(1784–1877) was a Chartist who in 1839 led an abortive attack on his birthplace of Newport, Wales; he was sentenced to be hanged, drawn and quartered for this treasonous offence, but the sentence was commuted to transportation for life. Frost arrived in Tasmania in 1840, served part of his sentence at Port Arthur and after securing a conditional pardon in 1854 went to America. He returned to England from exile in 1856 after hearing news of a free pardon, and gave lectures on his experiences which were published as The Horrors of Convict Life (1856) and A Letter to the People of Great Britain and Ireland on Transportation (1857). Several contemporary accounts of Frost's trial were published. David Williams's John Frost: A Study in Chartism, and James Davies's The Chartist Movement in Monmouthshire both appeared in 1939, the centenary year of the Newport attack.
From The Oxford Companion to Australian Literature in Oxford Reference.