Luddite Memorial Lecture

The Society commemorated the bicentenary of the Luddite uprising in 2012 and decided to organise an annual Luddite Memorial Lecture, on themes from Yorkshire radical history, jointly with the University of Huddersfield.

Annual Luddite Memorial Lecture 2018

The annual Luddite Memorial Lecture will be given by Dr Mike Sanders of the University of Manchester on the topic Revolutionary Sermons, Democratic Chapels and Rebellious Hymnals: religion in the Chartist Movement.

This lecture explores the role which religious ideas played in the Chartist struggle for basic democratic rights. It focuses on three particular examples. The lecture begins by considering the ‘revolutionary sermons’ of the ‘Chartist’ preacher, the Reverend Joseph Rayner Stephens. It continues by examining the role of Chartist and Democratic Chapels within the movement. Finally, it explores the ideas contained in the only surviving Chartist hymnal – the ‘National Chartist Hymn Book’. The lecture will consider both the reasons why religion was important to the Chartist movement and the ways in which Chartism challenged conventional Victorian religious ideas.

Dr Mike Sanders is Senior Lecturer in Nineteenth-Century Writing at the University of Manchester. He is particularly interested in Chartism and in nineteenth century working-class radicalism and culture more generally. He serves on the executive committee of the ‘Society for the Study of Labour History’ and is an Educational Trustee for the General Federation of Trades Unions. His current research project explores the role of religion within the Chartist movement. His publications include, ‘The Poetry of Chartism: Aesthetics, Politics, History’ (published by Cambridge University Press in 2009), as well as articles in ‘Victorian Studies’, ‘Victorian Poetry’, ‘Victorian Periodicals Review’ and ‘Victorian Literature and Culture’.

This is a free event and takes place at 7:30pm on Monday 30 April 2018 in the Brontë Lecture Theatre (BLG/05), University of Huddersfield. The lecture theatre doors will be open from 7pm.


Past Lectures

The 2017 lecture was given by Dr Katrina Navickas, Reader in History at the University of Hertfordshire, who explored the protest spaces of the West Riding and showed how the county’s distinct topography and spaces within its towns shaped the democratic movements of the early nineteenth century. Dr Navickas is the author of Protest and the Politics of Space and Place, 1789-1948.

The 2016 lecture was given by Dr Robert Poole of the University of Central Lancashire, speaking on The Risings of 1817.

The 2015 lecture was by Professor Malcolm Chase (Leeds University), on York Castle and its political prisoners: the Luddites in a broader context.

The first lecture took place in January 2014, when Dr Matthew Roberts, of Sheffield Hallam University, spoke on  ‘Luddism through the Tory-Radical Looking Glass: Charlotte Bronte’s Shirley‘.  The lecture was dedicated to Lesley Kipling, a leading local historian who died in September 2013.