Thomas Cooper’s story takes in his early education, his mother’s work as a dyer and cardboard box maker following his father’s death and the perilous state, they, in common with virtually all working class families experienced during the early and mid-nineteenth century.
He relates his conversion to Methodism and later to political reform and Chartism. In particular he provides a first-hand and vivid account of the 1842 General Strike as it began to unfold amongst the coal miners of Staffordshire. This dispute became more commonly known as the Plug Plot Riots – although there were few riots and no Plot!
A lucid and interesting read portraying industrial life as it was experienced by both the supposedly “great and the good” and the labouring poor, as well as exposing Cooper’s own undoubted strengths and weaknesses.
Published in support of the Working Class Movement Library, 51 The Crescent, Salford, M5 4WX.
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