Female Chartists

The Chartist movement welcomed women. The female Chartists in Newport met in the Ship and Pilot pub in Commercial Street, Pillgwenlly, where they attended meetings, marched in rallies and even named their children after their Chartist heroes! They were some of the most enthusiastic supporters of the young Chartist orator and singer, Henry Vincent.

WN JOhns  in his 1889 book The Chartist Riots at Newport wrote: “Henry Vincent was now looked upon as a most dangerous character, and when he visited Newport on the 16th of April, permission to hold a meeting at the Ship and Pilot Inn was refused to him. A meeting was held however at the Bush Inn, which was subsequently adjourned to Pentonville. Later, Vincent returned to the Ship and Pilot to meet another gathering of ladies. Mr. Edward Thomas conjured the gentlemen not to intrude, but to leave the ladies altogether to Mr. Vincent.”

When Henry arrived at Ponllanfraith in March 1839 a hundred girls greeted him with flags and flowers and led him from the Greyhound in Ponllanfraith to the Coach and Horses in Blackwood. Vincent wanted votes for women as well as for all men.  On July 15th 1839, in the Chartist newspaper, the Western Vindicator, the Female Chartists of Newport wrote: “We seek for equality of rights and these will not be secured  to the people until the Charter, the People’s Charter, becomes the law of the land.  It must be so, the demand of millions must be complied with, when justice truth and equity are on their side.”  The Female Patriots of Newport”

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