lecture tours

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Spreading the word of liberty by foot, coach and train

The Chartists employed paid lecturers to spread the word of the Charter across the country.

Local lecturers practised a small circuit, often mirroring Methodist circuits, delivering lectures every evening in chapels, pubs, halls and other venues in their local area. Regional lecturers covered a larger area, visiting different towns on their weekly route. These regional lecturers advertised their tours in the Northern Star, which are mapped here.

The most famous Chartist leaders also took propaganda tours and visits, often visiting multiple towns across the country, travelling by train and stagecoach. The local and regional lecturers tended to walk.

Here are some of the Chartist lecturers advertising their tours in the Northern Star. Click on their names to follow their routes.

T. Clark

W. Bairstow

 

See Janette Martin's PhD thesis, 'Popular Political Oratory and Itinerant Lecturing in Yorkshire and the North East in the Age of Chartism, 1837-60' (University of York, 2010), to find out more: http://etheses.whiterose.ac.uk/834/1/CORRECTEDthesis.pdf (PDF)