Master and Servant Law

Chartists, Trade Unions, Radical Lawyers and the Magistracy in England, 1840-1865
Frank, Christopher
Date published: 
March 2010

In recent years, social and legal historians have called into question the degree to which the labour that fuelled and sustained industrialization in England was actually 'free'. This book examines the tactics, rhetoric and consequences of a sustained legal and political campaign by English and Welsh trade unions, Chartists, and a few radical solicitors against the penal sanctions of employment law during the mid-nineteenth century. By bringing together historical narratives that are all too frequently examined in isolation, the author is able to draw new conclusions about the development of the English legal system, trade unionism and popular politics of the period.