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The Pentrich and South Wingfield Revolution Group

Registered Charity Number 1166940

The Pentrich and South Wingfield Revolution Group was established in February 2012, to increase awareness of the 1817 Pentrich Revolution and establishing a permanent legacy of this little known but important historical event.

The Executive Committee comprises of members from local history societies, together with members of local parish and town councils and others who are simply interested in preserving the heritage.

The Pentrich and South Wingfield Revolution Group

The PSRG has agreed the following strategic aims:

The Pentrich Revolution, Derbyshire Rising and Pentrich Rising are all names that describe an event which took place between South Wingfield and Eastwood on the Derbyshire / Nottinghamshire border in 1817. It involved three to four hundred poorly armed men taking part in what they were led to believe was to be a ‘general rise’ across the North and Midlands to replace the Government.

As a partly government inspired provocation, with the State being well aware of the march, this national rising was quickly routed with subsequent staged trials being used as a deterrence to quell and prevent other possible sources of discontent in the country. Three of the leaders were subsequently hanged and beheaded with 14 marchers transported to Australia and 85 jailed.

Described by the eminent historian, the late E.P Thompson, as one of the first events that marked the formation of the English working class, this heritage needs to be more widely understood to take its place alongside other significant and better known instances of popular radicalism and civil confrontation that took place in this era such as the 1819 Peterloo Massacre.

In redressing this omission, the Pentrich and South Wingfield Revolution Group seeks to inform the general public and the residents in those communities in and around the route of the Rising of their historic antecedents whilst ensuring a legacy that remains accessible to succeeding generations.




A number of regional partnerships have been established.


There is an annual subscription of £5.00, please contact the Secretary, Valerie Herbert initially as we are in the process of appointing a Membership Secretary.


Heage grocer was said have stored barrels of gun powder - By the time Miles Bacon returned to the area his father, uncle and cousin had all been transported - Local men were told that ‘London was up in arms and had been for some time - Oliver used at least four alias names, during his spying career - Oliver convince locals that 216,000, besides 70,000 from London would rise against the government - The rising was originally set for the 26th May, Oliver visited Sheffield and postponed it until 9th June - On the 29th May Oliver visited Sheffield after the visit four men were arrested - The Dragoons pounced on the four ringleaders preventing Sheffield from rising - Many days before the uprising 117 special constables were sworn in preparation - The Pentrich rising could easily have been stopped in the same fashion as the Sheffield one was - The ringleaders of the Pentrich rising were allowed to continue their planning, and allowed to march - The authorities ‘preferred to allow the insurrection to reach an abortive conclusion’ - Cobbett wrote ‘they wished not to prevent, but to produce those actions’ meaning the rising - Marchers arriving at the French Horn in Codnor and consumed 10 gallons of beer - At the New Inn in Codnor another 2 gallons of beer were consumed - At the Junction Navigation Inn in Langley Mill, Ann Goodman found herself faced by several hundred thirsty men - At Gilt Brook the men saw the approaching soldiers - The marchers fled across the fields, throwing away their arms - About 40 men were seized that morning of the 10th June , William Turner and brother Edward were found hiding in a ditch - The youngest captive from the march was only 15 years old - 20 captives were taken to Nottingham to be held 28 more in Derby - 4 of the main men were still on the loose at the close of that day - Three days later another 11 men were arrested - George Weightman was arrested five weeks later at the house of a Wolstenholme - Yeomen Fletcher and Booth were awarded £52 10shillings for the arrest of Weightman - 3 Wolstenholmes were arrested William and his 2 sons were imprisoned in Winchester prison - On 20th July a reward was offered for the arrest of Jeremiah Brandreth - Spy and ‘old friend’ Henry Sampson received this reward after tricking Brandreth into his house - Jeremiah Brandreth was arrested on 22nd July 1817 - Brandreth had managed to board two ships to America but been discovered on both occasions - Isaac Ludlam was taken in Uttoxeter around the same time as Brandreth - After a 100 guineas reward was placed on Thomas Bacon he was arrested in St Ives Huntingdon on 15th August 1817 - Hugh Wolstenholme curate of Pentrich was being pursued for treasonable practices - The trials of the men were deliberately held back until after the harvest - The men on trial were not tried by their peers but by titled men and farmers - Thomas Bacon was not tried with the ringleaders as he had intended to mention Oliver the spy - All reporting by the media was banned until sentences had been passed - In the Huddersfield previously arrested men were acquitted due to the fact that the media had reported on Oliver the spy - The trials started on the 15 October 1817 - 35 prisoners faced charges - The first man on trial was Jeremiah Brandreth - The jury of 12 farmers at five past ten on the 18th October found him guilty of High Treason - William Turner was next and also found guilty - Isaac Ludlam suffered the same fate followed by George Weightman - 9 of the remaining prisoners then changed their plea to guilty - 12 remaining prisoners were set free - 4 men were sentenced to being drawn on a hurdle, hanged and quartered - The sentence was later remitted to drawn, hanged and beheaded in a bid for clemency by the Prince Regent - Thomas Bacon had realised that ‘men of property’ had tried the prisoners - Only one juryman refused to find George Weightman guilty and had to be persuaded - Ann Brandreth wife of Jeremiah walked from Sutton in Ashfield to Derby to visit her condemned husband - Ann Brandreth walked 20 miles whilst being six months pregnant for the last visit - From their arrest to their execution the four condemned men were kept heavily chained - George Weightman was reprieved and sentenced to transportation for life in Australia - William Turners last words on the scaffold highlighted the governments and Oliver’s involvement in his demise - John MacKesswick was acknowledge as ‘steering the vessel’ once on board - Aboard ship Thomas Bacon made a statement saying 4 days before the rising he suspected Oliver of being a spy - Bacon also realised that the Pentrich risers were also treated more harshly than the Yorkshire rioters - The Tottenham ship was 16 years old when the Derbyshire men boarded her - Several of the prisoners were ill aboard ship - On arrival in Australia men were issued with fresh food and new clothing - John Hill, both of the Bacon’s and Joseph Turner were sent to Parramatta on disembarkation - George Weightman volunteered for service in Port Macquarie - Edward Turner built a house in Sydney, which later became the Stonemasons Arms - The Stonemasons Arms still stands and is one of the oldest building in Sydney, now named Essen - Joseph Turner became a wharfinger and sailed on Australia’s first built paddle steamer - Oliver the spy went to South Africa in 1820 under the name of William Oliver Jones - Oliver the spy died in 1827 - The first of the transportees to die was Joseph Rawson, only three years after arriving in 1821 - Thomas Bacon died on 3rd July 1831 aged 77 - John Bacon died on 10th May1828 - Josiah Godber died on 19th November 1822 of dysentery - Edward Turner died September 1841 - Joseph Turner died on 23rd August 1840 aged 43 - John Onions died August 1840 - Samuel Hunt died 1858 of dropsy - Thomas Bettison died 12th April 1835 - John Hill died 16th July 1849 - German Buxton died August 1835 - John MacKeswick (McKissock) died November 1853 - George Brassington died 31st August 1846 - George Weightman was the last transportee standing and died 12th May 1865 - All of the three executed men could read and write - Of the fourteen transported men at least 10 could read and write