H.M. Hyndman

Further Reminiscences

Chapter XXII
Nunc Dimmitis?

THUS, to use the language of the old time, having attained to the age of threescore years and ten, which the Scripture reckons as the sum of human life, with an active body, a sound mind, and a clear conscience, it seemed well unto those my comrades, with whom I had striven earnestly in the faith for nigh a full generation, to arrange for me a little festivity to celebrate the seventieth anniversary of my birth. On the 7th day of March, therefore, in this same year of grace 1912, there was gathered together at the Café Monico a goodly company, to wish me happiness in the few years that might still remain to me, and to tell me that I had done good service in the cause. It was to me a most moving occasion.

There were present at the table reserved for the “Old Guard” several with whom I had passed through many stirring scenes, and with whom I had worked on steadily through short turns of success and long stretches of apparent failure, until now at last we knew that the Socialism of our dreams and of our realities had taken final root among our countrymen, and that what we had done could not be undone for ever. That was something. I felt the past come back upon me almost as if it were the present, when I saw sitting there Quelch, and Lee, and Tom Mann, and Irving, and Oliver, and Connell, and Hunter Watts, and Jack Williams, and Smith Headingley, and Barwick, and Lewis, and Marson, who had been in the movement from its inception and all through. Many of the scenes of the earlier days, some amusing, others sad, and not a few of them a little dangerous, came crowding in upon our minds as we looked round at one another and thought of the gaps in our ranks which time had made.

It seemed strange so many of us were left, and it was a kind thought of the few who remained from the period when it was said, almost with truth, that the whole of the active Socialists in London could be got into a four-wheel cab, thus to gather together old comrades and new, English and foreign, to greet me in this friendly fashion. One of the earliest Socialists present, Cobden Sanderson, an old Trinity friend, was at Cambridge in the same year as myself, our friendship having lasted unbroken for fifty years, and Mrs. Cobden Sanderson we had known in the cause for many a long year, both before and since she became an active suffragette. Mrs. W.M. Thompson, the widow of our old friend and enemy “Quasimodo” of the little Radical, now forgotten, and afterwards editor of Reynolds, was there with her beautiful daughter, to recall the pleasant agreements and scarcely less pleasant differences of the days of the Land League and the Radical revolt.

I was myself as much surprised as I was pleased at the numbers who came to the dinner, the cordiality shown, and the remarkable letters sent. The reasons for my astonishment are not far to seek. I have never perhaps cultivated the gentle art of making enemies to the extent practised by the original inventor of the phrase, but I have not, possibly, always been so careful as an active leader in a party ought to be to avoid giving offence, and I know that I am not unfrequently, though not invariably from my defects, an awkward man to work with. The men and women present were ready to forget my many drawbacks in consideration of the work that in one way or another I had contrived to do. Our old friend and comrade Walter Crane was in the chair, and kindly designed the menu.

This brief report appeared in Justice, which has kept the red flag flying for eight-and-twenty years.

The gathering of Socialists at the Café Monico, on Thursday week, was remarkable in every way. They had met to acclaim the completion of his seventieth year by the founder of the revolutionary Socialist movement in this country – Henry Mayers Hyndman. It was indeed a brilliant throng that crowded the reception room prior to the dinner. With the exception of those who were ill or compulsorily absent, nearly all the men and women of mark in the London movement, and many who had travelled from distant towns, were there to bear their personal tribute to the “Old Man,” and to his marvellous tenacity of purpose and matchless courage displayed over a period of three decades for the Socialist movement. There he stood, breezy, optimistic, vigorous as ever, a lusty old chieftain amid his clan, receiving their cordial salutations and wishes for many more years of service. For we all felt that this man had given us something of himself – that he had inspired our movement: so we gloried in that movement and in him. Leaders in art, literature and the drama sat at the dinner-table to do him honour; men of science and philosophy and leaders of Continental Socialism greeted him by letter and telegram; and the men and women present, drawn from all ranks of life (even a few from India) hailed Hyndman’s seventieth birthday, and wished him a still longer life.

Walter Crane presided. Hyndman sat on his right, Mrs. Hyndman on his left. Next the guest of the evening was George Bernard Shaw, and to the left of Mrs. Hyndman was H.G. Wells. Jean Longuet, grandson of Karl Marx, had come over on behalf of the French Socialist Party; our comrade Vibant came from the Social-Democratic Labour Party of Holland; and J. Köttgen, of Vorwärts, represented Germany. As you looked round the tables you saw the faces of those whose names have been familiar to the Socialist movement for many years past – Jack Williams, A.S. Headingley, Hunter Watts, Sam Oliver, Horrocks of Salford, James Macdonald, Tom Mann, Marson of Battersea, Dan Irving, Dr. and Mrs. Garrett, Mrs. Cobden Sanderson, Dr. and Mrs. Eder, Jim Connell, W.J. Barwick, Tom Lewis of Southampton, Victor Grayson, Fred. Hagger, Leonard Hall, Russell Smart, and many, many others.

The reception delayed the dinner; the dinner in turn was a lengthy affair. Saving for the pianoforte solo by Miss Myra E. Tozer, the musical programme had to be cut; and some of the later speeches abbreviated.

First came the reading of telegrams and letters by Comrade Gorle.

Walter Crane’s speech was very short and to the point. Hyndman was “seventy years young.” We had come to praise him, not to bury him, and he wondered how much a first-class fighting man like H.M.H. could stand of the polite pillory of praise. He had known Hyndman since the early ’eighties, and though their guest had spoilt his chances of a “career” by devoting himself to Socialism, there was no nobler cause for the life’s work of a man.

The chief toast, “H.M. Hyndman,” was spoken to by no less than six speakers. The proposer was George Bernard Shaw, who said he should now claim to be the second Socialist in England. His satire on the progress made by the working class was very biting – twenty or more years ago they established the dockers’ “tanner,” and now the wages of unskilled labour was officially fixed at threepence an hour. He congratulated Hyndman on the fact that the treachery and faithlessness of the Labour movement had prevented him from wasting his time in Parliament. Nobody believed nowadays that appealing to reason and justice was any good – hence the appeal to windows; and the miners knew that if they “listened to reason” it was not the minimum wage that would be settled, but themselves. So pressure on Parliament was being applied from outside. We now found that collectivism was just as useful for the capitalists’ purposes as for ours – the capitalist would have security for his dividends and the worker security for his slavery. Hyndman would fight against that tendency as he had done from beginning to end.

Harry Quelch, who made a presentation to Hyndman from the “Old Guard” of the SDF of gold studs and cuff links, remarked that of those who had rallied to Hyndman at the beginning not one had gone over to the enemy, though some of those who came in later had done so. Some of them had attained to high honour. There were plenty of Cabinet Ministers, however, whose names would be forgotten, but nobody would have any doubt about who was the founder of modern Social-Democracy in this country. When the SDF started out, they had the vehement opposition of the organised workers. Now the sentiment expressed by the organised workers was on the side of Social-Democracy, and even the sham social reforms of Lloyd George were a tribute to the effective work of Hyndman. He had fought a good fight, and had kept the faith.

H.G. Wells, “as an outsider,” spoke of Hyndman’s “magnificent obstinacy.” While some of them might have been erratic forwards, they could always rely on Hyndman at the goal. He, personally, had differed from the orthodox school as represented by Hyndman, and had been disposed to believe in the reasonableness of the ruling and the propertied classes, but it was most extraordinarily not apparent at the present time; and the laugh was at present with the orthodox school, and Hyndman was more right than ever.

Dan Irving – breezy as the sea on which he sailed – followed. He thought pressure from inside would be useful in Parliament; to prevent Hyndman from entering there the capitalist parties had spared neither men nor money. Hyndman, however, had attained to that immortality which counted for anything at all.

Jean Longuet, in a charming little speech, alluded to Hyndman’s love for the French people and for French ideals.

Leonard Hall spoke for the younger section who had come in to make up the British Socialist Party, and of their warm admiration for its chairman.

Then, the toast having been drunk with musical honours, and with rousing cheers for Hyndman and his wife, the old chieftain replied. He could not but recall the past – the men who were Socialists here before him: Adolphe Smith with his experiences of the Commune; Sam Oliver, who issued a manifesto in London in 1871 in support of the Communards; Horrocks and “little Jack Williams.” Then of the other men who joined with him in the early days of the SDF – Joynes, Morris, Evans, Culwick, the Murrays, and Pearson. He spoke with manifest feeling of these and of the unseen workers, like Comrade Thackeray, who had helped to build up the movement. It was splendid to look back. He thought, however, we were coming to a more agreeable if more troublous time – an awakening of revolt against the present system. We as Socialists did not want the change to take an anarchical shape, and the present strike would have been unnecessary if our ideas had been adopted. As one of the rank and file he thought we should feel glad if we had helped to bring the change nearer by twenty, ten, or even a single year. He never thought it would take all this time, but he did not regret one hour of it. After paying a tribute to Mrs. Hyndman for the help she had rendered him, our veteran comrade wound up with a splendid peroration in which he hoped for a few more years in which to work for Socialism.

Other toasts followed. Dr. Clark gave “The Old Guard of the SDF,” to which Hunter Watts and Jack Williams responded, the latter recalling the suspicions with which he and others first regarded Hyndman’s entrance into the movement, and how those suspicions soon vanished.

Russell Smart spoke briefly to the toast of “International Social-Democracy,” which was responded to by J. Köttgen and Vibant. The former said Hyndman’s greatest service was the dissemination of Socialist doctrine in the country of the greatest strategic importance; and this minimum wage movement was largely due to Hyndman’s activity.

Victor Grayson, in a neat little speech, proposed “The Chairman,” Walter Crane replied, and so finished an historic meeting.

Among the telegrams received were the following:

“The Socialist Party of Milan sends to the champion of scientific Socialism in the country considered the most refractory (sympathising with the marvellous uprising of the miners) affectionate salutations and hopes for the speedy emancipation of the slave class. – SCHIAVI.”

“Hindered from coming. Please let Comrade Hyndman know all the International honour him the oldest and most unflinching fighter for the Socialist class war in England. – On behalf of the German Social-Democracy in Austria, VICTOR ADLER.”

“Congratulations. Hope good for thirty years longer. – BELFORT BAX, CECILIA BAX, JULIA DAWSON, BEN TILLETT.”

“Many happy returns. May you live to be the first Socialist Premier. – The Clarion.”

“Sub-Council still sitting re Miners’ Strike. Serious for our Union. Please excuse. May Comrade Hyndman live many more years to help in the working-class fight. Good luck and best wishes. – WILL THORNE.”

“Hindustani Nationalists wish Hyndman long life. – MADAME CAMA.”

Other telegrams came in from George Bateman, Brooks, Byrne (Burnley), Socialists of Burnley Post Office, Communist Club, Durban Socialists, J.G. Goldspink, R.B. Cunninghame Graham, Dick Greenwood, Hull Socialist Club, Charles Kitching, Leiper (Lanark), Dr. Nelson (Hull), F. Morton, H.F. Northcote, Poplar Labour Representation Committee, Rippon and others (Burnley), John and Julia Scurr, Alex. M. Thompson, Wigginton and others (Oxford), Yallop (Finsbury Park), Edward Atkin, Peter and Sophie Kropotkin, Conrad Noel, C.H. Norman, W. Weatherby, the Cambridge University Fabian Society, and the following branches of the British Socialist Party: South Aberdeen, Barry, Birkenhead, Bow and Bromley, North Bristol, Broadway, Burnley, Falkirk, Gateshead, Leeds District Council, West Leeds, Letchworth, Levenshulme, East Liverpool, South-West Manchester, Newcastle, Norwich, Portsmouth, Rochdale, South Salford, South Hackney, Southwark, Stockport, Weymouth, Wigan, Earlestown, Grimsby, Plymouth, and Southend.

The following are a few of the letters in English and translated which were received by Mr. F.H. Gorle and myself on the occasion of this dinner. Gorle’s kindly efforts in the matter I shall always gratefully remember.


From the International Socialist Bureau:

The members of the Executive Committee of the International Socialist Bureau instruct me to request you to convey to our friend Hyndman the expression of their affectionate regard and congratulations on the occasion of his seventieth anniversary. They recall and admire the services which he has rendered to the proletariat with an untiring courage, and they wish him long life, so that he may for a long time yet propagate the gospel. They will also be glad if you will salute, on their behalf, Mrs. Hyndman, who has shared with her husband in a fruitful and arduous life. – CAMILLE HUYSMANS.


From August Bebel:


March 5, 1912.

WORTHY COMRADES – The severe illness of my daughter compelled me to travel here from Berlin, and the same reason, unfortunately, makes it impossible for me personally to take part in the festival of our comrade Hyndman, so I am compelled to forward to him and you my hearty good wishes on his seventieth birthday. The day on which Hyndman is honoured is also a day of honour for British Social-Democracy. British Social-Democracy possesses in him its oldest champion and leader; he, indeed, fostered it, and was one of the first who sowed the seed of modern Socialism in the British Empire, and now he sees grow and ripen the seed which he scattered.

Not only, however, British, but also International SocialDemocracy looks today on Hyndman as one of its oldest adherents and champions, who stands at all times undismayed at the head, and whom the insults and slanders of our opponents never prevented from playing the man. I wish the guest of the evening a long life still, with full mental and bodily vigour, and add further the wish that he may live to see great further progress and many victories for the ideas which he has advanced both in and out of England. With a comrade’s greetings, yours,



From Ledebour:

DEAR COMRADE HYNDMAN – It gives me great pleasure to be able to congratulate you on your seventieth birthday, and especially so as I am myself a child of March 7, though I saw the light eight years later than you. As you never were a behind-man, but always before your time, I hope you will have a good run still in the front rank of Socialist fighters for a good score of years, for nothing keeps one younger than a revolutionary heart and pluck to fight all that is shabby and mean in our greedy society. And, therefore, I finish with three cheers for the old man always young.


From Jules Guesde:

If I were not so ill it would be both a pleasure and a duty for me to be with you in order to honour the seventieth anniversary of our good friend and fighter Hyndman. Men like him honour International Socialism, for which he has done so much in always advocating it on lines which insure its success. May Hyndman remain for a long time in the fighting line, and may his voice be heard more and more by the workers of England.


From H. van Kol (Holland):

On the seventieth birthday of my friend Mr. H.M. Hyndman I wish to send a word of sympathy to the old combatant, one of the first in Albion to defend the noble cause of Social-Democracy, and who founded already thirty years ago the SDF. Hail to the man and the combatant! Hail to one of the last comrades of the Old Guard!


From sixteen Socialist members of the Lower House and one Member of the Upper House of the Swiss Parliament:

United with you in spirit, we celebrate the completion of the seventieth year in the life of the veteran H.M. Hyndman. For decades he has stood at the head of the Socialist vanguard in the battle of the working class of Great Britain, and has thereby rendered great service to the working classes of the whole world.


From Edward Carpenter:

I am obliged for your reminder about the dinner on March 7, and regret that, owing to a family bereavement, I cannot be present. I would have liked to come and meet old comrades, and add a word in honour of my long-time friend Hyndman, who, since that day when I first met him, thirty years ago, in a basement room of Westminster Bridge Buildings, has done such fine work in the good old cause work of which we are now beginning to see the fruits. My congratulations to him and to all those present.


From Alfred Russel Wallace:

I have long been an admirer of Mr. Hyndman’s long and continuous work for Socialism. When I was in the outer darkness of individualism with Mill and Spencer, he tried to convert me by letter, but I never had the pleasure of meeting him. I wish I could dine with him, but have not really “dined” (in the gastronomic sense) this twenty years or more. I was first and once for all converted to Socialism by Bellamy’s convincing works. With best wishes for Mr. Hyndman’s health for many years to come, and that he will specially enjoy this dinner with his friends and admirers.


From Israel Zangwill:

I am sorry I cannot attend your dinner at the Monico, but I was previously pledged to attend a dinner at the Trocadero. Although I shall, when this is read, be sitting there under the chairmanship of a Rothschild, it is only in the cause of charity, and does not prevent me from sympathising with a Hyndman. His name belies him, for he is not a Hyndman, but a Superman. My sympathy, however, is more with the Superman than with his Socialism. The true Superman gives of his strength to the weaker, and so should a true State. I do not think this could be done under the current conception of nationalising all capital, but even the crudest Socialism is better than the orthodox gospel of “every man for himself and the devil take Mr. Hyndman.” Long may your guest flourish to challenge the mediocrity of the middle classes.


From Professor E.S. Beesly:

I am afraid old age and infirmity will prevent me from leaving home. As you are no doubt aware, I am not a Social-Democrat; but I heartily congratulate my old friend Mr. Hyndman on attaining his seventieth year.


From George Lansbury, M.P.:

I regret very much indeed that I cannot attend the dinner in honour of H.M. Hyndman. No man or woman in the Socialist movement has done as much for Socialism in this country as he, and he deserves all the honour we can give him. I hope his splendid example of devotion to principle, and his refusal to in any sort of way compromise with what he believed to be true, will be an inspiration to every one of us loyally to adhere to what we believe to be right ... I join with all present in wishing long life to our comrade, and also to his good wife, who we all know as his devoted comrade both in times of success and also of defeat.


From Frederic Harrison:

I cannot be in London on March 7, and as I now live in the country, two or three hours from town, and had my eightieth birthday last year, I have for some time past declined to join any public dinner. I send my very good wishes to Mr. H.M. Hyndman, whose book I have read with great interest and pleasure; and I trust that he will add another telling volume in another ten years’ time, 1922, when you may celebrate his accession to high office.


From Maurice Hewlett:

If I could come, I certainly would, but I am already engaged, and cannot break off. My sympathies, as you have guessed, are very much with Mr. Hyndman, who has been a champion of honesty for longer than I can remember. I know of no public man of such sincerity and courage as his, and doubt if our country knows how to breed them now. I beg that you will convey to him my cordial and respectful congratulations.




den 3. März, 1912.

DEAR COMRADE – I should have been only too delighted to come over, that I might bring my congratulations in person to the Veteran of the British Party. But my work renders that impossible. Thus I must content myself with a letter to show how highly I respect and esteem him for his self-sacrifice and work done in the service of our cause.

We Socialists form, all over the world, one big family, in which at times there are lively differences of opinion, but whose members are always conscious of their solidarity to each other, and, above all, that applies to those who feel that they have a common bond in their intellectual descent from the same philosophic ancestor, Karl Marx.

Certainly Marxism is no hard-and-fast rule, but a loving method and source of intelligence. Consequently, one can see that Marxism takes on special forms in the various countries in accordance with their peculiar conditions. We can distinguish today a German school of Marxism, an Austrian, a Russian, and a French one, and thus also a British, which again is different to the American. Although united in principle, yet each of them develop another side of our movement with singular force. There is certainly no more powerful or more energetic embodiment of the British section of Marxism than Hyndman, their founder and their leader from the very first. Hyndman’s Marxism is no imported product, “Made in Germany,” but a genuine British growth, which, just because Hyndman himself is a thorough Englishman, is only to be grasped by those who understand that.

He is an Englishman in his peculiar mixture of perseverance, untiring activity, and passionate enthusiasm, which we admire in him as we admire it in the British nation in general.

That, however, does not prevent him from being a good Internationalist. Many of his utterances in the last year, relating to the necessity for England to be powerful at sea, have been explained in a jingo sense, but they were not, that is certain, so intended. Whatever one may think on the question of their justification, or whether they were opportune, they were certainly far from all hostility to the German people, and only estimated by hostility to the exploiters and oppressors of this people. The confidence and sympathies of the German proletariat for the champion of the British Social-Democracy have not diminished in consequence.

We feel ourselves at one with Hyndman in the fight for our common aim, and are certain that if ever the peace between England and Germany is threatened, that Hyndman would oppose war with all his power as energetically as any of us, and certainly more than many a Parliamentary friend of peace.

Hyndman’s seventieth birthday is a day of rejoicing not only for English Socialists, but for those of the entire International. The International Socialist movement can make no definite progress if England lags behind. For many years, however, it was only the group who were gathered round Hyndman who made common cause with the proletariat of the world. To Hyndman belongs the credit that he was the first to unfold the red banner of Socialism in England, that he has carried it for a generation without hesitating or doubting for a single moment, and unmoved by scorn and hatred. Despite his seventy years, he shows himself so fresh and energetic that we can dare to expect that he will live to enter the promised land which he has seen from afar, and has led us to the land of promise, that is the Social Revolution.

With hearty greetings to Hyndman, best regards to Mrs. Hyndman, who shared his works and troubles, and shares his honour, and with best greetings to yourself, dear comrade. – Fraternally yours,

(Signed) K. KAUTSKY.



          Hyndman, Cafe Monico, Piccadilly, W.

Reuter’s Telegram Company.
Dated, Durban, 7/3.
Received in London, 7/3/2.

DURBAN, March 7th

Many happy returns of the day, Durban Socialists.



          H.M. Hyndman, Esq.

March 3rd, 1912.

DEAR COMRADE – It is an honour for me for the part of the Swedish Social Democratic Labour Party to join all the comrades who are here today celebrating the seventieth birthday of the old pioneer in England of Socialism in general and especially of Marxistic thoughts. The views of the distinguished comrades that here are present are, I think, different on certain points, and they may not have always have been the same as them. You have so consequently devoted your life to propagate. But the most of those differences remain only matter of tactics. In the fundamental opinion that from the present Capitalistic state of things we must evolute to a Socialistic Society, and that this evolution must be principally the result of the efforts of the Working Class itself, I think we all agree, therefore it must be pleasing for the members of the other branches of the Socialist International to see that representative members of different fractions of the great Socialist Labour movement in England remember their common origin, and have come together today to celebrate the veteran Hyndman, and thank him for a life-long work for our common cause. – Yours fraternally,


M.P., Chairman of the Executive Committee
of the Social Democratic Labour Party of Sweden,
Editor of the Daily Social Democratic of Stockholm.



          Mr. Fred. H. Gorle

March 4th, 1912.


Dinner to H.M. Hyndman

At the usual Sunday afternoon meeting for men and women at the above church on the 3rd inst. I was requested to send you the following resolution, which was passed unanimously:

That this meeting of the Brotherhood Church (London) Weekly Conference on Social Questions sends its heartiest greetings to Mr. H.M. Hyndman on the occasion of his seventieth birthday, and trusts that he may long be spared to continue his inspiring work for the emancipation of the workers and the uplifting of the whole human race.

I shall be glad if you will see that this is communicated to the right quarter, as we would like to have it read at the dinner on the 7th. – Yours fraternally,


(Signed) G.J. HARRIS,
Conference Sec.



DEAR MR. HYNDMAN – I wish to be one of those who tomorrow will offer you their warm congratulations. Had it not been for an engagement which will take me to Liverpool tomorrow, I should have been present at your birthday festival, and I deeply regret that I am obliged to give up this pleasure. I feel today, in common, I am sure, with thousands of English men and women, the debt we owe you for your fearless exposure of political and social corruption, and your untiring championship of the oppressed.

Now when many of the evils which you predicted seem to be coming upon Socialists it is good that, mainly through your teaching, there is a strong body of people in our country instructed in scientific Socialism who will be able to take advantage of the opportunities that may presently be open to them.

In the congratulations and thanks that I offer to you I desire to include Mrs. Hyndman, who has always so splendidly helped you, and stood by your side, true mother of the people for whom you have worked; and I earnestly hope that you may both be with us for many more years. – I remain, yours sincerely,

(Signed) C. DESPARD.


March 7th 1912.

DEAR COMRADE – I regret to find myself unable to be with you this evening. Please convey my greetings and best wishes to the guest of the evening, and believe me. – Yours fraternally,


F.H. Gorle, Esq.




DEAR COMRADE GORLE – Yours of the 20th to hand, Re H.M. Hyndman’s dinner, I should be most happy to do anything to or for the committee. I don’t think I shall be able to give you much time, but what help I can give I will to help in the matter. – Wishing you the best of luck, faithfully yours,




24th February 1912.

From Amilcare Cipriani. [1]

DEAR COMRADE – I am much obliged to you for having thought of me in connection with the little fête that the SDF offers to our dear and valiant friend H.M. Hyndman, with which I most heartily associate myself.

Hyndman for me is the personification of the fearless, tireless, and courageous fighter for Socialism in England, and in my opinion is not appreciated at his true worth. He is one of those men who have exalted our great ideal of justice and human redemption, who have made us love it, respect it, and extol it at one and the same time.

Hyndman, the indefatigable champion, the vigorous and uncompromising tribune, has the right to the esteem not only of his English friends but of those of all countries, of International Socialism in short, of which he is one of the most respected members.

Allow an old friend of Hyndman’s, a veteran of the social revolution, to assure the triumph of which he has given up thirty-two years of his life, to raise my glass and drink to the health of my friend Hyndman as seventy-yearold, and to the triumph of the Social Revolution.



12th April 1912,

DEAR CITIZEN HYNDMAN – A short illness has prevented me from writing to you at the time to present to you in my own name, and that of my Russian political friends, my sincere and warm felicitations on the occasion of your seventieth birthday.

We all esteem in you the vigorous thinker and man of action who throughout his whole life has put the struggle for an idea above every consideration of compromise; who never sought for popularity at the cost of surrender of principle; who never in his estimates of the conditions of class warfare in other countries allowed himself to be blinded by unadaptable dogma running the risk of apparent contradictions in order to remain in harmony with fundamental truth; who in a word has been a man of action in the true sense of that word.

I have had the opportunity personally of appreciating more than once the charm of your cordial reception, and it is with the sincerest sympathy I send you my wishes for a long and happy life, to the benefit of your own people and of international Socialism, of which you are one of the most representative figures.

I beg you at the same time to offer on my part my respectful regards to Mrs. Hyndman, your noble and worthy companion. – Very cordially yours,




Feb. 22,1912.

DEAR SIR – I thank you for your kind letter of yesterday’s date inviting me to be present at the dinner in honour of Mr. H.M. Hyndman. I am extremely sorry that I am unable to accept the invitation.

I shall take the opportunity of having something in the Daily Chronicle à propos of the dinner about Mr. Hyndman’s striking personality and wonderful career. – Yours truly,


Letters of congratulation were also received from the Hon. and Rev. James G. Adderley, Mrs. H. Alexander, James B. Allan (Glasgow), Edouard Anseele, Bertrand, E. Nesbit Bland, Robert Blatchford, A.J. Bywaters, Amilcare Cipriani, C.F. Davis, Mrs. Despard, Robert Donald (Daily Chronicle), Louis Dubreuilh (for the French Socialist Party), Robert Edmondson, A.E. Fletcher, Furnemont (Belgium), John Galsworthy, Dr. John Glasse, J. Keir Hardie, M.P., Rev. Stewart D. Headlam, Arthur de la Hooke, Ernest de la Hooke, Bellerby Lowerison, G. Moore-Bell, Rev. Conrad Noel, Harry Orbell, Rev. W.H. Paine, Arnold Pinchard, Eden Philpotts, A.A. Purcell, Elizabeth Robins, W. Stephen Sanders, Rose E. Sharland, C.F. Sixsmith (Barry), John Stokes, G.R.S. Taylor, Alex. M. Thompson, Ben Tillett, Colin Veitch, Emery Walker, Lady Warwick, Rosalind Travers, H. Halliday Sparling, Belle Small, Emma Boyce, E.C. Fairchild, John Moore (Rochdale), Edward Brashier, J.B. Askew, Aspin (Nelson), Mr. and Mrs. Scott (Burnley); also from the Brotherhood Church, Southgate Road, the Burnley Lane Socialist Institute, and the Anfield, Blackburn, Charlestown, Halifax, Litherland, and Westminster BSP branches.


1. Amilcare Cipriani, the writer of the above letter, is one of the martyrs of the Italian movement. No man has suffered more than he: no man has stood more unflinchingly by his cause under circumstances which must have broken down a weaker nature altogether. Cipriani has been in prison for twenty-two years, and was chained continuously to a wall for eight of them. Nothing but his splendid physique, his indomitable pluck and his greatness of mind enabled him to retain his reason under such terrible conditions of mental and bodily torture. He never gave way then: he is as determined and as sanguine as ever now. In appearance one of the most magnificent men of his race, he has all the charm and courtesy of manner which distinguish the noblest of the Italian people. I do not always agree with Cipriani as to the methods best adapted to bring about the complete social transformation we both have in view; but I feel whenever I see him or hear from him that I have scarcely the right to differ from one who has given such far greater proof of devotion to the cause than myself. His letter gave me almost more satisfaction than perhaps any other I received. It is an honour I shall think of with pleasure to the day of my death.

Last updated on 1.11.2007