Artists help mark revolution’s anniversary

A Derbyshire history group is finalising a project to mark the 200th anniversary of England’s Last Revolution.

The Pentrich and South Wingfield Revolution Group is planning to commemorate the band of men, who, in June 1817, marched towards Nottingham to complain about their quality of life to Parliament, with plans to overthrow the government and abolish the monarchy.

These men stood no chance of accomplishing their goal; the uprising was quashed soon after it began and 85 men were thrown in Nottingham and Derby jails. The result was  45 men being tried for high treason, three men hanged and beheaded, as well as 14 being transported to Australia, others were imprisoned or released.

Sylvia Mason, one of the group members, said: “We officially started organising this anniversary event last year although work on this project has been ongoing for some ten years or so.

“We are putting together a collection of pictures for an exhibition, these pictures will tell the story of the revolution in a similar way to the Bayeaux Tapestry.

“We are asking artists to create a picture using whichever media they prefer from a list of subjects linked to the  revolution.

“We are hoping to receive lottery funding to frame the pictures and they will have a small brass plaque fitted to the frame stating that they have been created for this project.

“The paintings will go on display around Derbyshire, Nottinghamshire and Yorkshire during next year. Several of them have already been completed and we have been putting them up on our facebook page but we need a few more, so we would love to hear from artists who might be interested in taking part.”

29JBRAnArtist Margaret Rose, who was one of the first to get involved has painted a portrait of Jeremiah Brandreth who was known as the Nottingham Captain, and actually led the rebellion. Brandreth was an unemployed framework knitter from Sutton-in-Ashfield and was one of the three men hanged, drawn and quartered.

Margaret said: “In order to make this painting I have used the black and white pencil sketch drawn in court on the day of the trial.

“I wanted to portray him as concerned and worried about his fate, but not bowed down. I am very happy to have my paintings included in this tremendous historical research project and to celebrate the 200th anniversary.”

Other artists taking part include Martin Davis, Mandy-Jane Ahlfors, Peter Wigley, Jane Thynne, Barry Renshaw, Ronald Fox, Roger Morton and Sandy Hillyer.

It is hoped events will take place throughout 2017 but the focus will be on June, when the march took place, and November, when the government ‘made an example’ of the men.

Some of the plans include books, commemorative coins and stamps, walks, school visits and a weekend of celebrations and entertainment to mark the march.

If you want to get involved contact Sylvia by email at or telephone 01773 748299

You can see some of the paintings at