1840 Newport Petition
4th November 1839 saw an armed uprising in Newport, led by prominent Chartists John Frost, Zephaniah Williams and William Jones. After the rising failed, all three were captured and convicted of treason. They were initially sentenced to death, but this was later commuted to transportation for life. The Chartist leaders retained a great deal of popular support during their trial and sentencing. Some followers took radical action, with demonstrations occurring in Manchester, arson and threatening letters being used elsewhere. Others voiced their disapproval by petitioning Parliament. The above petition from London was signed by 426 petitioners. They called for Frost, Williams and Jones to receive a free pardon. In fact, the three men were transported to Australia, only receiving a full pardon in 1856. Jones remained in Australia as a watchmaker, Williams remained in Tasmania where he had become wealthy from coal and Frost returned to Britain, living in Stapleton until his death in 1877.
Newport Riots, petition from London
3 February 1840
Parliamentary Archives, HC/CL/JO/6/202