charles bradlaugh

Charles Bradlaugh MP

Charles Bradlaugh, “Atheist, Republican and Malthusian”, was a maverick figure in late nineteenth-century radical politics. Bradlaugh needs to be remembered, not just for standing trial under the Obscene Publications Act in 1877 with Mrs Annie Besant for publishing a birth control pamphlet, but for the six-year battle he fought to take his seat as M.P. for Northampton. Extraordinarily Bradlaugh won his parliamentary seat in 1880 as a Liberal, yet it was Gladstone’s Liberal government which kept him out for the entire parliament. A bit of historical skulduggery with lessons for today.

Charles Bradlaugh MP

Charles Bradlaugh, “Atheist, Republican and Malthusian”, was a maverick figure in late nineteenth-century radical politics. Bradlaugh needs to be remembered, not just for standing trial under the Obscene Publications Act in 1877 with Mrs Annie Besant for publishing a birth control pamphlet, but for the six-year battle he fought to take his seat as M.P. for Northampton. Extraordinarily Bradlaugh won his parliamentary seat in 1880 as a Liberal, yet it was Gladstone’s Liberal government which kept him out for the entire parliament. A bit of historical skulduggery with lessons for today.

Charles Bradlaugh

Next month will see the 181st birthday of Charles Bradlaugh, a committed atheist and political activist. Bradlaugh was the founder of the National Secular Society, bringing together localised secular societies to campaign for the separation of Church and State.

The National Secular Society was established by the political activist and atheist Charles Bradlaugh in 1886. The Society aimed to promote secularism and argued for a division between church and state.

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