Henry Vincent, 'Life and Rambles', in the Western Vindicator

Picture of Henry Vincent

Henry Vincent, known within the Chartist movement as the 'Demosthenes of the West' was born in Hull in 1800 and lived in London, but became the leading Chartist in the West of England and South Wales. He died in 1870. He established the Western Vindicator, based in Bath, and included in it a weekly account of his 'Life and Rambles' between February 26th and May the 11th, 1839. This transcription excludes some lengthy reports of his speeches.

This is maybe the most remarkable of all the accounts here. Although Vincent took time out to visit notable buildings, he was no tourist. Like several other travellers he was trying to change minds, but this was no triumphal tour like O'Connor's. Both his visits to Devizes triggered riots, and that on April 1st led to him being badly beaten up. His account ends with him imprisoned in Monmouth gaol for making inflammatory speeches. In August he was given a 12 month sentence, and the Newport uprising in November 1839 began as a protest demanding his release. Vincent several times mentions John Frost, and Frost was among the men sentenced to death after the uprising, later commuted to transportation. As Vincent wrote weekly, you know more than he did about what was coming.

The following sections are available:
Feb. 26 to 27: Bath and Frome
Feb. 28 to Mar. 9: Bristol, Cirencester and Stroud
Mar. 10 to 16: Gloucester, Tewkesbury and Hereford
Mar. 16 to 23: Wye valley, Newport and Devizes
Mar. 24 to Apr. 1: Newport and Stroud
Apr. 1: The Devizes Riot
Apr. 1 to 7: Aftermath of the "fracas"
Apr. 8 to 13: Bath
Apr. 15 to 20: Bristol and Newport
Apr. 22 to 27: the Welsh Valleys
Apr. 29 to May 4: Trowbridge and London
May 6 to 11: Arrest, and Monmouth Gaol