Robert Blatchford

Robert Blatchford

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Robert Blatchford, the son of an actor, was born in Maidstone in 1851. Robert father died when he was two and at the age of fourteen he was apprenticed as a brushmaker. He disliked the work and ran away to join the army.

Blatchford reached the rank of sergeant major before leaving the service in 1878. After trying a variety of different jobs he became a freelance journalist. After working for several newspapers he became leader writer for the Sunday Chronicle in Manchester. It was his journalistic experience of working-class life that turned Blatchford into a socialist.

In 1890 Blatchford founded the Manchester Fabian Society. The following year, Blatchford and four fellow members launched a socialist newspaper, The Clarion. Blatchford, who was editor, announced that the newspaper would follow a "policy of humanity; a policy not of party, sect or creed; but of justice, of reason and mercy." The first edition sold 40,000 and after a few months settled down to about 30,000 copies a week.

It was decided in 1893 to publish some of Blatchford's articles about socialism as a book. Merrie England, was an immediate success, with the cheap edition selling over 2,000,000 copies. Influenced by the ideas of William Morris, Blatchford emphasized the importance of the arts and the values of the countryside. Considered to be an excellent example of socialist propaganda, the book was translated into several different languages.

Blatchford upset many of his socialist supporters by his nationalistic views on foreign policy. He supported the government during the Boer War and warned against what he saw was the German menace. Blatchford also changed his views on equal rights and strongly opposed the policies of the NUWSS and the WSPU.

After the First World War Blatchford moved to the right and became a passionate advocate of the British Empire. In the 1924 General Election he supported the Conservative Party and declared that Stanley Baldwin was Britain's finest politician. Robert Blatchford died on 17th December 1943.

The question of Socialism is the most important and imperative question of the age. It will divide, is now dividing, society into two camps. In which camp will you elect to stand? On the one side there are individualism and competition - leading to a 'great trade' and great miseries. On the other side is justice, without which can come no good, from which can come no evil. On the one hand, are ranged all the sages, all the saints, all the martyrs, all the noble manhood and pure womanhood of the world; on the other hand, are the tyrant, the robber, the man-slayer, the libertine, the usurer, the slave-driver, the drunkard, and the sweater. Choose your party, then, my friend, and let us get to the fighting.

Socialists do not propose by a single Act of Parliament, nor by a sudden revolution, to put all men on an equality, and

compel them to remain so. Socialism is not a wild dream of a happy land, where the apples will drop off the trees into our open mouths, the fish come out ot the rivers and fry themselves for dinner, and the looms turn out ready-made suits of velvet with gold buttons, without the trouble of coaling the engine. Neither is it a dream of a nation of stained-glass angels, who always love their neighbours better than themselves, and who never need to work unless they wish.

Socialism is a scientific scheme of national organization, entirely wise, just, and practical. It is a kind of national cooperation. Its programme consists, essentially, of one demand, that the land, and all other instruments of production and exchange, shall be the common property of the nation, and shall be used and managed by the nation for the nation.

In the 1890s Robert Blatchford was attracting recruits to the movement by his vigorous socialist writings. He established The Clarion, a weekly socialist and literary journal, and written Merrie England, a popular textbook on socialism written in the simple and vigorous English of which he was such a master. This book, which extended to two hundred pages, was published in a penny edition, which had a sale of a million copies. No man did more than he to make socialism understood by the ordinary working man. He based his appeal on the principles of human justice. He preached socialism as a system of industrial co-operation for the common good. His arguments and illustrations were drawn from facts and experiences within the knowledge of the common people.

Robert Blatchford was a unique spirit. On the platform, he was awkward, shy and ineffective. But with his pen, he could make labourers understand higher economics! He wrote Merrie England and other brilliant propagandist books; for a dozen years or more, he was Labour's chief recruiting officer.


In 1984, we were joined and greatly assisted by Eric George Blachford of Southampton, who journeyed far and wide to obtain information. One day a letter arrived from America and revealed a whole new field of family history. Alan and Alane Blachford of Capron in Illinois had researched their own pedigree and the quest had led them to Dorchester , the New Forest, and the Isle of Wight. Overnight we were presented with hundreds of American cousins. Canadians and Australians have contributed much to the family records, and we have enjoyed meeting many of them and exchanging stories of Blachfords around the world. A book such as this could not possibly record the lives of all, so I have selected the main characters of each generation in an endeavour to portray the many and varied careers, the wealth and poverty, the fortunes and misfortunes and the courage and determination displayed by my predecessors. I was cheered to discover that the family as a whole managed to exist within the law of the day. I was also grieved to find we had a slave trader amongst us, but as the trade was not illegal at the time we must try to forgive, though we cannot forget. As our story unfolds we discover men of great wealth and others of abject poverty. Some followed a military career, others were merchants, some entered politics. Farmers, tradesmen, seamen, fishermen, and smugglers all contribute to embellish the destiny of the family BLACHFORD.

I dedicate this book to future generations who I sincerely hope will gain strength and inspiration from the efforts and exploits of their ancestors. BLACHFORD

A.D. 1200. In this year, historical records reveal a number of men and women bearing the same family name, related by marriage, and living in the Ringwood area. Osmond de Blachford was in possession of the farm at Blashford. His son Ralph Fitz Osmond de Blachford held land adjoining Osmonds.

The Ellingham family of Pont Chardon were of some note in Hampshire as early as the thirteenth century. Roger, Robert and Oliver de Punchardon held land in the county under King John and King Henry III (1199 &mdash1272).

From a precept of February 5th, 1205, we learn that Robert de Punchardon was then in Normandy, and that Walter Fortin had a farm on his Ellingham land. Robert de Punchardon gave, at a rent of ten shillings due every Michaelmas to Ralph Fitz Osmond, half a yardland of arable lying within the land held by Osmond, eighteen acres of land, and four of meadow with three perches of his own demesne meadow close to the Fossatum Monachorum de Ellingham. The grant was confirmed by Robert, son of the granter, and afterwards by Reginald, son of William de Punchardon. Ralph de Blachford gave the land to the Monks of Beaulieu, and Sir Robert confirmed the gift. William Leybrooke, Sir Roger de Mul, Oliver de Punchardon, Robert Tessum and others, witnessed the grant by which Sir Robert, for ten marks, sold to the Monks of Beaulieu, a ten shilling rent which he had been accustomed to receive for their tenement, formerly belonging to Ralph.

Ralph gave his daughter Juliana in marriage to William de la Hulle, and as a marriage settlement, once acre of meadow in Southwidale below Blashford, lying between the meadows held by William Fitz Alured de Blachford and Sywards land. Ralph had a nephew Walter, a son of Herbert le Engleis, who held land in the neighbourhood of Ringwood and Fordingbridge. Walter sold land around Ellingham to his uncle. Walter held a messuage under Reginald de Punchardon for which he paid sixteen pennies rent. Reginald, with the consent of his wife Christiana and his heirs, granted the rent to the Monks of Beaulieu. Walter remitted his yearly rent of a pound of cumin to John Roscelyn de Ybbesley. We find him giving a messuage to Henry de Lindewode, and afterwards granting messuage with a cartilage at Blashford to the Abbot of St. Saveur de Coutance. The Abbot again conveyed the property it appears, to the Vicar of Ellingham (Sir William) son of Reginald de Punchardon. A like gift was bestowed upon Sir William by his father Reginald. All the tenement which he had received from Walter de Blachford and Henry de Lindewode (one messuage and curtilage arable land meadow and turf land in the moors of Assemooors and Buchmere) given to him by Reginald his father, William the Vicar gave to Acelina de Blachford, daughter of William Buche for her services. Acelina made over the tenements to the Monks of Beaulieu to be held in free socage at the price of one hundred shillings. Acelina was born native (neife or vassal) to Walter Tessum de Ellingham, and with all her sequela had been given by him to the forester Richard de Burley.

Denys, son of Herbert le Engleis, gave his nephew Walter a messuage and two acres in Blashford that Walter's father had given him previously, and one acre which stretched along from the croft that had once belonged to Ralph.

Walter and Denys had a brother, William, who, with the consent of his wife Lucia and his sons, sold two acres in little mede to John Roscelyn son of Roscelyn Hulle, for one mark of silver. For consenting to the sale, John was to give to Lucia a pair of gloves (un um par chirothecarum) and to the eldest son a pair of Cordovan Sandals (Sunuas subtal ares de Corduv). The appellation `de Blachford' would not have been a true surname in early days, but we know these people were all of one family, and living in the same area, namely Blashford. Once the appendage `de Blachford' had been attached to a man's name it would also be applied to his sons, and eventually became the family surname. Researching old records we discovered a Robert de Blachford in 1211, a Roger de Blachford in 1296, Richard de Blachford in 1314, and a William de Blachford in 1327, in the manor of Broad Winsor, as well as a Thomas de Blachford and Roger de Blachford, brothers, in Marshwood Vale in the Whitchurch Hundred.

After this Blachford seems to have been accepted as the family name. In 1525 we found a William Blachford of Winterbourne, two John Blachfords &mdash father and son 1525 and 1545. In 1542 John (senior) was recorded as having a bow and six arrows, and his son John had a billhook, a truly formidable pair of antagonists. We also discovered William and Richard Blachford both of Bridport in 1545. These two may well have been brothers as could John (senior) also. William may well have been the father (William) of Richard Blachford of Dorchester , which is where this family story commences. William, Richard, Robert, and John are names recurring continuously throughout the following centuries, and no doubt we shall, with further research, be able to trace our roots deeper into the past. A Pedigree of the de BLACHEFORDES of Ringwood Hampshire
Approximately 1160-1260


The absence of reliable records, bad spelling, the acceptable meaning of words that change from generation to generation, the new Gregorian calendar commencing January the first, 1752 instead of Lady Day, the twenty fifth of March, as previously. The recording of baptisms instead of birth days, a newborn baby given the same name as an older brother or sister, who died in infancy. When two or more Johns, Roberts or Richards appear in the same generation, one has difficulty in knowing to which one the record refers.

In the reign of Queen Elizabeth I, England was ravaged by pestilence and disease. Disaster followed disaster, the people suffered tyranny and religious intolerance, but they struggled and survived with that indomitable spirit that surfaces in adversity in every generation. Many papists underwent martyrdom at Dorchester. In 1587 Thomas Pilchard a Priest, was hung drawn and quartered for denying the Queen's supremacy. In the year 1591 and in 1594 others suffered death for the sake of their religion. In 1595 a dreadful plague caused havoc among the inhabitants and carried off so many, that barely enough were left to bury the dead. The Roman Catholics naturally regarded this as a direct intervention by heaven on their behalf. The powers that be were not deterred by this and continued to persecute the Papists until the year 1642 when the last instance occurred according to recorded history.

Richard Blachford, the son of William Blachford of Holway in the Parish of White Staughton, was born in approximately 1570. Richard spent his early years in the employ of Gilbert Smyth, a merchant in the town of Exeter who imported and exported goods trough the post of Weymouth. Richard married Frances, the daughter of John Combe of Ashmer and started his own business in Dorchester in approximately 1593. He went into partnership with John Finn, and also with his eldest son John, importing and exporting wool and other goods through many ports between Bristol and London. Richard was a town councillor, Alderman, a member of the Company of Freemen, and Bailiffe of Dorchester. In the municipal records on the 20th September, 1606. Mathew Chubb and Richard Blachford, Bailiffes, leased a plot of Ground (land) to Thomas Bushrode, haberdasher, at a rent of 4 shillings per year. Richard's eldest son John married Margaret Mambree at St. Peter's church Dorchester on the 6th of October 1610. The record of the marriage appears in those of the church of the Holy Trinity. St Peter's has no records as early as 1610, so there is some doubt as to in which church the ceremony actually took place.

James I, by letters patent dated 260' June, 1610, appointed for the government of the Borough two Bailiffes and fifteen burgesses (styled) the Capital Burgesses and Councillors of the Borough. From these Bailiffes, to continue in office until the Monday after Michaelmas next, fifteen Capital Burgesses and Councillors forming the common council were to remain in office for life or good behaviour. John Hill was the first Governor of the Company of Freemen of the Borough of Dorchester in 1621, followed by John Blachford in 1622. Governors were elected each year until the year 1824, when Joseph Stone (gent) was elected annually until 1834, when he was chosen for the last time and had no successor.

    Ye shall colour no foreigners good under or in your name whereby the Town might or may lose their advantages. Ye shall know no foreigner except in Fairs or Markets within this town, but ye shall warn the Governor there of, or one of his assistants.

It is not know exactly when the BLACHFORD ARMS were granted, but during the Herald's visitation of the counties of England in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, three pedigrees were recorded for the same name. The Arms were :- for Richard Blachford of London and Dorchester, Merchant. A confirmation by William Segar "Garter", 1629

"Barry wavy of six OR and GULES on a cheif AZURE, three PHEONS ARGENT. The CREST was a SWAN rising with wing elevated `GUTTEE des LARMES" (that is sprinkled with blue drops).

The Swan has been used as a charge in Heraldry or as a badge from early times. Its use stems from the very early fable of the SWAN KNIGHT. The SWAN was the crest of EUSTACE Count of Boulogne before the Conquest, who, tradition asserted, had married the daughter of the SWAN KNIGHT.

    The legend of the Swan Knight
    The gallant knight appeared one day in a boat drawn by a white swan. He arrived just in time to rescue a fair maiden in distress. He subsequently married the lady, after she had promised faithfully never to inquire as to who he was or from whence he came. When their small daughter was about three years old, the mother could restrain her curiosity no longer and begged the knight to reveal his secrets to her. In great sorrow he was compelled by destiny to bid them both farewell, and sailed away into the sunset in the same small boat drawn by the same white swan.

Richard's second son William, merchant of Dorchester, was admitted to the company of freemen on the fourteenth of November, 1621. Books in the Dorchester library in 1631 included these given by Mr. William Blachford :
Saliani Annales Vol. 3
Centurise Magdeburgh Vol. 3
Bradwardinus de Causa Dej.
Zan chij Opera Vol. 3

A fourth son, Henry, married Maria (Mary) Bird at Chichester on the 30th October, 1629. Henry appears to have grown apart from the rest of the Dorchester family as there is no mention of his brothers in his will, although he does mention his mother Frances, for whom he showed great affection.

    "Premises called Or Known by the name of the Signe of the Swan in the City of Chichester", "Capital Messuage or Tenement and garden in the South Street of the City" "The lane leading from the Southgate to the Eastgate under the walls of the City" and "West lands and Tenements in West Stoke in Surrey".
    "concerning the merchants of this town, none of them have any trade with Newfoundland, Verginea, or Spayne, save only Mr. John Blachford who is now in London."
    "In regards to Mr, John Blachford of the said Borough hath been absent from this Borough and lived in France for about three years, whereby he could be of no service in the place where he was chosen. It is ordered that a new choice shall be made of another Capital Burgess in his place on Wednesday 3rd, September next."
    "John Bushrode versus John Blachford who has resided in France for three years past" (John Bushrode elected)
    "A Major shall be chose from the more honest and discreet Burgesses"
    "Where as I have received a commission of rebellion, a writ of assistance, and another writ upon the statue of Northampton to disarm divers persons which are in the said commission of rebellion. These are therefore to will and require you whose names are here under written, and twenty other more sufficient persons, house holders and inhabitants of the town of Dorchester which under my under sheriff shall and loth nominate, appoint, and warn, to come and appear personally before me at the sign of the Lion in Shaftbury within this county on Wednesday next the twelth (sic.) day of this month of August, by two of the clock in the afternoon of the same days at the farthest time, and there be ready with your necessary and sufficient arms, to attend and be assisting unto me in all things diligently as becometh you and every of you according unto the said writs and my command on that behalf. Where of fail you not as you tender his Majesty's Service, and will answer the contrary at your uttermost peril . Given under my hand and seal this eight day of August Ano 5 Reg's Caroli (1629)"
    "This day a commission was granted by the Mayor and company unto Mr. William Derby, Mr. John Hill, Mr. John Blachford, and Mr. Robert Blake, under the new Town seal, for the petitioning of the Privy Council about the privileges of the Town concerning musters."
    "The document appointing Sir Francis Ashley as Recorder, was signed by (inter alia) Henry Whittell and Richard Blachford (justices)"
    "The company of freemen chose Mr. Richard Blachford and others as assistants to the governor"

Savage (draper) of Dorchester and dated October, 1630. One of the beneficiaries from the profits of the estate at Seaton was a Mr. Benn, minister of All Saints' until 1643. The property was sold in 1648 when Richard Blachford was Mayor.

    "A place more entirely dis-affected to the King England had not. It was the magazine from whence the other places were supplied with the principals of rebellion, and was a considerable town and the seat of great malignity."

In the days of Richard Blachford.

Link to explanation of Map
Individual family records during these troubled years of mistrust, confusion and bloodshed are almost non-existent, but Richard's part in the Civil War is recorded in the minute books of the Dorset Standing Committee. These minute books record the Parliamentary Standing Committee which sat in Dorset during the civil war and interregnum. They range from 23rd. September 1646 to May the 8th 1650, and are probably the only examples of these books of the county committees throughout the Kingdom which have survived to the present day. The functions of the Committee were of a comprehensive character, comprising matters Civil, Military, and Ecclesiastical.

    "Thomas Hayter. where as it appeareth that Captain Richard Blachford did for two years since take up thirty yards of Broad cloth of one Thomas Hayter a clothier by order of the committee, It is ordered that the treasurer of this county pay unto said Thomas Hayter the sum of six pounds for the thirty yards of cloth aforesaid."
    "William Edmonds. It is ordered that you pay unto William Edmonds of Woolbridge, clothier, the sum of seven pounds for fourty (sic.) yards of broad cloth which the said Edmonds delivered to Captain Richard Blachford at the appointment of the committee of this county, for the clothing of his soldiers in February 1644."
    "John Covett. It is ordered that the treasurer pay unto John Covett the sum of twenty pounds as soon as he is able, being for one grey mare, and one horse with saddle and armes employed in the parliamentary service, as by several certificates under the hands of captain Edward Masters and captain Richard Blachford appeareth, and in the mean time the public faith of the Kingdom is for security unto the said John Covett engaged for the payment of the said sum of twenty pounds."
    "God hath brought the war to an issue and given you great fruit of that war, to wit &mdash the execution of exemplary justice upon the prime leader of all this quarrel."

FORDINGBRIDGE `Sand Hill and Over Burgate'

The free hold Manor of Sand Hill belonged to Richard Moleyns, who died in 1507. Henry Moleyns who held the manor in 1562, apparently left it to two granddaughters Anne, the wife of John Somers, and Joan, the wife of Robert Waterton, to whom it belonged in 1612. Joan who succeeded to the whole of the Manor and left two daughters (co-heiresses). One became the wife of Thomas Urrey and the other &mdash Eleanor Waterton &mdash married Richard Blachford, merchant of London and Dorchester, at Fordingbridge in Hampshire on the 16th August, 1623. This Richard was the third son of Richard Blachford, Mayor of Dorchester in 1647.

Richard and Eleanor appear to have lived most of their married life in London, Their first born &mdash Robert &mdash was baptised in the Parish Church of St. Michael Bassishaw in London, on the 21st of January 1625, as was his brother Richard on the 12th of September, 1627, and his sister Eleanor on the 20th of November, 1628. There were two more daughters, Frances, who married Stephen March of Newport in the Isle of Wight, and Margery. A third son Walterton probably died soon after birth, as he was buried at Newport in the Island on the 13th of March, 1635. Richard the father died in the same year (1635) and his widow Eleanor must have returned to Newport at that time. Eleanor re-married a Thomas Cesar of Southampton at Newport on the 19th of March, 1636. Robert Watterton of Newport, Isle of Wight, gentleman, being sick of body, of great age, feeble and weak, made his will. He left his grandson Robert, (son of Robert and Eleanor) "my farm at Over Burgate with the appurtenances within the parish of Fordingbridge in the County of Dorset. To my grandson Richard Blachford (brother of Robert) my stone house with the appurtenances at the east in the Parish of Wippingham, Isle of Wight."

His grandchild Frances Blachford (sister of Robert and Richard) was also a beneficiary of the will. "To Eleanor Cesar (previously Blachford) my only daughter my sole and my whole heir and executrix. Sand Hill Manor in the parish of Fordingbridge in the County of Dorset."

Thus the Blachford family inherited and acquired the estates of Sand Hill and Over Burgate from the Wattertons of the Isle of Wight. Robert Blachford (born 1625) married Elizabeth Wright of Winchester and together they raised a large family. Robert the eldest son, followed by sisters Elizabeth, Eleanor, Mary, Anne, Sarah, Hannah, Maud, and last but by no means least, Daniel, the youngest son. During the Civil War, those who supported King Charles I's cause, had their estates compounded or had to pay fines to the government. Unlike his grandfather, Richard of Dorchester, Robert was a Royalist and appeared before the commissioners for sequestration and sale of the estates of the Royalist nobility and gentry. He appeared on the second count for those Royalists permitted to compound on payment of a fine. At the hearing Robert was described as a gentleman of Over Burgate in the county of Southampton. He appeared before the commissioners on the 13th of May, 1651, and made reference to three properties. He referred to a conveyance made to him about four years previously upon his marriage, of a farm called Over Burgate in the parish of Fordingbridge in the county of Southampton. The farm was settled on him for life remainder to his wife for life remainder to their heirs to be begotten remainder to his brother Richard Blachford and his heirs and assigns forever. The estate was worth about seventy pounds per year according to the compounder, Robert Blachford.

Robert wished to compound for the moity of the manor at Sandhill at Fordingbridge, and to certain old rents in the parish of Durston in Somerset belonging to the manor of cross and likewise to a house in Salisbury in the occupation of Francis Swanson esquire, which premises he claims on equitable interest. "but cannot clearly make out what the name is". Robert appeared again on the 12th of August in the same year, stating that the Salisbury house was now valued at six pounds per year, and the farm at Fordingbridge was worth eighty pounds a year. The old rents in the manor of Cross were now worth two pounds ten shillings, but after three lives (i.e. after the three people who appeared on the lease as lease-holders had died) it would be worth seven pounds ten shillings more per year. It is presumed that Robert paid the fines imposed and left the family cupboard bare, His wife Elizabeth (Wright) died and was buried at Fordingbridge on the 12th of June, 1663.

Robert re-married (Anne) and spent his last years in Newport, Isle of Wight. He made his will on the seventh day of October 1670 and died soon after. Over Burgate and Sandhill Manor it would appear were left in trust to be passed to the son and heir. Due to the Civil War and the ensuing it became necessary to dispose of the property, This necessitated a legal document to Bar entail (that is to cancel a previous deed leaving everything including debts to one particular heir). Robert of Sandhill and his son and heir Robert Blachford of New Inn Middlesex both signed the deed. This enabled Robert of Sandhill and his heirs to sell the estates. Robert Blachford of New Inn, Middlesex, the son and heir, succeeded to Sandhill Manor and Over Burgate, and with his wife Elizabeth, daughter of John Mann of Merstone in the Isle of Wight, took up residence at Sandhill. Elizabeth inherited the estates of Osborne and Barton in the island from her grandfather Eustace Mann.

Robert and Elizabeth had six children according to an old family tree, but there were others who did not survive, the Fordingbridge parish records show that Elizabeth, daughter of Robert and Elizabeth of Sanhill Manor, was baptised 22nd November, 1676, but on the 2nd of December her name appears in the burial register. A custom of these times, confusing to present day researchers &mdash on the 25th of April, 1678 the baptism of another Elizabeth, also daughter of Robert and Elizabeth of Sandhill is recorded. When a child died within a time of birth, it's name was often given to the next child of the same sex to be born.. This happened several times in this family, as no doubt it did in many others. Child mortality was high, as indeed was the birth rate. The surviving children of Robert and Elizabeth were Robert born 1673, Daniel born 1675, Elizabeth born 1678, George born 1681, John born 1684 and Jane born 1685. On October 26th of the same year, Elizabeth wife of Robert Blachford was buried in Fordingbridge. Left with a young family to raise, Robert soon remarried (Mary) probably an older woman to care for the children. Mary died within ten years and was buried. at Fordingbridge on the 3rd of October, 1695 `in linen'. This would probably account for young John being sent off to London at the age of sixteen to serve an apprenticeship with John Cartlitch, (Gold Smith.).

    " Be it remembered that on the third day of October 1695 at Fordingbridge. I being a credible person loth make oath that `Mary Blachford' late of Fordingbridge was not putin, wrapped on wound up, or buried in, any shirt, shift, sheet or shroud made or mingled with flay, hemp, silk, hair, gold or silver, or any other that what is made of sheeps wool only. or in any coffin lined or faced with any cloth, stuff, or any other thing what so ever, made or mingled with flay, hemp, silk, hair, gold, or silver , or any other materials but sheeps wool only."
    Sworn before me, one of his Signed (by a justice of the peace) Majesties justices of the peace.

When researching these early records the date shown can vary by a year either way. Early church records were computed from March 25th (the annunciation of the blessed Virgin, or `Lady Day') to the same day of the following year. Thus the first three months of each year were recorded in the previous year. In 1752 the New Year began on January 1st and has remained so.

Sandhill Manor Fordingbridge
also known as Sandle Manor
The son of Robert and Elizabeth Mann, Major Robert Blachford and his wife (Anne Bridges) now living at Osborne in the Isle of Wight, sold Sandle (Sandhill Manor) and the manor of Upper Burgate at Fordingbridge to Thomas Warre in 1702. From about 1960 onwards Sandle Manor, like so many large and ancient houses became a preparatory boarding school for boys and girls.

Several member of the Blackford family visited Sandle in June of 1986 when the gardens were opened to the public in aid of charity. It is a beautiful house surrounded by extensive grounds ablaze with the colour of rhododendrons and azaleas. The old entrance to the estate is though huge Iron gates set in a semi circular brick wall. The drive winds though woodland and fields for three quarters of a mile to the house, passing a huge walled garden with the remains of very large greenhouses and cold frames clearly visible and on through an extensive Orchard to the stables and coach house. The Headmaster and his wife were living in the converted coach house, but much of the original house still survives. As we were descendants of the early owners of the estate we were given the V.I.P. treatment by the Headmaster and his staff. In return for such concern and understanding we unanimously agreed to purchase a silver cup for competition within the school. It will be known as the Blachford cup and will be a perpetual trophy competed for annually, the winner keeping a replica or money voucher.

Sandhill Manor Fordingbridge
also known as Sandle Manor
NOTE:- 2 more pictures to be added JOHN BLACHFORD of LONDON
John Blachford born 1682, the fourth son of Captain Robert Blachford and Elizabeth (nee Mann) of Sandhill Manor, was baptised at Fordingbridge on 18th April, 1684. At the age of eighteen John was sent to London, a long and tiresome journey by coach, where he was probably met by relatives, who as we already know were established in the trade and commerce of the in the city. In the apprenticeship register of the Worshipful Company of Goldsmiths of the City of London, this entry appears :-

"March 17th, 1700, Memorand that I, John Blachford, son of Robert Blachford of Fordingbridge in the County of Southampton, Gent, Do put myself Apprentice to John Carlitch citizen and Goldsmith of London, for the term of seven years from this day". signed, John Blachford.

John prospered in his profession and gained his `freedom by service' on the 16th March, 1710 a period much longer than the seven years he envisaged. The Company has no record that he ever registered a makers mark at the Assay office, so probably he was not a working goldsmith in his own right, but became a retailer of precious metals.

At this time he lived in Silver Street not far from Goldsmith's Hall where the headquarters of the worshipful Company still stands. In 1744 he became Prime Warden of the Goldsmith's Company, the most highly respected position among the members of his craft. In the meantime John had been taking an active interest in Civic affairs, and on the 9th May, 1743 he was elected Alderman for the Cripplegate ward of London. He served as a Sheriff in 1745/46 and his name appeared with those of the other Aldermen on the dedication panel of John Rocque's map of London published in 1746 [see]. On the 18th of August 1746, John was one of the Sheriffs present at the executions of Lord Kilmarnock and Lord Balmerino (a fact that appears to be out of keeping with John's professed sympathies with the Jacobite cause). The executions took place on Tower Hill, and the instrument used was the axe. Another active Jacobite, Lord Lovat, was then in the Tower awaiting trial, and his execution in 1747 was the last performed by that method in this country.

John was not the only City Alderman who favoured the Jacobites, and he associated in particular with five others whose names also appear in the dedication panel, and who all became Lord Mayor (William Benn, Sir Henry Marshall, Thomas Rawlinson, Robert Alsop, and Edward Ironside). In 1728 John bought the Manor of Bowcombe near Carrisbrooke in the Isle of Wight, and in 1746 he and his friends named above assembled at Bowcombe, and had their portraits painted by Thomas Hudson (a well known artist of the time) seated round a table drinking wine from long stemmed Jacobite glasses doubtless the occasion included drinking of a toast to the young pretender across the sea. The painting, a very large one, which became known as Benns' Club, was presented by John to the Goldmsiths Company in 1752. It hangs to this day just inside the main door of Goldsmiths Hall in Foster Lane, where it fills one wall of the entrance hail, and may be seen by any visitor.

Bowcombe or Beaucombe the name means a pleasant valley, was the old name of Carrisbrooke Parish. Bowcombe Manor lies on the south east side of Bowcombe Down amidst the range of hills to the west of the Medina river. To the north east is Clatterford pleasantly situated within the shadow of Carrisbrooke Castle near Lukely Brook and the mill race. Bowcombe Down, its sides covered with the trees of Row-ridge and Monkham in the west, and Bowcombe woods to the east, with its ancient road track the site of an Anglo-Saxon cemetery and Tumuli, is a magnificent walking ground.

To return to London &mdash in 1749 Sir Samuel Pennant became Lord Mayor. His name appears above John's on John Rocque's commemoration list. One of the Lord Mayor's duties was to preside over the Court, sitting in the Sessions House, next door to Newgate Prison over against Fleet Lane in the Old Bailey. In earlier times trials had been held in the Prison itself, but it was notoriously an insanitary place and jail fever had carried off many prisoners and Court officials, In 1750 jail fever (now identified as typhus) struck again, having been brought into court by prisoners, and as a result the Lord Mayor, two judges, an Alderman, an under sheriff, and fifty or sixty court officials died. John Blachford was made Lord Mayor for the remainder of that year.

Wednesday 23rd May, 1750
At a court of Hustings held at Guildhall for electing a Lord Mayor for the remainder of this year in room of Sir Samuel Pennant deceased, Sir John Barnard, father of the City in the chair. John Blachford and Francis Cockayne esq. were returned by the common hall to the court of Aldermen, who chose John Blachford esq. After this the Lord Mayor elect entertained the court of Aldermen at the Goldsmiths Hall where he keeps his Mayoralty, and at eight o'clock in the evening he was presented by the court of Aldermen to the Lord Chancellor at Powis House, who approved of their choice.

Friday 25th May, 1750
The new Lord Mayor who was sworn in at Westminster, to which he went in the City Barge attended only by the Goldsmith Barge. The ceremony was deliberately low key in respect to the tragic death of his predecessor.

There were no formal property qualifications for Lord Mayors at that time, but they were almost without exception men of wealth, and they were expected to hold property to the value of at least £ 15,000. City Aldermen were frequently connected with the aristocracy or were bankers, directors of moneyed companies or large holders of Government stock. In February of 1739/40, John had been elected a governor of the Foundling Hospital recently established in Lamb's Counduit fields by captain Thomas Coram as a home for exposed and deserted children. John became a governor of Saint Bartholomew's Hospital, and in the elected President's absence abroad, was made temporary President on the 13th of June, 1751. When the elected president died, John was elected president of the hospital on the 8th of February, 1754, and remained so until his death. His name appears with others inscribed on panels in the great hall of the hospital as having donated £200 towards the cost of new building carried out around the middle of the century. Those giving £50 or more were made governors.

Monday the 14th July, 1755
A jury of Freemen of the company of Goldsmiths of which Mr. Alderman Blachford was foreman, met at Goldsmiths hall to make an assay or trial of the pix, or standard coin of the nation, (coined in the Tower of London between 1750 and that day) and went from thence to Whitehall to make their report to the Lord Chancellor . on which occasion several Lords of the Council and chief officers of the state were present. The Lord Chancellor, having given an excellent charge to the jury, withdrew with the rest of the Lords. Upon the trail the jury found all the coins in weight and fineness perfect standard and reported them so accordingly.

John held property during his lifetime in London, Bowcombe in the Isle of Wight, Northaw in Hertfordshire, and the lease of a small holding called Newshay in the Manor of Hartgrove near Sixpenny Handley in Dorsetshire.

(From the manorial records of Hartgrove Manor) Copy holders of Newshay:

First copyholder (25.4.1699-1709) Robert Blachford of Sandhill
Second copyholder (1709-1709) Daniel Blachford of Wilton
Third copyholder (1729-1759) John Blachford (Alderman) of London
Fourth copyholder (1753-) John Blachford (farmer) of Shaftesbury

There is an old farm at Hartgrove (otherwise Black Venn) in the Fontwell Magna parish, still known as Blachford farm. Probably the farm of John Blachford the farmer of Shaftesbury. The last years of John Blachford, Goldsmith, and Lord Mayor of London were lived at NORTHAW where he eventually passed peacefully away. Samuel Gregory, in his notes which are in the Guild Hall Library, reported that in the centre aisle towards the west end of Northaw church in Hertfordshire was a flat grey stone which he saw on the 26th of February, 1840, bearing this inscription:-

Here lie the remains
John Blachford esq.
Citizen and Goldsmith of London
late Alderman of Cripplegate Ward
President of St. Bartholomew's Hospital
who, having successively enjoyed
the supreme offices in that great City
filled them all with dignity and honour
equalled by few, excelled by none.
He died in the Parish
universally lamented
27th September A.D. 1759
in the 77th year of his age.

John Blachford's tombstone can no longer be seen in the church at Northaw. It may have been removed when the church was damaged by fire, and rebuilt in 1881. Where is it now, if it still exists, is not known.


The Manor of Osborne (East Bourne or Eastern Waters) is modem compared to many on the Island. The first owner was a Bowerman. It passed by marriage to the Arrays and was then purchased by Lord Lovibond in the reign of Edward VI. The house was a Tudor mansion, and the massive Bembridge limestone buttressed walls of the cellars are still in existence. Eustace Mann bought Osborne in 1630, and several years later he added Merstone Manor to his possessions. Elizabeth Mann, the sole heiress to the estates, married Robert Blachford of Sandhill Manor near Fordingbridge in Hampshire. Major Robert Blachford, their son and heir, succeeded to Osborne and Merstone Manors.

Eustace Mann was a strong adherent of King Charles I. He is said to have been much alarmed at the depredations of the Parliamentarians, and decided to bury a large sum of money in a copse at Osborne, at a spot he unfortunately forgot to mark. Whether this was so or not, a copse to the east of the house adjoining Barton Wood is known as `Money Copice'. At the Restoration, Mann obtained a grant from the Crown of all waifs, strays, wrecks, and treasure trove, and the privilege of free warren for the Manor of Osborne, The money has never been found. Eustace Mann gave the fine 17th century communion service (silver) to Newport Church, part of it in 1680, and the remainder at the end of the century, probably at about 1698 as it is stamped with the figure of Britannia, the standard mark for silver adopted 1697. His son John Mann, who endowed the schools at Arreton, and left a large sum of money in charities (Mann's gifts as they are called), died in 1705 and the estates of Osborne and Merston became the property of the Blachford family.

Robert Blachford of Osborne, son of Robert and Elizabeth of Sandle Manor, and the eldest brother of John, Lord Mayor of London, was born or baptised on the 26th of June, 1673, and married Anne, daughter of Marshal Brydges of Tibberton, in Herefordshire, on January 7th, 1693 at Madley in Herefordshire. There were three surviving sons of this marriage, Robert Blachford of Merstone, John Blachford of Bombay, and Brydges Blachford of Osborne. Robert and John are the subject of ensuing chapters. Meanwhile Brydges of Osborne married Anne, daughter of Robert Pope. They had a large family, they were John, William, and Robert, who all died in infancy.

The eldest surviving son was Robert Pope Blachford born 19th April, 1742. He married Winifred, daughter of Sir Fitz William Barrrington, Bart. of Swainston in the parish of Calbourne. She was born in 1754, twelve years his junior. Robert Pope Blachford demolished the old Tudor house and built a Georgian mansion in its place. We are fortunate to have a painting of this house which was destroyed by Queen Victoria when the present Osborne House was built. On the 21st of August, 1766, Lovelace Bigg (Wither) of Manydown, married his second wife Margaret Blachford, daughter of Bridges Blachford esq. of Osborne in the Isle of Wight, and younger sister of Robert Pope Blachford. Margaret brought a dowry of £3,000 and Lovelace settled upon her a jointure of £300 out of the estates in Wiltshire and from house property in Pangbourne (Berkshire).

In the summer and autumn of 1767, Lovelace and Margaret, with her brother Robert Pope Blachford and his wife Winifred (nee Barrington) made a driving tour through England to the north. The journey took them through Buckinghamshire, the edge of Oxfordshire, and the greater part of Warwickshire. Lovelace Bigg, in a series of well-written letters to his father, describes the journey. At Stowe, he says "Lord Temple has added much to his uncle's plan". They drove on through Shropshire, Staffordshire, and Derbyshire. At Manchester the Duke of Bridgewater's canal, thirty miles long, seems to have impressed them greatly as a vast undertaking especially considered as the work of one man. "He has two objects (1) to convey his coal to Manchester, (2) to extend his cut to the river near Liverpool. He sells coal to the poor at 31/2 pence a hundred." The travellers admired the Peak District, and Lovelace calls Matlock "a little public place in a romantic scene. Chattesworth is shamefully neglected, having only the outside of a princely house. Buxton wells are I presume of great service in many cases, otherwise they would not be frequented. The place is paltry, it rains every day all year round, and is very cold." They stayed at York, saw Castle Howard, and made the acquaintance of Lord Rockingham, who, `appears as quite a king in his own country, is independent of party and much respected'."

They went via Harrogate and Ripon to Scarborough, where the ladies remained for the bathing, while Mr. Bigg and Mr. Blachford continued their journey north to Carlisle and Edinburgh where they stayed for some time. Writing on the eve of the return home from Scarborough, October 20th, 1767, Lovelace says "the Duke of Yorks death (George III's eldest brother) has occasioned some delay to our return. Wishing to join in the general mourning as soon as we can, we sent to town for a trunk we had packed up lest such an accident should happen, which meets us at York, when all our coloured things go to London by wagon, and we, properly arrayed in sables, proceed southward, making Worksop, Nottingham, Burleight House, (which he later describes as a superb pile) Cambridge, Lord Byron's at Newstead Abbey, and Belvoir Castle on our way."

The tour ended where it began, namely at Boswell Court, Lovelace Biggs' house in Middlesex. Lovelace Biggs' wife Margaret Blachford died at Chilton Folliat on the 27th of December, 1784, leaving two sons and seven daughters. Many glimpses of life with the Biggs family at Manydown between 1796 and 1799 are to be found in the letters of Jane Austen, whose father was Rector of Steventon, two and a half miles distant. The authoress was evidently very much at home with the party at Manydown where she frequently stayed, and was especially intimate with Catherine and Alethea who were about her own age.

Dances and social gatherings were often held at the house where many eligible young men were entertained. The young ladies of the set consisted of the Biggs sisters, the Lefroy girls, Jane Austen, and Jane Blachford the daughter of Robert Pope Blachford of Osborne in the Isle of Wight and cousin of the Biggs girls. One of Jane Austen's often quoted and amusing comments is on the subject of a wedding. She wrote to Anna Lefroy in 1814 "the latter (Alethea Bigg) writes to me word that Miss Blachford is married, but I have never seen it in the papers, and one may as well be single if the wedding is not to be in print."

Jane Blachford married Philip Williams (1780-1843), eldest son of the Reverend Philip Williams (1742-1830), Rector of Compton, and a Fellow of Winchester College for fifty years. Jane's father, Robert Pope Blachford and Winifred, his wife, both died at Aix in France, and are both buried at Marseilles 1790. One wonders what ailment proved fatal to these two who were seeking health at Aix. When reading the novels of Jane Austen one is inclined to suspect her places and characters are based on the lives and homes and lifestyles of her friends and acquaintances namely the Biggs family, the Lefroys, and the Blachfords of Osborne.

BARRINGTON POPE BLACHFORD the eldest son of Robert Pope Blachford and Winifred was born December 3rd, 1783. The Blachfords held Osborne, Barton, Bowcombe, Merstone, and the great tithes of Carisbrooke,besides several farms in the east of the Island. It was rumoured that Barrington's father left him Osborne free, and £40,000 but when he (Barrington) died, the property was much encumbered. He was a member of parliament for Newtown, Isle of Wight (a `rotten borough'). Barrington farmed at Barton, and a story is told, and it is a true one, that a 40-acre field at Barton produced 40 loads of wheat which were sold for £40 a load, which was paid for in sovereigns at the east medina mill on delivery. He was Lord of the Admiralty, and a FOUNDER MEMBER of the Royal Yacht Squadron.

In 1813 the Sub-Commissioners of Trinity House, with a view no doubt to encourage the professional seamen of the island, arranged to have a review of all Pilot vessels. The visitors and inhabitants of Cowes were highly gratified at the spectacle. This was followed by a Ball at "Aldred's Hotel" in east Cowes, and a dinner at which a select party of gentlemen dined together at the Marine hotel in west Cowes. It was at one of these convivial meetings following the procession of the Pilot boats, that the idea of a Yachting Club began to take shape. On the first of June, 1815, a body of gentlemen met at the Thatched House Tavern in St. James street in London, under the presidency of Lord Grantham, and decided to form a club. The following resolutions were entered into:

FIRST, That the club be called `THE YACHT CLUB'.
SECOND, That the following persons are the original members of the club. Then followed the names of the FOUNDER MEMBERS. Viscount Ashbrook, Charles Aylmer esq., William Baring esq., the Earl of Belmore, captain Frederick Berkeley, BARRINGTON POPE BLACHFORD esq., the Marquis of Buckingham, Lord Cawdor, S. Challen esq., the Earl of Craven, Sir William Curtiss Bart. Viscount Deerhurst, F.N. Fazackerley, Viscount Fitz Harris, John Fitz Gerald esq., Lord Grantham, Charles Grant esq., Thomas Hallifax esq., the Hon. William Hare, Henry Herbert esq., Sir J. Cox Hippesley Bart, Viscount Kirkwall, Thomas Lewin esq., John Lindegren esq., Lloyd of Marie esq., Reverend Charles North, Rt. Hon. Charles Nugent, the Hon. Charles Pelham, Lord Ponsonby, Sir Richard Puleston Bart, Harry Scott esq., Colonel Shedden, Thomas Asheton Smith esq., Sir Geo. Thomas Bart, Marquess Thomond, Earl of Uxbridge, Bayles Wardle esq., Sir Godrey Webster Bart, Joseph Weld esq., James Weld esq., Colonel Whatley, Owen Williams esq.

and that here after the qualifications to entitle a Gentleman to become a member be. the ownership of a vessel not under ten tons.

Each member upon payment of three guineas to the secretary and treasurer was entitled to two copies of the signal book, and was expected to provide himself with a set of flags according to the regulations contained there-in.

They paid Mr. Findlaison forty five pounds to print the first copies which were found to be based on a wrong system. A committee was formed. and appointed to consider the matter. .They called on Sir Home Popham K.C.B. to assist in devising a new set. In practice they were also found wanting, clumsy, and inconvenient due to the number of flags employed. Eventually it was agreed that TWO FLAGS, TWO PENNANTS, and an ENSIGN was all that was necessary. All members were required to register the name, rig, tonnage and port of registry of his vessel with the secretary. BARRINGTON owned and sailed a Cutter of fifty two Tons named "SYBIL" and registered at Cowes. Unfortunately he got little pleasure from his new club as he died May 4th, 1816, the year following its inaugural meeting. His son Fitzroy Blachford died unmarried April 10th, 1840.

The Lady Isabella Blachford, widowed and with an unmarried daughter, her estates deep in debt, was in no position to oppose the Queen (Victoria) when she decided to buy the estates as a home and a retreat from the glare of public life for her and her growing family. According to the record, Lady Isabella asked for £30,000 for the house and the estate of one thousand acres. A price of £28,000 was tentatively agreed, with Lady Isabella still insisting she thought £30,000 was a fairer price. The Queen the dropped her offer to £26,000, less furniture and fittings, this was grudgingly accepted. It would appear that the furniture and fittings remained with the house, so one wonders `do the Royal family still owe the Blachfords £2,000 (plus interest accrued )?' Lady Isabella Blachford and her unmarried daughter Isabella Elizabeth both died at Hampton Court in `Grace and Favour' apartments granted by the Queen. One wonders, did the Queen have a guilty conscience through her harsh and demanding haggling with the stricken widow and assuaged her remorse by providing shelter for the remainder of the poor woman's life?

Lady Isabella Blachford was the sixth daughter of the third Duke of Grafton by his second wife Elizabeth, daughter of the Reverend Sir Richard Wrottesley Bart. The Grafton were the illegitimate offspring of King Charles and Barbara Villiers (Lady Castlemaine). Lady Isabella Blachford was born on 17th November, 1786, married Barrington Pope Blachford on
the 14th of August, 1812, and died in December 1866. From 1866 until after 1882, (and before 1890) the occupier of her house at 33 Berkeley Square, was a Miss Blachford, probably her daughter. But at all events, in 1905 no surviving posterity is recorded for Lady Isabella in the PLANTAGENET ROLL of the Blood Royal.

Robert, the eldest son of Robert and Anne (nee Brydges) of Osborne, was born in 1699 and died May 30th, 1729. There have been many rumours and much common talk of his early demise. Several letters that have not yet been deciphered, suggest that he was embroiled in some shady dealings, and fell foul of the authorities. Whether this has anything to do with his early death, we shall no doubt discover at some future date. Robert owned or controlled a shipping business, trading with Europe, West Africa, the West Indies, and America. In many letters from his Agent (T. Griffin) we have records of three of his ships, namely, the `Berwick', the `Port Mahoon' captain Arnold, and the `Diamond' captain Harry Anesley.

The ships did a round trip from England to West Africa, where they embarked slaves for Jamaica in the West Indies, then made the return voyage to England and Europe laden with sugar, casks of indigo, bags of ginger, and tons of mahogany log wood.

    "Sir, This waits on you to acquaint you that we are this evening arrived at Lowestoft roads on our way south to Harwich to repair a small damage that befell us in our most tempestuous passage. On Tuesday night it blowing a hurricane and we driving under bare poles, had like to have drove athwart a Dutch fishing Dogger Hause but with much difficulty we got clear by just touching his quarter with our Lyon which went away and our bowsprit swept away his mizzen mast which thank God is all the damage, But had not this accident obliged me to put in to get a ferrule for a head, and to secure our bobstays (part of the cut water being gone) I must have put in to get her caulked, for both the desk and sides are very leaky, so that when the sea broke over us our pumps were continually at work, but with this ill fortune, one piece of good attended us, and that, we have but one place in the hold that is dry and that the bale goods were stowed there, so that they have took no damage, and the rest can hardly take any. I likewise send you for your information, that the charge of the English cargo amounts to £908.15.0. and the amount of our Dutch £1392.0.7. and if I can get time to copy the invoices, I will send them to you. I have got you half a dozen handkerchiefs which I shall send with a letter by the first opportunity. I think it will be by the Pilot (Johnson) when we get to the Downs. I have had time enough to dirty them this bad weather in order to make the pass the better. (customs)"

    "You will see that we are now at Gilleyfree, about twelve leagues up the river Gambia (36 miles) and tomorrow in the mom I intend to weigh and go up twelve more to a place called Anchor wall. I have got aboard 25 slaves, and expect about 3 more down by our longboat from Geregia. I have obliged ye gentlemen so much who belong to `James Island' (the factory and fort for the Royal African Company) that they have assured me of the first refusal of the negroes they have to spare since their unfortunate blast (explosion) which I suppose is no news in England, this misfortune happening on ye second of November last. I have a prospect of some slaves teeth and wax at Anchor Wall which occasions my going up but I shall make no long stay there, but come down here and agree if possible with my good friends for the rest of my cargo, and the proceed to Sierra Leone.
    I have bought more slaves at Gilleyfree than ye other four sales put together, and thank God still bear the character of the fairest Trader."
    "Dear Sir, This waits on you to acquaint you that I am still in the land of the living, though I have been much disordered with an inflammation in my throat. I am passed all danger of death, and get strength and flesh every day. I likewise have growing hopes of getting money, though it is got slow. for I have picked up between 90 and 100 good slaves at Gambia and here, and no other ship has gone down the coast this six weeks. I shall heel, scrub, and tallow her boot-tops, which will take with other business, about three or four days. and then proceed down the coast. I find African voyages are not made so soon, as talked on. I long for an evenings chat with you, but must be content. In the days of sail, with the difficulties of provisioning ships for long voyages, to say nothing of the perils of storms and hurricanes, or clams that could last for weeks, disease and scurvy, every moment of the day and night fraught with danger of one sort or another, made a deep sea traders life hostile and unpredictably nerve wracking to say the least."
    "My dear friend, I have just time with an uneasy mind and full of care to tell you that I have had great mortality aboard amongst both blacks and whites. for I have buried both Mates early in the voyage, and to my greater grief 58 slaves. I purchased 109 and sold one, so I have aboard but 150 which I doubt will make but a losing voyage unless our slaves bring a better price that I am informed they do at Jamaica. Necessity obliged me to put in here for provisions which I have got sufficiently, and am under sail for Jamaica, and am with great concern, and much truth."
    "Dear Sir, After a most troublesome voyage, and a passage of fifteen weeks from the coast (west Africa) we arrived at Port Royale with 140 slaves on November 19th. Since our arrival 4 are dead, 110 sold and 34 more to be sold. I shall defer acquainting you with prices until our market is finished. We have buried out of the 200 (which was all we could purchase) 64, so I shall leave you to judge the rest and find our what I am afraid of and dare not name. I shall put off telling you the particulars of my voyage until we meet, which may be about April next, for I shall not get from hence this two months, cargo not being ready, and the ships leak to be stopped. As to news, the most agreeable I can tell is that `Harry Anseley' drinks to your health (captain of the DIAMOND). The melancholy is that the FLEET have buried 1,000 men at BASTIMENTOS, and have 1,000 more sick, so that here is a strong PRESS (press gangs looking for crews). Two, the DUNKIRK and NOTTINGHAM, are moored at Blewfields and cannot move for want of hands. The rest are here to get provisions and will sail as soon as possible. The DIAMOND will heave down first. I have got you some excellent Rum, and shall have some Mahogany. My best services waits on your good uncle and friends in HOLBOURN and the Isle of Wight."
    ". this comes to acquaint you that we have hove down, stopped our leak, and have begun to take in stores. Sugars are scarce, so that we cannot get them neer so fast as I could wish, and the market for the BLACK JACKS very bad so that we still have some refused slaves to dispose of We have ventured to WINDWARD, and to Hispaniola and the sloop is returned with about thirty per cent profit which helps a broken voyage a little. The papers advise that my uncle is dead and his will lost. I hope most heartily that it is not true, but if it is so, I should be glad of your services and early advice how it is when I arrive in England. "
    Dear Sir,
    I have just time to tell you that this afternoon we arrived in the Pool. I hope you enjoy good health, and that all our friends in the Island do the same. I beg that you'll forgive my humble service to them and accept the same from
    Dear Sir, Your most obedient,
    humble servant,
    T. Griffin
    London 3rd August 1727
    Dear Sir,I am favoured with yours and heartily glad to hear you do not find fault with my conduct in my voyage but am sorry I have so just reason to complain of our Factor at Jamaica and BookeKeeper at . but as its not proper for me to say more that they had like (from a mistake) made us lose ship and cargo but with a good deal of trouble and care thank God it is timely prevented I shall defer the rest until I see you.
    As to the affair of my Uncle I hope to get done what you seem to mention (the Bond) and that with good management will put me in a better way of life than I ever was, and it is better he has died when he did than keep me depending eighteen years more. When I went out you bespoke a puncheon of rum which I do not forget, though I did other things and I heartily beg pardon. I hope Nick Cooper brought you the laced head and handkerchiffs (sic.). If you want more rum le me know if you would have any more per next post. My best service to your sister and all friends in the Island and be assured I am
    Dear Sir
    Your most faithful obliged
    T. Griffin.
    York Buildings. August 29 1727
    Dear Sir,
    I had your favour wherein you mention a Hoy was to come from your neighbourhood but as I have never heard anything of him I imagine he laid aside his voyage or your letter, so should be glad of your further and speedy advice, whether you would have it remain in the hands of Mr. Richardson of Bear Key, or sent to your Uncles and . The reason I wish for speedy advice is our falling down the beginning of next week to Galeoons, and after a short stay there to the . and soon afterwards to proceed according to orders either for Siphead or directly for Giberalter though its talked we shall certainly come to Spitthead and I shall then do myself the pleasure of waiting on you.
    If I find I am not like to have the pleasure of seeing you I shall write a little to you about the affairs of the Mary Ann. At present every thing that regards her stands still our Ships Husband is sick and his bookskeeper lazy.
    Mr. Gray sends his hearty service and I beg you'll will make mine acceptable to your guests and believe me to be as I truly am
    Dear Sir
    Your faithful obliged
    T. Griffin.

Sold at Jamaica
Red Pjains P.25. 25
Ordinary Felt Hats . 60
Photas. 12
Cotton Romal l . 20
Silk Handkerchiffs . 5
Tap seals. 5
Guinea Stuffs . 7
Iron. 141

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Robert Blatchford - History

The Labour Conference

Source : The Clarion, Saturday 21 January 1893, p. 5
Note : The conference described was the first conference of the Independent Labour Party. It also described sympathetically in some of the commercial press, including the Glasgow Herald.
Transcription : by Graham Seaman for MIA, January 2021

There has been so much written about the initial conference of the Independent Labour Party at Bradford by pressmen who neither understand nor sympathise. with the movement, that perhaps a few words from one who does understand it and does sympathise with it may be useful. I propose, therefore, to devote a little space to a consideration of one or two prominent features of the present situation.

First of all let me congratulate our Bradford friends upon their progress. Little wore the a year ago we wore told that the Bradford Labour Party consisted of seven men. It now consists of one of the strongest local organisations in Great Britain. It polled nearly three thousand votes in one division for Ben Tillett, and it will certainly return one or more Labour members to Parliament at the next election. If all the other towns of this country were as far advanced as Bradford, the Labour Cause would be as good as won.

Next, if I may—as an unusual thing—be pardoned the egotism I wish to thank our Bradford friends for the cordiality with which they received my unworthy self. I am not given to complimentary speeches, but I must say I was rendered very grateful, and very proud, by my reception at the conference, and at St. George's Hall. I didn't deserve such kindness, but I was not the less affected by it. A little thing like that makes a man ashamed of his unworthiness, and inspires him with a wish to deserve better in future.

The comments of the Liberal Press upon the conference are amusing, but nothing more. It would be easy to answer them, were they worth answering, but they are not worth answering. No. One of the most cheering facts in connection with the Labour movement is the fact that the Labour men have no longer any faith in the Press.

Another grand fact is that the Labour men will not listen to any suggestion of alliance or compromise with the Liberal Party. The Liberal Party may protest as they will but there are two things patent to the minds of the Labour men: one, that Liberalism is Individualistic while Labourism is Socialistic two, that Liberal friendship for Labour is mere feigning. For how far can a Party be the ally of Labour which refuses even an eight hours’ act? and how can a party be the friend of Labour which refuses Labour any seats?

Had Liberalism meant what it professed there would now be many Labour members in the House. How many could the Liberals have let in? How many have they let in? How did they meet the candidatures of Ben Tillett, of W. K. Hall, of Keir Hardie?

The new Independent Labour Party is not yet very large but it has in it the elements of success. It will not be bribed it will not be intimidated it will not be cajoled from without nor will it be divided or domineered over from within.

At the conference I noticed with much delight an aversion to rhetorical speaking a contempt for the Press an unqualified hostility to both the old Parties a praiseworthy eagerness to get forward with the business and an intense anxiety to uphold the unity and friendliness of the Party. Hero-worship, also, I am pleased to say, is not in favour amongst the Labour men.

Those who have laboured to bring about these results have reason to feel proud and gratified to-day.

The conference made one or two mistakes, it is true but these will surely be rectified in the near future. There were at times some rather sharp interchanges of language but these were taken in good part, and it is not too much to say that the delegates parted good friends and faithful comrades.

The business got through in the time is sufficient proof of the earnestness and intelligence of the conference, but too much praise cannot be given to Keir Hardie for his conduct in the chair. His good humour, his firmness, his ready wit, his large grasp of the questions under debate, as well as his knowledge of procedure, saved endless waste of time, and averted wily a burst of anger. Keir Hardie left Bradford with a vastly increased popularity—every atom of which he richly merited

The most regrettable incident of the conference was the speech of Ben Tillett against the Continental Socialists. This speech was universally deplored by the delegates, and I am sure is now as much deplored by Ben Tillett. Ben is too brave and generous a man to let a few rash words stand in his name. I feel sure that when he has reflected he will take those unkind aspersions back. The Labour cause is the Labour cause in Germany as in England. Justice is not a geographical idea. We cannot quarrel with our Continental comrades. Socialism is only half won until it has made brothers of us all.

Another thing I was sorry to notice was the attitude of the conference towards the London Fabians. I do not allude to the challenging of the Fabian credentials. Perhaps I may be allowed a few words on this matter.

As to the position of the Fabians as delegates. The Fabian Society and the S.D.F. refuse to be absorbed by the Independent Labour Party. I think they are wise and that they are more use as they are. But, under these circumstances, I submit that neither the S.D.F. nor the Fabian Society are entitled to send delegates to any future I.L.P. conference.

The proper course for members of these two bodies is to join the local branches of the I.L.P. and stand for election there.

But there was an evident disposition on the part of many delegates to disparage the Fabian Society and it was alleged that the Fabian Society was not in favour of an independent party.

Now, I feel called upon to state—firstly, that I have, on a dozen occasions, heard Messrs. De Mattos, Hubert Bland, and Robert Dell speak and lecture ably and earnestly on behalf of the formation of such a party, and I am at a loss to understand the assertion that the London Fabians are against the movement.

But more than this. Some years ago, previous to the formation of the Bradford Labour Union, De Mattos came to Manchester especially to see me, and to request me to do what I could to organise a national party. I declined to do that, because I did not want to lay myself open to the charge of trying to make myself a leader.

I mention these facts in justice to the London Fabians. I do not like the Fabian policy of permeation, and I have more than once said so—in terms unkind and unjust, perhaps but the Fabians have done good work, and are trusty and valuable friends of Labour. I hope we may all shake hands and be good boys in future.

And now I come to the question upon which the conference had the longest and sharpest discussion—the notorious Manchester Fourth Clause.

Our fourth clause, forbids members of our party to vote for any nominee of the old Parties. The majority of the conference are against it. The men of Manchester are strongly in its favour.

Well, at the Labour Church meeting Keir Hardie spoke of this clause, and said he hoped Manchester would not persist in adhering to it. Since then, I see, he has made a speech at Colne to the same effect.

Had I spoken after Mr. Hardie, instead of before him, at Bradford, I would have answered his speech, but I could not anticipate it, as I did not know his intention.

I think I may say that Keir Hardie and I understand and trust each other. On this point we hold different views. Now, Hardie is a man of intellect, and a cool and steady fighter. It is quite possible that he may be right, and that we at Manchester maybe wrong.

On the other hand, Mr. Bernard Shaw said at the conference that the the men of Manchester lacked “political intelligence.” I think that is a mistake. We are not orators here, but we have enough political intelligence to find our way about our own city by daylight, and it is just possible that we may be right and that Keir Hardie may be wrong.

And now I'll answer the newspaper comments, and also Keir Hardie's challenge.

First—Understand that the Manchester Party is “Independent.” That is to say that the members manage their own affairs, and that the President never interferes with them, nor makes the least attempt to lead or to persuade them. Therefore I cannot answer for them but only for myself. Here is my private opinion.

The fourth clause is very dear to me. I believe it to be imperatively necessary to the maintenance of the independence of the Party.

But it is only valuable as a means to an end. The end is the end so dear to us all, to the Fabians, the Democrats, and the I.L.P.'s—the emancipation of Labour and it would be foolish to value the means more than the end.

Another vital element in the success of any party is Unity. If the Labour Party is to succeed it must be united.

Then, again, the Manchester Party is now only one part of a greater party, the National Party—one battalion in an army corps.

Finally, the I.L.P. is a democratic body, and is ruled by the vote of the majority.

To what conclusion do we come?

I think it is the duty of the Manchester regiment to impress upon the others with all its power the value of Independence.

I think that if, after we have done that, the majority of the army are against us, it is our duty to give way.

The majority are our General. If our General issues an order we must obey it.

Therefore, be it known unto Keir Hardie, and our comrades, as also unto the enemy, that, no matter what are my private feelings, I shall obey orders.

For years I have urged most earnestly upon the workers the duty of loyal union. I will not be an example of disruption. I will fight as directed and I hope my Manchester comrades will not leave a gap in the line of battle.

And now, Keir Hardie, a word with you. I see your policy, and I think you are wrong. I will argue it out with you if you like, and the army shall judge betwixt us. Send to me an article of about one thousand words in defence of your policy, and I will answer it in the following issue of the Clarion, and we will let a few good men on either side take the matter up, and then I will sum up, and you shall reply, and we shall know where we are.

Meanwhile, let me congratulate all our comrades upon the success of the conference let me express my admiration for your chairmanship, and let me emphatically state for the benefit of our candid friends of the Press, that the Labour Party mean to stick together and be faithful to each other and to their cause, and that is the chiefest desire of NUNQUAM

Brighton & Hove Clarion Cycling Club

Robert Blatchford, 1851-1943, was, together with his brother Montagu who later became one of the Clarion team writing mainly about the theatre and music, was the child of ‘strolling players.’ He was born in Maidstone and raised by his mother, Georgina after his father died in 1853. It was a pretty hand-to-mouth childhood with frequent moves and little in the way of a formal education, though Blatchford managed to read Dickens, the Bible and other books which would have a clear influence on his later writing style.

By 1862 the Blatchfords were in Halifax and in 1864 Robert was apprenticed to a brushmaker. At the factory he met his future wife, Sarah who he would marry in 1880. For reasons that are still not totally clear he ran away, walked to Hull and eventually made his way to London and was next heard of as a promising recruit for the British army in which he was eventually promoted to sergeant. His time in the army was a formative experience. His first biographer A Neil Lyons would maintain in a Clarion article after the outbreak of war in 1914 that the army was in his case the equivalent of university. Certainly he was later fond of writing tales of army life based on his own experience such as Tommy Atkins of the Ramchunders published in 1895. And, as I mentioned last time, his army years provided the origin of the Clarion CC greeting ‘Boots!’ and ‘Spurs!’

After leaving the army Blatchford worked as a clerk for Weaver Navigation which connected the Manchester Ship Canal with the Trent and Mersey Canal via the famous Anderton Boat Lift. In his spare time he concentrated on improving his written English and teaching himself shorthand with a view to becoming a journalist. By this time he was a friend of Alexander Thompson whose background involved an even more peripatetic childhood than Blatchford’s.

Thompson – who became the Clarion‘s ‘Dangle’ and by 1914 the paper’s virtual editor – was 10 years younger than Blatchford. Born in Karlsruhe he always insisted that German was his first language and by the mid to late 1860s was living with his parents in Paris. At the age of 10 he witnessed the horrific suppression of the Paris Commune during the Semaine Sanglante (or ‘Bloody Week’) In the Edwardian years Thompson would enjoy a second career as a successful librettist of a number of musicals including at least one smash hit. But that’s running too far ahead of the story.

By the early 1880s Thompson was working on the Manchester-based Sporting Chronicle. Through his journalistic contacts he helped Blatchford get his first newspaper job with Bell’s Life in London.

This one one of the many publications of the rising press baron Edward Hulton who, after Blatchford had written some articles for it from 1885, took him on as a leader writer – a very well-paid job – for his new Manchester paper The Sunday Chronicle. It was at this stage that he acquired his long-term pen-name Nunquam (short for Nunquam dormio – I never sleep) which he used on a number of articles exposing the poverty and the often appalling living conditions of many in the Manchester area. These were published as The Nunquam Papers in 1891. By the end of that year Blatchford left the Hulton empire to start the Clarion – I will give an account if this next time.

Meanwhile, it is enough to say that by that time Blatchford was committed to socialism. Later, in1907, he would give the following account to the Fortnightly Review.

I have never read a page of Marx. I got the idea of collective ownership from H.M. Hyndman the rest of my Socialism I thought out myself. English Socialism is not German: it is English. English Socialism is not Marxian it is humanitarian. It does not depend upon any theory of “economic justice” but upon humanity and common sense.”

[Henry Hyndman was one of the main founders of the first socialist organisation in Britain in the early 1880s the – much misunderstood – Social-Democratic Federation.]

This collection of correspondence mainly consists of letters from Robert Blatchford to William Palmer (97 items) with a small number of other letters sent to William Palmer (3 items). It also includes 'Souvenir of a Visit to Chetham College, on Friday, March 29th, 1901' and a small painting signed 'Nunquam Dormio, 1934'. This correspondence ends in 1941.

There is a short exchange of letters from 1950 between Robert Palmer and LV Thompson (2 items) that suggests that Robert Palmer sent this material to Thompson because of its references to Blatchford and Thompson later returned it. Laurence Thompson published a book about Blatchford in 1951.

A collection of correspondence from Blatchford to William Palmer between 1912 and 1936 is held by Manchester Archives and Local Studies. The reference number is GB127.MS f 920.5 B26 and their website is

Robert Blatchford and the Clarion

"Had there been no Robert Blatchford, there would have been no Clarion. Had there been no Clarion, there would have been no Clarion Cycling Club," wrote Tom Groom in his 1944 Jubilee Souvenir. "The older hands", he continued, "who have been through the early struggles, must be permitted to give their thanks and their gratitude to those who first fired their enthusiasm in the cause of Socialism. And the man they will always best remember is Robert Blatchford ".

Blatchford, the son of travelling actors, started worked as a journalist on the Sunday Chronicle, in Manchester, in 1887. Under the pen name Nunquam he gained a large readership, writing passionately about the appalling living conditions endured by poor people in Manchester.

Joe Waddington, a reader of Nunquam's articles who was an unemployed joiner and a Socialist activist, suggested that he should go inside the houses and cellars to meet the people living in them.

"I set off alone", wrote Blatchford forty years later, "and went hopefully into a small court in a penurious district of Hulme." The memory of what he found there and in Ancoats remained vivid, painful and grim. He remembered that he paid for a doctor to visit a baby whose father was unemployed. It was too late the child died soon after of bronchitis. Blatchford used his influence to find a job on the railway for another man he would have to walk four miles and start work at 4am for a pittance.

Nunquam's bitter exposures of life in the slums grew ever more impassioned. But however popular it was with readers, the paper's owner and its editor were not pleased with this kind of journalism. Matters came to a head when Blatchford declared in print his allegiance to Socialism - "the only way to a better future". It seems that he was finally convinced after reading a pamphlet, What Is Socialism?, written by William Morris and HM Hyndman.

The inevitable row with Edward Hulton soon followed and Nunquam walked out after telling him, "You will not have Socialism in your paper - and I won't write anything else". He recalled many years later that in March 1891 he had a fat bank balance and a salary of £1,000 a year (perhaps the equivalent of about £40,000 in 1995) and by October he was out of work and heavily in debt.

The Clarion

Max Thompson, Edward Fay, William Palmer and another sympathiser, Robert Suthers, all resigned from the Chronicle with Robert Blatchford. They were joined by Robert's brother Montague who also gave up his job, and on the 12th December 1891 they 'went to sea in a sieve' by bringing out the first issue of a penny Socialist weekly, The Clarion (fondly referred to as the 'Perisher') from a tiny office in Corporation Street, Manchester. There were printing difficulties caused by cheap paper, and the publicity posters were washed away by heavy rain, but 40,000 copies were sold, largely on the strength of Nunquam's already-established popularity with working-class readers of the Sunday Chronicle.

Clarion cover by Walter Crane

In his first leading article Blatchford wrote:

"The Clarion is a paper meant by its owners and writers to tell the truth as they see it, frankly and without fear. The Clarion may not always be right, but it will always be sincere. Its staff do not claim to be witty or wise, but they do claim to be honest. They write not for factions but for the people. They fight not for victory but for the truth. They do not seek to dazzle, but to please not to anger, but to convince. Wheresoever wrong exists they will try to expose it. Towards baseness, cowardice, selfseeking or roguery, no matter where or in what class it may appear, they will show no mercy.

The essence of this new journalism, for it is a new journalism, and a journalism created by the men now risking this venture, is variety. I would, therefore, beg our serious friends to remember that truth may lie under a smile as well as under a frown, and to our merry friends would say that a jest is none the less hilarious when it comes from the heart. The policy of The Clarion is a policy of humanity, a policy not of party, sect or creed but of justice, reason and mercy."

It has been said that Blatchford's Socialism was based on ethics, not economics. His gift was to be able to write movingly about injustice and inequality and to present a Socialist argument clearly. His founder-colleagues ('The Board', as they became known) laid down no agreed policy or programme, so that the paper became an open forum for different Socialist groups and individuals.

After the editorial office moved to Fleet Street, London, in 1895, circulation grew steadily to reach over 80,000 by 1908. The Clarion sold well not only because it was written plainly and unpretentiously, but because it was entertaining, and professionally produced. Apart from political articles and editorials which aimed to "make Socialists", as Blatchford put it, by explaining the principles of Socialism "in the simplest and best language at our command", there was much which merely aimed to amuse. There were regular weekly features on music, theatre, books and sport (including cycling), plus a Children's Corner and a Woman's Letter.

Nunquam, The Bounder (Edward Fay), Dangle (AM Thompson), Mont Blong (Montague Blatchford), Whiffly Puncto (William Palmer) and the rest were not only admired but loved by readers. In tens of thousands of working-class homes the members of the Clarion Board were friends rather than just names. When, in the summer of 1894, a group of Birmingham readers heard rumours of financial difficulties they wrote in:

It's going down means personally an interest in life gone socially a serious blow to our movement. Although none of the undersigned has ever met the Clarion staff personally our sense of comradeship towards you is as vivid as though we met each day . The Clarion is too good to lose.

One advertisement for the paper declared: "There is nothing like it. There never was anything like it. There never will be anything like it." And the reason why this was no empty slogan is that The Clarion, unlike other Socialist papers, espoused a Socialism which was not in the least solemn, difficult, highbrow, dreary, theoretical or dogmatic, but rather a way of life to be enjoyed here and now, in which men and women, young and old, would live in fellowship with each other in their everyday work and leisure activities.

Resources about Robert Blatchford and The Clarion in the library collection

Robert Blatchford, My eighty years (1931) - Shelfmark: B26

A Neil Lyons, Robert Blatchford: the sketch of a personality - an estimate of some achievements (1910) - Shelfmark: B01

Laurence Thompson, Robert Blatchford - portrait of an Englishman (1951) - Shelfmark: B05

Robert Blatchford (1927) - Shelfmark: A63

Mike and Liz Sones (compilers), An introduction to Robert Blatchford and the Clarion newspaper (1986) - Shelfmark: AG Clarion Box 2

The National Family History Fair at Gateshead - report


Well I'm back from Gateshead, and the National Family History Fair, and I am aching all over, but haven't had so much fun in ages. The event is run by Bob Blatchford, who produces the annual Family and Local History Handbook, and I went down to help him and his team, including his wife Liz and son Charlie, as well as Maurice, Sue, David, Martin and others. We spent Friday setting up inside the stadium, had a great meal that evening, and then got well and truly stuck in for a great day from early on Saturday morning.

Find my Past helping the genealogical masses

The hall was packed with some of the great and the good, including S&N Genealogy Supplies, FindmyPast, Ancestry, Your Family Tree, ABM Publishing, Family History Monthly, Family History Partnership, and others, and unlike WDYTYA Live, there was also some serious Scottish presence, including the Aberdeen and NE Scotland FHS, Glasgow and West of Scotland FHS, the Scottish Association of Family History Societies, the Scottish Genealogy Society, Scotland's People and the University of Strathclyde.

The show was sponsored by S&N Genealogy Supplies, and the company's MD Nigel Bayley gave two talks, with other speakers also including Ian Hartas, Amanda Bevan, Sarah Paterson, William Roulston, Doreen Hopwood and Kevin Connelly.

Ken Nisbet on the Scottish Genealogy Society stand.

As well as catching up with many people I had spoken to at WDYTYA Live, I also spoke to some of the smaller vendors. There's an interesting new website on mining being launched soon, for the north east of England, but which will have some limited overlap with the Borders region of Scotland. Called NEEMARC (North East of England Mining Archive and Resource Centre), and produced by the University of Sutherland, the website is currently under construction at , but may well be a useful parallel for the Scottish Mining Villages website at , so worth keeping an eye on, particularly if you have connections to mining in the north of England. The Family History Partnership are another name to watch out for, publishing new and interesting family history books like demons possesed, with over eighty titles already since their creation last year!

At one point I also spoke to a vendor who sold old postcards, and was shocked to learn that much of her collection had recently been stolen by a rival vendor who had attempted to flog the lot on eBay. Fortunately the buyer had alerted the police and the thief was caught, the goods returned, and the thief is now being prosecuted. But it surprised me to think that there is a criminal underworld in the world of postcards! Fortunately the good guys won the day here.

Her boyfriend showed up to help out wearing the coolest Batman t shirt I've ever seen. Apparently it's a new printing process called sublimation, which captures the details and colors in amazing detail. He showed me the website where he bought his and I'm definitely going to take a look when I get back home and have some time. The site is and they have the largest individual displays in addition to their great products - they also carry some vintage designs from the comic book days. My little brother is a huge Batman fan so I'll probably shop for his birthday present at this Batman shirt store. If you're into Batman, take a look.

I also managed to meet some new faces - Annabel who has just taken over publicity at Ancestry, Sue Barbour who is working on a theatre archive project with the British Library, the North East War Memorials Trust team, the UKBMD team, many new faces from the SoG and others.

A huge thanks to Bob and the team for allowing me to help out, it was a lot of fun, and I'm already signed up for next year! See ye there!

The National British Fair for Family and Local History was held on 10th September 2005 at Gateshead International Stadium.

Over 2200 visitors attended the event viewing over125 stands, who exhibited a vast range of products and services to aid the research of family and local history.

If you visited this year's fair and have any comments or questions please visit our guest book.

The fair is now the largest of its type to be held in the British Isles and the only fair to be easily accessible from all parts of the British Isles. 20% of visitors surveyed by the National Archives had travelled over 100miles to attend! One couple came all the way from Australia.

Here is what some of our exhibitors and visitors had to say:

"The National Family History Fair goes from strength to strength and is now firmly established as the event for family historians. For exhibitors the facilities, organisation and access are first class. For family historians, both old and new, this event is the chance for you to get expert advice and help from organisations from across the country. Don't miss it next year" - John Wood National Archives

"May I take the opportunity to thank you (Bob),Roger and your team of helpers for orgainising such an enjoyable and successful NFHF. The event must have taken a massive amount of planning and PR over a long period, the result being a superb showcase for the local and family history in the north of England. I was pleasantry surprised how far some of my customers had travelled in order to attend and also seeing so many exhibitors from all over the UK. I very much look forward to attending in 2006!" -Brian Elliot, Elliot Books

"Was the National Family History Fair in Gateshead a worthwhile trip for the Society of Genealogists Bookshop and the two Society help desks? Well it certainly was!
Overall the organisation and pre-event publicity were of a high standard. The Fair attendance satisfactorily reflected the preparation put in by Bob and Roger especially as we had to compete with Michael Owen coming to town! Overall though a very well planned show and I look forward to coming back to next year's Fair and to meeting once again the very hospitable Gateshead and Newcastle people".
Michael Bunting SoG

"Family Historians from all over the world descended on Gateshead to attend the largest family history fair in UK. Visitors came from afar: Mr and Mrs Bernard Mclver had travelled all the way from Perth, Australia, others from Christchurch, New Zealand. Disaster nearly struck for one more local visitor, Patricia Cunningham from Hull, who left behind her precious research material at the fair. However, using detective skills honed by years of research, the organisers were able to reunite Mrs Cunningham with her papers before she had even noticed that they were missing!" FHM

It is The National Family History Fair!

The National Family History Fair 2009

Gateshead International Stadium
Saturday 12th September 2009
10.00a.m - 4.30p.m
Admission £4.00
Accompanied Children under 15 Free


The theory of the early Christian Church was that the Earth was flat, like a plate, and the sky was a solid dome above it, like an inverted blue basin.

The Sun revolved round the Earth to give light by day, the Moon revolved round the Earth to give light by night. The stars were auxiliary lights, and had all been specially, and at the same time, created for the good of man.

God created the Sun, Moon, Stars, and Earth in six days. He created them by word, and He created them out of nothing.

The centre of the Universe was the Earth. The Sun was made to give light to the Earth by day, and the Moon to give light to Earth by night.

Any man who denied that theory in those days was in danger of being murdered as an Infidel.

To-day our ideas are very different. Hardly any educated man or woman in the world believes that the world is flat, or that the Sun revolves round the Earth, or that what we call the sky is a solid substance, like a domed ceiling.

Advanced thinkers, even amongst the Christians, believe that the world is round, that it is one of a series of planets revolving round the Sun, that the Sun is only one of many millions of other suns, that these suns were not created simultaneously, but at different periods, probably separated by millions or billions of years.

We have all, Christians and Infidels alike, been obliged to acknowledge that the Earth is not the centre of the whole Universe, but only a minor planet revolving around, and dependent upon, one of myriads of suns.

God, called by Christians "Our Heavenly Father," created all things. He created not only the world, but the whole universe. He is all-wise, He is all-powerful, He is all-loving, and He is revealed to us in the Scriptures.

Let us see. Let us try to imagine what kind of a God the creator of this Universe would be, and let us compare him with the God, or Gods, revealed to us in the Bible, and in the teachings of the Church.

We have seen the account of the Universe and its creation, as given in the revealed Scriptures. Let us now take a hasty view of the Universe and its creation as revealed to us by science.

What is the Universe like, as far as our limited knowledge goes?

Our Sun is only one sun amongst many millions. Our planet is only one of eight which revolve around him.

Our Sun, with his planets and comets, comprises what is known as the solar system.

There is no reason to suppose that his is the only Solar System: there may be many millions of solar systems. For aught we know, there may be millions of systems, each containing millions of solar systems.

Let us deal first with the solar system of which we are a part.

The Sun is a globe of 866,200 miles diameter. His diameter is more than 108 times that of the Earth. His volume is 1,305,000 times the volume of the Earth. All the eight planets added together only make one-seven-hundredth part of his weight. His circumference is more than two and a-half millions of miles. He revolves upon his axis in 25 1/4 days, or at a speed of nearly 4,000 miles an hour.

This immense and magnificent globe diffuses heat and light to all the other planets.

Without the light and heat of the Sun no life would now be, or in the past have been, possible on this Earth, or any other planet of the solar system.

The eight planets of the solar system are divided into four inferior and four superior.

The inferior planets are Mercury, Venus, the Earth, and Mars. The superior are Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, and Neptune.

The diameters of the smaller planets are as follow: Mercury, 3,008 miles Mars, 5,000 miles Venus, 7,480 miles the Earth, 7,926 miles.

The diameters of the large planets are: Jupiter, 88,439 miles Saturn, 75,036 miles Neptune, 37,205 miles Uranus, 30,875 miles.

The volume of Jupiter is 1,389 times, of Saturn 848 times, of Neptune 103 times, and of Uranus 59 times the volume of the Earth.

The mean distances from the Sun are: Mercury, 36 million miles Venus, 67 million miles the Earth, 93 million miles Mars, 141 million miles Jupiter, 483 million miles Saturn, 886 million miles Uranus, 1,782 million miles Neptune, 2,792 million miles.

To give an idea of the meaning of these distances, I may say that a train travelling night and day at 60 miles an hour would take quite 176 years to come from the Sun to the Earth.

The same train, at the same speed, would be 5,280 years in travelling from the Sun to Neptune.

Reckoning that Neptune is the outermost planet of the solar system, that system would have a diameter of 5,584 millions of miles.

If we made a chart of the solar system on a scale of 1 inch to a million miles, we should need a sheet of paper 465 feet 4 inches wide. On this sheet the Sun would have a diameter of less than 1 inch, and the Earth would be about the size of a pin-prick.

If an express train, going at 60 miles an hour, had to travel round the Earth's orbit, it would be more than 1,000 years on the journey. If the Earth moved no faster, our winter would last more than 250 years. But in the solar system the speeds are as wonderful as the sizes. The Earth turns upon its axis at the rate of 1,000 miles an hour, and travels in its orbit round the Sun at the rate of more than 1,000 miles a minute, or 66,000 miles an hour.

So much for the size of the solar system. It consists of a Sun and eight planets, and the outer planet's orbit is one of 5,584 millions of miles in diameter, which it would take an express train, at 60 miles an hour, 10,560 years to cross.

But this distance is as nothing when we come to deal with the distances of the other stars from our Sun.

The distance from our Sun to the nearest fixed (?) star is more than 20 millions of millions of miles. Our express train, which crosses the diameter of the solar system in 10,560 years, would take, if it went 60 miles an hour day and night, about 40 million years to reach the nearest fixed star from the Sun.

And if we had to mark the nearest fixed star on our chart made on a scale of 1 inch to the million miles, we should find that whereas a sheet of 465 feet would take in the outermost planet of the solar system, a sheet to take in the nearest fixed star would have to be about 620 miles wide. On this sheet, as wide as from London to Inverness, the Sun would be represented by a dot three-quarters of an inch in diameter, and the Earth by a pin-prick.

But these immense distances only relate to the nearest stars. Now, the nearest stars are about four "light years" distant from us. That is to say, that light, travelling at a rate of about 182,000 miles in one second, takes four years to come from the nearest fixed star to the Earth.

But I have seen the distance from the Earth to the Great Nebula in Orion given as a thousand light years, or 250 times the distance of the fixed star above alluded to.

To reach that nebula at 60 miles an hour, an express train would have to travel for 35 millions of years multiplied by 250&mdashthat is to say, for 8,750 million years.

And yet there are millions of stars whose distances are even greater than the distance of the Great Nebula in Orion.

How many stars are there? No one can even guess. But L. Struve estimates the number of those visible to the great telescopes at 20 millions.

Twenty millions of suns. And as for the size of these suns, Sir Robert Ball says Sirius is ten times as large as our Sun and a well-known astronomer, writing in the English Mechanic about a week ago, remarks that Alpha Orionis (Betelgeuze) has probably 700 times the light of our Sun.

Looking through my telescope, which is only 3-inch aperture, I have seen star clusters of wonderful beauty in the Pleiades and in Cancer. There is, in the latter constellation, a dim star which, when viewed through my glass, becomes a constellation larger, more brilliant, and more beautiful than Orion or the Great Bear. I have looked at these jewelled sun-clusters many a time, and wondered over them. But I have never once thought of believing that they were specially created to be lesser lights to the Earth.

And now let me quote from that grand book of Richard A. Proctor's, The Expanse of Heaven, a fine passage descriptive of some of the wonders of the "Milky Way":

Millions and millions&mdashcountless millions of suns. Innumerable galaxies and systems of suns, separated by black gulfs of space so wide that no man can realise the meaning of the figures which denote their stretch. Suns of fire and light, whirling through vast oceans of space like swarms of golden bees. And round them planets whirling at thousands of miles a minute.

And on Earth there are forms of life so minute that millions of them exist in a drop of water. There are microscopic creatures more beautiful and more highly finished than any gem, and more complex and effective than the costliest machine of human contrivance. In The Story of Creation Mr. Ed. Clodd tells us that one cubic inch of rotten stone contains 41 thousand million vegetable skeletons of diatoms.

I cut the following from a London morning paper:

The bacillus is so small that one requires a powerful microscope to see him, and his blood may be infested with bacilli as small to him as he is to us.

And there are millions, and more likely billions, of suns!

Talk about Aladdin's palace, Sinbad's valley of diamonds, Macbeth's witches, or the Irish fairies! How petty are their exploits, how tawdry are their splendours, how paltry are their riches, when we compare them to the romance of science.

When did a poet conceive an idea so vast and so astounding as the theory of evolution? What are a few paltry, lumps of crystallised carbon compared to a galaxy of a million million suns? Did any Eastern inventor of marvels ever suggest such a human feat as that accomplished by the men who have, during the last handful of centuries, spelt out the mystery of the universe? These scientists have worked miracles before which those of the ancient priests and magicians are mere tricks of hanky-panky.

Look at the romance of geology at the romance of astronomy at the romance of chemistry at the romance of the telescope, and the microscope, and the prism. More wonderful than all, consider the story of how flying atoms in space became suns, how suns made planets, how planets changed from spheres of flame and raging fiery storm to worlds of land and water. How in the water specks of jelly became fishes, fishes reptiles, reptiles mammals, mammals monkeys monkeys men until, from the fanged and taloned cannibal, roosting in a forest, have developed art and music, religion and science and the children of the jellyfish can weigh the suns, measure the stellar spaces, ride on the ocean or in the air, and speak to each other from continent to continent.

Talk about fairy tales! what is this? You may look through a telescope, and see the nebula that is to make a sun floating, like a luminous mist, three hundred million miles away. You may look again, and see another sun in process of formation. You may look again, and see others almost completed. You may look again and again, and see millions of suns and systems spread out across the heavens like rivers of living gems.

You will say that all this speaks of a Creator. I shall not contradict you. But what kind of Creator must He be who has created such a universe as this?

Do you think He is the kind of Creator to make blunders and commit crimes? Can you, after once thinking of the Milky Way, with its rivers of suns, and the drop of water teeming with spangled dragons, and the awful abysses of dark space, through which comets shoot at a speed a thousand times as fast as an express train&mdashcan you, after seeing Saturn's rings, and Jupiter's moons, and the clustered gems of Hercules, consent for a moment to the allegation that the creator of all this power and glory got angry with men, and threatened them with scabs and sores, and plagues of lice and frogs? Can you suppose that such a creator would, after thousands of years of effort, have failed even now to make His repeated revelations comprehensible? Do you believe that He would be driven across the unimaginable gulfs of space, but of the transcendent glory of His myriad resplendent suns, to die on a cross, in order to win back to Him the love of the puny creatures on one puny planet in the marvellous universe His power had made?

Do you believe that the God who imagined and created such a universe could be petty, base, cruel, revengeful, and capable of error? I do not believe it.

And now let us examine the character and conduct of this God as depicted for us in the Bible&mdashthe book which is alleged to have been directly revealed by God Himself.

Robert Blatchford - History

&ldquoWe are all socialists now.&rdquo — Sir William Harcourt


ictorian socialism — or Victorian socialisms because it took so many different gradations —, emerged in Britain along with other movements, such as new conservatism, new liberalism, new trade unionism, anarchism, social Darwinism, secularism, spiritualism and theosophy. It developed from diverse traditions, ideologies and backgrounds, but intense dislike of the social effects of the Industrial Revolution underlie the various strands of Victorian socialism, which was essentially a middle-class, home-made project with little foreign influence.

Victorian socialists drew heavily not on the works of Karl Marx, but on the legacy of authors who held romantic, radical and even conservative views, like Samuel Taylor Coleridge, Robert Southey, Percy Bysshe Shelley, William Cobbett, Thomas Carlyle, Benjamin Disraeli, and John Ruskin. However, the roots of British socialism can also be sought in more remote times. Some of the distant forerunners of Victorian socialism include William Langland, John Wycliffe, John Ball, Thomas More, Francis Bacon, Gerrard Winstanley, and James Harrington.

Origins of British socialism

British socialism emerged in the time when Victorian society began to overcome the principles of classical economics, the laissez-faire system, and was immersed in faith crisis. Traditional British liberalism and radicalism played a far more important role in shaping socialism in Victorian Britain than the works of Karl Marx. Although Marxism had some impact in Britain, it was far less significant than in many other European countries, with thinkers such as David Ricardo, John Stuart Mill and John Ruskin having much greater influence. Non-Marxist historians speculate that this was because Britain was amongst the most democratic countries of Europe of the period, where the ballot box provided an instrument for change, so parliamentary reforms seemed a more promising route than revolutionary socialism advocated by Marx. As Sir Ivor Jeggins put it, &ldquoBritish socialism has always been as much British as socialist.&rdquo (429)

Socialist ideas became the natural outcome of modern industrial conditions, and their origins can be sought in the beginnings of modern industry. In England socialist ideas were shaped as the by-product of the Industrial Revolution. The word 'socialism' was first used in the English language in 1827 in the working-class publication, the Co-operative Magazine , and it meant co-operation as opposed to competition. (Garner et al. 115) In the 1830s, the word socialism was used interchangeably with the word Owenism, and Robert Owen (1771-1858) became the central figure of British socialism in the first half of the 19th century.

The rise of working-class radicalism

The first political movement of the working-class was launched by the London Corresponding Society, founded in 1792, by Thomas Hardy (1752-1832), a shoemaker and metropolitan Radical. The Society, consisting mostly of working-class members, agitated among the masses parliamentary reform, universal manhood suffrage and working class representation in Parliament. The Society met openly for six years despite harassment by police magistrates and arrests of its members, but was finally outlawed in 1799 by an act of Parliament as a result of fear that it made a dangerous challenge to the established government.

Robert Owen and co-operative socialism

Robert Owen (1771-1858), who was a textile mill owner, philanthropist, social and labour reformer, is considered as the father of British co-operative socialism. He and his followers founded several co-operative communities in Britain and the United States which offered workers decent living conditions and access to education. Although all Owenite communities eventually failed, the communitarian tradition persisted in Victorian England and elsewhere. Owenism exerted a significant influence on various strands of British socialism, including Christian socialism, ethical socialism, guild socialism, Fabianism, and socialist labour movement. Co-operative socialism was perceived by these organisations as a replacement for the unjust competitive capitalist system.

Ricardian socialists

Another group of thinkers who exerted a direct influence on Victorian socialism were so called Ricardian socialists. They based their theories upon the work of the economist David Ricardo (1772-1823), who claimed that the economy moves towards social conflict because the interests of ownership classes were directly opposed to those of the poor classes. In this aspect Ricardo and Ricardian socialists anticipated the conception of Karl Marx about adversarial class relations.

The principal members of this group were Charles Hall (1740-1820), William Thompson (1785-1833), Thomas Hodgskin (1783-1869) and John Gray (1799-1883). Paradoxically, Ricardian socialists, rejected some of Ricardo's assumptions and argued that private ownership of the means of production should be supplanted by central ownership of means of production, organised as a worker-controlled joint stock company. (Toler 46)

Marxian socialism

Marxian socialism had little impact on various strands of Britain's socialism. Karl Marx (1818-83), who lived and wrote his works in London from 1849, was not widely known in England until his death. He met few Englishmen and was not very keen on making acquaintances with English radicals. The only Englishmen who expressed serious interest in the ideas of Marx during his lifetime were Ernest Jones, a revolutionary Chartist, who made a vain attempt to revive that dying Chartist movement, and Henry Mayers Hyndman, the founder of the Social Democratic Federation, the first Marxist socialist party in Britain. However, Marxism hardly appealed to Victorian socialists in its orthodox form.

Late-Victorian socialism

Socialists by William Strang R.A. (1859-1921). 1891. Etching and drypoint on paper. [Click on the image to enlarge it.]

The British socialist movement re-emerged in the 1880s. A strong critique of capitalism, which was voiced by various groups of social critics, literary figures and working-class militants, led to the formation of three distinct strands of late Victorian socialism: (1) the Social Democratic Federation (SDF) and the Socialist League, (2) the Fabian Society and its predecessor, the Fellowship of the New Life, and (3) the ethical socialists, together with the Independent Labour Party.

The Social Democratic Federation, which became the first Marxist political party in Britain in 1884, advocated imminent revolution and nationalisation. Its tiny offshot, the Socialist League, formed by William Morris in 1884 after his secession from the Social Democratic Federation, attracted a few social democrats, but in 1990 it became dominated by anarchists, which prompted Morris to withdraw from it.

The Fabian Society, also founded in 1884, was not radical, but tried to permeate peacefully the existing institutions and Parliament in order to implement its socialist reforms. The Fabians supported the so-called 'gas and water socialism', i.e. government ownership of municipal utilities, as well as municipalisation and nationalisation of land and many industries, canals, railways, water and gas companies, tramways, docks, hospitals, markets, libraries and even lodging houses. (Haggard 94)

Ethical socialism was not associated with any particular party and overlapped with other strands of Victorian socialism. It included a disparate group of social activists and literary figures who championed the ideas of ethical socialism, emphasising moral development of individuals above economic and social reforms. Ethical socialism emerged in the 1880s, flourished in the 1890s, and inspired the formation of the Independent Labour Party and also the Labour Party. (Bevir 1999: 218)

The most characteristic representatives of ethical socialism were Thomas Hill Green, Edward Carpenter, John Ruskin, and William Morris. Other important figures included the pioneer labour leader, Keir Hardie, Robert Blatchford, the editor of the weekly newspaper, The Clarion , and the author of the bestselling socialist tract, Merrie England (1893), John Bruce-Glasier, one of the leaders of the Independent Labour Party. As Mark Bevir put it, ethical socialists believed in the ideal of moral fellowship and thought of a co-operative and decentralised civil society where individuals could exercise full control of their own daily activities. (McDonald 58-59)

The land nationalisation movement

The roots of the British land nationalisation movement, which strongly influenced the mainstream tradition of late Victorian socialism, can be sought in the activity of Thomas Spence (1750-1814), a self-taught militant, who devoted most of his adult life to various forms of political agitation. In the 1770s, he argued that all land must be owned not by individuals but by parochial corporations. (Parssinnen 135) In the early 1800s Spence became the leader of a group of radicals who advocated social revolution in Britain. After his death the radical followers of Spence formed the Society of Spencean Philanthropists (1815). Its members gathered secretly in small groups in alehouses and discussed Spence's socialist agrarian plan and the best way of achieving an equal society. They also distributed tracts, pamphlets, broadsheets, posters and poems and metal tokens advertising Spence's ideas (Benchimol 153).

Land reform was one of the hottest issues among British radicals and social reformers from the 1860s until World War One. In mid-Victorian England, James Bronterre O'Brien (1805-64), a Chartist leader and working-class reformer, proposed a scheme for government purchase of land and then its redistribution by rental. (Bronstein 107) O'Brien's followers, grouped in the National Reform League, continued to propagate the idea of land nationalisation after his death in 1864. The Land and Labour League, that grew out of the National Reform League in 1869, advanced a programme that called for land nationalisation, but it made little public impact.

In late Victorian England, Alfred Russel Wallace, the co-discoverer with Charles Darwin of the theory of natural selection, revived the land nationalisation movement. Wallace believed that land should be owned by the state and leased to people. In 1881, he was elected as the first president of Land Nationalisation Society, which devised a plan of State-owned and -leased lands. Wallace's view of land reform was close to the spirit of Henry George's treatise, Progress and Poverty (1879), which promoted a single progressive tax on land values in order to reduce economic inequality.

The Land Nationalisation Society and the Social Democratic Federation gave a full support to land nationalisation programmes. The Land Restoration League and the Land Reform Union (LRU), also advocated state land appropriation. All these schemes strengthened the land nationalisation movement in late Victorian Britain and aroused an awareness for the need of land reform. Wallace's as well as George's ideas of land reform were approved by labour unions and inspired both the Liberal and Labour Parties to form a policy of land redistribution at the turn of the 19th century.

The Labour Church

The last two decades of the Victorian era also saw the emergence of the Labour Church, which was started in Manchester in 1891 by a Unitarian minister, John Trevor (1855-1930), and had a distinct socialist message. The Labour Church soon became a nationwide movement and claimed 100 churches with congregations between 200 and 500. (Worley 154) The conference held at Bradford in 1893 to form the Independent Labour Party was accompanied by a Labour Church service which was attended by 5,000 people. However, the Labour Church movement began to fade after 1900. At the annual conference of 1909, held in Ashton-under-Lyne, the name Labour Church was changed to Socialist Church, but by the beginning of World War I the recently renamed Labour Church had disappeared.


The term socialism was generally synonymous in Victorian Britain with social reform, collectivism, communitarianism and improvement of living conditions of the working class and it did not bear strong Marxist connotations. In fact, few people were interested in socialist revolution in Victorian Britain, but quite a great number were fascinated by the mystical features of socialism. Unlike Marxism, which criticised liberal democracy and advocated revolutionary class struggle, the main strands of Victorian socialism can be characterised by ethical, non-Marxian, anti-capitalist outlook which combined traditional English radicalism with traditional English respect for democracy.

References and Further Reading

Beer, M. A History of British Socialism . London: G. Bell and Sons, Ltd., 1919.

Benchimol, Alex. Intellectual Politics and Cultural Conflict in the Romantic Period: Scottish Whigs, English Radicals and the Making of the British Public Sphere . Farnham, Surrey: Ashgate Publishing, Ltd., 2010.

Berlin, Isaiah. Karl Marx: His Life and Environment . New York: Time, 1963.

Bevir, Mark. The Making of British Socialism . Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 2011.

_____. &ldquoThe Labour Church Movement, 1891-1902,&rdquo Journal of British Studies , 38(2) 1999, 217-245.

Britain, Ian. Fabianism and Culture: A Study of British Socialism and the Arts 1884-1918 . Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1982.

Bronstein, Jamie L. Land Reform and Working-class Experience in Britain and the United States, 1800-1862 . Stanford, CA: Stanford University Press, 1999.

Carter, M. T. H. Green and the Development of Ethical Socialism . Exeter, UK: Imprint Academic, 2003.

Christensen, Torben. The Origin and History of Christian Socialism, 1848-54 . Aarhus: Universitetsforlaget, 1962.

Claeys, Gregory. Machinery, Money, and the Millennium: From Moral Economy to Socialism, 1815–60 . Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 1987.

____. Citizens and Saints: Politics and Anti-politics in Early British Socialism . Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1989.

Claeys, Gregory, ed. Owenite Socialism. Pamphlets and Correspondence: 1832-1837 . New York: Routledge, 2005.

Cole, Margaret. The Story of Fabian Socialism . London: Heinemann, 1961.

Ely, Richard T. Socialism: An Examination of Its Nature, Its Strength and Its Weakness, with Suggestions for Social Reform . New York: Thomas Y. Crowell, 1894.

Fremantle, Anne. This Little Band of Prophets: The Story of the Gentle Fabians . London: Allen & Unwin, 1960.

Garner, Robert, Peter Ferdinand, Stephanie Lawson. Introduction to Politics . Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2012.

Haggard, Robert F. The Persistence of Victorian Liberalism: The Politics of Social Reform in Britain, 1870-1900 . Westport: Greenwood Publishing Group, 2001.

Himmelfarb, Gertrude. Poverty and Compassion: The Moral Imagination of the Late Victorians . New York: Alfred A. Knopf, Inc., 1991.

Hobsbawm, E. J. Primitive Rebels: Studies in Archaic Forms of Social Movement in the 19th and 20th Centuries . Manchester: Manchester University Press, 1959.

Hyndmann, H. M. The Historical Basis of Socialism in England . London: Kegan Paul, Trench & Co., 1883.

Inglis, Kenneth S. Churches and the Working Classes in Victorian England . London: Routledge and Kegan Paul, 1963.

Jennings, Ivor. Party Politics . Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1962.

Lawrence, J. &ldquoPopular Radicalism and the Socialist Revival in Britain,&rdquo Journal of British Studies , 31 (1992) 163-86.

McBriar, Alan M. Fabian Socialism and English Politics 1884-1918 . Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1962.

Mackenzie, Norman, and Jeanne Mackenzie. The First Fabians . London: Weidenfeld & Nicolson, 1977.

Mc Donald, Andrew, ed. Reinventing Britain: Constitutional Change Under New Labour . University of California Press, 2007.

Manton, Kevin. &ldquoThe Fellowship of the New Life: English Ethical Socialism Reconsidered,&rdquo History of Political Thought , 24(2) 2003, 282–304.

Milburn, Josephine Fishel. &ldquoThe Fabian Society and the British Labour Party,&rdquo The Western Political Quarterly , 11(2), 1958, 319-339.

Norman, Edward. The Victorian Christian Socialists . Cambrige: Cambridge University Press, 2002.

Parssinnen, T. M. &ldquoThomas Spence and the Origins of English Land Nationalization,&rdquo Journal of the History of Ideas , 34(1) 1973, 135-141.

Pease, Edward R. The History of the Fabian Society . New York: E.P. Dutton & Company Publishers, 1916.

Raven, Charles E. Christian Socialism, 1848-1854 . 1920. New York: Augustus M. Kelley, Publishers, 1968.

Shaw, George Bernard, ed. Fabian Essays in Socialism . London: Fabian Society, 1889.

____. The Fabian Society: Its Early History . London: Fabian Society, 1892.

Thompson, E. The Making of the English Working Class . Harmondsworth: Penguin, 1981.

Toler, Pamela. The Everything Guide to Understanding Socialism: The Political, Social, and Economic Concepts Behind this Complex Theory . Avon, MA: Everything Books, 2011.

Ward, P. Red Flag and Union Jack: Englishness, Patriotism and the British Left, 1881–1924 . Woodbridge, UK: Royal Historical Society, 1998.

Waters, C. British Socialists and the Politics of Popular Culture 1884-1914 . Manchester: Manchester Univerrsity Press, 1990.

Webb, Sidney and Beatrice Webb. A Constitution for the Socialist Commonwealth of Great Britain . Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1920.

___. Industrial Democracy . London: Longman, 1897.

White, R. E. O. Christian Ethics . Leominster, Herefordshire: Gracewing Publishing, 1994.

Worley, Matthew, ed. The Foundations of the British Labour Party: Identities, Cultures and Perspectives, 1900-39 . Farnham, Surrey: Ashgate Publishing, Ltd., 2009.

Yeo, S. &ldquoA New Life: The Religion of Socialism in Britain, 1883– 1896,&rdquo History Workshop , 4 (1977) 5-56.