Heronsgate

Heronsgate is a settlement in the county of Hertfordshire in southern England. It was founded in 1846 as a Chartist community and named O’Connorville after its founder, the Chartist leader Feargus O’Connor. Its goal was to resettle industrial laborers to smallholdings to make them independent of factory owners and possibly qualify them to vote. O’Connor’s Chartist Cooperative Land Company, which founded the community with subscription funds, had its assets liquidated by Act of Parliament in 1851 and the estate was auctioned off in 1857.

Coordinates

Latitude: 51.640086996147
Longitude: -0.512226819992

Timeline of Events Associated with Heronsgate

Date Event Manage
Apr 1846

Formation of the Chartist Land Company

Blue Plaque to O'ConnorvilleIn April 1846, the Chartist National Delegates Meeting approved the formation of the Chartist Cooperative Land Company. The Chartist Land Company was a large-scale, explicitly political version of freehold societies. Conceived by the Chartist leader Feargus O’Connor in 1842, the Company, like freehold societies, purchased large tracts of land through subscriptions and then sold smaller parcels to subscribers. It attempted to re-create village life by building cottages, hospitals, and schools, and setting aside one hundred acres for common use. Image: Plaque commemorating Feargus O'Connor at Heronsgate, Hertfordshire. This image is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported license.

Articles

Ellen Rosenman, “On Enclosure Acts and the Commons”


Chris R. Vanden Bossche, “On Chartism”

17 Aug 1846

Opening festival for O’Connorville

Blue Plaque to O'Connorville17 August 1846 saw the opening festival for O’Connorville, the first Chartist settlement. Image: Plaque commemorating Feargus O'Connor at Heronsgate, Hertfordshire. This image is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported license.

Articles

Ellen Rosenman, “On Enclosure Acts and the Commons”

Chris R. Vanden Bossche, “On Chartism”

10 Apr 1848

Chartist Rally, Kennington

Poster for Chartist DemonstrationOn 10 April 1848, Chartists rally on Kennington Common, south London. Image: Poster advertising the "Monster" Chartist Demonstration, held on 10 April 1848, proceeding to Kennington Common, Rodney Mace, British Trade Union Posters: An Illustrated History. This image is in the public domain in the United States because its copyright has expired.

Led by Feargus O’Connor, an estimated 25,000 Chartists meet on Kennington Common planning to march to Westminster to deliver a monster petition in favor of the six points of the People’s Charter. Police block bridges over the Thames containing the marchers south of the river, and the demonstration is broken up with some arrests and violence. However, the large scale revolt widely predicted and feared fails to materialize.

Articles

Jo Briggs, “1848 and 1851: A Reconsideration of the Historical Narrative”

Chris Vanden Bossche, "On Chartism"

Aug 1851

Chancery Court orders closing of O’Connorville

Blue Plaque to O'ConnorvilleIn August 1851, Chancery Court ordered the closing of O’Connorville, the first Chartist settlement. Image: Plaque commemorating Feargus O'Connor at Heronsgate, Hertfordshire. This image is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported license.

Articles

Ellen Rosenman, “On Enclosure Acts and the Commons”


Chris R. Vanden Bossche, “On Chartism”

Jun 1858

Sale of the final piece of Chartist property

June 1858 saw the sale of the final piece of Chartist property, definitively bringing to an end the efforts of the Chartist Cooperative Land Company. The Chartist Land Company was a large-scale, explicitly political version of freehold societies. Conceived by the Chartist leader Feargus O’Connor in 1842, the Company, like freehold societies, purchased large tracts of land through subscriptions and then sold smaller parcels to subscribers. It attempted to re-create village life by building cottages, hospitals, and schools, and setting aside one hundred acres for common use.

Articles

Ellen Rosenman, “On Enclosure Acts and the Commons”

Chris R. Vanden Bossche, “On Chartism”