Tracts for Fustian Jackets and Smock Frocks



[004121] Parsons, Benjamin. Tracts for Fustian Jackets and Smock Frocks. London: Arthur Hall, Unknown. 8vo. Hardback. Good. Eighteen issues (complete), 12pp each (except the joint issue of numbers 2 and 3, which is 20pp), 1848-9. Later half calf and marbled paper over boards, smooth back divided into five panels, ‘Tracts’ to second panel in gilt, remaining panels with flower device to centre

Worn to edges. Front free endpaper detached, internally browned throughout, a few corners chipped away, loss to head of last page of number thirteen, regular pencil lines to margins, final page soiled

Titles of the tracts include State of the Poll, Masters and Men at Elections, Radicalism an Essential Doctrine of Christianity, The Working Classes the Best Reformers. Few Words for Chartists, and The Potatoe [sic] Blight, and How to Prevent It. The term ‘fustian jackets and smock frocks’ appears to have come from the Chartist leader Feargus O’Connor, with ‘fustian jackets’ representing industrial workers, and ‘smock frocks’, the agricultural workers

A complete run of the periodical written by the Reverend Benjamin Parsons (1797-1855), a Congregational minister in Ebley, near Stroud in Gloucestershire. “A militant teetotaller and sabbatarian, Parsons also supported the abolition of slavery and the repeal of the corn laws, and was drawn towards Chartism, strong in nearby Monmouthshire” (ODNB)

Numbers one and two are here continuously paginated, so are probably reprints?

Uncommon, with only one auction record (Chimen Abramsky sale in 2011 where they made 324 Euros), and with only the BL holding a complete run in Library Hub; Goldsmiths 35887