History

Dr Moncure Conway bust

  In 1929, Conway Hall was unveiled with a niche in the foyer. This niche was designed to display a revered piece of artwork; a bronze bust of Dr Moncure Conway (1832 – 1907), celebrated writer, abolitionist and free thinker, for whom the building was named. However, in the building’s 80 plus year history…

  The conflict between Israel and the Palestinians is one of the longest running of modern times and is not comprehensible without some knowledge of its history.  I will first revisit the most important points of that history.  Then I’ll look at the attempt, beginning around 1991, to solve the…

In 1882 Robert J. Jeffray and Henry Gyles Turner invited Moncure Conway to lecture in Australia. I know only that Jeffray had been a gold miner, but Turner (1831–1920) was a prominent Melbourne citizen and a leading member of the Melbourne Unitarian Church. Moncure discussed the invitation with his wife…

CHES member Martin Page is known to those interested in secularist history as the author of Britain’s Unknown Genius (1984), an account of the life of SPES Appointed Lecturer J.M.Robertson. As well as providing useful editorial notes to the text, Martin has written the Preface to Wilma’s Story, which is…

Freethought author and member of the Society, Jim Herrick, was commissioned to write an account of the history of this Society from its inception in 1793 to date. The first history was written by Moncure D. Conway, the Minister of the South Place Ethical Society, entitled a Centenary History of…

Bertrand Russell was born in 1872 into the Liberal aristocracy; his grandfather had twice been prime minister, and it is said that his grandmother, who brought him up after his parents’ early death, wished to groom him to one day become her husband’s successor. Instead, Bertie, once at Cambridge, became seized by the…

On the declaration of war against Germany, four members of Asquith’s cabinet offered their resignations – John Burns, John Morley, John Simon and Lord Beaumont. They were joined by one junior Minister, Charles Trevelyan. These resignations demonstrate that the Liberal Government was far from united – and there is a case that in fact…

Coinciding with Black History Month in this talk Sean will discuss the current issues of racism and its deep roots in the enslavement of African peoples and British imperialism. He will review how the history of Black Britain and anti-racist solidarity can be a useful tool for today’s anti-racists in…

Eighteen months ago Nicky Hilton starting the enormous task of cataloguing the archives of Conway Hall Ethical Society, the British Humanist Association and also the National Secular Society, and now that work is complete. The archives of all three major institutions have been catalogued. Funded by the National Archive, Nicky’s…

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