Newport Cathedral hosts 2015 Chartist Convention


For the first time, Newport’s annual Chartist Convention takes place at Newport Cathedral (St. Woolos). The Convention on Saturday 7th November is open to ALL. Spend a day finding out what happened after the battle at the Westgate hotel in 1839.


Professor Chris Williams of Cardiff University is speaking on the legacy of Chartism. His lecture is challengingly entitled ‘Did 1839 Change History?’ Last year he was appointed historical adviser to the Newport Chartist Commission.


Other experts are addressing the Convention on the Chartist Trials at Monmouth, the transportation of Chartists to Australia, the forgotten fight for clemency by Mrs. Frost and her daughters and activities amongst the Newport Chartists after 1840.


Find out the latest about the Cynefin ‘Trails to Trials’ online transcription project and its volunteers, who are bringing to life the voices of the people caught up in the Chartist Rising of 1839


Family historians have the chance to meet Sarah Richards, who will be speaking this time on ‘The Women of the Frost Family’. She is particularly keen to meet people who think they may be related to John Frost. Last year she spoke about her own ancestor William Davies, a young Blackwood Chartist, who married Ellen, one of Frost’s daughters.


The Three Impostors

The Three Impostors, publishers in Newport, are launching ‘Render the Chartists Defenceless’ by Les James. In his foreword to this new book, Michael Sheen, actor and screen star, expresses his conviction that the story of the Chartists is of great importance for us today because “their struggle is our struggle... we have the opportunity to learn from them... they can shine an edifying light on our current situation.”


Friars Walk opens November with Chartist art work

The Convention coincides with completion of the £90m Friar’s Walk shopping centre. Christmas shopping begins there on the following Thursday, 12th November. The development company, Queensberry, has commissioned south Wales based artist, Sebastien Boyesen to create two designs. go to report


Chartist Commission Report

Following the clearance of the Chartist mural (Kenneth Budd 1978), the Chartist Commission set up by the City Council has been mulling over how best to keep the Chartist movement beating “at the heart of Newport”. The Commission has still to unveil its own plans for Chartist heritage. Three Commissioners - Dame Rosemary Butler AM, Dr Rowan Williams and Patrick Drewett - were appointed early 2014 to seek suitable ways of commemorating the Chartist Rising 1839. They have been supported by thee advisors: Professor Julie Lydon, Vice Chancellor of the University of South Wales and Kevin Ward, South Wales Argus Editor in addition to Prof Williams.


Guided by Professor Williams, the Commission has identified and defined SEVEN CENTRAL VALUES bequeathed by the Victorian Chartist movement to the twenty-first century: Democracy, Equality, Dignity, Participation, Community, Cooperation, Vision. They are considering how best these concepts can be embedded in the Cityscape.


9th ANNUAL CHARTIST CONVENTION 2015Saturday 7th November 10.00 – 16.30Newport Cathedral (St. Woolos) NP20 4EA THE LINK TO BOOK YOUR TICKET(S) for the All queries, special requirements and bookings should be made via this link. Registration opens at 9:30 am The Convention starts at 10 am and closes 4:30 pm


Convention Programme: 'After the 1839 Rising'


09.30 Registration opens: Tea and Coffee


10:00 Dr Elin Jones (Chair) opens the Convention


10:10 Sarah Daly (Cynefin Project Officer): Unlocking the Cynefin Trails to Trials Project


10:40 Peter Strong - The Man Who Saved the Chartists? J.G.H. Owen and his part in the Chartist trial


11:00 Coffee/Tea (in the Hall)


11:25 Einion Gruffudd (Cynefin Project Officer): Geotagging the Chartists on the Tithe Maps


12.00 Les James: Render the Chartists Defenceless: John Frost’s Voyage with Dr McKechnie to Van Diemen’s Land in 1840


12:50 Lunch (in the Hall): The THREE IMPOSTORS Publishers Book launch of Render the Chartists Defenceless (Les James)

 Also opportunity to ascend the Cathedral tower


13:45 Dave Osmond: It didn’t all end with the Rising..... Chartist survival in 1840s Newport


14:30 Tea / Coffee (in the Hall)


14:45 Chris Williams: Did 1839 Change History?


15:30 Sarah Richards: The Women of the Frost family


16:15 Pat Drewett: Chartist Commission


16:30 Convention ends with the option of a guided CHARTIST WALK (no extra charge) in the footsteps of the 1839 Chartist marchers, from Stow Hill to the Westgate hotel building, led by Les James


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