John Bright by Charles Anthony Vince

Book Cover: John Bright by Charles Anthony Vince
Editions:Paperback - FolkCustoms 2013: £ 8.00
ISBN: 9781291642278
Pages: 148

Biography of John Bright, British Radical and Liberal statesman, one of the greatest orators of his generation, In partnership with Richard Cobden, he founded the Anti-Corn Law League.

In 1843 Bright was the Free Trade candidate at a by-election at Durham. He was defeated, but his successful competitor was unseated on petition, and at the second contest Bright was returned. In the Anti-Corn Law movement the two speakers, Cobden and Bright, complemented of each other. Cobden did the reasoning, Bright supplied the declamation, but mingled argument with appeal. No orator of modern times rose more rapidly. From 1847 until 1857 he was MP for Manchester, but his unpopular opposition of the Crimean War lost him his seat but a few months later he was returned unopposed as one of the two MPs for Birmingham. Bright died at his home One Ash on 27 March 1889 and was buried in the graveyard of the meeting-house of the Religious Society of Friends in Rochdale.

The Mabinogion translated by Lady Charlotte Guest

Book Cover: The Mabinogion translated by Lady Charlotte Guest
Editions:Paperback - FolkCustoms 2014: £ 9.99
ISBN: 9781291690910
Pages: 232

The Red Book of Hergest, from which The Mabinogion are taken, is a collection of tales and poems written during the fourteenth century. 

Some of the Mabinogion in it have been reconstructed in Norman and Crusading times, but they contain reminiscences of a more distant period, often but half understood by the later story-teller.  Among these are “The Dream of Rhonabwy,” “The Lady of the Fountain,” and “Peredur the son of Evrawc”—the three which happen to come first in the Red Book.  These are Christian, but with distant glimpses of Celtic heathenism.  The adventures are all grouped around Arthur and his knights; and a kind of connection is given to the three tales by the presence of Owen and his mysterious ravens. Others, especially the four Mabinogion properly so called and the Tale of Lludd and Llevelys, are far older; they are older than Christianity, and older than Arthur.

The Life of Dr. John Dee (1527 – 1608) by Charlotte Fell Smith

Book Cover: The Life of Dr. John Dee (1527 – 1608) by Charlotte Fell Smith
Editions:Paperback - FolkCustoms 2014: £ 9.99
ISBN: 9781291940411
Pages: 214

Dr. John Dee, Elizabethan Scholar, Astrologer, Occultist  and Alchemist.

John Dee was a much respected mathematician, astronomer, astrologer, occultist, alchemist and adviser to Queen Elizabeth I, but subsequently derided as a conjurer and a trickster.

Dee became Queen Elizabeth’s trusted advisor on astrological and scientific matters, choosing her coronation date himself. From the 1550s through the 1570s, he served as an advisor to England’s voyages of discovery, providing technical assistance in navigation and ideological backing in the creation of a “British Empire”

Dee’s library, at 4000 volumes, was the largest philosophical and scientific library collection in Elizabethan England.

Queen Elizabeth finally made him Warden of Christ’s College, Manchester, in 1595.

Three Accounts of Peterloo and The Story of Peterloo by Francis Archibald Bruton

Book Cover: Three Accounts of Peterloo and The Story of Peterloo by Francis Archibald Bruton
Editions:Paperback - FolkCustoms 2014: £ 7.99
ISBN: 9781291949940
Pages: 120

A peaceful demonstration in 1819 turned to carnage when the authorities made a bungled attempt to disperse the crowd.

The Peterloo Massacre occurred at St Peter’s Field, Manchester, England, on 16 August 1819, when cavalry charged into a crowd of 60,000–80,000 that had gathered to demand the reform of parliamentary representation.

Shortly after the meeting began local magistrates called on the military authorities to arrest Hunt and several others on the hustings with him, and to disperse the crowd. Cavalry charged into the crowd with sabres drawn, and in the ensuing confusion, 15 people (including women and children) were killed and hundreds were injured.

Within this volume are published three eyewitness reports of the event which F. A. Burton thought worthy of publication along with his “Story of Peterloo.”

Samuel Bamford’s Autobiography, Volume 1: Early Days

Book Cover: Samuel Bamford’s Autobiography, Volume 1: Early Days
Editions:Paperback - FolkCustoms 2014: £ 9.99
ISBN: 9781291951394
Pages: 183

Samuel Bamford (28 February 1788 – 13 April 1872, was an English radical and writer, who was born in Middleton, Lancashire.

In August 1819, Bamford led a group from Middleton to St Peter’s Fields, to attend a meeting pressing for parliamentary reform, where they witnessed the Peterloo Massacre.

Bamford was arrested and charged with treason. Although the evidence showed that he had not been involved in the violence, he was nevertheless found guilty of inciting a riot and sentenced to a year in Lincoln gaol.

The experience of the massacre made a deep impression on Bamford, and convinced him that the state’s power would always succeed against radical militancy. He came to be seen as a voice for radical reform, but opposed to any activism that involved physical force.

Bamford was the author of poetry (mostly in standard English)but of those in dialect several showing sympathy with the conditions of the working class became widely popular.

“Early Days” covers Samuel’s life from 1788 – 1812

Samuel Bamford’s Autobiography, Volume 2: Passages in the Life of a Radical

Book Cover: Samuel Bamford’s Autobiography, Volume 2: Passages in the Life of a Radical
Editions:Paperback - FolkCustoms 2014: £ 9.99
ISBN: 9781291951417
Pages: 262

Samuel Bamford (28 February 1788 – 13 April 1872, was an English radical and writer, who was born in Middleton, Lancashire.

In August 1819, Bamford led a group from Middleton to St Peter’s Fields, to attend a meeting pressing for parliamentary reform, where they witnessed the Peterloo Massacre.

Bamford was arrested and charged with treason. Although the evidence showed that he had not been involved in the violence, he was nevertheless found guilty of inciting a riot and sentenced to a year in Lincoln gaol.

The experience of the massacre made a deep impression on Bamford, and convinced him that the state’s power would always succeed against radical militancy. He came to be seen as a voice for radical reform, but opposed to any activism that involved physical force.

Bamford was the author of poetry (mostly in standard English)but of those in dialect several showing sympathy with the conditions of the working class became widely popular.

“Passages in the Life of a Radical” covers Samuel’s life from 1815 to 1821 and his introduction into the politics that lead to his being arrested as one of the leaders of the reformers at Peterloo.

Guy Fawkes or a Complete History of the Gunporder Treason by Thomas Lathbury

Book Cover: Guy Fawkes or a Complete History of the Gunporder Treason by Thomas Lathbury
Editions:Paperback - FolkCustoms 2014: £ 7.99
ISBN: 9781326044947
Pages: 104

The Gunpowder Plot of 1605, was a failed assassination attempt against King James I of England and VI of Scotland by a group of provincial English Catholics led by Robert Catesby.

The plan was to blow up the House of Lords during the State Opening of England's Parliament on 5 November 1605, as the prelude to a popular revolt in the Midlands during which James's nine-year-old daughter, Princess Elizabeth, was to be installed as the Catholic head of state.

The plot was revealed to the authorities in an anonymous letter. During a search of the House of Lords at about midnight on 4 November 1605, Fawkes was discovered guarding 36 barrels of gunpowder and arrested.

At the trial of the conspirators on 27 January 1606, eight of the survivors, including Fawkes, were convicted and sentenced to be hanged, drawn and quartered.

The Digger Movement in the Days of the Commonwealth by Lewis H. Berens

Book Cover: The Digger Movement in the Days of the Commonwealth by Lewis H. Berens
Editions:Paperback - FolkCustoms 2014: £ 11.99
ISBN: 9781326060718
Pages: 317

In 1649 Gerrard Winstanley and 14 others published a pamphlet in which they called themselves the “True Levellers” although once they began to put those beliefs into practice they soon became known by supporters and opponents as “Diggers”.

The Diggers’ beliefs envisioned an ecological interrelationship between humans and nature, acknowledging the inherent connections between people and their surroundings.

Winstanley declared that “true freedom lies where a man receives his nourishment and preservation, and that is in the use of the earth”.

In April 1649 several Diggers had begun to plant vegetables in common land on St George’s Hill, Weybridge, Surrey at a time when food prices reached an all-time high. They had invited “all to come in and help them, and promise them meat, drink, and clothes.”

Old English Customs Extant at the Present Time– P. H. Ditchfield

Book Cover: Old English Customs Extant at the Present Time– P. H. Ditchfield
Editions:Paperback - FolkCustoms 2014: £ 8.99
ISBN: 9781326072643
Pages: 186

Many customs have vanished, quietly dying out without giving a sign. The present generation has witnessed the extinction of many observances which our fathers practised and revered, and doubtless the progress of decay will continue.

We have entered upon a diminished inheritance. Still it is surprising to find how much has been left; how tenaciously the English race clings to that which habit and usage have established; how ancient customs hold sway in the palace, the parliament, the army, the law courts, amongst educated people as well as unlearned rustics; how they cluster around our social institutions, are enshrined in religious ceremonial, and are preserved by law; how carefully they have been guarded through the many ages of their existence, and how deeply rooted they are in the affections of the English people.