Powerpoint lesson plan - People`s History Museum

Hidden by Red Saunders: An
Impressions Gallery touring
exhibition, 9 March – 29
September 2013
William Cuffay and the London
Chartists, 1842
William Cuffay was one of many Chartists active in London
during the 19th century. The Chartists presented a series of
demands in the ‘The People’s Charter.’
William Cuffay
Fact Sheet
•Born in Chatham, 1788
•Grandson of an African sold in to slavery
•Brought up by his mother while his father
worked on a British warship
•Lively and bright child despite deformities in
his spine and shin bones
Emergence of a radical
 Cuffay went on to become an incredibly
respected journeyman tailor
 However as the 1834 strike of London
tailors approached, Cuffay joined the
 Because of his actions, he was fired. It
has been argued that this was the
experience that led him to the more
radical sectors of the Trade Union
Timeline of Cuffay’s career
Cuffay joined the Chartist movement and the Metropolitan Tailors’
Charter Association.
Cuffay was elected as a member of the metropolitan delegate
council within just two years and soon chaired the ‘Great Public
Meeting of the Tailors’ where they adopted a national petition.
Cuffay was awarded the position of president and was on the
committee opposing magistrates having the power to arrest and
sentence workers on their employer’s oath alone.
Cuffay became director of both the National-Militia Association and
Democratic Committee for Poland’s Regeneration.
What is Chartism?
1839 and 1848. It
working class movement aiming to
a more equal political system.
Chartism existed between
was a
Unsatisfied by the current top heavy organisation,
Chartists campaigned for extended suffrage
and availability for the
lower classes to enter
The Chartist Movement
The biggest downfall of the Chartist movement was the lack of
unified direction.
Physical force
Moral force
Believed they could scare
Parliament into change
Discussion will create democracy
Attacks on machinery, farms and
property owned by the ruling
Leafleting, protests, strikes and
Eg. Feargus O'Connor and John
Eg. William Lovett
William Cuffay’s style of Leadership
Especially known for his militant ideas and actions.
Noted for his extravagant expressions.
“The leadership are a bunch of cowardly humbugs!”
Despite this split in leadership and style, one method
used by each approach was the use of petitions in
order to promote The Charter.
1. Every man over 21 should have the right to vote
2. A secret ballot should be introduced
3. A person should not have to own property of a certain value to become a
Member of Parliament.
4. Members of Parliament should be paid, allowing working men to serve in
5. All constituencies should be equal in term of population size
6. Elections to Parliament should be held every year so that Members of
Parliament have to answer to their voters if they have not performed well.
The downfall
The Chartists’ determination
to reach high numbers on
their petitions led to forgery
of many signatures, including
Queen Victoria.
Finpen fefne
Bvjed jvfnifn
Bffians nfisnf
Jsajfpas nisafnas
This rendered the Chartist
movement a farce and it
soon collapsed.
Queen Victoria
Although making a brief recovery after the forged
signatures were exposed, the movement was
ultimately unsuccessful. Cuffay never recovered
from his aggressive outburst.
It did however have a positive legacy as five of the
six demands in the Charter were met. The only aim
not established was the demand for an annual
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