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Milestones to Modern Democracy

  • 12th July 1839 1st Charter petition presented to parliament and rejected
  • 4th November 1839 Chartist march to Newport and attack on Westgate
  • 6th November 1839 John Frost arrives at Monmouth Gaol
  • 8th November 1839 Dead Chartists buried at St Woolos Church, Newport
  • 31st December 1839 Chartist trials begin in Monmouth
  • 16th January 1840 Chartist leaders found guilty and sentenced to death
  • 1st february 1840 Chartist sentences reduced to transportation for life
  • 2nd February 1840 Frost Williams and Jones taken to Chepstow to board the steamer Usk
  • 30th June 1840 Frost, Williams and Jones arrive at Port Arthur penal colony, Tasmania
  • May 1842 2nd Chartist petition to parliament with 3.3million signatures
  • April 1848 3rd Chartist petition to parliament
  • July 1854 Frost receives news of his official pardon
  • May 1856 All political prisoners pardoned
  • 12th July 1856 Frost returns to Britain
  • 1858 Property qualification for MPs abolished
  • 1867 2nd Reform Act gives many working class men living in towns the vote
  • 1872 Secret voting introduced
  • 27th July 1877 Frost dies in Bristol
  • 1884 3rd Reforem Act - two out of three men now eleigible to vote.
  • 1918 All men over 21 and women over 30 gain the right to vote
  • 1928 All men and women over 21 can vote
  • 1948 Independent Electoral Commission established to create constituencies
  • 1969 Everyone over 18 has the right to vote




Text and artwork from Voices for the Vote: Shire Hall and the story of Chartism in south Wales. Reproduced by kind permission of Monmouthshire County Council/Shire Hall, Monmouth. The book costs £4.99 and can be obtained from Shire Hall Monmouth, Newport Museum or Gwent Archives