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CORNELL 

UNIVERSITY 

LIBRARY 




FROM 



Columbia Univ. Library 



Cornell University Library 
PR 4826.J75Z7 

The life of Ernest Jones. 



3 1924 013 489 244 




Cornell University 
Library 



The original of tliis book is in 
tine Cornell University Library. 

There are no known copyright restrictions in 
the United States on the use of the text. 



http://www.archive.org/details/cu31924013489244 



THE 

LIFE 



OF 



ERNEST JONES: 



BY 



FREDERICK LEARY. 



' Once let a great heart breathe with dariiifi' plan 
The spirit of its greatness tiuto man, 
Then lesser'hearts begin to boat and bound— 
1'ho soil for flowers is hid in every gro\ind — 
And men will love tlie ,UTt;at IVn- trreatnc-ss's sake 
If once yon bid their soul's .let-]) niusic wake. 
,^Vs stoiifs turn statues iu tin- sculptor's liaiids. 
So hero leadei-s make hL-ivic bantls." 

"His life was gentle, and the elements 
So mix'd in him that Nature might stand up 
And say £o all the w-orld 'This was a man ! * " 



LONDON : 
• Democrat " PuBUSHiNa Office, 5, New Bridge Street. 

1887. 



ERNEST JONES. 



EENBST CHARLES JONES was bora at Berlia on 
the^25th of January, 1819. His father was Major 
^ Charles Jones, of the 15th Hussars, Equerry to the Duke 
(5^ of Cumberland, who was the uncle of Queen Victoria, and 
became King of Hanover under the title of Ernest I. 

Major Jones served throughout the Peninsular War under 
Sir John Moore, by whose side he was standing when the latter 
was killed by a cannon ball at the battle of Corunna. He also 
ierved under the Duke of Wellington, both in Spain and at 
Waterloo. He greatly distinguished himself in the brilliant 
!|)avalry action at Sahagrin, in which the Hussars routed 
fJ^apoleon's Cuirassiers, and in which he received a severe sabre 
§ut on the head. He married the daughter of Alexander 
Annesley, Esq., a large landowner in Kent, and the subject of 
the present memoir was the only offspring of that union. 

I The family was originally of Welsh offspring, but for the 
last 500 years has been settled in England. 

In consequence of the peace that followed the final overthrow 
of Napoleon, and suffering from his wounds. Major Jones retired 
from active service, and devoted himself to his duties as Equerry 
6f the Duke of Cumberland. In pursuance of this he accompanied 
H^R.H. to the Prussian Court, and it was while his parents were 
thus residing at Berlin that Ernest Jones was born, being named 
Ifter the King, who was his godfather. 



2 ERNEST JONES. 

Pleased with the country Major Jones bought an estate in 
Hols' ein. on the borders of the Northern remnant of the Black 
Eorest, and resided there with his family till the year 1838. 

In this comparatively lonely and purely agricultural country 
the subject of our memoir passed bis boyhood, the solitude and 
romantic scenery, no doubt, tending to develop the germs of 
that poetic spirit which has since borne fruit in his maturer 
years. 

He composed a number of poems in early youth, and when 
only ten years of age, he had translated the first Canto of 
Voltaire's Henriade, and these were so admired that they were 
published by Nester, of Hamburg, in the year 1830, and a prize 
tale, written when nine years of age, found its way into 
Ackerman's Forget-Me-Not, in the same year. 

Full of admiration at the heroism of the Poles during their 
great Sstruggle of 1829-30, he suddenly disappeared from home, 
and being with some difficulty traced, the truant then only eleven 
years of age, was found with a bundle under his arm, half way 
across Lauenburg, in the midst of the Black Forest, on his way, 
as he expressed himself, " to help the Poles." 

During this period, and until he went to College, he received 
instruction from two private tutors successively, the Rev. J. 
Binge, and the Rev. H. Schwarke, who left the household of 
Major Jones for promotion, the one as Lutheran pastor to the 
Isle of 8ylt, in Denmark, and the other for similar preferment 
in Oldenburgh, both having since obtained some celebrity in 
clerical and literary circles. 

From their tuition, the boy now verging towards manhood, 
passed to college life, his first introduction to which was at the 
College of St. Michael, Liineburgh, the exclusively aristocratic 
institution to which the sons of the local nobility alone had 
access, a foreigner being admitted only by what was in Hanover 
called a " letter patent" from the King. 

We dwell on these otherwise unimportant particulars of his 
early years, as rendering more remarkable by their contrast that 
democratic spirit for which he afterwards became so noted. 

While at the College of St. Michael his oratorical powers 
first attracted notice. On finishing his course of education there. 



EARLY POEMS, 3 

he was invited by the Professors to deliver an address in the 
German language. As was customary, a great concourse of the 
surrounding nobility and gentry had assembled for the occasion, 
but this does not appear to have daunted the incipient orator, 
for so able was the speech he then delivered, that it was published 
at the request of the College. 

The certificate of honour he obtained when leaving St. 
Michael's was one of the highest it had ever accorded. 

In ]838, Major Jones returned with his family to England 
permanently to reside here, and his son was now launched into 
the vortex of fashionable life. 

In 1841, he was presented by the Duke of Beaufort to the 
Queen, and was for some years a regular attendant at Court. 

About this time he married the daughter of Gribson Atherley, 
Esq., of Barfield, Cumberland, and neice to Edward Stanley, 
Esq., of Ponsonby Hall, for nearly a quarter of a century one of the 
members for the Western Division of the' County, feut neither 
this alliance with an old Conservative family, nor the blandish- 
ments of society, appear to have weaned him from his love of 
liberty, and his devotion to literature, for in the same year the 
first of his larger works appeared, published anonymously by 
Boon, of New Bond Street, a romance in two volumes, entitled 
The Wood Spirit. This work, which at once gave the author a 
high place in literature, received the unqualitied commendation 
of the press. 

The Morning Post thus speaks of it : " In every jjage of the volume 
before us, may be discovered some fresh vigorous poetical conceptions. 
. . . . It is a production which reflects the highest credit upon the 
anonymous author, and we cannot but express a hope that he will shortly 
give to the world another of these legendary tales, in the construction of 
which he has proved himself so much an adept." 

The Xem Qimrterly Mevlem said it was •■ One of the most beautiful 
and soul-stirring romances it has been our good fortune to read." 

Balfe asked the author to write a libretto for it, to which 
he commenced composing music. Benedict also at the same 
time set to music one of the author's songs, which was published 
by Chappell. 

These were followed by a poem, entitled Mij Life, published 
by Newby, of which the press speaks in equally commendable 
terms. 



i ERNEST JONES. 

The A"em Quarterly Beview says of it, " It contains more pregnant 
thoughts, more bursts of lyric power, more in fine, of the truly grand and 
beautiful, than any poetical work which has made its appearance for 
years. We know of few things more dramatically intense. It has few, 
very few equals." 

Mr. Ernest Jones was called to the bar by the Honourable 
Society of the Middle Temple in Easter Term, 1844, and he 
commenced what promised to be a successful professional career 
on the Northern Circuit. Prior to this his father had lost his 
life through a fearful accident, and his mother died not long 
afterwards from the shock she received on the occasion. 

In 1845, although with the most promising professional 
prospects, he abandoned the active pursuits of the latter, and the 
allurements of fashionable life, to devote himself to the interests 
of the working classes. Sir Robert Peel's Government was in 
power, but at this time Free Trade had been won,- and in the 
followingyear became the law of the land, and it maybe noted 
here that he never took any part in the opposition carried on by 
Mr. O'Connor against the Anti-Oorn-Law-League, which opposition 
had ceased before he joined the political movement of the day, he 
having been a staunch and unvarying Free Trader all his life. 

Long before this, however, the Chartists had contrived to 
attract to their proceedings a considerable share of public 
attention. The party wrs called, into existence soon after the 
passing of the Eeform Act of 1832, and they demanded what 
they termed the six points of the Charter, viz. — (1) Manhood 
Suffrage ; (2) Annual Parliaments ; (8; Vote by Ballot ; (4) 
Abolition of the Property Qualification for Members of the House- 
of Commons ; (5) Payment of Members ; (6) Equal Electoral' 
Districts. 

Seven years before Mr. Jones took a prominent part in the 
agitation, the Chartists had assembled in great force in various 
parts of the kingdom, armed with guns, pikes, and other 
weapons, and carrying torches. They conducted themselves so- 
tumultuously that on the 12th of December, 1838, the Melbourne 
Ministry found it expedient to issue a proclamation against them. 
At that time their head quarters was the Borough of Birmingham, 
and Mr. Thomas Attwood was one of their most active leaders. 
In August, 1838, a monstre petition was agreed to at Birmingham,, 
at a so-called "National Convention," and a few months. 



A LEADER OF CHARTISTS. 5 

afterwards it was presented to Parliament by Mr. Attwood. On 
the 15th of July in this year, they committed great outrages in 
the hardware capital, but the most extraordinary part of their 
proceedings up to this time was reserved for the Borough of 
Newport in Monmouthshire. The Chartists on the 4th of 
November, collected from the mines and collieries in the neigh- 
bourhood to the number of 10,000, armed with guns, pikes, and 
clubs. They divided themselves into two bodies, one being 
under the command of Mr. John Frost, an ex-magistrate, while 
the other was under the leadership of his son. They met in front 
of the Westgate Hotel, where the magistrates were assembled, 
with about 30 soldiers, and a few special constables. The rioters 
commenced breaking the windows of the house, and fired on the 
inmates, wounding the Mayor and several others. The soldiers 
returned the fire, and dispersed the mob, which, with the leaders, 
fled from the town, leaving 10 dead and many dangerously 
wounded. For their share in this fatal affray. Frost and others 
of the leaders were sentenced to death, but the punishment was 
commuted to transportation for life. They received a pardon on 
the conclusion of peace with Russia, in 1856. 

When Mr. Ernest Jones joined the democratic movement 
it was at its lowest ebb, but his eloquence and ability soon raised 
it into power again, and won for its new champion the second 
place in its organisation. It soon became recognised that he 
had talents of the most brilliant kind, and broad sentiments on 
national affairs, together with a strong and vigorous manner of 
expression in the advocacy of his principles, which commended 
him to the minds of the masses of the people. These circum- 
stances soon marked him out as a representative and a leader 
in the movement, especially on the two following questions, viz., 
that of labour being the weaker element in the struggle between 
capital and labour ; and secondly, that of the unenfranchised in 
politics, in their unequal contests with class legislation, monopoly, 
and privilege. Of the position of the workers, he held to the 
opinion that there was required, not only an advocate of their 
cause, but also a guide in their deliberations, to enable them to 
avoid those indiscretions of which we have seen so much, in hasty 
decisions and want of judgment, and also to prevent waste of 
funds, which ought to be reserved for the defence of the position 
of the worker. On the question of the unenfranchised, he 



b ERNEST JONES. 

contended, that the wider the extension of the franchise the 
safer would be the institutions of the country, whilst at the same 
time he was convinced that the political education of the people 
was one of the questions most essential to grow, to enable the 
voter to clearly distinguish between the interests of the nation 
and those of a class of the community, or individual interests in 
trade. He argued that if the franchise was only partially 
extended, there would at times arise sectional claims and action 
on behalf of organised interests, which when cast in along with 
the party of re-action, would swamp the interests of the 
commonwealth, and thus the national welfare would suflfer. He 
looked upon political parties as a necessary evil, and the existence 
of the Tory as calculated to retard legislative progress, as well as 
the educational and social advancement of the people. It was, 
therefore, requisite that there should be arrayed against them 
one united party of progress, purged of all sectional divisions, 
and of everything chat contributes towards its weakness ; and to 
accomplish this an organisation must be based upon the 
principles of sound democracy. 

He soon became attractive at public meetings, by the 
eloquent addresses which he delivered in various parts of the 
country. From 1845 to 1847, he passed from town to town 
throughout Great Britain, teaching political and economical 
doctrines, that have assisted to lay the foundation of that public 
opinion, of which we are now reaping the fruits. It was nothing 
unusual for him to address two, and sometimes three, meetings 
in one day. 

In 1846, he attended the annual demonstration of the two 
counties of Lancashire and Yorkshire, held on Blackstone Edge, 
where the people assembled in their thousands to raise their voice on 
behalf of Parliamentary Keform, and on the occasion of this 
visit he composed a most spirited poem, of which the following 
is an extract : — 

" O'er plains and cities far away, 
All lone and lost tlie morning lay. 
When sunk the sun at break of day 

In smoke of mill and factory. 
But waved the wind on Blackstone height, 
A standard of the broad sunlight, 
And sung that morn with trumpet might 

A sounding song of liberty ! 



CANTEKBUEY V. ROME. 7 

And grew the glorious music higher, 
When, pouring with heart on fire. 
Old Yorkshire came with Lancashire, 

And all his noble chivalry ; 
Then distant cities quaked to hear, 
When rolled from that high hill the cheer, 
Of Hope to slaves, to tyrants Fear, 

And God and man for Liberty." 

It is a circumstance worthy to be recorded, that Mr. Jones 
never would accept payment for his labour on behalf of the 
workings classes. Though interruptedly on the executive of their 
political organisation, and labouring without intermission in 
speech, pamphlet, and newspaper, on its behalf, he never would 
accept of emolument, and never would receive any salary 
of recompense, though conventions and conferences repeatedly 
voted that he should — while all the income he derived from his 
labour as a literary man, unconnected with politics, and from 
private business, over and above what was needed for a 
household conducted with the most rigid economy, he speat on 
the popular cause. 

Xo more powerful argument on the injustice and impolicy 
as well as the corrupting influence of the union of Church and 
State, was ever written than his " Canterbury versus Rome," 
from which we quote the following extract : — 

" You have been told by Macaulay and others that the Church in the 
Dark Ages was the preserver oi learning, the patron of science, and the 
friend of freedom. 

" The preserver of learning in the dark ages ! It was the Church 
that made these ages dark. The preserver of learning ! Yes ! as the 
worm-eaten oak chest preserves a manuscript. No more thanks to them 
than to the rats for not devouring its pages. It was the Republics of Italy 
and the Saracens of Spain that preserved learning — and it was the Church 
that trod out the light of those Italian Republics. 

"The patron of science! What? When they burned Savonarola 
and Giordano, imprisoned Galileo, persecuted Columbus, and mutilated 
Abelard ? 

" The friend of freedom ! What ? When they crushed the Republics 
of the South, pressed the Netherlands like the vintage in a wine-kelter, 
girdled Switzerland with a belt of fire and steel, banded the crowned 
tyrants of Europe against the Reformers of Germany, and launched 
Claverhouse against the Covenant of Scotland ? 

" The friend of freedom ! When they hedged kings with a divinity ! 
Their superstitions alone upheld the rotten fabric of oppression ? Their 



8 ERNEST JONES. 

superstitions alone turned the indignant freeman into a willing slave, and 
made men bow to the Hell they created here, by a hope of the Heaven 
they could not insure hereafter." 

ilr. Jones was made one of the editors of the NoHheni Star, 
then the organ of the Democratic movement, and he started 
jointly with Fergus O'Connor, The Lahout-er, a monthly 
magazine of literature, poetry, &c. 

He had no connection with the latter gentleman's Land 
Company. He was, without his knowledge or consent, elected 
one of the trustees, but immediately had his name withdrawn, 
and the election cancelled. 

At the General Election of 1847, Mr. Jones was chosen 
along with Mr. Miall, to contest the Borough of Halifax, in the 
popular interest, and in one of the most exciting and memorable 
election contests ever known in the West-Riding, they were 
defeated only by the retirement of one of the sitting members, 
Mr. Protheroe, and an unprincipled coalition between Whigs and 
Tories, at the last moment. The speech Mr. Jones delivered 
from the hustings on that occasion was so remarkable that it 
was given in extenso by almost the entire Continental press. 

It was the following year which marked a memorable 
incident in his chequered career. On the 10th of April, 1848 — 
a day when, according to the late Charles Graham, the thrones 
of Europe rocked, and constituted authorities trembled^the 
Chartists proposed to hold a mass meeting of 200,000 men on 
Kennington Common, to march thence in procession to the 
Houses of Parliament, and in this way present a petition to the 
House of Commons, praying for the enactment of ihe six points 
of the Charter. This, however, was frustrated by the tnergetic 
action of the authorities. The Bank and other public establish- 
ments were guarded by the military, and the approaches to 
Westminster Bridge were commanded by artillery. The conse- 
quence was that not more than :^0,000 men assembled on the 
Common, the monstre petition which had been prepared was 
sent to the House of Commons in detached rolls, and no fewer 
than 150,000 persons of all classes, including the late Emperor of 
the French, were sworn in as special constables. 

In the preceding February the French revolution had 
occurred, the King had iled from the country, and a Republic 



AGITATION AND ARREST. 9 

had been established which stirred the political feeling of all 
Europe, and the Government of this country became alarmed at 
the agitation and strong feeling displayed in various parts of the 
empire. A revolutionary feeling hpgan to spread amongst the 
people cf England and Ireland, and Ernest Jones fell a Tictim to 
that feeling. 

At the end of May, 1848, when the popular feeling 
had reached its height, and serious disturbances had occurred at 
Bradford and other places, as well as in London, the eloquent 
advocate of the " six points " was arrested on account of a speech 
delivered at a great meeting of working-men held in Bishop 
Bonner's Fields, London, on the 25th of that month. The speech 
in question was delivered on the eve of his departure on a political 
lecture tour in the Lancashire and Yorkshire towns. One of the 
towns to be visited was Bradford, where a riot had recently taken 
place, and some remarks in his speech relating to this and other 
disturbances, in which commendation was passed upon the organ- 
isation?: existing among the men in these towns, coupled with an 
earnest exhortation to the working-men of London to follow 
their example, were made the foundation of one of the gravest 
charges possible to be directed against a public man. The meeting 
in Bishop Bonner's Fields was held in the very heat of the 
Chartist agitation. The question of the right of public meeting 
was not so liberally dealt with by men in power as it is now, and 
the authorities had threatened to interfere with, and had actually 
dispersed several meetings which they were pleased to brand as 
seditious. The meeting at which Mr. Jones made the famous 
speech which was the foundation of the charge afterwards brought 
against him, was too great to be interfered with, except at the risk 
of much disorder and bloodshed. It was estimated by the Times 
reporter, that ] 5,000 men were present. On the same Sunday 
afternoon, however, Mr. Jones had spoken at an open air meeting 
in the district of Tower-Hamlets, which had been threatened by 
the police. In his evening address to the 15,000 men in Bishop 
Bonner's Fields, Mr. Jones made pointed reference to this meeting 
and the scene he had witnessed. The language used and the 
advice given was construed at the trial to meW treasonable incite- 
ment of tiie people to resist the Government, though it would be 
considered perfectly admissable in our day. 

On the day following the delivery of this speech Mr. Jones 



10 ERNEST JONES. 

travelled to Manchester, where, oa tlie Tuesday evening, he 
delivered a lecture on political questions to a great meeting of 
working-men, in the Hall of Science (afterwards the Manchester 
Free Keference Library), which then stood at the corner of 
Tonman Street and Byrom Street. In this speech he also vigor- 
ously denounced the G-overnment, but his remarks on that occasion 
were not made the subject of any charge against him. 

In the meantime a warrant had been issued, and on the same 
night on which he had lectured in Manchester, he was arrested at 
the Mosley Arms on the charge of Sedition. The arrest took 
place with such needless harshness that even his wife, who had 
accompanied him to Manchester, was not allowed to return with 
him to London, but alarmed and suffering from illness as she was, 
had to travel by herself in a later train, ignorant of what had 
become of her husband. 

On the Thursday afternoon, Mr. Jones, immediately after his 
arrival in London, was taken before the Police Magistrate sitting 
at Bow Street, where three men — Fussell, Williams, and Sharpe — 
who had also taken part in the proceedings on Sunday, had already 
been examined and committed for trial. Mr. Jones, like them, 
was accused of " wickedly, maliciously, and seditiously, uttering 
and pronouncing certain scandalous and seditious words of and 
concerning our Lady the Queen and Government, in Clerkenwell 
Green and other places," on certain dates mentioned 

In the report of the examination before the magistrates, 
printed in the Times, his appearance and bearing on this occasion 
was thus described : — " The prisoner who displayed more 
assurance than either of the other prisoners, appeared about 35 
years of age, of fair complexion, and about the middle stature. 
He said he was a barrister-at-law of the Middle Temple, and 
member of the Chartist Executive." Mr. Jones manifested 
characteristic chivalry and courtesy in his conduct towards the 
bench and his prosecutors. He declined even on the invitation 
of the bench to demand the production of the original notes, 
taken by the reporter, who was the principle witness in the case 
against him. '' The point was perfectly immaterial ; he was 
quite willing to trust to the gentleman's honour as to the 
accuracy of what he was about to state, and after the speech had 
been read he complimented Mr. White on the accuracy of his 



THE TREASONABLE SPEECH. 11 

report, which was a vevhatim report of the sentiments he had 
expressed, and which he still entertained, believing them to be 
the sentiments of justice and truth. He offered no further 
defence, and the sitting magistrate, declaring that the speech 
was clearly seditious, and that the tone and spirit of it throughout 
were highly calculated to incite an ignorant mob to illegal 
acts, committed him to Newgate for trial." 

The following is a report of the speech : — 

" Mr. Chairman, and men of the Tower Hamlets, — In the first place I 
have to apologise to you for not having- been here sooner, but a man 
cannot be in two places at one time. There was a meeting convened 
for Irongate Wharf, Paddingtou, and the police, I understand, had 
forbidden that meeting taking place. I was invited to attend it, and 
therefore I did attend it. There was a good many police there, but they 
did not venture to interfere with the meeting. And I can tell you this, 
hold your meetings, for although the Government are mad, they are not 
mad enough to put down public meetings, and if they were mad enough 
to do it, I, for one, thrust defiance in their teeth, and dare them to 
disperse this assembly. I must ask likewise for your indulgence this day, 
inasmuch as I start by the mail train to-night for Lancashire and 
Yorkshire, and as these places are both in a very excited state, I shall 
have to use my lungs there a good deal, and as London is not so excited 
as those parts of the country are, excuse me from wearying you at any 
length to-day. I am a physical force Chartist, and all I say is this, 
stand fast by your colours, do not shrink from the Charter — and the 
whole Charter — do not mind the nonsense of the half-and-half men, do 
not pay any attention to the Dispatch, and if you see any bodies of police 
coming near to this meeting, marching on to this meeting, stand your 
ground shoulder to shoulder. Do not run, there is danger for those who 
run, there is safety for those who keep together. Dare them to strike 
you, and my word for it, they dare not strike a blow ; bad as the laws are 
now, they are still sufBciently stringent to punish those men who assault 
peaceable citizens in the peaceable execution or performance of their 
duty. In nine cases out of ten it is your own fault : it is your own 
cowardice that invites others to strike a blow. It is men saying we 
will not do this, and we will not do that,, because it is forbid. Make up 
your mind, stand by it, and, whatever comes, stand to your ground, 
there cannot be more heads broken than are broken on these occasions 
when men run away. All I say is, that Government are desirous of 
marring the performance of your present great duty. That duty is 
organisation. I have not been among you for some little time. Where 
are your classes ? Have you your ward-mates 1 Have you got your 
class-leaders 1 Have you projected your organisation '.' If not, call 
public meetings, and elect class-leaders at these public meetings. Do not 
let the classes be formed before you have the class-leaders. You will 
find it much more easy to form a class after the class-leader is appointed ; 
for, if you form classes, and then afterwards appoint the class-leaders, 
you may spend two or three hours more upon the formation of every 



12 ERNEST JONES. 

class, and can never come to a final determination with regard to it, as 
one man will live here and another there. Elect the class-leader._ The 
class-leader will know the more likely to form the class living in his 
neighbourhood. He will go to these men and invite them, and there can 
'he no dictation, no assumption of that power, because you all elect the 
class-leader at the public meeting. Rest assured that if each locality 
elects about one hundred class-leaders, you will soon have a thousand 
men under the banner. That is the way to get up the organisation, and 
then you may elect ward-mates. One out of every ten will be 
a ward-mate. Commence at the foundation aright — namely, the 
classes and the wards. All the rest will follow of itself. As a 
matter of course begin by forming your classes. It is no use coming 
among you when there is no organisation, and it is not the executive 
that can get up the organisation. The executive cannot go to each 
locality. It must be men in localities. Show us your organisation, 
and you will have a glorious' opportunity on the 12th. Prepare in the 
meantime. Show us your organisation, then, and depend upon it, we 
will show yon some very feasible means for getting nearer to your rights. 
Depend upon it we will not be backward. Show us your organisation, 
and depend upon it you will not have to make one false step. Depend 
upon it you will not be called upon to undertake any one step that you 
will not be fully prepared to carry out, and that the officers you entrust 
with office, will not leave you in carrying. Steer clear of all political 
outbreaks and partial rioting. There has been an outbreak at Bradford 
and Manchester. We sent down Dr. Mc. Dorrall, who is now addressing 
a glorious meeting at Paddington, to tell them no partial outbreaks, no 
partial rioting. That is just what the Government wants. In a riot of 
that kind they immediately seize upon the leading men. They will 
immediately cripple our organisation, and we will be thrown back, OrO on 
organising, organising, organising, and the rest will come, never fear it. 
And there is one thing that is wanted, which is funds. Without funds 
the organisation is of little use. The country is beginning to do its duty 
nojly, and |there is a great test of public feeling. But mark you. 
Suppose it was true as we heard last night, that the fighting had begun 
in Dublin. Supposing it is true that the Government had ordered the 
daily papers not to say one word of the insurrectionary news from 
Dublin, so that this country is kept in the dark about it. Suppose that 
it should be necessary that we should send a man over to see with his 
own eyes, to hear with his own ears, and then bid defiance to the lying 
press. Suppose that all this to be necessary, and suppose that we had 
not got the money to send them over to see, what danger the movement 
runs. See how the movement might be thrown back and injured, from 
the mere circumstance of not having a few paltry pounds wherewith to 
pay the messenger — a trustworthy messenger — to ratify the bond of 
union between us and the Irish people. Union, I say, of sentiment, 
union of democracy, but separation from the yoke which binds the one 
nation to the thraldom of the other. I say you must excuse me if I do 
not address you at great length, as I am about to start to-night by the 
mail train, Rest assured that I will be struggling in your cause in 
Bradford, in Halifax, in Manchester, and in the other places where 



THE TRIAL, IS 

storm and turbvilance are now going- on. Best assured that I shall not 
preach a miserable doctrine of non-resistance and passive obedience. 
But at the same time I shall preach the doctrine of manly firmness, and 
no heated impetuosity. If you do mean to do anything, see well first if' 
you have it in your power to do it ; and then having made up your mind,, 
do not let even death itself prevent you from carrying it into effect. 
Only preparation— only organisation is wanted, and the Green Flag shall 
float over Downing Street and St. Stephens. Only energy is wanted — 
only determination. What will be the result ? Why ! that John Mitchell 
and John Frost will be brought back, and Sir George Grey and Lord John 
Russell will be sent to change places with them." 

His trial took place on Tuesday, the 10th July, 1848, 
and the Grovernment left nothing undone to secure his conviction,. 
The following is an extract from the Attorney-General's speech 
for the prosecution : — 

"I can assure you that I rise with great pain. I do so because^ 
although this is the last of these cases, it is not by any means the least 
important. No, gentlemen, it is, in fact, the most important of the whole 
— not important from the rude character of the words used by the prisoner, 
because we might expect that from his education, and from his station in 
life, they were not likely to be of the grosser kind hitherto enquired into 
(his fellow prisoners), but they were important from the station and 
education of the prisoner — and because, while these induced him to address 
the assemblages in more measured language — they make him the more- 
dangerous — they make the language still more dangerous, because that 
language emanates from a quarter that exercises the greatest influence on 
the minds of misguided persons who were the listeners to his doctrines^ 
and therefore his station and education served but to give the greater 
weight to his erroneous instructions. One thing is fortunate, the station 
and importance of the prisoner furnishes a, practical refutation of the 
charge that there is one law for the rich and another for the poor, and 
that the object of the prosecution is to add injury to the other sufferings of 
the working-men by selecting its victims from among the poorer classes. 
Gentlemen, I blush to state that the prisoner, Ernest Jones, is a member 
of my own profession — of a profession which should have carried with it 
a respect for the laws that ought to have kept him from offences like this. 
— he is a man who from his former habits moved in society that ought to 
have shown how fallacious are the doctrines he has lately promulgated 
with all those advantages. Knowing what the law is. and the obligations, 
due to society, and to the constitution under which we live, knowing fully 
what the rights of those are, and what is required from us, he has not 
hesitated to address the persons assembled in this case — in a period of great 
distress — in a time of considerable suffering, and he has addressed to them 
topics which are calculated to excite disaffection, which are intended to 
induce them to arm and organise themselves into bodies for the purpose of 
resisting the authorities, and by force to obtain from the Queen, to whom, 
as a subject and as a member of the Bar, he owed, and had sworn allegiance, 
to obtain from iihe Government measures which ' would be pernicious if 
conceded, and which he must have known would in their result be of no 
benefit to society." 



14 ERNEST JONES. 

It was urged on his behalf that when the military were 
stationed, and the cannon planted, ready to fire on the people if 
they attempted to cross the bridge to present the petition to 
Parliamenc in connection with the demonstration, and the fary of 
the assembled multitude was at its greatest height, and there Was 
great danger of a collision between the military and the people, 
that Ernest Jones, being elevated on the shoulders of some men in 
the crowd, exhorted the meeting to disperse and meet him at ten 
o'clock on Bishop Bonner's Fields, when he would advise them 
what to do. By this means bloodshed was prevented. This was 
urged in vain, for he was told that a man who had such power 
and inflaence must be all the more dangerous, and the law mast 
be administered accordingly. All the prisoners were convicted 
and sentenced to long terms of imprisonment. 

Between his conviction and sentence Mr. Jones addressed 
the following letter to Ctiief Justice Wilde (afterwards Lord 
Truro) : — 

"MyLokd, 

" In passing sentence on a prisoner, it is the province of a judge to 
consider the oironmstanoes under which a verdict is obtained, the motives 
of the supposed offender, and the consequence of his actions. 

" I object to sentence being passed on me on all these grounds, and I 
feel confidence in appealing to an English Judge from the venal rapacity 
of journalist partisans, and the guilty prejudice of a misinformed jury. 

" Whatever may have been the character of the men in that box, they 
came prejudiced against their duty — the press sowed the seed of that 
feeling — and what they have heard in this Court has fortified the error. 

." They have been taught to look upon me as a designing demagogue — 
as an ambitious adventurer living on the people. I will tell them that I 
came from ranks far higher than any in that box — or, perhaps, than any 
in this court — and I distinctly assert, that I have sacrificed domestic 
comfort and pecuniary resources to the cause that I have embraced. 
As to being an adventurer, my position raises me above the necessity 
of struggling for wealth in the future, inasmuch as a considerable 
property is settled upon my family and myself, to the possession of 
which we must come at no very distant period. Neither did I seek 
a standing in society, inasmuch as my birth and connections assured 
me access to what are called the first circles ; so much so, that I 
regret having attended those head-quarters of frivolity, the levees and 
drawing-rooms of Her Majesty. 

" But they call me a designing man, a designing demagogue. I will 
tell them I have never gained by the Chartist movement. I have 
invariably refused all and every remuneration for my humble services in 
the people's cause : I have never, though repeatedly pressed so to do. 



LETTER TO CHIEF JUSTICE WILDE. 15 

accepted of one farthing for my lectures, either in town or country ; and 
it is only a few week's since that, without solicitation, I have been ' 
unanimously elected a member of the Chartist executive, and abandoned 
a situation of far higher emolument, to devote myself to the duties of 
that office. 

" As a barrister, I have invariably refused to accept fees from the 
poor — and even from the better-off I have returned them when offered, 
and their are legal gentlemen in this court that can testify the fact.; 
When I tell you, in addition to this, that my present means are very 
limited — indeed, painfully so, and that my opportunities of obtaining 
lucrative employment have been frequent, I think you will do me the 
justice to say, that no mere adventurer, no designing demagogue, stands 
before you now. 

'■ Neither let it be said, that my political sentiments are the growth 
of a day — the result of a sudden impulse. I shou.ld be a very unworthy 
advocate of a popular movement were such the case. No ! I will refer 
you to works of which I have been the author during the last ten years, 
and which have won the repeated and unqualified praise of the press of 
all parties, from the leading authorities of the metropolitan and the 
provincial papers. 

" Think not, my Lord, I mention these things in self-glorification, 
but since the Attorney-General has thought proper to asperse my motives, 
I owe it to the cause I espouse, to vindicate my position. 

"I have said the jury were prejudiced. Indeed, the grossest misrepre- 
sentation has been used by the Times in giving reports of speeches I 
never uttered ; no novelty in that journal, if we may believe the Daily 
-Vc;i's of the (ith ult., where it states in its leading article, referring to a 
speech of Lord Ashley :— ' The reports in the Times of late, as we have 
recently had occasion to show, have been so glaringly partial, and falsely 
coloured that we do not hesitate to express a belief that not one half that 
is here reported was ever uttered by Lord Ashley. ' 

" The falsehood on behalf of the Times is proved in the instance of the 
very speech with which I stand charged ; in the 1 imes report, gross 
expressions and violent denunciations being attributed to me, the use of 
which is clearly disproved by the very notes of the Government reporter, 
whom I must again compliment on the accuracy of his report. 

" Further, the '/'imes has outraged the laws of honour, and disgraced 
the press to which it belongs by prejudging a case — and filling its 
columns with extracts from my speeches, torn from their context and 
misquoted in detail. I hold in my hand a report of all I said in the 
convention, taken from the daily press, to prove the wilful falsehood of 
"the Times. 

"Now, I ask, whether a fair verdict can be given by a jury that must 
manifestly have come biased by such means ? 

" But I have to complain of far more than this. I have to complain 
of the manner in which the Attorney-General has conducted this case, 
creating prejudice, and asserting what is false. 



If; ERNEST JONES. 

" He has told tlie jury in the case of Sharpe — lie has told it in my 
own case — that we must be base designing men for trying to redress the 
wrongs of others, because we ourselves do not suffer the same misery. 
Such an idea can only flow from a mean and dastardly soul. What ! 
cannot the Attorney-General comprehend that a man may feel for the 
suilerings of another ? Or does he only feel Christian charity when 
he is paid for if. 

" The Attorney-General has imputed words and meanings to a man 
whom legal form forbade to answer him. In order to prejudice a middler 
class jury, he told them that the Chartists were spoliators— would break 
into their shops and divide their property. Where is his proof ? Where 
is the shadow of proof ? Have we not always taught and done the 
contrary ? It was a dastardly and deliberate falsehood— it has influenced 
the jury, and I appeal to you against the effects of the impression. 

" What ! could he rely so little on the merits of the case — could he 
rely so little on his own legal ingenuity — that when the other evening 
I shook my head in dissent from the statement — that I was afraid to 
stand in court by what I uttered in the field — he forgot his legal position 
and the presence of your Lordship, he fell out of his role, and made 
a personal attack by name, on me, not on my trial, and merely a listener 
in this Court, and dared to tell the jury : ' I said I would still lead the 
people to violence ! ' Why did he not tell them that I dissented from the 
charge of violence as well '! I blush for the profession to which I belong 
when I hear the Attorney-General take so base, so unfair, and so unmanly 
an advantage. 

" What ! could he rely so little on the merits of his case — could he 
rely so little on his own legal ingenuity, that he must try to dishonour the 
Crown he represents by turning calumniator-general. But I err. He 
represent the Crown ! No ! no ! He represents but a paltry, a vacillating, 
a weak and dispicable faction — and I must say it is most perfectly 
represented. Well, I am glad to find a mere shake of viy head could make 
the Attorney General lose his the other evening. 

'• My Lord ! the jury have been altogether misled in these trials :— It 
is not ' Our Sovereign Lady, the Queen, against the Defendant,' but our 
Sovereign Lords, the Whigs, against the People ! 

" Again, my Lord, the Attorney General has travelled 230 miles out of 
the record to get up evidence against me. • Because I said, ' the men of 
Bradford behaved gloriously and gallantly,' he tries to make me liable for 
every act which a few individuals in Bradford might commit. What I said 
then I say again. They acted ' gloriously,' because, in the midst of the 
excitement and riot, they never broke a single pain of glass, committed 
no one act of plunder, or were guilty of a single outrage on property. That 
they behaved ' gallantly' the Times itself states in a leading article. 

■' And now, my Lord, I have to protest against the erroneous impression 
which the public, and, therefore, the j ury, have drawn from the remarks 
which fell from your Lordship on this case, a meaning which I am 
convinced was far from the mind of so eminent a legal authority as your 
Lordship ; but a supposed meaning which has nevertheless procured my 



LETTBE TO THE JUDGE. 17 

conviction. It refers to the right of public meeting, to the count charging 
me with attending an unlawful assembly. It is a subject so important, 
afEecting, as it does, the right of public meeting in England, that I am 
sure (besides the consideration of my own case), your Lordship would 
thank me for calling attention to this subject. 

" The verdicts on the recent cases (my own included) would seem to 
interfere altogether with the right of public meeting and free discussion, 
and make them wholly dependent on the caprice of G-overnment. They 
interfere with the right of public meeting, for your Lordship has ruled, 
that a meeting called at a lawful hour, and summoned to a lawful place, 
for a lawful purpose, may become illegal if inilammatory language is 
spoken at the same ; or if the peculiar circumstances of the times cause 
apprehension of excitement. Now, my Lord, does not this virtually 
destroy the right of public meeting ? Some designing knave, perhaps a 
"Whig, may be sent to a public meeting, utter a few words of sedition, 
and the public right of Englishmen at once becomes an ' unlawful 
assembly.' 

" Again, ' peculiar circumstances of the times' would seem the very 
reason why public meetings should be held. It is exactly under 
' peculiar circumstances' that the people ought to take counsel with one 
another ; it is just in ordinary times that meetings are the least 
wanted. My Lord, you seem to be touching very narrowly on the British 
Constitution. 

" Secondly, as to the right of free discussion. Kow, your Lordship 
has ruled that I am answerable for everything that is said in my 
presence at a public meeting. Pause, my Lord, before you give to the 
world so monstrous a doctrine 1 Suppose I arrive at a meeting a few 
minutes before another man has done speaking, and that man has been 
speaking sedition ; I am according to your doctrine, guilty of what he 
has spoken. Think of the absurdity of such a law. The context of 
things said before I came may make what I hear sedition. Or it may be 
impossible for me to prove that I arrived two minutes sooner or later ; or 
the noise may prevent my catching the speaker's meaning ; or I may not 
attend to all that is said ; or I may be conversing with a friend ; and yet 
I am to be guilty of sedition. Do, my Lord, let the fault be visited on 
the right person. I wish the Whigs would carry out that doctrine. 
Why, my Lord, what has free discussion come to in England, if I am 
to attend a meeting in a state of terror, lest somebody should say 
something in some way to offend the susceptibility of a Whig Atterney- 
G-eneral ? 

■' Again, my Lord, pause before you lay down this law. ' Who shall 
decide when doctors disagree?' A learned brother of your Lordship 
ruled a short time since, that ' great numbers' made an assembly unlawful. 
' If there were more than could conveniently hear,' said the judge, 'the 
meeting was unlawful.' Your Lordship very properly ruled on these 
very trials that numbers had nothing to do with the matter. For my 
part, I believe that a meeting of very great numbers would never 
be found illegal. Here is indeed the glorious uncertainty of the 
law. The legal line has many hooks. If I swim into the wake of one 
B 



/ 

18 ERNEST JONES. 

judge, I am caught on the hook of numbers. If I go to that of some 
other, I may be made answerable for what somebody said when I was 
not present, or, if present, could not prevent his saying. So much for 
public meeting and free discussion ! 

" And now, my-Lord, as to the ulterior results of the meeting. If a 
meeting results, or is supposed to result, in a riot, I .am to be answerable 
for that too ! Now, see the gross absurdity of this. "We will suppose I 
attend a meeting, make a lawful speech, and then leave ; somebody rises 
after I have left, makes an inflammatory speech, excites the audience, a 
riot ensues, and — I am a rioter .' 

'■ Again, my Lord, suppose, after the meeting is over, when it has 
dispersed, or is dispersing, a body of evil disposed persons — say thieves, 
pickpockets, or police— come to the spot, take advantage of the circum- 
stances, and commit a riot — I ask, is it fair, is it just, is it reasonable, 
that the meeting, and the speakers should be held answerable for their 
crime ? Sor is it an argument against public meetings, that a disturb- 
ance may possibly be committed by parties who are in no way connected 
with the meeting. What I would you forbid public meetings because a 
few windows may be broken by some thieves / Why don't you write up 
' No Thoroughfare ' in the streets, because a young nobleman breaks a lamp 
glass .' I submit, it must firstly, be clearly proved that the speech 
delivered was calculated to excite a riot ; and secondly, that the parties 
who heard the speech were actually those who caused or committed the 
riot. Now the law of England and of common sense appears to be this : 
hold a man answerable for what he does, not for what is done by another ; 
and let the Government take care of their own pickpockets, and not 
make us answerable for them. 

Again, it is ruled that meetings are precisely illegal according to the 
alarm they create ; so that Government, by bringing up a few cowards, or a 
crockery dealer, as they did on Thursday last, can convict a whole 
meeting of illegality. What an awfully illegal meeting it wonld be, 
if it was held in a q^uarter inhabited by old maids — or still worse, 
if it was held near the abode of a Whig minister — for Whigs are 
proverbially cowards. Meetings, I assert, are not illegal merely according 
to the alarm they create, but according to the alarm they create in the 
majority of the inhabitants of a district, and in the minds of men 
possessed of reasonable firmness and courage. Not one witness has dared 
to assert that such alarm was created on the 4 th of June. 

" Thus much, my Lord, for the law of public meeting in England 
1 submit that the exposition given by your Lordship is entirely new ; it is 
m tact a new law, and if I am sentenced under it, for an act committed 
antecedently, the anomaly will take place of judging a man by ex post 

''Thus much, my Lord, for the law under which I am convicted or 

I'^r^X^^'^ "^ ^^'°^ ^' ^"^^ understood by the jury. I do not conceive 

that there ever was the slightest pretext for accusing me either of 

unlawful assembly' or of 'riot.' As for the words I uttered, do not 

suppose that I stand here to retract a syllable, or shrink from the avowal 



THE EIGHT OF PUBLIC MEETING. 19 

of a single sentiment. My defence is an accusation of the Government. 
The speech for which I am indicted is a vindication of our constitutional 
rights ; the indictment framed by Government is an attack upon our 
Constitution. I have pleaded ' Not Guilty,' not to deny my words, but 
because in my words I deny that there is Gtjilt. 

" The Attorney-General would fain taunt me with shrinking in this 
Court from what I said outside. I defy him to do so. When did I deny 
ihy words ? I have not even given you the trouble to prove them. I 
admitted them in Bow Street — I reiterate them here. But I will not 
allow the Attorney-General, or any other man living, to distort their 
meaning. All I ask, and have a right to ask, of your Lordship, is, give 
them a fair and natural construction, and let them be strained neither to 
my prejudice nor to my advantage. I uttered sentiments I thought to 
be right — I am perfectly ready to abide the consequences ; but, if varying 
circumstances may give to the same words a different meaning, then I 
demand that these circumstances be scanned with an impartial eye. 

" I have stood up in the right of vindication of public meeting — a 
right too sacred to be interfered with by poUce commissioners — a right 
which I do not think a Parliament could suspend, as I contend no Parlia- 
ment can alter a fundamental principle of the constitution without the 
previously obtained consent of the whole male adult population of the 
country. I have said the right of public meeting is attached in my 
person, and if provocation goes in extenuation of an illeged offence, I 
claim in my defence the prohibition of all public meetings by the police 
of London. I now hold the proclamations in my hand ; those proclama- 
tions are illegal — the Government has not dared to avow them — and I 
call on your Lordship to quote the statute giving the police authority by 
one sweeping proclamation to prohibit the people from the right of 
public meeting. I claim this as I cannot be punished for attending an 
unlawful assembly. This is the key to the language I used. I spoke of 
threatened attacks of the police, because the police had attacked public 
meetings that same day. I told the people not to attack the police, not 
to insult them, but to stand firm in case they were attacked. I reiterate 
the advice. The right of public meeting must be upheld ; if the police 
interfere with it unlawfully, they must be resisted. ■ This is law, and 
your Lordship connot deny it. The right of public meeting has come to 
.something in England, when it must be vindicated under the cannon's 
mouth, and the sabre's edge, against the policeman's bludgeon. But 
vindicated it shall be. 

" Your Lordship cannot say the meeting was not held for the 
discussion of a grievance ; the right of public meeting was endangered ; 
that and the police were the grievances of the day ; of these I spoke, for 
these I suffer. 

" And I beg to tell your Lordship the purpose of a public meeting is 
not merely to discuss a grievance, but to concert measures for its retaedy 
Some of our great grievances — the Franchise, the Land Monopoly, 
Taxation, and the Church — have been freely and often discussed upon 
those fields, and to such audiences. From those meetings petitions 
have been freely and often discussed upon those fields, and to such 



20 ERNEST JONES. 

audiences. From ttese meetings petitions have been presented to the 
House, and how have they been met ? Look back through your Parlia- 
ments since the Reform Bill. Eead the catalogue of the people's 
petitions on these great questions. Utterly unheeded. They have, 
indeed, got Catholic Emancipation, but it gave them neither land, food, 
wages, nor trade. Ttey got the Ten Hours' Bill, when they had not 
work three days in the week. They got Free Trade when trade was 
ruined by competition. But how have their wrongs been attended to ? 
When Sir Richard Vivian moved for an inquiry into the people's misery, 
it was negatived without a division. When Sir George Sinclair did the 
same it was negatived without a, division. These things, my Lord, have 
taught the people that petitioning is of use no longer, and they wish to 
demonstrate the public opinion by more apparent means. They, some- 
how, have an idea that a petition from a, million of men, forwarded in 
stray thousands, on stray bits of jjaper, would be neglected, the same as 
such petitions have been before ; but that the same million of men 
presenting their petition in person would meet with some attention ; 
and at their meetings now they are publicly organising to this effect. 
A few men being in prison will not prevent this result, it will only 
accelerate it ; but, I trust, it will not irritate the petitioners. 

" To have made what I said sedition, it must have been calculated to 
subvert the throne, and endanger the public peace. Where is the 
evidence of this ? I spoke of a great national demonstration on the 
12th of June, What is their illegal in this? I chid the apathy of 
certain towns. I do so now — when the people sleep on their rights they 
die. I said I would go to the North to rally tlie spirit of the people. 
What is their illegal in this ? Listen to Lord Tenterden (in Rex v. 
Marsden), ' If ministers are incompetent, and their measures prejudicial 
to the country, — it would be justifiable both to avow and inculcate 
dissatisfaction.' And as to endangering the public peace, what I said 
was calculated to maintain it ; and that this was my intention, both 
previous and subsequent circumstances prove. My mission to Yorkshire 
must have been one of 'peace. Had not two members of the Chartist 
executive preceded me there, calmed the excitement, and restored order ? 
And when I went to the North, did I not at two great meetings 
recommend the maintenance of peace and order, the respect of life and 
property? Thus much for the second portion of my speech. What 
is there illegal in that? And, my Lord, do not screen your sentence 
under the sophism, that though my words may in themselves be harmless, 
they tend to create excitement among the people in dangerous times. 
What makes the excitement ? 3Iisery ! What makes misery ? Misrule ! 
And this brings me to the third portion of the arguments I would urge 
before yon — the objects I had in view. 

_ " And here, my Lord ! let me call on you not to charge us with the 
excitement of the times. Do not believe that we few men are the 
creators of British discontent or Irish insurrection. Look back to deeper 
and to_ higher causes. As well might you gharge us with the poor rates, 
and sixty millions of annual taxation. Look for the cause to your 
rich but fallow fields, and landless serfs. Look for the cause to your 



THE POOR AND THE LAKD. 21 

yast machinery and cheap labour. Follow out the links of your political 
chain in alternate cause and effect : — 

Monopoly and Destitution ; 
Discontent and Crime ; 
Taxation and Insurrection. 

" Behold, how yon have been niggardly with schools, which forces 
you to be profuse with prisons. Behold, how you have grudged the poor 
their rights, which makes you fearful for your own ! And behold, too, 
how easy is the remedy ! Look at your seventy-seven millions of acres, 
on which the majority of your thirty millions of population starve, or 
are comfortless, and say, why should this be ! Let the Government 
divide the waste lands among the people— they would support the entire 
pauper population, and thus relieve the artificial labour market, so that 
work could be obtained at fair wages by the unwilling idler. Instead 
of this, what does the Government ? Incorporate these lands with the 
overgrown estates of the great landowners ! Do not say it is all the 
same in whose hands the land falls. For if one man holds 50,000 acres, 
do you suppose he supports 10,000 families in comfort ? Well, more than 
the 10,000 families — (50,000 individuals) might be supported out of that land. 
The Attorney-General will again say, I wish to divide all the land. Far 
from it — I have instanced the waste lands — I can add the Church lands — 
of which one-third belongs of right to the poor, and here is an episode 
from that, on the property of the House of Russell. 

This family owns : 

The Church lands of Melchurne £6,000 

Woburn Abbey and lands 10,000 

Thorney Abbey 15,000 

Dunkerswell Abbey 7,000 

Tavistock Abbey 25,000 

Castel Hymel Priory 2,000 

£65,000 

" The lands, once the property of the poor, are annually increasing 
in value. The Duke of Bedford is also the patron of thirty livings in the 
Church, value about £10,000, and the whole district of Covent Garden, in. 
London, producing an income of about £200,000 ! Now then, my object 
is, to obtain, by Constitutional Enactments, the restitution of such lands 
to the poor. There would be no need of poor's rates then, or money to 
build workhouses I There would be no fear of discontent. Ah I my 
Lord, if you fear that trading demagogues excite the country, give the 
people food and justice, and the trade of demagogue is at an end. Oh 1 
let the jury class remember we are their best friends. We would not 
touch their property or their lives — but we would relieve them altogether 
from poor's rate ; we would relieve them from the oppressive weight of 
taxation. Let us take the war-tax alone : twenty millions per annum. 
Most of this might be saved were you to arm the people. Most of this 
might be saved were you to send drill sergeants to exercise the people, 
instead of taking up the people for drilling. Most of this might be saved 



-22 ERNEST JONES. 

if you had a Xational Guard instead of a Standing Army. And then 
let the jury remember what a home trade they would obtain. Two 
million substantial yeomen would be two million substantial customers. 
And the well-paid mechanics (for wages must rise as labour became 
scarcer by the surplus being drafted on the land) — and the well-paid 
mechanics, I say, would be well-paying visitors to the shop-keepers. 
Higher wages would operate prejudicially to the shopkeeper? The 
reverse. For money paid by an employing class to a consuming class 
is money put out at interest — and at compound interest too. The wages 
enable the working man to buy ; the tradesmen sells only at a j)rofit ; the 
richer the working man is, the greater the comforts he can afford to 
buy — the greater the profits of the tradesmen who sells. This is the 
working of home-trade — this is the way in which it is to be restored in 
England. Such are the objects for which I advocate the Charter. 
I ask you, my Lord, whether the Attorney-General was right when he 
said : ' I was for spoliation and division of property.' 

"Instead of building workhouses, erect colleges of agriculture. 

" Instead of emigration, promote home colonisation. Emigration is 
no remedy. Reflect ; what does produce arise from ? The land, arid the 
labour spent upon it. Reduce the labour power by emigration, and you 
reduce the power of sujiplying food — the same as by reducing machinery 
yon limit manufacture. Scarcity must ensue — povert.v spread — poor- 
rates increase, and less ability exist to pay taxes and support the 
Government. 

"I repeat, then, my lord, it is prejudice that has convicted me. Had 
tlie jury known these to have been my views, they never would have 
applied the word ' guilty' to me. But do not suppose I feel guilty because 
a middle-class jury call me so, on the misrepresentation of a whig lawyer. 
This bar seems to me more like a judgment seat, and my sentence more 
like a condemnation of the Government. I well remember the words of 
your Lordship at a public dinner in this city : ' Let the City of London 
find me the juries, and I will find them the law.' The City has found 
you the juries — you have found the law — and, I doubt not, you will find 
me the sentence. But what have you gained by bringing me here ? What 
am I ? A humble apostle of truth. I am your prisoner : but the truth 
is there — without — free — omnipotent — you have not caged it in the walls 
of your prison ; you cannot send your police to arrest it ; it blunts their 
cutlasses ; it breaks their batons ; the work is done — the seed is scattered 
— the crop is growing — and hear ! even now, the labourers are sharpening 
their scythes for the harvest. 

" My Lord, beware in time ! Mine is but one of those warning voices 
sent from the heaving bosom of life— saying to you : beware I My 
language may be strong. Truth is so. Truth plays upon an iron harp, 
but her touch is unerring. The press is your worst enemy, when it conceals 
from you the people's misery and the peeple's wishes. Then thank me, 
and do not punish me, for daring to warn you of your danger. 

" You think Chartism is quelled. Learn that it is more strong than 
ever. While oppression reigns— Chartism resists. While mi.sery lasts — 



THE DEMANDS OF THE PEOPLE. 28 

Chartism shall flourish ; and when misery ceases the Charter will be law. 
It is taught in the Bible ; it is based on Christianity ; it is the star of the 
poor man's hearth ; it is the sceptre of the rich man's hall. It is the 
terrible spirit that whispers, ' no peace to the rich until the poor man has 
his rights.' It is the fury beside the tyrant —but it is the guardian angel 
of the factory child ; it is the prophet who spoke ; — ' Woe unto them that 
decree unrighteous decrees, to turn aside the righteous from judgment, 
and to take away the right from the poor of my people, that widows may 
be their prey, and that they may rob the fatherless ! ' 

"Do not think you can resist the demands of the people. They grow 
more pressing day by day. Parade your army of insolvents in the streets 
of London — call out your discontented soldiers : like the satellites sent 
to take the prophet of old, they came back as disciples who went out 
to prosecute. Remember the terrible fiat has gone forth, — ' no peace to 
the rich, till the poor have their rights.' Remember, here in England, 
thousands of families are living on a shilling a week ; thousands of men on 
a penny farthing a day ; thousands of human beings keep their wretched 
pallets all day, for then they feel their hunger less ; thousands of families 
have lived through the winter and spring on turnips only. Remember, 
as Mr. Drummoud told you in the House, English mothers have killed 
their children to save them from the slow death of hunger ; here in this 
Christian land, a mother has been driven to gnaw the arm of her dead 
baby ! Then, think of your fancy balls, and routs, and suppers, — then 
tend on your blood horses and sleek hounds, and strain the law against 
those who cry for their rights if you can. 

•' But there is a law higher than all — the law of self-preservation. 
Tremble lest the poor should appeal from man to God, and learn from 
him : — ' Happier are they who perish by the sword, than those who die by 
starvation.' 

■• Concede to the people in time. You denied the Irish repeal, and 
now they demand independence. The Chartists are loyal subjects. But, 
remember, they may not always, if you neglect them so long, be contented 
with the Charter. I warn you the stream may greaten as it flows, and 
the word 'Charter' may be changed to the shibboleth 'Republic' 

" My Lord, I am the advocate of peaceful reform. I would advise 
a people to bear much before they seek the dangerous alternative of force. 
But 1 believe that all Governments hold their authority from the people. 
I believe that the will of the majority is the fountain of law ; and I 
coincide with Baron Gurney, when he states- -' That the first political 
truth that is engraven on the soul of man is, that all power flows from 
the people, and is a trust for their benefit, and when that trust is abused, 
resistance is not only a right but a duty.' 

"My Lord, I have the honour to be, 

" A prisoner for the Charter, 

'•ERNEST JONES." 

Mmiday, July \Otli. 1848, in ihc Dock td the Old Uailey, n-liile n-aiting 
for sentnive. 



24 ERNEST JONES. 

The sentence against Mr. Jones was two years solitary 
confinement, and two sureties of £100 each, and to be bound, in 
his own recognisances for £200, to keep the peace for three 
years. 

The harshness with which the sentence was enforced became 
the subject of universal reprobation, and gave the impression to 
people's minds that there was no intention that he should ever 
survive his imprisonmont. Indeed, so severe was that treat- 
ment, that his two fellow prisoners did succamb, and died in 
prison, in September, 1849, of cholera, brought on by low diet, 
and confinement. The press of the country teemed with articles 
condemnatory of the treatment. 

Mr. Jones was kept in solitary confinement on the silent 
system enforced with the utmost rigour ; for nineteen months he 
was neither allowed pen, ink, nor paper, but confined in a small 
cell, 13 feet wide by 6, in utter solitude, varied only by a solitary 
walk in a small high walled prison yard. He obeyed all the 
prison regulations in the most exemplary manner, excepting one, 
that as to picking oakum, observing, that for the sake of public 
order he would conform to all external forms and rules, but 
would never lend himself to voluntary degradation. 

On the 7th of April, 1849, he wrote a letter to Sir George 
Grey, which concluded with the words : — " I am not to be awed 
by tyranny, whether emanating, as in this case, from petty, or 
as elsewhere, from more powerful sources." 

This was called violent language, and the permission to 
write letters in future was withheld. 

The Government reported to the magistrates of him and 
another prisoner in their report under date April 8th. 1850, as 
printed by order of the House of Commons, that the languao-e 
and correspondence of those two prisoners were of a nature 
calculated to show that, when they are at large, they will commit 
breaches of the peace, and tnere is, manifestly,- all the desire 
still with them to incite others to mischief. And the magistrates 
recommended to the Home Office that they should not be 
liberated because " the feelings and opinions of the prisoners 
remained unchanged." Commenting on this afterwards in A'oten 
to tJie People, Mr. Jones says, " Of course they are ! Did they 



IN PRISON. 25 

think we were children, that shutting us up in a dark corner, 
and depriving us of our dinners, would alter the very temper of 
our souls ?" 

Again, and again, Mr. Jones was imprisoned in a dark cell, 
and fed on bread and water, in consequence of his refusal to 
pick oakum. Even the bible was taken from him. On one 
occasion while the cholera was raging in London, 417 havii;g 
died in one day, this punishment was enforced even though he 
was suflFering from dysentry at the time, and he was confined to 
a dark cell, from which a man dying from cholera had just before 
been removed. Well might public opinion gain ground that the 
Whig oligarchy finding they could not break his spirit were 
resolved on his destruction. But their efforts were in vain. 
Exemplary as was his conduct in all other respects, they never 
succeeded in making him perform the degrading labour task. 

Ernest Jones was so broken in health in the second year of 
his imprisonment, that he could no longer stand upwright — he 
was found lying on the floor of his cell, and then only taken 
to the prison hospital. He was then told that if he would 
petition for his release, and promise to abjure politics for the 
future, the remainder of his sentence would be remitted ; bnt he 
refused his liberty on these conditions, said the work he .had 
once begun he would never turn from, and was accordingly 
reconsigned to his cell. 

As a f urthur illustration of the gratuitous cruelty and petty 
torture practised towards him, he asked during the period when 
the cholera was at its height, permission to hear whether his wife 
(who was in most delicate health) and his little children were 
still alive — and the permission was refused. 

Our readers may perhaps smile at another illustration of 
prison discipline as applied to him. After nineteen months 
he was allowed to receive books to read subject to the supervision 
of the prison chaplin — and among the books, the admission of 
which was refused, were Disraeli's Coningsbj, Shakespeare's 
Tragedies, J. Fenimore Cooper's novels, and some works in 
French, of which language the chaplain was ignorant. 

Mr. Jon^s, however, had mental resources of his own. 
During his imprisonment, and before pen, ink, and paper were 
allowed, he wrote some of the finest poems in the English 



26 ERNEST JONES. 

language. The devices by which he obtained writing materials 
are amusing. Pens he got by finding occasionally a feather 
from a rook's wing,* that had dropped in the prison yard. This 
quill he cut secretly with a razor when brought to him twice 
a week to shave ; an ink bottle he contrived, to make from a 
piece of soap he got from the washing shed, and this he filled 
with ink from the ink bottle when he was allowed to write a 
quarterly letter ; paper was supplied by these quarterly sheets, 
leaves from the bible, or any other scrap which he could manage 
by any means to get hold of. 

The poems he composed in prison were " The Painter of 
Elorenoe," " The New World," and a number of smaller pieces 
which are given below, with the dates of composition : — 

Bonnivard August, 1848. 

Hope October, 1848. 

Prison Bars November 1848. 

The Poet's Parallel February, 1849. 

Prison Fancies (composed when confined in a 1 

solitary cell on bread and water, without > May, 1849. 

books or writing materials) ) 

The Mariner's Compass ...May 10. 1849. 

The Steed and the Rider May 11,' 1849. 

The Last Li^ht June 7, 1849. 

The Languages June 8, 1849. 

Where? June 15, 1849. 

What? Julys, 1849. 

The Garden Seat 

Earth's Burdens 

The Silent Cell (composed during illness, on 1 

the 6th day of my incarceration in a solitary f August, 1849. 

cell, on bread and water, and without books) ! 

The Prisoner's Dream September, 1849. 

Resignation (witteu in the Infirmary of I ^ , „ „ 

Westminster Prison daring severe illness)... ( J-^o^emoer, in+.i. 
The Quiet Home (written in the Prison ) t, , ,„.,-. 

Infirmary) } February, 18.0. 

The Legacy (written in the Infirmary of j 

Westminster Prison when not expecting |> March, 1850. 

to recover) ,. ) 

To Wordsworth (on. hearing of his death) April, 27, 1850. 

St. Coutt's (The Charity Church reared 1 

opposite the Prison gate) j 

Easter Hymn Easter, 1850. 

Hymn for Ascension Day in the future Ascension Day. 1850, 

Hymn for Lammas Day July, 1850. 

'■' In the debate on the petition ot TOrnest Jones in Jnly, 1851, in the ]iouse of 
Commons, it was stated " The New World " w:h written in prison witli tiio twig of .1 prison 
broom for his pen. 



POEMS COMPOSED IN PRISON. 27 

We append three or four of these poems as specimens : — 

THE LBUACY. 

Behold ! imto my death bed sent, 

The notary drew near, 
And eager for my testament. 

Bach heritor appear. 

The pen impatient sickness holds. 

And truth and conscience read ; J 
While life the page reluctant folds — 

In witness of the deed. 

"Now faithful, ye to every one 

His heritage consign, 
My faults unto Oblivion, 

My virtues unto Time ; 

" My Memory to Pity's care. 

To Love my latest breath. 
And gladly give the latest share — 

My pains and woes to Death. 

" My body to the leafy sod 

Where warmest lies the light, ■ 
My soul to the eternal God ! 

And to the world — Good night 1 " 

'Twas ended — but contention strange 

Rose ere his eyes had closed. 
Oblivion tried with Time to change. 

But Pity interposed. 



THE SILENT CELL. 

They told me 'twas a fearful thing 

To pine in prison lone ; 
The brain became a shrivelled scroll. 

The heart a living stone. 

Nor solitude, nor silent cell 
The teeming mind can tame ; 

No tribute needs the granite- will, 
No food the planet flame. 

Denied the fruit of others thought, 

To write my own denied, 
Sweet Sisters, Hope and Memory, brought 

Bright volumes to my side. 

And oft we trace with airy pen, 

Pull many a word of worth ; 
For time will pass, and Freedom then 

Shall flash them on the Earth. 



28 EKNEST JONES. 



They told me that my veins would flag, 

My ardour would decay ; 
And heavily their fetters drag 

My blood's young strength away. 

Like conquerors bounding to the goal, 
Where cold white marble gleams, 

Magnificent red rivers ! roll ! — 
Roll I all you thousand streams. 

Oft to passions stormy gale, 

"When sleep I seek in vain, 
Fleets of fancy up them sail, 

And anchor in my brain. 

But never a wish for base retreat 

Or thought of recreant part, 
While yet a single pulse shall beat 

Proud marches in my heart. 

They'll find me still unchanged and strong, 
When breaks their puny thrall ; 

With hate — for not one living soul — 
And pity for them all. 

WHAT ? 

What is love 1 It is the striving 

Of two spirits to be one ; 
Sweetness hungering after sweetness ; 
Want that thirsteth for completeness ; 
Two planets formed by fate to be 
Each other's dear necessity. 
Each from each it's light deriving, 

Till they melt into a sun. 



WHERE ? 

Where is Love ? 
! rather name the spot 
Where Love is not. 

Below, above. 
In calm and storm, in wild and city mart- 
Wherever beats a human heart, 

There is love 1 
Even where Hate's red woof is seen 
Love weaves a golden thread between. 
In the battle's bleeding mass ? 
He lurks beneath the wet cuirass. 
Breathed with the earliest breath — 
He dies not even in death. 



OUT OF PRISON. 29 

In the grave 1 
The ring he gave — 
The look of hair- 
Love — is there ! 

No heart so wither'd, lost, and old, 

Nothing so dull, and dead, and cold, 

But Love compels in his houndless fold. 

He floats on the waves as he leans to the light 
Of the unseen moon in the darkest night ; 
He dwells in the bud of the wet green leaf, 
He lurks in the seed of the long-dried sheaf I 

Sources of boundless misery 

Joy were the joyless without thee ! 
He climbs into heaven, he dives into hell ; 
He sits on the thrones where the angels dwell ; 
He walks through the haunts of the souls that fell ; 
For what can madden the tortured mind 
Like a glimpse of the heaven it left behind ? 

Mr. Ernest Jones was received with a perfect ovation in 
all parts of the country at the expiration of his sentence, and 
immediately became ivirtually the leader of the democratic 
movement. He forthwith started a weekly magazine entitled 
Poems and Notes to the People. The first number was issued the 
first Saturday in May, 1851, and contained 20 pages octavo. 
It was continued weekly : with the fourth number it became 
Jfofes to the People. Every six months formed a volume. The 
title page of the first volume reads : " Notes to the People, by 
Ernest Jones, of the Middle Temple, Barrister-at-Law, Author 
of the "Wood Spirit," "Lord Lindsay," "My Life," &c. 
London : J. Pavey, 47, Holywell Street, ISSl." 

In commencing these Notes to the People, Mr. Jones had 
more than ordinary diflBculties to contend against. He shall, 
however, speak for himself. In " "Words to the Eeader," 
written on the completion of the first volume, he says : — 

"These Notes were started without capital — that indispensible- 
requisite in launching a new publication. They were started without 
funds to ' bill,' placard, or advertise ; their publicity depended almost 
entirely on the good- will and exertion of a few readers in whose hands 
the first number happened to fall. No subscriptions have been solicited 
or received to support it ; but a torrent of hostility, or a dull weight of 
neglect, has been directed against its progress. 

"So complete has been the 'burking system,' that even when I 
endeavoured to send a few placards into the country, the London agents 
in very, very many cases (though money was paid for the booking of each 



30 ERNEST JONES. 

parcel), suppressed the communication. When the bills reached their 
destination, if placarded, as soon as the obnoxious name appeared on the 
walls, it was immediately torn down, covered, or defaced. An experiment 
has been tried at a news agents in Drnry Lane, who very handsomely 
and honourably exhibited day by day a fresh bill on the wall of his 
house. Every morning it was torn down, and, on placing a watch, it has 
been discovered that the police are the destroying agents. . _ . . . I 
have been told that I am the greatest enemy to the circulation of the 
work myself, by the tenoiir of some of the articles it contains, since those 
articles fly in the face of the partialities and prejudices of a large 
portion of my readers. I plead guilty : but my excuse is — I can't help it. 
What I wrote I believe to be the truth ; and I hold it better not to write 

at all that hot to write what I consider truth ' But why 

touch them at all ? Why could you not pass them by, without expressing 
any opinion whatever on these subjects ? Then you would have offended 
nobody, and might glide smoothly onward,' writes another correspondent. 
" Yes ! but then this periodical ought to have been baptised by 
another name — 'The Teimmbe' — than which character nothing is more 

odious, and nothing more contemptible If I write down 

these ' Note8,'/?'0»t that caiise, to one single reader to be myself, I will 
still persist in writing thus„ unto the cessation of the work, aTid it shall 
not cease, as long as it h poss'Meto co7Vtinioe it.'' 

From these Notes to the People, there is no difficulty va. 
gleaning Mr. Jones's opinions. The first number opens with 
" The New World ; a democratic poem dedicated to the people of 
the United Queendom, and of the United States of America." 

In his introduction to the poem he says : — 

" Men of America 1 thank heaven (thank your own strong arms) for 
having escaped from the corrupt legislation of this island, that floats upon 
waters like a plague-stricken hull of a stately wreck, within its death 
fraught ribs houses a people of paupers, groaning beneath the im- 
measurable wealth they have created, but enjoy not. At its doors die a 
million human beings, in a land, lashed like a conquered prey to the 
British Crown, that drags it down to famine and pestilence, whence all 
who can escape, fly to harden the move of hatred on your new Atlantis, 
On its colonies the sun never sets, but the blood never dries. In 
mechanical power it has outstripped the world, but that power it employs 
to displace labour, and starve unwilling idlers. Every factory is more 
corrupt than a barracks, more painful than a prison, and more painful 
than a battle field. Its commerce touches every shore, but their ports 
have been opened by artillery, and are held by murder. Abroad, its 
traders play the pirate ; at home, the journeyman is cheated by the 
, .apprentice, the apprentice by the master, the small dealer by the whole- 
sale dealer, the customer by both, and the Government cheats all. Its 
landlords ruin their tenants, and then decimate and exile them, lest they 
should have to support the wreck they have made ; complain of 
redundant population, and yet throw corn land into grass ; so then work- 
houses are insufficient to contain the poor, and yet cast down the cottage 
in which they live. 



NOTES TO THE PEOPLE. 81 

" It has been increasing its wealth, but corrupting its manhood ; 
trebling its churches, but corrupting its Christianity ; sending forth 
missionaries but rendering their faith hated by the acts of its professors ; 
building charities, but making more poor than it relieved— stealing a • 
pound and asking gratitude for giving back a farthing! — and, withal, it 
dazzles the world by its attitude and quiescent grandeur. 

" But that grandeur is decaying : its colonies will fall off like ripe 
fruit from a withering tree to start up young forests of freedom ! Its 
commerce will die because it is unsound at the core ; foreign competition 
has been met by home competition ; and both have been founded on the 
fall of wages', and the land desertioh for the loom. Thus home trade has 
been destroyed, for with the working-class it flourishes or fades. Food is 
the staple wealth — and thus England has been made the pensioner of 
other lands for their daily bread . . . Competition still grows — 
the wholesale dealer devours a small shopkeeper ; the large estate annexes 
the little ; the great capitalists ruin the lesser ; thus the evil preys upon 
its originators ; the middle class forced working-men to compete with 
working-men ; now circumstances compel them to compete amongst 
themselves — they have no working-class reserve to fall back upon — wages 
are so low that they cannot indemnify themselves any longer by their 
reduction, and the middle-class are fast sinking back into the Igvei from 
which they rose, to leave a few pillars of monopoly rearing a few pillars 
of monopoly above the prostrate mass, Yes ! mealth Iteeps centralising 
more rapidly than it increases — Mh&t is a clue to the distress. The 
centralisation of wealth makes paupers — and the system that makes 
paupers can never cure pauperism ; therefore the efforts to arrest the 
downward course have proved vain. The poor create the poor — one 
pauper makes another — for under the present system at least, he takes for 
his support from those who have, without bestowing in return ; thus he 
drags the men next above him down to his own platform by an inevitable 
social law. Crime will increase, for it is not the child of ignorance but 
of poverty. For awhile the diseased state may purge its noxious 
humours, but emigration will tarry, though not till it is proven a curse — 
it takes away the hands as well as the mouths — two hands will feed more 
than one mouth — insufEoiency of labour power as applied to the soil, not 
insufficiency of the soil for the demand of the inhabitants, is the ■« ant 
from which we suffer ; therefore, emigration takes more from production 
than from consumption — an evil to the land whose productive powers are 
but half developed. 

" Thus, while we have been extending ourselves abroad, we have been 
undermining ourselves at home ; thus, the poor have been sinking lower 
every year — diminutive cariatides, supporting the vast fabric of monopoly, 
till at last pauperism, like a blind Sampson, shall pull down the pillar in 
the temple of the Philistines. Yet, withal, they tell us that trade is 
brisk — as though trade meant happiness ! The wheels run and the hearts 
break. They tell us that England is prosperous and Ireland tranquil 
Yes ! the pulses of England are breaking fast with fever, and Ireland is 
tranquil with the lull of mortification. 

" Such is the aspect of my own land. 



82 ERNEST JONES. 

"But men of America the sad ruin is germinating in jours as well 
You are following- in the wake of Tyre, Carthage, and Rome — of Venice, 
Spain, and England. 

"You are a Republic, so was Venice — the mere republican form 
secures neither prosperity noj: freedom, though essential for their 
existence. Political right may be enjoyed by a social slave. Political 
power is but defensive armour to ward off class aggression. How are you 
using it ? You are standing still while piece by piece is being loosened on 
your limbs. The golden curse is in your midst —the land is annually 
being gathered into larger masses — colossal fortunes are being formed — 
an aristocarcy is germinating — the worst aristocracy of all — that of money 
and of office : the pomp and pride of equipage and furniture is spreading 
— already gay liveries are dotting your thoroughfares ; already the tramp 
of the mercenary is heard in your streets — military glory is beginning to 
poison your common sense — you are aping the vices of the old monarchies 
— and your men of letters, who ought to be the high-priests of freedom, 
are contaminating your intellect, with the exception of some goodly 
veteran^, stern old republican penmen, your literature flutter in silks, 
velvets, and ostrich feathers. Your authors come over here, and go into 
estacies about a royal procession and a court ball — they are innoculating 
your mind with the old venom of Europe ; look to it, young talents of the 
West — better write in rough numbers and on homely themes, than emulate 
the lines of Pope or Tennyson, if turned to the servility of courts. 

" And what is the cause of all this '.' Wealth is beginning to centralise. 
It is its nature — all other evils follow in its wake. It should be the duty 
of Governmejit to counteract that centralisation by laws having a distri- 
butive tendency. Whatever political rights you may enjoy, they will be 
nullified as yon sink beneath the curse of wages — slavery. 

"Let me draw your attention to the internal cause of a people's 
subjugation. 

"The centralisation of wealth in the hands of a few, engenders 
luxury ; then a class is created for the mere purpose of pandering to the 
luxuries of the rich. This class becomes dependent upon the rich, and, 
therefore, identified with their interests. This class, again, employs 
another section of the people as ifx dependents— takes them away from 
productive labour to artificial callings ; unfits them for hardy toil — 
demoralises them — thus forms an aristocracy of labour out of the higher- 
paid trades — the ' better class' mechanics ; and thus the interests of one 
portion of the people are severed from those of the remainder. The 
' better paid ' looks down on the less fortunate — class is thus established 
within class, each having its separate interests, jealousies and objects ; 
and an oligarchy is empowered to divide and rule. The wealth of the 
latter, again, enables them to hire and arm the evil-minded — the ignorant 
or the selfish in any numbers requisite to keep the rest in awe, under the 
names of soldiers and police. Beyond the pale of all these lies the great 
bulk of the population. The condition of the latter must steadily 
deteriorate — the more wealth centralises, the less can individual industry 
contend with accumulated capital, till, at last, they are ohliged to compete 
with each other for empluyment. Taxation is entirely shifted on their 



REVOLUTION WHEN PRACTICABLE. 33 

shoulders by means of a reduction in wages, more tlian oommeneurate 
with every tax. Pauperism requires additional taxation — taxation creates 
additional pauperism. Should mechanical science and power be developed, 
that which ought to be a blessing, only accelerates the evil because it is 
sure to fall into the hands of the rich few, who use it to cheapen labour ; 
true, at last, the middle class must suffer, as they are beginning to do in 
England — true, at last, taxation and its effects react upon themselves — 
true, at last, they will discover their mistake— but a people perishes in 
teaching wisdom to its oppressors. 

•' Revolution sometimes outs the gordiau knot, but this is scarcely 
ever practicable, except in the earlier stages of a nation's decay — and 
sometimes in the latest ; it may succeed in the infancy and old age of 
states, but rarely in their manhood — for in the latter period, though the 
middle class may begin to look upon the aristocracy with a hostile eye, 
they dare not subvert it — they are obliged to go forth in defence of their 
own enemies, because they, too, are slaves — the only difference between 
them and the poor being that their chain is golden : anything that 
unsettles credit, paralyste trade, or creates panic is their ruin — therefore, 
they are • men of order ; ' they have still too much to lose, therefore, they 
are reactionary. Governments know this, they bridle the middle class with 
a curb of gold, they control the poor with a rod of steel . 

'• All, then, in that stage of society, depends upon the working 
class — but when over toil, disease, and famine, have destroyed their 
bodily strength, and when centralisation has enabled Government to 
wield its force with the rapidity and precision of a machine ; revolution 
as dependant on the working classes is an almost vain endeavour. The 
people have lost heart — and those who still retain the courage — lack the 
bone and muscle. The best fed, and the best grown men of the country 
are in the hire of the Government, and, by the touch of a telegraphic 
wire, by the whirl of a few engines, can be thrown in any numb .■ rs, at 
any time, on any given point. In such a state of society (the manhood 
or fullest development of our social system) isolated riot may be frequent, 
' revolution is impossible. Witness Ireland ! Flight, wholesale flight ! 
Emigration (the coward's refuge !) is all left the inhabitants of that 
unhappy land, and tranquility reigns there so profound, that the troops 
are withdrawn from the graves of the murdered millions, to coerce what 
little effervescence may be supposed to linger in the British heart. Witness 
England ! Every year the revolutionary element has become more 
languid— every year it has sought some quiescent means of elevation. Some 
tell us, this betokens the march of the mind — the progress of intelligence ; 
mind has progressed, but force and mind are not antagonistic agents — it 
is the progress of exhaustion, the march of bodily decay. The animal 
spirits of the people are destroyed by toil, their physical strength is worn 
down by hunger — they are wrecks of men, and thence die quietly. 

■' In the old age of States (the decay of the existing social system) 
revolution again becomes possible, from the fact that a new element 
of discontent becomes active — the hitherto prosperous middle-class begin 
to suffer, they are still strong in mind and bofly, and, having less to lose 
they grow revolutionary. 
C 



34 ERNEST JONES. 

" Working men of America ! You have not arrived at either stage of 
weakness yet. Fortunes as colossal, monopolies as threatening as ours are 
forming among you. Yoi;i do not yet feel their effects very keenly, 
because of the productive powers of your soil, and the varied resources of 
your country. Let the present system progress much longer, let 
oligarchy be firmly seated, the resources of the land will be but so much 
additional strength to the monopolist — and the rich interior prove a 
tantalising vision to the crowded seaboard. 

" Republicans of America ! Look to your remedy : ASSOCIATION, 
Association not local, but national — applied to both machinery and land. 
You still possess political power : use it to develop co-operative labour, 
and to restrict the centralisation of capital in the hands of a few — not by 
tyrannical laws, but by indirect and gradual legislation. The poor of 
England, reft of political power, are, I fear, sunk too low to raise 
themselves by associative means alone. They have waited too long, 
capital is too tar iu advance — and they possess not that which you still 
enjoy, the franchise. Our hope lies iu the fact, that the present 
system is sinking from its own corruption — reversing the case of Saturn, 
the offspring of class government, taxation, crime, and pauperism are 
devouring their own parent : our only hope lies in the knowledge that 
the falling middle class will be forced by the pressure of circumstances 
to join the proletarian ranks. Our danger is, that we should unite 
BEFOBB THE TIME — unite Upon terms based on middle class advantage 
only. If we unite now, such must be the result, for we are not strong 
enough at present to dictate equal terms, and what strengthens the 
middle class without strengthening us in the same proportion, throw us 
further from the goal of freedom. 

" Such is the living aspect of society, on either side of the Atlantic. 
In the following pages I have endeavoured to shadow forth the successive 
phases through which the nations of the earth have passed, to show how 
the working classes have been made the leverage by which one privileged 
order has subverted another — the ruling power constantly expanding, 
from the royal unit to the feudal nobility, and thence down to the more 
numerous middle class, always including larger numbers in the elements 
of govenment — till progression reached the turning point, where it 
vibrated between reaction and democracy. At that point, hitherto iu the 
world's history, i-eaction has always won the day, but never once from 
inevitable law ; it has ever been owing to an external force, or to the 
ignorance and folly of the people. Recently, owing to a combination of 
both causes : the semi-barbaric power of Russia — the semi-barbaric 
ignorance of the agriculturists of France. 

'■ England and America now hold the balance of the future — the great 
neutral powers of the East and West — and France is the fulcrum on 
which they turn. These are the only three countries in the world where 
the present realisation of democracy is possible. In America, a youno- 
nation, because it has not gone too far to recall its errors — in France and 
England, because they have, step by step, moved up every form of the 
social school. In the rest of Continental Europe, democracy is far 
distant — it has yet to pass through the grades of ' constitutionalism' the 



XOTHING BEFORE ITS TIME. 35 

rule of the middle class. Royalty subverted heirocraoy ; feudalism 
subverted royalty ; plutocracy subverted feudalism — and at tliat point we 
stand — -the next stage is Demockacy or Reaction. A revolution may 
state democracy in power, in both Germany and Italy: but that power 
will not last,for itsviotory will be premature. A hot-house plant placed 
under a March sky must perish. A stage on the road to freedom was 
never yet overleaped with impunity. The secret of victory is — 

NoTHixn Befoee its Time. 

The test of the statesman is to know when that time has come — the duty 
of the people is, never to let it pass. 

" Free citizens of the Republic ! my country has been called the 
' Ark of Freedom' — but in yours I see its Ararat, and to you, at whose 
hands Shelley looked for vindication and immortality, a humbler bard now 
dedicates his work. 

" Unenfranchised subjects Of the monarchy ! To you also I address 
these pages, written chiefly with my blood while a prisoner in solitude 
and silence. You and I have suffered together in the same cause — iri- arc 
aufferiiir/ now — and we will battle on." 

We give the concluding stanzas of the poem — 

" In sunny clime behold an empire rise, 
Fair as its ocean, glorious as its skies ! 
'Mid seas serene of mild pacific smiles — 
Republic vast of federated isles. 
Sleepy Tradition, lingering loves to rest. 
Confiding child ! on calm Tahiti's breast ; 
ButScience gathers with gigantic arms. 
In one embrace, the Sonth's diffusive charms ; 
Nor there alone she rears the bright domain — 
Throughout the world expands her hallowing reign. 
Then, bold aspiring as immortal thought, 
1 ' Launched in the boundless, mounts the aeronaut ; 

While o'er the earth they drive the cloudy team. 
Electric messenger, and car of steam ; 
And guide and govern on innocuous course. 
The explosive minerals propelling force ; 
Or, mocking distance, send, on rays of light, 
Love's homeborn smiles to cheer the wanderer's sight. 
Mechanic power then ministers to health, 
And lengthening leisure gladdens greatening wealth : 
Brave alchemy, the baffled hope of old, 
Then forms the diamond and concretes the gold ; 
Xo fevered lands with burning plagues expire. 
But draw the rain as Franklin drew the fire ; 
Or far to mountains guide the floating hail. 
And whirl on barren rocks its harmless flail. 
Then the weird magnate, bowed by mightier spell. 
Robbed of its secret yields its power as well. 



86 ERNEST JONES. 

With steely fing-ers on twin dials placed. 

The thoughts of farthest friends are instant traced ; 

And those fine sympathies that like a flame, 

Fibre to fibre draiv, and frame to frame. 

That superstition in its glamour — pride, 

At once misunderstood and misapplied, 

As virtue ripens shall be all reveal'd, 

When man deserves the trust such arms to weild. 

Then shall be known, what fairy-lore mistaught, 

When Fancy troubled Truth's instructive thought, 

That He who filled with life each rolling wave, 

And denizens to every dew drop gave. 

Let not this hollow globe's encaverned space. 

The only void, unpeopled dwelling place. 

Then shall the eye, with wide extended sight. 

Translate the starry gospel of the night ; 

And not as now, when narrower bounds are set. 

See, but not read, the shining alphabet. 

XJnhooded knowledge then shall freely scan 

That mighty world of breathing wonders — man ! 

Hon- act and will are one. shall stand defined ; 

How heart is feeling, and how brain is mind. 

Then each disease shall quit the lightened breast. 

By pain tormented while by vice oppressed ; 

And life's faint step to death's cool threshold seem 

The gentle passing of a pleasant dream. 

Those halcyon days shall witness discord cease, 

And one great family abide in peace ; 

While ball and bayonet but remain to tell 

That lofty race how low their fathers fell. 

One language then endearingly extends : 

Shall tongues be strangers still, when hearts are friends? 

With Babels' curse war, wrong, and slavery came — 

Their end was shadowed in the cloven flame. 

No strong armed few shall arrogate the soil* — 
God gave to man his title in his toil ; 
No vile distinction mar His great design. 
And designate a theft as " mine and thine."' 
No perjurfd code shall make his- bounty vain. 
And sav. " For thee the stubble — me, the grain ;'■ 
But 'twixt this dust and heaven's o'erarching span, 
Man own no nobler name than that of Man — 
No holier law than Christ's great law of love. 
His guide within him, and his Judge above ; 
Freed evermore from soldiers, nobles, kings, , 
Priests, lawyers, hangmen, and all worthless things ; 

"^^Origiiiii]l.\ writtt-ii ; "No parcliment deed shall quulify the soil," 



" THE NEW WORLD." 37 

For, matchless harmony pervading earth, 
With evil passions dies each evil birth ; 
And, all her stubborn elements subdued, 
Nature and man forget their ancient feud. 

Thus, regions civilised the cold forsakes, 

Unkind miasma shuns the brightening lakes ; 

And, banished thence, as by enchanter's wand, 

The very earthquake leaves the lulling land — 

To exiled Art Euganean hills resigns. 

And stern old Etna spares his clambering vines ; 

But where harsh ignorance maintains the van, 

And brutes are scarce less civilised than man, 

There forms uncouth and fearful portents dwell — 

The lingering vestige of invading Hell. 

Peace blest the groves of Antioch's classic age, 

Where rude Antakia shakes with sulphury rage. 

Thro' thousand cones of France the plague expires. 

In granite cenotaphs and former fires. 

Tho' red volcanoes blast old Gondar's wave. 

And with their Puma down the Andes rave. 

The rocks of Tlhine, of Leman, and Vaueluse, 

Are silent that mankind may hear the muse ! 

But still from Ural's lip to Hunlat's ear, 

Crude chaos pours its messages of fear ; 

O'er Sweden's Scaldio oak, and Norway's pine, 

In quiet grandeur wintry glories shine ; 

Yet Hecla strives in Thule, with neighbouring toil. 

To thaw its snows and make its Geysers boil, 

Thick-peopled streams in leisure wend their way, 

To smiling banks of civilised Cathay : 

While mighty mountains 'mid confusion placed. 

Still groan across Kamtschatka's barbarous waste. 

But in that happier age, from zone to zone, 

One bloom shall brighten, and one joy be known : 

Earth's angel, then, at God's supreme command, 

Waving to Northand South an emerald hand. 

Their golden keys receiving from the sun, 

Unlocks the crystal portals one by one. 

Again on Polar isles the stately palm 

Beckons the barque along the rippling calm ; 

And frostmokes, fleeting from each icy cape. 

To Greenland yield once more the clustering grape. 

The beasts of prey an extirpated race, 

Vanish on barbarism's dusky trace ; 

No lamb and lion bound in friendship view — 

Nature is never to herself untrue — 

But as the gentlest still the longest last, 

The lamb shall flourish when the lion's past. 



88 EENEST JONES. 

Then, as the waifs of sin are swept away, 
Mayhap the world may meet its destined day : — 
A day of change and consummation bright, 
After its long Aurora, and old night. 
No millions shrieking in a fiery flood : 
No blasphemies of vengeance and of blood ; — 
Making an end of God's great work of joy, 
And of Almighty wisdom — to destroy 1 
No kindling comet — and no fading sun — 
But Heaven and earth uniting melt in one. 

" Beldagon Church," a religious poem, dedicated to the 
Chartists of Halifax ; and other poems, appeared in the following 
numbers. We append an extract from "The Painter of 
Florence," a domestic poem, dedicated to Julian Harney : — 

There's a mansion old 'mid the hills of the west. 

So old, that men know not by whom it was built ; 

But its pinnacles grey thro' the forest hoar 

Have glimmered a thousand years and more ; 

And many a tale of sorrow and guilt 

Would blanch the cheek 

If its stones could speak 

The secrets locked in its silent breast. 

Its lords have been great in the olden day ; 

But the pride of their strength has broken away : 

They moulder unknown in their native land, 

And their home has long passed to a gtranger-hand, 

A cunning lawyer, who could feed 

Present want with future need, 

Had drawn the youth of their latest heir. 

In the viewless mesh of subtle snare. 

The careless boy he had led astray 

With the lure of lust and the thirst of play ; 

;With low companions bade him sit. 

Who spoke debauch and called it wit — 

His passions fanned — employed his purse, 

Took all he had, and gave — their curse. 

Then, when he'd run his fortune thro'. 

He sought in debt a fortune new, 

And, gambling high and drinking hard, 

Threw down his acres, card by card, 

The lawyer watched his victim bleed, 

Secure in obit, bond, and deed ; 

At first with humble means began 

The quick, obliging business man ; 

But carefully picked up each stray feather 

Till he was fledged for winter weather, 

Then massed his sordid gains together 

And lent to him from whom, 'tis said, 



THE PAIKTER OF I'LOEEKCE. 39 

He once had begged his daily bread : 

Steadily opened pore by pore, 

With a lulling lure and a winning word, 

Like a flapping wing of a vampire-bird. 

And sucked — and sucked, till he bled no more ; 

Then changed Ms tone in a single hour ; 

He felt, and he let him feel his power, 

Nor one poor drop of gold would fetch 

To slake the thirst of the perishing wretch ; 

But when he found he had sucked him dry, 

He turned his back and let Mm die. 

Then rose the lawyer from his chair. 

Ordered his barouche and pair. 

Drove down and ransacked every store, 

Sealed every chest, locked every door. 

Counted all things o'er and o'er — 

Acres, forests, manors, all — 

From the family portraits that clung to the wall. 

To the old oak-chest in the servants' hall. 

But, since it ever forms his way 
The frank and generous role to play. 
He takes a condescending tone. 
And kindly offers the widow lone 
A few small rooms, for a passing day, 
In the palace so lately all her own : 
But takes very good care she cannot stay ; 
And tells the servants, old and grey, 
He'll soothe their life's unhoused decay, 
But carefully drives them all away ; 
And bids behind them, evermore, 
His own lean spaniels close the door. 

Now Devilson reaches his heart's desire, 

And takes his place as a country squire : 

But, since his origin all can trace. 

Affects a pride in his origin base ; 

And since all in this land you may buy and sell, 

Is determined to buy a good name as well : 

He buys much, when.he offers a five pound reward 

To the slave who'll starve longest and labour most hard ; 

He buys more, when he bids a whole parish be fed 

On an annual banquet at twopence the head ; 

His character's rising by rapid degrees, 

Till he pays a young saint at a ohapel-of-ease — 

When the bargain's completed as soon as began. 

And he's stamped a respectable, popular man. 

He's soon made Justice, and Sheriff in time ; 



40 ERNEST JONES. 

And high, and still higher determined to climb, 
Looks around for an anchor to steady his life, 
And from a poor peer buys a termagant wife. 

The Lady Malice is tall and thin ; 

Her skin is of a dusky tan, 
With black hairs dotting her pointed chin ; 

She's like a long, lean, lanky man. 
Her virtue's positively fierce ; 
Her sharp eyes every weakness pierce. 
Sure some inherit vice to find 
In every phase of human kind. 
The simplest mood, the meekest mien. 
She speckles with her venomed spleen, 
Construing to some thought obscene ; 
Shred by sired, and bit by bit, 
With lewed delight dessecting it ; 
Till sin's worst school is found to be 
Near her polluting purity. 
But oh ! beware how you approach her ! 
Xo thorn so mangles an encroacher ! 
She'll lure you on with easy seeming. 
To drop some hint of doubtful meaning. 
Then turn as hot as fire, to show 
Her virtue's white and cold as snow ; 
And dragging you forth in a storm of laughter. 
Hurl the full weight of her chastity after. 
Such, no line is overdone, 
Is Lady Malice Devilson. 

Devilson's thick set, short, and red ; 

Nine tenths of the man are his paunch and head ; 

His hair is tufty, dense, and dark ; 

His small eyes flash with a cold grey spark. 

Whose fitful glimmer will oft reveal 

When a flinty thought strikes on his heart of steel. 

He's sensual lips and a bold hook nose ; 

And he makes himself felt wherever he goes ; 

He's stern to the rich, and he's hard to the poor ; 

But he's many a little, low amour ; 

And their cost is small — for he culls them all 

From the workhouse-yard and the servants' hall. 

So Devilson lives with his titled bride ; 

And the saintliest pity him while they chide ; 

For they feel the full force of his married blisa ! 

Oh ! the peerage are more than avenged in this ; 

Since if he once ruined an absentee race. 

She tortures him endlessly, face to face. 



A PRAYER FOR I'EACE. 41 

One of the finest poems written by Mr. .Jones was : — 

A PRAYER FOR PEACE. 

God of Battles ! give us peace ! 
Xot the peace of beaten slaves 
Not the truce that mammon craves, 
Wavering, frail, and insecure, 
Such as despots bid endure — 
Smouldering lull that gives them breath 
For re-doubling flames of death ; 
Fragile thing with terror rife ; 
Trembling nurse of growing strife ; 
Give the peace that men bestow 
Who 1 with ne'er a second blow. 
Kill the cause of war — then cease, 
God of Battles I give us peace ! 

God of Battles ! give us peace, 
Peace, Lord ! to us though dear. 
Peace may prove a thing to fear. 
There is peace far worse than strife, 
Peace that rots a people's life ; 
When alike in darkness thrust. 
Sword and heart together rust. 
And the light of honour dies 
In a scabbard made of lies. 
Peace may kill by slow decay 
Those, no sword of Hun could slay. 
Leaving of the greatness gone 
But a fleshless skeleton. 
Sunk in lust and shameless ease 
War may bring to such as these 
Fame's aspiring, glory's goal, 
Resurrection for the soul. 

God of Battles ! give us peace ! 

Xot a peace that mocks the land. 

Binding wounds with poisoned hand. 

There is peace that more hath slain 

That ere fell in red campaign. 

Stricken still and silent down, 

Through the country and the town. 

Soldiers true, they battled well, 

Long they fought, sublime they fell. 

Yet no one pauses by their grave ; 

Xo one writes : '■ Here lie the brave, 
" Hunger slew them, cold and tears, 
" Thro' their long campaign of years. 
" Soldier's march in honour's name, 



42 EMNEST JONES. 



'• Hear in mijsic future fame : 

" Win from banded brothers might, 

" Sink at last in glory's light : 

" And when death has laid them low, 

" A tribute gain from friend and foe : 

" Braver those, who slumber here — 

" Theirs nor friend nor fame to cheer ; 

" Theirs, amid life's growing shade, 

" No song but what their own hearts made. 

" Theirs no tribute o'er the grave : 

" Still they fought ! — Here lie the brave." 

God of Battles ! give us peace. 
Yet we shrink not from the strife, 
Long as honour claims a life. 
Well we know that battle brings 
Many sorrows on its wings : 
Want and waste, and pressure sore ; 
But we'll bear them all the more ; 
Well we know that war demands 
Many offerings at our hands : 
Bread to fail, and blood to flow : 
Freely, gladly, we'll bestow, 
Bear our burden brave and mute, 
So our burden bears its fruit. 
And no treacherous arts undo 
Valour's deeds of honour true. 
So that when bereft and lorn, 
Trembling we exult and mourn. 
Counting all we lost and won, 
When the great brave battle's done. 
By the closed grave we can stand, 
Million mourners hand in hand. 
Breathing o'er our dear ones slain : 
God be praised ! 'twas not in vain." 

God of Battles I give us peace, 
Rich with honour's proud increase : 
Peace that frees the fettered brave ; 
Peace that scorns to make a slave ; 
Peace that spurns a tyrant's hand ; 
Peace that lifts each fallen land ; 
Peace of peoples, not of kings ; 
Peace that conquering freedom brings ; 
Peace that bids oppression cease ; 
God of Battles 1 give us peace. 



A SONG OP Cromwell's time. 43 

Mr. Ernest Jones was also the writer of a number of 
political songs ; the following two may be taken as examples of the 

A SONG OF CROMWELL'S TIME. 

(Air ; ■' A Life on tile Ocean ^Vave.") 

A vote in the laws they make .' 

A home on the laud I till ! : 
Where the hearts of many break 

The cup of the few to fill. 
By the right of their laws I pine ; 

But what are their laws to me .' 
For I live by right divine, 

And that is the right to be free. 
A home in my native isle ! 

A share in the wealth I heap ! 
Where the rich in their revel smile, 

And the poor in their anger weep. 
The poor — the poor — the poor in their anger weep. 
The rich — the rich — the rich their revels keep. 

The strength that in numbers lies 

Bach hour is making known : 
Pioneers of the truth, arise, 

And you shall not be left alone ! 
We'll scatter their knavish rule. 

Like a prisoned storm set free. 
Till tyrant and tyrant's tool 

Have vanished from sea to sea. 
A home in my native isle I 

A share in the wealth I heap ! 
Where the rich in their anger smile, 

And the poor in their anger weep. 
The poor — the poor — the poor in their anger weep. 
The rich— the rich — the rich their revels keep. 

At the word of the cruel few 

The clouds of the battle frown ; 
But, long as the many are true, 

AVe'U say let the storm come down — 
And on as the masses sweep, 

Our cry shall meet them still ; 
A share in the wealth we heap, 

A home on the land we till, 
A home in my native isle, 

A vote in the laws we keep. 
Then the rich, if they like, may smile, 

But the poor shall cease to weep. 
The poor — the poor — the poor shall cease to weep. 
The rich — the rich — the rich their revels keep. 



4+ ERNEST JONES. 

SOMG OF THE DAY LABOURERS. 

Sharpen the sickle, the fields are white ; 

'Tia the time of the harvest at last. 
Reapers, be up with the morning light. 

Ere the blush of its youth is pas?. 
AVhy stand on the highway and lounge at the gate. 

With a summer-day's work to perform ? 
If you wait for the hiring 'tis long you may wait — 

Till the hour of the night and the storm. 

Sharpen the sickle ; how proud they stand 

In the pomp of their golden grain 1 
But I'm thinking, ere noon 'neath the sweep of my hand 

How many will lie on the plain ! 
Though the ditch be wide, the fence be high, 

There's s spirit to carry us o'er : 
For God never meant his people to die 

In sight of so rich a store. 

Sharpen the sickle ; how full the ears ! 

Our children are crying for bread ; 
And the field has been watered with orphans' tears 

And enriched with their fathers' dead ; ' 
And hopes that are buried, and hearts that broke, 

Lie deep in the treasuring sod ; 
Then sweep down the grain with a thunderstroke, 

In the name of humanity's God I 

" The Painter of Florence" was subsequently published by 
Eoutledge. " Beldagon Church" and " The New "World" were 
published by Effingham Wilson, under the title of " The Revolt 
of Hindostan," and a number of the smaller poems were 
published by these two firms, and by Kent and Co. 

The entire press were again unanimous in their expressions 
of admiration. We give a few extracts : — 

" Real poetry ! Fancies which a poet of Aroady would bring together 
are here." — ^thenaum, September 15, 1855. 

" Ernest Jones is a poet scarcely to be equalled among his contem- 
poraries. He teaches us how to write. Where, since the days of Pope 
and Dryden shall we find such grand sustained heroic verse? What 
power of conception ! What grandeur of expression 1 What real beauty ! 
— English Rei-iem, October 31st. 

" He has not only wit to write, but the spirit to live poems." 

Athcnicuni, October 14, 1867. 

" The name of Ernest Jones written on a column in the temple of 
literature, will shine down a long succession of observant groups, with a 
pure, peaceful, and general light. This volume is genuine poetry ! 



MORE NOTES TO THE PEOPLE. 45 

Sanguine temperament, creative fancy, fervid heat of passion, have their 
brilliant and powerful expression in those true poems. Full of beauty, 
thought, and genuine feeling, the moral is carried home to the inmost 
soul." — Nmiconformist, October 24, 1855. 

"Walter Savage Landor wrote to the author : — " Your 
present of ' The New World,' is a great honour conferred on me. 
I did not expect that such a continuity of vigorous poetry was to 
be expected in the present age. Equalled by Dryden only," 

In Kotes to the People Mr. Jones wrote, " De Brassier : a 
Democratic Romance, composed from the Journal of a Democrat, 
the Confessions of a Demogogue, and the Minutes of a Spy." 
In the preface to this romance he says ; " Instead of writing a 
true analysis of the cause why democracy has so often been foiled, 
instead of reasoning over the inconceivable follies that have 
characterised every , democratic movement, believing example 
better than precept, I have embodied those causes, and developed 
their effects in a tale, every political feature of which is founded 
on fact, and where fiction does no more than frame the historical 
picture." 

With the second volume of Notes to the People, he com- 
menced a novel entitled " Woman's Wrongs. In four Books. 
I. The Working Man's Wife. II. The Young Milliner. III. 
The Tradesman's Daughter. IV. The Lady of Note." 

In his announcement of the novel, in the introduction to 
Vol. II. of Notes to the Peojile, he says, it " will portray the 
working of our social system in the domestic sphere, and while 
replete with incident, with passion, and excitement, will be kept 
so pure of all objectional matter, and inculcate so true and just a 
moral, that the father and husband may freely give it to the 
wife and child." 

In his "Introduction" to the novel he writes: "Every 
order of society has domestic sufferings peculiar to itself, 
sufferings besides those to which 'all flesh is heir' — brought on by 
the vile mechanism of our system. These sufferings may first 
strike man — and that is but just, for man makes society what it 
is — or at least allows it to remain so — ^but the evil stops not 
there — it reaches farther, to the breast of woman I What gross 
injustice ! for society counts woman as nothing in its institutions, 
and yet makes her bear the greatest sufferings infested by a 



'^1 

4:0 ERNEST JONES. 

system in which she has no voice ! Brute force first imposed 
the law — and moral force compels her to obey it now. 

" I propose, therefore, to lift the veil from before the 
wrongs of woman — to show her what she suffers at her own home 
— hearth — how society receives her — what society does for her — 
where society leaves her. 

" To show it not merely in one class or order — but upward, 
•downward, through all social grades. If I draw a picture at 
which you shudder — if I reveal that at which your own heart 
revolts — I cannot help it — it is truth — such is the world that 
surrounds you — such is the world that made you — such is the 
world you help to make— go ! try and alter it and begin at 
Home." 

Eeturning to politics, we find that Mr. Jones was in favour 
of providing for the final and complete Nationalisation of the 
Land, by the State resuming possession of the soil as rapidly as 
the existing interests could be extinguished by process of law, by 
death, by surrender, or by any means accordant with justice, and 
a generous treatment of all classes. The G-overnment to hold 
such lands as national property for ever, letting them to tenants 
in such quantities, and under such conditions as would secure 
freedom to the tenant and safety to the State. He held that 
minerals ought to be the property of the nation, and not of any 
private individual. "Access to that which is necessary for 
the well-being of all should never depend on the self interest of 
one." 

The capitalist, he contended, had no rights ; as a man, his 
rights were equal to those of his fellow-men, but no more. " But 
what are his rights as a man ? " asked Mr. Jones. '' No man has 
a right to take more from society than the value of what he 
confers on society ; therefore the capitalist has no right to take 
one iota of profit, or one atom of income beyond the value of 
what he himself produces." 

He continues, " That under existing social arrangements the 
capitalist makes himself necessary is no argument. Who made 
these arrangements ? The stupidity of the many, and the 
knavery of the few. Place the laws of society on a j ust basis, and 
the supposed necessity at once ceases to exist." 



CAN A RICH MAN LEAD THE PEOPLE ? 47 

He goes on, " Some may say, ' is it not good to have rich 
men at the head of our movement, for they can assist it with 
money while it is poor ? ' I say, God deliver ns from such 
assistance. Firstly, no rich man means what we mean. He can- 
not in the very nature of things, and therefore no rich man is 
safe for a leader of the jjeople. Secondly., there is nothing more 
debases the movement than looking up to rich men to make it 
live. If we have not an innate (Vitality in ourselves, we shall 
never get it by the borrowed warmth from others. It renders us 
unaccustomed to help ourselves, it destroys our self-reliance, it is 
disgusting and degrading." 

On the question of labour and capital which is now coming 
to the front, Mr. Jones states his opinions in his second and third 
letters, on the Chartist Programme thus : — 

" Two things are necessary for the production of wealth ; labour and 
■capital. It is, therefoje, argued that capital has paramount claims — 
since without capital, labour would be useless. Perhaps so ; but let us 
examine what capital is, whence it arises and to whom it belongs? The 
fnrth itself is the fundamental capital — the capital of the human race, 
which, in return for labour, yields them, as interest, the means of life. 
Labour is capital ; every «orking-man, the poorest in existence, is a 
capitalist — the capitalist of labour power, and claiming as a right a share 
in the general capital of mankind — the soil, the, air, the waters, and the 
things that in them are. 

" Now what is the,k;nd of capital that claims and exercises despotic 
pre-eminence at the present day .' Money. Whence did that money 
arise? From the conjunctipn of labour with the fundamental capital 
already alluded to. Was that money raised by the exertions of one man ? 
Never ! One man, by daring speculation and by the ruin of others, may 
have absorbed to himself the wealth produced by the labour of many, but 
one man's work never raised a large amount of money. Take even the 
strongest case of individual creation of capital (so to speak) — the 
invention of machinery, or some other great discovery of science. The 
invention of a new machine, if that machine %vere made and worked only 
by its originator, would produce but little ; it is the labour-power of 
others employed in multiplying the machine, and in working it, that 
gives it power. And again , the machine ,does not create work for the 
working-man ; on the contrary, it dixjjlacex work ; so that, instead of 
claiming the suJ/Jection of labour on the score that without it labour could 
not be brought into activity, (that is, that without it the working-man 
could not have work) it owes an atonement to the working man, for 
depriving him of that, which he would otherwise have had. For be it 
recollected, that if the machine were not in existence, the working-man 
would have had work — a certain amount of human want requires a 
certain amount of work to satisfy it ; and as in former times, where work 
is done by hand, since done it must be, the great masses would be certain 
•of employment, by the very constitution of nature itself. 



48 ERNEST JONES. 

" It follows, therefore, that the working man has a claim for com- 
pensatioa parallel with the development of machinery — or, that he should 
receive that compensation in the shape of lig-htened labour, and easier 
access to commodities : and it also follows that the monied man who 
becomes possessed of machinery, has no superior rights, that his capital 
invests him with no superior authority : for, firstly, his capital is created 
by the labour of others ; secondly, the machinery his capital has 
furnished is formed by labour, without which it could not have been 
called into existence (from the raising of the ore from the mine to the 
last polish of the perfected machine) : and, thirdly, the existence of 
that machinery was not necessary for the existence of the work. In fine, 
money capital did not create labour, but labour created money capital ; 
machinery did not create work, but work created machinery. 

" It therefore follows that labour is. by its own nature, the sovereign 
power — and that it owes no allegiance, gratitude, or subjection to capital. 
The latter ought therefore to be the servant, whereas it is the master. 
The whole basis of our social system is therefore wrong — it is completely 
' fointj tiirvey.' .... Therefore, instead of capital having labour at 
its pleasure, and discarding it at will — and labour being dependant on 
such hire for ics very existence — it is on the contrary, labour that should 
dictate to capital the tune and terms of its employment. Instead of 
the possessor of machine power hiring men for his machinery, it is the 
men who should hire or buy the use of the machinery for themselves : or, 
better still, where practicable, themselves make the machinery. 

" The system of wages is, therefore, vicious. But the special vices 
of the system are driven beyond the pale of exaggeration. Not only does 
the capitalist on the plea of his possession of capital say to the working 
man, ' You shall work for me instead of yourself,' but he also says, • You 
shall re-create this machinery used in my service.' . , . . And then 
he is actually told that had it not been for the capital of the money-lord, 
for the permission to work at that machinery, he would have had to 
perish of starvation. 

" But while the working man is thus obliged to make good the wear 
and tear of the machine of the master, the master never ' makes good ' the 
wear and tear of the working man. ' What ! ' says the master, ' do I not 
pay you your wages? What more would you have?' Those wages are 
no more than the oil to the machine, or than the fuel to the boiler to 
enable it to work. Life is necessary to the human machine, to keep it 
in work : therefore the working man owes no more thanks to the employer 
for his wages, than the machine does for the fuel with which it is fed, 
seeing that no more wages are given to the man under the present 
system, than fuel to the machine — namely, just enough to keep it 
working. 

" But every possible means is had recovirse to, to ascertain and reach 
the minimum of wages. For this purpose competition is a primary 
leverage. The landlords expelled the peasantry from the rural districts, 
because they had impoverished them so greatly that they became paupers, 
burdensome on the parish, and, to get rid of the onerous burden, a system 



WAGES 8LAVBEY. 49 

of extradition was had recourse to in every agricultural county in the 
kingdom. The human flood therefore rushed to the manufacttu'ing towns. 
The more there is of a commodity (with like demand) the cheaper it grows. 
But the demand proportionally grew less, for one machine did the work 

of forty or fifty, sometimes of 1,000 men Think of this 

fearful displacement of labour ! What becomes of the surplus ? Driven 
from the land without hope of return ; displaced from the factory and 
the workshop, where do they go ? Look for them in the workhouse, the 
prison, and the grave ? . . . . Not contented with reducing wages by 
means of machinery, an artificial surplus, the competition of hands, the 
substitution of female and child labour, and the importation of foi'eign 
goods, wages are still further lowered by increasing the hours of work, by 
increasing the work in each hour, by the system of deductions, and by 
downright direct fraud and robbery. . . . For instance ... in 
some woven goods, the figure of the fabric will be suddenly changed, and 
the material will be given out at a cheaper rate, whereas it is still the 

xame fabric requiring the saine work Eedress is attempted in 

vain — the competitive surplus is too great — ' if you don't like it, you may 
go and starve,' and the hung«r forces submission — a little is better than 
nothing ! . . . , Such is the outline of wages-slavery. Youth has 
no pleasure, and manhood no future. ... No mercy is shown to the 
withering frame, worn out in making gold for others. . . . Nothing 
can be laid by for that time of misery. Generation after generation is 
Bwept away, and every succeeding race is more decrepid. Man has no 
more the stature or the strength of old. The factory-child proceeds from 
. emasculated loins, it sucks milk poisoned by the factory-life of its mother ; 
it withers and shrivels from the cradle. Premature toil increases the 
inborn disease, overwork precludes mental culture, the mind is crushed 
together with the body. Each succeeding race sends forth one more 
feeble and vicious than its predecessor Life grows fearfully short, 

crime grows fearfully prevalent Consider well the remedy. 

It is a general cry with working men : ' let us have a fair day's wage for 
a fair day's work !' which means let us have a golden slavery instead of 
an iron one. But that golden sham would soon be turned to iron again, 
for if you still allow the system of wages-slavery to exist, labour must 
still be subject to capital, and if so, capital being its master, will possess 
the power, and never lack the will to reduce the slave from his fat diet 
down to fast day fare ! 

" Working men raise the cry — ' Let us work for ourselves ! Labo^^r 
should be lord of the earth, and we should be lords of our labour !' 

" The only fair days wage is the wage you pay yourselves — the 
only fair days work, is the work that is J re:', and for a free man's 
good. 

" What then are the means by which to emancipate labour? They 
are to be found in the very nature of labour itself. Co-operation is the 
soul of labour. Their is scarcely one branch of toil that can be performed 

single handed No man can produce and manufacture for 

himself all that he wants. Here is the beauty of labour ; it is a fraternal 
thing, it draws man to man, it teaches mutual reliance, it draws 
D 



50 EENEST JONES. 

irresistably towards co-operation. But what should that co-operation be ? 
For almost everything we see is effected by co-operation : it should be 
co-operation of hearts, not merely the co-operation of hands — the 
co-operation of interests, not merely the co-operation of powers. 

"Therefore .... since the co-operative principle is essential 
for the well-being of the people, since the centralisation of wealth ought 
to be counteracted by a distributive tendency, and since its accumulation 
in the hands of isolated clubs is an evil only second to that of its monoply 
by individuals, all future co-operative attempts until the complete 
readjustment of the labour question, should be modelled on a national 
basis, and connected on a national union, of which different trades and 
societies be localities or branches ; and that the profits beyond a certain 
amount of each local society should be paid into a general fund for the 
purpose of forming additional associations of working men, and thus 
accelerating the development of associated and independent labour. 

"It is, however, evident that if the co-operative system is left to 
individual efforts, though those individuals act harmoniously together, 
it will advance far more slowly and meet with counteracting influences 
which it may be difficult if not impossible to overcome. Co-operation 
should be a btate maxim, realised by the ipower of the State ; and as the 
funds of co-operative bodies, even if amalgamated, may and would fall 
far short of satisfying the requirements of the many — as certain portions 
of the people lack those advantages enjoyed by others, nay 1 are placed 
under serious disadvantage by unavoidable circumstances, the State as 
parent of all, should supply the deficienoes of her weaker children, and 
then place them on an equality with the remainder — therefore it is 
requisite .... that a credit fund be opened by the State for the 
purpose of advancing money on certain conditions, to bodies of working 
men, desirous of associating together for industrial purposes. 

" Perhaps the Times would ask ' where is the money to come from?' 
The solution is perfectly easy ; as in the preceding clause reference was 
had to the actual state of things, and the co-operation of individuals 
in money and labour — so here the state of society under a democratic 
government is being considered — and as the funds invested would 
be reproductive, the enormous resources of the State would surely be 
adequate to supply the necessary credits under judicious management. 
Those sources of wealth that are yet undeveloped — that realised wealth which 
is now misapplied — could easily and certainly set the whole community 
at reproductive work : and be it moreover remembered that the slightest 
beginnings with Government support would be sure to absorb by 
reproduction all the capital and labour power of the country. 

" Many schemes of compromise have been suggested ; they all only 
tamper with the evil — they all carry the germs of ruin within them. The 
best and most plausible of them is the suggestion, that after deducting 
expenses, the profits of an undertaking should be equally divided between 
capitalist and workmen. This is unjust in theory, and dangerous in 
practice. I deny that capital has any rigid over labour that creates it. I 
deny that it is warranted to dictate any terms, or offer any compromise. 
The block of marble might as well dictate to the sculptor who gives it 



LABOUR AND MACHINERY. 51 

value, beauty, and importance. It is dangerous in practice, for what does 
this halving of profits mean ? Suppose a capitalist has 1,000 workmen, 
and that he halves profits with these. He, the one man, receives as large a 
profit as the 1,000 men, which means that he is 1,000 times as powerful as 

any one individual out of the thousand Therefore, the complete 

sovereignty of labour over capital, is the only free trade that can give 
freedom, is the only protection that can protect." 

" Real wealth," he contends, " is food — not cotton, woollen, silks, or 
cutlery. A nation may be starving in the midst of factories — nay ! the 
factories may cause it to starve by drawing too many hands from the 
production of food." 

" Machinery," he wrote, " ought to be one of the greatest blessings to 
the working classes, instead of which it has been made a fearful curse. 
The true mission of machinery is to facilitate production, and lighten the 
work of the producer, instead of which it has been used to displace 
labour, to render fewer working men necessary, to turn numbers adrift, 

and to make the work harder for those who remain employed 

Some deduction must be made for the manufacture of machinery itself, 
and for the increased amount of manufacture ; but making all due 
allowance for this, it will be found that about half the labour of the 
country has been displaced — that about half the labour of the country has 
been thrown out of work, and subsists merely upon the casual chances 
of employment, upon charity, poors-rate, theft, and crime. 

" Again, machinery has violated some of the holiest and purest ties of 
nature. Woman ought to be a solace, helpmate, and gladdener of man, 
instead of which she has been made his rival. The child ought to be the 
pride and glory of his parents, instead of which he has been made their 
competitor. The labour of woman has been made to supersede that of 
man — the labour of childhood has been made to supersede that of the 
adult." 

" The monopoly of the soil threw the working man of the land 
into the factory ; the monopoly of machinery threw him out of the factory 
into the street. 

" There he stands, and whither shall he go ? On the one side, the 
land, bnt there the landed monopolist has written : ' Man-traps and 
spring-guns !' On the other side, the factory ; but from that he has just 
been turned : behind him a ruined life— before him, the bastile, the gaol, 
and the grave 1 " 

" The capitalist will tell us he is free — nobody forces him to work at 
he wages offered ; if he don't like it he can leave it ; he is free to take 
the master's terms or not just as he pleases. Oh, yes, he is very free ! 
There he stands in the street, and he is very free indeed ! Oh, yes 1 he is 
perfectly free to beg. But if he does so the policeman comes and locks 
him up, because he begs as charity from man for that which his God had 
chartered as his birth-right at the creation ! Oh, yes 1 he is very free 1 
He is free to starve 1 But if he tries to snatch an hour's rest at the door 
step of the capitalist, or beneath the hedge-row of the landlord, the^ 
policeman comes again, and throws him into prison as a vagrant for 



52 ERNEST JONES. 

having no house, while it is Hhe robbery of his earnings by the two 
thieves between whom he is cruoifled that have prevented his ability to 
keep one. 

" Meanwhile the Manchester School tells us that it is not right to 
interfere between labour and capital — ^that the labour market is and 
ought to be subject to the same laws as every other market. ... I 
answer that if the labour market ought to be subject to every other 
market, at all events it is not. If we have no right to interfere between 
labour and capital, the capitalist has no right to interfere between labour 

and the means of work By their monopoly of land and 

machinery, they deny man his right of free access to the means of work, 
and thus deny him the right of working for himself, whereby they force 
working men to compete with working men for employment — or make 
1,000 men run after one master ; if we can somewhat reverse the case, 
and make wages labour so scarce, that two masters shall have to run after 
one man, we have solved the social problem of ithe future. . . . How 
shall we set to work ? 

" We must take away half the wages-slaves out of the manufacturing 
and milling districts, and the wages of those that remain behind will at 
least double in amount. 

" But what shall we do with the half that we take away 1 

" We have seen that the evil was caused by driving the people from 
the land into the factory — the remedy must be just to walk them back to 

where they come from Thus wages would double, poor-rates 

and taxation would decrease, and the production of real wealth (food), 
would be indefinitely multiplied ; while the fact of half the working 
population being a prosperous self-supporting peasantry, the other half a 
highly paid wages class, more trade would flow, and manufacture itself 
receive a mighty impulse. 

" We have further seen, that as the monopoly of the soil threw the 
working man off the land into the factory, so the monopoly of machinery 
threw man out of the factory into the street. Therefore, as the monopoly 
of machinery by a few created the evil, the possession of machinery by 

the many will produce the good Therefore, by means of 

co-operation (which it requires political power to facilitate) machinery- 
must be placed in p>fession of the working classes Thus the 

enemy's artillery can be turned against himself, and the law of supply 
and demand be made to subdue capital instead of crushing labour," 

In another place he writes, "What is it that labour wants ? 
That the working man should be utterly independent of an 
employer. That it should be the employer who sought the work 
of the working man as a favour, not the working man who con- 
sidered it a favour to receive employment. 

, " Man has a right to work — but it is a farce to concede this, 
unless you also concede that he has the means of work. It is the- 



CO-OPERATION — REAL AND FALSE. 53 

monopoly of those means by the landlord and the machine lord 
that enable them to centralise wealth, and grow colosally rich by 
the impoverishment of the many. Do away with that monopoly and 
you do away with individual capitalists. You don't take their 
money and machinery from them — but you render them no longer 
the exclusive possessors — and by this means deprive them of 
exclusive advantages. The factory of the individualist capitalist 
would close, for he would get none to work for him, the factory 
of the co-operative capitalists would open, for working men would 
rush there, where they could work for themselves. Accordingly, 
the present class of capitalists would altogether perish — not by a 
sudden wrench — but gradually — they would grow poorer every 
year, in the same proportion in which the working classes were 

growing richer I have stated that money — lord and 

landlord will and must be ruined — but that ruin will neither 
destroy public credit nor unsettle trade — because it will be a ruin 
gradually brought about, and because in the same ratio in which 
they sink, others and a far more numerous class will rise. Herein 
consists the advantage of the progressive over a sudden revolution 
— of a peaceful over an embattled movement. The latter is often 
necessary — when so it ought not to he shunned ; but wherever 
possible, liberty is sheltered by the olive more completly than she 
can be by the sword." 

He held * " that the co-operative system, as at present 
practised, carries within it the germs of dissolution, would inflict 
a renewed evil on the masses of the people, and is essentially 
destructive of the real principles of co-operation. Instead of 
abrogating profitmongering, it recreates it. Instead of counter- 
acting competition, it re-establishes it. Instead of preventing 
centralisation, it renews it — merely transferring the rdle from 
one set of actors to another." 

" All co-operation should be founded not on isolated efforts, 
absorbing, if successful, vast riches to themselves, but on a 
national union which should distribute the national wealth. To 
make these associations secure and beneficial, you must make it 
their interest to assist each other, instead or competing with each 
other — ^you must give them unity of action and identity of 
interest. 

* A Letter to the advocates of tlie co-operative piinclple, and to the Members of Co- 
operative Societies. 



54 ERNEST JONES. 

" To effecb this, every local association should be the branch 
of a national one, and all profits beyond a certain amount should 
be paid into a national fund, for the purpose of opening fresh 
branches, and enabling the poorest to obtain land, establish stores, 
and otherwise apply their labour power not only to their own 
advantage, but to that of the general body. 

" This is the vital point ; are the profits to accumulate in 
the hands of isolated clubs, or are they to be devoted to the 
elevation of the entire people ? Is wealth to gather around local 
centres, or is it to be diffused by a distributive agency ? 

"This alternative embraces the fortune of the future. From 
the one flows profitmongering, competition, monopoly, and 
ruin ; from the other emanate the regeneration of society." 

"The whole system of profitmongering, leading to competition 
and monopoly, is attempted over again, under the soothing name 

of co-operation itself The co-operator buys in the 

cheapest market and sells as dear as he can The 

poor customer pays him the ' profit' — and that he divides at the 
end of the year between himself aod his brother co-operators ! 
Then they boast that they have made £2,000 net in one year. . 
. . . Every farthing of those net profits, after the working 
charges are paid (a portion of the working charges being a fair 
remuneration for the work performed) is an imposition and a 
cheat upon society." 

His criticisms of the co-operative stores as now conducted 
led to a discussion between him and Mr. Lloyd Jones, which took 
place on the 26th and 28th of January, 1852, in the Oddfellows' 
Hall, St. James Eoad, Halifax ; when Mr. Ernest Jones under- 
took to vindicate the following propositions : — 

1st. — " That co-operation cannot be successfully carried on 
without first obtaining the political rights of the people." 

2nd. — " The errors of the present movement ; showing that 
it carries within it the germs of dissolution, would inflict a 
renewed evil and on the masses of the people, and is essentially 
distinctive of the real principles of co-operation ; instead of 
abrogating profitmongering, it recreates it ; instead of counter- 
acting competition, it re-establishes it ; instead of preventing 
centralisation, it renews it — merely transferring the role from one 
set of actors to another." 



NATIONALISE CO-OPERATION. 55 

In another place he writes, " The land that is purchased 
should be purchased on trust for the entire union — those located 
thereon being tenants, and not exclusive proprietors, of the farms 
they cultivate. Freehold land societies, companies, &c., but 
perpetuate the present system — they strengthen the power of 
landlordism. We have now 30,000 landlords — should we be 
better off if we had 300,000 ? We should be worse off — there 
are too many already ! The land can be more easily nationalised 
if held by merely 30,000, than if possessed by ten times that 
amount. And, again, the rent would increase the national fund 
— while the contributions of the freeholders would be but a 

chimerical treasure If, then, you would recreate 

society, if you would destroy profitmongering, if you would sup- 
plant competition by the general influence of fraternity, and 
counteract the centralisation of wealth and all its concomitant 
evils, Nationalise Co-operation." 

He also held that all taxation ought to be levied on land and 
accumulated property; and that it was "absurd that future 
generations should be mortgaged to eternity for the follies or mis- 
fortunes of their ancestors" and the national debt be "repaid 
several times over." The debt "ought, therefore, to be liquidated 
by the money now annually paid as interest, applied as repayment 
of the capital, until such repayment is completed." 

In reply to a charge of " spoliation " he says, " The effort of 
all legislation ought to be, to do the greatest possible good to the 
greatest possible number ; and failing this, and supposing that 
it is unavoidable to inflict some injury, the next best maxim is to 
inflict the least possible injury, and on the least possible number. 

" Now, our ancestors (that is the ancestors of our rich task- 
masters) have left us in a dilemma ; they have, for their own selfish 
class purposes, saddled us with a national debt ; if we continue to 
pay the interest, we perpetuate pauperism, disease, and crime, and 
ratify the system of class government, retaining a fatal career in 
the body politic — if we refuse to pay it, we must inflict some loss 
on some party. It is our duty to choose the least evil out of the 
two and palliate that evil as much as possible." 

" But," cry some, " if this debt is contracted by the rich, as 
you maintain, why not make the rich pay it ? Why not mulct 
the original contractors ? 



56 ERNEST JONES. 

" This is precisely what the programme proposes. Is not all 
taxation to be levied from land and accumulated property ? Who 
holds this wealth ? — the rich, the descendants of the original 

contractors of the debt Thus, retribution is meted 

out." 

Speaking of education and the poor-law, Mr. Jones placed 
the latter first, because he maintained that ■' Education should 
"begin with the belly and proceed to the brain. The foundation 
should be raised before we attempt to raise the roof." He held 
that the proper basis of the poor-law should be that, "As it is the 
duty of every man to work, so every man has a claim to the means 
of work ; and those unable to work, through infirmity or old age, 
have a right to support at the hands of the State." 

" It would be considered atrocious tyranny," says Mr. Jones, 
" if a'jlaw was enacted forcing, under penalty of imprisonment, the 
working man to work for the master at any wages the latter 
choose to offer. True ! there is no such Act of Parliament ; but 
there is a law, notwithstanding, the law of necessihj, that forces 
him to do so, under penalty of imprisonment too — imprisonment 
in the workhouse, where poverty is treated as a crime, and 

humanity outraged in the face of earth and heaven 

A poor-law might prevent this, and might place it at the work- 
man's option to accept or not accept the master's terms. Now it 
is 'submit or starve.' The poor-law might interpose; and when 
labour fell off a certain platform of wages, it might be received 
upon another, by the State ; namely, by always providing repro- 
ductive employment ac a certain scale of remuneration (either in 

the shape of wages or self- supporting industry) 

When the master proposed a reduction, the working man (no 
longer obliged to submit by having an alternative) would be 
enabled to say, ' No ! I can get more than that under the poor- 
law I am your slave no longer ; the State supports 

the children ; I need not be a machine under you, nor an un- 
willing idler on the other hand ; the State finds the means of 
reproductive and remunerating work to those who demand it. If 
you will give me more than I can get from the State, I'll work for 
you ; but if you ofi'er less good-bye to you, the times have 
altered ! '" 

He held, also, that the unemployed should be supported by 



EDUCATION AND RELIGION. 57 

the State, not by the parish — where the State could not find work 
for the unemployed it was bound to support them until labour was 
provided, and that the aged and infirm should be supported in 
their own homes, in the houses of their relatives, or in special 
buildings erected by the Government, at the option of the 
recipients, " because by affording the recipient of relief the option 
of dwelling beyond the pale of his family it removes him from the 
.scourge of that domestic tyranny, often more bitter to the aged 
and infirm than the oppression of the alien and the stranger." 

Education, he maintained, should be national, universal, 
gratuitous, and compulsory, as regards the common branches of 
learning ; in its higher branches it should be equally gratuitous, 
but optional, and that schools should be established in which the 
young should be taught the various trades and professions. 

Religion, he contended, should be free and not subject to 
temporal control. He advocated cornplete separation between 
Church and State ; all temporalities to be declared national 
property, except such individual endowments as had been 
voluntarily and legally made ; all ecclesiastical buildings of which 
it could be clearly shewn that their cost was defrayed from 
national fuuds, to belong to the State, the persuasion now using 
these edifices to continue in the enjoyment of them on equitable 
term?, tithes and Church rates to be abolished, the State not to 
interfere with the policy of the Church, all ecclesiastics to be 
appointed in any way their respective congregations think fit, 
and to be paid voluntarily by the congregations that employ their 
services. 

He argued that standing armies were not only contrary to 
the principles of democracy, and dangerous to the liberty of the 
people, but they were contrary to the laws of England also, for 
which reason the form is gone through every year in Parliament 
of re-voting the continuance of the army fur the current year. 
But he held that the continuance of such a force for a time was 
requisite even under democratic government. He states his 
views thus : — " The colonies want a standing force at the present 
time to enable them to remain free, even supposing that we had 
given them equal laws. They have been allowed to grow up 
unaccustomed to the use of arms — without military training or 
organisation. 



58 EKNEST JONES. 

" If every British soldier were withdrawn at once they would 
be in the sarae plight in which the ancient Britons were when 
the Romans withdrew from their island. Eussia or France, 
Kaffirs or Malays, would deluge them with blood, and sink 
them under slavery. Again, to look at home, that would be an 
insane Democratic Government that would attempt at once, on 
coming into power, to disband the army. There would be 
150,000 men unfitted for any other employment, cast adrift upon 
the world. Meanwhile the discomforted aristocrats, priests, and 
usurers would be so many secret rebels, casting about for means 
to subvert the Government and re-establish their despotism. 
Here would be the leverage for them ; 150,000 drilled, disciplined 
and discontented men. No, the army must be maintained for 
awhile attached to the Government, and gradually, to their own 
advantage with their own consent, which could not fail to be 
given to a beneficial change, be drafted band by band among 
the people, rising into the ranks of useful and contented 
citizens. 

" But when a standing army has ceased to exist — an army 
would be needed notwithstanding ; that army should be the 
people. 

" As it is the right of every individual to bear arms, so it is 
his duty to know how to use them ; as every citizen ought to 
receive a benefit at the hands of the State, so he ought to be 
prepared to defend it ; and as liberty is not safe, where an 
unarmed and undisciplined people stands in presence of an 
armed and disciplined class, it is therefore requisite that every 
male, over fifteen years of age, should be afforded the opportunity 
of military training. 

" It has always been the trick of tyrants from the time of 
the Philistines to that of Pope Pius IX., to disarm the people. 
Without arms no people will be safe till the millenium. Standing 
armies may be expedient for aggression — they are injurious for 
defence. Aggressive wars we do not seek — therefore we need no 
standing force. But such a force is, I repeat, injurious for the 
purpose of defence. Why ? Because where a people is accustomed 
to rely on a standing army for the defence of a country, it 
neglects its own arms, discipline, and training — it becomes 
weak, unmartial, and effeminate. Let that standing force be 



PETITION TO PARLIAMENT. 59 

beaten by aa invader — and there is nothing more to oppose him. 
That is the reason that a country has been so often conquered by 
one single victory. But let the millions be armed and trained, 
such a thing as a successful invasion is impossible. If one battle 
is gained by the invader, he has a fresh battle to fight before 
every town — a fresh army to face on every plain, and highland — 
and he must be annihilated before long. The defence of the 
country should be in the people's hands." 

On the 20th of May, 1851, a petition was presented to the 
House of Commons praying for an. investigation of the treatment 
received by Mr. Jones in prison. The petition called forth the 
comments of the press, and the system of punishment which Mr. 
Jones had been submitted to was denounced throughout the 
length and breadth of the land. The' following extracts will 
show the feeling of the country on the subject : — 

" It is usual witli unreflecting people to congratulate tkemselves on 
the abolition of torture, totally forgetting that it is only one instrument, 
and only one mode of application, to force an accusation of third parties, 
or a confession of guilt, that are abandoned. The solitary dungeon, 
with the use of speech debarred to the prisoner, has been imported from 
the Inquisitions of Spain, Portugal, and Italy ; laceration of the living 
flesh has never been disused ; the treadmill is substituted for the rack, 
and they who adopted the cropping of hair would very gladly abandon 
it for the privelege of cropping ears and nose, the extrusion of eyes, and 
the amputation of feet. In addition to this regular practice of torture, 
the country has to complain, that as it is not prescribed in the law, nor 
directed in the sentence of a judge, a discretion appears to have iDeen 
given to inferior magistrates as to application of these kinds of refine- 
ment upon the gross cruelty of our forefathers. Mr. Jones is a political 
offender ; that is, he has committed an act, respecting the moral nature 
of which two contrary opinions may be very reasonably entertained. It 
is only a probable offence, of which the character is continually altering 

wtih times and rulers We speak not of the littleness of mind 

which conceived this course of annoying a political enemy, but the 
violation of the legal rights of a British subject is not to be pardoned ; 
and we trust that the authors and abettors of not one but a series of 
despotic outrages, alike unnecessary and revolting to our common 
humanity, will be arraigned before Parliament, to receive the condemna- 
tion which the public already pronounces. 

" Let the contrast be observed between the cold, calculating savagery 
with which Mr. Jones, an imaginery, or at all events only a probable 
offender, and a real delinquent, who, a soldier, and one of the Queen's 
Gruards, in a cowardly and ruffianly manner flogged a, peace officer in a 
public place, and in the public exercise of his duty. This person is a 
member of the aristocracy : was his hair cut off, was he paraded with 



60 ERNEST JONES. 

common felons, was he severely reprimanded for reading the Bible, was 
he confined in a cell with unglazed windows, was he set to pick oakum, 
was he confined for two days or even one hour to a solitary cell with 
bread and water, and was he debarred from seeing his friends ? If these 
modes of refined torture are lawful, they were richly merited by the 
soldier of the aristocratical ranks ; but Mr. Jones' offence was, at the very 
most, u, problematical transgression, so far as the public is concerned. 
In the soldier's case we would remark, that a more competent ministry 
would have taken the commission of the peace from the magistrate, who 
nullified the just sentence pronounced by Mr. Hardwiok, by granting 
visiting letters to the multitude of people, who cheered the imprisonment 
of that very serious culprit. 

" It is things of this kind — unnecessary and, therefore, wanton 
cruelties— gross partiality evinced in the severe treatment of the less 
offenders, and indiscriminate kindness to the greater, that disgust men 
with the laws and rulers, and justify the assertion, that we are a nation 
of hypocrites, who have so successfully painted our vices that we look upon 
them as virtues." — Mornimj Adi-ertiser, June 2, 1851. 

" In England, even in ISIS, to be arraigned as a Chartist, was tanta- 
mount to a conviction. . . . The world has always been indulgent 
to political prisoners, and for a very good reason. Tyranny would be 
perpetual did not parties resist it, and, as in the majority of cases, 
resistance fails, the popular sympathy is in most oases with the 
defeated. Bebellion is a great crime when it fails ; but as it does not 
always fail the offence is viewed honourably by all who would, under 
other circumstances, be actors in rebellion themselves. Mr. Jones's 
statement shows that the law as it stands may be used as an instrument 
of torture — legally. The punishment endured by Mr. Jones was excessive 
and most unequal. The Lancashire Chartists experienced a different 
treatment because a judge thought fit to modify their sentence, under tha 
influence of a momentary impulse of kindness. .Tustice is rightly 
painted blind, and the scales she holds obviously require adjustment." — 
Zivcrjinol Journal, May 31, 1851. 

" The prisoner was handed over to the officials of Tothill Fields 
Prison, Westminster, for the purpose of confinement, not of cruelty and 
torture. The jailer, however, seems to have adopted a course of severity 
against Jones quite at variance with his sentence, and indicating a 
system of officious tyranny and cold-blooded torture, which, if sanctioned 
by the higher authorities is disgraceful to the Government, and even to 
the national character. The jailor must be an unfeeling villain, and the 
larison over which he is represented to possess so lawless and unbounded 
a control is worse than the Bastiles of continental tyrants, and even more 
odious than the diabolical dungeons of spiritual and inquisitorial despots. 
— I'orJi fferald, June 7, ISTil. 

" We invite attention to a petition from Mr. Earnest Jones, presented 
to the House of Commons, and recently ordered to be printed with thff 
minutes, as the details .... portray a system lof persecution and 
tyranny on the part of the oiEcials charged that we think and hope is 



THE PEOPLE'S PAPER. 61 

without a parallel in this country. The laws of this country award I 
correction but not torture ; and yet from the day this gentleman set his , 
foot within the portals of Tothill Fields Bridewell, a system of persecution 
was adopted and set in motion that was better calculated to force lunacy 
or death than to produce a conviction of having erred. With the educa- 
tion and habits of a gentleman, Mr. Jones, whose ofEence was piirely 
political, carrying with it no taint of moral crime, was subjected to 
requirements, and bound by restrictions that the most depraved and 
degraded of the class in which he had been most wrongfully placed were 
exempt from ; and how any man could have borne up against the heart- 
withering influences that seem to characterise his frightful prison, seems 
to us most marvellous." — The Weekly Times, June 1, 1851. 

" We can use no language sufficiently strong to denounce the horrid i 
system of discipline in Tothill Fields Prison. We are rather sturprised that 
he has survived to tell his tale of horror, and we have no hesitation in 
saying that had Mi-. Jones sunk under such cruel and illegal usage, 
every party connected with it lought to have been indicted for homicide. 
We are disposed to ask, can such cruelties and horrors as these be inflicted 
in free-thinking, free-speaking England, on a British citizen, for the 
mere enunciation of a political opinion ?" — Tlie Sun, June, 1851. ■ 

The answers of the Government and magistrates to the 
petition is to be found in Parliamentary Proceedings, No. 432, 
June 28rd, 1851, printed on the motion of the Under-Secretary 
of State. In it most of the allegations contained in the petition 
are admitted. 

After many delays, the subject was brought on by Lord 
Dudley Stuart in July, in the Committee of Ways and Means, as 
an amendment to a G-overnment motion, and after a debate of 
four hours it was withdrawn. Lord Dudley Stuart giving notice 
that at the very earliest period of next session he should move 
the appointment of a Committee of Inquiry. Nothing further, 
however, appears to have come of the matter. 

A'otes to the People was continued for about three years, and 
then merged in The Peoples Paper, a weekly newspaper devoted 
to the popular cause, which appeared early in May, 1852, and was 
continued till June, 1858. Nearly every article in both the 
magazine and paper, during that long period, was from the pen of 
Mr. Jones, and when it is recollected that, for want of capital, 
even the sub-editorial details were attended to by him, that the 
office work of the political organisation was transacted by his 
hand, and that he was, besides almost unremittingly passing 
through the country lecturing and addressing meetings, — some 
estimate may be formed of the strength and labour be devoted to 
the people's movement. 



62 ERNEST JONES. 

It is noticeable that in both the magazine and the paper, Mr. 
Jones denounced the holding of political meetings, or committees 
in public - houses, and though at the loss of much support, 
succeeded in raising the tone of political life, and proved his 
devotion to the cause of temperance. 

In the year 1852, Mr. Jones issued a proposition for the 
assembling of a Labour Parliament, the object of which was to 
instruct and settle the public mind on social and economical 
questions in view of the many crude and conflicting theories that 
were abroad. 

The proposal was endorsed by the country. The Labour 
Parliament met in Manchester, and so much attention did it 
attract that even frcm France delegates were sent, among whom 
was the celebrated Nadaud, one of the candidates for the 
presidency that was obtained by Cavaignac, and next in number 
of votes to him. 

There can be little doubt that the discussion and essays 
issued by the Labour Parliament did much to mature and form 
the public mind ; the leading articles thereon in the {Times, and 
other papers conducing not a little to this result. 

In 1853 Mr. Jones unsuccessfully contested Nottingham, and 
notwithstanding the proceeding usual at that time — a coalition 
between Whig and Tory — polled 614 votes out of its then small 
constituency. 

Almost ruined by his two years imprisonment, and by the 
constant sacrifices he had made, most men would have been driven 
from the field of politics. Domestic calamities had overtaken 
him. His wife had died in the Spring of 1857, of a most 
painful malady, brought on by her anxiety and sufferings during 
the imprisonment of her husband. For his second wife Mr. 
Jones married a native of the City of Manchester. His prospects 
were gloomy indeed, yet he never abandoned the cause he had 
embraced, and even in this sad period of ^his life found time to 
compose two volumes of poetry, entitled, respectively "The 
Emperor's Vigil," and "Corayda," which were favourably 
reviewed. 

" Noble animated poems ! I read tliem through, more than once." — 
Walter Savage Landor to t/ie Author. 

" A poem alike honourable to your genius and your patriotic senti- 
ent." — Sir JS. Buln-er Lyiton to the Autlior. 



sailor's night watch. 63 

" Vigorous Yerse with a fervent patriotic feeling- whicli does Mm 
infinite honour. Every patriot should possess a copy of this spirited 
effuse."' — The Observer, January ]4th, 1856. 

" The tone of Mr. Ernest Jones' mind is vigorous, and he combines 
depth and warmth of feeling with a lively fancy and an ardent imagina- 
tion, chastened by a cultivated taste He, indeed, soars high, 

but his flight is sustained on steady and firm pinions. His diction is clear, 
sparkling and copious, and the flow of his verse is ever marked by 

ease and grace We would willingly quote 

more from his excellent poem, but, perhaps we have said enough to send 
the readers, who relish true poetry, to the book itself." — Ilhistrated London 
News, June 21st, 1856. 

" In all Ernest Jones writes there is a breath of feeling with powers 
of minute painting, and sustained declamation. He is throughout earnest, 
and convinces you that he is so. You see his brow swell out with full 
veins, and his lip tremble, and his eye sparkle as the scene he describes 
rises before him." — Athen/rmn, May 24:th, 1856. 

" He possesses great descriptive powers, using them with taste, added 
to which he has the capability of giving utterance to a gentle and delicate 
satire, which greatly increases the interest of what he writes. Sweetly 
musical yerses, which should by all means be read by those who take an 
interest, however slight, in the success of modern poets. Stem truths and 
told in unflinching language." — The Mcclenastie, July, 1856. 

" Vigorous both of conception and execution ; clearness and 
simplicity of diction ; a tone throughout of manly and poetic force of 
spirit." — The Economist, February I6th, 1856. 

"Poetic gems ! " — John Bull, January 19th, 1856. 
" There is good sense here, as well as the enthusiasm of generous 
patriotism." — Literary Cfaaette, January 19th, 1856. 

"The Emperor's "Vigil, and the Waves and the War, by 
Ernest Jones, of the Middle Temple, Barrister-at-Law, Author of 
the ' Battle Day,' was published by George Eoutledge and Co. 
We have not space for lengthened extract, but we cannot resist 
the following quotation irom one of the sweetest and tenderest 
poems in the volume. It is entitled the 

SAILOK'S NIGHT WATCH. 

What steals upon the midnight 1 

What walks across the wave, 
Where the moon's long light path stretches o'er 

The sailor's sullen grave. 
Like a bridge that is built by angels, 

The sinking soul to save 1 

And then, in the stilly midnight, 
Sweet forms come tripping o'er. 
For I see at the end of that ray of light 



G4 ERNEST JONES. 

My home on a pleasant shore. 
And my dear one lonely and sad within, 
And my child at the cottage door. 

Their eyes are turned towards me, 

And I beckoned them to my side, 
I beckon them up with the pulse of my heart. 

And they come o'er the ocean wide, 
On that delicate path that the angels made 

For the feet of my sorrowing bride. 

" The Emperor's Vigil" was attuned to the stirring strains 
of war, and sung the praises of our gallant seamen in the Baltic 
fleet. It breathed throughout a noble indignation against the 
ambition and despotism of the late Czar JSTicholas. 

'' Corayda, and other Poems," was published by Kent & Co. 

In 1856, Mr. Jones held a series of political soirees at St. 
Martin's Hall, London, called "Evenings with the People," the 
distinctive feature of each being a lecture by Ernest Jones. These 
lectures were afterwards published in thirteen numbers , under 
the title of " Evenings with the People." One of these letcures 
strangely enough was reported in its entirety in the Momimj 
Post, then Lord Palmerstone's organ, occupying more than 
six columns of that paper. On the lecture thus delivered, the- 
Times and Dailij JS'eivs passed the following opinions : — 

" A discourse which was certainly a master-piece. Calm and mild in 
its beginnings, vehement as he warms with his subject, subtle in his- 
reasonings, forcible in his illustrations, startling with his sudden sarcasm, 
familiar but not vulgar, and often poetical in his metaphors, Mr. Ernest 
Jones has rare talent for stirring up an audience disposed to accord with 
his sentiments. The attendance last night at the beginning presented a 
somewhat listless appearance ; but by the time the lecture was over it was 
converted into a band of enthusiasts." — TJie Timex, October 8th, 1856. 

'■ Certainly, as specimens of oratory and even of reasoning, nothing 
could be much better than Mr. .Tones' addresses, and they bore on them 
the impress of earnestness and sincerity, which were not among the least 
of their merits. Mr. Ernest Jones' political soiree, both as regards the 
personal eflEorts of the originator, and the highly and intelligent 
demeanour of his audience, was deserving of every commendation." — T!te 
Daily JVews, October 8th, 1856. 

In 1857 Mr. Jones wrote (Hit; Hereditanj Land Caste), "I 
am wed to no particular form of Government for theory's sake. 
Systercs should be made for men, men were not made for systems.. 
I pity those persons who compose constitutions in their closets, 
founded on abstract rights, but totally unfitted for the require- 



THE HEREDITARY LAND CASTE. 65 

ments of the age. I pity those so-called ' men of the fatur* ' — 
well meaning visionaries, who cannot swim, yet try to cross a 
stream without a bridge. The way to make a happy future is to 
make a happy present. There are many things I consider right 
in the abstract, the introduction of which at the day wherein we 
live, I should oppose. A good, thing forced on a people before 
they are fit for it becomes as poisonous as a hearty meal to a 
fever-stricken patient. I am for solid, practical reform ; and no 
reform is solid that is not adapted to the actual wants of the 
people. I do not understand the quibbling and fighting over a 
mere form of government, or the championship of abstract rights. 
The right of man is to be happy, so long as that happiness is 
founded on obedience to the laws ot God. The form of govern- 
ment is the best which secures the largest amount of such happi- 
ness to man. If an autocracy does so, I am for an autocracy. If 
a restricted franchise does it, I am for a restricted franchise. If 
the British Constitution does it, I am for the British Constitu- 
tion I am not seeking an easy popularity by 

attacking 30,000 men (landed proprietors), whose existence as a 
privileged class is obnoxious to common honesty and common 
sense. I do not say there is no other class that abuses its power 
— but I do say : no reform, no beneficial change, can last, no real 
good can be effected, so so long as an hereditary land caste is 
suffered to exist as such. You may do as you please ; get the 
Charter, establish Co-operation — what you will ; but leave the 
aristocracy their land, their monopoly, and their priveleges, and 
you have done nothing. You may enveigh against the tyranny 
of the factory-lord ; so long as you allow the landlord to be the 
monopolist he now is, so long you will have factory-lords 
oppressing you. The factory gloom is but the shadow of the 
black demon, aristocracy, that broods above the State. As the 
land is the fountain of all material blessings, so a landed aristo- 
cracy is the fountain of all social curses. All others are but side 
currents flowing out from that polluted source. Leave the land 
untouched, and heaven itself will never grant you happiness. 
The land is the sacred altar, whence labour, that true worship, 
sends from its fields and gardens the incense most acceptable on 
high ; the land is the safety of a people, the emerald shield that 
God has given nations, to hold between themselves and misery ; 
the land is the radiant armour that clothes the shining limbs of 



C6 ERNEST JONES. 

Liberty. My countrymen ! we have been bereft of that defence. ■ 
Its glorious guard has been stript from you, leaving you naked, 
shivering to the blasts of want. Join with me for the re- 
conquest of the land. It is the task of the age — the mission of 
the century. You talk of unchaining yourselves ; unchain the 
land, and your own chains will fall. The franchise is the bond 
that binds your hands ; but land monopoly is the dungeon that 
surrounds your bodies. I proclaim a new crusade — a great 
crusade — the greatest ever known ; not for the mouldering tomb 
of a buried God, but the fresh green altar of the living Deity ; 
not for the invasion of a distant Palestine, but for the re- 
conquest of your native Canaan. Arise ! Sojourners in the 
wilderness, the desert man has made around the fields of Paradise, 
mount with me the Pisgah of your wrongs— and gaze, look down 
— from that great height upon the Promised Land. There flows 
the river that yet keeps you from it ; the name of our Jordan is 
AUISTOCKACY. There towers the Jerico that guards the prize ; 
its name is Parliament, its ramparts are monopoly. Come ! sound 
with me the signal-note to-night which shall make those ramparts 
rock on their foundation. The peojple^s land shall he thepeople's 
own.y 

It was about this time that Mr, Jones was sent for by his 
uncle, whose heir-at-law he was, and told that if he persisted in 
his advocacy of what he called extreme principles, he would cut 
him off without a shilling. Mr. Jones indignantly refused to 
barter his principles, and persevered in his course. His uncle 
died soon after, and left his entire fortune to his gardener. Mr. 
Jones never proclaimed this to the world, and it was not till 
long alter, when bringing, in self-defence, an action for libel 
against lieynolds' Newspaper, that this fact was elicited from him 
in court. 

In 3 857 he again tried his fortunes in the borough of 
Nottingham, but without avail. 

The Manhood Suffrage movement which was largely instru- 
mental in winning the Eeform Bill of 1867, was founded by 
Ernest Jones. In 1858, as leader of the Democratic movement, 
he issued circulars proposing a conference of working men from 
all parts of Great Britain and Ireland, to inaugurate a new 
movement having Registered Residential Manhood Suffrage for 



THE MANHOOD 8UFPEAGE MOVEMENT. 07 

its sole object — with a view of superseding the Chartist organisa- 
tion by one new and more vigorous, and especially of uniting 
with the middle classes on a common basis of action. About 300 
delegates from all parts of the kingdom assembled in St. Martin's 
Hall. The late Alderman Thomas Livsey, of Rochdale, was 
«l(5cted chairman, and Messrs. Samuel Morley, and P. A. Taylor, 
M,P., attended to represent the middle classes. The Programme 
Registered Residential Manhood Suffrage was unanimously 
adopted, and from that time the union with the Liberal portion 
of the middle class and the Manhood Suffrage organisation, 
which afterwards put forth fresh strength under the name of the 
Reform League, with the addition of the Ballot in its programcse 
never ceased to progress. 

At that conference. Ernest Jones was unanimously elected 
as president of the movement, and voted a salary of £8 weekly. 
He accepted the oflBce but ijefused the salary, and though 
repeatedly uyged on behalf of the conference to accept it — an act 
which even the Morning Advertiser, at that time by no means 
friendly to the movement, thought fit to praise. 

In the following year, Mr. Jones applied to the then Lord 
Mayor of London, to grant the use of the Guildhall for an 
address by himself on tlie Manhood Suffrage movement. His 
application was backed by a memorial signed by 800 house- 
holders of the city of London. The request was granted— the 
Lord Mayor himself taking the chair. The meeting was convened 
for two o'clock on Friday afternoon. Yet, notwithstanding the 
hour, which was so unfavourable for the attendance of the 
working classes, about 6,000 persons were present. It had been 
previously arranged with the Lord Mayor, and announced that 
a resolution in favour of Manhood Suffrage should be moved 
— it was done by Mr. Jones at the close of his address, and Mr. 
P. A. Taylor, to his honour be it said, as Manhood SuiTrage was 
not at that time a fashionable programme, voluntarily came 
f«»rward to second the motion, which was carried unanimously 
amid great enthasiasm. 

We have already mentioned that in 1858 the People's Paper 
ceased. It was carried on at a time of great political apathy — 
one of those transition periods when the seed of future progress 
is indeed sown, but sown at a ruinous cost to the husbandman. 



68 EENEST JONES. 

It became impossible to carry it on any longer, and the debts! 
incurred through it dragged down Mr. Jones's literary property — ;' 
the London News, a penny paper, circulating 17,000 weekly,' 
and other publications, printed with his own type, all which had . 
to be sold to pay off the liabilties of the Peoples Paper. 

Shortly after Mr. Jones was compelled by libellous statements' 
contained in Reynolds' Newspaper, to bring an action for libel 
against it, which was tried before Lord Chief Justice Cockburn, 
and a special jury, in the Court of Queen's Bench, on the 9th of 
July, 1859. 

The result of this trial placed Mr. Jones's character in a 
higher light before the public, than it had ever yet attained. It 
was then seen how much he liad suffered, lost, and sacrificed to 
his political convictions. Things the public would never have 
known, as Mr. Jones never mentioned them, were dragged to 
light by this remarkable investigation, and drew from the 
Saturday Revietv for July 15lh, 1859, one of the highest 
panegyrics ever passed on a public man. We quote from it the 
following passage, and it must be remembered that this tribute 
comes from the pen of an opponent : — " The autobiography 
which in his own defence, Mr. Ernest Jones has found himself 
obliged to givo to the Tvorld while prosecuting the author of a 
libellous attack upon his reputation, contains a history equally 
mournful and instructive." 

The Review then proceeds to give a short biographical 
sketch, and goes on to the period when Mr. Jones started the 
People's laper, and desired to unite the middle and working 
classes, on the basis of manhood suffrage. 

" In 1850 he came out of prison a ruined and beggared 
man, but as resolutely determined as ever to devote himself to 
the service of the people. But by this time his opinions had 
undergone a certain change ; he now was in favour of union with 
the middle classes. To advocate this combination he started a 
newspaper called the People's Paper, to support which he invited 
subscriptions : but although some money was subscribed the 
expenses far exceeded the receipts. Mr. Jones expended more 
than a thousand pounds, and then was obliged to let the paper go 
to a mortgagee. The course he took exposed him to the abuse O; 
Mr. Reynolds, who accused him in so many words of pilfering 



A NATIONAL BENEFACTOR. (^^ 

the funds sent to support the paper, and appropriating them to 
his own nse. No charge was ever more triumphantly refuted, 
and the proper application of the money received from subscribers 
was shown to have been guaranteed by weekly credits. Mr. 
Eeynolds was obliged through his counsel to withdraw the charge, 
and make a humble apology. As the Lord Chief Justice declared 
there was no stain on the reputation of Mr. Jones. He hag 
sacrificed everything— time, fortune, and prospects — in order that 
he may preach the doctrine of Chartism. He even renounced a 
very considerable fortune, which he might have had if he would 
have paid the cheap price of holding his tongue. His uncle, who 
was possessed of an income of £2,000 a-year, put it to him whether 
he would become heir to this wealth and renounce his political 
life, or renounce the money and retain his position as a Chartist 
leader. Nobly and honourably he chose the latter course, and 
the uncle left his fortune to his gardener. 

" We are proud of this history of an English Democrat, the 
unselfishness, the steadiness, the patience with which Mr. Jones 
has met temptation, disappointment and obloquy. It is some- 
thing that there should be at least a few persons in a nation who 
look at politics very seriously. Mr. Mill has pronounced that in 
England there is no real interest in politics, and that Englishmen 
care for nothing but getting on and religion. We know that 
there are exceptions to this description which is true of a very 
large proportion of the community, and one of the best exceptions 
is Mr. Jones. Such men elevate the standard and purify the 
atmosphere of public life. He has the gratification of giving 
up all that men hold dear, in order to promote what he has 
believed to be political truth. We must own that their are few 
men who would have done so, much fewer than could be found to 
make equal sacrifices for rehgious truth, and there is a more 
complete disinterestedness in leading such a life as that of Mr. 
Jones than in engaging in the work of a missionary. There is 
no going to heaven as a reward for political usefulness, and as 
political usefulness is a rare and precious quality, even in a free 
country, we cannot but regard Mr. Jones as one who is a national 
.benefactor." 

Owing to pecuniary losses Mr. Jones returned to his practice 
as a barrister on the Northern Circuit in 1859. 

In the spring of 1861 he removed with his family to 



70 EENBST JONES. 

Manchester, where he resided until his deatli, having a large 
practice at the Manchester and neighbouring Sessions, and the 
Manchester and Liverpool Assizes. 

In 18fi5-6 some of his poems appeared in the Criehton 
Annual, published by the Manchester Criehton Club, founded in 
1858, for the study of Literature, Science, and Art. 

Mr. Jones was for a considerable period President of the 
Club, and amongst the Poems which appeared in the Annual 
was — : 

THE STARS. 
(Translated from the Grerman of E. M. Amdt.) 

The sun, he made his wide, wide ride 

Round the world ; 
And the stars, they said : " We will go by thy side, 

Round the world." 
But the sun waxed wroth : " At home ye stay. 
Or I burn your golden eyes away, 

In my fiery ride round the world." 

And the stars to the kindly moon repair, 

In the night. 
Saying : " Thou, throned on the clouds of air. 

In the night, 
Let us wander with thee, for thy gentle ray 
Will never more burn our soft eyes away," 

And she took them, companions of night. 

Now, welcome, ye stars ! and thou, moon, so kind, 

In the night. 
Ye know what dwells in the heart and mind. 

In the night. 
Come, and kindle the lights in the firmanent blue, 
That I may revel and sport like you. 

In the kindly sports of the night. 

Mr. Jones also contributed an article to the Manuscript 
Magazine of the Club, February 12, 186G, on " Fiction Writers 
and Fiction Writing." 

At the Fenian trials of 1867 Mr. Jones was one of the 
counsel engaged to defend the prisoners before the Magistrates. 
On the prisoners being brought into Court, Mr. Jones noticed 
that they were handcuffed. He at once expressed his surprise. 
" He never knew such a thing done before in any Court. He 
had to apply that the handcuffs should be removed." After some 
further expostulation the Bench decided not to interfere. 



THE PENIAN TRIALS, 1867. 71 

The examination went on, but when the Court resumed from 
luncheon Mr. Jones said, that "he must again call the attention 
of the Court to the manacles which had been placed on the 
prisoners. The prisoners were suffering from the pressure of 
those handcuffs ; they wepe a great inconvenience and indignity ; 
and in a great measure they prevented the men from attending 
to the proceedings." Noticing some military officers on the 
Bench "he thought it unseemly that part of the military force 
should be on the Bench, where the Magistrates were presiding." 

Mr. Fowler, the Stipendiary Magistrate, said that the officers 
" who were not called upon to be on guard were as his private 
friends upon the Bench as mere spectators." 

Mr. Jones, pointing to the gallery, replied, " I submit that 
is the place for them. There are friends of mine there.',' 

As the Magistrates refused to interfere with the handcuffing 
of the prisoners, Mr. Jones, " as a member of the Bar, declined 
to sit in any Court where the police were allowed to over-ride the 
Magistrates, or to lend himself to such a violation of the course 
of justice." He then returned his briefs, and left the (Jourt. 

At the Special Commission held in October, 1867, for the 
trial of the prisoners, Mr. Jones received one of the most 
marked compliments ever paid by a judge to counsel. Mr. 
Justice Blackburn specially addressed the learned counsel and 
said : — " I feel that I ought to compliment and thank you for 
having aided the cause of justice, by one of the most proper and 
able defences I ever remembered to have heard." 

And in summing up to the jury the same learned judge 
dwelt on the " excellence " of the defence, and said he felt it his 
duty to publicly allude to it. 

A still further honour was in store for the learned counsel at 
the next assizes, when Mr. Justice Lush requested him, on behalf 
of the Crown, to defend Mulla'ly, one of the Fenian prisoners 
charged with the murder of Sergeant Brett, and publicly thanked 
him for the manner in which he had conducted the defence. 

The next day, at the same assizes, Mr. Justice Lush marked 
his sense of Mr. Jones's conduct by again requesting him to 
defend, on behalf of the Crown, Flaherty, charged with the 
murder of his wife, at Droylsden. We know of no instance in 
which ao marked a compliment was paid to counsel. 



72 ERNEST JONES. 

But Mr. Ernest Jones did not allow professional success to 
lure him from the cause of the people. When the American War 
broke out, he was foremost in advocating justice and liberty, and 
his speech on the Slaveholder's Rebellion was so admired, that 
the ncople of Ashton and those of Eochdale severally had it 
published in pamphlet form at their own expense. 

Speaking at Blackburn, surrounded by a densely packed 
meeting, and a crowded platform of local manufacturers, he 
encountered much opposition, and when with that fervid eloquence 
for which he was remarkable, Mr. Jones cried out " Why did the 
South secede ?" Some one replied " For free trade." The reply 
was instantaneous. "Free trade in what? — Free trade in the 
lash— free trade in the branding iron — free trade in chains." 

His matchless eloquence created an enthusiasm for union and 
emancipation which rendered the recognition of a Slave Republic 
by our Government impossible. 

When public opinion was going wrong on the Holsteiu 
•question between Denmark and Prussia, he contributed greatly 
to elucidate the merits of the case by a speech at the Manchester 
Town Hall. That speech earned for him a vote of thanks from 
the provisional Government of Holstein, and Professor Forch- 
hammer, of the University of Kiel, and another gentleman, were 
deputed to go to England, and present an address in person, 
which they did at Mr. Jones's chambeis. 

In January, 1867, he held a discussion with Professor 
Blackie, at Edinburgh. In his reply to the professor, Mr. Jones 
said : — " Democracy means not the rule of a class, but of a nation 
— it embraces all — it tempers one class with another — it dees not 
exclude the peer or the prince ; on the contrary, it embraces 
them— it harmonises them — a peerage may flourish in its midst, 
and a throne is but the representative of one of its highest and 
noblest forms. There may be democracy under a king, as well 
as under a president ; and that system of checks and counter- 
checks, that tempering influence to which allusion is oft made, 
is perhaps more perfectly realised under a democracy than under 
any other form of Government. We have been invited to con- 
demn democratic institutions upon several grounds. First, 
because they are asserted to have failed in various countries and' 
ages. I join issue with the conclusions drawn from these 



A DEFENCE OF DEMOORACY. 73 

precedents. Before it is permissable to argue from a former 
failure, that democracy would be injurious in the present day, it 
is requisite to show that the conditions in both cases are the 
same. I believe in the progressive development of the human 
mind. I believe that the human race possesses one great 
collective life, having its infancy, and ripening to its manhood ; 
and I protest against demanding from the infancy of nations 
that which their maturity alone can achieve. I protest against 
measuring the child by the standard of the man. * ^ * * 
But I will meet him (Professor Blackie) on the ground he 
himself has chosen. I will go with him to ancient Greece ; I will 
follow him to classic Rome ; I will accompany him to revolu- 
tionary France ; I will walk by his side through our Australian 
colonies, and attend his footsteps to republican America ; and I 
undertake to show that in them all, democracy has been the 
founder and saviour of the people's greatness .... Do you challenge 
me with France ? I accept the challenge, and I ask — Is democracy 
alone to be measured by the standard of the gods ? Do you 
demand of us perfection while you concede to yourselves the 
right to every frailty ? Must we be more than men, while 
you are permitted to be less ? If you would test French 
democracy, do not look alone at its excesses. Ask : What 
did it find France ? Answer : What has it made it ? It 
I'ound France trodden down beneath a feudal aristocracy, 
which not only robbed the working men of every right, but 
even by law violated the inmost sanctities of home. It 
found the revenues in the hands of financial farmers, who 
ruined every trade, destroyed every industry, and made the 
country helplessly, hopelessly, irretrievably bankrupt. Eapine and 
usury reigned Irom end to end, and famine stalked over all the 
confines of the land. Bigotry and ignorance upheld immorality 
and vice, and terror alone kept in subjection the festering mass 
of misery to which the people had been reduced. Then the 
genius of democracy took this poor benighted people by the hand 
and led it Irom the valley of the shadow of death to the upper 
lights of liberty and life. True, by the paths of terror. True, 
the guillotine smote as sharply as the sword of battle. True, 
fantastic and horrible excesses were committed, like the enthrone- 
ment of the Goddess of Reason. Xo doubt the recoil was 
terrible, but so had been the. repression. The one was the 



74 EKNEST JONES. 

offspring of the other. Put your seven centuries of atheism in 
practice against their few weeks of atheism in theory, Pat the 
dungeons of your Bastile against their scaffolds of the Place de 
Greve, and record this difference between them : that in those 
dungeons seven centuries heard your victims groan, while seven 
months cleared off the anger of the people. And add to it this : 
that our victims were plotting .with the foreigner against the 
State ; yours were murdered for private cruelty, and greed, and 
lust. Instead of tracing thence a reason for not granting their 
rights to the people, see what comes of keeping them back, and 
be wise in time. But if you would test democracy look to the 
results. What did it make France ? It found the land held by 
a few nobles, and the people starving ; it turned it into six 
million freehold farms, and gave plenty to the people. In the 
land of aristocracy one lost battle decided the fate of the country. 
Under democracy the deluge of banded Europe swept over it in 
vain, and the occupying armies passed away as trackless as 
shadows from its sunny plains. The results :— In the land of St. 
Bartholomew it made religion free. In the land of the Bastile 
it made a jury the arbiter of the individual's liberty. In the land 
of Louis Quartorze it established parliamentary representation. 
True, a Napoleon now reigns ; true, the press is trammelled ; 
true, parliament has been coerced, though it is slowly but surely 
recovering its lost ascendancy ; but I tell you a people cannot 
leap at one bound from seven centuries of serldom to the 
calm heights of perfected liberty. You are the very men who 
tell US that progression must go slowly ; and yet when the French 
people leaped to liberty by the only pathway tyranny had 
left them, you reproach them because they have not done 
that which you yourself declare to be impossible ! Yes, 
liberty marches by progressive steps — calm and gentle as a child 
if you treat her fairly, terrible as an angry giant if you try to chain 
her down. The first step was in '79, the second in '30, the third 
in '48 — each time more merciful and more mild ; and Napoleon 
is but one of the outward forms of this transition period— the 
cloud between one sunrise and another, and even he is obliged 
to disguise his imperial mantle with the colours of the morning, 
to reign in the name of liberty and truth, and to bow before the 
virtues of the people." 

Mr. Ernest Jones delivered lectures within a short time in 



SPEECH AT EDINBURGH. 75 

Dublin, Glasgow, Birmingham, London, Leeds, Bradford and 
other places, on the relation of land, capital and labour. Mean- 
while he worked as hard as anyone in the great Reform League 
agitatiofl, that so largely contributed towards the obtainment of 
the Eeform Bill, and this he did at a great pecuniary sacrifice, 
" having," wrote the late Mr. James Crossley, himself a solicitor, 
" to our knowledge, during its coarse refused or returned civil 
briefs of a very considerable value, that he might attend the 
demonstrations of the league." 

Speaking in Edinburgh in 1868, he said : It appears to me, 
that the first thing we have to direct our attention to when the 
new Parliament shall have assembled will be, temperately, 
moderately, and wisely, but firmly and decisively, and un- 
shrinkingly, to reform the Reform Bill itself so that 

every town having a certain number of inhabitants shall be 
represented in the House of Commons directly as a burgh, and 
that the distinction between the burgh and the county franchise 
shall be abrogated. Although I am an advocate for manhood 
suffrage, I think that every reformer, however advanced, may 
well and conscientiously wave the question of manhood suffrage 
for the moment, and secure household suffrage, untrammelled and 
unfettered, from one end of the country to the other .... 

" There is a great danger which the present Reform Bill has 
not provided against .... The constituencies of certain 
burghs have been enlarged, and in the same proportion in which 
the constituencies are increased, the expenses of elections under 
the present system are increased also .... Now, what is 
the result ? The result is that none but the richest men can, as a 
general rule, get into Parliament. The candidates of working- 
men, unless they happen to have some good and faithful men 
among the wealthy classes who embrace their interests, cannot 
enter the House of Commons .... But, gentlemen, when 
we have attained so to speak, the perfection of parliamentary 
reform, what is it ? It is but a means to an end. It is political 
leverage for social reform ; and, therefore, I will now advert to 
some of those measures of reform to which the attention of your 
representatives ought more especially to be directed. Now, what 
are these ? I say, first and foremost, that the question of the 
land presses itself upon our attention, and that not alone in 



76 ERNEST JONES. 

reference to the peasantry — not alone in reference to the actual 
owners of the land, but in regard to the well being of the entire 
community, mercantile and manufacturing .... 

" We want two things, as it appears to me, in regard to the 
land — free trade and tenant-rights We have free trade, some 
fancy, but we have it only in part. We have free trade in the 
corn the laud grows ; but we have not free trade in the land that 
grows the corn. Until we have that, we have got only the 
shadow of free trade. 

"No direct legislation can effect this at once. It won't do, 
it would not be wise, it would not be beneficial, to confiscate the 
soil, and seize it, and take it from this small knot of territorial 
aristocracy. AH violent convulsive changes of this kind too 
frequently miss their object, and often do more evil than the evil 
■ they seek to remedy has created, or would create ; but a wise 
course of legislation ought to be adopted, such would gradually, 
by the ordinary social development of nations, break up the land 
into small quantities, and let it thus fall into the market upon the 

principle of free trade There is another evil which 

presses itself upon our attention, and that is, that in a country in 
which so large a deficiency in the production ^of food exists as 
exists in this country, so vast an amount of it should be devoted 
to that which is not only unproductive but positively injurious. 
I allude to the immense amount of coru which is employed in the 
production of spirituous liquors. The amount of drunkenness 
that exists in the United Kingdom is something fearful to con- 
template. I certainly am in favour of urging upon those who 
may represent us in the next House of Commons such a repressive 
legislation as, even if it would interfere with the liberty of the 
subject to a certain extent, would act as a barrier and difficulty 
in the way of drunkennesSj, 

" Ignorance is a disease, and a dangerous and deadly disease. 
There are few things in the world more costly than an ignorant 
man, and unless you make education compulsory, you will not, I 
believe, educate the masses. 

" We have two standard-bearers in this country — the one 
upholding the flag of religious liberty, the other the banner of 
political and social freedom. One is Mr. Gladstone, and the 
other is John Bright Do not allow these sacred 



CANDIDATURE AT MAXCHESTER. 77 

banners which they carry aloft to be dragged in the mire, at the 
■ hands of the tories, through the streets of Edinburgh." 

At the General Election of 1868, Mr. Jones was selected by 
the working-men of Manchester as their candidate, and adopted 
by the United Liberal Party. Eequested by many boroughs to 
become a candidate, he gave an additional proof of his devotion 
to the Liberal cause, by his conduct on this occasion. In Edin- 
burgh and Carlisle he withdrew his name, from fear of dividing 
the Liberal party. In Dewsbury his return was a moral certainty, 
he had obtained 3,400 pledges out of a constituency of less than 
6,000 electors ; yet he withdrew his candidature because the' 
Liberal party was divided in its choice, a portion selecting Mr. 
Gdssham, and sooner than perpetuate a division, he selected 
Manchester, notwithstanding the dangers .of the minority clause, 
that he might there become instrumental in uniting the Liberal 
ranks, and be the means of union and kindly feeling between the 
different classes of society. 

He had set his heart upon being returned to Parliament by a 
great constituency like Manchester, the main attraction for him 
being not so much the triumph of Ernest Jones, as the triumph 
of the working man's candidate, the triumph of the principles for 
which he had fought during many weary years. 

As soon as his candidature for Manchester was known,. 
G-eneral Perronet Thompson, the " Father of Free Trade," 
. addressed to him the following letter, through the hand of his 
friend Mr. Northouse :— 

" I am requested by my venerable friend, General Perronet Thompson^ 
to lay at your disposal Ms name as a member of any Committee ithat may 
be formed to facilitate your election for Manchester, or any other con- 
stituency desirous of being represented in Parliament by an uncompromising 
friend of the people, and in any other way that he can of bearing testimony 
to your great services in the cause of Keform," 

In a second letter Mr. Northouse writes at the General's 
request : — " He will do everything he can to get the most eloquent 
and successful of the advocates of popular rights into his proper 
arena, the House of Commons." 

In an address delivered to a large audience in the Free Trade 
Hall, during his candidature, Mr. Jones said that " a greater 
invasion of the rights of private property was never perpetrated 



78 BRNE8T JONES. 

than that legislative attempt which denied property in their 
money to trades' unions who had subscribed that money. Tliat 
must be altered ; trades' unions must have the full legal protec- 
tion of their funds when they were applied to legitimate purposes. 
If they were applied to purposes of conspiracy, or to purposes of 
crime, the law of the land was strong enough already to punish 
them, and he would be One of the first to have it put into 
operation. But it was not an illegal or an immoral protection 
to the funds of trade unions when they were applied to trade 
uses exclusively to enable the workmen to obtain a good bargain 
for his labour, just as the employer was enabled to seek a good 
bargain for his goods. Again, there was another matter which 
touched upon trades' union legislation ; he meant the magisterial 
bench. At present the members of trades' unions were brought before 
the employing class, and though he was not there to inveigh against 
that class as a class, he would say that employers, even when 
connected with different trades, ought not to sit in judgment on 
these particular cases. He was, therefore, in favour of Stipendiary 
Magistrates being appointed by that authority which the 
country decided to be most legitimate and safe, leaving the 
unpaid magistracy to deal merely with county, parochial, and 

municipal affairs They must improve the condition 

of the people physically by siting more employment and cheap 
food. .... They must do it mentally by the spread of 
education, and in reference to that matter he was not only in 
favour of a system of national education, but a system of com- 
pulsory education. The temptation to the very poor was 
exceedingly strong to send their little children to work instead of 
sending them to school. They should save fathers and mothers 
from that temptation ; they should step in as guardians of the 
common weal and say that every child had a right to mental 

food Ignorance was not costly, dangerous, and 

fatal to the individual alone .... but to the community 

in which that individual lived He was, therefore, 

in favour of compulsory education, as one of the rrieans of 
■sanitary reform itself, because education made the poor man alive 
to the sanitary influences find unhealthy circumstances by which 
he was surrounded, and enabled him to guard against them. An 
ignorant people ever was a dirty one, while an educated people 

was cleanly in its habits One of the greatest sources 

of crime and physical deterioration in this country was the 



SPEECH m THE FREE TBADE HALL. 79 

enormous amount of drnnkenness existing amongst us. ... He 
would not vote for the Permissive Bill in its eniirety, as it now 

stood But he was in favour of placing a veto upon 

the licensing power at present resting in the hands of irresponsible 
magistrates, and would place it in the hands of a board elected 
by the ratepayers. The people ought to have the right of 
prohibition." 

Mr. Jones concluded his address with these words : — 

" I have passed through the industrial cities and rural hamlets 
of this country, studying, the disease from which the nation suffers. 
For years and years past I have had my hand upon the people's 
pulse, and have felt its vital energy deadened by aristocratic 
monopoly, and its great heart oppressed by class misrule. [ have 
learned to see the remedy on nature's breast — in her bounteous 
valleys and her fertile plains. For years, by tongue and pen, I 
have striven to stimulate the sleeping child from its lethargy, and 
now that, aided by abler and better men than myself, the glorious 
patient has awakened to new life ; now that the extension of the 
franchise has transferred the work of reform from the stormy 
arena of out-door agitation to the narrower bat more potent arena 
of the House of Commons, I confess that I have an ambition to 
work where work is most useful, and to end a long political career 
as one of the representatives of that new popular power, which I, 
with others, have assisted to create." 

Although Mr. Jones received 10,6tJ2 votes he was not 
successful. A petition was lodged against Mr. Birley, one of the 
successful candidates, on the ground ot his being a member of a firm 
which were government contractors. As the Liberals had some 
hopes of unseating Mr. Birley, they determined to be prepared 
with a candidate and proceeded to his selection. It was at once 
made plain that the party were divided between Mr. Ernest 
Jones and Mr.Milner Gibson. The latter gentleman had previously 
represented the constituency, but was defeated along with Mr. 
John Bright, 1857, by Messrs. Potter and Turner. 

On Friday and Saturday, the 22nd and 23rd of January, 
1869, the novel expefitnent of a test ballot was taken between 
these two gentlemen, representatives of the press, being present 
from all parts of the country. The result showed that Mr. 
Jones had received 7,282 votes, against 4,133 recorded for Mr. 
Gibson. 



80 ERNEST JOiSTES. 

The early part of the same week Mr. Jones was suffering 
from a severe cold, and was induced to leave his bedroom to 
attend a meeting of the Hulme and Chorlton Working Men's 
Association on the Wednesday evening. He left a heated atmos- 
phere to return home by cab, and incautiously left the window 
open. It is supposed that the exposure to the weather aggra- 
vated his cold, for at an early hour on the following morning 
Mr. Jones awoke iu great pain, complaining of an attack of 
pleurisy, and he subsequently became so ill that, though he 
expressed his anxiety to read the morning papers in reference to 
his speech of the previous evening, he was unable to do so, and 
his son, Walter Jones, read the report to him. His medical 
adviser on being called in found the symptoms to be serious, but 
apprehended no immediate danger. He strictly enjoined, how- 
ever, that his patient should be kept as quiet as possible. This 
injunction was the more necessary, not only on acjonnt of the 
interest Mr. Jones was taking in the forthcoming ballot among 
the electors, but also through the number of letters he was con- 
tinually receiving soliciting his attendance at public meetings. 
One of these applications was made by the " Central Amnesty 
Committee," which had its head quarters in Dublin, to request 
Mr. Jones to address a meeting of the " Society for the Eelease 
of the Political Prisoners," to be held in the Eotunda, at an 
early date, under the presidency of the Lord Mayor of Dublin. 
Another application, of which Mr. Jones was forbidden to be 
informed, was an invitation from the Drogheda Liberal Election 
Committee, asking permission to place him in nomination for 
that borough, upon the unseating of Mr. Whitworth. 

The symptoms continuing to grow worse, Mr. Clayton and 
Mr. Eoberts, surgeons, were called in. On Friday and Saturday 
Mr. Jones suffered much from prostration and difficulty of 
breathing. On the morningof Saturday he received a telegraphic 
message from his son, Mr..L. A. Jones, informing him that he 
had obtained a scholarship at Brasenose College, Oxford. Upon 
this message being delivered to him he evinced the liveliest 
satisfaction, but added that he felt worse by reason of the 
excitement it had caused him. A few hours later upon the 
result of the balloting being shown to him in writing, he said 
it was very gratifying, but subsequently referring to the subject 
in the presence of his medical advisers, he remarked that the 



LAST ILLNESS AND DEATH. 81 

excitement had been too much for him. On Saturday evening, 
also, his son arrived from Oxford. 

On Sunday and Monday — the latter being his birthday — the 
prostration continued, and was accompanied with increase of 
pain, so that Mr. Jones was unable to rest, except in a sitting 
posture. On Tuesday morning (January 2G) he awoke, apparently 
much better, and was able to walk about the room ; but shortly 
after one p.m. he complained of faintness, and in attempting to 
leave his chair fell forwards, and in a few minutes expired. 

Just as he was beginning to see a wider field of usefulness 
open round him, and to reap the fruits of his long patience, the 
silver chord was broken, and in the moment of victory he passed 
away. 

In his last public speech at the Chorlton Town Hall, occurs 
this almost prophetic passage: "There was a personal reason 
why he desired soon to get into the House of Commons, and that 
was that he could not afford to wait very long. What little work 
there was in him must be taken out speedily, or it would be lost 
altogether. When he stood for Halifax, in 1847, and Nottingham, 
in 1853 or 1854, he was comparatively a young man, and could 
afford to wait. He believed that there was some strength and 
working power left in him, but when a man got to be fifty he 
desired to make the best use of his time." 

His remains were carried to the grave on the following 
Saturday, in the presence of sympathising thousands, who 
tbrongsd the route of the funeral procession from Higher 
Broughton to Ardwick Cemetery. 

In compliance with the expressed wish of many of his 
friends. Mr. Jones's fdmily consented to make tlie funeral a public 
one. The leading members of the executive and office committees 
of the United Liberal party of Manchester, who supported his 
candidature for the city, were among those who attended as 
mourners. London sent from the Eeform League Mr. Edmund 
Beale, Mr. Howell, and Mr. Odger. There was also a deputation 
from the Ilolloway Working Men's Club. The Northern Depart- 
ment of the Reform League and the National Reform Union 
was represented on the octiasion. Deputations were present from 
fifty to sixty of the leading Xorthern towns, including nearly 
every district within a day's journey of Manchester. Amongst 
1' 



82 ERNEST JONES. 

the pall bearers were Mr. J. B. Potter, M.P., and Mr. Jacob 
Bright, M.P. A thousand men, or upwards, described in the 
programme as friends of Mr. Jones, preceded, and many thousands 
more followed the hearse tc the cemetery. The streets for the 
entire line oi route, about three miles in length, were crowded 
with onlookers. The assemblage for the whole distance was 
almost without a break, at one period the principal thoroughfare 
of the city, at its most spacious part, near the Infirmary, was 
rendered impassible by the congregation of so many thousands of 
spectators. Every external mark of respect was paid to the 
coiicrjc as it passed, and the occasion excited more wide-spread 
and sincere feeling than any similar event that has happened in 
recent times. 

The inscription on the coffin lid was very simple and brief. 
It was "Ernest Jones. 'Died January 2Gth, 1809. Aged 50 
years." 

The vault in which the remains of Mr. Jones were interred, 
lies near the middle of the cemetery. It is immediately adjoining 
that in which Mr. Max Kyllman was buried, and in close 
proximity to the tombs of John Dalton, and Sir John Potter. 

His memory will not only be cherished by the working-men 
of England, but will live in the history of his country, whose true 
and faithful son he was. Ee was not a rich man it is true, but 
he voluntarily resigned a large fortune that he might serve the 
people, and even if, instead of applying the profits he made in his 
jirivate business to the political movement, and if instead of 
through his life refusing all remuneration for his lectures, 
speeches, and official labours in the cause of reform, he had but 
accepted the payments that were pressed upon him, he might 
have been affiuent and wealthy. 

"We see in Ernest Jones a noble and knightly soldier of 
democracy. In his day to be a Democrat was to hazard all the 
■ comfort, enjoyment, and advancement of life. Breathing an. 
atmosphere of noble and intelligent conviction, and animated by 
a pure enthusiasm for the elevation of the people, he voluntarily 
relinquished an ample fortune rather than forsake the path of 
duty, or cease his devotion to the service of humanity, knowing 
full well that ignorance was the great canse of the errors and 
sufferings of mankind ; he laboured to enlighten the under- 



"NONE TO INJURE, ALL TO f3AVE." 83 

standing of his fellows, but experience taught him that there was 
little hope for popular culture until the people bad the power to 
elect their representatives, and thus exert a direct influence on 
the conduct of the Legislature. The culture cf the masses he 
regarded as essential to the maintenance of our civilisation, and 
the happiness and prosperity of our people. 

With a passionate love of justice and unfriended truth, and 
with a courage to trust the truth as he perceived it, he claimed it 
as the right and duty of every human being freely, fully, and 
impartially to inquire into, freely to think on, and as freely to 
utter what they thought about all questions affecting human 
welfare ; in a word, he contended for the right of every human 
being to the full and free development of every power and 
capacity of his nature, consistent with the exercise of the same 
rights by others. Wherever and whenever it was possible to 
ennoble' human effort, to extend the moral horizon, to fill life 
with worthy occupation, to widen, deepen, and humanize the 
sympathies, then he wasfouud wielding. 

■■ The service of life 
True deed and \vord." 

His politics were cosmopolitan, his religion universal, his 
policy was 

" Xone to injure, all to save." 

And although his charity was wide as humanity, against error and 
injustice he waged an uncompromising war. It was, however, 
principles not men with whom he warred. 

When Ernest Jones commenced his great and manly career, 
the England he loved so well, he found a privilege-beridden 
and class-blighted land. In the presence of these two hateful 
evils he took a part whirh has commanded the admiration and 
affection of the men who lived with him, ;ind commands the 
admiration and affection of those who survive him. To privilege 
he opposed the people, and to class he opposed the country. in 
the words cf Dr. Pankhurst, " To him England was what it was 
in the old language of the law and of politics in this country. 

" The old language of the law in describing the Government 
of England, has called it ' This Commonwealth of England.' liy 
a commonwealth, he understood a land where right and justice 



84 ERNEST JONES. 

were not in privelege, but in universal possession. The equality 
of all before the same law was his principle, and not only equality 
before the same law, because that is compatible with subjection 
and servitude. It is conceivable that a land might live under one 
common law dictated to it by one common oppressor. That was 
not this common universal law by which Ernest Jones stood, and 
for which he fought all the days of his life. It was one common 
universal law imposed upon all, and made by the consent of all, 
the execution of it superintended and directed by the public spirit 
and public judgment of all. It was no mere rhetorical phrase 
with him to say that the Government of England must be the 
Government of the people, by the people, for the people. For 
that grand principle he lived and fought and suffered. . . . 
The political self-protection of the vote was the key-stone of 
Ernest Jones's politics. The complete enfranchisement of the 
people was his principle. No man above the suffrage, no man 

below it, all within it Of Ernest Jones I say this, 

that he was cast in the antique mould of political heroism. 
Nothing in the old days of Greece or Eome is grander for manly 
courage and fearless indepenrience of spirit, than the simple daily 
deeds and works of Ernest Jones. He was bred to, and prose- 
cuted the functions of a close profession. The profession of the 
law in his and our days is jealous of men who go out of its limits 
into the open of politics. This did not deter him in any way 
from performing to the full all the offices of free citizenship. 

When I look round upon England, and see it 

enshrouded in grpat gloom and darkness ... I think that 
the time has arrived when we should brighten our convictions, 
and strengthen our hearts by passing in review the name, the- 
deeds, and the memory of such men as Ernest Jones. He was- 
bnried, as yon remember, amid the mourning and tears of a great 
company of sorrowing politicians. No pomp of kings could 
surpass the solemn sorrow that surrounded him as he was lowered 

into the grave Democracy was in his day, and 

is to some extent in ours belligerent. But the time arrives when 
democracy will be no longer belligerent, but triumphant. There 
is one great transition that has traversed the centuries — the- 
transition from despotism to democracy. In that day of historic 
justice, Ernest Jones will appear in no humble or depressed guise, 
but with high heroic head will take no second but a very fore- 



A MAKTYR OF FREEDOM. 



85 



most place among the champions and martyrs of freedom, who in 
times of darkness and danger — resolute to dare, to do, to die — 
have maintained the immortal cause of liberty, justice, and 
humanity. 




LEAWOOD HALL. 



A Chp.istmas Tale, by Ernest Jones. 



In a cottage on a moor 

Famine's feeble children cried ; 
The frost knocked sharply at the door, 

And hunger weloom'd him inside. 

In the moonlight cracked the leaves, 

As the fox across them passed, 
And the ice-drops from the eaves 

Battled to the whirling blast. 

On the black hearth glowed no ember, 
On the damp iioor lay the rime. 

Elfin haloes of December 

Eor the sainted Christmas-time ; 

And a pale girl sat there chanting 
Mournfully to children twain, 

Like some sweet house-spirit haunting 
Old men's homes with childhood's strain. 

Ellen was a maiden fair 

With that beauty meek and frail, 
Softened by the hand of care 

Erom the red rose to the pale, 



LBAWOOD HALL. 87 

But the children had no feature 

Of the blithe child's merry grace, 
Still of spirit — small of stature — 

Manhood's thought on childhood's face. 

And a woman, thin and eager, 

Tossed upon a litter low. 
Lifting up large eyes of fever, 

With a look of angry woe. 

Harsh complaints and words unkind 

To each a'nd all in turn addressed. 
For pain, with searching hand, will find 

A bitter drop in every breast. 

Bearing all with passive mood 

While her sharp invective ran, 
In cold and fearful calmness stood 

A silent, melancholy man. 

O'er his brow the moonbeam lingered 

'Mid the lines that passion wrought, 
Like an angel, glory-fingered. 

Showing heaven the dangerous thought. 

He had toiled in hope's assurance, 

Toiled when hope had changed to fear, 
Toiled amid despair's endurance — 

These were sorry thanks to hear ! 

Yet he chid not her reproving. 

Bore it all in quiet part — 
Said : It is but misery moving 

Pulses foreign to her heart. , 



ERNEST JONES. 

Still in solemn silence bound, 

Scarce a sign of life he gave, 
But fixed hia eyes upon the ground. 

As though his look could dig his grave. 

Sudden through the broken pane 

Faintly gleamed a ruddy light. 
And something like a festive strain 

Came thrilling through the heart of night. 

With flashing eyes that woman wan 
Rose liks a shade against the wall ; 

'■ Hark ! hark ! the festival's began I 
" The tables groan at Lea wood Hall ! 

'■ The rich man feasts — and Lea wood's near — 
" What honey stores his golden hive I 

" Go I bid him give those dying here, 
" One crust to save their souls alive I " 



The night grew dark— but from a height 
Afar the lordly maushion shone. 

Shone pillar white and portal bright. 
Like trellis- work of fire and stone. 

Along the roads, from every side. 
The blazing lamps were racing all. 

As fast the guests invited hied 

To share the feast at Lea wood Hall. 



LEAWOOD HALL. 80 

It was a Norman castle high — 

It was a keep of ages rude, 
\V'hen men named murder — chivalry. 

And robbery was nailed — a feud. 

There barons stern once housed in pride, 

And coined the labourer's heart to gold : 
On field and fell the labourer died. 

While they were gay in holt and hold. 

"What they had lavished to replenish. 

They o'ertaxed endurance's length, 
Drank his labour down in Rhenish, 

And grew strong upon his strength. 

Men of hautiness ! unthinking 

In their selfishness of caste, 
"Twas his life-blood they were drinking I 

But 'twould poison them at last. 

From the dust that they were treading, 

Some stood up by force or craft. 
Till the scutcheoned pier o'erheading, 

In his face the trader laughed. 

Then, his triumph once insuring, 

This new conqueror fiercely rose, 
Smote the people's neck enduring, 

After they had crushed his foes : 

And those mighty tryant-blasters 

Settled with slaves again ; 
They had only changed their masters. 

And that change was worse than vain. 



'JO ERNEST JONES. 

>lince tliea a sterile thoiighted man 
Had lorded it o'er Leawood fair, 

'\^'ho as an errand-boy began, 
And ended as a millionaire. 

And his son, by slow degrees, 
Mounted life with golden feet, 

For the son knew how to please, 
Af- the sire knew how to cheat. 

Before he rose, the people's friend, 

He feigned at all their wrongs to burn : 

Xo«-, as he bent, made others bend. 
And played the tyrant in his turn. 

Patronised eauh bible-mission ; 

Give to charities — his name; 
Xo louge]- cared for man's condition, 

But carefully preserved — lais ffaiitr. 

Oh 1 Leawood Hall was gay that night; 

Shone wall and tower from cope to base , 
And proudly rolled the sheeted light 

Its glory over Leawood Chase. 

Through the hall the beggar spurning. 
Menials drove him from the door : 

Can they chide the torch for burning, 
Thev cast smouldering on the floor .' 

8ay not : " This is no fair sample, 
■■ This wa-i but the menial's part I " 

'Twas the master's past example 
Filtered through the servant's heart. 



LEAWOOD HALL. 1)1 

Full in the glare the labourer stood ; 

The music smote him like a blast, 
And through the rich ancestral wood 

He heard the fat deer rushing- past. 

"While we are starving ! " cried his love; 

" But they are watching ! " said his fear. 
'Twixt hell below, and heaven above — 

What dost thou on the balance here ? 

" Man is born — and man must live ! " 

Thus anger read its maddening creed . 
" If I take what they won't give, 

" Can heaven itself frown on the deed ? " 

What strife was there in copeswood low. 

The busy world will little heed : 
Who met the poacher's desperate blow, 

Who made the reckless outlaw bleed. 

That night a fierce and haggard man 

Thro' Leawood Chase was seen to run : 
But as the fearful race began 

The rifle's deadly work was done. 

Ye pampered drones ! pursuit is vain, 

Give o'er the godless cruel strife ; 
As well o'ertake the hurrioan ; 

Despair and love fly there for life. 

Long the anxious wife sat waiting. 

Fainter grew the children's cry : 
E'en the wind, the desolating, 

Slept to his own lullaby. 



■02 ERNEST JONES. 

The father came — but hot and wild. 

The open door he stjiggered past, 
His brow was knit, but still he smiled, 

Like sunset over tempest oast. 

" Food 1 food I " he cried ; " they feast to night, 
" And I have brought our share as well ; 

" Wife I we were starving — 'twas our right ! 
" If not— as God wills — heaven or hell ! " 

Then spoke his wife with inward pride, 
To think her counsel proved so brave ; 

" I knew you could not be denied ; 
"Now bless the gentle hand that gave." 

He strangely smiled in wondrous mood, 
And, with the haste of fever, quaffed 

Down to the dregs a fiery flood; 

And still he smiled — and stilled he laughed 

He smiled to mark their spirits rise. 
And that his wife had ceased to sigh, 

And how the ardour in her eyes 
Gave her the look of times gone by. 

He laughed to think how small a cost 
Might brighten poverty's eclipse ; 

But sudden silence strangely crossed 
With blanching hand his quivering lips. 

Then oft he kissed each little child. 
And looked as one who'd much to say ; 

But ere he spoke, some pinion wild 
Waved the unuttered thought away. 



LEAWOOD HALL. 

And Ellen marvelled to behold 
Sucli fitful change and sudden cheer, 

He had bo long been stern and cold 
This kindness seemed a thing to fear. 

And fainter grew his smile and bitter, 
And his face turned cold and grey, 

AVhile slow he sunk down oh the litter. 
And strength's last bravery broke away. 

Then they saw where heartward glancing, 

Deep the cruel rifle smote ; 
While death's gurgling march advancing 

Sounded up his gasping throat. 

Cling like leaves of autumn's serest. 

Wife and children to his side ; 
He turned his last look on his dearest, 

And thus sadly gazing, died. 

Courage now no more dissembled 
Broken strength and baffled will; 

The wistful children stood and trembled. 
And the room grew very still. 

8til! in Lea wood laughter loud 
iS]ied the dance athwart the floor; 

'Jliat was Christmas for the proud, 
7'/(iK was Christmas for the poor. 



HULL: 
Printed by the •' Eastern Morning News " Co., Ltd., Whitefriargate. 



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