Prior to events in Newport, the Yorkshire and Welsh Chartists had been in contact, agreeing in September 1839 that Chartists in South Wales and northern England would rise simultaneously. Arms had been collected, bullets cast and an insurrectionary network established throughout the industrial towns and villages of West Riding in preparation. In October however, a delegate from Bradford visited South Wales and tried to persuade the Welsh leader, John Frost, to postpone the Welsh rising, as the Yorkshire Chartists were ill-prepared. Despite these pleas Frost was not to be dissuaded and so it was promised that Bradford would rise once Newport was captured.
As the Welsh rising neared, the Yorkshire leader Peter Bussey got cold feet and went into hiding leaving the northern Chartists leaderless and the Welsh Chratists isolated. On November 4th the Newport Rising failed and shortly after John Frost was arrested. In December he was convicted of high treason and although he would eventually be deported, he was originally sentenced to be hanged, drawn and quartered; this would be the last time such a sentence would be handed out.
The Bradford rising was however doomed from the very beginning, having already been infiltrated by a spy. Around 40 armed men gathered on the night of January 26th, but when they marched on the town centre just after midnight, they were met by authorities who were well prepared for them. Chartist contingents from Dewsbury and Halifax never arrived – the messages calling them had been entrusted to the spy, who had naturally never delivered them. The Bradford Chartists were quickly rounded in and set to trial in York. On Wednesday March 18th Peddie, and three others were found guilty of riot and conspiracy. Their sentences were therefore lighter than those at Newport, with Peddie receiving three years hard labour and nine others lesser sentences.
By the spring the government had largely suppressed Chartism through mass arrests and the imprisonment of most national leaders, scores of local activists and hundreds of the rank-and-file. The first and most dramatic phase of Chartism was at an end and efforts moved onto a process of internal renewal and more systematic organisation.
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