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Gammage, Robert G— (DNB00)


GAMMAGE, ROBERT G—— (d. 1888), chartist leader and historian, born at Northampton in 1815, was apprenticed to a coach builder, and began his political career at the early age of seventeen, when he became a member of the Working Men's Association. He was a deputy to the national convention of 1838, convened to discuss the revolutionary programme, and in 1842 devoted himself to the work of lecturing on behalf of chartist principles in order to revive the spirit of the country. After two years of this work he settled at Northampton, and became chartist secretary for the district. In this capacity he was brought into frequent contact with Feargus O'Connor, whom he opposed. At this time he was by trade a shoemaker. In 1848, losing his employment at Northampton on account of his political propagandism, he removed to Birmingham. In 1852 he was the ‘nominated’ chartist parliamentary candidate at Cheltenham, but did not go to the poll. In 1853 he was elected into the paid executive of the National Charter Association, but next year failed to secure re-election. In 1854 he published his ‘History of the Chartist Movement,’ a work of no ability, but moderate in tone and of considerable interest. After some years of study he qualified as a medical man, in which capacity he practised, first as assistant to Dr. Heath of Newcastle, and then alone at Sunderland. He died at Northampton 7 Jan. 1888.

[Gammage's Hist. of the Chartist Movement; Place MSS.; Newcastle Weekly Chronicle, 14 Jan. 1888; private information.]

E. C. K. G.