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John FROST

Male Abt 1784 - 1877  (~ 93 years)


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  • Name John FROST 
    Born Abt 1784  Newport, Monmouthshire, Wales Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Birth 25 May 1784  Newport, Monmouthshire, Wales Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Christened 3 Jul 1785  St. Woolos, Newport, Monmouthshire, Wales Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Gender Male 
    Will 12 Apr 1874  Stapleton, Gloucestershire, England Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Died 27 Jul 1877  Stapleton, Gloucestershire, England Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Buried 27 Jul 1877  Church of the Holy Trinity with St, Edmund, Horfield in Bristol, Gloucestershire, England Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Probate 9 Jan 1878  Bristol, Gloucestershire, England Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Notes 
    • (1) Source: Roger Jones , citing Williams, David, John Frost, A Study in Chartism, Cardiff, Wales: University Of Wales Press Board, 1939.

      (2) The FROST Name in the St Woolos Parish Registers 1702-1859 http://www.mah.talktalk.net/frost.html:

      Baptized 03 07 1785 John FROST: Son of John FROST and Sarah his wife. . . .

      The above is the baptism of "the" John Frost, the Chartist. Note he was the second son of John & Sarah Frost named John (see entries . . . for [the first son named] John: 9/11/1783 & 23/12/1784). The often quoted birth for him of 23 July 1784 must therefore be incorrect as he must have been born post-23/12/1784.

      (3) "John Frost," Encyclopædia Brittanica, 2010, © 2010 Encyclopædia Brittanica, Inc.:

      John Frost, (b. May 25, 1784, Newport, Monmouthshire [now Gwent], Wales - d. July 27, 1877, near Bristol, Gloucestershire, England), hero of Chartism (the first mass political reform movement) and leader of the Newport rising of November 4, 1839, in which about 20 Chartists were killed by troops.

      A prosperous draper and tailor in Newport, Frost served as a member of Newport's first elected town council (from 1835), as magistrate (1836-39), and as mayor (1836-37). He was a delegate from Monmouthshire to the Chartist convention in London (February-September 1839) and occasionally was convention chairman, in which capacity his tie-breaking vote dissolved the assembly. Returning to Newport, he became involved in militant Chartist activities that culminated in the street battle on November 4.

      Convicted (January 16, 1840) of high treason, Frost received a death sentence, which was commuted to exile for life to Van Diemen's Land (now Tasmania). Released in 1854 on condition that he leave British territory, he lived in the United States until 1856, when he was granted a full pardon. Frost became an advocate of prison reform, including the end of convict transportation, and he wrote newspaper articles and lectured in England.

      (4) Chartist Lives: John Frost <http://richardjohnbr.wordpress.com/2007/08/10/chartist-lives-john-fro st>:

      Frost was born at Newport, Monmouthshire, on 25th May 1784, the son of John Frost and his wife, Sarah, landlady of the Royal Oak public house in Mill Street, Newport. His father died when John was very young and his mother remarried twice. Aged about sixteen, Frost was apprenticed to a tailor in Cardiff. In 1804, he was an assistant woollen draper in Bristol and the following year he worked in London as a merchant tailor. There he joined radical circles and sharpened his political education by reading Paine and Cobbett. On his return to Newport about 1806, he continued his business as a tailor and draper. On 24th October 1812, Frost married Mary Geach (née Morgan), widow of a timber dealer, with whom he had eight children between 1815 and 1826.

      Frost published thirteen public letters on issues of Newport municipal politics during 1821-2. In 1823, he suffered six months' imprisonment for libel, as part of a twenty-year vendetta with solicitor Thomas Prothero. Frost took an active part in the struggle for reform in Newport. He helped organise a branch of the Political Union of the Working Classes in November 1831 and his A Christmas Box for Sir Charles Morgan (1831) attacked agrarian distress and advocated a widened franchise, triennial parliaments, and vote by ballot. The following year, he savaged the Reform Act in A Letter to the Reformers. In 1835, Frost was elected a member of the town council of Newport and appointed a magistrate for the borough. In 1836, he was elected mayor, but he was defeated in 1837 owing to his opposition to church rates.

      On 30th October 1838, Frost appeared in public in support of William Edward's Newport Working Men's Association and soon after was elected to the 1839 Chartist convention as delegate for Monmouthshire. This activity led to his removal from the commission of the peace by the home secretary, Lord John Russell, on 21st March 1839. Consequently, Frost's popularity among the Chartists increased and he became a national leader. Throughout the spring and summer, Frost acted to damp down angry and restless local Chartist groups. However, following a wave of convictions for sedition, he appeared to shift his position. On 14th September the convention, weakened in numbers by resignation and arrests, was dissolved on the casting vote of Frost as chairman. Confusion surrounds his movements and intentions over the next six weeks but it is certain that he was present when plans were laid for a rising centred on Newport.

      On 4th November, Frost led a large body of armed working men, chiefly miners, into Newport. Two other groups led by William Jones, a watch-maker from Pontypool, and Zephaniah Williams, a beershop keeper from Nant-y-glo arrived late or never came. Frost and his three thousand followers attacked the Westgate Hotel, where, under the direction of Thomas Phillips, the mayor of Newport, thirty-two soldiers of the 45th regiment and a number of special constables had been posted to guard existing Chartist prisoners. The relatively ill-armed and undisciplined Chartists were easily repulsed and suffered twenty fatalities with many injuries. Frost was captured the same evening, and was tried before Lord Chief Justice Tindal, Baron Parke, and Justice Williams at a special assize that was opened at Monmouth on 10th December 1839. He was defended by Sir Frederick Pollock and Fitzroy Kelly, but after a lengthy trial was found guilty of levying war against the queen. On 16th January 1840, Frost, Williams, and Jones were sentenced to be hanged, drawn, and quartered. Appeals against the sentences by several MPs and prominent public figures and large-scale national radical protest came to nothing. However, following legal review, it was agreed by the government on 1st February 1840 that the sentences be commuted to transportation for life to Van Diemen's Land.

      Several efforts were made, especially by Thomas Slingsby Duncombe in the House of Commons, to procure the release of Frost and his associates. In March 1854, Duncombe succeeded in obtaining a pardon, conditional on Frost's never returning to British territory. He went to America (reaching California in May 1855), lectured on his experiences, and published A Letter to the People of the United States Showing the Effects of Aristocratic Rule (1855). After receiving a free pardon in May 1856 as a result of the general pardon granted after the successful conclusion of the Crimean War, he returned to Britain on 12th July. He was welcomed in Newport and London but never regained his status as a radical leader. On 31st August, he delivered two lectures at Padiham on the "Horrors of convict life" that were later printed. The following year, he published A letter to the people of Great Britain and Ireland on transportation, showing the effects of irresponsible power on the physical and moral conditions of convicts. Although it appears that it was his intention to write a series of letters on this subject, no more were published.

      Frost moved to Stapleton, near Bristol, where he lived for many years in comparative retirement, pursuing an interest in spiritualism. He died there on 29th July 1877. The march on Newport in November 1839 for which Frost is remembered has been variously interpreted as a peaceful demonstration or as part of a national conspiracy to overthrow the government. There is strong evidence of a high degree of planning, confounded by a series of last-minute changes of plan and an ultimate divergence between intentions and execution. The Newport rising was indeed part of a wider plan of insurrection and was in fact the last on the British mainland.

      (5) Australian Dictionary of Biography, Online Edition <http://adbonline.anu.edu.au/biogs/A010385b.htm>:

      FROST, JOHN (1784-1877), Chartist, was born on 25 May 1784 at Newport, Monmouthshire, Wales, the son of John and Sarah Frost, of the Royal Oak Inn. He was educated probably at Bristol, and acquired an excellent command of English. After assisting a woollen draper in Bristol and a merchant tailor in London, he returned to Newport about 1806 to take over a draper's and tailor's shop. In October 1812 he married Mary Geach, a widow, by whom he had two sons and five daughters. He became a radical and from 1816 advocated reduced taxation and a programme of parliamentary reform that anticipated the Six Points of the People's Charter. As champion of the burgesses of Newport, he came into conflict with Thomas Prothero, the influential town clerk, and spent six months in the Cold Bath Fields' prison in London for libel. With the Municipal Corporation Act of 1835, he became a member of Newport's first town council and a justice of the peace, and mayor of the town a year later. He attended the first Chartist convention in London in February 1839 and was chairman of the session which, on 14 September in Birmingham, decided to dissolve the convention after the first national petition had been rejected and most of the leaders had been arrested for sedition. Frost decided to appeal to physical force and led a body of working men, chiefly miners, trained in the Monmouthshire hills, in an armed attack on Newport on the night of 4 November. The ill-armed band were easily repulsed, and Frost and his partners, Zephaniah Williams of Blaina, and William Jones, a watchmaker of Pontypool, were arrested, tried by a special commission at Monmouth, found guilty of levying war against the Queen, and sentenced to be hung, drawn and quartered. On 11 February 1840 the sentence was commuted to transportation for life.

      Several efforts were made in the House of Commons to procure their release, but Frost, Williams and Jones sailed together in the Mandarin and reached Hobart Town on 30 June 1840. In accordance with practice the three Chartists were given the privileges of political prisoners: they were allowed to keep their own clothes and, instead of being put on road work, were sent direct to Tasman Peninsula, where Frost became a clerk in the commandant's office at Port Arthur, Williams a superintendent in the coal-mines, and Jones an overseer blacksmith in the boys' penitentiary at Point Puer. Frost's employment as a clerk ended in 1841 and he was transferred to Brown's River, possibly for displeasing Lord John Russell by an indiscreet letter to England, but of this there is no official record. While at Brown's River, he was sentenced to three days solitary confinement for insolence to the superintendent; although recommended to be removed to Port Arthur and "employed at labour in the same manner as other convicts," he was sent instead to Impression Bay on Tasman Peninsula, where he became a schoolmaster and was commended for being "studious, quiet and obedient." On 17 November 1843 his probation term ended and he was sent to New Town to work for W. Carter and later for Rev. W. Jarrett. In May 1846 he was sent to work for W. Chester at Bothwell and received his ticket-of-leave next November. On 27 June 1854 after teaching in various places in Tasmania, he received a conditional pardon and six months later sailed for America with his daughter Catherine, who had recently joined him in exile. At New York in May 1856 he received news of his free pardon. He arrived in England on 12 July and on 31 August gave lectures at Padiham on his experiences. These were printed as Horrors of Convict Life (London, 1856) and A Letter to the People of Great Britain and Ireland on Transportation (London, 1857). He went to live with his family at Stapleton, near Bristol, and as old age crept on abandoned politics for spiritualism. He died at Stapleton at 27 July 1877.

      Author: G. Rude

      (6) Australian Convict Transportation Registers - Other Fleets & Ships, 1791-1868 [database online], Provo, UT: Ancestry.com Operations Inc, 2007:

      Name: John Frost
      Vessel: Mandarin
      Convicted Date: 10 Dec 1839
      Voyage Date: 24 Feb 1840
      Colony: Van Dieman's Land
      Piece: HO 11/12
      Place of Conviction: Monmouth, Monmouthshire, Wales

      (7) A household headed by John FROST is listed in the 1861 census of Stapleton, Gloucestershire, England.

      John is listed in the 1861 census as a "proprietor of houses" who was then 75 years of age; therefore, according to the 1861 census, he was born in about 1786. According to the 1861 census, he was born in Newport, Monmouthshire, Wales and was a widower.

      Listed with John is his daughter, Elizabeth, who was then 45 years of age; therefore, according to the 1861 census, she was born in about 1816. According to the 1861 census, she was born in Newport, Monmouthshire, Wales.

      Also listed with John is his daughter, Ann, who was then 34 years of age; therefore, according to the 1861 census, she was born in about 1827. According to the 1861 census, she was born in Newport, Monmouthshire, Wales.

      Also listed with John is his granddaughter, Fanny M. FRY, who was then 18 years of age; therefore, according to the 1861 census, she was born in about 1843. According to the 1861 census, she was born in Newport, Monmouthshire, Wales.

      Also listed with John is an apparently unrelated servant.

      (8) A household headed by John FROST is listed in the 1871 census of Stapleton, Gloucestershire, England.

      John is listed in the 1871 census as a land owner who was then 85 years of age; therefore, according to the 1871 census, he was born in about 1786. According to the 1871 census, he was born in Newport, Monmouthshire, Wales and was a widower.

      Listed with John is his daughter, Ann, who was then 46 years of age; therefore, according to the 1871 census, she was born in about 1825. According to the 1871 census, she was born in Newport, Monmouthshire, Wales.

      Also listed with John is his granddaughter, Fanny FRY, who was then 27 years of age; therefore, according to the 1871 census, she was born in about 1844. According to the 1871 census, she was born in Newport, Monmouthshire, Wales.

      Also listed with John is an apparently unrelated servant.

      (9) England & Wales, National Probate Calendar (Index of Wills and Administrations),1861-1941 [database online], Provo, UT: Ancestry.com Operations Inc, 2010:

      1878 . . .

      FROST John.

      Personal estate under ??1,500.

      9 January. The Will of John Frost late of Stapleton in the County of Gloucester Gentleman who died 27 July 1877 at Stapleton was proved at Bristol by Anne Frost of Stapleton Spinster the Daughter the sole Executrix.

      (10) http://locusplace.blogspot.com/2006/01/newport-john-frost.html:

      John Frost's Will

      John Frost of Stapleton, Glos late of Newport, Mon 1874.

      Anne Frost - sole executrix - John H Clarke - Commissioner

      This is the last will and testament of me John Frost of Stapleton in the County of Gloucester. I give the whole of my real and personal estate and effects of whatever nature and kind soever to my daughter Ann Frost in trust for the following purposes. The property which I am now possesses of consists of a lease of the house in High Street Newport occupied by Mrs Tadd. The Royal Oak which was formerly a freehold estate but is now sold to the tenant Mr Watkin Jones on the following conditions for the sum of fifteen hundred pounds: Three hundred pounds to be paid on hand which sum I have received: Twelve hundred pounds to remain on the premises for which I have a mortgage on the premises, interest to be paid on the sum at the rate of 4?? per cent, now the debt to be reduced by the payment by Mr Jones to me of one hundred a year, the interest to be diminished as the payments are made, but Mr Jones has not fulfilled this part of the contract, I have received from him the sum of ??50 only. This property to be divided between my daughter Catherine Frost now in Tasmania, Ellen Davies my daughter and Anne Frost my daughter now living with me at Stapleton in equal parts. I direct that my books be sold and the proceeds divided between my daughters Catherine, Ellen and Anne in equal portions, the household furniture I give to my daughter Anne for her sole and separate use without any reservations. I again say this is my last will and testament and I appoint my daughter Anne as my executrix solely. I desire that my funeral be a public one and that I be buried by the side of my wife and son in Horfield Churchyard. I give to my grand daughter Fanny my ring which formerly belonged to her mother, my daughter Anne knows what my intentions are respecting my friend Mr Charles Groves.

      Signed, sealed, published and declared by the said testator John Frost who in his presence and at his request have subscribed our names as witnesses thereto this 12th day of April 1874.

      John Frost

      Witnesses James Street; William Thomas.

      Proved at Bristol the ninth day of January 1878 by the oath of Anne Frost, spinster, (daughter of the deceased) the sole executrix to whom administration was granted.

      The testator John Frost was late of Stapleton in the County of Glouster, Gentleman and died the twenty seventh day of July at Stapleton aforesaid.

      Under £1500

      Robert Graham, Solicitor, Newport, Mon.

      Certified to be an examined copy
    Person ID I23710  Frost, Gilchrist and Related Families
    Last Modified 8 Aug 2019 

    Father John FROST,   b. 1760,   d. 1791  (Age 31 years) 
    Relationship natural 
    Mother Sarah WATERS,   b. Apr 1760,   d. 5 Feb 1851  (Age ~ 90 years) 
    Relationship natural 
    Married 25 Aug 1782  St. Woolos, Newport, Monmouthshire, Wales Find all individuals with events at this location  [1
    Family ID F10471  Group Sheet  |  Family Chart

    Family Mary MORGAN,   b. Abt 1782, Caram, Monmouthshire, Wales Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 1857  (Age ~ 75 years) 
    Married 24 Oct 1812  Bettws Newydd, Monmouthshire, Wales Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Children 
     1. Henry Hunt FROST,   b. 1 Aug 1822, Newport, Monmouthshire, Wales Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 22 Mar 1842  (Age 19 years)  [natural]
     2. Ellen FROST,   b. 17 Sep 1820, Newport, Monmouthshire, Wales Find all individuals with events at this location  [natural]
     3. Anne FROST,   b. 1 Jul 1826, Newport, Monmouthshire, Wales Find all individuals with events at this location  [natural]
     4. James FROST,   b. 7 Aug 1824, Newport, Monmouthshire, Wales Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. Bef 21 Jan 1835  (Age < 10 years)  [natural]
     5. Elizabeth FROST,   b. 18 Mar 1815, Newport, Monmouthshire, Wales Find all individuals with events at this location  [natural]
     6. John FROST,   b. 8 Oct 1813, Newport, Monmouthshire, Wales Find all individuals with events at this location  [natural]
     7. Catherine FROST,   b. 16 Oct 1818, Caram, Monmouthshire, Wales Find all individuals with events at this location  [natural]
     8. Sarah FROST,   b. 16 Jan 1817, Newport, Monmouthshire, Wales Find all individuals with events at this location  [natural]
    Last Modified 8 Aug 2019 14:52:04 
    Family ID F10469  Group Sheet  |  Family Chart

  • Sources 
    1. Details: Details: Details: Details: Details: Details: Details: Citation Text: (1) The FROST Name in the St Woolos ParishRegisters 1702-1859 http://www.mah.talktalk.net/frost.html: Married 25 08 1782 John FROST (of Newport, batchelor) and Sarah WATERS (of Newport, spinster). Wit.: James WATERS; Thos. {Thomas} FROST. . . .