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Whitehall episode

A place to chat about the 16th series of the genealogy programme, which will feature stories from Kate Winslet, Daniel Radcliffe, Sharon Osbourne and more.

Whitehall episode

Postby Nick_233 » Fri Aug 09, 2019 1:28 pm

I must say, I found this episode very irritating. Not only was the son flippant but often rude despite the amount of research carried out for him and his father. My impression was that he misunderstood or couldn't relate to the historical content. The Chartist movement was a very necessary part of our ability to vote democraticaly today. The solicitor ancestor was actually just doing his job ! You can't be a solicitor and clerk to the magistrates and go against the law and keep your job. Victorian values were quite different to present day ones.
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Re: Whitehall episode

Postby AdrianB38 » Fri Aug 09, 2019 8:49 pm

Nick_233 wrote:... Victorian values were quite different to present day ones.

One interesting example of that cropped up when I was doing some background reading on an early trade union in Nantwich.

Working from memory, the meeting got raided and the union members were charged with administering an illegal oath. Now, from our viewpoint this sounds really petty - but I found out that it wasn't. At that time, about the only reason to take an oath was to denote your loyalty as a soldier (say) to the Crown, or swearing to tell the truth in court. You swore By Almighty God and that wasn't just words for most people but serious stuff. If you swore an oath of loyalty to your union colleagues, that meant that you were treating them as seriously as an oath of allegiance to the Crown - so if the 2 clashed, what then? That's why the authorities would not permit anyone to swear oaths apart from the Armed Services, Doctors, people in court, etc.

Although they denied it in court, the guy writing the journal candidly admitted that they had sworn such an oath!
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Re: Whitehall episode

Postby ksouthall » Sun Aug 11, 2019 9:18 am

AdrianB38 wrote:At that time, about the only reason to take an oath was to denote your loyalty as a soldier (say) to the Crown, or swearing to tell the truth in court. You swore By Almighty God and that wasn't just words for most people but serious stuff. If you swore an oath of loyalty to your union colleagues, that meant that you were treating them as seriously as an oath of allegiance to the Crown - so if the 2 clashed, what then? That's why the authorities would not permit anyone to swear oaths apart from the Armed Services, Doctors, people in court, etc.


So I guess this is why John Frost was tried for High Treason?
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Re: Whitehall episode

Postby AdrianB38 » Sun Aug 11, 2019 12:32 pm

An oath wouldn't lead to a case of treason because I think that administering an illegal oath was the offence. I imagine that the accusation of High Treason derived from the fact that the Newport people were carrying arms and the allegation was that this was evidence of an attempt to bring down the government. At least, that's my impression from a read of Wikipedia as the credits rolled on the episode. That article seems to imply that Frost was a reluctant participant in the proposed violence but a participant nonetheless. I think!

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