Home > Chartism > The Trial > Who's who in the court room

Who's who in the court room

The prosecution case

That thirty local Chartists including Frost, had met at the Coach and Horses in Blackwood and planned a national rising, and the Chartist leaders were guilty of treason

The prosecution team 

Sir John Campbell - The Attorney General was in charge of the prosecution of all the Chartist prisoners. The Government was convinced that the Newport Rising had been an organised rebellion against the State

Lord Normanby  - The Home Secretary. He persuaded the Attorney General to hold the Special Commission and to reduce the number of men charged with treason from 50 to 14.

The defence case

The march on Newport was a demonstration of strength to persuade the Newport magistrates to grant a pardon for Henry Vincent and other Chartist prisoners held in Monmouth Gaol.

The defence team

Sir Nicholas Pollock headed the defence council for Frost.  One of the leading barristers of the day, Pollock had previously represented Frost in his case of libel against Thomas Prothero in 1822. 

Fitzroy Kelly, described as one of the most acute and powerful advocates at the bar and the most eloquent barrister in England.

The Judges

Lord Chief Justice, Sir Nicholas Tindal - had the confidence and trust of the Home Secretary, Lord Normanby, who didn’t want Justice Williams running the Trial, fearing his heavy handed approach would cause more unrest. emailed

Mr Justice John Williams   - a Judge with a reputation for savage punishment for those who threatened social order. He sent down the ‘Tolpuddle Martyrs’ in 1834. 

Sir James Parke  - a learned Judge who was a stickler for technicalities.




Text and artwork from Voices for the Vote: Shire Hall and the story of Chartism in south Wales. Reproduced by kind permission of Monmouthshire County Council/Shire Hall, Monmouth. The book costs £4.99 and can be obtained from Shire Hall Monmouth, Newport Museum or Gwent Archives