London

Chartist sites in London

pointing hand

Go to the interactive Neatline tour

Read my blog post about the walking tour.

 

There were over 125 different venues listed as holding Chartist meetings in the Northern Star, 1841-4. These included:

  • 66 pubs
  • 29 coffee houses
  • 20 own rooms/halls/buildings
  • 3 open spaces
  • 5 theatres
  • 2 other

This total does not include of course informal meetings that did not advertise themselves in the newspaper.

Some of the Chartist venues held weekly meetings of the Chartist branches for several years  - for example, the Bricklayers' Arms, Turnham Green, The Feathers on Warren Street, and the Cannon Coffee House, Old Street.

Others were larger venues used for one-offs, such as fundraising events or public lectures by national speakers like Feargus O'Connor. Some of these were outdoor spaces used for 'monster meetings', the most famous of which was Kennington Common (now a park), but also the space outside the Great Western Railway Station (Paddington). 

More importantly, new venues were specially constructed by Chartists, Owenite socialists or trades' societies, such as the Political and Scientific Institute, 55 Old Bailey, and the Chartist Hall, 115 Blackfriars Road.

 

Map of Chartist sites in London

Click on the red points below to find out more details about the venues and links to further information about what the venues are now:

Click on the left-hand layer button to add a layer by Ian Newman of London Corresponding Society meeting sites in the 1790s.

 

 

Chartist walking tour of London, September 2015:

 

 

 

 pointing handWhat was distinctive about London Chartism?

London Chartist branches were distinctive compared to other cities because it was organised predominantly by pre-existing trade societies. So the route of the walking tour visited some major 'houses of call' for the tailors, who formed several Chartist branches.

Prince of Wales pub

Prince of Wales Feathers, Warren Street (http://pubshistory.com/LondonPubs/StPancras/PrinceofWalesFeathers.shtml)

 Three doves pub

Three Doves, Berwick Street (https://www.pinterest.com/cassart/inside-cass-art/)

There was also a continuity of radical tradition in London. Compare the venues with the sites used by the London Corresponding Society, the first 'members unlimited' radical society, in the 1790s (blue points). Ian Newman has mapped these on his blog.

The Red Lion, Kingly Street, remained a 'radical' pub. The Black Swan, Spitalfields, was also a LCS pub in the 1790s and a Chartist pub in the 1840s.

Red Lion pub

Red Lion, Kingly Street (http://www.carnaby.co.uk/store/red-lion)

 

Obviously the city had expanded in all directions within the fifty years between the LCS and the Chartists, but it is significant that the spread and direction of venues is similar.

Heat map of Chartist meetings in London, 1841-4

 The largest concentrations of venues were in Soho, Whitechapel, the City and Southwark.

 

Further reading:

David Goodway, London Chartism, 1838-1848 (Cambridge, 1982)