4 November

The Newport Rising was the last large-scale armed rebellion against authority in Great Britain when, on this day in 1839, somewhere between 1,000 and 5,000 Chartist sympathisers, led by John Frost, marched on the town of Newport, Monmouthshire.

The men, including many coal-miners, most with home-made arms, were intent on liberating fellow Chartists who were reported to have been taken prisoner in the town’s Westgate Hotel. About 22 demonstrators were killed when troops opened fire on them. The leaders of the rebellion were convicted of high treason and were sentenced to a traitor’s death. The sentence was later commuted to transportation for life.