Papers relating to the National Political Union: (2 of 2)

Pages 64-72

London Radicalism 1830-1843: A Selection of the Papers of Francis Place. Originally published by London Record Society, London, 1970.

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Papers relating to the National Political Union

31. [Add. Ms. 27791, ff. 94-5]

At a meeting held at Benbows house in the evening of the 9th November (This was a meeting of the committee of the Union of the Working Classes), the Commercial Coffee House, Fleet Street. A Mr Petrie one of the active Rotunda leaders, proposed a plan to drill the people in some way of his own so as to make them equal if not superior to the best disciplined troops. This motion was discountenanced by the Chairman Wm Lovett and was dropped.

Benbow moved. 'That the Whig Union of which Sir F. Burdett was at the head, was a jesuistical attempt of the committee of the National Union to cajole the working classes to employ their moral and physical force in support of the whig reform bill, and that no union deserved or ought to receive the support of the working people which did [not?] declare its purpose to be the obtainment of Annual Parliaments and Universal Suffrage.'

The Morning Chronicle which contains an account of this meeting reports.

That the chairman joined with Mr Watkins Mr Cleave and others in deprecating the introduction of the resolution on the ground that the union at the Crown and Anchor had not yet assumed any character and that it could not be known what its principles were to be until its rules and regulations were drawn up and agreed to at a public meeting of the members. It could not be said that the gentlemen had determined what the character of the union should be as they had left it to a general meeting of the members to be held tomorrow evening, (Thursday) to appoint a committee which should within a month from that day propose to another public meeting rules and regulations for the government of the Union. It was also to be borne in mind that there were to be 36 working men upon the committee, and the members of the Union of the working classes ought to go to the meeting tomorrow night and support the appointment of such men as would make the principles of the National Union their principles and its objects their objects (hear hear).

Handbill 5

Major Beauclerk and other gentlemen had already declared that they would not accept the Whig Bill as a final measure (hear) and it was on that account that Mr Barber Beaumont and others were attempting to get up unions pledged to ask nothing beyond the bill for the purpose of cutting up the National Union.

Benbow withdrew his motion with the intention of submitting it to the next meeting of delegates.

32. [Add. Ms. 27790, ff. 242-3]

. . . [There] was issued another proclamation against 'Political Unions composed of separate bodies with various divisions and subdivisions under leaders with a gradation of ranks and authority,' etc. it then alludes specifically to the plan of the Birmingham Union in assuming to constitute themselves a municipal corporation,—and declares all such illegal.

Advantage was taken of this proclamation by the Tory papers to alarm the members of the various unions, some of which but not in considerable numbers abstained from attending the meetings, others were intimidated and prevented becoming members, and two or three unions consisting of very few persons dessolved [sic] their association and dispersed, among these was a very paltry one which had assumed the title of the Westminster Union, and was to consist of none but respectable persons. The National Political Union had previously published an abstract of the laws relating to political associations, (fn. 1) it was printed as a hand bill sent to every union known to the National Union, and freely dispersed in every direction. In the evening of the 22nd, four members of the Council of the Union having met together caused the following advertisement to be inserted in most of the London daily papers.

National Political Union Royal Proclamation

To the editor etc.

Sir in consequence of the mis-statements of some of the evening newspapers upon the subject of the Proclamation relating to Political Unions, and the strong excitement it has occasioned. We as members of the Council think it necessary to state that the Proclamation does not apply to the National Political Union nor to the great majority of the Unions now in existence. The Proclamation is in fact, little more than a copy of the 'Laws relating to Political Associations'—put forth some days ago by this Union and now in the hands of the members.

Handbill 6


Crown & Anchor Tavern
Nov.22 1831
H.B. Churchill
R.H. Franks
E.H. Redman

33. [Add. Ms. 27791, f. 184. Council as at general meeting on 1 December 1831. Printed.]

National Political Union
Allen, Thos, 1 Penton-pl. Pentonville
Beauclerk, Major, 12, Chester-street
Buckle, John, Paper-buildings, Temple
Bowyer, Thomas, 32, Myddleton-street
Barratt, George, Winchester-street
Bennett, John, 23, Museum-street
Carrick, Jas. 44, King-st. Long Acre
Collinson, John, New Cut, Lambeth
Cumming, William, London Wall
Churchill, H.B., Temple
Coode, George, Union-row, Newington
Cramphorne, R., 50 Brewer-st. Somers
Cheeseman, Richard, 49, Gt Dover-st.
Drake, Joseph, 100, Edgeware-road
Draycott, F., 27, Duke-st., Bloomsbury
Elphinstone, Howard, Eaton-place,
Franks, Robert, Red-cross-street
Fox, Rev. W.J., Upper Clapton
Galloway, Alex., West-st., Smithfield
Gowan, Capt., Upper Baker-street
Harrison, Samuel, 23, Gt. Ormond-st.
Harrison, S.B., Temple
Hall, Thos., 7, Royal-street, Lambeth
Holmes, Thos., 1, Cross-st., Carnaby
Howell, Henry, 4, Argyle-street
Hall, Charles, 3, Archer-st., St. James's
Hickson, W.E., 20, West Smithfield
Hankin, H.B., 2, Catherine-st., Vauxhall
Knapp, George, College-hill, Vintry
Lawrence, Wm. 20, Pitfield-st., Hoxton
Lillingstone, Daniel, 94, Cheapside
Longmate, James, 7, Theobald's-road
Lane, W., 5, Bateman's-buildings, Soho
Lockett, Ed., 29, Isabella-st. Lambeth
Lovett, Wm. 19, Greville-st., Hatton
Manwaring, Wm. Lambeth Marsh Gate
Machin, George, 76, Leadenhall-street
Murphy, Thos. 1, Commercial-place,
Menteath, C.G.S. 34, Keppel-street
Mordan, Sampson, 22, Castle-street,
Mongredien, A., George-st. Euston-sq.
MacDiarmid, Wm. 17, New-street-sq.
Millard, Wm. 19, Greville-street
Place, Francis, 16, Charing Cross
Perry, Erskine, Clairville, Old Brompton
Powell, J.H., 26, Chapel-st. Pentonville
Palmer, Rt. 9, Fountain-court, Strand
Pain, Jas., 29, Union-row, New Kent-rd.
Rogers, G., 58, High-st., Blomsbury
Rigge, Jn. Bartholomew-pl. St Luke's
Revell, Major, Burton-crescent
Rainford, Ed., 12, Red Lion-passage
Rutt, John T., Newington-green
Redman, D.W., 14, Little Charlotte-st.
Reynolds, W. 44, Cheapside
Smith, Charles Fox, Stone's End
Saull, W.D., 15, Aldersgate-street
Shirley, John, 22, Castle-st., Finsbury
Stevenson, George, 39, Old Change
Stiles, Joseph, 20, Marsham-street,
Taylor, John, 4, Christopher-street,
Thompson, Col. J.P. [sic], 14, Hampsteadroad.
Thomas, Cartwright, 49, Broad-street
Turner, John, 24, Brook-st., Holborn
Vesey, Wm. 2, Seymour-pl., Walworth
Wagg, Mathias, 8, Charles-street, New
Wallis, George, Elizabeth-st., Hackneyroad
Ward, George Green, 30, Union-st.,
Wakefield, Daniel, Gray's Inn
Watson, James, 33, Windmill-street

34. [Add. Ms. 27791, f. 222. Printed balloting list for the council of the National Political Union, February 1832, with figures added in manuscript.]

1st of the working class

A B Votes Names Business Address Proposed by
*12 425 Atkinson, H. T. Working painter 2, North Crescent, Bedford Square George Rogers
* 9 512 Allen, Thomas Map engraver 1, Penton Place, Pentonville C. F. Smith
41 249 Augero, F. A. Teacher 26, Hercules' Buildings, Lambeth William Carpenter
†* 47 160 Brackenborough, Edward Cabinet maker 16, Brownlow Street, Holborn E. Norminton
*18 478 Bennett, John Artists' pencil maker Museum Street D. W. Redman
*27 372 Berkeley, George S. Teacher 44, Fetter Lane George Wilkinson
* 4 531 Bowyer, Thomas Bookseller 32, Middleton Street, Clerkenwell H. B. Churchill
†* 48 147 Baber, George Clerk 32, Essex Street, King's Cross B. Heenan
*10 511 Cheeseman, Richard Brazier and Tinman 49, Great Dover Street, Southwark E. Perry
* 3 538 Carrick, James Bricklayer 44, King Street, Long Acre Rowland Detrosier
* 6 535 Cumming, William Carpet maker Carpenters' Hall, London Wall W. D. Saull
* 39 260 Draycot, Frederick Carver and gilder 27, Duke Street, Bloomsbury D. W. Redman
*35 335 Douglass, William Coach maker 21, Frederick Place, Hampstead Road S. M. Douglass
45 196 Grady, John Attorney's Clerk & Student at Law 6, Pratt Street, Lambeth John Hunt
*29 367 Hewitt, Daniel Musician Camden Cottage, Camden Town H. T. Atkinson
*11 511 Hankin, H. B. Figure Colourer Carpenter's Buildings, Westminster Erskine Perry
†* 46 171 Heenan, Benjamin Clerk 39, Prince's Road, Kennington George Baber
15 487 Irvine, J. G. Optician 32, Kirby Street, Hatton Garden W. D. Saull
*36 326 King, J. B. 5, James's Place, Hackney Road William Wallis
*25 400 Knight, George Teacher Globe Lane, Bethnal Green William Wallis
* 5 528 Longmate, James Pocket-book maker 7, Theobald's Road Thomas Murphy
38 266 Lovett, William Carpenter 18, Greville Street, Hatton Garden George Rogers
†20 435 Leonard, H. P. Reporter for the press 32, Stanhope Road, Strand Thomas Murphy
14 487 Moore, William Bookseller Little Russell Street, Bloomsbury J. H. Powell
30 367 Millard, William Trunk maker 19, Greville Street, Hatton Garden Thomas Bowyer
*19 474 M'Diarmid, William Printer 17, New Street Square W. D. Saull
*23 422 Milner, Thomas Painter and glazier 37, Marsham Street, Westminster J. D. Styles
* 7 513 Mongredien, A. Merchant's clerk 44, George Street, Hampstead Road D. Wakefield
†* 40 259 Marsh, Joseph Baker 3, Holland Place, Kensington W. Midwinter
†* 43 202 Norminton, Edward Dyer 5, Drury Lane E. Brackenborough
*31 367 Norman, John Book-keeper 5, Claremont Terrace, Durham Street Hackney Road William Wallis
*21 435 Owen, Robert Silk weaver James's Place, Hackney Road William Wallis
*17 482 Palmer, Robert Printer 9, Tottenham Court Road E. Perry
* 37 307 Pain, James Brush maker 29, Union Place, New Kent Road E. Perry
* 2 536 Powell, J. H. Clerk 26, Chapple Street, Pentonville H. B. Churchill
* 8 513 Redman, D. W. Lithographic printer 14, Little Charlotte Street, Middlesex Hospital C. F. Smith
†* 42 227 Ralay, James Silversmith 15, Plummer Street, City Road J. Detheridge
1 581 Styles, J. D. Carpenter 37, Marsham Street, Westminister R. Detrosier
*33 351 Sellis, John Tailor Church Street, Hackney William Wallis
*13 495 Shirley, John Pencil maker 22, Castle Street, Finsbury D. Wakefield
*26 385 Tuson, William Modeller 13, Dean Street, Soho C. Reynolds
*24 417 Thomas, William Tinplate worker 273, High Street, Borough R. Cheeseman
*12 504 Wallis, William Silk weaver Hackney Road Francis Place
*16 484 Wright, Henry Working Goldsmith Green Street, Leicester Square E. Perry
28 372 Ward, G. G. Machinist 30, Union Street, Mary-le-bone E. Rainford
†*32 363 Wright, Charles Agent and collector of rents 102, High Street, Holborn Thomas Murphy
44 198 Watkins, David Jeweller 109, Drummond Street, Euston Square Dias Santos
*34 351 Wellard, Samuel Tinplate worker 273, High Street, Borough R. Cheeseman

2nd not of the working class

†*32 340 Arnot, Sandford Professor 2, South Crescent, Bedford Square George Rogers
*30 429 Buller, Charles Barrister Athenaeum J. A. Roebuck
*22 492 Beauclerk, Aubrey Major in the army 12, Chester Street, Belgrave Square D. Wakefield, jun.
*31 410 Burnard, J. P. Surveyor Holloway Henry Revell
* 9 568 Churchill, H. B. Barrister Temple Henry Revell
45 169 Cleave, John Coffee house keeper 27, King Street, Snow Hill F. A. Augero
†28 466 Carpenter, William Editor of Political Magazine 16, Great Union Street, Borough John Cleave
*35 307 Cooke, William Hatter 45, St. Mary Axe E. C. Thomas
*19 517 Drake, Joseph Window glass merchant 100, Edgware Road Thomas Murphy
43 220 Dias Santos, Emanuel No profession 2, Oxford Arms Passage, Warwick Lane William Carpenter
*33 336 Elphinstone, Howard No profession Eaton Place, Pimlico C. S. Menteath
*24 491 Evans, Thomas Surgeon Beak Street, Regent Street Erskine Perry
1 624 Fox, Rev. W. J. Minister Upper Clapton E. Rainford
8 571 Franks, Robert Hatter Red Cross Street, Barbican Rowland Detrosier
46 159 Fall, George Accountant Doris Street, Lambeth John Grady
*16 532 Gowan, Captain William Officer Upper Baker Street R. Detrosier
*14 539 Galloway, Alexander Engineer West Street, Smithfield E. C. Thomas
* 40 269 Harrison, S. B. Pleader Temple D. Wakefield, jun.
47 154 Hunt, John Soap boiler Broad Street, Lambeth E. Dias Santos
*23 492 Howell, Henry Master tailor 4, Argyle Street, Oxford Street D. Wakefield, jun.
†* 41 180 Hoile, John Plumber 44, King Street, Long Acre James Carrick
*18 518 Harrison, Samuel Accountant 23, Great Ormond Street R. Detrosier
*17 529 Hickson, W. E. Shoe warehouseman 20, West Smithfield Erskine Perry
5 592 Lillie, Sir John Scott, K.C.B. North End, Fulham Erskine Perry
6 579 Murphy, Thomas Coal merchant Commercial Place, Hampstead Road Henry Revell
* 42 235 Michie, W. A. Baker 30, Milbank Street, Westminster R. Kemp
*25 477 Menteath, C. S. Barrister 154, Albany Street, Regent's Park George Rogers
* 38 298 Mordan, Sampson Pencil manufacturer Finsbury D. Wakefield
†* 41 250 Newberry, William No profession Chenies Street, Gower Street H. T. Atkinson
*26 476 Noel, Robert R. B.A. Notting Hill E. Perry
* 39 275 Nash, Eleazer Jeweller 9, Tavistock Place Joseph Marsh
*11 561 Place, Francis No profession 16, Charing Cross R. Detrosier
*7 572 Perry, Erskine Student at law Old Brompton R. Detrosier
†34 329 Potter, Thomas Chandler 73, Crawford Street Thomas Murphy
*13 550 Rainford, Edward Bookseller Red Lion Passage, Red Lion Street R. Detrosier
*20 515 Roebuck, J. A. Barrister Gray's Inn Francis Place
3 595 Rogers, George Tobacconist High Street, St. Giles Thomas Murphy
2 609 Revell, Henry Gentleman Burton Crescent Thomas Murphy
*29 430 Rutt, J. T. No profession Newington Green Rowland Detrosier
†36 303 Savage, John Draper Crawford Street Thomas Potter
*12 554 Smith, C. F. Draper Stones' End, Borough H. Revell
4 594 Saull, W. D. Wine merchant Aldersgate Street Henry Revell
* 37 302 Templeman, John Bookseller 18, Percy Street, Tottenham Court Road J. Whitford
*21 508 Thomas, E. Cartwright Surgeon 49, Old Broad Street H. B. Churchill
*15 536 Taylor, John Merchant 4, Christopher Street, Finsbury R. Detrosier
*10 567 Wakefield, Daniel Student at law Gray's Inn Henry Revel [sic.]
†27 476 Wakley, Thomas Surgeon Greenford, Middlesex George Rogers

N.B. Members must strike out the names of those they do not intend to vote for. No more than 36 names must be left on each of the above lists: it may contain any smaller number.

[In the Place Collection, set 17, vol. 2, there are two balloting lists, annotated in Place's writing, 'List made by one and agreed to by several in the hope of excluding the dishonest men who would destroy the Union—viz Augero, Grady, Lovett, Cleave, Dias Santos, Fall, Hunt.' and 'Rotunda list made by Dias Santos, Grady and Fall'. In the above list those whose names were struck off the list by the Rotunda men are marked *, and those whose names were struck off by Place and his friends were marked †. Those unmarked were, presumably, acceptable to both groups. Columns A and B, respectively, show the positions, according to votes received, of those elected and those not elected.]

35. [Add. Ms. 27791, f. 147]

Balloting for the Council in the way it was done was under the circumstances of the case the best mode of election that could be devised. It was however a very defective mode, every member was required to select seventy two other members, to whom he would be willing if not as he ought to have been desirous to chuse to manage for him, this was absurd, not one man in the whole union could pick out seventy two such men, no man in the union could have the knowledge of seventy two men each of whom was at all qualified for the office he was to fill. The consequences were that many voted simply on the direction of others, those others themselves chusing by far the greater part of the persons to be voted for at random. Many voted only for a small number, and some confined themselves to the very few with whom they were acquainted. A very large number did not vote at all, because there were not more than from one to perhaps two with whom they were sufficiently acquainted to be able to decide as to their fitness. To be complete each member should have had but one vote for one candidate only. As it was, it was a good lesson to a large number of persons, in as much as it shewed them with what ease, certainty and precision and in how short a time the secret suffrages of a very large number of persons could be taken.


  • 1. Handbill 6.