Doctoral researcher, University of Birmingham
The subject of Judith's thesis is religion and politics in Dudley, Worcestershire, focusing in particular on the first half of the nineteenth century. The early stages of her research have been greatly enlivened by the wide range of nineteenth-century political ephemera preserved at Dudley Archives. She is particularly interested in the contribution made by the radical printer, George Walters, who was the main publisher of anti-establishment material in Dudley for several decades until he went bankrupt in January 1850.
The image below shows a typical bill by Walters. This one is attacking Church Rates and it is endorsed by many of the town’s leading Nonconformists, including three clergymen, the leader of the Dudley Political Union (Samuel Cook) and Walters himself. Notices like this, and printed petitions with lists of the petitioners, have proved invaluable for showing up connections between otherwise disparate issues and encouraging further lines of enquiry.