Lowery, Robert

1848 good content ALS to fellow British reformer William Lovett on the hard, lonely and often unpaid work of preaching political and social reform

Price: $95.00

Description:
(1809-1863) English reformer, eloquent trade unionist, Chartist and temperance lecturer. Apprenticed to a Newcastle tailor at 15, he trained himself in public speaking, became secretary to the North Shields Political Union, and published his 1837 pamphlet, "State Churches Destructive of Christianity and Subversive to the Liberties of Man". At the end of 1837, he addressed a large meeting in support of Glasgow spinners imprisoned for trade union activities and was a driving force behind the reformation of the Northern Political Union, which later formed the base of organized Chartism. After being elected Newcastle delegate to the Sept. 17, 1838 Chartists’ Palace Yard meeting, he became a Chartist lecturer, displaying delight in taunting authority. He was Newcastle’s delegate to the General Convention of the Industrious Classes (the First Chartist Convention). By then, he had been secretary of the local political union at the time of the Great Reform Act agitation of 1831-32, and served as secretary to the tailors’ branch of the Grand National Consolidated Trades Union. Lowery was at first a relative hard-liner in the Convention, and spoke in favor of a general strike to press home the demand for the Charter when Parliament rejected the petition. In spring 1839, he went to the West Country to agitate for the Charter visiting Dublin and the Scottish lowlands, as well as making return trips to the North East to argue for Chartism. He remained faithful to the Chartist cause, and in the general election of 1841 unsuccessfully contested Edinburgh as a Chartist candidate. He was persuaded by Aberdeen teetotalers to take the pledge and temperance lecturing became his new route to respectability. He supported the Complete Suffrage Union in 1842 and drifted away from Chartism via Lovett’s moralistic and gradualist "new move". In 1848, he was 1st Secretary to Lovett’s People’s League, which favored wider franchise and lower taxes. Less prominent as a temperance reformer than as a Chartist, Lowery was a respected lecturer for several temperance organizations until rheumatism and a failing voice compelled him to retire in 1862. His adherence to Teetotal Chartism gradually lost its radical edge and he opened a temperance hotel. He continued involvement in Newcastle politics before joining the mainstream of the new Liberal Party. With a public subscription raised for his support, he emigrated to Canada where died in 1863. No Chartist published an autobiography of such quality so soon after the event. The 33 anonymous installments of his "Passages in the Life of a Temperance Lecturer … By One of Their Order" in the Weekly Record of the Temperance Movement for 1856–57 recounts his life up to 1841. ALS, 4pp (7 1/4 x 4 1/2 folded sheet), Ramsbottom, Lancashire, March 9 1848, to fellow reformer and activist William Lovett. Lowery has been lecturing on temperance, arbitration treaties, financial reform, civil and religious liberty and thinks he has "sowed some seed" at well attended meetings. He comments that "any agitation that keeps the waters of life from stagnating and generating the loathsome forms which spring from putrefaction is better than none." Lowery hopes that "something has turned up which will be remunerative" to Lovett, wryly noting that one cannot cook thank yous. Lowery sends a positive "chin up" message, that people will rally around the flag if they see it flying. He closes by noting the poor situation of farmers where he is speaking. With typescript. CHARTISM was a British working-class movement for political reform which existed from 1838 to 1858. It took its name from the People's Charter of 1838 and was a national protest movement, with particular strongholds of support in North England, the East Midlands, the Staffordshire Potteries, the Black Country, and the South Wales Valleys. Its support was at its highest in 1839, 1842, and 1848, when petitions signed by millions of working people were presented to the House of Commons. The strategy employed was to pressure politicians to concede manhood suffrage. Chartism relied on constitutional methods to secure its aims, though there were some insurrectionary activities notably in south Wales and Yorkshire. The People's Charter called for 6 reforms to make the political system more democratic: 1) A vote for every man 21 years old, of sound mind, and not undergoing punishment for a crime; 2) the secret ballot, to protect the elector in the exercise of his vote; 3) no property qualification for Members of Parliament, to enable constituencies to return the man of their choice, rich or poor; 4) payment of MPs, enabling honest tradesmen, working men, or other person, to serve in Parliament when taken from his business to attend to the country's interests; 5) equal constituencies, securing the same amount of representation for the same number of electors; 6) annual Parliamentary elections, the most effectual check to bribery and intimidation, and, since members, when elected for a year only, would not be able to defy and betray their constituents. Chartism can be interpreted as a continuation of the 19th century fight against corruption and for democracy in an industrial society, but attracted considerably more support than the radical groups for economic reasons. WILLIAM LOVETT (1800-1877) British activist best known for his role in the Chartist movement, an 1838-50 campaign for parliamentary reforms to correct inequities remaining after the 1832 Reform Act. A self-educated member of the Cabinetmakers Society and later its President, he rose to national political prominence as founder of the Anti-Militia Association ("no vote, no musket") and was active in wider trade unionism through the Metropolitan Trades Union and Owenite socialism. In 1831, during Reform Act agitation, he helped form the National Union of the working Classes. After the passage of the Reform Act he campaigned to repeal taxes on newspapers. In June 1836 Lovett founded the London Working Men's Association with several radical colleagues. In 1838 Lovett and fellow Radical Francis Place drafted a parliamentary bill, the foundation of the People's Charter. In February 1839 the first Chartist Convention met in London, and unanimously elected Lovett its Secretary. A proponent of the idea that political rights could be garnered through political pressure and non-violent agitation, Lovett retired from overt political activity after a year in prison on the political charge of seditious libel 1839–40. While in prison he co-wrote "Chartism, a New Organisation of the People", which focused on Chartist education. In 1841 he formed the National Association for Promoting the Political and Social Improvement of the People, to implement his New Move educational initiative through which he hoped poor workers and their children would be able to better themselves. The New Move did not generate popular support; membership never surpassed 5000, and education was limited to Sunday schools. He later devoted himself to the National Association for Promoting the Political and Social Improvement of the People, seeking to improve lives of poor workers and their children by means of a Chartist educational program. He believed in temperance and in teaching methods founded on kindness and compassion. Lovett wrote his autobiography in 1877 and died impoverished that year.

Condition: Very good, small nick at top of 3rd/4th pp, slight mount remnants at right side of 4th page
Type:Letter






[View Shopping Cart]
[Home] [Articles] [Biography] [Calendar]
[Catalogue] [Search]



enbainc@cs.com

Edward N. Bomsey Autographs, Inc.
7317 Farr Street
Annandale, VA 22003-2516
(703) 642-2040(phone & fax)




Home
Home

Articles
Articles

Biography
Biography

Calendar
Calendar

Catalogue
Catalogue

Search
Search