Tomorrow is the birthday plus 233 years of Thomas Attwood, a leader in the Chartist movement in England.
Attwood was a successful businessman in coal, iron and banking. About 1812 he became involved in politics because he saw that the monopoly enjoyed by the East India Company restricted foreign trade and hurt English businesses. He worked hard to influence economic policies, although without much success.
From 1830 to 1832 he was one of the main leaders for parliamentary reform, and in 1838 joined with the London Working Men's Association to fight for their right to vote. However, Attwood disagreed with the aggressive attitudes of other leaders in the movement, and upon defeat of the first national petition, which he presented to the House of Commons, he retired completely from politics.
Frances Rolleston was a Tory by birth, and while she was living on the Rolleston estate at Watnall, the estate was threatened by the Chartists. Watnall escaped—she had hoped that her charitable Infant Schools would give her favor with the Chartists—but another estate in the area, Colwick Hall, where Frances' childhood friend Mary Chaworth Musters was home alone, was attacked. The rioters burned valuables and tried to burn the building, while Mary cowered with her maid in pouring rain. Mary took ill and died four months later.
I'm sure that Frances felt deeply the turmoil of those years. She had a tender heart for the suffering, as her many charitable efforts demonstrated, and she would certainly have held sympathies for the Chartists. But like Attwood, she would have disagreed with their violent activities.
July 9, 1835
FR is installed at Watnall Cottage. She would like to have her London friend S____ come for a visit, but can't have the cruelty to ask her. Why? Because FR's living situation is just what Londoners hate.
Ivy and roses cover beautiful Watnall Cottage which stands surrounded by hawthorns in bloom. Ashes, hollies and hawthorns top a hill on which sheep graze. The gorse is in bloom and a stream chatters at the bottom of the hill. Opposite is a church with the distant hills of Matlock behind it. There's no neighbor within a mile and "draughts enough to blow you out of window, so fresh, so wild, so airy, so lonely, so every thing that I love and Londoners hate." It is all "So sweet, so soothing! but S___ would be miserable."