Not unremembered be John Frost, the Newport linen-draper. He had been mayor of Newport, too, so hardly of seditious tendencies. A man of mature age, over fifty, when he led that mad attempt to take Vincent out of prison. A respectable, worthy, well-esteemed, quiet man, with nothing to gain but everything to lose by his insurgency, like William Smith O'Brien, impelled solely by a chivalrous sense of public duty. I care not if it be called Quixotic. I would, indeed, there were not so few of men so earnest. His followers—say rather those who chose him for their leader—were hot-headed Welsh miners, excited by braggart talk of probable outbreaks elsewhere. This "rebellion" put down by a few soldiers, Frost and two companions, Williams and Jones, were tried for high treason, convicted, of course, and, left for execution, would certainly have been hanged but for the urgency of petitions in their favour and the ill omen of the appearance of an executioner at the young Queen's wedding; so the sentence was commuted to transportation for life—to any man of wholesome, decent habits, a punishment severer than death. Horrible beyond telling was the condition of our penal settlements in those days. After some years the convict's sufferings were lightened, and, but a few years ago, the remainder of his sentence remitted, Frost returned from Australia to die in England in 1877—hale, hearty-looking old man of ninety-three, unchanged in his opinions.
Source: THE CENTURY
MAGAZINE, November 1881, to April 1882, WHO WERE THE CHARTISTS? by
W. J. LINTON
Many thanks to Gerald Massey for the material: Link to the whole article