Chartism in Llanidloes


The Old Roundhouse - Yr Hen Garchar

Llanidloes had a unique Chartist riot in the summer of 1839. This was the only one in a rural area, the rest being in cities and large towns, with massacres in some e.g. Newport. They stood for the following Charter, which was resisted by those in authority

The People's Charter (drafted by William Lovett 8th May 1838)

A law for equally representing the people of Great Britain and Ireland

  1. Equal electoral districts
  2. Universal Suffrage - vote to be granted to every adult male
  3. Annual Parliaments
  4. No property qualification for MPs
  5. Vote by Ballot
  6. Payment of MPs

By passing the foregoing as the law of the land, you will confer a great blessing on the people of England, and our petitioners, as in duty bound, will ever pray.

In this riot 44 people were given prison sentences for being Chartists in our uprising, with four getting transportation. Margaret Meredith, allegedly a member of my family, got 6 months with hard labour. She was a weaver, a widow with 3 children 'on the parish'. See the table below and for a much more detailed account read the excellent book 'Chartism in Llanidloes 1838-1839' by E. Ronald Morris. The Roundhouse was built because of the general unrest in these times 'particularly in this disorderly town'.