The Bristol Riots 1831 and the ‘Picketing of the Bristol Packet’ at Newport

This article was recently published in the excellent Chartism online magazine and is the result of a collaboration between BRHG and David Osmond, Ray Stroud, Peter Strong, Les James, historians from Newport and Cardiff. Our thanks to Les James for authoring the piece and allowing us to reproduce it. ​ Members from the Bristol Radical History Group (BRHG) brought their bookstall to the 2016 Newport Chartist Convention held at the John Frost School. Di Parkin, Roger Ball, Maureen Ball, Steve Mills […]

Colston Hall, the first domino goes down…

It's official, today the board of the Bristol Music Trust (BMT) have announced the Colston Hall will be changing its name. Congratulations to the Counter-Colston campaigners and their supporters for all the work they have done over the last few years to highlight this issue. We have been having a laugh today reading some of the reactions... Apparently Tory Councillor Richard Eddy will now be boycotting the hall....is this because he will only go to venues that are named after slave-traders? […]

Renaming the Colston Hall: An opportunity to rediscover the hidden history of Bristol

The following statement by BRHG historians was published in the Bristol Post last week in response to Councillor Richard Eddy's article the week before entitled: Prominent Tory: Renaming Bristol's Colston Hall 'panders to tiny minority'. Almost a century ago in 1920 the Reverend H. J. Wilkins of Westbury-on Trym penned a biography of Edward Colston which began to expose the troubling history surrounding Bristol’s so-called ‘moral saint’ and ‘great philanthropist’. Wilkins was astounded at the […]

The Maltreated and the Malcontents on History Workshop blog

An article posted on History Workshop journal website by Mike Richardson on the Great Western Cotton factory in Barton Hill based upon his recent book The Maltreated and the Malcontents published by BRHG.

The Slave Trader ‘Celebration Season’

The onset of autumn in Bristol sees several idiosyncratic ceremonies, rituals and traditions that remember the locally born slave trader Edward Colston. Whilst public display has in recent years retreated, commemoration and maintenance of a partial historical narrative focused only on philanthropic endeavours persists ‘behind closed doors’. These closed doors are, for the rest of the year, presented to the Bristolian public as some of the most ‘open’ and ‘welcoming’, they include some of the […]

Commemoration of the 1831 Bristol ‘Riots’ at Queen Square

Queen Square 1831
29 October 2016 A small group of us gathered at the statue of William III in Queen Square to remember the three day ‘riot’ of October 1831 which shocked the country at the time and put the government in fear of revolution. This event eventually led to the 1832 Reform Act which lessened the rampant corruption in the form of ‘rotten boroughs’, created new seats in a number of industrial cities and increased the franchise to include some of the male middle class (but not women or the working […]

Victims of the Somme – Event Report

The wreath laid in memory of the Jeffries Brothers who died at The Somme in 1916
Today at noon a commemoration was held for the soldiers from The Dings who died at the Somme in World War 1. (See the event listing.) In particular we remembered the Jeffries brothers: Arthur who was killed in action at Geuedecourt on September 16th 1916 and Alfred who was shot at dawn for desertion on November 1st 1916. After a few words - from among others David Jeffries the Great Nephew of the Jeffries brothers, Geoff Woolfe (author of The Bristol Deserter) and Professor Lois Bibbings from […]

Dare Devil Rides to Jarama

DARE DEVIL RIDES TO JARAMA
A new play by Townsend Productions (the people who brought you United We Stand, a play about the Shrewsbury pickets) speedway, the wall of death and the Spanish Civil War - DARE DEVIL RIDES TO JARAMA. To you we speak, you numberless Englishmen, To remind you of the greatness still among you Created by these men who go from your towns To fight for peace, for liberty and for you. Clem Beckett and Christopher Caudwell were such men. Moved by most Spaniards’ determination to defend themselves […]

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