John Stafford (1790-1852) aka the ‘Charlestown Poet’ was involved in every major working class political and economic agitation of the first half of the 19th century. Luddism, Peterloo, the Queen Caroline Affair, the Reform Bill, the 10 Hours Movement, trade unionism and Chartism, all of these were commemorated in song by John Stafford. This talk explores the ways in which Stafford’s lyrics, his choice of tune and the performances of the songs themselves contributed to the creation of a cross-generational Radical Memory in Ashton-under-Lyne. Alongside the talk we will hear songs from Manchester ballad singer Jennifer Reid.
Dr Michael Sanders is Senior Lecturer in 19th Century Writing at the University of Manchester.
This talk is part of the Invisible Histories autumn talks series. WCML hope to run this talk both online and in person – details at www.wcml.org.uk/events