"The liberty of opinion is the most sacred of all
for it is the basis of all..."
Notes To The
"I tell you, never
was a truth propounded that did not make the world richer than it was
before. It never dies, though its utterer may perish piecemeal;
and, though no fruit may seem to grow from its teaching, it has leavened
mankind none the less, and the great heart of humanity will swell sooner
or later with that germ of truth, and flash some bright new glory on the
world! . . . Believe me, no great man has ever toiled and perished,
without doing good. To such men, to hopeless martyrs, who passed
unrecognised and perished unaided, we owe — aye! every liberty we have .
. . ."
The Cabinet, 27 Aug. 1859.
Chartist and reformer
1819 - 1869
The Prelate bows his cushioned knee;
Oh! the Prelate's fat to see;
Fat the priests who minister,
Fat, each roaring chorister,
Prebendary, Deacon, Lector,
Chapter, Chanter, Vicar, Rector,
Curate, Chaplain, Dean and Pastor,
Verger, Sexton, Clerk, Schoolmaster,
From mitre tall, to gold-laced hat,
Fat's the place—and all are fat.
THE CHARTIST ADVOCATE.
YEARS OF AN AGITATOR'S LIFE')
OWN I have the sympathies of Old Mortality. In
my time I have perpetuated the memory of many unregarded heroes, who gave
their strength, and in some cases their lives, in defence of the people
who had forgotten, or who had never inquired, to whom they owed their
JONES will, however, be long remembered by
Chartist generations. He was the son of a Major Jones, of high
connections, who had served in the wars of Wellington, and was at
Waterloo. He was subsequently equerry to the Duke of Cumberland,
afterwards Ernest I. of Hanover, and uncle of Queen Victoria.
Major Jones's mother was an Annesley, daughter of a squire of Kent.
His only son, Ernest, was born in Vienna, in January, 1819. His
father having an estate in Holstein, on the border of the Black Forest,
Ernest Jones passed his boyhood there, and in 1830, when eleven years old,
he set out across the Black Forest, with a bundle under his arm, to "help
the Poles." With a similar precarious equipment, he in after years
set out to help the Chartists. He was educated at St.
Michael's College in Luneburg, where only high-caste students were
admitted, and where he won distinction by delivering an oration in German.
In 1838, he became a regular attendant at the English Court, where he was
presented by the Duke of Beaufort. He married into the aristocratic
family of Gibson Atherley, of Barfield, Cumberland, the name being borne
by his son Atherley Jones, now member of Parliament. We of the
Chartist times all knew the gentle lady who lived in Brompton during the
dreary days of her husband's frightful imprisonment.
In 1844, Ernest Jones was called to the Bar of the Inner
Temple. All along he had high tastes and high prospects. Thus
he was reared under circumstances which did not render it necessary that
he should have any sympathy with the people. But the inspiration of
poetry came to him. The influence of Byron may be seen in his verse.
He had no mean capacity of song. With better fortune than befell him
when he had cast his lot with Chartism, and with more leisure, he would
have been a poet of mark: but he threw fortune away. His family did
not like the idea of his being a Chartist rhymer. His uncle, Holton
Annesley, offered to leave him £2,000 a year if he would abandon Chartist
advocacy. If not, he would leave the fortune to another—and he did.
Mr. Jones must have had in him elements of a valorous integrity to refuse
that splendid prospect. He knew well what he was about, and that the
service of the people would not keep him in bread. They whom he
served were not able to do it—they had too many needs of their own.
He had declined his uncle's wealthy offer in terms of noble but disastrous
pride, and the fortune he relinquished was given to his uncle's gardener.
Though he had chosen penury, he retained the patrician taste natural to
him, and made a point of not taking payment for his speeches and
addresses. There was more pride than sense in this. Those who
consumed his days in travelling and his strength in speaking could and
would have made him some remuneration. Without it his home must be
unprovided. Making a speech has as fair a claim to payment as
writing an article. Honest oratory is as much entitled to costs as
honest literature. Mr. Jones often walked from town to town without
means of procuring adequate refreshment by day or accommodation by night.
On some occasions an observant Chartist would buy him a pair of shoes,
seeing his need of them. Ernest Jones published the People's
Paper—the sale of which did not pay expenses. The sense of debt
was a new burden to him. On one occasion when I printed for him, and
he was considerably in arrears, he said, "I must go to my friend
Disraeli." An hour later he returned, and handed my brother Austin
three of several £5 notes. He had others in his hand. That
politic Minister inspired many Chartists with hatred of the Whigs, whom he
himself disliked, because they did not favour his circuitous pretensions;
and when he found Chartists of genius having the same hatred, he would
supply them with money, the better to give effect to it. I never
knew any Chartist in the habit of taking money, who took it for the
abandonment of his principles; nor do I believe Disraeli ever gave it them
for that purpose. Their undiscerning hatred answered Tory ends.
Chartist demonstration, Kenington Common,
It was July, 1848, when Mr. Jones was sentenced to two years'
solitary imprisonment, and to find two sureties of £100 each and himself
£200 for three years after his release—for saying, "Only organise, and you
will see the green flag floating over Downing Street; let that be
accomplished, and John Mitchell shall be brought back again to his native
country, and Sir G. Grey and Lord John Russell shall be sent out to
exchange places with him." This was simply amusing, and there was no
more danger of this happening than of a flock of pigeons stopping a
railway train. In the same speech for which he was condemned, he
gave the same advice to the meeting that I had given to the delegates to
the Convention in the John Street Hall, on the night before the 10th of
When Jones was imprisoned, it was sought to humiliate him.
The Whigs did it, but the Tories would have done the same—yet the Whigs
were more bound to respect the advocates of the people. Jones was
required to pick oakum. Being a gentleman, he refused to be degraded
as a criminal. Politics was not a crime. In the case of
Colonel Valentine Baker, the Government had just respect for a 'gentlemen;
but not when the gentlemen was the political advocate of the poor, though
Jones was socially superior to Baker.
"Which nation?" asked the younger
stranger, "for she [Queen
Victoria] reigns over two."
The stranger paused; Egremont was silent, but looked
"Yes," resumed the younger stranger after a moment's
interval. "Two nations; between whom there is no intercourse
and no sympathy; who are as ignorant of each other's habits,
thoughts, and feelings, as if they were dwellers in
different zones, or inhabitants of different planets; who
are formed by a different breeding, are fed by a different
food, are ordered by different manners, and are not governed
by the same laws."
"You speak of―" said Egremont, hesitatingly.
AND THE POOR."
From . . . Sybil, or
The Two Nations, by Benjamin
Mr. Jones was kept in solitary confinement on the silent
system—enforced with the utmost rigour for nineteen months. He
complied with all the prison regulations, excepting oakum picking.
That he steadfastly refused, as he would never bend himself to voluntary
degradation. To break his firmness on this point he was again and
again confined in a dark cell and fed on bread and water.
When suffering from dysentery, he was put into a cell in an
indescribable state from which a prisoner who died from cholera had been
carried. It may be reasonably assumed that it was intended to kill
him. The cholera was then raging in London, and, had Jones died, no
question would have been asked. Still the authorities never
succeeded in making him pick oakum.
In the second year of his imprisonment he was so broken in
health that he could no longer stand upright, and was found lying on the
floor of his cell. Only then was he taken to the hospital. He
was told, if he would petition for his release and abjure politics, the
remainder of his sentence would be remitted. This he refused, and he
was sent back to his cell. Let anyone consider what those two dreary
years of indignity, brutality, peril, and solitude must have been to
a man like Ernest Jones—nervous, sanguine, ambitious, with his fiery
spirit, fine taste, and consciousness of great powers—and restrain if he
can admiration of that splendid courage and steadfastness.
Unregarded, uncared for, he maintained his self-respect. Thomas
Carlyle went to look at the caged Chartist through the bars of his prison,
and increased, by his heartless and contemptuous remarks, public
indifference to the fate of the friendless prisoner. Carlyle wrote:
"The world and its cares quite excluded for some months to come, master of
his own time, and spiritual resources to, as I supposed, a really enviable
extent." This shows that, like meaner men, Carlyle could write
without facts, or even inquiring for them. Ernest Jones, "master of
his own time," had to pick oakum, or spend his days in a dark cell.
Thus his "spiritual resources" were limited. He was refused a Bible
even, and had to write with his blood. His "really enviable"
condition was that of knowing that his wife was ignorant whether he was
dead or alive, and he was denied the knowledge what fate in the cholera
season had befallen her or his children, for whom no provision existed.
In his savage imprisonment he did write poems, but it had to
be done with his own blood—not from sensationalism, but from necessity,
pen and ink being denied him. Undaunted, he returned on his
liberation to his old advocacy of the people. Mr. Benjamin Wilson,
of Salterhebble, Halifax, who knew Jones well, has given many facts not
before known of his career in the "Struggles of Old Chartists."
Jones in later life, ca. 1865.
Ernest Jones and I were associated in Chartist agitation
while it lasted. I was a visitor at his fireside at Brompton.
Mrs. Ernest Jones, a lady of great refinement, shared the
vicissitudes of his Chartist days, which shortened her own. Mr.
Jones left London in 1859, and went to Manchester with a sad heart.
Practice at the Bar had to be won. One night, after attending the
court at Leeds, he was met by Mr. Moses Clayton, who found he had no home
to go to. A home was found him at Dr. Skelton's, and a brief
also next day. He had come to the resolution that night that he
would see no morning. Afterwards better fortune came to him.
He had the chance of being member for Dewsbury. He was nearly
elected member for Manchester, and the reversion of the seat to him was
likely when he suddenly died. His grand energy, fatigue, and
exposure killed him. Had he reached Parliament, he had all the
qualities which promised a great career there. Shortly before his
death he spent some hours with me in my chambers in Cockspur Street,
overlooking Trafalgar Square, discussing a favourite theory of his—the
manner in which an actor on the stage of the world should quit it.*
In every workshop in Great Britain, in mine and mill, and in
other lands where his name was familiar, there was sadness when his death
was known. His friend in many a conflict, George Julian Harney, sent
from America to the Newcastle Daily Chronicle an impassioned
account of the effect of the news on him as he read it in a telegram in
Mr. Jones had a strong musical voice, energy and fire, and a
more classic style of expression than any of his compeers in agitation.
When he spoke at the grave of Benjamin Rushton of Ovenden, he began:—"We
meet to-day at a burial and a birth—the burial of a noble patriot is the
resurrection of a glorious principle. The foundation stones of
liberty are the graves of the just; the lives of the departed are the
landmarks of the living; the memories of the past are the beacons of the
Despite his popular sympathies and generous sacrifices for
the people, the patrician distrust of them, now and then, broke out, as
when he wrote:—
"Ill fare the men who, flushed with sudden power,
Would uproot centuries in a single hour.
Gaze on those crowds—is theirs the force that saves?
What were they yesterday?—a horde of slaves!
What are they now but slaves without their chains?
The badge is cancelled, but the man remains."
There is some truth in these lines. The abatements I take to be
these:—1. You can't "uproot centuries" if you try. 2.
The "crowds" are always better than they look. 3. The "slaves"
are always free in spirit long before they get rid of "their chains." 4.
When the" badge is cancelled," the "man" who "remains " generally turns
out a gladsome, practical creature.
In the nobler vein which so well became him, he vindicated
with a poet's insight his own career:—
"Men counted him a dreamer? Dreams
Are but the light of clearer skies—
Too dazzling for our naked eyes.
And when we catch their flashing beams
We turn aside and call them dreams.
Oh! trust me every thought that yet
In greatness rose and sorrow set,
That time to ripening glory nurst,
Was called an 'idle dream' at first."
Mr. Morrison Davidson has published the most comprehensive sketch of the
career of Ernest Jones which has appeared, and a noble volume might be
made of his poems, speeches and political writings. Because he
opposed middle-class projects and broke up their meetings, little
attention was paid to his views by those who would have been most
impressed by them. Before their day he was as well informed as Karl
Marx or Henry George on questions of capital and land, and held eventually
wider views of co-operation than were advocated in his time. It
would have been economy to mankind to have pensioned Ernest Jones, that he
might have devoted his genius to oratory, literature, and liberty.
Those of this generation who have not in their memory any
instance of Ernest Jones's eloquence, may see it in the following passage
from his Lecture on the Middle Ages and the Papacy.
"You have been
told that the Church in the Dark Ages was the preserver of learning, the
patron of science, and the friend of freedom. The preserver of
learning in the Dark Ages! It was the Church that made these ages dark.
The preserver of learning! Yes, as the worm-eaten oak chest preserves a
manuscript. No more thanks to them than to the rats for not
devouring its pages. It was the Republics of Italy and the Saracens
of Spain that preserved learning—and it was the Church that trod out the
light of those Italian Republics. The patron of science! What? When
they burned Savonarola and Bruno, imprisoned Galileo, persecuted Columbus,
and mutilated Abelard? The friend of freedom! What? When they crushed the
Republics of the South, pressed the Netherlands like the vintage in a
wine-kelter, girdled Switzerland with a belt of fire and steel, banded the
crowned tyrants of Europe against the Reformers of Germany, and launched
Claverhouse against the Covenanters of Scotland? The friend of freedom!
When they hedged kings with a divinity! Their superstitions alone upheld
the rotten fabric of oppression. Their superstitions alone turned
the indignant freeman into a willing slave and made men bow to the Hell
they created here by a hope of the Heaven they could not insure hereafter.
There is nothing so corrupt that the Papacy has not befriended, and but
one gleam of sunshine flashes across the black picture, in the
architecture of its churches, the painting of its aisles, and the music of
Note: After his death an "Ernest Jones Fund" was
proposed. Lord Armstrong, then Sir William, sent two guineas to the
Punch office, which was sent to me for the Fund.
Mark Hovell and Professor T. F. Tout.
"Like [Feargus] O'Connor, [Ernest] Jones was a man of family, education, and good social position. His
father, Major Jones, a hussar of Welsh descent, had fought bravely
in the Peninsula and at Waterloo, and became equerry to the most
hated of George III.'s sons, Ernest, Duke of Cumberland, after 1837
King of Hanover. The godson and namesake of the unpopular duke,
Ernest Jones was born at Berlin, brought up on his parents' estate
in Holstein, and educated with scions of Hanoverian nobility at Lüneburg.
He came to England with his family in 1838, but his upbringing was
shown not only in his literary tastes and wide Continental
connections, but by his very German handwriting and the constant use
of German in the more intimate and emotional entries in his
manuscript diaries. He entered English life as a man of
fashion, moving in good society, assiduous at court, where a duke
presented him to Queen Victoria, marrying a lady "descended from the Plantagenets" at a "dashing wedding" in St. George's, Hanover
Square. He was gradually weaned from frivolity by ardent
literary ambitions, but was soon terribly discouraged when
publishers refused to publish, or the public to buy, his verses,
novels, songs, and dances. In 1844 he was called to the Bar, but hardly took his
profession seriously. Domestic and financial troubles soon followed. His father and mother died and his speculations failed. In 1845
there was an execution in his house; he was compelled to hide from
his creditors and pass through the bankruptcy court. He had
now to seek some sort of employment, but apparently failed to find
anything congenial to his mystic, dreamy, enthusiastic temperament. He
does not seem to have been destitute, but he lived in a fever of
excitement and alternating hope and depression. He felt cut away
from his bearings, living without motives, principles, or ambitions,
until be began to find a new inspiration in attending Chartist
meetings. He was soon so fully a convert that, when his first
brief came from the solicitors, it gave him far less satisfaction
than the applause with which his Chartist audiences received his
vigorous recitation of his poems, and the honour of dining four or
five days running with O'Connor. Yet many years later he could
inspire the boast that he had "abandoned a promising, professional
career and the allurements of fashionable life in order to devote
himself to the cause of the people." He assiduously attended
committees and rushed all over the country to make speeches at
meetings. He offered himself as a candidate for the next
Convention because he wished to see "a liberal democracy instead of
a tyrannical oligarchy." He reveals his sensitive soul in his
I am pouring the tide of my songs over England, forming the tone of
the mighty mind of the people. Wonderful! Vicissitudes of
life — rebuffs and countless disappointments in literature — dry toil of
business — press of legal and social struggles — dreadful domestic
catastrophes — domestic bickerings — almost destitution — hunger — labour in
mind and body — have left me through the wonderful Providence of God
as enthusiastic of mind, as ardent of temper, as fresh of heart and
as strong a frame as ever! Thank God!
I am prepared to rush fresh and
strong into the strife or struggle of a nation, to ride the torrent
or to guide the rill, if God permits."
Jones was altogether composed of finer clay than O'Connor. His real
sincerity and enthusiasm for his cause were quite foreign to the
temperament of his chief. But there were certain obvious
similarities between these two very different types of the "Celtic
temperament." Not only in sympathetic desire to find remedies for
evil things, but in deftness in playing upon a popular audience, in
violence of speech, incoherence of thought, and lack of measure,
Jones stood very near O'Connor himself. Henceforth he was second
only to O'Connor among the Chartist leaders. For the two years in
which he found it easy to work with his chief, Jones's loyal and
ardent service did much to redeem the mediocrity of O'Connor's lead. In his political songs he set forth, always with fluency and
feeling, sometimes with real lyrical power, the saving merits of
the Land Scheme. Nor was he less effective as a journalist and as a
platform orator. Not content with the publicity of the Northern
Star, whose twinkle was already somewhat dimmed, O'Connor set up
in 1847 a monthly magazine called The Labourer, devoted to
furthering the work of the Land Company. In this new venture Jones
was O'Connor's right-hand man. And both in prose and verse no
perception of humour dimmed the fervour of his periods:
Has freedom whispered in his wistful ear,
"Courage, poor slave! Deliverance is near?"
Oh! She has breathed a summons sweeter still,
"Come! Take your guerdon at O'Connorville. "
. . . . After the Chartist collapse of 1848 there remains nothing
save to write the epilogue. But ten more weary years elapsed
before the final end came, for moribund Chartism showed a strange
vitality, however feeble the life which now lingered in it.
But the Chartist tradition was already a venerable memory, and its
devotees were more conservative than they thought when they clung
hopelessly to its doctrine. It is some measure of the
sentimental force of Chartism that it took such an unconscionably
long time in dying. . . .
. . . . Ernest Jones gradually stepped into O'Connor's place.
His imprisonment between 1848 and 1850 had spared him the necessity
of violent conflict with his chief, and after his release he had
tact enough to avoid an open breach with him. His aim was now
to minimise the effects of O'Connor's eccentric policy, and after
1852 he was free to rally as he would the faithful remnant. He
wandered restlessly from town to town, agitating, organising, and
haranguing the scanty audiences that he could now attract. His
pen resumed its former activity. He sought to replace the
fallen Northern Star by a newspaper called Notes to the
People. Jones was an excellent journalist, but there was
no public which cared to buy his new venture. It was in vain
that he furiously lashed capitalists and aristocrats, middle-class
reformers, co-operators, trades unionists, and, above all, his
enemies within the Chartist ranks. He reached the limit when,
under the thin disguise of the adventures of a fictitious demagogue
called Simon de Brassier, he held up his old chief to opprobrium,
not only for his acknowledged weaknesses, but as a self-seeking
money-grabber and a government spy. It was in vain that Jones
denied that his political novel contained real characters and
referred to real events. Simon de Brassier's sayings and
doings were too carefully modelled on those of O'Connor for the
excuse to hold water. But however great the scandal excited,
it did not sell the paper in which the romance was published.
After an inglorious existence of a few months Notes to the People
came to an end, and the People's Paper, Jones's final
journalistic venture, was not much more fortunate. It dragged
on as long as sympathisers were found to subscribe enough money to
print it. When these funds failed it speedily collapsed.
The scandal of Simon de Brassier showed that Jones was almost
as irresponsible as O'Connor. In many other ways also the new
leader showed that he had no real gift for leadership. He was
fully as difficult to work with, as petulant and self-willed, as
O'Connor had ever been. He threw himself without restraint
into every sectional quarrel, and under his rule the scanty remnant
of the Chartist flock was distracted by constant quarrels and
schisms. Meanwhile the faithful few still assembled annually
in their Conventions, and the leaders still met weekly in their
Executive Committees. But while each Convention was torn
asunder by quarrels and dissensions, the outside public became
stonily indifferent to its decisions. Jones himself retained a
robust faith in the eventual triumph of the Charter, but he soon
convinced himself that its victory was not to be secured by the
co-operation of his colleagues on the Chartist Executive. He
now grew heartily sick of sitting Wednesday after Wednesday at
Executive meetings where no quorum could be obtained, or which, when
enough members attended, refused to promote "the world's greatest
and dearest cause," because minding other matters instead of minding
the Charter. He was one of the last upholders of the old
Chartist anti-middle -class programme; but he preached the faith to
few sympathetic ears. In 1852 he withdrew in disgust from the
Executive, but came back again when the Manchester Conference of
that year adopted a new organisation of his own proposing.
This Conference, however, made itself ridiculous by persisting in
the old policy of refusing to co-operate with other parties pursuing
similar ends, and after 1853 no more Conventions were held.
The release in 1854 of the martyrs of the Newport rising — Frost,
Jones, and Williams — showed that in official eyes Chartism was no
longer dangerous. For the five more years between 1853 and
1858 Jones still lectured on behalf of the Charter, and could still,
in 1858, rejoice with his brother Chartists on his vindication of
his character against the aspersions of Reynolds. With his
passing over to the Radical ranks the Chartist succession came to a
final end. . . .
. . . . Of the last Chartist leader, Ernest Jones, there is still
something to say. In 1858 he initiated a National Suffrage
Movement and accepted the presidency of the organisation established
for that end. It became, under his guidance, one of the forces
which, after a few years of lethargy, renewed the agitation for
reform of Parliament, and was a factor in bringing about the second
Reform Act of 1867. In 1861 he transferred himself from London
to Manchester, where he resided until his death, writing plays and
novels, agitating for reform, watching the movement of foreign
politics, and winning a respectable practice at the local bar.
Here his greatest achievement was his able defence of the Fenian
prisoners, convicted in 1867 of the murder of Police Sergeant Brett.
He remained poor, but obtained a good position in Radical circles,
contesting Manchester in 1868, when, though unsuccessful, he
received more than ten thousand votes. He died in January
1869, and the public display which attended his burial in Ardwick
cemetery was only second to that which had marked the interment of
The Death and Posthumous Life of
Ernest Jones, an essay by Dr. Antony Taylor, History
Department, Sheffield Hallam University; see also
". . . .
the condition of the scholar, the genius of the poet, the fervid eloquence
of the orator, and the courageous spirit of the patriot, whom no
prosecution could frighten from the advocacy of his principles, and whom
no threatened loss of future or seductive offers of advancement could
tempt to abandon them. He was the same from the beginning to the
end, and his life was a life of beautiful, consistency."
— oration at the funeral
of Ernest Jones.
ON THE DEATH OF ERNEST JONES.
OH! cruel Death! could'st thou not lay thine hand,
On some one less beloved in the land?
Was there not one in this vast, teeming world,
Into whose breasts thy arrows could be hurled!
Why in such dreadful haste? Had'st thou looked round,
But for one moment, Death, thou would'st have found
Those for whom none would breathe, nor sighs, nor groans,
Then why strike down our much-loved Ernest Jones!
Could'st thou not enter at some other door?
Hast thou not heard of what we had in store
For the departed one whose loss we mourn?
Hast then not heard of bitter hardships borne!
O, why not warn us of thy mission here
Ere thou did'st hurl thy darts at one so dear.
Can'st thou not see our hands uplifted now,
To place the laurels on his honoured brow!
But why thus blame thee, Death, or thus repine,
Since faith assures us that this act of thine
Hath snapped the chain, and freed the patriot bard;
His trials o'er, he's gone to his reward.
Heaven,—grown impatient at our long delays,
Of tendering our homage, help, and praise,—
Called him away, from hearts so hard and cold,
To dwell with martyrs, and the brave of old.
SATURDAY, July 20, 1850.
THE liberation of this truly earnest and most
eloquent advocate of the rights of the people, has already called forth a
shout of joy from one end of the country to the other. But that we
are forbidden to report "news, occurrences, and events," we would tell of
the enthusiastic reception given to our friend by the Red Republicans of
London and Yorkshire. As it is, we can only express the happiness we
feel in having witnessed this act of homage on the part of the people to
one of their most truly noble defenders—to one who by his services,
sacrifices, and sufferings, has fully earned the proud distinction of
being enrolled amongst the great and good men who have
DESERVED WELL OF THEIR COUNTRY AND MANKIND.
We naturally feel no small degree of pride at being in a
position to give publicity to some of the prison-penned productions of our
friend and brother, who has kindly singled out the RED
REPUBLICAN as the medium through which to make
public a series of hymns written in his dungeon.
We must state an important fact in connection with these
hymns. At the time they were conceived in the brain of their author,
he was denied all ordinary writing materials by his pitiless jailors, but
"In vain did their impotent hands
Attempt his free spirit to bind."
Ernest Jones drew blood from his own veins, and that was the ink with
which was written the hymns, No. 1 of which we this week present to our
readers. Red to the Red! Most appropriately these hymns will
grace the columns of the RED REPUBLICAN.
BY ERNEST JONES.
(Written in the blood of their author, whilst incarcerated in Tothill-fields'
No. I.—HYMN FOR ASCENSION DAY.
Freedom is risen!
Freedom is risen!
Freedom is risen to-day!
Single voice. She burst from
She burnt from prison,
She broke from her gaolers away!
When was she born?
How was she nurst?
Where was her cradle laid?
Single voice. In want and
Reviled and curst;
'Mid the ranks of toil and trade.
And hath she gone
On her Holy morn,
Nor staid for the long workday?
Single voice. From heaven she came,
On earth to remain,
And bide with her sons alway.
Did she break the grave,
Our souls to save,
And leave our bodies in hell?
Single voice. To save us alive,
If we will but strive,
Body and soul as well.
Then what must we do
To prove us true ?
And what is the law she gave?
Single voice. Never fulfil
A tyrant's will,
Nor willingly live a slave.
Then this we'll do,
To prove us true,
And follow the law she gave:
A tyrant's will,
Nor willingly live a slave.
Police officers at the Chartist rally, Bonner's
Fields, which led to Jones's imprisonment.
London Illustrated News,
June 17, 1848.
THE CHARTIST TRIALS.
On Saturday last, Francis Loony, aged thirty-four, described as a cabinet-maker, was placed in the dock charged with misdemeanour. The
Attorney-General, in stating the case to the jury, said that the prisoner
was indicted on two separate charges for attending and speaking at two
meetings on the 5th of June, the one held in Blackfriars-road, and the
other at Soho, and which were held to express sympathy with John Mitchel. The prisoner, after a lengthened trial, was found "Guilty."
On Monday morning, at ten o'clock, Lord Chief Justice
Wilde took his seat on the bench, and Ernest Charles Jones, twenty-nine, barrister-at-law,
was called upon to surrender. Having answered, he was placed at the end of
the counsel-table, and was arraigned upon an indictment charging him with
sedition, attending an unlawful assembly, and a riot, at Bishop Bonner's
Fields, on the 4th of June last.
The Attorney-General then rose, and proceeded to open the case for the
prosecution. It would be with considerable pain that he should have to lay
the circumstances of this case before the jury, for the defendant belonged
to the same profession as himself, and therefore was a person who knew
well what would be the effect of his language, not only upon the minds of
those to whom it was addressed, but also its bearing in a legal sense. He
was a person of education and reading, and therefore the jury would find
that, in the sedition he had spoken, there was not that grossness that
had been exhibited in the speeches of the others; and they would find
that it had been delivered in more measured terms, and with greater
correctness. He should not ask the jury to look at particular parts of the
defendant's speech--he should not direct their attention to particular
words, but he should put it before them as a whole, and they would see
that its entire object and meaning were, "Organise, arm, and prepare to
resist the authorities." The learned Attorney-General having, submitted
the prisoner's seditious language at length to the jury, the latter, after
a trial which lasted to six o'clock in the evening, found the prisoner
The whole of the defendants who had been convicted, viz. Fussell,
Williams, Vernon, Shape, Looney, and Jones, were then placed at the bar to
The Chief Justice, having addressed them on the nature of their offences,
first passed sentence upon Fussell, whom he ordered to be imprisoned upon
the charge of sedition for two years, and for the unlawful assembly for
three months; and he was, in addition, ordered to enter into his own
recognizances in £100, with two sureties in £50 each to keep the peace for
Williams was the nest sentenced to two years' imprisonment on the first
count, one week on the second, and that he also should find sureties in
the same amount as Fussell, to keep the peace for three years.
Sharpe likewise to two years for sedition, three months for the unlawful
assembly, and find the same amount of sureties as the others to keep the
peace for three years.
Vernon was also sentenced to be imprisoned for two years, and find the
same sureties as the others to keep the peace for three years.
Looney was sentenced to two years, imprisonment on the count for sedition,
two months for the unlawful assembly, and to find the same amount of
sureties as the last defendant to keep the peace for two years.
And, lastly, Jones was sentenced to be imprisoned for two years, to find
two sureties in £ 150 each, and to enter in his own recognizance in £200
to keep the peace for five years.
This closed the business of the session, and the Court then adjourned to
Monday, August 21.