Family Group Sheet
Family Group Sheet
NameJoseph STURGE VI
Birth1793
Death1859
FatherJoseph STURGE (1763-1817)
MotherMary MARSHALL (1763-1819)
Other spousesHannah DICKINSON
Marriage1834, Hardshaw, Lancashire
SpouseEliza CROPPER
Birth1801
Death1835
FatherJames CROPPER (1773-1840)
MotherMary BRINSDEN (1759-1832)
Notes for Joseph STURGE VI
Celebrated anti-slavery temperance and peace campaigner. Corn Merchant. the 4th of 12 children.


Extensive correspondence from James Cropper at /www.ampltd.co.uk/digital_guides/abolition_emancipa...0for%20part%202.aspx

From Wikipedia:

Son of a farmer in Gloucestershire, was an English Quaker, abolitionist and activist. He founded the British and Foreign Anti-Slavery Society (now Anti-Slavery International). He worked throughout his life in Radical political actions supporting pacifism, working-class rights, and the universal emancipation of slaves. In the late 1830s he published two books about the apprenticeship system in Jamaica, which helped persuade the British Parliament to adopt an earlier full emancipation date. In Jamaica, Sturge also helped found Free Villages with the Baptists, to provide living quarters for freed slaves; one was named "Sturge Town" in his memory.

Joseph Sturge went to Birmingham to work in 1822. A member of the Religious Society of Friends (commonly known as Quakers), he refused to deal in grain used in the manufacture of alcoholic spirits, although he was a corn factor.

In rapidly expanding industrial Birmingham, he was appointed an alderman in 1835. He opposed the building of the Birmingham Town Hall, to be used for performances, because of his conscientious objection to the performance of sacred oratorio. Joseph Sturge became interested in the island of Jamaica and the conditions of its enslaved workers. He visited it several times and witnessed first hand the horrors of slavery, as well as the abuses under an apprenticeship system designed to control the labour of all former slaves above the age of six for 12 years. He worked for emancipation and abolition with African-Caribbean and English Baptists.

In 1838, after full emancipation was authorized, Sturge laid the foundation stone to the "Emancipation School Rooms" in Birmingham. Attending were United Baptist Sunday School and Baptist ministers of the city.

In 1839 his work was honoured by a marble monument in a Baptist mission chapel in Falmouth, Jamaica. It was dedicated to "the Emancipated Sons of Africa".

After legislation for the abolition of slavery in the British dominions was enacted in 1833, slave-owning planters in the West Indies lobbied to postpone freedom for adults for twelve years in a form of indenture. Enslaved children under the age of six were emancipated by the new law on 1 August 1834, but older children and adults had to serve a period of bonded labour or "indentured apprenticeship". Sturge led a campaign against this delaying mechanism.

His work to speed up adult emancipation was supported by Quaker abolitionists, including William Allen, Lord Brougham, and others. In a speech to the House of Lords, Brougham acknowledged Sturge's central role at that time in rousing British anti-slavery opinion.

In 1834 Sturge sailed to the West Indies to study apprenticeship as defined by the British Emancipation Act of 1833. He intended to open it to criticism as an intermediate stage en route to emancipation. He traveled throughout the West Indies and talked directly to apprentices, proprietors (planters), and others directly involved. Upon his return to Great Britain, he published Narrative of Events since the First of August 1834; In it he cited an African-Caribbean witness, to whom he referred as "James Williams" to protect him from reprisals.

The original statement was signed by two free African-Caribbeans and six apprentices. As was customary at the time, it was authenticated, by Rev. Dr. Thomas Price of Hackney, London, who wrote the introduction. Following another trip and further study, Sturge published The West Indies in 1837. Both books highlighted the cruelty and injustice of the system of indentured apprenticeship. Whilst in Jamaica, Sturge worked with the Baptist chapels to found Free Villages, to create homes for freed slaves when they achieved full emancipation. They planned the communities to be outside the control of planters.

As a result of Sturge's single-minded campaign, in which he publicized details of the brutality of apprenticeship to shame the British Government, a major row broke out amongst abolitionists. The more radical element were pitted against the government. Although both had the same ends in sight, Sturge and the Baptists, with mainly Nonconformist support, led a successful popular movement for immediate and full emancipation. As a consequence, the British Government moved the date for full emancipation forward to 1 August 1838. They abolished the 12-year intermediary apprenticeship scheme. For many English Nonconformists and African-Caribbean people, 1 August 1838, became recognised as the true date of abolition of slavery in the British Empire.

In 1837, keen to act independently of the consensus in the Anti-Slavery Society, Sturge founded the Central Negro Emancipation Committee. More significantly, in 1839, one year after abolition in the British dominions (a time when many members of the Anti-Slavery Society considered their work to be completed), Sturge led a small group to found a new Anti-Slavery Society. They named it the British and Foreign Anti-Slavery Society, based on the ambitious objective of achieving emancipation and an end to slavery worldwide. This society continues today as Anti-Slavery International; its work is far from achieved since slavery exists on a large scale in many countries, albeit no longer legally.

In the 19th century, the Society's first major activity was to organize the first international conference, as well as the first devoted to abolition. It was known as the World's Anti-Slavery Conference and took place in June 1840 in London. Others were held in 1843 (Brussels) and 1849 (Paris). The convention was held at the Freemasons Hall on 12 June 1840.[1] It attracted delegates from Europe, North America, and Caribbean countries, as well as the British dominions of Australia and Ireland, though no delegates from Africa attended. It included African-Caribbean delegates from Haiti and Jamaica (then representing Britain), women activists from the United States, and many Nonconformists. Sturge is featured in the painting The Anti-Slavery Society Convention, 1840 by Benjamin Robert Haydon.

Commissioned by the society and its "moral radicals", a great painting of the event was completed. It hangs in the National Portrait Gallery, London to this day. The conference's political significance lay in the fact-finding groups it set up to report about slavery worldwide. It also created studied links between British investment and business and overseas slavery.

The conference was historically notable within the Woman's Suffrage Movement due to delegates' having excluded women's participation just prior to its opening. Activists Lucretia Mott and Elizabeth Cady Stanton were galvanized to organize a United States movement advocating woman's rights. Stanton, on her honeymoon at the time, and Mott were active in the US anti-slavery movement. The issue of women's participation provoked the split between followers of Garrison of the American Anti-Slavery Society and Lewis Tappan's American and Foreign Anti-Slavery Society. The latter was ideologically congruent with Sturge's English counterpart.

In 1841 Sturge travelled in the United States with the poet John Greenleaf Whittier to examine the slavery question there. He published his findings to promote American abolition. In 1845, Sturge visited Nottingham as he was local parliamentary candidate. There he visited a Sunday School run by Samuel Fox. The idea of a school that taught not only scripture, but also basic skills such as reading and writing was taken up by Sturge. Sturge opened a similar school in about 1845.[2]

On his return to England, Sturge supported the Chartist movement. In 1842 he ran as parliamentary candidate for Nottingham, but was defeated by John Walter, the proprietor of The Times.

He then took up the cause of peace and arbitration being pioneered by Henry Richard. He helped found the Peace Society. In addition, he was instrumental in the founding of the Morning Star in 1855 as a newspaper through which to promote the Peace Society and his other socially progressive ideas.

Fro History home site:

Joseph Sturge is a good example of a Utopian leader. He was a Quaker, a close friend of Cobden and Bright and close ally and member of the Anti Corn Law League up to 1841. He opposed slavery, and stood against the Police Act of 1839. He was a pacifist. In November 1841 he proposed founding a movement for franchise extension at an ACLL meeting, which got a mixed reception because the leaders of the ACLL were unwilling to become involved with political radicalism. Sturge did find support from among the Non-conformists and the Chartists who opposed O'Connor also supported the Complete Suffrage Union.

On 5 April 1842 a conference was held in Birmingham attended by such men as O'Brien, Collins and Lovett. The Six Points were carried - to Sturge's surprise - and the dispute between Chartists and the CSU was reduced to whether or not the CSU should commit itself to support the Charter in name. The middle class objected because Chartism was associated with violence. The Chartists thought the middle classes were lukewarm.

In December 1842 a second conference was held, attended by O'Connor and many of his followers. Once again the meeting divided over the adoption of the 'name' of the Charter. Sturge was prepared to compromise because he had already decided that free trade should come after the Charter had been obtained. He had proposed prohibitive tariffs on slave produced goods, which had caused him to break with the ACLL. Sturge's group was overwhelmingly defeated. At its peak the CSU had had about sixty branches in different towns, but it collapsed because of O'Connor. The National Charter Association was strengthened because the moderates were divided and disillusioned. All of them abandoned Chartism and left it to O'Connor and the violent elements.

The Plug Plots also helped to divide Chartism as did the failure of the second Petition. The moderates discovered that they had been too idealistic with regard to the working class and had not realised how gullible they were, nor how illiterate and uninformed. They had attributed too much ability to the working man, who needed to be educated and informed before movements like Chartism could succeed. Lovett then began to devote his attention to his National Society for Promoting the Political and Social Improvement of the People, with Francis Place and Hetherington: a London self-help organisation especially to educate the workers. Asa Briggs comments that: 'Lovett had lost faith; not in his doctrinaire principles, but in the men through whom alone they could be made actual'

Sturge also abandoned Chartism. He had hoped to ally Chartism with the ACLL but this was impossible because the middle-and working-classes had little common ground - as evidenced by the 1832 Reform Act, the Ten-Hour Campaign, the 1834 Poor Law Amendment Act and the differing attitudes towards Trade Unions. Any Chartist allying himself with the ACLL was regarded by the Chartists as a traitor. The ACLL could not guarantee better wages for the working classes and the Chartists believed that any profits from free trade would not be passed onto the workers. Thus the Birmingham Chartists put their hopes on universal suffrage and left economic reform to the ACLL. Sturge promoted voluntary education schemes and world peace. He became President of the Peace Society. He was also a Birmingham philanthropist. As G.D.H. Cole notes, 'Sturge was, indeed, from first to last, indefatigable in his pursuit of good causes'.

Suggested reading from the Sturge Family website:

• Reminiscences of My Life" (and Some Account of the Children of William and Charlotte Sturge and the Sturge Family of Bristol) by Elizabeth Sturge, 1928, Printed for Private Circulation.
• "The Sturges and Early Quakerism" by Elizabeth Sturge, 1930, Printed for Private Circulation. (To be re-published on this web site during 2002.)
• "Gaunts Earthcott to Frederick Road" (An account of the Sturges of Birmingham) by Sylvia Lloyd Lewin, 1980, Printed for Private Circulation.
• "Re-cognitions" (Reminisences) Mary Sturge Gretton, 1951, (Hall The Printer Ltd., Oxford.)
• "Shining Way" (Reminisences) by Rachel Graham Sturge, 1969. (privately printed)
• "Some Little Quakers in their Nursery" by M. Carta Sturge, 1906 & 1929 (J. Baker and Son / Simpkin Marshall Ltd.)
• "Five Daughters in Search of Learning" (The Sturge Family 1820 - 1944) by Margaret Goodbody, 1986. (privately printed)
• "Lecture on the Life, Labours and Character of the Late Joseph Sturge" by Handel Cossham, 1860.
• "Memoirs of Joseph Sturge" by Henry Richard, 1864 & 1865,
• "Joseph Sturge" by Alexandrina Peckover, c1890, (The Aberdeen University Press.)
• "Joseph Sturge" (his Life and Work) by Stephen Hobhouse, 1919, (J. M. Dent and Sons Ltd.)
• "Joseph Sturge" (and the Moral Radical Party in Early Victorian Britain) by Alex Tyrrell, 1987, ISBN 0-74-703200-9
• "Sophia Sturge" (A memoir) by William R. Hughes, 1940, (George Allen and Unwin Ltd.)
• "Sleigh Ride to Russia" (an account of the Quaker Mission to St. Petersburg by Robert Charleton, Henry Pease and Joseph Sturge in 1854 to present an address to Czar Nicholas to try to avert the outbreak of the Crimean War.) by Griselda Fox Mason, 1985, ISBN 0 900657 99 5

See also Oxford Dictionary of National Biography.
Notes for Eliza CROPPER
Died shortly after her marriage to Joseph Sturge.
Last Modified 5 Aug 2013Created 28 Jan 2018 using Reunion for Macintosh