Picture of Henry Vincent

Henry Vincent

places mentioned

Apr. 8 to 13: Bath

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MONDAY, April 8th. — Spent the day in Bath. — At 7 o'clock in the evening went to the Orange Grove, and found it swarmed with people, amongst whom was a large proportion of our excellent friends the ladies. On entering the grove I was loudly cheered. My friend Roberts was there in his gig. I mounted and briefly addressed the people, telling them to fall into procession, and walk through the city in an orderly manner — our place of destination was Twerton, a thickly populated place about one mile from Bath, the good people of which had convened a meeting to enable me to address them. On our road to Twerton, myself and Roberts were received with every demonstration of enthusiasm. The meeting was a very numerous one, there being from 8 to 10,000 persons present. The disgraceful Devizes riot has thrown new life and spirit into the masses. We addressed the people from the window of Mr. Blackford, a regular straight-forward, honest and determined Radical. Friend Roberts delivered a very powerful address; and I addressed the meeting at some length. The greatest enthusiasm prevailed. We returned to Bath in procession, and dispersed the people in the Grove at eleven o'clock.

TUESDAY, April 9. — Remained in Bath, and in the evening walked to Batheaston with about 500 friends. On reaching Batheaston I found about 1000 labouring men assembled, and a few of the tradesmen and farmers. William Young was called to the chair. He made one of his usually pathetic speeches, and was warmly applauded. Friend Bolwell then addressed the meeting with much effect. I next talked to the people in a plain way, endeavouring to simplify and illustrate the subject of government. I was patiently listened to, and loudly cheered. Returned to Bath at eleven o'clock.

WEDNESDAY, April 10. — Walked to Coombe Down in the evening, in company with several Bath friends. Was joined by friend Roberts at the corner of Devonshire buildings. We found about 1000 working men assembled. Roberts addressed them at great length from the window of an excellent Radical, Russell (not Lord John ). I followed him, and appeared to make a great impression upon the audience. I think no man could go from the meeting without understanding more of government than he did before. The night was very cold, but the sturdy Chartists did not mind the cold, their hearts were warm with indignation against their country's oppressors. I was very much pleased to have so many ladies present. Really we must have a Ladies' Patriotic Society on Coombe Down. Let our friends commence it — I shall always be happy to render them my assistance in spreading a knowledge of the principles of the Democratic creed. Ladies of Coombe Down, form yourselves into a political society. I am told the bigoted parish parson sat in a room within the sound of my voice, and that he has since been troubled with the night - mare. He fancies (in the night) that he sees the members of a Chartist Parliament assembled — he witnesses them abolishing church sinecurists — turning bishops out of the House of Lords — doing away with tithes — and compelling parsons to preach the sublime truths of the Christian religion apart from worldly honours and sectarian views; — he groans with agony — and as his anxious partner gazes on him, and observes the cold drops hanging on his brow, he exclaims "sacrilege!" "Monsters! — leave the tithe pig" "Horrible wretches!" — and he would choke, did not his beloved partner shake him up and say — "My dear, you're dreaming!" Returned to Bath with several friends.

THURSDAY 11th., FRIDAY 12th., SATURDAY 13th of April. — Remained in Bath and rested myself. For the information of my country friends I beg to inform them I am quite recovered from the Devizes fracas!

Henry Vincent, 'Life and Rambles', in the Western Vindicator , no.9 (20th April 1839), p.4

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