On Wednesday morning last, the town of Hanley presented a heart-stirring scene to the lover of liberty. Early in the morning, the drum and fife were heard, announcing that the day had arrived, when the voice of the Potters was to join that of their brethren in the demand for freedom.
2. Grand Meeting in the Potteries: Northern Star Newspaper, 17th November, 1838:
At about 9 o'clock, a procession began to move with flags and music to collect the army of regeneration. They then divided into groups, and went to meet their friends expected to arrive from the various districts. At half-past eleven, the procession moved with hearty cheers and flying banners to the place of meeting. The thousands marched in good order, each district marshalled under their own banners, with flags bearing appropriate mottos, some of which we are enabled to give, which were as follows:
No Tax-hunting Parsons
May our actions be guided by peace, truth, justice and love.
These are the weapons we use to gain our rights Peace on earth; good will towards men Glory to God in the highest
No Statecraft. No Priestcraft
Liberty or Death
United we stand; divided we fall
By Union we conquer.
Divided we perish
Reform in Church and State
We die to live
No New Poor Law. No separation of man from wife, nor mother from children
No tax upon bread
Support our labour; not tax our industry
Plenty of food for eight hours' labour
Splendid Silk Banner of the Pottery Union, with the Five Great Principles at Full length on one side...
Hanley & Shelton Political Union, established in 1838: Better to die with the sword than to perish with hunger. Be faithful, be watchful. The naked clothed, thehungry fed. May Britain's sons united be free.
Then followed this account of the meeting:
Comment: Note from the wording on some of the banners the following points - the Christian / religious nature of many comments. The "Liberty or Death" echo of the French Revolution.
The banner "No separation of man from wife....." refers to the workhouse practice of separation of families upon entry to the workhouse.