Home Biographical Poetry The Battle-Day Woman's Wrongs Poetry Reviews The Cabinet Letters, &c. Marx on Chartism On Democracy Democracy Vindicated Site Search Main Index


"The liberty of opinion is the most sacred of all liberties,
for it is the basis of all..."

ERNEST JONES Notes To The People.


"I tell you, never was a truth propounded that did not make the world richer than it was before.  It never dies, though its utterer may perish piecemeal; and, though no fruit may seem to grow from its teaching, it has leavened mankind none the less, and the great heart of humanity will swell sooner or later with that germ of truth, and flash some bright new glory on the world! . . . Believe me, no great man has ever toiled and perished, without doing good.  To such men, to hopeless martyrs, who passed unrecognised and perished unaided, we owe — aye! every liberty we have . . . ."

ERNEST JONES The Cabinet, 27 Aug. 1859.


Chartist and reformer
1819 - 1869

The Prelate bows his cushioned knee;
Oh! the Prelate's fat to see;
Fat the priests who minister,
Fat, each roaring chorister,
Prebendary, Deacon, Lector,
Chapter, Chanter, Vicar, Rector,
Curate, Chaplain, Dean and Pastor,
Verger, Sexton, Clerk, Schoolmaster,
From mitre tall, to gold-laced hat,
Fat's the place—and all are fat.

From...."Beldagon Church


I OWN I have the sympathies of Old Mortality.  In my time I have perpetuated the memory of many unregarded heroes, who gave their strength, and in some cases their lives, in defence of the people who had forgotten, or who had never inquired, to whom they owed their advantages.

    ERNEST CHARLES JONES will, however, be long remembered by Chartist generations.  He was the son of a Major Jones, of high connections, who had served in the wars of Wellington, and was at Waterloo.  He was subsequently equerry to the Duke of Cumberland, afterwards Ernest I.  of Hanover, and uncle of Queen Victoria.  Major Jones's mother was an Annesley, daughter of a squire of Kent.  His only son, Ernest, was born in Vienna, in January, 1819.  His father having an estate in Holstein, on the border of the Black Forest, Ernest Jones passed his boyhood there, and in 1830, when eleven years old, he set out across the Black Forest, with a bundle under his arm, to "help the Poles."  With a similar precarious equipment, he in after years set out to help the Chartists.  He was educated at St.  Michael's College in Luneburg, where only high-caste students were admitted, and where he won distinction by delivering an oration in German.  In 1838, he became a regular attendant at the English Court, where he was presented by the Duke of Beaufort.  He married into the aristocratic family of Gibson Atherley, of Barfield, Cumberland, the name being borne by his son Atherley Jones, now member of Parliament.  We of the Chartist times all knew the gentle lady who lived in Brompton during the dreary days of her husband's frightful imprisonment.

    In 1844, Ernest Jones was called to the Bar of the Inner Temple.  All along he had high tastes and high prospects.  Thus he was reared under circumstances which did not render it necessary that he should have any sympathy with the people.  But the inspiration of poetry came to him.  The influence of Byron may be seen in his verse.  He had no mean capacity of song.  With better fortune than befell him when he had cast his lot with Chartism, and with more leisure, he would have been a poet of mark: but he threw fortune away.  His family did not like the idea of his being a Chartist rhymer.  His uncle, Holton Annesley, offered to leave him £2,000 a year if he would abandon Chartist advocacy.  If not, he would leave the fortune to another—and he did.  Mr. Jones must have had in him elements of a valorous integrity to refuse that splendid prospect.  He knew well what he was about, and that the service of the people would not keep him in bread.  They whom he served were not able to do it—they had too many needs of their own.  He had declined his uncle's wealthy offer in terms of noble but disastrous pride, and the fortune he relinquished was given to his uncle's gardener.  Though he had chosen penury, he retained the patrician taste natural to him, and made a point of not taking payment for his speeches and addresses.  There was more pride than sense in this.  Those who consumed his days in travelling and his strength in speaking could and would have made him some remuneration.  Without it his home must be unprovided.  Making a speech has as fair a claim to payment as writing an article.  Honest oratory is as much entitled to costs as honest literature.  Mr. Jones often walked from town to town without means of procuring adequate refreshment by day or accommodation by night.  On some occasions an observant Chartist would buy him a pair of shoes, seeing his need of them.  Ernest Jones published the People's Paper—the sale of which did not pay expenses.  The sense of debt was a new burden to him.  On one occasion when I printed for him, and he was considerably in arrears, he said, "I must go to my friend Disraeli."  An hour later he returned, and handed my brother Austin three of several £5 notes.  He had others in his hand.  That politic Minister inspired many Chartists with hatred of the Whigs, whom he himself disliked, because they did not favour his circuitous pretensions; and when he found Chartists of genius having the same hatred, he would supply them with money, the better to give effect to it.  I never knew any Chartist in the habit of taking money, who took it for the abandonment of his principles; nor do I believe Disraeli ever gave it them for that purpose.  Their undiscerning hatred answered Tory ends.

Chartist demonstration, Kenington Common,

    It was July, 1848, when Mr. Jones was sentenced to two years' solitary imprisonment, and to find two sureties of £100 each and himself £200 for three years after his release—for saying, "Only organise, and you will see the green flag floating over Downing Street; let that be accomplished, and John Mitchell shall be brought back again to his native country, and Sir G.  Grey and Lord John Russell shall be sent out to exchange places with him."  This was simply amusing, and there was no more danger of this happening than of a flock of pigeons stopping a railway train.  In the same speech for which he was condemned, he gave the same advice to the meeting that I had given to the delegates to the Convention in the John Street Hall, on the night before the 10th of April, 1848.

    When Jones was imprisoned, it was sought to humiliate him.  The Whigs did it, but the Tories would have done the same—yet the Whigs were more bound to respect the advocates of the people.  Jones was required to pick oakum.  Being a gentleman, he refused to be degraded as a criminal.  Politics was not a crime.  In the case of Colonel Valentine Baker, the Government had just respect for a 'gentlemen; but not when the gentlemen was the political advocate of the poor, though Jones was socially superior to Baker.

"Which nation?" asked the younger stranger, "for she [Queen Victoria] reigns over two."

The stranger paused; Egremont was silent, but looked inquiringly.

"Yes," resumed the younger stranger after a moment's interval. "Two nations; between whom there is no intercourse and no sympathy; who are as ignorant of each other's habits, thoughts, and feelings, as if they were dwellers in different zones, or inhabitants of different planets; who are formed by a different breeding, are fed by a different food, are ordered by different manners, and are not governed by the same laws."

"You speak of―" said Egremont, hesitatingly.



From . . . Sybil, or The Two Nations, by Benjamin Disraeli (1845)

    Mr. Jones was kept in solitary confinement on the silent system—enforced with the utmost rigour for nineteen months.  He complied with all the prison regulations, excepting oakum picking.  That he steadfastly refused, as he would never bend himself to voluntary degradation.  To break his firmness on this point he was again and again confined in a dark cell and fed on bread and water.

    When suffering from dysentery, he was put into a cell in an indescribable state from which a prisoner who died from cholera had been carried.  It may be reasonably assumed that it was intended to kill him.  The cholera was then raging in London, and, had Jones died, no question would have been asked.  Still the authorities never succeeded in making him pick oakum.

    In the second year of his imprisonment he was so broken in health that he could no longer stand upright, and was found lying on the floor of his cell.  Only then was he taken to the hospital.  He was told, if he would petition for his release and abjure politics, the remainder of his sentence would be remitted.  This he refused, and he was sent back to his cell.  Let anyone consider what those two dreary years of indignity, brutality,  peril, and solitude must have been to a man like Ernest Jones—nervous, sanguine, ambitious, with his fiery spirit, fine taste, and consciousness of great powers—and restrain if he can admiration of that splendid courage and steadfastness.  Unregarded, uncared for, he maintained his self-respect.  Thomas Carlyle went to look at the caged Chartist through the bars of his prison, and increased, by his heartless and contemptuous remarks, public indifference to the fate of the friendless prisoner.  Carlyle wrote: "The world and its cares quite excluded for some months to come, master of his own time, and spiritual resources to, as I supposed, a really enviable extent."  This shows that, like meaner men, Carlyle could write without facts, or even inquiring for them.  Ernest Jones, "master of his own time," had to pick oakum, or spend his days in a dark cell.  Thus his "spiritual resources" were limited.  He was refused a Bible even, and had to write with his blood.  His "really enviable" condition was that of knowing that his wife was ignorant whether he was dead or alive, and he was denied the knowledge what fate in the cholera season had befallen her or his children, for whom no provision existed.

    In his savage imprisonment he did write poems, but it had to be done with his own blood—not from sensationalism, but from necessity, pen and ink being denied him.  Undaunted, he returned on his liberation to his old advocacy of the people.  Mr. Benjamin Wilson, of Salterhebble, Halifax, who knew Jones well, has given many facts not before known of his career in the "Struggles of Old Chartists."


Jones in later life, ca. 1865.

    Ernest Jones and I were associated in Chartist agitation while it lasted.  I was a visitor at his fireside at Brompton.  Mrs.  Ernest Jones, a lady of great refinement, shared the vicissitudes of his Chartist days, which shortened her own.  Mr. Jones left London in 1859, and went to Manchester with a sad heart.  Practice at the Bar had to be won.  One night, after attending the court at Leeds, he was met by Mr. Moses Clayton, who found he had no home to go to.  A home was found him at Dr.  Skelton's, and a brief also next day.  He had come to the resolution that night that he would see no morning.  Afterwards better fortune came to him.  He had the chance of being member for Dewsbury.  He was nearly elected member for Manchester, and the reversion of the seat to him was likely when he suddenly died.  His grand energy, fatigue, and exposure killed him.  Had he reached Parliament, he had all the qualities which promised a great career there.  Shortly before his death he spent some hours with me in my chambers in Cockspur Street, overlooking Trafalgar Square, discussing a favourite theory of his—the manner in which an actor on the stage of the world should quit it.*

    In every workshop in Great Britain, in mine and mill, and in other lands where his name was familiar, there was sadness when his death was known.  His friend in many a conflict, George Julian Harney, sent from America to the Newcastle Daily Chronicle an impassioned account of the effect of the news on him as he read it in a telegram in Boston.

    Mr. Jones had a strong musical voice, energy and fire, and a more classic style of expression than any of his compeers in agitation.  When he spoke at the grave of Benjamin Rushton of Ovenden, he began:—"We meet to-day at a burial and a birth—the burial of a noble patriot is the resurrection of a glorious principle.  The foundation stones of liberty are the graves of the just; the lives of the departed are the landmarks of the living; the memories of the past are the beacons of the future."

    Despite his popular sympathies and generous sacrifices for the people, the patrician distrust of them, now and then, broke out, as when he wrote:—

"Ill fare the men who, flushed with sudden power,
 Would uproot centuries in a single hour.
 Gaze on those crowds—is theirs the force that saves?
 What were they yesterday?—a horde of slaves!
 What are they now but slaves without their chains?
 The badge is cancelled, but the man remains."

    There is some truth in these lines.  The abatements I take to be these:—1.  You can't "uproot centuries" if you try.  2.  The "crowds" are always better than they look.  3.  The "slaves" are always free in spirit long before they get rid of "their chains." 4.  When the" badge is cancelled," the "man" who "remains " generally turns out a gladsome, practical creature.

    In the nobler vein which so well became him, he vindicated with a poet's insight his own career:—

"Men counted him a dreamer?  Dreams
 Are but the light of clearer skies—
 Too dazzling for our naked eyes.
 And when we catch their flashing beams
 We turn aside and call them dreams.
 Oh! trust me every thought that yet
 In greatness rose and sorrow set,
 That time to ripening glory nurst,
 Was called an 'idle dream' at first."

    Mr. Morrison Davidson has published the most comprehensive sketch of the career of Ernest Jones which has appeared, and a noble volume might be made of his poems, speeches and political writings.  Because he opposed middle-class projects and broke up their meetings, little attention was paid to his views by those who would have been most impressed by them.  Before their day he was as well informed as Karl Marx or Henry George on questions of capital and land, and held eventually wider views of co-operation than were advocated in his time.  It would have been economy to mankind to have pensioned Ernest Jones, that he might have devoted his genius to oratory, literature, and liberty.

    Those of this generation who have not in their memory any instance of Ernest Jones's eloquence, may see it in the following passage from his Lecture on the Middle Ages and the Papacy.

"You have been told that the Church in the Dark Ages was the preserver of learning, the patron of science, and the friend of freedom.  The preserver of learning in the Dark Ages! It was the Church that made these ages dark.  The preserver of learning! Yes, as the worm-eaten oak chest preserves a manuscript.  No more thanks to them than to the rats for not devouring its pages.  It was the Republics of Italy and the Saracens of Spain that preserved learning—and it was the Church that trod out the light of those Italian Republics.  The patron of science! What? When they burned Savonarola and Bruno, imprisoned Galileo, persecuted Columbus, and mutilated Abelard? The friend of freedom! What? When they crushed the Republics of the South, pressed the Netherlands like the vintage in a wine-kelter, girdled Switzerland with a belt of fire and steel, banded the crowned tyrants of Europe against the Reformers of Germany, and launched Claverhouse against the Covenanters of Scotland? The friend of freedom! When they hedged kings with a divinity! Their superstitions alone upheld the rotten fabric of oppression.  Their superstitions alone turned the indignant freeman into a willing slave and made men bow to the Hell they created here by a hope of the Heaven they could not insure hereafter.  There is nothing so corrupt that the Papacy has not befriended, and but one gleam of sunshine flashes across the black picture, in the architecture of its churches, the painting of its aisles, and the music of its choirs."

Note:  After his death an "Ernest Jones Fund" was proposed.  Lord Armstrong, then Sir William, sent two guineas to the Punch office, which was sent to me for the Fund.



"The Chartist Movement"
Mark Hovell and Professor T. F. Tout.

"Like [Feargus] O'Connor, [Ernest] Jones was a man of family, education, and good social position.  His father, Major Jones, a hussar of Welsh descent, had fought bravely in the Peninsula and at Waterloo, and became equerry to the most hated of George III.'s sons, Ernest, Duke of Cumberland, after 1837 King of Hanover.  The godson and namesake of the unpopular duke, Ernest Jones was born at Berlin, brought up on his parents' estate in Holstein, and educated with scions of Hanoverian nobility at Lüneburg.  He came to England with his family in 1838, but his upbringing was shown not only in his literary tastes and wide Continental connections, but by his very German handwriting and the constant use of German in the more intimate and emotional entries in his manuscript diaries.  He entered English life as a man of fashion, moving in good society, assiduous at court, where a duke presented him to Queen Victoria, marrying a lady "descended from the Plantagenets" at a "dashing wedding" in St. George's, Hanover Square.  He was gradually weaned from frivolity by ardent literary ambitions, but was soon terribly discouraged when publishers refused to publish, or the public to buy, his verses, novels, songs, and dances.  In 1844 he was called to the Bar, but hardly took his profession seriously.  Domestic and financial troubles soon followed.  His father and mother died and his speculations failed.  In 1845 there was an execution in his house; he was compelled to hide from his creditors and pass through the bankruptcy court.  He had now to seek some sort of employment, but apparently failed to find anything congenial to his mystic, dreamy, enthusiastic temperament.  He does not seem to have been destitute, but he lived in a fever of excitement and alternating hope and depression.  He felt cut away from his bearings, living without motives, principles, or ambitions, until be began to find a new inspiration in attending Chartist meetings.  He was soon so fully a convert that, when his first brief came from the solicitors, it gave him far less satisfaction than the applause with which his Chartist audiences received his vigorous recitation of his poems, and the honour of dining four or five days running with O'Connor.  Yet many years later he could inspire the boast that he had "abandoned a promising, professional career and the allurements of fashionable life in order to devote himself to the cause of the people."  He assiduously attended committees and rushed all over the country to make speeches at meetings.  He offered himself as a candidate for the next Convention because he wished to see "a liberal democracy instead of a tyrannical oligarchy."  He reveals his sensitive soul in his diary.

    I am pouring the tide of my songs over England, forming the tone of the mighty mind of the people.  Wonderful!  Vicissitudes of life — rebuffs and countless disappointments in literature — dry toil of business — press of legal and social struggles — dreadful domestic catastrophes — domestic bickerings — almost destitution — hunger — labour in mind and body — have left me through the wonderful Providence of God as enthusiastic of mind, as ardent of temper, as fresh of heart and as strong a frame as ever!  Thank God!

    I am prepared to rush fresh and strong into the strife or struggle of a nation, to ride the torrent or to guide the rill, if God permits."

    Jones was altogether composed of finer clay than O'Connor.  His real sincerity and enthusiasm for his cause were quite foreign to the temperament of his chief.  But there were certain obvious similarities between these two very different types of the "Celtic temperament."  Not only in sympathetic desire to find remedies for evil things, but in deftness in playing upon a popular audience, in violence of speech, incoherence of thought, and lack of measure, Jones stood very near O'Connor himself.  Henceforth he was second only to O'Connor among the Chartist leaders.  For the two years in which he found it easy to work with his chief, Jones's loyal and ardent service did much to redeem the mediocrity of O'Connor's lead.  In his political songs he set forth, always with fluency and feeling, sometimes with real lyrical power, the saving merits of the Land Scheme.  Nor was he less effective as a journalist and as a platform orator.  Not content with the publicity of the Northern Star, whose twinkle was already somewhat dimmed, O'Connor set up in 1847 a monthly magazine called The Labourer, devoted to furthering the work of the Land Company.  In this new venture Jones was O'Connor's right-hand man.  And both in prose and verse no perception of humour dimmed the fervour of his periods:

Has freedom whispered in his wistful ear,
"Courage, poor slave!  Deliverance is near?"
Oh!  She has breathed a summons sweeter still,
"Come!  Take your guerdon at O'Connorville. "

. . . . After the Chartist collapse of 1848 there remains nothing save to write the epilogue.  But ten more weary years elapsed before the final end came, for moribund Chartism showed a strange vitality, however feeble the life which now lingered in it.  But the Chartist tradition was already a venerable memory, and its devotees were more conservative than they thought when they clung hopelessly to its doctrine.  It is some measure of the sentimental force of Chartism that it took such an unconscionably long time in dying. . . .

. . . . Ernest Jones gradually stepped into O'Connor's place.  His imprisonment between 1848 and 1850 had spared him the necessity of violent conflict with his chief, and after his release he had tact enough to avoid an open breach with him.  His aim was now to minimise the effects of O'Connor's eccentric policy, and after 1852 he was free to rally as he would the faithful remnant.  He wandered restlessly from town to town, agitating, organising, and haranguing the scanty audiences that he could now attract.  His pen resumed its former activity.  He sought to replace the fallen Northern Star by a newspaper called Notes to the People.  Jones was an excellent journalist, but there was no public which cared to buy his new venture.  It was in vain that he furiously lashed capitalists and aristocrats, middle-class reformers, co-operators, trades unionists, and, above all, his enemies within the Chartist ranks.  He reached the limit when, under the thin disguise of the adventures of a fictitious demagogue called Simon de Brassier, he held up his old chief to opprobrium, not only for his acknowledged weaknesses, but as a self-seeking money-grabber and a government spy.  It was in vain that Jones denied that his political novel contained real characters and referred to real events.  Simon de Brassier's sayings and doings were too carefully modelled on those of O'Connor for the excuse to hold water.  But however great the scandal excited, it did not sell the paper in which the romance was published.  After an inglorious existence of a few months Notes to the People came to an end, and the People's Paper, Jones's final journalistic venture, was not much more fortunate.  It dragged on as long as sympathisers were found to subscribe enough money to print it.  When these funds failed it speedily collapsed.

    The scandal of Simon de Brassier showed that Jones was almost as irresponsible as O'Connor.  In many other ways also the new leader showed that he had no real gift for leadership.  He was fully as difficult to work with, as petulant and self-willed, as O'Connor had ever been.  He threw himself without restraint into every sectional quarrel, and under his rule the scanty remnant of the Chartist flock was distracted by constant quarrels and schisms.  Meanwhile the faithful few still assembled annually in their Conventions, and the leaders still met weekly in their Executive Committees.  But while each Convention was torn asunder by quarrels and dissensions, the outside public became stonily indifferent to its decisions.  Jones himself retained a robust faith in the eventual triumph of the Charter, but he soon convinced himself that its victory was not to be secured by the co-operation of his colleagues on the Chartist Executive.  He now grew heartily sick of sitting Wednesday after Wednesday at Executive meetings where no quorum could be obtained, or which, when enough members attended, refused to promote "the world's greatest and dearest cause," because minding other matters instead of minding the Charter.  He was one of the last upholders of the old Chartist anti-middle -class programme; but he preached the faith to few sympathetic ears.  In 1852 he withdrew in disgust from the Executive, but came back again when the Manchester Conference of that year adopted a new organisation of his own proposing.  This Conference, however, made itself ridiculous by persisting in the old policy of refusing to co-operate with other parties pursuing similar ends, and after 1853 no more Conventions were held.  The release in 1854 of the martyrs of the Newport rising — Frost, Jones, and Williams — showed that in official eyes Chartism was no longer dangerous.  For the five more years between 1853 and 1858 Jones still lectured on behalf of the Charter, and could still, in 1858, rejoice with his brother Chartists on his vindication of his character against the aspersions of Reynolds.  With his passing over to the Radical ranks the Chartist succession came to a final end. . . .

. . . . Of the last Chartist leader, Ernest Jones, there is still something to say.  In 1858 he initiated a National Suffrage Movement and accepted the presidency of the organisation established for that end.  It became, under his guidance, one of the forces which, after a few years of lethargy, renewed the agitation for reform of Parliament, and was a factor in bringing about the second Reform Act of 1867.  In 1861 he transferred himself from London to Manchester, where he resided until his death, writing plays and novels, agitating for reform, watching the movement of foreign politics, and winning a respectable practice at the local bar.  Here his greatest achievement was his able defence of the Fenian prisoners, convicted in 1867 of the murder of Police Sergeant Brett.  He remained poor, but obtained a good position in Radical circles, contesting Manchester in 1868, when, though unsuccessful, he received more than ten thousand votes.  He died in January 1869, and the public display which attended his burial in Ardwick cemetery was only second to that which had marked the interment of O'Connor."


See: The Death and Posthumous Life of Ernest Jones, an essay by Dr. Antony Taylor, History Department, Sheffield Hallam University; see also obituaries.


". . . . the condition of the scholar, the genius of the poet, the fervid eloquence of the orator, and the courageous spirit of the patriot, whom no prosecution could frighten from the advocacy of his principles, and whom no threatened loss of future or seductive offers of advancement could tempt to abandon them.  He was the same from the beginning to the end, and his life was a life of beautiful, consistency."

EDMOND BEALESoration at the funeral of Ernest Jones.



H! cruel Death! could'st thou not lay thine hand,
On some one less beloved in the land?
Was there not one in this vast, teeming world,
Into whose breasts thy arrows could be hurled!

Why in such dreadful haste?   Had'st thou looked round,
But for one moment, Death, thou would'st have found
Those for whom none would breathe, nor sighs, nor groans,
Then why strike down our much-loved Ernest Jones!

Could'st thou not enter at some other door?
Hast thou not heard of what we had in store
For the departed one whose loss we mourn?
Hast then not heard of bitter hardships borne!

O, why not warn us of thy mission here
Ere thou did'st hurl thy darts at one so dear.
Can'st thou not see our hands uplifted now,
To place the laurels on his honoured brow!

But why thus blame thee, Death, or thus repine,
Since faith assures us that this act of thine
Hath snapped the chain, and freed the patriot bard;
His trials o'er, he's gone to his reward.

Heaven,—grown impatient at our long delays,
Of tendering our homage, help, and praise,—
Called him away, from hearts so hard and cold,
To dwell with martyrs, and the brave of old.



From the


ATURDAY, July 20, 1850.


THE liberation of this truly earnest and most eloquent advocate of the rights of the people, has already called forth a shout of joy from one end of the country to the other.  But that we are forbidden to report "news, occurrences, and events," we would tell of the enthusiastic reception given to our friend by the Red Republicans of London and Yorkshire.  As it is, we can only express the happiness we feel in having witnessed this act of homage on the part of the people to one of their most truly noble defenders—to one who by his services, sacrifices, and sufferings, has fully earned the proud distinction of being enrolled amongst the great and good men who have DESERVED WELL OF THEIR COUNTRY AND MANKIND.

    We naturally feel no small degree of pride at being in a position to give publicity to some of the prison-penned productions of our friend and brother, who has kindly singled out the RED REPUBLICAN as the medium through which to make public a series of hymns written in his dungeon.

    We must state an important fact in connection with these hymns.  At the time they were conceived in the brain of their author, he was denied all ordinary writing materials by his pitiless jailors, but

"In vain did their impotent hands
 Attempt his free spirit to bind."

    Ernest Jones drew blood from his own veins, and that was the ink with which was written the hymns, No. 1 of which we this week present to our readers.  Red to the Red!  Most appropriately these hymns will grace the columns of the RED REPUBLICAN.


(Written in the blood of their author, whilst incarcerated in Tothill-fields' Prison.)


Chorus.                Freedom is risen!
                              Freedom is risen!
                              Freedom is risen to-day!

Single voice.       She burst from prison,
                             She burnt from prison,
                             She broke from her gaolers away!

Chorus.               When was she born?
                             How was she nurst?
                             Where was her cradle laid?

Single voice.       In want and scorn;
                             Reviled and curst;
                             'Mid the ranks of toil and trade.

Chorus.              And hath she gone
                            On her Holy morn,
                            Nor staid for the long workday?

Single voice.      From heaven she came,
                            On earth to remain,
                            And bide with her sons alway.

Chorus.              Did she break the grave,
                            Our souls to save,
                            And leave our bodies in hell?

Single voice.      To save us alive,
                             If we will but strive,
                             Body and soul as well.

Chorus.               Then what must we do
                             To prove us true ?
                             And what is the law she gave?

Single voice.       Never fulfil
                              A tyrant's will,
                              Nor willingly live a slave.

Chorus.                Then this we'll do,
                              To prove us true,
                              And follow the law she gave:
                              Never fulfil
                              A tyrant's will,
                              Nor willingly live a slave.


Police officers at the Chartist rally, Bonner's Fields, which led to Jones's imprisonment.
London Illustrated News, June 17, 1848.





    On Saturday last, Francis Loony, aged thirty-four, described as a cabinet-maker, was placed in the dock charged with misdemeanour.  The Attorney-General, in stating the case to the jury, said that the prisoner was indicted on two separate charges for attending and speaking at two meetings on the 5th of June, the one held in Blackfriars-road, and the other at Soho, and which were held to express sympathy with John Mitchel.  The prisoner, after a lengthened trial, was found "Guilty."

    On Monday morning, at ten o'clock, Lord Chief Justice Wilde took his seat on the bench, and Ernest Charles Jones, twenty-nine, barrister-at-law, was called upon to surrender.  Having answered, he was placed at the end of the counsel-table, and was arraigned upon an indictment charging him with sedition, attending an unlawful assembly, and a riot, at Bishop Bonner's Fields, on the 4th of June last.

    The Attorney-General then rose, and proceeded to open the case for the prosecution.  It would be with considerable pain that he should have to lay the circumstances of this case before the jury, for the defendant belonged to the same profession as himself, and therefore was a person who knew well what would be the effect of his language, not only upon the minds of those to whom it was addressed, but also its bearing in a legal sense.  He was a person of education and reading, and therefore the jury would find that, in the sedition he had spoken, there was not that grossness that had been exhibited in the speeches of the others; and they would find that it had been delivered in more measured terms, and with greater correctness.  He should not ask the jury to look at particular parts of the defendant's speech--he should not direct their attention to particular words, but he should put it before them as a whole, and they would see that its entire object and meaning were, "Organise, arm, and prepare to resist the authorities."  The learned Attorney-General having, submitted the prisoner's seditious language at length to the jury, the latter, after a trial which lasted to six o'clock in the evening, found the prisoner guilty.


    The whole of the defendants who had been convicted, viz. Fussell, Williams, Vernon, Shape, Looney, and Jones, were then placed at the bar to receive sentence.

    The Chief Justice, having addressed them on the nature of their offences, first passed sentence upon Fussell, whom he ordered to be imprisoned upon the charge of sedition for two years, and for the unlawful assembly for three months; and he was, in addition, ordered to enter into his own recognizances in £100, with two sureties in £50 each to keep the peace for five years.

    Williams was the nest sentenced to two years' imprisonment on the first count, one week on the second, and that he also should find sureties in the same amount as Fussell, to keep the peace for three years.

    Sharpe likewise to two years for sedition, three months for the unlawful assembly, and find the same amount of sureties as the others to keep the peace for three years.

    Vernon was also sentenced to be imprisoned for two years, and find the same sureties as the others to keep the peace for three years.

    Looney was sentenced to two years, imprisonment on the count for sedition, two months for the unlawful assembly, and to find the same amount of sureties as the last defendant to keep the peace for two years.

    And, lastly, Jones was sentenced to be imprisoned for two years, to find two sureties in £ 150 each, and to enter in his own recognizance in £200 to keep the peace for five years.

    This closed the business of the session, and the Court then adjourned to Monday, August 21.

web page hit counters codes Free


[Home] [Biographical] [Poetry] [The Battle-Day] [Woman's Wrongs] [Poetry Reviews] [The Cabinet] [Letters, &c.] [Marx on Chartism] [On Democracy] [Democracy Vindicated] [Site Search] [Main Index]