Map of all plotted meeting sites in my database, 1775-1848 (2291 meetings so far, and counting):
main colour codes:
radical (including any meetings calling for radical reform, universal suffrage, etc, usually pre-1832) – large green
reform (any meetings calling for parliamentary reform, but not universal suffrage, etc) – green with black circle
trade union (includes any form of workers’ collective action relating to wages) – pink with square inside
loyal (any anti-radical or Conservative meeting or society) – large blue
commercial (including any meeting involving merchants and manufacturers on their interests) – pink stars
patriotic (meetings, addresses, dinners or military gatherings on civic patriotic occasions like the king’s birthday or naval victories – blue circle
Chartist – pink with circle inside
ACLA (Anti-Corn Law League) – large purple
10 Hours (Ten Hours and other short time movements) – pink with square inside
ANPL (anti-New Poor Law) – white pushpin
abolition (abolition of the slave trade and slavery) – white diamond
local government (includes any meetings of magistrates or townspeople on local governing or policing) – large yellow
Recorded days of the week for political meetings in my database, 1775-1848:
Mondays were by far the most common day chosen for public meetings. Proportionately few meetings were held on Fridays and Saturdays.
The most common day of the week for meetings began to change, however, from 1841 onwards. Sundays became the most common day by the mid 1840s.
In part the reason was the increasing dominance of factory time, which diminished the custom of ‘Saint Monday’, the traditional day off work. Also, because Chartists increasingly held monster meetings on more remote moorland, the events became all-day affairs, requiring a hike to the meeting place. Workers could no longer pop out on their dinner break to attend a meeting and then go back to work. They also borrowed the Methodist tradition of camp meetings on Sundays.
types of meeting place
A large proportion of meetings took place on moors or fields, often outside the jurisdiction of town authorities. The largest proportion of meetings, however, took place in pubs, inns and hotels.