In 1817 the men of the Derbyshire village of Pentrich formed themselves into a small army and on the night of June 9th and marched towards Nottingham. They expected to meet up with many thousands coming from the North of England and join with them in a great march towards London, where they expected to see the overthrow of the government and the establishment of a republic. Their leader was Jeremiah Brandreth. There was no revolution and soldiers soon rounded up the rebels. After trial, three were hung for treason and several sent to a penal colony in Australia.

The early 19th century in the UK saw turbulent times with soldiers returning home from the battle of Waterloo to find their families impoverished and little work available. Revolutionary ideas still flourished in many parts of the country and legislation such as The Corn Laws were highly unpopular. Please click on the “History” button for more information on the events which led up to The Pentrich Rebellion.

Transported to Australia
13 of the Pentrich rebels were transported to penal colony in Australia. Please click on “Transported to Australia” to view a list of the names of the men and their occupations. You will also find details of their experiences on the prison hulks, on board the prison ships and their treatment on arrival in Australia.

Letters from Australia
Here are a set of letters which were written by men from the Pentrich area who were first held in prison ships at Sheerness then transported to Australia. They give a vivid picture of life as prisoners in the penal colony.

Performing Brandreth
The author would like to see the play performed by people interested in the story and history of the Pentrich Revolution. For that reason he has made it free of charges for non-commercial use. Please visit the page “Performing Brandreth” for more details.

Brandreth - The Play
The play “Brandreth” tells the story of The Pentrich Rebellion using information from the very detailed trial records, contemporary newspaper reports, leaflets, pamphlets  together with the many publications on the subject. You can move around the scenes using the buttons. Details of all sources are included in Bibliography. If you would like more imformation about the play please contact the author - details in Contacts

Streaming and more pics
A short extract from a performance of the play at Pentrich can be played from this page. It is in REAL format. There is also a collection of pictures on this page.

Pics and sounds
The songs from Brandreth will play in midi format from this page, which also contains some pictures

A Map of the march
The map below shows the route of the march from Hunt’s Barn (1), round the local farms and homes to Pentrich Lane End (2), past their Pentrich meeting place (3), to the Butterley Iron Works (4), on the Eastwood (5) and finally to Giltbrook (6). They marched for around 12 or 13 miles. (The scale of the map is half inch to the mile. It is a reduction taken from a reprint of a map dated somewhere between 1815 and 1835)

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