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 […]

Ireland in 1919

'England's difficulty is Ireland's opportunity'

'England's difficulty is Ireland's opportunity': How Irish Nationalism responded to the Great War Joe Mooney (East Wall History Group, Dublin) This talk will outline the difficulties of the 'Irish question', the movement towards Home Rule and the rise of armed bodies in 1913/1914. How did these conflicting groups react to the outbreak of war - and why did some Nationalist support the war effort while others opposed it? The Irish rebellion of 1916 saw revolutionary nationalists, radical Trade […]

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 […]

Book Launch: The Northern Ireland Troubles in Britain

Impacts, engagements, legacies and memories

Eds. G Dawson, Jo Dover and Stephen Hopkins. MUP Nov 2016. This ground-breaking book provides the first comprehensive investigation of the history and memory of the Northern Ireland Troubles in Britain. It examines the impacts of the conflict upon individual lives, political and social relationships, communities and culture in Britain, and explores how the people of Britain (including its Irish communities) have responded to, and engaged with the conflict, in the context of contested political […]

The 1831 Bristol rising

Solidarity in South Wales

  After the defeat of the first reform bill in early October 1831 violent protests exploded in many British cities. The rising in Bristol was the most spectacular and suffered the harshest repression by the military. This talk considers this revolt and, using new research, solidarity actions in South Wales to aid the Bristol ‘rioters’. A workshop at Cardiff Anarchist Bookfair, Room 1, Cathays Community Centre, 36-38 Cathays Terrace, Cardiff CF24 4HX

Film Screening of Epiphany

Radical History Zone 2014 poster
Epiphany : directed by Suzy Gillett : produced by Ian Bone : 2013 Epiphany is a hybrid documentary evoking the Mystics and Anarchists of the English Revolution. Highlighting two little-known religious and political movements of the 1600s' Republic, The Fifth Monarchists and the Muggletons come to life in London as told by contemporary leading anarchists: Ian Bone and Martin Wright star as John Thurloe (Cromwell's spymaster) and Thomas Vennner. Venner led the only uprising through the city […]

The guillotine, knitting and terror…

So you think you know about the French Revolution?

A demonstration of the ‘humane’ guillotine
Introduction The last few years I have been playing word association games; asking people at work and at the pub to say the first thing that comes into their head about a particular historical event or figure. So typically the English Civil War carries mental images of 'laughing cavaliers', 'miserable roundheads' and blood-thirsty executions of kings, World War I produces 'mud, blood and barbed wire' and recently, PC Blakelock elicits 'brutal mob violence'. Of course some people and events […]

Ripples From The French Revolution In Tewksbury

“Those who make peaceful revolution impossible will make violent revolution inevitable.” John F. Kennedy (White House speech, 1962) First published in the Tewkesbury Historical Society "Bulletin 23", Mar 2014 and in "The Local Historian", Jan 2014 (journal of the British Association for Local History) The advent of the French Revolution in 1789 polarised opinion in England. Some saw it as positive: Charles Fox described the storming of the Bastille as “How much the greatest event it is that ever […]