Petition for the release of the Newport Three & enacting The People's Charter
Public petitioning to Parliament is a significant example of protest in the 19th Century. Unfortunately, the original petitions were not retained which has left a gap for future generations interested in our social history. This is particularly true when researching the Chartist movement. In the aftermath of the 1839 Newport Rising the Chartists encouraged their regional councils to petition Parliament on mass for the release of the ‘Newport Three', John Frost, Zephaniah Williams & William Jones. A February 1840 House of Commons debate referred to 120 petitions received thus far which contained over 100,000 signatures. The increasing fear of greater working-class agitation for this perceived miscarriage of justice was clear in the exchanges that would follow. This House of Commons Journal notes a petition sent in June 1841 that is not just calling for the men to have their sentences quashed but also for the enactment of the People's Charter.