly elected, and turned out to be quite undistinguished.  The N.C.A., in fact, no longer had room for enterprising Chartists, who now habitually formed themselves into new societies which, on account of their smallness, had an appallingly high rate of mortality.  In addition to those just named, we find references in 1851 to the National Charter League (containing M'Grath, Clark, Dixon, and Doyle), the Political and Social Propagandist Society, the Political and Social Tract Society, and the Democratic and Social Conference.  The membership of the Convention, consisting of the petite bourgeoisie of the movement, makes its performance the more remarkable.

    The main part of the work of the Convention was the adoption, bit by bit, of a programme of social reform. [p.263]  This began with the demand for the establishment of a Board of Agriculture, and the restoration of "poor, common, church, and crown lands to the people."  Land was to be purchased by the Government, not confiscated.  The Church was to be separated from the State, and disendowed of all its accessions made up to the time of the Reformation.  Here, it will be seen, the Chartists, drafting a confessedly ideal programme, hesitated to go as far as the modern Church Disestablishers.  Education was to be "national, universal, gratuitous, and to a certain extent compulsory."  This compromise was arrived at after much discussion, several of the delegates objecting to compulsory education, adducing arguments beneath which tacit hostility to the State as State can be detected.  All education, from the University downwards, was to be free, the status of co-operative societies was also discussed, and freedom of association was claimed for them.  The National Debt was repudiated; no more interest was to be paid, but the capital was to be repaid as interest.  Standing armies were condemned on democratic principles, but recognized as unfortunate necessities, subject to considerable changes in the status of the private soldier.  Universal training in the use of arms was next recommended.  The question of compulsion and the conscientious objector came up on this point.  The Convention decided that there should be no compulsion in this respect; one delegate suggested that Quakers and others who shared their views on the use of arms should be given the opportunity of forming fire brigades.  State support for the unemployed, pensions for the aged and infirm, to allow them to be kept in their own homes, provision of work for the unemployed, and if necessary, settlement upon the land, were proposed as measures which might take the place of the Poor Law, which was to be abolished.  During the second week the Convention discussed a variety of matters, strongly opposed the death penalty, authorized a fund for the recall of Frost, Williams, and Jones, and so on.  Finally another attempt was made to reorganize the N.C.A., and the Convention dissolved on April 10.  A Committee set to work on the resolutions and knocked them into shape, making a neat programme out of them.  Another National Petition was to be organized, but this time there were to be no fraudulent signatures; simultaneous meetings were to be held, and the Chairmen were to count the number of those voting for the resolutions.  Communications with the Trade Unions were to be initiated.  In its final form the Chartist programme called for the nationalization of the land, and claimed that, as "labour was the creator of a nation's wealth," co-operative associations should have every encouragement.  All taxation was to be upon land and accumulated property.  A change in currency laws was demanded, but no details were provided: finally, measures making for the complete freedom of the press were recommended.

    This programme was duly printed by the Times, [p.264] and Chartism, was reintroduced, after a lapse of three years, to the attention of the middle classes.  Although by this time the membership of the N.C.A. had diminished to something in the neighbourhood of 4,000, both to the Times and the Spectator the adoption of the programme appeared to presage a renascence.  The Spectator finished its review of the situation with these words: "Although standing with practical England in the remote and shadowy regions of 'isms,' neither Chartism or Socialism is quite the bugbear that it once was: common sense begins to regard each as a rude husk containing some kernel of truth, that may be worth analysis: a process in which even the Times begins to assist in a slashing bantering fashion." [p.265]

    The adoption of this programme by the Convention is very remarkable in view of its personnel.  The leaders were absent: O'Connor, on account of illness, put in but a few ineffective appearances, O'Brien was not a delegate.  Thornton Hunt, Harney, Reynolds, Jones, and Holyoake, the most intellectual persons present, had previously given few signs of statesmanship.  The delegates were not men committed to doctrinaire views on anything outside the Six Points.  Certain unimportant amendments indicated a desire that Chartism should not be identified with any particular philosophy.  Yet these men in these unpromising conditions agreed upon a programme which future generations of reformers spent much time, not in reshaping, but in laboriously rediscovering.  One clause, not mentioned above, is of special interest.  "Municipal and Parochial power should be vested in the hands of the people, since disenfranchisement in local matters is as unjust as the restriction of the elective franchise."  Chartists were recommended, wherever possible, to contest local and municipal elections.  But by this time the movement was in a state of flaccid senility, and unable to absorb strong new doctrines.

    After the Convention the Chartist movement followed a downward path which had no obstacles.  Lord John Russell was beginning to hint at reform, and his promises, added to the performances of Hume, now strongly agitating, in good middle-class company, for household suffrage and the ballot, satisfied the milder elements of the Chartist movement.  The great Exhibition opening on May 2, 1851, was seriously expected by innumerable optimists to be the immediate precursor of universal peace among the nations, and so attracted a good deal of attention away from the apparently unobtainable Charter.  Feargus O'Connor was now clearly seen to be losing his hold upon the movement, and upon himself.  In August he ceased to write the leading article in The Northern Star, contenting himself with occasional very short letters.  Harassed by creditors, real and imaginary, and by the impossibility of paying the steadily accumulating expenses of winding up the Land Company, he went abroad for some two months, and returned about the middle of October.  This happened to be a few days before the arrival in England of the recently liberated Kossuth.  The coming of the Hungarian patriot evoked immense excitement among the working classes, and a tumultuous series of receptions and demonstrations was immediately arranged to take place all over the country.  In this movement O'Connor took as prominent a part as the state of his health and mind permitted.  Before many weeks had passed, however, his behaviour at one of the numerous Kossuth banquets made his mental state obvious to all.  Kossuth, fearing a repetition of O'Connor's eccentric behaviour towards himself, asked that he should be excluded from other demonstrations in his honour.  It fell upon Holyoake and Hunt to put this desire into effect, and from them the Chartists learned that the current rumour as to their leader's mind was indeed true.  At the end of December The Northern Star was sold to William Rider, its printer and publisher.  Although O'Connor was re-elected to the Executive of the N.C.A. for 1852, he was no longer in a position to be of any use to it.  In the early part of the year he paid the briefest of visits to the United States.

    The remaining events of O'Connor's life may be conveniently described here.  Justin MacCarthy gives a pathetic recollection of meeting O'Connor during this last period in Covent Garden market.  His hair had turned white, his movements were restless and uncertain.  He rambled from stall to stall, muttering to himself, handling the fruit, bursting into meaningless laughs and walking on. [p.266]

    On June 8, 1852, O'Connor's behaviour in the House became excessive; he was named by the Speaker, and apologized to him and the House.  On the 14th a Petition was received from his sister, expressing her belief that her brother was of unsound mind. [p.267-1]  He then was removed to a private asylum in Chiswick, kept by one Dr. Harrington Tuke.  In August, 1855, Miss Margaret O'Connor, the sister of the unfortunate man, became dissatisfied with his treatment and effected his removal to her own house in Albert Terrace, Notting Hill, virtually by force.  O'Connor was then in a perfectly helpless condition, and the circumstances of his removal hastened his end, which took place on August 30, ten days later.  He was penniless at the time of his death; even the cost of his funeral had to be defrayed by his friends, a committee of whom afterwards got up a public subscription for a memorial.  On the day of his burial London was in a highly excited state on account of the long-awaited news of the fall of Sevastopol.  A long procession followed him to Kensal Green, where William Jones, a Liverpool workman, and cousin of the deceased, delivered an impassioned graveside speech. [p.267-2]

    To return to the N.C.A., the voting for the 1852 Committee gave the following results: Ernest Jones, 900; John Arnott, 720; Feargus O'Connor, 600; T. Martin Wheeler, 566; John Grassby, 565; John Shaw, 502; W. J. Linton, 470; J. J. Bezer, 456; and G. J. Holyoake, 336.  Thornton Hunt (282) and P. M. M'Douall (198) were among the unsuccessful candidates. [p.267-3]  Ernest Jones immediately retired, expressing himself as "unable to sit on an Executive Committee like the present," [p.267-4] and insisting that the movement could not go on without the active co-operation of such men as Harney, Cooper, and Kydd.  Linton also refused to act unless the Committee approved of union with the middle classes—which it did not.  Wheeler cleared out at once, partly because of a lack of confidence in Arnott as secretary, partly because Holyoake had expressed a lack of confidence in Wheeler, having once seen him drunk.  The depleted Committee, foreseeing the worst, gave up its office at 14, Southampton Street, Strand; appointed Grassby its temporary honorary secretary in place of Arnott, and thenceforth held its meetings at his house at 96, Regent Street, Lambeth.  The Committee was in debt for a sum of between £30 and £40, and honourably spent its last efforts in raising this amount—a feat which took about six months for its accomplishment.  After this we hear no more about the Executive of the N.C.A.

    Ernest Jones, however, did not despair of the movement, and attempted to revive it in Manchester.  There a minute Conference was held from May 17-21, 1852, attended by local and midland delegates, and by Jones and James Finlen from London.  This assumed the guidance of the N.C.A., revised its constitution, reduced the size of the Executive to three, who were to be paid 30s. weekly and travelling expenses.  As missionaries it was hoped that they would revive the movement.  The Executive was to be elected for a period of six months.  The result of the first election was Gammage, [p.268-1] 922; Finlen, 839; Jones, 739.  These went on tour for some months and worked prodigiously.  Jones started a weekly, The People's Paper, and for a while all went well, but the conduct of this paper, the management of its finances, and the alleged ambition of its editor to be the dictator of the Chartist movement soon caused a quarrel.  As the result of this, the next contested election of the Executive, in March 1854, was accompanied by immense gerrymandering, according to Gammage, who was pushed out of the triumvirate. [p.268-2]  In any case, Jones, Finlen and John Shaw were declared elected on a second count, which presented gigantic discrepancies from the first.  Jones's vote rose from 759 to 942, Gammage's place fell from third to fourth.  Shaw does not appear to have done very much after his election, and Jones and Finlen, in effect the former, carried the banner single-handed against the gale.

    The Northern Star policy in the hands of its new owners was only intermittently sympathetic with Chartism.  A leading article suggests that "As a system, Chartism has degenerated, its ranks have been disbanded, and the principles cast upon the wide world for every would-be statesman to mock and sneer at.  This is the present of Chartism.  For all moral effects, it is practically deceased.  Its carcase stinks in the nostrils of men." [p.269]  In January, 1852, it attempted to woo the Trade Unions by publishing Strike news and reports of meetings.  Much attention is paid to the co-operative movement, and the Christian Socialists.  Matters however went from bad to worse.  Every sort of editorial device was called into play to keep the paper going.  In March it became the Star and National Trades' Journal.  Two months later it became the Star of Freedom, and lowered its price to 4½d.  Harney bought the paper cheaply and for the second time was the editor.  In August he changed the format and the type, giving the Star a pleasant appearance similar to that of the Spectator but with slightly larger pages.  But his readers would not hear of Chartism.  In vain he gave the public what it wanted.  At the moment the working classes were feverishly excited over Australian gold diggings.  So Harney wrote up Australian gold.  The public resolutely refused to have any connexion with any paper with a Chartist taint, and in November, 1852, the Star appeared for the last time.  Harney promised that its demise would be of a temporary nature, but the promise was unredeemable.  In its last issues it contained attacks by Harney on Jones.  That no two prominent Chartists could work together for more than a year or so without quarrelling is one of the tragedies of their movement.

    The People's Paper at threepence weekly was naturally a contributing cause to the breakdown of The Northern Star.  The new paper was published ostensibly in the interests of the N.C.A., declared to be, in the first number, "the greatest and noblest benefit society of the world."  Jones gave far more attention to Chartist doings than his competitor, and gave special prominence to the Metropolitan Delegate Council, a nominally representative body of London Chartists, which, while completely ineffective, staved off the hour of dissolution for an unexpectedly long time.  A peculiar interest is given to The People's Paper by the fact that Marx, who apparently enjoyed the complete confidence of Jones, gradually became the acknowledged source of its editor's ideas and information.  The paper had not been established many weeks when articles in support of land nationalization and other distinctively Socialist tenets began to appear.  By the beginning of 1853 it was urging the "nationalization of credit," by which was apparently meant State loans to incipient co-operative undertakings.  Early in 1853, Thomas Cooper returned for a while to the movement, but merely to lecture to it, not to guide it.  In March, 1853, [p.270] there was an interesting article entitled "Sutherland and Slavery" by "Dr. Charles Marx," describing the manner in which the Sutherland family had acquired its domains.  Other articles, apparently from the same pen, are signed with the initials "M." or "C. M.," or are introduced as by "a well-known foreign politician, at present in London."  The outward and visible signs of Marx are, however, less clear than the inward meaning of the paper's teaching.  Articles on the class struggle and surplus value (not yet so called) alternate with others on the history of the National Debt and emigration.  In 1853 The People's Paper begins to develop a bitterly anti-Russian tone.  For this, too, Marx was probably very largely responsible.  David Urquhart, now a Member of Parliament, had by no means learned to mitigate his hatred of Russia.  Considered insane by many, he became a bosom friend of Marx, who, doubtless, passed on his opinions to Ernest Jones.  So, between one doctrine and another, The People's Paper laboriously managed to rise to a circulation of some three or four thousand within a few years.  This was by dint of immense efforts on the part of Jones, who was scarcely ever in a position to say with certainty that he could keep the paper going for another month.

    In 1854 an episode took place of some interest as illustrating the tendency of Chartist evolution, although of little direct importance.  This was the "Mass Movement," with which Jones was prominently associated.  The idea was one of the innumerable anticipations of the General Federation of Trade Unions.  On March 6, 1854, the Labour Parliament met in Manchester.  The Conference which had adopted this grandiloquent title was a gathering of Chartist and Trade Union delegates, who gave the Mass Movement an organization and a programme.  The principal object of the Movement was the raising of a strike fund.  The great Engineering lock-out of 1852, and the unsuccessful strikes of the Preston cotton-spinners, and the Kidderminster carpet weavers the following year, had made such a fund greatly to be desired.  The Labour Parliament wished the fund to be used for other additional purposes, of which one was the purchase of estates to be sublet to trade unionists, as a remedy for unemployment.  A long programme was drawn up in support of several items of labour legislation, but, curiously enough, labour representation was not demanded, or even mentioned.  On the proposal to buy land, Joseph Harrison, a Nottinghamshire farmer, declared that since the failure of the National Land Company, 300 land schemes had sprung up, and there were half a dozen around Nottingham. [p.271]  Marx and Louis Blanc had been invited to attend as honorary members, but both sent polite letters regretting their inability to be present.  The Labour Parliament concluded its proceedings by electing an executive of five: Finlen heading the poll.  Jones was appointed honorary member of the executive.  Three of the five (including Finlen) were set to work as missionaries and sent out to tour the country.  The first and only thing the executive attempted was the formation of the United Brothers' Industrial, Sick, Benefit, and Life Assurance Company, which was to give slightly larger benefits than other insurance companies.  The Mass Movement did not live long.  For a month or two, about £20 flowed in weekly, then the current slackened.  The second Labour Parliament, which was to have met in Nottingham, in August, never materialized.

    The Crimean War was now occupying the attention of the British public.  Jones and Finlen promulgated the "Soldiers' Charter," demanding promotion from the ranks, better pay abolition of flogging, and higher pensions to ex-soldiers.  In February, 1855, Jones had another access of internationalism, as one result of which he quarrelled with Finlen; the two were, however, soon reconciled, and co-operated in organizing an international meeting at St. Martin's Hall, on February 27, 1855, to commemorate the revolutions of 1848.  At this meeting Herzen was the most distinguished of the foreign speakers.  Victor Hugo had promised to be present, but the death of a brother at the last moment forced him to remain in Jersey.  He sent along a written oration, however, a deluge of exclamation marks, which was read to the meeting.  Perhaps the most noteworthy sentiment it contained was "the least possible amount of governing, is the formula of the future." [p.272-1]  Saffi, one of the Roman triumviri with Mazzini, also sent a written speech.

    In July, 1855, Jones, in deference to N.C.A. branch opinion, held an election for the executive, as the result of which he, Finlen, and Abraham Robinson were elected "by large majorities," and John Shaw lost his seat.  The numbers voting are not given, but from certain figures [p.272-2] it is fairly obvious that a few score votes only were cast.  Jones and Finlen showed no disposition to allow Robinson a share in the management, such as it was, of the movement.  The Manchester Chartists protested against the exclusive character of the Jones-Finlen régime, but were answered as follows: [p.272-3] "with respect to the third member; we should be happy to have his aid—but we would decline to associate in our plans any one we had not first tried and deeply tested. . . ."  The two then went on to explain that a movement was much better governed by two than by three and suggested that the ideal arrangement was that two be "in office on good behaviour, with no polling lists, no show of strength or weakness."  If the other Chartists did not like it they could hold another Convention and elect another executive.  The dispute ended with the adoption by Jones and Finlen of the motto "Personal confidence under popular control." [p.273]

    In 1856 John Frost returned to England.  He had been liberated two years earlier, on condition that he did not set foot in British dominions, and had gone to America.  Now at last he was allowed to return.  His coming caused something of a revival among the "Old Guards," but not to the extent expected by Jones.  Frost, now seventy years old, was much more deeply interested in procuring a reform of the transportation system under which he had suffered, than in Chartist propaganda, and was virtually lost to the movement.  He died in 1877, aged well over ninety.  The Crimean War continued to hold the attention of the public.  Jones used The People's Paper to popularize the ideas of the National Sunday League.  In February, Finlen settled in Glasgow as a newsagent, became reconciled with Gammage, with whom on account of the disparaging references to Jones in Gammage's History of the Chartist Movement a quarrel had taken place a year or two earlier, and the two ex-associates made preparations to publish a new Northern Star, to the intense fury of Jones.  He stood for Nottingham as Chartist candidate in the General Election of March, 1857, but was badly beaten by Paget and Walter, the Palmerstonian Liberal sitting Members.

    In the early autumn of this year Jones made his last effort to galvanize the defunct organization of Chartism back to life.  He announced another Conference, advertising it as widely as the resources of The People's Paper allowed.  Long lists were printed of the well-known ex-Chartists, middle-class sympathizers and others who were to be invited.  Frost was asked to preside, but refused.  The response was feeble, but Jones persisted, and at last was able to hold the conference.

    The last Conference of Chartist delegates was held in St. Martin's Hall, London, and lasted the whole week beginning February 8, 1858.  Although some forty delegates were present, their total constituency, according to Reynolds's Newspaper, [p.274-1] only amounted to about 500.  Certainly a few at least of those present could only be said to represent by stretching the usual meaning of the term.  Apparently Bubb, the delegate for Bermondsey, and treasurer of the Conference, was elected by a meeting of five, of whom two voted against him.  Ernest Jones and Holyoake were the only Chartists present whose names convey anything.  The object of the proceedings was to effect that political union of the working and middle classes on the basis of a common agitation which had been striven for by so many Chartists since the intervention of Sturge.  The middle classes, however, hardly responded to the Chartist appeal.  Samuel Morley and Robert Owen appear to have been the only non-Chartists of the one hundred and fifty invited middle–class politicians who took part in the discussion.  The Conference passed resolutions supporting the union, and appointed a new executive to carry on the movement.  After some controversy as to the most efficient size of this body, the Conference decided that an executive of one would best meet the exigencies of the case.  Ernest Jones was thereupon elected the Chartist executive.  He might equally well have been appointed the movement's executor.  The most interesting speech at this assembly was made by Robert Owen, now eighty-seven years old.  As reported in The People's Paper, "He was there as a delegate, and he was there as an invited guest.  He was in favour of the whole of the Charter.  As a Chartist he recommended them not to give up a single point.  As a friend of the working classes, he advised them as a matter of expediency to accept what the middle classes offered in reason.  The best thing that could be done for the working classes would be to give them a highly beneficial education." [p.274-2]  The Conference decided to raise a £100 fund for lecturers.  The object for which it had met was achieved, in theory, by the formation of the Political Reform League, as a compromise between the Chartists and the middle-class reformers.  The programme was an acceptance of three points, a mitigation of two, and the deletion of the remaining one.  It consisted of manhood suffrage, the ballot, abolition of the property qualification, triennial parliaments, and rearrangements of electoral districts.  Jones for some months scoffed at this compromise, but finally yielded to necessity.  The People's Paper became in May the property of the Political Reform League, and its treasurer J. Baxter; Langley its editor.  Chartist news was cut down to occupy only a few columns.  Jones, having left The People's Paper, once again tempted the fates by starting the London News in the very month of his departure.  The People's Paper died in September; the London News survived it only by two months.

    Of those present at the pathetic Conference of February, 1858, there came some as delegates of trade unions.  Reynolds's Newspaper suggests that Chartism was by no means as dead as this Conference would appear to indicate, but implies rather that the great body of Chartist opinion as ever averse to the proposed union was deliberately excluded by the organizers of the Conference.  If this was the case the singular inertness of the un—or misrepresented section of the movement can only be explained by the theory that about this time it died noiselessly and peacefully in its sleep.  After 1858 the references to Chartism in Reynolds's Newspaper occur principally in obituary notices.  Organized Chartism may be said to have died just before reaching years of discretion.  The attitude of Reynolds's Newspaper, which we have called to witness, was now hostile to the movement, because of the personal hostility of G. W. M. Reynolds to Jones.  In July, 1859, this led to a libel action, when Jones was awarded damages from Reynolds for an accusation, made in the defendant's paper, of having pilfered from the funds of The People's Paper.  After this time Jones earned his living at the Manchester bar.

    By imperceptible degrees the agitations for the Six Points (now five) had split up into fragments; in 1858 and the following years, Miall, Muntz and other reformers in and about the House of Commons were running the Parliamentary Reform Committee, which held meetings and organized public opinion in support of household suffrage.  About the same time Perronet Thompson, M.P., now a Major-General, was at the head of the Ballot Society, whose name explains its object.  John Bright was the most active of all in the propaganda of franchise reform, both in and out of Parliament.  Annual Parliaments had vanished from the list of things desired by the working classes.  The theory that a General Election should be an annual performance had a distant and respectable origin.  When old age reduced Bentham's writings to all but insurmountable masses of neologisms and incomprehensible formulas, his disciples had taken upon themselves the editing of his books.  Francis Place, himself by no means the most incisive of writers, had knocked into shape Bentham's plan of Parliamentary Reform, which urged "Annuality of Parliaments."

    By the beginning of the eighteen sixties, a new group of young men was coming forward to take the lead in English industrial politics.  George Odger, William Allan, Randal Cremer (subsequently knighted), George Howell, Robert Applegarth and their associates remodelled the trade union movement, made a beginning of labour representation, and with Karl Marx in 1864 founded the International Working Men's Association, that great stimulating force of the late 'sixties.  Jones makes a thin link between this group and organized Chartism.  In April, 1864, it happened that Garibaldi visited England, in an interval of his great struggle for Italian unity.  Jones, Odger, Howell, and Edmond Beales attempted to hold a welcome meeting on Primrose Hill, but the Government were extremely nervous on account of Garibaldi's presence in the country: too many young men were professing republicanism to suit Palmerston.  Garibaldi was therefore spirited out of the country; and, acting on the same principle, the Primrose Hill meeting was broken up by the police.  The Committee did the wisest thing possible in the circumstances: it retired to a public-house. [p.276]  Here the Reform League was started, for the purpose of obtaining manhood suffrage and the ballot.  This new body attracted to itself the remaining energetic Chartists.  Prominent among these was J. B. Leno, a young printer-poet, who had come forward in 1850, and who had about 1858 started a little Society called the Propagandists, a circle of youthful Chartists, whom he now swept into the Reform League.  This organization was responsible for the demonstration of July 23, 1866, for ever to be remembered as the occasion when the Hyde Park railings were pushed down by the crowd. [p.277-1]

    Jones died in 1868, [p.277-2] on the eve of the General Election, at which Manchester had offered him a safe seat.  Our vision of him, as of so many of his associates, is distorted by the incessant quarrels in which he was concerned.  Yet, it is impossible to deny to Jones the possession of a quite extraordinarily developed gift of political sagacity.  Like O'Connor and many others, he gave up all he had for the Cause.  "It was said that Mr. Jones and other Chartist lecturers were making plenty of money out of us, but there was not a worse paid lot of men in the country than they were . . . Mr. Harney often lecturing in this district (Halifax) . . . sent for a Mr. Burns, a tailor, to mend his trousers whilst he remained in bed.  Mr. Kydd . . . had to sit in a shoemaker's shop in this town whilst his shoes were repaired.  On one of Mr. Jones's visits . . . the person who had his boots to clean noticed that his boots were worn out . . . on another occasion we had to buy him a new shirt and front before he could appear at the meeting." [p.277-3]  It appears that an uncle disinherited Jones of £2,000 a year on account of his opinions.  Such men as Jones cannot be dismissed as merely quarrelsome and self-centred; their tenacity alone outweighs these characteristics.

    We have now followed the main stem as far as is practicable.  The remaining filiations of Chartism are at least as important.  The end of a great social or political movement is never its death.  The history of a theory does not follow a path from birth to death, but a transition from rather more error to rather more truth.  The growth and reproduction of truth bears an exact resemblance to the methods of propagation of the more primitive micro-organisms, for like them ideas are fissiparous and therefore for all practical purposes immortal.  That is why no movement ever really dies, and the reason why no satisfactory date or definition can be given to the latter end of Chartism, which shaded off into other movements, of which the most important are to be described.

    "In 1851 Mr. Holyoake first made use of the term Secularist as more appropriate and distinctive than Atheist, and in 1852 he commenced organizing the English free-thinkers according to the principles of Secularism," [p.278-1]  For a time Thomas Cooper helped him, until one day in January, 1856, he had been engaged to give a course of Sunday lectures at the Secularist headquarters, the Hall of Science, Old Street, London, E.C., on the different countries of Europe.  He had spoken on the first occasion on Russia and the Russians, on the second it was to be the turn of Sweden and the Swedes. [p.278-2]  On the evening in point he struggled hard to articulate, but had to give it up.  He could not talk about Sweden, he had been converted and felt compelled to give testimony then and there.  Thereafter Cooper became a Baptist and preached his newly-acquired religion for many years all over the country, incidentally debating the subject in public with his former friend Holyoake.  Cooper died in harness in 1892, aged eighty-seven.  Neesom also became a full-time secularist in 1853, and remained one until his death in 1861. [p.278-3]

    Holyoake and Bradlaugh (although they differed between themselves) stand out as two phenomena due entirely to the Chartist movement.  Through it they harked back to the agitation in the early part of the century, when Garble and Hone were struggling for free-thought.  The old secularist movement had one peculiar characteristic which distinguishes it from whatever can claim to be its successor.  The old freethinkers really did stand for freedom of thought.  The early and mid-Victorian atheists were not merely men who raised their voices against God: they struggled against blasphemy laws and the dead hand of a temporarily inert and apathetic State Church.  They were undoubtedly sincere, even though their insistent claim to call their souls their own took the eccentric form of denying that they had souls at all.  When the Church had reformed itself, and the press had become comparatively free, secularism drooped and disappeared.  To-day the forces of organized free-thought would scarcely make a decent funeral cortège for the last of its leaders.  We have apathy and spiritual deadness, but the man who attempts to convince his fellows that there is no God has practically vanished from society.  It is characteristic of the two figures named above as typical products of Chartism that they should have quarrelled early and often.

    The chief instrument in the transition from Chartism to Republicanism is W. J. Linton.  In his English Republic [p.279] he gives a brief history of Chartism, and entitles the concluding section "What Remains?"  He calls the remaining Chartists to action.  History, giving the meaning of thirty years' Chartism (so long existing, although unnamed), will say: "It was the utterance of a general want, a people's protest—nothing more.  Very necessary the protest; but to stop there.  Thirty years' continual word-pouring and vociferation of a million and a quarter of men may surely be judged sufficient prologue to the work they declare necessary. . . . Begin now to prepare for work.  The Chartist movement is as good as dead. . . We need now, not merely Chartists, but Republican Associations.

    "'You would, then, oppose the present Chartist Associations?'  Not so; but would form Republican Associations of the best men among them; and so in time, I hope, supersede the present Associations by a more vital, a further-purposed and more powerful organization."  Inspired by his friendship with Mazzini, Ledru-Rollin, and republican Poles without number, Linton failed to communicate his personal sentiments to any large number of followers.  The Republican idea reached the people, to the slight extent to which they were reached by it, through other channels.  Yet the Republican idea had never been completely absent from the Chartist movement.  We read that in 1838, [p.280-1] "on Thursday evening, the 28th June (Coronation Day), a party of forty gentlemen, to show their contempt of the illuminations, and all the degraded foolery of coronations, invited that stern Republican, Dr. John Taylor, to a public supper in the Black Boy Tavern."  After the events of 1848 the Republican sentiment could not well remain latent.  But it lacked suitable propagandists, and until Bradlaugh had arrived at the fullness of his powers, the British working man was as apathetic towards the abolition of the monarchy as to the constitutional changes embodied in the People's Charter.  And Bradlaugh came too late.  He had listened to Lovett and fought with Holyoake on the question of an Atheist's duties towards himself and his neighbour, and occupied himself with other things until the impulse of 1848 had vanished.  The events which took place in Paris in 1871 inflated English Republicanism for a brief while.  The London Republican Club was founded on May 12, 1871, with Bradlaugh as president.  But the Republicanism of this leader was too deeply imbued with his own individuality and his own individualist theories ever to take root.  The slight "boom" in Republicanism which is noted as a feature of that time is connected with the Mordaunt case and The Coming K――. "The Republican movement in England was an eddy rather than a current." [p.280-2]  The writer has been told by one of Bradlaugh's most trusted lieutenants that Bradlaugh confidently expected that the alleged misbehaviour of the Prince of Wales would lead to the refusal of the nation to allow him to succeed to the throne.  Then, of course, the turn of Republicanism would come, and if Bradlaugh was offered the first Presidency, well then ――.  But, unfortunately for the scheme, Queen Victoria survived Bradlaugh, and at her death not a single voice was raised against her successor.  And it must be admitted that the subsequent conduct of Edward VII was never conducive to the success of Republican propaganda, even had it been possible to revive that completely defunct movement.

    Linton carried on Republican propaganda from Brantwood (afterwards the home of John Ruskin) until 1855, when he returned to London and the service of art, gaining a reputation as "the best wood engraver of the day."  In 1866 he went to the United States, where he settled, giving himself entirely to the theory and practice of his art, and to producing charming little books of verse.  He returned to England in 1887, but went back to the States and died there in 1895.  His second wife was Mrs. Lynn Linton, the well-known novelist and anti-feminist writer.  Walter Crane was one of Linton's pupils.

    Harney, working through different channels, did much to direct Chartist thought towards Republican ideals.  After he had ceased his connexion with The Northern Star, Harney edited the Democratic Review, a monthly which kept alive from June, 1849, to September, 1850.  This was succeeded by the short-lived Red Republican, noteworthy because it contained the first English translation of the Communist Manifesto of Marx and Engels.  For many years Harney managed to keep a body and soul together by editing obscure periodicals, in England and the Channel Islands.  He was always to the fore when any Republican business was afoot: thus we find him in Newcastle in April, 1854, among a local deputation which presented Garibaldi with a sword. [p.281-1]  Harney, like Linton, his fellow-propagator of Republicanism, emigrated to the United States, but returned and worked for some years in the editorial office of the Newcastle Daily Chronicle.  He died in Richmond, Surrey, in 1897. [p.281-2]

    In the course of this study little mention has been made of Socialism, although many of the doctrines maintained by Chartist leaders have a distinctly Socialist flavour.  Two facts must be borne in mind in this connexion.  The word Socialism and Communism have exchanged their meanings since the Chartist period; in those days Socialism was the generic term for schemes tending to establish a better state of Society by private action, independent of the State.  The idea of a State in the hands of the people going beyond its earlier functions for the benefit of the people, now known as State Socialism, was not yet acclimatized.  It came with Marx and Bronterre O'Brien, and required a generation to make the slightest impression on the mind of the working class.  O'Brien is the first preacher of Socialism in the modern sense, although its economics had been invented in England and slightly diffused a generation earlier. [p.282-1]  His Reform League did not live many years.  For a time O'Brien edited Reynolds's Newspaper; after he gave up this post he barely existed by lecturing for a few years, and died, in absolute poverty, at the end of 1864.  Like him P. M. M'Douall, who had been another of the most popular men in the Chartist movement, died in extreme poverty; in fact, about 1855, a fund had to be raised to keep his widow and child out of the workhouse.

    Reference has already been made to the United Brothers Insurance Society.  In its last stages Chartism produced a small crop of insurance and friendly societies. [p.282-2]  John Shaw had in 1831 founded the Friend-in-Need Benefit and Burial Society, which was reconstructed in 1853 when T. M. Wheeler was one of the directors.  In 1852 the British Industrial Association was started, Wheeler being its London manager for the first year.  The Association quarrelled with the Friend-in-Need, but the latter outlived it.  The Friend-in-Need absorbed another society, the National Assurance Friendly Society, which Thomas Clark had founded.  Doyle and Dixon, according to Gammage, also went into insurance after the downfall of the Land Company.  It is curious to find the group of men specially connected with O'Connor's scheme going into this business with such unanimity.  Shaw and Clark died in 1857 and Wheeler in 1862, still convinced that the Land Scheme had been rightly conceived in spite of the year 1847-8 he had spent on his two-acre allotment at O'Connorville.

    The Rev. Henry Solly connects Chartism with another movement.  After the decline and fall of Chartism he threw himself with extraordinary energy into the task of founding working men's clubs, and in 1862 formed and became a joint honorary secretary of the Working Men's Club and Institute Union.  His enthusiasm is said to have made Fawcett declare that "Solly thinks heaven will be composed of working men's clubs."  In the same year he gave up the pulpit to become the paid secretary of the new organization which still exists and thrives.  Solly, as we have seen, had participated in the Chartist agitation.  In an historical jubilee book of the union the secretary, Mr. B. T. Hall, gives Chartism as the exciting cause of the devotion to the club movement of Hodgson Pratt and other of its pioneers. [p.283]  Although the club organization was consistently non-party—no club in fact registered under the Friendly Societies Act of 1884 may have any political objects—it could hardly prevent the clubs from becoming centres of political discussion.  The history of the Socialist movement between 1880 and 1890 is largely the story of men who went out and gave lectures at clubs to apathetic groups of working men, in an atmosphere of beer and tobacco-smoke.  Solly had been a friend of Lovett, and both had probably vaguely anticipated Bagehot's demonstration that free discussion is an essential factor of progress.  Lovett's district halls and Solly's working men's clubs were both inspired by this idea, as also by the need for making educational facilities accessory to the halls or clubs.  Solly spent over forty years in the furtherance of his union and in agitation for technical instruction.  He died in 1903, aged eighty-nine.

    It is possible that readers will regard Christian Socialism a product of Chartism.  Charles Kingsley, it is true, addressed himself to Chartists, but had no part in their movement.  The day before the great demonstration of April 10, Kingsley had come to London and taken counsel with F. D. Maurice. [p.284]  On April 11 all London was posted with a placard addressed to working men, containing a long and flatulent, if politically sound, manifesto.  "You think the Charter would make you free—would to God it would!" it screamed.  "But will the Charter make you free?  Will it free you from the slavery to £10 bribes?  Slavery to gin and beer? . . . A nobler day is dawning for England, a day of freedom, science, industry!  But there will be no true freedom without virtue, no true science without religion, no true industry without the fear of God, and love to your fellow citizens.  Workers of England, be wise and then you must be free, or you will be fit to be free."  This document was signed, "a working parson," and is, according to the historians of Christian Socialism, the seed of that movement.

    It is usual to speak of Christian Socialism as proceeding from Chartism.  This view is fallacious.  The group of Christian Socialist leaders wished, it is true, to graft their principles on to Chartism, but their principles owed nothing to Chartism.  In May, 1848, they began to bring out a weekly paper, Politics for the People, addressed to Chartists, in which Kingsley wrote a series of "Letters to Chartists," over the signature of Parson Lot, declaring in the first epistle that his "only quarrel with the Charter is that it does not go far enough in reform."  The paper only lasted for three months; the Chartists, as already indicated, had other and more exciting things to occupy their attention.  The next move of Kingsley, Morris, Ludlow, and Hughes was the establishment of the Working Men's College, which has risen from a humble beginning in a yard off Great Ormond Street to a fine home in Crowndale Road, St. Pancras.  For a year this occupied the energies of the little group, which rapidly succeeded in attracting the attention and co-operation of an able and finely intentioned middle-class circle.  In 1849 the Christian Socialists started on the venture with which their name is perhaps most commonly associated.  On the initiative of J. M. Ludlow, they founded the Society for Promoting Working Men's Associations, on the French model, which sprang from the teachings of Buchez.  This organization financed twelve associations of working men, and intending to be self-supporting and on lines similar to those on which, as we have seen, various unsuccessful associations of producers had come into being under the Chartist ægis. [p.285-1]  Three associations were of tailors, three of shoemakers, two of builders, and one each of piano-makers, printers, smiths, and bakers.  These began by being self-governing, but this form of management soon broke down.  By 1854 the last of these associations of producers had failed.  Other similar bodies came to the same end.  It was found that in practice the employees in their governing capacity invariably quarrelled with a manager who only held his post on their sufferance. [p.285-2]  Workshops, on the other hand, owned by working people, but only governed by them as shareholders, not as employees, were opened about this time by the Rochdale and other co-operative stores, and prospered.

    The incursion of the Christian Socialists may be taken as evidence in support of the contention that the Chartists never had any genuine middle-class support.  Sturge attempted to organize it and failed.  Kingsley and Maurice tried to draft their theories into Chartism and failed.  J. S. Mill, with all his Socialist sympathies, never even attempted to approach Chartism.  Carlyle alone of his class was sufficiently attracted by the subject to write a little book about it.  His Chartism is a pitiful contribution of sympathy with a misunderstood cause attempting to domesticate itself upon a misunderstanding public.  He meant well, but the Chartists would have none of him.  In the minute books of the Working Men's Association we find an amusing reference to this splutter of Carlyle.  In 1843 the Committee decided to form a small library, and a short select list was drawn up of books to be purchased.  Chartism was amongst them, but the Committee, on consideration, struck it out. [p.286-1]  In a review of a review in the British and Foreign Review, a writer in The Northern Star says, "Neither Mr. Carlyle nor his reviewer know what Chartism is." [p.286-2]  Neither moral nor physical force Chartists, in fact, would have anything to do with the book.  The Appendix to Chapter VI contains several condensed expressions of middle-class opinion:

    It should be remembered that Lord John Russell was not above misrepresenting Chartism for the furtherance of his own plans.  Cobden complained in 1849 that the Monmouthshire riots were immediately after their occurrence made by Russell the basis of a proposal for a temporary increase of 5,000 men to the Army.  But when tranquillity returned, no corresponding reduction was made. [p.286-3]  Treated in this manner by those in authority, Chartism became all the more difficult for the middle classes to understand.  As a working-class protest, to use Linton's word, Chartism was completely inaccessible to middle-class sympathy.  Hence the breakdown of Sturge's endeavour of 1842, which he made no attempt to repeat.

    Joseph Sturge died in 1859, the year after he had been elected president of the Peace Society.  His most ambitious scheme of reconciliation was an attempt to stave off the war with Russia.  In company with two other Quakers he travelled to Russia and had an interview with Nicholas I, beseeching him, on moral and religious grounds, not to enter into war.  After the war, hearing of the destruction caused on the Finnish coasts by the bombardment of the British Fleet, Sturge organized a fund for the relief of the distressed Finns; his effort being, as usual, based on his personal knowledge gained from a visit to the devastated coastal towns immediately after the declaration of peace.  His connexion with Chartism, brief as it was, had been conceived in a spirit which made it one of the finest episodes of the movement.

    We now pass on to chronicle the deaths of the leaders of Chartism.  The real hero of the movement is Lovett.  Perhaps the best clue to his character is his belief, probably derived from Owen, in the virtue of ideas.  To him it was sufficient to have given birth to an idea; if it was right it would prevail in the end.  This side of his character is curiously illustrated by his autobiography, which is mainly composed of the addresses drafted by him in the course of his various secretaryships.  In 1846 he resigned the secretaryship of the National Association, but retained virtual possession of the National Hall, which he gradually succeeded in converting into a school.  He was for a time (1846-9) publisher of Howitt's Journal, and had Mazzini, the Howitts, W. J. Fox, Linton, Harriet Martineau, and several other distinguished writers among its contributors.  After he had given up his secretaryship, he published an Appeal to the Friends of Progress, calling for a union of the reform parties.  But the popularity and success of political associations is apparently in inverse ratio to the extent of the schemes they set out to establish, on which hypothesis the failure of all Lovett's schemes (and those of Owen), and especially of this last one, and, conversely, the success attending so many of Place's undertakings, are to be explained.  In 1848 a presentation was made to him, chiefly on the initiative of W. J. Fox and J. H. Parry, but Lovett used a good deal of his testimonial money the following year to enable the National Association to die free of debt.  He then taught himself anatomy and physiology, in order to be able to instruct the young, writing a successful and well-reviewed textbook on the subject in the process.  In 1850 he was put on the Working Class Committee of the Great Exhibition, other members of this being Dickens, Thackeray, Lord Ashley, and Vincent.  In 1853 he published a book, Social and Political Morality, with the object of teaching the English the importance of stability in "the morals of our population."  The comment he makes on this book's reception is characteristic of his faith in ideas: "I regret to say that it was not circulated so as to effect the object aimed at." [p.288-1]  In 1857 he was swindled out of his National Hall, and that home of ideas was in the course of time converted into the Holborn Empire Music Hall.

    Lovett continued to teach natural history, anatomy, and physiology at schools, for many years, taking little part in political movements.  He died in 1877, and was buried at Highgate, Holyoake making a speech by the graveside.

    Lovett's organizations had predeceased him by many years.  The Working Men's Association had never taken a prominent part in Chartist politics after Lovett's imprisonment.  Its minute book from 1843–1847 [p.288-2] shows us an organization resembling that of a Fabian Society in reduced circumstances.  In many respects there is, in fact, an analogy between the W.M.A., and the Fabian Society.  Both produced ideas, and left the task of forcing them upon the attention of an apathetic country to other larger bodies.  The W.M.A. looked after the social side of the Chartist movement and the education of its own members to a larger extent than the other societies having the same ultimate knowledge.  If it were possible to recover some of the minute books of the N.C.A., we should be unlikely to find in them any evidence of a desire to be accommodated with a library, or to provide social amenities.  The minutes close with an expression of opinion in favour of the purchase of a piano, at a committee meeting held on October 4, 1847.  So the W.M.A. glides modestly into the realms of recordless things.

    The National Association minute books record a calm series of discussions and formal business for many years.  New members were rare comers.  The excitements of April 10, 1848, brought in some six new adherents.  The minute books break off on June 4, 1849.  The total amount owing by the Association was then £434 5s. 3d.  A month earlier a subscription list had been opened to defray old debts.  The school, now attended by 200 pupils, was handed over to Lovett, Parry, Shaen, and one or two others, and the National Association ceased to exist. [p.289]

    James Watson died in November, 1874, having fought side by side with Moore in the struggle for a free press until the final victory.

    Richard Moore, Watson's nephew-in-law, died four years later, having for many years earned his living as a master woodcarver.  Holyoake spoke at his funeral.

    Henry Vincent died at the end of 1878.  He had married, in 1841, a daughter of John Cleave.  Between 1841 and 1852 he contested seven parliamentary elections with optimism, but without success.  He earned his living for many years as a lecturer, chiefly on moral subjects, his audiences consisting chiefly of Free Church congregations.  There must be few lecturers or audiences in our days which would make a success of Vincent's subjects, which were inter alia "Home Life: its Duties and Pleasures," and "The Philosophy of True Manliness."  In 1866 he went on a lecturing tour to the United States; this was extremely successful and was repeated several times.  Cleave appears to have died in 1847.

    Henry Hetherington died of cholera in August, 1849.  He had lived just long enough to see that section of the Chartist movement which meant most to him return to the work which had been especially his own for twenty years.  Towards the end of his life he had accepted Owen's system, and had done a good deal for the Institute in John Street.  He had also become a Director of the Poor for the parish of St. Pancras.  Holyoake preached over his grave at the funeral in Kensal Green.

    Holyoake, having literally buried the movement, died in 1906, after a long lifetime devoted to the service of co-operation and secularism.  A sturdy common sense, and an ape-like inability to understand spiritual things came to his aid in these movements.  He was the author of a vast number of books and pamphlets on subjects connected with his propaganda, frequently inaccurate in detail, and always with a strong autobiographical element.

    Were the demands of the People's Charter impracticable?  In the absolute sense, certainly they were not.  One state—and one only—has, probably unintentionally, incorporated as many as five of the six points in its constitution.  The little Central American Republic of Salvador (population about 1,250,000), for the two generations following its extrication from the Central American Union, zealously followed the quest of the perfect constitution.  The sixth attempt, made in 1886, has to the present resisted the forces which would substitute for it a seventh.  In Salvador there is universal manhood suffrage, and a Salvadorean becomes a man for this purpose on his eighteenth birthday, or on his wedding day, whichever comes first.  There are annual parliaments, elected every February.  Voting is by ballot, there are no property qualifications for members of the Assembly, who are paid ten Salvadorean dollars a day during the session.  It will be seen therefore that the only Chartist Point not conceded is equality of constituencies, but as this was demanded for England in order to rectify certain striking disproportions, which apparently do not exist in Salvador, the omission would readily be forgiven by the Chartists.  Certain other arrangements would certainly be approved by them.  By way of preventing the Salvadorean's visits to the voting booths from becoming less than annual, voting is made compulsory and citizens who do not fulfil this obligation are fined.  Candidates must reside habitually in the department which they seek to represent; [p.290] thus the carpetbagger is eliminated.  The constitution is uni-cameral, the President is elected for four years and may not serve consecutive periods, and there are only four Cabinet Ministers.  The Salvadoreans who are of pure white descent number only 2½ per cent. of the total population, and are mainly recruited, it appears, by reason of the absence of all extradition treaties with other nations.  To draw a moral for British use therefore would be futile.  We can only say it has been done, and leave it at that.

    The steps taken by Parliament towards democracy as the Chartists saw it have followed one on the other with a curious halting consistency.  In 1858, Lord Derby abolished the property qualification: it had long been a dead letter to the ingenious.  In 1867, after several false starts, a certain amount of redistribution took place, chiefly to the advantage of the boroughs, and later of Scotland.  At the same time household suffrage was conceded to the boroughs, and in 1868 the Scottish Occupation Franchise and the Irish Borough Franchise were reduced.  In 1872 the ballot-box became part of the electoral machinery, and although its inclusion in the annual Expiring Laws Continuation Bills in theory makes its continued presence in the Statute Book liable to a sudden and unforeseen termination, it has now become in practice to be regarded as almost an essential part of the constitution.  More redistribution and enfranchisement took place in 1884 and 1885, yielding working approximation to both universal suffrage and equal representation.  Payment of members came, in a remarkably casual manner in 1911, in the same year as the Parliament Act limited the duration of Parliaments from seven to five years—a limitation to be subsequently hung up for the benefit of the very Parliament which had enacted it!  None of the Six Points therefore has retained its original urgency.  What has not been conceded has been compromised.

    Throughout this work, Chartism has been used synonymously with the Chartist movement.  This is due to the exiguity of the language, which contains no other word for that concatenation of political tendencies, working in all directions, than movement.  But these tendencies may possibly work simultaneously in opposite directions.  The word movement, in fact, may have to be used to describe a number of conflicting movements, or stagnation itself.  We should not overlook the fact that there were several Chartist movements; several bodies of activity, that is, associated with the People's Charter.  These acted concurrently; but as a history has to be written consecutively, there is a distinct danger that the student will be unable to separate the interdigitating tendencies and events covered by the term Chartism.  Let us roughly analyse the entire group of these.  We begin in 1837-38 with a Radical movement in London, associated with the Working Men's Association, a body of labour intellectuals deriving their ideas directly from Owen, Bentham, the Mills, and the other fountainheads of political doctrine.  From this group proceeds the People's Charter published on May 8, 1838.  At the same time another group of Radicals has crystallized in Birmingham around the personality of the local M.P., Thomas Attwood.  This group has imbibed both Attwood's political and economic faith; in particular it is committed to currency reform.  Lastly there is a large and unorganized mass of people in Lancashire and Yorkshire, Radical out of opposition to Toryism, inflamed by the terrible industrial conditions from which they are themselves the chief sufferers, and inspired with revolutionary sentiments by Stephens and Oastler.  The Charter is published; the two groups not responsible for it immediately accept it as a programme.  Birmingham tries to take the lead and is partly successful.  The Convention is held; repression begins, acting upon the leaders of all three groups, who spend the next year or two in jail.  Reorganization then begins; resolving itself by 1843 into two movements; the pacific C.S.U. plus National Association movement which avoids class bitterness; and the N.C.A., which dozes for a while, revives, adopts the Land Scheme and collapses, more gradually than is generally supposed.  The Lovett-Place-Sturge movement has bursts of activity for some years, but slowly wanes and died with its founders.  A closer analysis would reveal a larger number of Chartisms; in 1842 the student would find beside these just described a teetotal-cum-feminist variety in Bristol, Bath, and the West, the Shakespearean brigade of Chartists in Leicester, decorative, emotional, and under the discipline of a uniformed "General," and a teetotal-cum-religious Chartism in the Lowlands of Scotland.  If one force more than another inspired the Chartist movement, it was that which proceeded from philosophic Radicalism.  From Place and the W.M.A., the opinions emanating from Cobbett and Paine, the Malthusian controversy, the current political economy, the press of the well-to-do, the pulpit and the magistrate's bench, there drifted down to the minds of the working class a practical Radicalism, adapted to their needs, and guaranteed to mitigate their sufferings.

    Even before the publication of the People's Charter, a Radical paper of Newcastle-on-Tyne once attempted to answer the question, What is a Radical? [p.293]  "The True Radical is best described by first saying what he is not. He is not a Godwinite, nor an Owenite, nor a Benthamite, nor a Cosmopolite. . . . He has no passion for democracy, because it is democracy, but looks to what it produces.  He thinks imagination has nothing to do with politics, and passion as little.  Liberty may sound well upon the stage, but that is no argument for him that it must therefore necessarily be good. . . . He has no idea that the framework of society can be altered suddenly, or that such attempts can do any good; but he praises a government rather for what it does not do than for what it does; and goes to negations rather than the contrary in all that respects dealing with the people.  He thinks, in short, that government the best which meddles least and takes least from the pockets of the people.  If it be an economical one, it cannot, in his opinion, as long as it is so, be a bad one, be its name and form what it may.  He . . . advocates democracy only because it seems most likely to prefer and perpetuate a system of this kind. . . . He cannot, for the life of him, understand how any man with a love of freedom and justice . . . can tolerate the Malthusians and their Poor Law. . . . He is for universal suffrage, annual parliaments, and vote by ballot, and thinks Whigs and Tories equally worthless as politicians.  Though accused of violent inclinations and intentions, and called a savage and a firebrand, he is full of the milk of human kindness, and would not in his greatest rage hang more than a dozen loan-mongers, or set fire to anything unless perhaps the Stock Exchange, the Poor Law Bastiles, or the Bank."

    This is the best contemporary example we have seen of the Radical Credo.  Chartism is both an acceptance and an attempted evasion of the implications of this faith.  The Radical working man of the 'sixties, 'seventies, and 'eighties with his dislike of Socialism, is a result of a movement which both rejected Socialism and gave it shape; a movement which set out to destroy the socialism of Owen and ended by accepting, on its death-bed, the socialism of Marx.



    Foreign studies on Chartism invariably conclude with a section entitled, Why was the Movement a Failure? or something of similar effect.  The example, set by innumerable authors, does not seem to be worth copying, as it begs the question, Was the Movement a Failure?  An answer in the negative, the author ventures to suggest, is contrary only to superficial evidences.  Chartism was an episode in that concatenation of aspirations and struggles which is vaguely spoken of as the working-class movement.  What are the essential objects of this movement, as distinguished from the immediately attainable and ostensible objects of which the Six Points are specimens?  There is but one essential object—the awakening of class-consciousness, the better organization of the working class in its struggle for greater economic and political power.  No body of opinions which fails to stimulate class consciousness can be said to be strictly necessary to the working-class movement, just as no set of doctrines or practices which fail to stimulate the consciousness of nationality can be integrally connected with nationalism.  The Chartist movement with its derivations, its appeals to "blistered hands and fustian jackets," its actual tenets of class antagonism, its association with industrial unrest, and its inability to accept the advances of middle-class sympathizers, was the first organized effort to stir up class consciousness on a national scale.  The movement's failures lay in the direction of securing legislation, or national approbation for its leaders.  Judged by its crop of statutes and statues, Chartism was a failure.  Judged by its essential and generally overlooked purpose, Chartism was a success.  It achieved, not the Six Points, but a state of mind.  This last achievement made possible the renascent trade union movement of the 'fifties, the gradually improving organization of the working classes, the Labour Party, the co-operative movement, and whatever greater triumphs labour will enjoy in the future.


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