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									          Court In Action
                 at
       The Shire Hall Gallery




 Key Stage 3 History and Citizenship

A lesson plan and mock trial based on
       the Chartist William Ellis

Was he guilty or innocent? You decide!
          Staffordshire Arts and Museum Service
                  In partnership with QLS
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                                                Introduction


        In 1842, local Chartist leader William Ellis was one of several men tried at the Shire Hall
        for ‘feloniously demolishing a house’. Ellis had been amongst almost 4,000 men
        protesting for the rights of ordinary people, but was he really involved in the rioting? This
        seven lesson pack encourages pupils to take on the roles of judge, jury, barristers and
        witnesses and come to a decision about William’s fate!

        Designed specifically for KS3 pupils, the resources in this pack include lesson plans,
        worksheets and activities which offer a cross curricular approach to teaching Victorian or
        local history, enabling pupils to fully embrace the National Primary Strategy:

        •     Opportunities for literacy (writing, and reading, speaking and listening)
        •     Increased capacity to deliver history using a broad and rich curriculum
        •     Engages school in a creative and innovative learning programme

        During the course of ‘Court in Action’, pupils will:

        •     Develop their knowledge of past societies’ struggle for right
        •     Gain understanding of individual rights and responsibilities
        •     Use skills of empathy, discussion, observation and analysis
        •     Bring Victorian history to life using drama

        Although this pack contains everything you may need to recreate the trial of William
        Ellis, it is highly recommended that pupils visit Court 1 at the Shire Hall Gallery and
        participate in a re-enactment of the trial, seeing and experiencing the same things as the
        real William Ellis and Judge Tindal. The unique experience of entering and working in
        this authentic and atmospheric environment would certainly provide ‘awe and wonder‘ to
        the teaching and learning of this history unit.

        To arrange a visit to the Shire Hall Gallery please contact Jackie Bradbury, Education &
        Outreach Co-ordinator on 01785 278170 or e-mail
        jackie.bradbury@staffordshire.gov.uk




            Court in Action is the result of a partnership between Staffordshire QLS School Improvement
             Division, The New Victoria Theatre (Newcastle Under Lyme) Staffordshire Arts & Museum
                                          Service and King Edward VI School.




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                                              Contents

       Lesson 1 – Who were the Chartists?                                                  3-4
                   Teacher’s Resource Sheet: Who were the Chartists?                       5-6
                   Teacher’s Resource Sheet: Chartism in Staffordshire                       7
                   The Chartist’s Demands (two worksheets)                                 8-9

       Lesson 2 – What caused the Hanley riots?                                            10
                   Riots and devastation in Hanley!                                        11
                   Primary Source: An account by Thomas Cooper, 1842                       12
                   Staffordshire and Chartism in 1842 (1 worksheet)                        13
                   The reasons for the riots (2 worksheets)                             14-15
                   Confidential report (1 worksheet)                                       16

       Lesson 3 – Who was William Ellis?                                                17-18
                   Who was William Ellis?                                                  19
                   Primary sources                                                      20-23
                   What we know about William Ellis (1 worksheet)                          24

       Lesson 4 – The events leading to William Ellis’ arrest                           25-26
                    The story of William Ellis (1 worksheet)                               27

       Lesson 5&6 – How did the court system work?                                      28-29
                   Primary sources: The Special Commission                              30-31
                   Teacher’s Resource Sheet: Victorian Costume                             32
                   Teacher’s Resource Sheet: The Courtroom                                 33
                   The Courtroom (1 worksheet)                                             34
                   List of Participants                                                    35
                   Character Information Sheets (scripted characters)                   36-41
                   Character information sheets (unscripted characters)                 42-51
                   Script: The Trial of William Ellis                                   52-71

       Lesson 7 – What happened to William Ellis?                                       72-73
                   Teacher’s Resource Sheet: What happened to William Ellis?               74

       Assessment Sheets                                                                75-76
       Court 1 information and booking form                                             77-78
       How to find us                                                                      79
       Contact us!                                                                         80




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                           Lesson 1 – Who were the Chartists?


         Teaching objectives                Evidence
            • Understand what is meant by      • All will have matched words with
              the term Chartist                   definitions
            • To introduce the story of the    • Most will have completed worksheets
              Chartist disturbances of 1842       on Chartist demands
            • To show why getting the vote
              was so important
            • To explain what motivated men
              like William Ellis


         Resources                              Keywords
           • Matching exercise                    • Reform
           • Worksheets                           • Chartism


         Introduction
             • Matching exercise in pairs
             • Give correct answers


         Development Activities
           • Brief explanation of who could vote in the 1840s and what the Chartists
               wanted.
           • Read through the Chartist demands on the worksheet and explain what they
               mean.
           • Fill in ‘The Chartist’s Demands’ worksheets. Why did the Chartists want these
               changes? (Note: you have the option of completing the ‘Do we have these
               things today’ section as part of Lesson 7.)
           • Class discussion: Why did Chartists want change?


         Additional Support                     Extension Activities
           • Who were the Chartists?               • Which demands do pupils think were
           • Chartism in Staffordshire               most important and why?
           • The Chartist’s Demands –
               differentiated worksheets




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                      Lesson 1 – Who were the Chartists? (cont.)



          Plenary
             • Put all sheets away. In pairs draw up the Charter on a piece of paper. Who
                can remember all 6 points of the Charter?


          Homework

             •   Create an advert for a newspaper
                    - To get people to join the Chartist movement
                    - Against the Chartist Movement




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                                     Who were the Chartists?

         The Chartists were ordinary people who wanted to be treated fairly be the Government.

         In 1832 an Act was passed in Parliament giving men who owned property or paid large
         amounts of rent the right to vote and have their say in the running of the country. Many
         people thought that it was unfair that only the rich were given the right to vote and began
         to campaign to be treated equally. Working people wanted the Government to listen to
         them and solve their problems too.

         Many groups were set up to try and achieve this, but it was not until 1838 when six
         members of Parliament and six working men created the People’s Charter that Chartism
         was born. The Charter said that:

            1.   There should be votes for all men
            2.   Electoral districts (the area that an MP could control) should all be the same size
            3.   Members of Parliament should not have to own property
            4.   MP’s should be paid for their work
            5.   General elections should be held every year
            6.   There should be a secret ballot so no-one knew who anyone else had voted for.

         The Chartists believed that once working men could vote and stand in Parliament then
         they would be treated with fairness and justice.

         In 1839, a petition signed by a quarter of a million people encouraging the Government
         to adopt the People’s Charter was presented to the House of Commons, where it was
         rejected by a vote of 235 to 46. Many MPs were scared by the unrest Chartist ideas had
         caused. They did not think that the working class needed the vote and were worried that
         there would be a revolt similar to the French Revolution.

         After the vote, many of the leaders of the Chartist movement threatened to call a
         general strike and were arrested. When demonstrators marched on the prison at
         Newport, Monmouthshire (where they were being held) and demanded their release,
         troops opened fire, killing 24 and wounding 40 more.

         A second petition with over three million signatures was submitted in 1842 and was
         again rejected by Parliament. Here’s what the ‘Northern Star’ (a Chartist newspaper),
         said about it:

         "Three and half millions have quietly, orderly, soberly, peaceably but firmly asked of
         their rulers to do justice; and their rulers have turned a deaf ear to that protest. Three
         and a half millions of people have asked permission to detail their wrongs, and enforce
         their claims for RIGHT, and the 'House' has resolved they should not be heard! Three




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         and a half millions of the slave-class have holden out the olive branch of peace to the
         enfranchised and privileged classes and sought for a firm and compact union, on the
         principle of EQUALITY BEFORE THE LAW; and the enfranchised and privileged have
         refused to enter into a treaty! The same class is to be a slave class still. The mark and
         brand of inferiority is not to be removed. The assumption of inferiority is still to be
         maintained. The people are not to be free."

         For many, this was the last straw. A depression had left them poor and hungry and now
         without Parliament to fight for them, they became desperate. When the Chartists
         decreed that “all labour should cease until the People's Charter became the law of the
         land”, people stopped work across the Midlands, Lancashire, Yorkshire, and parts of
         Scotland and the Government sent out troops to deal with the strikers.

         Some of these strikers gathered in Hanley on Monday 15th August, 1842. One of these
         men was William Ellis, a local Chartist leader. This is his story. Who was he? Why did
         he go to Hanley? What did he do there and what happened to him in the end?




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                                   Chartism in Staffordshire

          When the People’s Charter was first drawn up in 1838, Hanley was one of many places
          to hold a meeting in support of Chartist beliefs. People spoke in favour of giving working
          men the vote and marched through the town. One man named John Richards was
          nominated to go to the National Convention of Chartists in February 1839.

          At the convention, the People’s Charter was discussed before it was presented to the
          Government in May. When Parliament rejected their petition, the Chartists had to think
          of a new way to get the Government to listen to them. John Richards suggested that
          people might be willing to use force.

          Towards the end of July or beginning of August 1839, the authorities began to suspect
          that the Chartists were planning a rising. They knew that regular Chartist meetings were
          being held, but never in the same place twice and all communication was verbal. Arms
          and gunpowder were reported to have been sold. John Richards and the Potteries
          branch of the Chartist movement were using the motto “Peacefully if we can, forcibly if
          we must”. Lord Talbot, the Lord Lieutenant of Staffordshire felt threatened by the
          Chartist activities in his area and sought advice and back up from the Home Office.

          However, nothing was to happen until 1842 when a second rejection of the charter
          coincided with a depression which had caused widespread pay cuts and unrest. There
          were many strikes, but no-one is sure whether these were organised by the Chartists.

          The Staffordshire Chartists certainly took advantage of the troubles. A Chartist named
          Thomas Cooper visited the area and spoke in Hanley on 15th August 1842, encouraging
          local miners to strike until the People’s Charter became law. Although he said that
          violence should not be used, there was trouble at Longton and the local militia were
          called. Later that evening houses in Hanley were set on fire.

          A report in the Staffordshire Advertiser said that a Chartist meeting agreed a total
          cessation from labour for one month. A mob then caused work at a colliery to stop
          before attacking the house of a rate collector, the Court of Request and the police
          station, where they released some prisoners. All local shops closed and a company of
          the 12th Infantry was called and took possession of the Court House, bringing the rioters
          to a standstill. Eventually, more soldiers cleared the mob and made arrests.

          Although the Chartists protested that they were not involved in the riots and thought that
          violence might damage the Chartist cause, they were blamed for the trouble and
          Chartism lost support in the Potteries area. Many local Chartists leaders were arrested.
          John Richards said that he thought former Chartists were helping to identify them.

          Approximately 222 people were eventually tried for offences connected with the
          Potteries riots. Of these, 49 were transported and 16 were imprisoned. This was the
          largest number arrested and tried for crimes connected with Chartist unrest.



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                                      The Chartist’s Demands

          The six demands             Why was this important?     What do we have today?
          Every man over 21                                       Every British citizen over the
          should have the right to                                age of 18 (except prisoners
          vote.                                                   and members of the House of
                                                                  Lords) have the right to vote.


          A secret ballot should                                  Since 1872, all ballots in the
          be introduced.                                          UK have been secret.




          An MP should not have                                   Any British citizen over the
          to own property of a                                    age of 21 can become an
          certain value to stand in                               MP, as long as they are not a
          Parliament.                                             peer, a bankrupt, a civil
                                                                  servant, judge, soldier,
                                                                  policeman or prisoner.

          All MP’s should be paid                                 Modern MP’s are paid
          to allow working men to                                 £59,000 a year to stand in
          serve in Parliament - not                               Parliament. They are also
          just rich landowners.                                   given extra money if they
                                                                  have special duties to carry
                                                                  out. (The Prime minister
                                                                  earns £184,000 a year.)
          All constituencies (the                                 Every 8 to 12 years, the
          area an MP controls)                                    boundaries of UK
          should have the same                                    constituencies are reviewed
          number of people in                                     to make sure that they are as
          them.                                                   similar as possible. Each
                                                                  constituency contains an
                                                                  average of 70,000 people.
          Elections to Parliament                                 General elections are held at
          should be every year so                                 least once every 5 years in
          that MP’s would have to                                 the UK to elect an MP for
          answer to their voters if                               every constituency. (By-
          they had not performed                                  elections can be held
          well.                                                   inbetween to elect individual
                                                                  MPs if they are needed.)




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                                     The Chartist’s Demands

         The six demands             Why was this important?     What do we have today?
         Every man over 21
         should have the right to
         vote.



         A secret ballot should
         be introduced.




         An MP should not have
         to own property of a
         certain value to stand in
         Parliament.



         All MP’s should be paid
         to allow working men to
         serve in Parliament - not
         just rich landowners.



         All constituencies (the
         area an MP controls)
         should have the same
         number of people in
         them.


         Elections to Parliament
         should be every year so
         that MP’s would have to
         answer to their voters if
         they had not performed
         well.




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                        Lesson 2 – What caused the Hanley riots?

         Teaching objectives                            Evidence
            • To recap aims of the charter                  • Answers to questions
            • To question whether the riots of              • Completed report into the riots.
              August 1842 were Chartist or
              whether there were other causes.
            • Extended writing task

         Resources                                      Keywords
             • Staffordshire & Chartism in 1842             • Riots
             • Writing frames                               • Economic
                                                            • Strikes

         Introduction
              • Recap the story of the Chartist movement and the aims of the People’s Charter

         Development Activities
             • Read the ‘Staffordshire & Chartism’ sheet through together as a class.
             • In pairs or fours pupils choose the most important causes of the riots (Chartism
                and other).
             • Pupils feedback their list of reasons to the class
             • Pupils number the reasons listed in order of importance. (Use the sheet
                provided or the list generated by the class.)
             • Pupils work individually and use their findings to prepare a report into the riots

         Additional support                             Extension Activities

                 •   Account by Thomas Cooper,             •   Research Chartism in the area and
                     1842                                      economic difficulties.
                 •   Differentiated worksheets – the
                     reasons for the riots

         Plenary

             •   Pupils to read out what they have written in their conclusions and
                 recommendations.
             •   Peer assessment/review of what has been written.

         Homework
           • Write up for homework




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                              Riots and Devastation in Hanley!


         On Monday 15th August 1842, between three and four thousand people gathered
         together in Hanley with the intention of staging a peaceful protest against the
         Government’s decision to reject the People’s Charter. Many were also protesting about
         wage reductions and rising food prices which had left them poor and hungry. People
         were also on strike across the country as they felt it was the only action they could take
         to make the Government listen to them.

         The crowd grew larger and larger throughout the day as Chartist leaders made
         speeches to gain their support, but as evening fell, things got out of control. Some of the
         men became drunk and rowdy and as news reached them of rioting in neighbouring
         towns, they decided to ignore the calls of ‘peace, law and order’ and take things in to
         their own hands.

         The protestors attacked the houses and offices of influential people, stealing their
         money and furniture. They devastated the small town of Fenton and broke into the
         police station to release prisoners. They also stormed into the Reverend Aitkin’s house
         and destroyed it - burning it to the ground along with the homes of other town leaders,
         magistrates and politicians.

         The next day, the mob gathered in Burslem to continue their attacks. The town leaders
         and other people with positions of authority became very scared and called in local
         soldiers to stop the rioting. The soldiers read the Riot Act (which said that it was a
         serious crime for members of a crowd of twelve or more people to refuse to go away
         within an hour of being ordered to do so by a magistrate) and then fired into the crowd.

         One man was killed outright as a bullet ripped through his heart. Many others were
         wounded and violent fights broke out. Two hundred and seventy seven people were
         arrested and the rest of the mob quickly fled the area. This was one of the worst cases
         of violence linked to the Chartists in England in the whole of the 1840s.

         One of the Chartist leaders involved in the Hanley Riots was a local man named William
         Ellis. He was a popular man but well known to the police as a troublemaker. After the
         riots Ellis ran off to Glasgow to escape the police but was soon arrested.




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                           An Account by Thomas Cooper, 1842


        Thomas Cooper, a journalist from Leicester, wrote this account of the Hanley riots.




            The day wore on, wearily, and very anxiously, till about five in the afternoon, when
            parties of men began to pass along the streets… By six o'clock, thousands crowded
            into the large open space about the Crown Inn, and instead of lecturing at eight
            o'clock in the room, the committee thought I had better go out at once, and lecture on
            the Crown Bank. Before I began, some of the men who were drunk, and who, it
            seems, had been in the riot at Longton, came round me and wanted to shake hands
            with me. But I shook them off, and told them I was ashamed to see them. I began by
            telling the crowd - for its numbers were soon countless - that I had heard there had
            been destruction of property that day, and I warned all who had participated in that
            act, that they were not the friends, but the enemies of freedom - that ruin to
            themselves and others must attend this strike for the Charter, if they who pretended
            to be its advocates broke the law. 'I proclaim Peace, Law, and Order!' I cried at the
            highest pitch of my voice. 'You all hear me; and I warn you of the folly and wrong
            you are committing, if you do not preserve Peace, Law, and Order!' At dusk, I closed
            the meeting; but I saw the people did not disperse; and two pistols were fired off in
            the crowd. No policeman had I seen the whole day! And what had become of the
            soldiers I could not learn… I began to apprehend that mischief had begun which it
            would not be easy to quell.

            My friends purposely conducted me through dark streets and led me out of Hanley in
            such a way that I saw neither spark, smoke, or flame. Yet the rioters were burning
            the houses of the Rev. Mr Aitkin and Mr Parker, local magistrates, and the house of
            Mr Forrester, agent of Lord Granville during that night. . . .

            Next morning thousands were again in the streets of Hanley and began to pour into
            the other Pottery towns from the surrounding districts. A troop of cavalry, under
            Major Beresford, entered the district and the daring colliers strove to unhorse the
            soldiers. Their commander reluctantly gave the order to fire; one man was killed at
            Burslem. The mob dispersed; but quiet was not restored until the day after this had
            been done, and scores apprehended and taken to prison.




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                            Staffordshire and Chartism in 1842

        Name                                                             Date

        Toward the end of July 1842, the authorities (police, magistrates and gentry) became
        concerned that there might be riots and violence across Staffordshire because
        Parliament had rejected the Chartist’s demands (the People’s Charter).

        At the same time, an economic depression had made many people poor and hungry.
        They were earning less money for the work they were doing and food was becoming
        more expensive.

        In the middle of August, thousands of people gathered in the streets of Stoke on Trent
        and the nearby towns. The Chartists had called for “all labour to cease until the People's
        Charter becomes the law of the land” and made speeches asking their supporters to
        make peaceful protests. However, a lot of these people were miners who had gone on
        strike because they wanted more money. Not all of the protestors believed in Chartism.

        As the day wore on, more and more people gathered and speeches were made that
        whipped the crowd into a frenzy. When word spread that there had been rioting in other
        towns, some people began to attack the houses and offices of people in authority,
        stealing their possessions and setting their buildings on fire.

        Eventually, soldiers were called and fired at the crowd. Violent fights broke out. Many
        people were arrested but many more fled.

        A lot of people blamed the Chartists for the 1842 riots, but the Chartists protested that
        they were taking the blame for something they had not done.

        What do you think? Make a list of reasons for the Hanley riots.

        1.
        2.
        3.
        4.
        5.
        6.
        7.
        8.
        9.
        10.



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                                  The reasons for the riots

        Name                                                           Date

        Read the reasons for the 1842 riots below. Which reasons do you think are the most
        important and which are least important? Number the reasons from 1 to10. (Reason 1 is
        the most important reason)


                      Chartist Activity

                      Lots of Chartist meetings were held and there were reports of
                      guns and gunpowder being bought by Chartists.

                      The Chartists pretended to be part of the Temperance (anti-
                      alcohol) movement so that they could have secret meetings.

                      Some Chartists thought that they should use violence to get the
                      Charter passed (these were called militants).

                      Some Chartists had mottos like “justice, kindness and brotherly
                      love.”

                      Important Chartist leaders like Thomas Cooper came to the
                      area and encouraged lots of people to become Chartists.

                      Economic problems in Staffordshire

                      In the 1820s and 1830s, there had been riots in Stoke-on-Trent
                      as people protested against low wages.

                      Prices were going up but jobs were getting scarce. Many
                      people were hungry and did not have enough money.

                      Staffordshire mine owners cut their workers wages. The miners
                      were angry and went on strike. Others damaged machinery,
                      which forced mines to shut.

                      Local newspapers carried articles telling people to go on strike.


                      Hanley shut down because other people went on strike to
                      support the miners. All the local shops closed.




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                                  The reasons for the riots

        Name                                                           Date

        Compare these two modern accounts of the Hanley riots.

        Source A – ‘Protest and Punishment’ by George Rude

           The Staffordshire potteries saw the worst of the 1842 general strike -
           and the harshest crackdown. During the strike - which had been
           sparked by wage cuts - workers stopped the pumps that kept coal
           mines clear of water and closed down every factory that they could.

           But the strike leaders failed to keep control, and in the riots that
           followed police stations were raided for arms, prisoners were
           released, poor-rate books seized and destroyed, and the houses and
           offices of magistrates, coal mine owners, rate-collectors and parsons
           set on fire or pulled down.


        Source B - ‘Public Order in the Age of the Chartists’ by F.C. Mather

           On 15th August 1842 the miners of North Staffordshire coalfield,
           whipped up to frenzy by the speeches of the Chartist speaker
           Thomas Cooper, raided the police stations… and burned to the
           ground the vicars house at Hanley.

        What does Source A say is the reason for the riots in Staffordshire?



        What does Source B say is the cause?



        How are the two sources different?



        What do you think was the most important reason for the 1842 riots?




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                                            Confidential Report

        Name                                                                  Date

        You are a wealthy factory owner living in Hanley. Write a letter to the Home Secretary.


        To: The Home Secretary Sir James Graham 2nd Baronet
        Date: 17th August, 1842

        My most esteemed Sir,

        Please find below a report of my experiences in the Potteries during recent days. Rioting has
        been very serious here. For example, I have seen… (Use this space to describe what you might
        have seen and how you felt about it.)




        There appears to be two main reasons for the riots, the first being Chartist activities in the
        area. The Chartists have… (Give two examples of Chartist activity in Staffordshire)




        The second is the economic problems in the area, for example… (Give two examples)




        In my opinion, the most important reason for the riots in the Potteries is…




        I recommend that you… (The Home Secretary could send more soldiers, leave the area alone or try
        something else. What might work?)




        Please do not hesitate to write to me for more information.



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                             Lesson 3 – Who was William Ellis?


         Teaching objectives                      Evidence
            • To introduce William Ellis             • All will have made notes about Ellis’
                                                        character on the worksheet
                                                     • Questions and answers



         Resources                                Keywords
           • Roll of wallpaper to draw              • Chartist
              around a member of the class          • Biography
           • Blank pictures of Ellis
           • Biography sheets


         Introduction
             • Teacher to re-cap on the Chartist Movements and the Hanley riots


         Development Activities
           • Read Biography sheet together as a class
           • Pupils work in pairs or small groups and write around a silhouette of Ellis on a
               piece of paper. A coloured key is suggested.
                   - Facts we know about Ellis
                   - Words to describe what he may have been like
                   - What others might have thought about him
           • Pupils feed back from their groups to the teacher who has a big outline of a
               man on a flipchart or sheet of paper at the front of the class. Teacher to fill it
               in. Discuss findings. (Keep this sheet. You will need it later.)
           • Pupils to prepare an individual glossary of key words that will be added to
               over the next five lessons


         Additional Support                       Extension Activities
           • Article from the Staffordshire          • Read the Staffordshire Advertiser
               Advertiser                              Article about Ellis’ escape to
           • Letter to Samuel Alcock                   Glasgow and the letter to Alcock
           • A disturbance at the Shire Hall         • Add to or alter earlier descriptions of
                                                       Ellis.




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                       Lesson 3 – Who was William Ellis? (cont.)


         Plenary
            • Pupils to (verbally) summarise what they think Ellis was like.
            • Pupils to record five facts they have learnt about Ellis and/or what happened
               in Staffordshire in 1842.
            • Pupils to ‘bring to life’ the suggestions about Ellis’ character. Divide the class
               into two sections – half will represent Ellis and the other half will represent
               those who held opinions on him.
               Each pupil should take up a frozen position which represent Ellis or an
               opinion of him ( for example, someone who admires Ellis may position
               themselves as if they were going to shake his hand; someone who thinks
               Ellis is a trouble maker may turn away from him).
               You can then ‘activate’ any of these characters by tapping them on the
               shoulder and asking what the character they represent is thinking. For
               example; one of the Ellis’ may talk about the years he worked as a potter in
               Burslem, or what he was thinking when he interrupted the meeting at the
               Shire Hall. One of the other characters can talk about why they hold a certain
               opinion of Ellis.
            • Pupils investigate the disturbance at the Shire Hall meeting in 1842. Queen
               Victoria has recently escaped an assassination attempt. In response, a
               meeting is called at the Shire Hall to congratulate the Queen on her escape.
               William Ellis is present and, amongst others, attempts to speak about the
               rights of workers. The pupils should form groups and create a newspaper
               headline to describe the disturbance. The headline could come from a
               sympathetic journal, such as the Chartist Northern Star, or a paper
               antagonistic to Chartism. Pupils should consider how the headlines would
               differ.


         Homework
           • Individually write a 50-word summary of Ellis’s character and background,
             mentioning the things that they think are the most important.




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                                     Who was William Ellis?

         William Sherratt Ellis was born in Hanley in 1809. He was interested in politics from an
         early age and soon became an active trade unionist, campaigning for more rights and
         better conditions for workers. He became well known across the region in 1836 when he
         travelled across the Potteries making speeches in support of strikers who wanted better
         working conditions.

         William’s actions got him fired from his own job – working in a pottery factory for Samuel
         Alcock, the Chief Constable of the Potteries. Samuel was just one of many powerful
         people who did not like William’s speeches and so he was forced to move out of the
         area and spent one year living in Liverpool.

         In 1838, William was able to return to the Potteries and got another job working for his
         father-in-law, Jonah Read. However, it was not long before he was sacked again: this
         time for his militant Chartist beliefs and activities.

         William and his wife Emma left the Potteries for the second time and travelled the
         country looking for a job, still making speeches and working hard for the Chartist cause.
         Perhaps because of this, he wasn’t able to find any work and began to drink heavily.
         (Until this time, William had been a member of the temperance movement which wanted
         to ban alcohol.)

         In 1841, William returned to Burslem and got a job making plaster of Paris picture
         frames. He remained an important Chartist speaker and attended many meetings of the
         Potteries and Stafford Chartists.

         On the 18th of July 1842, William interrupted a meeting at the Shire Hall that had been
         called to express support for the Queen following an attempt to assassinate her. He
         shouted out Chartist demands and was quickly dragged from the hall. The press named
         him as a Chartist ringleader, blaming him for lots of trouble so the authorities began to
         watch him closely.

         On the 15th and 16th of August 1842, there were two days of rioting in the Potteries
         following a strike by local miners which the Chartists had agreed to support. Many
         buildings were attacked including the house of the Reverend Aitkin, which was looted
         and set on fire. As a Chartist Leader, William was accused of sedition (attempting to
         overthrow the Government), treason (betraying the Queen) and supporting the use of
         violence. The police chased his across the country and finally caught him in Glasgow in
         September.

         On 3rd October 1842, William Sherratt Ellis was brought before Judge Tindal at Court
         One in the Shire Hall in Stafford and tried along with 17 others for burning down the
         Hanley parsonage.




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                 The Staffordshire Advertiser, 17th September 1842

         This article appeared in the Staffordshire Advertiser following William Ellis’ arrest in
         Glasgow.


             Ellis acted as Chairman at some of the meetings when O’Connor was last in the
             neighbourhood. He was the main spokesman at Stafford when the Chartists
             interrupted the County Meeting, called to send a message to the Queen and Prince
             Albert following an attempted assasination.

             He has a wife and four children.

             He was charged a Newcastle on the 12th September with having unlawfully
             endeavoured to persuade a great number of persons with force ands arms riotously to
             get together to cause terror mad upset the public peace. He was later charged with
             treason in having headed the mob, which left Hanley after the meeting on Tuesday
             morning and then went on to Burslem where they attacked the military and were
             fired on and sent away.

             He is also charged with being present at the meeting on Crown Bank, Hanley on
             Monday evening when he spoke to the meeting after Thomas Cooper. He is also
             charged with having been at the fire at Reverend Aitkin’s house on the following
             afternoon. It is also said that he tried to persuade middle classes people to join the
             chartist cause.




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                                    A letter to Samuel Alcock

         After his arrest, William Ellis wrote this letter to Samuel Alcock. Samuel was William’s
         ex-employer and the Chief Constable for the Potteries. (Chief Constable was a similar
         position to Mayor.)


                                                                          Newcastle-under-Lyme
                                                                                   Police Office

                                                                             11th September 1842
             Highly Esteemed Sir,

             I take the liberty of writing to ask from you a great favour. I have become involved
             in the meshes of the law for something which either I have or have not said. I can’t
             at present state which as I have not been told of the charge. I can say with unshaken
             confidence, that I have never at any time knowingly uttered a single word calculated
             to encourage people to use violence. I was never brought before a Magistrate in my
             life.

             I am terrified at the position I am in and it has happened at the most unfortunate
             time for me and my family as I have been out of work for nearly six months. I had
             just procured a new job, worked at it for one week when my freedom was snatched
             away from me. If this charge takes away my liberty it will stab my last and only
             hope of domestic happiness.

             When I went away from home I made a solemn resolution that come what might I
             would never get involved in any sort of trouble again. Nevertheless I can appeal to
             the authorities who have repeatedly heard me to prove that my language has never
             encouraged others to use violence. I will not trouble you with a long letter but
             conclude by respectfully requesting you, if you can do so, to state by letter to the
             Magistrates what you know of my good character. The grateful memories of early
             years flash across my mind as I make the request for the sake of my family who must
             pine in poverty if I am sent to prison

             I sincerely hope you will try to serve me and you will me the person who always
             looked up to you and respected you. I am your most humble and obedient servant.

                                               William Ellis



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                                A disturbance at the Shire Hall

         This account of William Ellis’ actions at the Shire Hall meeting appeared in the
         Staffordshire Newsletter on 18th June 1842.


                                    County Meeting: Address to the Queen

         In compliance with a requisition, numerously and respectably signed, John Edwards Piercy
         Esq., High Sheriff of this County, convened a meeting on Monday last, of the Nobility,
         Gentry, Clergy, Freeholders and electors of the county of Stafford to consider an address to
         Her Majesty, upon her providential escape from the treasonable attack on an assassin.

         The meeting was held in the Nisi Prius Court of the Shire Hall. Before the meeting
         commenced it was rumoured some Chartists from the Potteries had come over to attend the
         meeting, and that they would interfere in some way with the business of the day. This
         rumour attracted a considerable number of the working classes, who almost filled the Nisi
         Prius Court.

         The High Sheriff, having taken the chair, opened the business of the meeting by observing
         that he had called the county together for the express purpose of presenting an address to Her
         Majesty on her recent providential escape from the attack on an assassin. He was quite sure
         that no meeting was ever called in Staffordshire, the object of which met more fully with the
         concurrence of the whole county; although from that very circumstance the attendance of
         freeholders and electors was not very numerous. It would, however, have been a reflection on
         the County, had they paused for an instant in testifying their feelings of loyalty and
         attachment to the Queen, on such an occasion as the present. He felt confident that there
         would be the utmost unanimity amongst them that day, and that their proceedings would
         show that they were all of one heart and one mind, in regard to their abhorrence of the late
         atrocious attack on the life of the Queen, and to their gratitude to Her Majesty’s providential
         escape.

         Lord Dartmouth proposed an address to the Queen, seconded by The Venerable Archdeacon
         Hodson. A man of the name of Peplow here rose, and was received with clamorous applause
         by the working men present. He was proceeding to say that he concurred with the address, so
         far as it went, but that it was deficient; when the Under Sheriff reminded him that this was
         a meeting of freeholders and county electors, and enquired whether he was a freeholder or
         county elector.




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         He replied that he was not, upon which the High Sheriff declared that he could not address
         the meeting.

         Another man, a stranger in Stafford, then rose, and began to make professions of his loyalty,
         and to state that he heartily approved of the address, but that he had an ‘Addendum’ to
         propose, which he thought would be kindly received by the Queen.

         The Under Sheriff enquired whether he was a freeholder or county elector.

                                                        Ellis;
         He said he was; that his name was William Ellis and that he came from Burslem, or the
         neighbourhood. He then proceeded to make some observations, and read his proposed
         ‘addendum’ which referred to the distress which prevailed throughout the country, and
         proposed as a sovereign remedy for it the adoption of “The Charter”. He was vociferously
         cheered. [It is only just, however, to observe that most of the persons present who seemed to
         approve of this procedure of the Pottery Chartists were strangers in Stafford, being chiefly
         shoe-makers on tramp].

         The High Sheriff here interposed, observing, that the meeting was called for a specific
         purpose, and that the proposal of the speaker was altogether irrelevant, and out of time and
         place, and that he would not put it to the meeting. The Address having been moved and
         seconded, and no amendment put to the meeting, was adopted unanimously.

         The thanks of the meeting having been given to the High Sheriff, the High Sheriff and the
         gentlemen around him withdrew somewhat abruptly from the Court. We understand that a
         shoemaker (not a Stafford man, but a “tramp”) was afterwards appointed chairman, and
         several addresses on the usual topics of Chartist declamation were delivered.




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                            What we know about William Ellis

         Name:                                                  Date:

         Use this sheet to write down everything you have found out about William Ellis.
         Remember to use the key.




                                               KEY
                                                     Facts we know about William Ellis
                                                     What William Ellis was like
                                                     What others might have thought of him




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               Lesson 4 – The events leading to William Ellis’ arrest



          Teaching objectives                       Evidence
             • Understand more about Ellis’            • All will have read and highlighted
               life and background                        Ellis’ biography
             • To research and select                  • Most will have completed a story
               information                                board
                                                       • Some will have considered what
                                                          might happen to Ellis


          Resources                                 Keywords
            • Big picture of Ellis                    • Chartism
            • Coloured pens                           • Treason
            • Story board sheets                      • Arson
            • Biography sheets


          Introduction
              • Brief recap on the story and on Ellis, pin the picture of Ellis back up at the
                front of the classroom


          Development Activities
            • What happened to Ellis? Prepare a storyboard for a film about the key
               events in his life
            • Re-read the biography sheet
            • Working individually, highlight the sheet/make notes of the most important
               things that happened to William Ellis
            • Pupils discuss in pairs which they think are the most important events
            • Which five are most important? Report back to the board
            • Create a storyboard for a film about Ellis’ life. (Pupils can leave the last box
               empty to complete after the trial.)


          Additional Support                        Extension Activities

                                                       •   Paragraph to summarise what pupils
                                                           think will happen to Ellis at the trial
                                                           and why




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         Lesson 4 – The events leading to William Ellis’ arrest (cont.)



         Plenary
            • What can you add anything to the big picture of Ellis now? Pupils to add new
               suggestions to their own pictures of Ellis


         Homework
           • Complete the story board in colour with detailed captions




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                                   The story of William Ellis


          Name:                                                    Date:

          What are the five most important events in the life of William Ellis? Draw his story
          in these frames. Leave the last frame empty. You can fill it in after you find out
          what happened at William’s trial.




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                 Lesson 5 and 6 – How did the court system work?


         Teaching objectives                           Evidence
            • To decide on characters for the re-         • Pupil feedback
              enactment.
            • To understand that different
              characters will have different points
              of view about Ellis and the
              Chartists.
            • To have an understanding of the re-
              enactment process and to have
              read through the script.
            • To gain a brief understanding of the
              judicial system in 1800’s

         Resources                                     Keywords
           • Plan of court layout                        • Justice
           • Scripts                                     • Prosecution
           • Character profiles                          • Defence
                                                         • Defendant

         Introduction
               • Use the plan of Court One to explain where main characters will sit and briefly
                  what they do.

         Development Activites
         Lesson 5
              • Big picture of William Ellis on wall to remind pupils about his character.
              • What sort of people would the judge, witnesses and barristers have been?
                  Ideas on board
              • Give out character profiles
              • Copes of scripts to those who need them
              • Explain the re-enactment process (i.e. it is scripted except for Ellis and the
                  witnesses.)
              • Ask for volunteers for parts.
              • Pupils to read and make a note of any questions/worries they have
         Lesson 6
              • Pupils to re-enact the trial of William Ellis (Court One, the Shire Hall Gallery)




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            Lesson 5 and 6 – How did the court system work? (cont.)


         Additional Support                              Extension Activites
           • The special Commission                        • Research on the Judicial system in
           • Victorian Costume                                the nineteenth century

         Plenary
         Lesson 5
            • One read through of the script
         Lesson 6
            • Visit to the Holding Cell to discuss William Ellis’ feelings before the trial.
            • Use of the Court One Handling Collection

         Homework
         Lesson 5
            • Read through script and prepare answers if playing a part in the drama




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                                     The Special Commission

        Following the Hanley riots, a Special Commission was set up to gather together all the
        information and reports on the events that took place and report back to the courts. This
        article appeared in the Staffordshire Advertiser on October 1st, 1842.


          It would be a betrayal of our own duty, of the interests of the community, and of the cause
          of peace and social order if we failed to represent the late outbreak in this county as one of
          a most fearful and alarming nature. The excesses committed were of the most violent
          description, and but for the interposition of the military force, it is impossible to say to
          what lengths the infuriated mobs would have gone. At one time the district of the
          Potteries was menaced with destruction.

          In its origin, the movement was not of a political nature. A dispute arose between the
          workers and their employers at a colliery in Longton, in the month of June. The colliers
          turned out and by a most abominable system of intimidation, prevented others from
          working. The Chartist speakers of the district availed themselves of this state of confusion
          and disturbance, and delivered frequent addresses of the most imflammatory character. By
          this means the excitement was increased and the Magistrates found it necessary to call in
          military aid in order to maintain the public peace.

          On Monday (15th August), the mob, after turning out the workmen at several
          manufactories, attacked and pillaged the Hanley Post Office, the house of Mr Gibbs, the
          collector of poor rates, the Court of Requests at Shelton Bridge, and the Post Officer at
          Stoke, where they burnt books and furniture. On the following morning, two large
          assemblages of rioters met at Burslem, and were proceeding to acts of violence, when the
          military fired upon the mob and one man was killed upon the spot and several wounded.
          This act of determination proved effectual in stopping the progress of this most disgraceful
          and wicked riot.

          For offences connected with these outrages, 260 individuals are about to appear at the bar
          of justice. We make no assumption of the guilt of this or that particular person. We know
          that justice, tempered with mercy, will be administered. Whilst we express a decided
          opinion that the most guilty should meet with a degree of punishment commensurate with
          their crimes, we are anxious that the ignorant dupes of the more designing should escape
          with a lenient sentence. It is a source of high satisfaction to know that no charge, unless
          brought home satisfactorily to a prisoner, will obtain a conviction; and that the learned
          Judges will apportion their punishment in each case not according to the prejudices and
          fears of others, but according to the nature and degree of the respective offences.



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         Saturday the 8th of October was the fifth day of the Hanley riot trials and the day that
         William Ellis was bought before the court. The Special Commission published this report
         in the Staffordshire Advertiser.


          At the opening of the court this morning, the following prisoners were arraigned – Elijah
          Simpson, Thomas Owen, George Kelsall, Thomas Murray, Phillip Dean, William Spode,
          Henry Howard, William Ellis, Adam Wood, Elijah Clay, John Cunliffe, Joseph Green,
          Richard Croxton, John Rathbone, William Turner, Thomas Roberts, William Fean, and
          George Colclough.

          The indictment charged the prisoners that they, together with diverse other evil-disposed
          persons to the number of one hundred and more, on the 16th of August last, at the parish of
          Stoke on Trent, with force and arms, feloniously, unlawfully, riotously and tumultuously
          did assemble together, to the disturbance of the public peace, and that being then so
          assembled, they pulled down and destroyed and certain house belonging to Robert Ellis
          Aitkin, clerk. There was a second count in the indictment which changed them with
          beginning to pull down and destroy the said house.

          The prisoners severally pleaded not guilty; the prisoner William Ellis (who had been
          originally committed on a charge of high treason) pleaded not guilty in a loud tone of voice.




         Arraigned means ‘to call an accused person in front of a court’.
         An indictment is ‘a written statement accusing a person of committing a crime’.




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                    Teacher’s Resource Sheet: Victorian costume


         Before the trial, the Judge and barristers will be provided with costumes although the
         rest of the courtroom will not. However, simple and effective Victorian outfits can be
         created by adapting clothing found at home.

         Boys
         Long trousers (ideally corduroy or cotton drill) with optional braces.
         Plain black trousers tucked into knee-length socks
         Long sleeved shirt
         Scarf, floppy bow tie, cravat or neckerchief
         Waistcoat or woollen tank top
         Boots or lace-up shoes.
         Flat cap or bowler hat (plastic bowler hats are readily available at fancy dress shops).

         Girls
         Mid-calf length dress (not full length).
         Dark coloured skirt and white blouse
         Optional white apron or pinafore.
         Dark coloured tights or long socks.
         Gloves
         Boots or shoes.
         Cape or shawl (square of fabric folded diagonally e.g. baby blanket or table cloth) tied at
         the front or pinned with brooch.
         Bonnet, straw sun hat
         Long hair should be plaited and tied with ribbons.

         Try to remove as much of the 21st Century as possible - jewellery, nail varnish,
         watches, t-shirts and jeans.




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                      Teacher’s Resource Sheet: The courtroom
             Use this plan to seat your class when they are practising or performing the trial.
              Suggestions for extra (non-speaking) characters are marked with asterisks.




                                                1             4
                                                2   3

                             *9                                   5


                                            6           6

                                  *10           7       *10
                     *11



                                                              8


                                        8           8




        1. Judge
        2. Clerk
        3. Usher
        4. Witnesses (5 characters – 3 women and two men.)
        5. Jury (There are 12 jurors but only the Foreman will speak)
        6. Barristers (One for the defence and one for the prosecution).
        7. Prisoner and Guard. (*Extra policemen and prison officers can be added).
        8. Public (Witnesses should return to the public gallery when not on the stand).
        *9. Press (Staffordshire Advertiser) and court artist to record the trial
        *10. Solicitors to consult with the barristers and pass them their paperwork.
        *11. Chief of police


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                                            The Courtroom

            Here is a plan of the courtroom. Can you work out who would sit where? Write your
                                     answers at the bottom of the page.


                                                                                            Jury
                                                                                            Usher
                                            1                    4                          The public
                                            2      3                                        Barristers
                                                                                            Judge
                                                                      5                     Witnesses
                                                                                            Guard
                                                                                            Clerk
                                        6                6                                  Prisoner
                                            7




                                                                 8


                                   8              8




          1. The                 was a powerful              5. The                                  were
          man who was in charge of the courtroom.            ‘twelve good men and true’.
          2. The                                called       6. Two                        tried to prove
          the witnesses to the stand.                        that the prisoner was guilty or innocent.
          3. The                            swore in         7. The                                and the
          the witnesses.                                                          would stand in the dock.
          4. The                                stood        8. The                          would watch
          here to give evidence.                             from this gallery.




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                                         List of Participants


         Name                                                           Date
         I am playing the part of

         During the trial these characters need to have a copy of the script:

            •   Judge Chief Justice Tindal
            •   Prosecution Barrister, Mr Waddington
            •   Defence Barrister, Mr Allen
            •   Foreperson of the Jury
            •   Court Usher
            •   Court Clerk


         During the trial these characters will have to improvise their responses to the
         barristers’ questions:

         The Defendant
            • William Ellis

         Witnesses for the Prosecution
            • Reverend Aitkin
            • Samuel Alcock
            • James Keeling

         Witnesses for the Defence
            • Moses Simpson
            • Thomas Cooper
            • Joseph Capper


         These characters should not see the script before the trial:
           • Jury members
           • Members of the public gallery
           • Court reporters/artist
           • Prison governor




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        Judge – The Right Honourable Sir Nicholas Conyhgham Tindal


         You are a 68-year-old man who has a great deal of experience as a judge. You own a
         lot of land in Staffordshire and are not impressed by the Chartist’s actions or their cause.
         You have some sympathy with people wanting the vote but do not think that poor people
         should be allowed to decide the future of the country. You believe far too many of them
         are drunk and violent. In your opinion, William Ellis’s actions prove that!
         You are a ruthless judge but you are worried that if Ellis is found guilty, and punished
         harshly, he might become a martyr to the Chartist cause.

            •   You will listen carefully to all the evidence presented by both sides.
            •   You will ensure that the witnesses answer all the questions asked by the
                barristers.
            •   You must not take sides.
            •   You are there to help the jury reach a decision.
            •   If he is found guilty, you will pass sentence on William Ellis at the end of the trial.
            •   If William Ellis is found not guilty, you will set him free.

         Remember: this is your courtroom you will not tolerate any interruptions.

         If anyone interrupts the proceedings you must bang your gavel on the table and shout
         “Silence in Court”. If anyone keeps talking when you don’t want them to you can tell
         the policeman to remove them from the court.




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                     Prosecution Barrister – Thomas Waddington


        You are a 54-year-old man who has no sympathy for the Chartists or their tactics. You
        believe that nothing can justify the violence witnessed in the Potteries in August 1842.
        You are very patriotic and have had heard that William Ellis has criticised the Queen.
        You are also very competitive and hate losing cases. As a prosecution lawyer you love
        nothing more than seeing a defendant convicted.

        You will try to show that William Ellis was responsible for the attack on the Reverend’s
        house. You will say it was not a coincidence that leading Chartists were in town just
        before all the trouble started. You will try to prove that witnesses saw Ellis causing
        trouble in Hanley close to the Reverend Aitkin’s house. You will also say that the
        Temperance Movement is just a front for Chartist troublemakers.




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                             Defence Barrister – Robert Allen


        You are a 57-year-old defence barrister. You are very sympathetic to the Chartist cause
        and you are a member of the Chartist Defence League. Although you are from a wealthy
        background you believe that all men should have the vote simply because it is fairer.
        You are also concerned that if working people don’t get the vote then they might
        express their anger and frustration through violence or even revolution (like they have
        done on the continent).

        You think William Ellis is a scapegoat for the troubles. You will try to prove that no one
        actually saw him at the Reverend’s house. You will blame the violence on the striking
        miners who have had enough of unemployment and bad bosses, not on William Ellis.




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                                            Court Usher


        You are 30 years old and have done your job for around 4 years. You have a great
        interest in the law but your parents were too poor to send you to university so you took
        the next best thing and decided to be a court usher. Your job means that you have to
        help the clerk and look after the witnesses, asking them to swear the oath. You
        thoroughly enjoy your work and would never think of doing anything else.

        Although you are from a lower middle class background, you have developed a love of
        pomp and ceremony. You love being dressed in legal wear, speaking in a rather posh
        accent and generally being self-important.

        When you lead in the witnesses to the stand you must ask them to say the following:

        Court Usher:         Repeat after me.
                            I swear by Almighty God that the evidence I shall give shall be the
                            truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth.

        Witness:            I swear by Almighty God that the evidence I shall give shall be the
                            Truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth.




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                                   Policeman – Jack Warner


        You are not really concerned with the details of the case. Chartism is none of your
        business you simply arrest people who are breaking the law. But you are very
        concerned at the amount of violence in the Potteries at the moment.

        During the trial it is your job to guard Ellis and to help remove any troublemakers if the
        Judge asks you to.




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                                      Clerk – Alistair Beale


         You are a 52-year-old man who is self important and pompous. You have been doing
         this job all of your working life. You are the judge’s right hand man. You have a booming
         voice that commands respect.

         During the trial you will call witnesses and make sure the court runs smoothly.




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                               The Defendant – William Ellis


         You are a 33-year-old Pottery worker who is married with four children. You are a man
         who believes very strongly in the Chartist cause and you are prepared to use violence to
         get what you want. You have been involved in political movements for a long time.

         You worked for the Chief Constable, Samuel Alcock, for one year but he sacked you
         because you were a Chartist. You feel you are being picked on because of your political
         beliefs.

         You will argue very strongly that you were not at Reverend Aitkin’s house on the 15th
         August and that you were not responsible for burning it down. Nobody actually saw you
         in the house, and whilst some people think they saw you outside it no one can be
         absolutely sure. You had been at the meetings and you had marched through the town
         but you did not attack the property.

         You think that you are being made a scapegoat for the riots and you are being picked on
         because you are a good speaker who believes passionately in Chartism. The reason
         you fled to Glasgow was because you knew that the authorities would blame you.

         During the trial, you will be asked:
         • Were you at the Reverend Aitkin’s house on the 15th of August?
         • Was it your aim to burn down the Reverend Aitkin’s house? Have you no respect for
            other people’s property?
         • After the fire at the Reverend’s house, you fled to Glasgow. Can you explain why
            you did that? Perhaps it was because you were guilty.
         • Why should people get the vote? What have they done to earn it?
         • Is Chartism more important to you than the property of another person?
         • Did you go to the Reverend Aitkin’s house that afternoon?
         • Do you see anything wrong with entering another person’s house and destroying
            their property?
         • Did you deliberately set out to burn the Reverend Aitkin’s house down?
         • Why do you think you are being tried for this crime which you so clearly state that
            you did not do?

         Use the information above to work out answers to these questions. You may have
         to use your imagination for some of them. You will need the answers during the
         trial so once you are happy with them, write them in the boxes on your script.




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                    Witness for the Prosecution – Samuel Alcock

         You are the 49-year-old Chief Constable of the Potteries. You are well educated and
         very well off. You have held this job for the last five years but you also have a pottery
         business in the area. You are very worried about the Chartist movement, particularly
         their recent activities in your area. You are furious! They have threatened the peace and
         security of the potteries and you are worried that your own business might be attacked.

         The Chartists have held many meetings in Hanley, Burslem and Leek that have
         attracted a lot of people to the area. Spies who work for you have reported that they
         have guns and other weapons and are planning to use them. Your informants have also
         told you that Ellis was at the Reverend Aitkin’s house and encouraged others to attack
         it. Whilst the mobs are made up of miners who are striking because of wage cuts you
         think that it is the Chartists that organise the riots and encourage them to attack property
         and to cause trouble in the area.

         You do have some sympathy with the lower classes as low wages and unemployment
         bring suffering. But you have no sympathy for the Chartists. You believe that the
         Chartists pose a genuine threat to the country and the Queen. You were outraged by
         Ellis’s interruption of the meeting to support the Queen.

         You once employed Ellis but sacked him because of his political activities. You believe
         that the Chartists should be treated severely and made an example of to discourage
         others from such action. It will show people that riot and mob action will not be tolerated
         in the Potteries.

         During the trial, you will be asked:
         • What is your occupation?
         • What has been you main responsibility in recent years?
         • What is your opinion of Chartism?
         • What do you think will happen to our great country if the Chartists are allowed to
            hold such violent demonstrations?
         • Is it true that you employed Ellis for a short time?
         • What is your opinion of this man?
         • Would you say that you know about the lives of the people of England?
         • Have you ever been unemployed?
         • Can someone from a wealthy background such as yours, who has the right to vote,
            ever really understand what makes working men demand their rights?
         • Why did you sack William Ellis? Is it true to say that it was because you are biased
            against his beliefs?

         Use the information above to work out answers to these questions. You may have
         to use your imagination for some of them. You will need the answers during the
         trial so once you are happy with them, write them in the boxes on your script.




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                   Witness for the Prosecution – Reverend Aitkin

        You are a 55-year-old Reverend who has lived in Hanley all his life. You had a large
        comfortable house that you were very proud of. You have plenty of money and mix with
        the higher levels of society.

        You were not in your house on the day it was attacked because you had gone to visit a
        friend. When you got home, you saw a large group of people shouting and cheering as
        the flames leapt from every window. Your house had clearly been smashed up and lots
        of things had been stolen. You were horrified and angry. You did not actually see Ellis
        there yourself but you did see someone who looked like him standing on the grass
        opposite cheering and yelling instructions to the rioters.

        Your wife and son have been very badly affected by the events and your wife is now
        scared to go out.

        As a Reverend you have some sympathy for poorer people and you are aware of the
        problems in the area but you are also a wealthy middle class man who does not
        approve of violent tactics and damage to property.

        You want to see Ellis and the other Chartists convicted of this terrible crime. You want
        them to be made an example of and you want justice for you and your family.

        During the trial, you will be asked:
        • Please will you tell the court what happened on the afternoon in question?
        • How can you be sure that it was William Ellis who attacked your house?
        • How did you feel when this incident happened?
        • What effect has the whole incident had upon your life?
        • This whole episode sounds dramatic and very upsetting. How can you be sure you
           have remembered everything properly?
        • Were the men that were attacking your house walking around slowly or rushing
           around? How often have you met William Ellis? It seems to me you would have
           difficulty telling if it was definitely Ellis.
        • Did you deal calmly with the men who came to your house, or in the heat of the
           moment were you aggressive? It seems to me that these men only came to ask you
           to support them in their cause. Could you have brought the trouble on yourself?
        • Finally, it seems that you are quite well off. How do you feel about those who do not
           have your money and privileges? Could it be that your own dislike of working men
           and women have led to you misremembering events and people’s faces?

        Use the information above to work out answers to these questions. You may have
        to use your imagination for some of them. You will need the answers during the
        trial so once you are happy with them, write them in the boxes on your script.




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                    Witness for the Prosecution – James Keeling

         You are a 38-year-old married man with three children who works in an office at a
         pottery firm.

         You have a comfortable life and a nice house. You dislike the Chartists and feel that
         they are just a bunch of hooligans. You don’t think that politics have anything to do with
         you but you are upset that some of the Chartists have told people to go on strike. This
         meant the pottery firm shut for a while and you lost valuable income.

         On the day of the riots, you were at a Mr Askey’s house until 12 o’clock. As you were
         walking home you think you saw William Ellis rioting in Hanley with another man called
         Curly. You heard the man you think was William Ellis shout, “There is nothing here! Lets
         go to Charles Meigh’s house, where there’s lots more.” You also think that Ellis said to
         the crowd, “I have got some money! Please yourself if you get some too.” You then saw
         Ellis and a mob go towards Reverend Atkins’ house.

         You have only met Ellis on a few occasions. The defence may well ask how in the
         middle of all this trouble you could have identified him. You might say you have nothing
         to gain from lying; it is the defence’s job to see if that is true!

         During the trial, you will be asked:
         • How do you know William Ellis and what is you opinion of him?
         • Could you describe for the court the events of August 15th and what you saw
            happen at Reverend Aitkin’s house?
         • Would you tell the court where Ellis was during this incident and what you saw him
            doing?
         • How did you feel when you saw this incident?
         • Have you ever been involved in any Chartist activity?
         • What is your opinion of Chartism?
         • You claim that Ellis was at Reverend Aitkin’s house and encouraging others to use
            violence against him. Can anyone else back up your story?
         • Two hundred and seventy-seven men have been tried for this crime. If there was
            even half of that number in and around the house, how can you possibly be sure
            Ellis was there?
         • Would you agree that not all the rioters were active Chartists and that there are a lot
            of other problems in the area at the moment?
         • Why were you in the Reverend’s house? Are you a rioter who is just trying to get out
            of trouble?

         Use the information above to work out answers to these questions. You may have
         to use your imagination for some of them. You will need the answers during the
         trial so once you are happy with them, write them in the boxes on your script.




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                      Witness for the Defence – Thomas Cooper

        You were born to a very poor family in Lincoln. You educated yourself and you could
        read well by the age of five but your poverty made you a radical and you blame the
        government for your hardships.

        You are a very religious man. You are a part time Methodist preacher and you are used
        to speaking in front of audiences. You sometimes speak for hours on end. Your
        speeches are always passionate but can be very long (and perhaps a bit boring).

        You are an important member of the Chartist movement. You believe in the Charter and
        played an important role in setting up and getting the petition to parliament. You travel
        around the country making speeches trying to gain support for the Charter.

        You have been called as a defence witness because you know Ellis and believe that he
        is unlikely to have attacked the Reverend Atkin’s home. You believe that Ellis is a
        committed Chartist and not the criminal he is being portrayed as.

        You were in Hanley on 14th August 1842 and made a speech about striking until the
        Charter is passed. Your speech contained lines such as, “thou shalt not kill” and “forgive
        your enemies.”

        As a witness in this case you may take the opportunity to make another speech about
        why The Charter and Chartism are so important.

        During the trial, you will be asked:
        • What is your role in the Chartist movement?
        • What do you think about the use of violence to get what you want?
        • How long have you known Ellis? Do you think he is capable of deliberately setting
           fire to another man’s house?
        • Was Ellis at Reverend Aikin’s house on the 15th August?
        • How can you be sure that Ellis was not there? Were you at the Reverend’s house
           that day?
        • How can you justify encouraging men and women to riot and attack people’s
           houses?
        • Did you know that Ellis interrupted a meeting held to support thre Queen? How can
           you trust a man like this?

        Use the information above to work out answers to these questions. You may have
        to use your imagination for some of them. You will need the answers during the
        trial so once you are happy with them, write them in the boxes on your script.




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                       Witness for the Defence – Moses Simpson

         You are a thirty one year old pottery worker. You have known Ellis for many years and
         believe him to be a man of strong character. You met Ellis at a meeting of the
         Temperance Society (against drinking alcohol) and have remained friends ever since.
         You are also a Chartist and believe that the only way employers will listen is if ordinary
         working men have the vote. You have no idea where Ellis was on the afternoon of the
         attack but you did meet him earlier in the Crown Inn in Hanley and you saw him talking
         about the need to continue the strike until the demands had been met.

         You are a drunk! Much of your evidence may be unreliable because of this. The
         prosecution will try to say that you are a hypocrite because you are supposed to
         completely against drinking alcohol.

         During the trial, you will be asked:
         • How do you know William Ellis?
         • What is your opinion of the state of working people in this area?
         • I understand that it is impossible for Mr. Ellis to have carried out this crime. Can you
            explain why?
         • Can anyone else back up your story of the whereabouts of Ellis on the afternoon in
            question?
         • Do you ever drink alcohol?
         • Had you been drinking on the 15th August?
         • It seems to me that you are a man who enjoys drinking far too much and would be
            willing to lie to save a friend. How reliable would you say you are as a witness?

         Use the information above to work out answers to these questions. You may have
         to use your imagination for some of them. You will need the answers during the
         trial so once you are happy with them, write them in the boxes on your script.




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                       Witness for the Defence – Joseph Capper

        You are a 40-year-old writer for the Northern Star (a Chartist newspaper).

        You are quoted as saying that it is wrong that Ellis has been arrested for this offence
        because all the evidence is circumstantial (no one saw him there). You are also quoted
        in your newspaper report as saying Ellis is “a person of commanding and respectable
        talent.”

        You also believe that Ellis is being used as a scapegoat for the trouble (and in particular
        the strikes). You believe that the rich and powerful are trying to make an example of this
        innocent man so that no one will want to be a Chartist or support the Chartists.

        During the trial, you will be asked:
        • How do you know William Ellis?
        • What is your opinion of him?
        • Is he capable of deliberately setting fire to someone’s house and putting the lives of
           people around him in danger?
        • How well would you say you know William Ellis?
        • Is it possible that in the excitement of the day he may have got carried away and
           been happy to risk life and limb for the cause?
        • What would you reaction have been if your own home had been destroyed by
           rioters?

        Use the information above to work out answers to these questions. You may have
        to use your imagination for some of them. You will need the answers during the
        trial so once you are happy with them, write them in the boxes on your script.




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                                          Public Gallery

        For William Ellis and the Chartists
           • You should cheer and shout encouragement when Ellis or the Defence barrister
              or witnesses have finished speaking.
           • You should boo and shout when the Prosecution barrister or witnesses have
              finished speaking.
           • You should be quiet when people are speaking but feel free to make noise at the
              end of speeches.
           • The Judge is in charge of the court and you MUST obey the Judge. Failure to do
              this may lead to your arrest!!!

        Against William Ellis and the Chartists
          • You should cheer and shout encouragement when Prosecution barrister or
             witnesses have finished speaking.
          • You should boo and shout when the Defence barrister or witnesses (particularly
             William Ellis) have finished speaking.
          • You should be quiet when people are speaking but feel free to make noise at the
             end of speeches.
          • The Judge is in charge of the court and you MUST obey the Judge. Failure to do
             this may lead to your arrest!!!




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                                               The Jury

         The Jury must listen very carefully to all the evidence and then decide:
         Is William Ellis is guilty of the attack on the Reverend’s home?

         The Jury must also consider the following issues:
            • Is the evidence strong enough to find him guilty?
            • Is it possible that William Ellis is being framed?
            • Are the authorities seeking to make an example of William Ellis?
            • William Ellis is not being tried for being a Chartist. But the fact he is a Chartist
               may mean he will not receive a fair hearing.

         Members of the Jury

         Foreman - James Harding
         Age: 46
         Job: Pottery Factory Owner
         Address: Etruria, Stoke-on-Trent
         You have little sympathy for the Chartist cause. Your factory has been disrupted a
         number of times by strikes and you partly blame the Chartists for this. You consider
         yourself to be a fair man who will try to only think about the evidence.

         Arthur Day
         Age: 32
         Job: Tea and spices merchant
         Address: Penkull, Newcastle-under-Lyme
         You are the only person on the jury who has a lot of sympathy with the Chartists. You
         have only recently met the qualification criteria to vote. You believe that a lot of the
         problems in the area are caused by unemployment, drink and poverty. You have also
         travelled around the world and are worried that Britain is becoming too industrial.

         Quinton Sneyd
         Age: 62
         Job: Landowner and Lord
         Address: Sneyd Hall, Stoke-on-Trent
         You believe that many of the people who claim to be Chartists are simply hooligans and
         ruffians. You also believe that most people don’t have the education to vote. You did not
         even agree with the reforms of 1832. As a Lord you have the right to sit in the House of
         Lords and decide what the government does. Often however you leave the important
         decisions to the more interested Lords and MPs.




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                                               The Jury

        Alfred Gask
        Age: 30
        Job: Mine owner
        Address: Tunstall, Stoke-on-Trent
        The Chartists and their leaders do not impress you. You blame the Chartists for starting
        all the trouble in Stoke-on-Trent during August 1842. You have heard of Ellis and know
        something of his character from friends.

        Matthew Millington
        Age: 65
        Job: Owner of a shoe factory
        Address: Doxey, Stafford
        You believe that the Chartists are causing far too much trouble and cannot understand
        why they want the vote. You were an officer in the army during the Napoleonic War and
        thinks that the Chartists are just undisciplined criminals. You also think that many of the
        Chartists use the cause as an excuse to make trouble.


        George Norman
        Age: 55
        Job: Headmaster of the Boy’s School.
        Address: Gnosall, Stafford
        You believe that the Chartists have a real case but do not like the methods many of
        them use. You are impressed by some of the Chartists as they have taught themselves
        to read and write. You also agree with the People’s Charter and actually signed the
        Great Petition. You do not drink and you are upset by some of the drunken behaviour
        shown by these so called members of the Temperance Movement found in the
        Chartists.




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                                   The Trial of William Ellis

         It is 3rd October 1842. William Ellis is on trial charged with unlawfully and riotously
         pulling down and destroying a house belonging to Reverend Aitkin with fire.


         Court Usher     ALL RISE!

         The judge enters and sits down. When the judge has sat down then everyone else
         can sit.

         Court Clerk:       Your Honour, Justice Tindal, the next case before you is that of one
                            William Ellis. We believe him to be a Chartist from Burslem. May I
                            read the charges?

         Judge:             Yes, yes! Get on with it!

         Court Usher:       William Sherratt Ellis, you are charged with getting together with
                            others to burn down the house of Reverend Aitkin. How do you
                            plead, guilty or not guilty?

         Ellis:              NOT GUILTY!

         Judge:              Aah, Not Guilty to a most serious offence, well we shall see!

         (To Ellis)          Mr Ellis, my court does not look kindly upon Chartists and the
                             violent attacks that they take part in. You demand reform and the
                             right to vote. But all I hear of are vicious attacks and threats to the
                             happiness and safety of people’s lives. The miseries that you inflict
                             on the good, peaceful people of this county are worse than an
                             invading enemy. An enemy would respect the houses of private
                             individuals. You are nothing but a troublemaker. You need to know
                             that such terrible, treacherous behaviour will be most strictly dealt
                             with in my court.

         (To the jury)      Members of the jury, I trust that you are twelve good sensible men
                            and that you will give a fair and just verdict. You must pay close
                            attention to the details of this case, as you will be deciding upon the
                            future of this man.

                             Foreperson of the jury, do you understand the task before you?

         Foreperson:         Yes your honour!




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         Judge:                Right! Let us proceed! Who is the first witness for the prosecution?

         Prosecution:          My first witness is Reverend Aitkin, your honour.

         Court Clerk:          Call Reverend Aitkin!

         Court Usher:          Call Reverend Aitkin!

         The Court Usher leads Reverend Aitkin up to the witness stand and reads him the
         oath. The prosecution and defence barristers then question Reverend Aitkin.


         Prosecution:          Please will you tell the court what happened on the afternoon in
                               question?


         Witness responds using the information on his/her character sheet. To help you, use this space to
         write down your reply.




         Prosecution:          How can you be sure that it was William Ellis who attacked your
                               house?


         Witness responds using the information on his/her character sheet. To help you, use this space to
         write down your reply.




         Prosecution:          How did you feel when this incident happened?


         Witness responds using the information on his/her character sheet. To help you, use this space to
         write down your reply.




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         Prosecution:          What effect has the whole incident had upon your life?

         Witness responds using the information on his/her character sheet. To help you, use this space to
         write down your reply.




         Defence:              This whole episode sounds dramatic and very upsetting. How can
                               you be sure you have remembered everything properly?

         Witness responds using the information on his/her character sheet. To help you, use this space to
         write down your reply.




         Defence:                Were the men that were attacking your house walking around
                                 slowly or rushing around? How often have you met William Ellis?
                                 It seems to me that you would have had difficulty telling if it was
                                 definitely Ellis.

         Witness responds using the information on his/her character sheet. To help you, use this space to
         write down your reply.




         Defence:               Did you deal calmly with the men who came to your house, or in
                                the heat of the moment were you aggressive? It seems to me that
                                these men only came to ask you to support them in their cause.
                                Could you have brought the trouble on yourself?

         Witness responds using the information on his/her character sheet. To help you, use this space to
         write down your reply.




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         Defence:               Finally, it seems that you are quite well off. How do you feel about
                                those who do not have your money and privileges? Could it be that
                                your own dislike of working men and women have led to you
                                misremembering events and people’s faces?

         Witness responds using the information on his/her character sheet. To help you, use this space to
         write down your reply.




         Defence:              I have no more questions your Honour.

         Judge:                The witness may step down.

         Witness returns to their seat.

         Court Clerk:          Call James Keeling!

         Court Usher:          Call James Keeling!

         The Court Usher leads Keeling to the witness stand and reads him the oath. The
         prosecution and defence barristers then question Keeling.

         Prosecution:          How do you know William Ellis and what is your opinion of him?

         Witness responds using the information on his/her character sheet. To help you, use this space to
         write down your reply.




         Prosecution:          Could you describe for the court the events of August 15th and what
                               you saw happen at Reverend Aitkin’s house?

         Witness responds using the information on his/her character sheet. To help you, use this space to
         write down your reply.




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         Prosecution:          Would you tell the court where Ellis was during this incident and
                               what you saw him doing?


         Witness responds using the information on his/her character sheet. To help you, use this space to
         write down your reply.




         Prosecution:          How did you feel when you saw this incident?


         Witness responds using the information on his/her character sheet. To help you, use this space to
         write down your reply.




         Prosecution:          Have you ever been involved in any Chartist Activity?


         Witness responds using the information on his/her character sheet. To help you, use this space to
         write down your reply.




         Prosecution:          What is your opinion of Chartism?


         Witness responds using the information on his/her character sheet. To help you, use this space to
         write down your reply.




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         Defence:              You claim that Ellis was at Reverend Aitkin’s house and
                               encouraging others to use violence against him. Can anyone else
                               back up your story?

         Witness responds using the information on his/her character sheet. To help you, use this space to
         write down your reply.




         Defence:              Two hundred and seventy seven men have been tried for this crime.
                               If there was even half of that number in and around the house how
                               can you possibly be sure Ellis was there?

         Witness responds using the information on his/her character sheet. To help you, use this space to
         write down your reply.




         Defence:              Would you agree that not all of the rioters were active Chartists and
                               that there are a lot of other problems in the area at the moment?

         Witness responds using the information on his/her character sheet. To help you, use this space to
         write down your reply.




         Defence:              Why were you in the Reverend’s house? Are you a rioter who is just
                               trying to get out of trouble?

         Witness responds using the information on his/her character sheet. To help you, use this space to
         write down your reply.




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         Defence:              I have no more questions your Honour.

         Judge:                The witness may step down.

         Witness returns to his seat.

         Court Clerk:          Call Samuel Alcock!

         Court Usher:          Call Samuel Alcock!

         The Court Usher leads Samuel Alcock up to the witness stand and reads him the
         oath. The prosecution and defence barristers then question Samuel Alcock.

         Prosecution:          What is your occupation?

         Witness responds using the information on his/her character sheet. To help you, use this space to
         write down your reply.




         Prosecution:          What has been your main responsibility in recent years?

         Witness responds using the information on his/her character sheet. To help you, use this space to
         write down your reply.




         Prosecution:          What is your opinion of Chartism?

         Witness responds using the information on his/her character sheet. To help you, use this space to
         write down your reply.




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         Prosecution:          What do you think will happen to our great country if the Chartists
                               are allowed to hold such violent demonstrations?

         Witness responds using the information on his/her character sheet. To help you, use this space to
         write down your reply.




         Prosecution:          Is it true that you employed Ellis for a short time?

         Witness responds using the information on his/her character sheet. To help you, use this space to
         write down your reply.




         Prosecution:          What is your opinion of this man?

         Witness responds using the information on his/her character sheet. To help you, use this space to
         write down your reply.




         Defence:              Would you say that you know about the lives of the people of
                               England?

         Witness responds using the information on his/her character sheet. To help you, use this space to
         write down your reply.




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         Defence:                Have you ever been unemployed?

         Witness responds using the information on his/her character sheet. To help you, use this space to
         write down your reply.




         Defence:               Can someone from a wealthy background such as yours, who has
                                the right to vote, ever really understand what makes working men
                                demand their rights?

         Witness responds using the information on his/her character sheet. To help you, use this space to
         write down your reply.




         Defence:               Why did you sack William Ellis? Is it true to say that it was because
                                you are biased against his beliefs?

         Witness responds using the information on his/her character sheet. To help you, use this space to
         write down your reply.




         Defence:              I have no more questions your Honour.

         Judge:                The witness may step down.

         Witness returns to their seat.

         Court Clerk:          Call Joseph Capper!

         Court Usher:          Call Joseph Capper!

         The Court Usher leads Capper to the witness stand and reads him the oath. The
         prosecution and defence barristers then question Capper.




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         Defence:              How do you know William Ellis?

         Witness responds using the information on his/her character sheet. To help you, use this space to
         write down your reply.




         Defence:              What is your opinion of him?

         Witness responds using the information on his/her character sheet. To help you, use this space to
         write down your reply.




         Defence:              Is he capable of deliberately setting fire to someone’s house and
                               putting the lives of people around him in danger?

         Witness responds using the information on his/her character sheet. To help you, use this space to
         write down your reply.




         Prosecution:          How well would you say you know William Ellis?

         Witness responds using the information on his/her character sheet. To help you, use this space to
         write down your reply.




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        Prosecution:          Is it possible that in the excitement of the day he may have got
                              carried away and been happy to risk life and limb for the cause?

        Witness responds using the information on his/her character sheet. To help you, use this space to
        write down your reply.




        Prosecution:          What would your reaction have been if your own home had been
                              destroyed by rioters?

        Witness responds using the information on his/her character sheet. To help you, use this space to
        write down your reply.




        Prosecution:          I have no more questions your Honour.

        Judge:                The witness may step down.

        Witness returns to their seat

        Court Clerk:          Call Moses Simpson!

        Court Usher:          Call Moses Simpson!

        The Court Usher leads Moses Simpson up to the witness stand and reads him the
        oath. The prosecution and defence barristers then question Moses Simpson

        Defence:              How do you know William Ellis?

        Witness responds using the information on his/her character sheet. To help you, use this space to
        write down your reply.




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        Defence:              What is your opinion of the state of working people in this area?

        Witness responds using the information on his/her character sheet. To help you, use this space to
        write down your reply.




        Defence:              I understand that is impossible for Mr Ellis to have carried out this
                              crime. Can you explain why?

        Witness responds using the information on his/her character sheet. To help you, use this space to
        write down your reply.




        Prosecution:          Can anyone else back up your story of the whereabouts of Ellis on
                              the afternoon in question?

        Witness responds using the information on his/her character sheet. To help you, use this space to
        write down your reply.




        Prosecution:           Do you ever drink alcohol?

        Witness responds using the information on his/her character sheet. To help you, use this space to
        write down your reply.




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         Prosecution:          Had you been drinking on the 15th August?

         Witness responds using the information on his/her character sheet. To help you, use this space to
         write down your reply.




         Prosecution:          It seems to me that you are a man who enjoys drinking far too much
                               and would be willing to lie to save a friend. How reliable would you
                               say you are as a witness?

         Witness responds using the information on his/her character sheet. To help you, use this space to
         write down your reply.




         Prosecution:          I have no more questions your Honour.

         Judge:                The witness may step down

         Witness returns to their seat.

         Court Clerk:          Call Thomas Cooper!

         Court Usher:          Call Thomas Cooper!

         The Court Usher leads Thomas Cooper to the witness stand and reads him the
         oath. The prosecution and defence barristers then question Thomas Cooper

         Defence:              What is your role in the Chartist movement?

         Witness responds using the information on his/her character sheet. To help you, use this space to
         write down your reply.




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        Defence:              What do you think about the use of violence to get what you want?

        Witness responds using the information on his/her character sheet. To help you, use this space to
        write down your reply.




        Defence:              How long have you known Ellis? Do you think he is capable of
                              deliberately setting fire to another mans house?

        Witness responds using the information on his/her character sheet. To help you, use this space to
        write down your reply.




        Defence:      Was Ellis at Reverend Aitkin’s house on the 15th August?

        Witness responds using the information on his/her character sheet. To help you, use this space to
        write down your reply.




        Prosecution:          How can you be sure that Ellis was not there? Were you at the
                              Reverend’s house that day?

        Witness responds using the information on his/her character sheet. To help you, use this space to
        write down your reply.




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        Prosecution:          How can you justify encouraging men and women to riot and attack
                              people’s houses?

        Witness responds using the information on his/her character sheet. To help you, use this space to
        write down your reply.




        Prosecution:          Did you know that Ellis disrupted a meeting held to support the
                              Queen? How can you trust a man like this?

        Witness responds using the information on his/her character sheet. To help you, use this space to
        write down your reply.




        Prosecution:          I have no more questions your Honour.

        Judge:                The witness may step down.

        Witness returns to their seat.

        Clerk:                Call William Ellis!

        Usher:                Call William Ellis!

        The Court Usher leads William Ellis to the witness stand and reads him the oath.
        The prosecution and defence barristers then question William Ellis.

        Prosecution:          Why were you at the Reverend Aitkin’s house on the 15th August?

        Witness responds using the information on his/her character sheet. To help you, use this space to
        write down your reply.




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        Prosecution:          Was it your aim to burn down Reverend Aitkin’s house? Have you
                              no respect for other people’s property?

        Witness responds using the information on his/her character sheet. To help you, use this space to
        write down your reply.




        Prosecution:          After the fire at the Reverend’s house you fled to Glasgow. Can you
                              explain why you did that? Perhaps it was because you were guilty.

        Witness responds using the information on his/her character sheet. To help you, use this space to
        write down your reply.




        Prosecution:          Why should people get the vote? What have they done to earn it?

        Witness responds using the information on his/her character sheet. To help you, use this space to
        write down your reply.




        Prosecution:          Is Chartism more important to you than the property of another
                              person?

        Witness responds using the information on his/her character sheet. To help you, use this space to
        write down your reply.




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         Defence:              Did you go to the Reverend Aitkin’s house that afternoon?

         Witness responds using the information on his/her character sheet. To help you, use this space to
         write down your reply.




       Defence:                Do you see anything wrong with entering another person’s house
                               and destroying their property?

         Witness responds using the information on his/her character sheet. To help you, use this space to
         write down your reply.




         Defence:      Did you deliberately set out to burn Reverend Aitkin’s house down?

         Witness responds using the information on his/her character sheet. To help you, use this space to
         write down your reply.




         Defence:              Why do you think you are being tried for this crime which you so
                               clearly state that you did not do?

         Witness responds using the information on his/her character sheet. To help you, use this space to
         write down your reply.




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        Defence:            I have no further questions your Honour.

        Judge:              The witness may step down.

        Witness returns to their seat.

        Shouting and cheering from the Public Gallery.

        Judge:             SILENCE! I will not stand for such interruptions!
                           The defence and prosecution must now give their closing speeches.

        Defence:           Members of the jury I put it to you that William Ellis is NOT GUILTY
                           of the charges of burning down Reverend Aitkin's house. We have
                           heard that Ellis is reliable and of good character. The evidence from
                           Joseph Capper is at best unreliable as he has been in trouble with
                           the police before. Samuel Alcock has seen fit to employ Ellis but
                           seems biased against his political beliefs. Reverend Aitkin was very
                           upset by these events but did not actually see Ellis in his house, nor
                           hear him tell other people to riot. Indeed there is no evidence that
                           definitely places Ellis at the Reverend’s house that afternoon. There
                           is not the slightest bit of evidence that shows that William Ellis had
                           the intention or the means to burn down the house.

                           An innocent man is being made a scapegoat for other people’s
                           unruly and violent behaviour. The man before you is being
                           victimised by the authorities for his belief in the right of all men to
                           vote and his willingness to stand up for it. You must therefore find
                           William Ellis NOT GUILTY!

        Prosecution:        Members of the jury I put it to you that William Ellis is GUILTY of the
                            charge of destroying a house by fire. We have heard that a very
                            vicious attack was committed against innocent people in their own
                            home. Reverend Aitkin and his family were very lucky not to be
                            seriously injured. We have heard from the Reverend that the mob of
                            rioters terrorised and terrified the local people and that people were
                            scared that they would be killed. The story that Ellis was not at the
                            house has been made up to get him out of trouble. The fact that
                            Ellis fled to Glasgow straight after the incident also shows his guilt.

                            Finally, we have heard from the Chief Constable that men like Ellis
                            are dangerous and must be stopped before they injure or kill
                            innocent people. Men like Ellis will ruin our great country. William
                            Sherratt Ellis has broken the law and must be found GUILTY as
                            charged.




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        Booing and shouting from the Public Gallery.

        Judge:               SILENCE IN COURT!
                            Members of the jury, you have heard the evidence before you,
                            stories of rebellion and riot against the proper order of things.
                            Whether you choose to believe the Chartists is up to you. Whether
                            you think that they are right in their dangerous demands is not
                            relevant to this case.        What you must decide is the guilt or
                            innocence of William Ellis. He stands here accused of a most
                            serious crime, of destroying a house by fire.

                            I demand that you reach a fair and just verdict - be that Guilty or
                            not!
                            The jury may now make their decision.

        The jury stay in their seats and discuss whether they think Ellis is guilty or not.

        Court Clerk:        William Ellis, will you please stand. Foreman of the jury; please
                            make yourself known.

        Foreperson stands.

        Court Clerk:        In the case of William Ellis, have you reached a decision?

        Foreman:            Yes.

        Court Clerk:        On the charge of destroying a house by fire do you find the
                            defendant guilty or not guilty?

        Foreman             We find the defendant guilty/not guilty




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         If Ellis is found GUILTY use the following:


         Judge:              William Sherratt Ellis, the court has found you guilty of the
                             aforementioned crimes. I therefore have no hesitation in sentencing
                             you to transportation from this country for 21 years for your
                             appalling crime.
                             Guards! Take the prisoner away!

         If Ellis is found NOT GUILTY use the following:

         Judge:              William Sherratt Ellis, this court has found you not guilty of the
                             aforementioned crimes. You have been found to be innocent and
                             you may leave the courtroom a free man. Release the prisoner!




         Judge:              That concludes business for today. Court dismissed!

         Court Usher:        All rise!

         Everyone stands up as the Judge leaves the room

         Court Usher:        Court dismissed!




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                     Lesson 7 – What happened to William Ellis?



         Teaching objectives                          Evidence
            • To understand why the case was
              important.
            • To find out what actually happened
              to William Ellis
            • To think again about the importance
              of the Charter - Did it fail?


         Resources                                    Keywords


         Introduction
             • What happened to Ellis? Pupils to recall from court.
             • Teacher to recap on the events of the trial.



         Development Activities
           • Finish Story board sheet from Lesson 4
           • Did Chartism fail?
           • Use ‘The Chartist’s Demands’ sheet from Lesson 1. Pupils to go through each
               point and see if we have these things today.
           • Class discussion - How do these answers fit in with the fact that so many
               Chartists went to prison and did not get what they wanted?


         Additional Support                           Extension Activities
           • Big picture of Ellis from Lesson 3          • Why did Chartism fail?




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                 Lesson 7 – What happened to William Ellis? (cont.)



          Plenary

             •   What can you add to the big picture of Ellis?
             •   Complete final picture of the story board from Lesson 4.
             •   Pupils to imagine they are Emma Ellis, William’s wife, writing a letter to a
                 sympathetic friend. The letter should describe Emma’s last meeting with her
                 husband before he left for Tasmania. Each group should consider the space
                 where the meeting might have taken place and who else might have been
                 present. Would Emma and William have spoken privately? How long would they
                 have spent together? Pupils should continue the letter by exploring Emma’s fears
                 for the future. How will the family manage financially? What sort of stigma will
                 William’s transportation bring to the family?


          Homework
            • Summary of Ellis’s life and character and Chartism. Was William Ellis framed
              because he was a Chartist?




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                              What happened to William Ellis?


         William Ellis was found guilty of arson and was sentenced to be transported for 21
         years. This punishment was especially harsh because the authorities wanted to make
         an example of Ellis to discourage other Chartists from rioting and disrupting behaviour.

         He was transported to Tasmania (an island south of Australia) where he was expected
         to serve 3½ years on a chain gang as a labourer. However, after 18 months, he
         became a schoolmaster due to good behaviour and later worked as a clerk for the police
         force because of his rare ability to read and write.

         William had hoped that his wife and family would be able to join him in Tasmania while
         he served out his sentence but they were refused permission to travel by Stoke Poor
         Law Board. In 1849, after one of their daughters had died, William’s wife Emma
         emigrated to America with the rest of their children and lost touch with him.

         William was not free to leave Tasmania until 1863 but tried to escape the country with
         another convicted Chartist anyway. His escape attempt was punished with 6 months
         hard labour.

         In 1851 (after he had served that sentence), William once again became a potter – as
         well as a prominent member of the Tasmanian Union, an organisation of ex-convicts
         campaigning for equal rights. (The situation in Australia was similar to that in England
         and William still could not qualify for the vote as he did not have enough money or
         property.)

         In the 1850’s, William Ellis was charged with running off with another man’s wife and he,
         like many others, was banned from standing and speaking on public platforms. He was
         also found guilty of drunkenness and disorderly behaviour on several occasions and
         later remarried, probably without divorcing his first wife and making him a bigamist).

         By the time Ellis was a free man, he was so poor that he did not have enough money to
         get back to England. He made a living by writing letters for illiterate people and died on
         the 17th November 1871, aged 62. He was buried in a pauper’s grave.




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                               Did you enjoy ‘Court in Action’?


         Name:
         School:

          Please tell us three things   1.
          you enjoyed about your
          visit.
                                        2.


                                        3.


          What did you learn during     1.
          your visit?

                                        2.


                                        3.


          What skills did you use       1.
          during your visit ?

                                        2.


                                        3.


          What would have made          1.
          your visit better?

                                        2.


                                        3.




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                               ‘Court in Action’ Evaluation Sheet


         We’d love to know what you thought of our ‘Court in Action’ pack so we can continue to
         improve it. Was there anything else you would have liked to have had information
         about? Would you have liked more classroom resources or worksheets? Did you create
         any new activities based on this pack which you think we should include? Was there
         anything about ‘Court in Action’ that you didn’t like or found difficult to use?

         Name:
         School:
         Date of Visit:                                     No. of pupils:




         Return to:       Jackie Bradbury, Education & Outreach Co-ordinator
         By post:         Staffordshire Arts and Museums Service, 3rd Floor Tipping Street Stafford
                          ST16 2LD
         By fax:          01785 278 156
         By e-mail:       Jackie.bradbury@staffordshire.gov.uk




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                                  Recreating a trial at Court 1


        If you would like to hold your trial at the Shire Hall Gallery, please fill in the booking form
        on the next page to reserve your place.

        If you are unable to bring your class to the Shire Hall Gallery and would prefer to
        recreate the trial at your school, a handling collection and costumes are available for
        hire. Please contact Jackie Bradbury to discuss your requirements.

        •   What does the visit to the Shire Hall Gallery involve?
            The visit is designed for a class of up to 35 pupils and their teachers/supervisory
            adults. A ratio of 1 adult to 8 pupils is recommended.

        •   What does a visit cost?
            £50 per class for half a day (two hour session)
            £100 per class for a full day (3 ¾ hour session, including 30 minute lunchbreak)

        • What does that include?
        You can choose from the following options:

            Half day
            - Costumes for the judge and barristers
            - A half hour object handling session/visit to the holding cell
            - One and a half hours to set up and run through the trial (including a final
              discussion)

            Full day
            - Costumes for the judge and barristers
            - A ten minute tour of the outside of the building
            - A forty minute introduction to Court One (including character placement and
              development)
            - A half hour object handling session/visit to the holding cell
            - A half hour lunchbreak
            - One and a half hours to set up and run through the trial (including a final
              discussion)




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                                      Court 1 Booking Form

        Please complete this form and return it to the address below no later than 10 days
        before your proposed visit. You will receive confirmation of your booking from us.

           Name:
           School or group:
           Address:




           Telephone:
           Fax:
           E-mail:
           Unit:                                       KS2: Trial of Elizabeth Buckley
                                                       KS3: Trial of William Ellis
           Number of children attending:
           Number of teachers/class supervisors:
           Proposed date of visit:
           Proposed arrival time
           Proposed departure time:
           Special Requirements:




        Return to:    Jackie Bradbury, Education & Outreach Co-ordinator
        By post:      Staffordshire Arts and Museums Service, 3rd Floor Tipping Street Stafford
                      ST16 2LD
        By fax:       01785 278 156




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                                            How to find us

        Court 1 is part of The Shire Hall Gallery, Market Square, Stafford. ST16 2LD. Car parks,
        bus stops and the train station are all within 5 minutes walk. Stafford is only 3 miles from
        the M6 (junction 13 or 14).




        Parking:
        Coaches and minibuses can use the ‘drop off’ area in front of the Gatehouse Theatre on
        Eastgate Street. The nearest coach park is the large car park by Sainsburys, Chell
        Street. Information on parking in Stafford is available from the Shire Hall Gallery or from
        Stafford Borough Council.

        Cloakroom:
        Bags and coats will be deposited in court 2 of the Shire Hall Gallery. The Gallery
        accepts no liability for loss or damage of valuables.

        Toilets:
        There is an adapted toilet available on the ground floor of the Shire Hall Gallery and
        further toilets are available at the Gallery entrance to the Library.

        Access and Equal Opportunities:
        Staffordshire County Council is committed to providing equal opportunities and a chair
        lift is available to provide access to the entrance of Court One (although due to the
        historic nature of the building only partial access to Court One is possible for wheelchair
        users). Guide and hearing dogs are very welcome. Please contact Jackie Bradbury to
        discuss any access queries prior to your visit.



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                                                Notes




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         For further information on our educational resources or to arrange a visit to
             the Shire Hall Gallery please contact Jackie Bradbury, Education &
                   Outreach Co-ordinator on 01785 278170 or by emailing
                           Jackie.bradbury@staffordshire.gov.uk


             You can also visit our web site: - www.staffordshire.gov.uk/sams




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