Newport Chartist Convention – 2021

Court drama, pioneering photography and toppling statues...Newport Chartist Convention 2021 The annual Newport Chartist Convention will take place at St Woolos Cathedral 105 Stow Hill, Newport NP20 4ED, UK. There is a full programme of lectures, with guest speakers including Professor Joan Allen on Legality and Injustice in the Age of the Chartists, with reference to Regina v Frost in 1840; Roger Ball and Mark Steeds will discuss the Rise and Fall of Edward Colston; and Dave Steele will look at […]

State Snooping: Spooks, Cops and Double Agents

State Snooping front Covers. I man's face split in two, ha;f copper, half crusty activist.
Elizabeth I claimed that she had “no desire to open windows into men’s souls” while seeking to do just that. This pamphlet traces the way British governments have been snooping into the lives of its citizens ever since, culminating in the recent insidious Spy Cops Bill. State Snooping: Spooks, Cops and Double Agents, is the 51st in our series of BRHG pamphlets. It's the latest by one of our regular authors Colin Thomas. You can buy the pamphlet here for £3.00 inc p&p. State Snooping provides […]

James Acland and The Bristolian (1827-1831)

In 1827, radical journalist James Acland launched the West Country’s first daily newspaper. He called it The BRISTOLIAN. Undercutting the advertising rates of existing weekly papers, conducting a lively letter column and breaking the law by publishing at one and a half pence without paying the newspaper stamp tax, Acland’s publication was a muck-raking popular radical paper for the working classes. The paper concentrated on exposing the abuses both of the unreformed Corporation which ran Bristol […]

State Surveillance after the French Revolution [Postponed until further notice]

Government Surveillance in Peacetime: Home Office Spies, c.1800 (David Worrall) Government surveillance, using networks of spies and informers, were active both before and after the Napoleonic War (1793-1815). In the case of the Anabaptist, William Winterbotham, although in 1792 the country was still at peace, a spy was in place to intercept him on a West Country highway and lure him into seditious conversation. In the late 1810s and 1820s, when Britain was engaged in no major conflict, spies […]

Book Launch: Regicide or Revolution?

What Petitioners Wanted, September 1648 - February 1649

Miscellaneous Events 2020
The trial and execution of Charles I in 1649 has in the past been portrayed as the outcome of a crazed 'bloodlust' for revenge by supporters of parliament. This simplistic and dubious narrative obscures more than it reveals, and what is hidden by it is quite remarkable. Norah Carlin's new book Regicide or Revolution? What Petitioners Wanted, September 1648 - February 1649 is a collection and examination of the petitions from numerous units of the New Model Army and commoners around England in […]

Radical Culture

Discourse, Resistance and Surveillance, 1790-1820

By David Worrall
Worral's book concentrates on the period of the French revolution and the Napoleonic wars. The narrative is based mainly in London, and looks at those who wanted to replicate the French Revolution in Britain. The main thread looks at those who believed in the work of Thomas Spence, who has largely been ignored in the mainstream history books. Spence was an ultra-radical, who saw the main problems with British society in land ownership. He wanted common land ownership, on a corporate basis, but […]

Film showing – ‘The Last Clarion House’

A film about the Nelson Independent Labour Party Clarion House and its role in the struggles of suffragettes and conscientious objectors. The Clarion Cycling Club was formed in 1895 after a group of like-minded individuals got together in Birmingham in 1894. It took the Clarion name from Robert Blatchford’s socialist newspaper (20 minutes).

Film Showing: Make More Noise

The suffragettes in struggle

miscellaneous 2018 poster
This fascinating British Film Institute compilation of original footage highlights the passion and media savvy of the suffragettes in struggle, offering a fascinating portrait of British women during this time. “You have to make more noise than anybody else” said Emmeline Pankhurst. A special Bristol Radical History screening to mark the centenary of some women in Britain getting the vote, it will be introduced by Dawn Dyer, librarian at Bristol Central Library, who will provide a Bristol […]

Two rebel women

Florence Exten- Hann and Lilian Gertrude Wolfe. Interviewed by Sheila Rowbotham

I interviewed Florence Exten-Hann in March 1973 and this article appeared in the socialist feminist magazine Red Rag (no.3 1973). It draws also on notes she wrote about her life for a Workers’ Educational Association class in 1968. The original article was subsequently reproduced in a collection of my writings, Dreams and Dilemmas, Virago, 1983. I have modified it somewhat for clarity and added some new comments at the end. My article, ‘She Lived Her Politics’ first appeared in the anarchist […]

Hidden Voices: Black and Asian Women and the Suffrage Movements in Britain and America

Part of Bristol Women’s Voice, International Women’s Day Celebrations in Room 1P04, City Hall, College Green, Bristol BS1 5TR. Note: A crèche with two hour slots is available at the venue. Black and Asian women's involvement in the British Suffrage Movement is largely unknown. Similarly, in America, the story of black women's struggles for the vote was omitted from the triumphalist histories written at the time of enfranchisement in 1920. The talk explores my efforts to uncover these stories so […]