Freethought of the Day

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There are 1 entries for this date: Thomas Allsop
Thomas Allsop

Thomas Allsop

On this date in 1795, Thomas Allsop was born near Wirksworth, Derbyshire, England. A silk trader and then stockbroker, he was a radical reformer on close terms with freethinkers such as Charles Bradlaugh. His friend G.J. Holyoake, in the Dictionary of National Biography, wrote of Allsop: "By reason of his friendships, his social position, and his boldness, he was one of the unseen forces of revolution in his day."

A "disciple" of Samuel Coleridge, Allsop, after Coleridge's death, collected Letters, Conversations, and Recollections of S.T. Coleridge (1836). Allsop as a Chartist supported the parliamentary candidacy of Irish radical Feargus O'Connor in 1848 and was accused of complicity in a plot to assassinate Napoleon III in 1858 but was not charged.

Holyoake wrote that when they attended the funeral of Robert Owen together, Allsop was indignant that a "mummery of an outworn creed" (a church service) would be imposed to recognize a man who had fought hard to free fellow humans from "the degradation of superstition." (Holyoake's Life and Last Days of R. Owen.) D. 1880.

"He despaired of amelioration from the influence of the clergy, and, when needing a house in the country, stated in an advertisement that preference would be given to one situated where no church or clergyman was to be found within five miles."

—"Dictionary of National Biography, Vol. 1," eds. Leslie Stephen and Sidney Lee (1885)

Compiled by Annie Laurie Gaylor

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