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Llanidloes - The Chartist Outbreak 3
Warnings of unrest

  A call for reinforcements
In early April 1839 there had been a large but peaceful and orderly public meeting in Llanidloes addressed by Henry Hetherington, a leading London Chartist and campaigner for a free press.
At that time, wealthy landowners, magistrates, clerics and Members of Parliament had all the local power and influence and were determined to retain their exclusive rights of privilege and property. When, later that month, there were rumours locally of an armed uprising, the magistrates became alarmed and demanded military and police support from the Government. The normal force in the town consisted of just one elderly night watchman and some part-time unpaid constables.


From "A Municipal
History of Llanidloes"
by E.R.Horsfall-Turner

Thomas Edmund MarshThomas Edmund Marsh (left) was a powerful man in the town at the time. He was a wealthy landowner, lawyer, magistrate, and former mayor.
As the Llanidloes magistrates warned of "serious unrest", three constables were sent from London and the authorities were asked to recruit 'special constables' locally.
Marsh promptly recruited 300 men, mostly believed to be his own tenants who would have been unable to refuse for fear of losing their jobs and homes.

The arrival of this improvised and crudely armed force on the streets of the town on 29th April,1839 only served to aggravate the situation and increase the tension locally. The three police constables despatched from London arrived in Llanidloes that evening.

There are 5 pages on the Chartists. Use the box links below to view the other pages.

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