Feargus O'Connor: Chartist Leader
1839 saw Chartism announce itself on to the political landscape with a campaign of mass petitioning and public meetings. The events of the Newport Rising encouraged the government to crack down on the movement's leaders to extinguish any latent revolutionary tendencies. The following year, their leader, Feargus O'Connor was imprisoned in York Castle on a charge of seditious libel. Despite being incarcerated he challenged the government by requesting special penal treatment as a political offender. This led to a Parliamentary debate but members including Robert Peel would not adhere to such demands. In the final act of his public life, he inspired a Chartist revival and was elected an MP for Nottingham.
Parliamentary Debates (Hansard)
2nd June 1840
Parliamentary Archives, HAN/3/54