This is study of six Chartist Leaders. It portrays movements for democracy and social progress, and explores the role of the uneasy middle classes, in movements for working class rights. The comparative analysis provides insights in to the development of dissent, the nature of class and of radicalism in the nineteenth century. An introduction sketches the historical context. - Dr. Peter M McDouall, fiery orator and Scottish surgeon, who built his practise and his political reputation at Ramsbottom, near Bury in Lancashire. - the Rev. Henry Solly, Chartist pamphleteer and Unitarian Minister who lived and worked in Yeovil and Cheltenham Spa and became a nationally-known campaigner for co-operatives, anti-slavery, the vote, and rational recreation, - Rev. James Scholefield, a chaplain from Manchester who campaigned for the ten hour week: a teacher, apothecary, surgeon and vegetarian, - Richard Bagnall Reed, a blacksmith, who became the manager of the Newcastle Chronicle, he also ran guns to Garibaldi for Italian unification, - William Villiers Sankey, an aristocrat, son of an Irish Volunteer and Member of Parliament, who resided among the political elite of London, he represented Edinburgh at the Chartist Convention, - The Rev. Benjamin Parsons. a radical and political preacher who used the Bible to justify campaigns for social justice, from the Gloucestershire.
Owen Ashton is a professor of modern British social history at Staffordshire University. He is the author of Chartist Legacy. Paul Pickering is Queen Elizabeth II Fellow at the Humanities Research Centre at Australian National University.