Chartist Ancestors Merthyr Tydfil




Sign the DEMOCRACY DAY PETITION - on the official  Prime Minister's 10 Downing Street E-Petition website here




Merthyr Tydfil  


Community Chartist Stories – Our Chartist Ancestors

Market Square Church Hall, Merthyr Tydfil 
Saturday 12th April 2008, 10h00-16h30
Hosted by the Dic Penderyn Society


Celebrating Chartist Merthyr



The REPUBLIC for France, and the CHARTER for England

Poster for a Chartist Public Meeting at Merthyr Tydfil, 20 March 1848
Image source: The National Archives


  • This event celebrates the 160th anniversary of the 3rd Petition for the Charter which was presented to Parliament on April 10th 1848.
  • Five of the six demands of the Chartist's Petition now form the basis of our modern system of democratic political representation in the United Kingdom.
  • Have you signed the online Petition for Democracy Day ? > Sign the petition here for a new Democracy Day public holiday for November 4th, the day when over 20 Chartists gave their lives in the cause of democracy at the Newport Chartist Rising in 1839



10h00 - Refreshments

10h30 - Introduction

Les James, South Wales Centre for Historical and Interdisciplinary Research, University of Wales, Newport

 10h45 - Chartism in Merthyr’s radical political history 

Huw Williams, Dic Penderyn Societ



11h30 - Locating Merthyr’s Chartist story 

in its landscape 

Short Guided Walk in the immediate neighbourhood 

Viv Pugh,  Dic Penderyn Society

  12h30 - Buffet Lunch   

13h30 - Chartist Ancestors Stories   


Session led by Les James, University of Wales, Newport


  • Lyndon Harris - descendant of the John family, leading Merthyr Chartists, talks about their connection with Vulcan House 
  • Sylvia Taylor - tells the story of her ancestor, Wright Beatty, one of the insurgents at the 1839 Newport Chartist Rising (published in BBC Magazine Who do you think you are?’ Number 7 edition, April 2008- available now in shops)
  • Pat Horner - talks about her great great great grandfather, James Horner, who despite arrest in 1839, went on agitating for Chartism

  • Colin Gibson (Gwent Record Office) - reveals new research on John Frost’s Descendants


14h30 - The Heads of the Valleys Chartist Project   

Kim Colebrook, HERIAN – Heritage in Action



14h45 - Refreshments      


15h00 - Community Stories Symposium 

Led by Kim Colebrook, HERIAN – Heritage in Action

 Community Groups participating in the Chartist Project - 

Aberdare, Blackwood, Blaenavon, Blaina, Merthyr Tydfil, Monmouth, Newport - share their Chartist stories

16h15 - Event summing-up 

Pat Drewett, Newport Accent Trust & 

Viv Pugh, Dic Penderyn Society    



16h30 - Close   




By prior booking

Guarantee your place: 

Tel 01685 723968 or e mail info[at]

or write to HERIAN

Ynysfach Engine House, Ynysfach Rd, Merthyr Tydfil CF48 1AG






Hosted by 

The Dic Penderyn Society

Supported by 

HERIAN – Heritage in Action

SWCHIR - University of Wales, Newport

Voluntary Action Merthyr Tydfil 

Newport Accent Trust 

Funded by 

The Heads of the Valleys Programme





The Merthyr Rising 1831 - 

"When for the first time in British history the red flag of revolution was flown"


O! Ye who love glory, WE heed not the story
Of Waterloo won with the blood of the brave,
But we dare the rough storm, in the cause of
Then let the red banner triumphantly wave

[ Welsh Chartist Song ]