Betley in the 1850's - Letters to America from Joseph Barker, Anglo-American Reformer, by Martin Crawford
Booklet published by the Betley Local History Society in 2007, 21 pages. A4 size booklet (N3860P1)
Brand New Book
This booklet provides an excellent social history of Victorian England in the 1850's, and especially the Staffordshire village of Betley. Joseph Barker lived in Betley for many years, and was, among other things, a political reformer, a chartist, and a vocal opponent of slavery. He travelled to the United States, and was even elected to Parliament in 1848 (although he did not take his seat).
In 1854 he wrote a series of letters to an American newspaper about life in Betley, as well as othe issues and events of the time, and they offer a fascinating insight into the social history of the period. The letters deal with issues such as rural poverty, the union workhouse, a case of poaching at Keele Magistrates Court, the Crimean War, the village of Betley, and even an event at Crewe Railway Station involving a thief!