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Powys Digital History Project
The Chartist troubles
  Trouble brewing among the workers  

In 1839 Llanidloes became well known all over the country as one of the centres of a growing revolutionary movement among working people. This was called Chartism and it came about because ordinary people were very badly treated and were not allowed to vote in order to improve their lives.
Only the wealthier people who owned property had a vote, and the whole political system was operated to favour the rich and powerful.

  Photograph of plaque
The plaque mounted on
the Trewythen Arms in
Great Oak Street to
record the events of 1839.

The members of the protest group, which started in London, were called Chartists after a charter of six demands to the government to change things for the better.
The main demand was for votes for all men (the Suffragettes were to demand votes for women some years later) and not just for the rich. They also wanted a wider choice of future MP's, since only the owners of property could become an MP at the time. This meant that the owners of the big houses, estates and factories and the local wealthy farmers held all the power and could vote to make sure that things stayed that way !
But the workers were starting to rebel against the system...

More about the Chartists in Llanidloes...


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