Ramsbottom’s Revolutionary Doctor – The Life of Peter Murray McDouall
Nigel Jepson

How is it that young Doctor McDouall holds a different opinion to everyone else about local mill-owners, the Grant Brothers? Even novelist Charles Dickens appears to write glowingly of them.
Arriving in Ramsbottom in 1835, aged only 21, McDouall is appalled at the state of health endured by factory workers. He condemns the treatment of them as inhumane. However, no-one seems prepared to listen to him. This is the great age of the Industrial Revolution and the Factory System is the price that has to be paid. Possessing a fiery, idealistic temperament, he cannot stand back though. Championing the rights of workers becomes a natural course of action despite it bringing him into further contention with the Grants.
Not confining his protests to the cotton town of Ramsbottom, McDouall is attracted towards becoming a leader in the militant movement of Chartism which, raging like wildfire throughout the industrial North, crusades for working class people to be given the right to vote.
Published:November 2021
Paperback:248 pages

Available from Amazon

With McDouall delivering impassioned speeches across the country advocating the use of physical force to overthrow the Government if necessary, Ramsbottom’s Revolutionary Doctor reveals the turbulence of the times and the deep conflict developing between ‘two nations’ within one country. Armed insurrection appears inevitable when Parliament is not only unwilling to agree to Chartist demands but sets out to exact hefty retribution on ‘ring-leaders’ like McDouall. While nothing seems to daunt him, incurring two separate prison sentences as well as a period of enforced exile in France, he is eventually destined to die in mysterious circumstances in Australia at the age of forty. This is the compelling story of a courageous young man who sacrifices his career and family to fight for a cause that he must know will also ultimately cost him his life.

Nigel Jepson lives in Ramsbottom and is a keen supporter of Ramsbottom United. He moved to the area in the mid-90s after taking up post as Head Teacher at nearby Haslingden High School. His last UK head’s post was at Kearsley Academy in Bolton from 2010 to 2014. ‘Retired’, he has carried out interim work abroad in the meantime, serving as Principal in Dubai during 2016 and carrying out a teacher training programme in schools in New Delhi in 2018.