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Details for the convict John Frost (1840)

Convict Name:John Frost
Trial Place:Monmouth Special Gaol Delivery
Trial Date:10 December 1839
Arrival Details
Arrival Year:1840
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Researchers who have claimed this convict

There is currently one researcher who has claimed John Frost

  • Researcher (Brian Wilkinson)
Claimed convict


John Frost, together with Zephania Williams and William Jones, was one of the three Chartist leaders of the Newport Rising, the last large-scale armed rebellion against authority in Great Britain. The Chartists were agitating for democratic reform, and The People's Charter called for six reforms to make the political system more democratic:

1) A vote for every man twenty-one years of age, 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 – thus enabling the constituencies to return the man of their choice, be he rich or poor.
4) Payment of Members, thus enabling an honest trades-man, working man, or other person, to serve a constituency; when taken from his business to attend to the interests of the country.
5) Equal Constituencies, securing the same amount of representation for the same number of electors, instead of allowing small constituencies to swamp the votes of large ones.
6) Annual Parliament Elections, thus presenting the most effectual check to bribery and intimidation, since as the constituency might be bought once in seven years (even with the ballot), no purse could buy a constituency (under a system of universal suffrage) in each ensuing twelvemonth; and since members, when elected for a year only, would not be able to defy and betray their constituents as now.

On 4 November 1839, somewhere between 1,000 and 5,000 Chartist sympathisers, led by John Frost, marched on the town of Newport, Monmouthshire, South Wales. The men, including many coal-miners, most with home-made arms, were intent on liberating fellow Chartists who were reported to have been taken prisoner in the town's Westgate Hotel. About 22 demonstrators were killed when troops opened fire on them. The leaders of the rebellion were convicted of high treason, and sentenced to be hanged, drawn and quartered (the last 3 ever to be so sentenced), but after nationwide petitioning this was commuted to transportation for life. All 3 were shipped to Tasmania on the ship Mandarin in 1840.
Submitted by Researcher (Brian Wilkinson) on 23 January 2015

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  • The National Archives (TNA) : HO 11/12, p.153

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