The Chartist movement aimed to improve rights and conditions for working class people. It was most active from about 1836 to 1850. The Chartists took their name from their charter of six ‘demands’.
- A vote for every man twenty-one years of age, of sound mind, and not undergoing punishment for a crime.
- The Secret Ballot– To protect the elector in the exercise of his vote.
- No Property Qualification for Members of Parliament – thus enabling the constituencies to return the man of their choice, be he rich or poor.
- Payment of Members, thus enabling an honest trades-man, working man, or other person, to serve a constituency; when taken from his business to attend to the interests of the country.
- Equal Constituencies, securing the same amount of representation for the same number of electors, instead of allowing small constituencies to swamp the votes of large ones.
- Annual Parliament Elections, thus presenting the most effectual check to bribery and intimidation, since as the constituency might be bought once in seven years (even with the ballot), no purse could buy a constituency (under a system of universal suffrage) in each ensuing twelvemonth; and since members, when elected for a year only, would not be able to defy and betray their constituents as now.
Market Lavington certainly had members of the Chartist movement. When a Chartist community was set up at Snigs End in Gloucestershire in 1847/48 two Market Lavington men were successful in the ballot for cottages and an allocation of land.
|Snigs End Land allocated in June 1848|
|Two acres||Three acres||Four acres|
|Emma Andrews, Banbury S.Whalley, Manchester J.Holt, Manchester J.Hudson, Leicester J.Carter. Upton-on-Severn C.Frith, Greenwich W.Curtis, London W.Peckitt, office list C.Jay, Hull R.Wilson, Walsoken C.Firth, office list J.Harmer, office list J.Smith, Birmingham S.Needham, Derby T.Sutton, office list J.Langley, Norwich F.Staples, J.Staples – family ticket, office list J.Teague, Bilston Mary Clarkson, Addingham I.Goodhall, Market Lavington W.Gray, Market Lavington C.Buddecombe, Southampton E.Edesbury, office list W.Dart, Exeter T.Hope, Ledbury T.Ashman, Mells R.Heppenstall, Hull R.Bains, Newcastle-on-Tyne J.West, office list J.Robertson, Stalybridge R.Halsale, Chorley R.Daniels, office D.O’Brien, Alva||J.Kay, T.Buckby – family ticket, Ashton-under-Lyne J.Watson, Dewsbury J.Buswell, Banbury A.Cleland, Glasgow G.Close, Nottingham T.Saville, Halifax R.Winter, Hull H.Oliver, Newport Pagnall Matthew Brown, office list Donal Robinson, Edinburgh W.Gent, Wellingborough||Doyle, O’Connorville Baker, Birmingham G.Wheeler, Reading Cornwall, Bradford Rawson, Manchester Smith, London Kindell, Bradford W.Colston, Derby J.Wakeman, Torquay T.Newson, Dewsbury D.Powell, Merthyr Tydfil J.Brand, Sleaford J.Rice, Bradford T.Franklin, Limehouse J.Kinross, A.Kinross – family ticket, Alva J.Lawton, Retford J.Simpson, Esther Hunt – family ticket, Manchester R.Jarvis, office list J.Smith, Rouen, France E.Gee, Wigan W.James, Merthyr Tydfil J.Miller, Newton Abbot J.Carew, Manchester J.Ramsey, Glasgow W.Jarrett, office list T.Launchbury, Kidderminster|
The cottages at Snigs End still exist. This is one of them.
They were laid out to allow the holders to run a smallholding as well.
Sadly we have no further information about Messrs Goodhall and Gray. Maybe a reader can tell us more?