William Morris's Socialist Diary

edited and annotated by Florence Boos


ALLMAN, JAMES, b. 1865?

A member of the Mile End branch SL, when arrested for speaking at Dad Street in 1885, James Allman was listed in court as a shopman of 5 New North Road. When arrested again in 1886 for speaking, he was listed as a 21-year-old tailor's presser. His third arrest in February 1887 is recorded in the Diary, and on each of the three occasions newspaper accounts record his spirited defence to the judge (Daily News, 22 September 1885; East London Observer, 4 March 1886; see also footnote [92]).

Allman was elected a SL Council member in 1887, and Thompson describes him as unemployed later in the year.(Thompson, p.404), when he worked to organize meetings for the unemployed. Commonweal of 11 February lists Allman as one of the speakers at a meeting on Tower Hill.


A prominent figure in the early socialist movement and amateur dramatist, Edward Aveling (1849-98) had earned a doctorate in zoology before beginning a career as a secularist and later socialist lecturer and journalist. Although Aveling was respected for his abilities, his evasive financial and sexual behaviour embarrassed and angered fellow socialists. Ouring his fifteen-year union with Eleanor Marx (1883-98), the ardently socialist youngest daughter of Karl Marx, the Avelings were vigorous defenders of their cause. They joined the secession from the SDF which formed the SL, but maintained a strong proparliamentary stance in the Bloomsbury branch, and promoted its separation in 1888 to form an independent group, later affiliated with the Labour Emancipation League. Shortly after Aveling had contracted a secret marriage elsewhere, and in a period of exhaustion from nursing him after surgery, at the age of 42 Eleanor Marx committed suicide, and Aveling died later the same year. Their lives are movingly told in Yvonne Kapp's two-volume Eleanor Marx (London 1972 and 1976). Morris disliked Aveling sufficiently to speak of him in a letter to Glasse as 'that disreputable dog Aveling' (27 September 1887, in Arnot, Unpub. Letters, p.67). Although in 1885 Morris praised one of Eleanor Marx's speeches highly in a letter to May (18 April, cited in Kapp, vol. 2, p.40), and Kapp claims that 'they worked together in harmony and with mutual respect, even admiration at this period', (p.43), Morris made few references to Eleanor Marx apart from Aveling, and indicates in the Diary that by 1887 he found 'civility' from the Avelings worthy of record. See also footnote [14].


A member of the Hoxton branch of the SL and a parliamentarian (Tsuzuki, H.M. Hyndman, p.85), Barker frequently wrote branch reports for Commonweal and on 16 October 1886 recorded that he had spoken the previous week on 'Socialism and Dynamite'. The 21 January 1888 Commonweal reported an SL performance of his extravaganza 'The Lamp', in which he, Joseph Lane, and others acted, and he contributed an article, 'Prisoners for Liberty', to Commonweal for 25 February 1888. Barker was a member of the League Council from 1886 to 1888 and served as secretary in 1887-88; Morris wrote to Glasier in August 1888, 'The Sec. is (to speak plainly) a failure as such, though a very good fellow' (Letters, p.298). Barker left behind scattered notes on William Morris now in the William Morris Gallery (J194) in which he claimed that 'Morris had not what is called the gift of oratory, but he always spoke with feeling often with considerable heat'. Of his speech at the funeral of Alfred Linnell, Barker added, 'There was fearful earnestness in his voice when referring to the victim we had just laid to rest. Morris cried out "let us feel he is our brother." The ring of brotherly love in it was most affecting'. (pp.2-3)


One of the first British Marxist theorists, Bax joined the SDF in 1882. A fierce opponent of Christianity, women's suffrage and the bourgeois family, advocate of a new socialist consciousness, and author of Religion of Socialism (1885), The Ethics of Socialism (1887), and several other books, Bax collaborated with Morris in writing the Commonweal essays which were republished in 1893 as Socialism: Its Growth and Outcome. A parliamentarian of the Croydon Branch, Bax had left the SDF with Morris to found the SL in 1885, but he returned to the SDF in 1888, where he edited Justice for a brief period in 1892, defended internationalism against Hyndman's support of foreign nationalism, and followed Hyndman into the National Socialist Party during World War 1 and afterwards back to the SDF, where he remained until his death. In his Reminiscences and Reflections of a Mid and Late Victorian (1918), Bax asserted of Morris: 'The foundation of the Socialist League and the work he put into it reflects the highest credit on Morris personally... Altogether a more personally disinterested man in his public work never existed'. (p.83) See also footnotes [19] and [20].


One of the first members of the Hammersmith Branch SL, Beasley had joined the Democratic Federation in 1884 and listed himself in a July 1884 branch meeting as living at 28 Masborough Road, Brook Green (now Masbro Road, W1O, north of Brook Green). In September 1884 he presented a small library of books for a branch library, and served as one of the branch librarians. He was an occasional open-air speaker, and on 26 July 1885 he lectured to the branch on 'Private Property'. He was a clear dissenter from SDF tactics, speaking in favour of a 18 January 1885 motion by John Carruthers in favor of decentralization and separation from the SDF:

Mr Beasley said that to his knowledge the tone of Justice in advocating the physical force of mere undisciplined mobs disgusted many thinking men with the exponents of socialism, and he would support the motion. (Hammersmith Socialist Society Minutes)

BESANT, ANNIE, 1847-1933

Secularist. Fabian, labour organizer, theosophist, and supporter of Indian independence, Annie Besant was the daughter of a London businessman. She separated from her husband, a cleric, in 1873, wrote the Gospel of Atheism (1877), championed neo-Malthusianism, and was deprived by the courts of the custody of her children on political grounds. She joined Bradlaugh in editing the National Reformer, and from 1883-88 published the monthly Our Corner, moving gradually towards socialism. In 1885 she joined the Fabians, aided in forming the Fabian Parliamentary League in 1887, and ceased to co-edit the National Reformer in October of that year. She participated in the November 1887 demonstration ('Bloody Sunday') at Trafalgar Square, aided in organizing the strike of female matchworkers in 1888, and served on the London School Board. In 1889 she became a theosophist, and gradually withdrew from British political activity. In the 18905 she settled in India, where she became president of the Theosophical Society from 1907 to 1933, and devoted herself after 1914 to the cause of Indian independence. She is still highly regarded in India. On her visits to London she gave speeches in support of theosophy, labour causes, and women's suffrage. See also footnotes [43] and [44].


Born in 1848 at Glastonbury, Bolas was a consulting and analytical chemist, and was interested in railway reform. He printed and edited the Railway Reformer in 1883-84, before editing 18 monthly issues of the Fabian newspaper The Practical Socialist 1886-87, and 13 issues of the Socialist, 1888-89. He was one of a group which called a Fabian conference of socialists in June 1886 to sponsor parliamentary activity. He was also a member of the Hammersmith Branch SL; branch minutes list his address as 8 Grove Terrace, Chiswick, and indicate that he was an active member and was deputed to attend to printing tasks. According to SL Conference notes for 1887, Bolas complained that Commonweal failed to publish a letter in which he complained of authoritarianism in the executive, and opposed parliamentarianism (Conference notes, provided by R. Goldstein). The latter would seem to contradict his position of the previous year. Commonweal for 21 January 1888 records Bolas's lecture to the Clerkenwell Branch on 'A Real People's Parliament'. He published many leaflets on railway reform, among them: The Chiswick Level Crossing Fatality, T. Bolas, Chiswick 1901, and Confiscation of All Railway Property, as a leading step in solving the railway problem (a revised reprint from Liberty, The Leaflet Press, 1895). The Labour Annual of 1895 states that in 1893 Bolas

resumed crusade against railway mismanagement ... this time with definitely socialistic aims... now... advocates nationalization by confiscation of all railway property, so largely used as a means of extortion and plunder; to this end urges workers to secure control of legislature. (p.163)

He was secretary of the Railway Users Association, and by 1895 lived at 60 Grove Park Terrace, Chiswick. A Thomas Bolas, listed in the BL Catalogue as the same person, also published many books on photography, design layout, and metalwork during the 1890s and early 1900s.


Secularist, champion of free thought, editor of the National Reformer, and influential radical politician. Bradlaugh was prosecuted for sedition (1868-69), and for his defence of the publication of a birth control pamphlet (1876). He was elected to parliament in 1880, but refused to take a religious oath, and was excluded until 1886; even then his entry was opposed by Randolph Churchill. He became steadily more conservative in the 18805 and '90s, and as the Diary shows, used his considerable influence in working-men's clubs to oppose any socialist tendencies.

BROCHER, GUSTAVE, poss. born in 1850

According to Woodcock (Anarchism, Cleveland, 1962, p.252), Gustave Brocher chaired a committee to organize a London Anarchist Congress of 1881, and he later contributed articles to Henry Seymour's The Anarchist (Quail, p.258). Hammersmith Socialist Society Minutes indicate that he lectured to the Branch twice in 1885 on continental topics, 'The Phalangstere', and 'The Icarian Communities', and the August 1885 Commonweal reports his singing of 'La Carmagnole' at the first annual League Conference. Between 1885 and 1897 a Gustave Brocher published three French translations and readers in London, an 1893 issue of Freedom lists him as a speaker, and he may have been at Mary Mowbray's funeral in 1893 (Quail, p.127) as a representative of a 'French Anarchist Section' of the SL. Much later in France someone of the same name wrote several books in 1915-18 on Russian topics, and edited selections of a Dictionaire des Athees, and his pamphlet Absurdites et atrocites de la Bible (Editions de L'Idee Libre) appeared in 1926. A story by Gustave Brocher also appeared in Joseph Ishill's Free Vistas (Berkeley Heights, New Jersey 1937, vol. 2, pp.119-30); entitled 'A Brave Parisian Lad', it records an old man's memory of the brutal shooting of a young anarchist who had given water to two National Guardsmen during the days of the Paris Commune.



A construction engineer, early Socialist theorist, and Morris's close associate in the SL Hammersmith Branch, Carruthers had worked on government construction projects in Egypt, India, New Zealand, Venezuela, and Argentina. He was the author of one of the first British Communist texts, Communal and Commercial Economy (1883), The Political Economy of Socialism (1885?), Socialism and Radicalism (1894), and a posthumous Economic Studies (1915); he also accompanied Morris on his last visit to Norway in the summer of 1896, and left reminiscences of the voyage. His Communal and Commercial Economy, which argues against the wasteful competition of capitalism, and for a completely labour-based assessment of value, deserved a wider audience than it received. At times, Carruthers's views resemble Morris's:

The system must be abolished at once... we must not wait until factories are burning and capitalists are being shot ... A very few years will show the men how mistaken is their trust in strikes, and they will then, without delay or warning, turn to violence, the only weapon left to them, in order to wring from the State the rights to which they are justly entitled. No one can fortell when this may happen; it may be in fifty years, it may be next year, and even to-day an eloquent man could raise a tumult in England that no human force could quell. In any case, whether or not there is a danger or rather hope, that the working classes are on the eve of asserting their rights, it is the duty of every honest statesman to remove... a wrong... the only hindrance to an almost boundless increase in human happiness. (pp.355-56).

Carruthers' often-repeated argument that capitalism treats workers as machinery is noted with approval in the Diary (see fn. [114]). Morris presumably liked Carruthers not only for his intelligence, but for a kindred directness, resistance to reformism, and hope for deep social transformation. For example, in an 1894 pamphlet, Socialism and Radicalism, Carruthers argues against agitation for Radical and laborite demands:

... it is inevitable that every Socialist who begins to agitate for Radicalism shall become a Radical. Therefore, I hold, it is better for us who are Socialists to continue to preach our doctrines, but not to take part in political quarrels unless we can do so independently of existing parties who, however much they may differ in other matters, are agreed in deadly hatred of Socialism. (p.8)

Like Morris, Carruthers hoped that greater working-class boldness and consequent collapse of class structure would satisfy lesser goals:

It is not, however, a question of half a loaf or no bread, for it is just as easy to get the whole of the loaf as the half of it, if only we could make up our minds that we really wanted the whole. (pp.4-5)

See also footnote [114].


A strange mixture of manipulator, agitator, and reformist politician, Champion came of an upper-class background, left the army at the age of 23, bought a press from which he issued Socialist writings, and became the first secretary of the SDF. Associated with Maltman Barry in the use of Conservative party funds to support SDF candidates in the 'Tory Gold' scandal of 1885, Champion was active in organising demonstrations of the unemployed in 1886 and 1887, and in May 1887 started Common Sense (and in 1888, the Labour Elector), which advocated immediate reforms, including the eight-hour day, adult suffrage, and free secondary education. Morris does not seem to have made many comments about him; in a 25 December 1884 letter to Joynes, he remarked:

Champion indeed thinks he can turn [Hyndman] his way, but to speak plainly I think it is just the other way. (BL Add. MS. 45,345)

By late 1887 Champion was criticising Hyndman for some of the tactics which had alienated Morris - unrealistic appeal to physical force and rule by faction. In late 1887 Champion joined the Labour Electoral Association; in 1888 he was expelled from the SDF, and in 1889 he co-operated with Tom Mann and others in organising the strike of London dockers. He combined reformist Marxism with curious impulses of militarism (in an 1888 Pall Mall Gazette interview he spoke of the desire to shoot looters himself, scorn for most working-class leaders with whom he associated, and determination to maintain Conservative Party allies. After an abortive attempt at strike negotiation in Australia in 1890-91, a failed parliamentary candidacy in Aberdeen in 1892, and his subsequent repudiation by the ILP, he left again for Australia in 1894, where he continued to work as a journalist, issued a journal, The Champion, wrote The Root of the Matter (1895), ran unsuccessfully for the Victorian Legislative Assembly, and served on the executive of the socialist party. Like Hyndman, Champion mixed authoritarianism and repellent elements of class-snobbery with devotion to his cause.


Charles was a German anti-parliamentarian of the North London SL, who served as League financial secretary from December 1884 to July 1885 and on the League Council 1885-87 . In 1886 he was responsible for bringing the Council information on Reuss, and in 1888 he and Lane circulated an account of a Bloomsbury Branch pro-parliamentarian meeting which intensified the conflict between the League's anarchists and parliamentarians. While unemployed he went briefly to America in March, 1887, and sent Lane news of the Haymarket affair. On his return, he served briefly as League secretary in 1888, then apparently travelled again to the United States, from which he sent reports to Commonweal from January 1889 to April 1890. He remained in the League after Morris's departure. See also footnotes [94] and [157].


He worked as private secretary to his father (Henry Cole, Director of the Department of Science and Art, and founder of the South Kensington Museum) and as lecturer on art and promoter of Irish instruction in lacemaking, design, and drawing. During the period of the Diary he was the SKM's specialist for embroideries, tapestries, and textiles, and compiled several catalogues of these works acquired by the Museum during his advisorship.


A Belgian advocate of 'rational' socialism and author of several works, among them Qu'est-ce que la science sociale (1854-55) and a multi-volume La science sociale (1857-96), Colins advocated universal state-controlled guaranteed education, with an equal allowance, or dot, to be given to all upon maturity, state ownership of land and most resources, with rental to private individuals with 30-year leases, and strict rules limiting the right of inheritance. As a middle group between the Proudhonian individualists and the communists, Colins's followers were called 'collectivists'. Colins's stress on education and collective ownership had some effect on subsequent socialist thought, and his principles were revived in the 1880s under the leadership of Frederick Borde, editor of the journal Philosophie de L'avenir.

COWEN, JOSEPH 1829-1900

The son of an industrialist MP, Cowen was a radical Newcastle reformer, editor, and member of parliament. In the 1850s and '60s he supported European revolutionary movements, and was probably involved in an attempt to assassinate Napoleon III. He founded the Northern Reform Union, which advocated manhood suffrage and vote by ballot, was proprietor of the reformist Newcastle Daily Chronicle, standard reading of the Northumberland working classes; he also established a co-operative store with an educational fund and library, and supported the nine-hour-day miner's strike of 1871. In 1873 he was elected to parliament as a Liberal; he was distrusted by Gladstone and other parliamentary liberals, and defected in 1881 to oppose Irish Coercion. At one time he served as chairman for Hyndman's nascent Democratic Federation, though he soon resigned, and he kept up personal contacts with Hyndman and other leftists. Cowen became an increasingly bitter opponent of the Liberals, and in 1886 when he was returned to parliament at the top of the poll, on the basis of Tory and Irish votes, he decided to retire. He continued to manage the Newcastle Daily Chronicle, and became increasingly imperialist in his last years. See also footnote [183].


In some ways Cunninghame-Graham 's career parallels Morris's. He too came of a wealthy background, and was a writer, traveller, and leftist politician, though not in the same sequence as Morris. Educated at Harrow and Brussels, he travelled in South and Central America and entered Parliament in 1886 as a Liberal MP where he served until 1892. A kind of forerunner of parliamentary socialism, he was completely unique in that body at the time; in particular, he advocated free secular education, the eight-hour working day, and the nationalisation of industry. He and Morris seem to have respected each other with reservations. In February 1887, Morris wrote to Jenny with irritation:

By tbe way I have just got a letter from that MP again: it is headed private and most confidential, but as it is so badly written that it takes 3 strong men to read it I must get some one to help me. (BL 45,339)

(The handwriting of a Cunninghame-Graham letter to Morris in BL 45,345 confirms the source of Morris's frustration). Later, on 18 March 1887 he wrote Glasier:

Cunninghame-Graham is a very queer creature, and 1 can't easily make him out; he seems ambitious; and has some decent information. (Letters, p.266)

Likewise Cunninghame-Graham's remarks on Morris's speaking manner reflect reservations:

... when he spoke in public, his relatively weak voice and halting speech astonished me, and you felt, perhaps, his place would have been, then as now, beside the harpers in the hall... His speech was not convincing, but most enthusiastic in its quality. (Intro. to Arthur Compton-Rickett, William Morris: A Study in Personality, London 1913, p.x).

On Bloody Sunday in November 1887, Cunninghame-Graham was arrested and jailed for six weeks. After this he was ostracised by his parliamentary associates, and turned to an active career as explorer and writer, publishing more than 14 books. In later life he espoused Scottish nationalism, and became president of the National Party of Scotland and the Scottish National Party. See also footnote [47].

DAVE, VICTOR 1847-1922

An articulate and multilingual Belgian journalist, Dave worked for the German Socialist movement in 1865-73, but was converted to a Bakunist-Proudhonist anarchism, and became a close associate of Johann Most. After imprisonment in Germany for his activities in 1880-84, Dave moved to London, where his more authoritarian anarchism was opposed by the anarcho-communist Josef Peukert. Dave and Peukert led rival factions, which fought bitterly over Peukert's trust of Theodor Reuss. Though Reuss was later unmasked as a police spy, both Dave and Peukert were discredited by the dispute. Dave often offered French lessons in Commonweal, and he collaborated in 1886 with Bax and Morris on a pamphlet about the Paris Commune; he also published an obituary on Felix Pyat in the August 1889 Commonweal, and from time to time contributed to Commonweal's section of 'International News'. By 1900 the Labour Annual listed his address as 19, rue de Boulainvilliers, Paris. In the same year he published in Paris a pamphlet on Bakunin and Marx, and in 1903 with an associate he published two translations from Lassalle. In Living My Life (New York 1931), Emma Goldman records her favourable impression of Dave during a visit to Paris around 1900:

He was kindly and jovial. Though sixty, he was as alert in mind and spirit as in his student days. Eking out a meagre existence as contributor to anarchist and other publications, he yet retained the buoyancy and humour of youth. I spent much time with him and his lifelong companion, Marie, an invalid for many years, but still interested in public affairs... The most fascinating thing about Victor Dave was his innate feeling for life and ready enjoyment of fun. He was the freest and gayest among the many comrades I met in Paris, a companion after my own heart. (vol. 1, pp.266-67)

See also footnotes [56]-[58].


A barrister, originally from Edinburgh, Donald joined the Socialist League in 1885 and became a leader of its parliamentary faction. He wrote for Commonweal and spoke frequently; the Diary indicates that Morris considered him a good speaker. He also thought him 'a regular intriguer and no good in any organization either...' (letter to Henry Charles, Houghton Library, 16 June, probably 1887). In 1888 Donald left the League in the secession of parliamentarians to join the Labour Emancipation League; in an 1890 letter to Bruce Glasier in which he commented on Donald's post-secession activities, Morris noted:

A great deal of our trouble comes from Messrs Donald and Mahon who have been rather clever at pulling us to pieces, but could do nothing towards building up even their own humbugging self-seeking party. (Glasier, p.202),

and in another 1890 letter he used language as sharp as any of which he was capable to comment on the Bloomsbury Branch expulsion:

They deserved it, for it was that pig of a Donald who began it all. (Glasier, p.204)

In 1890, along with John L. Mahon and Tom Binning, Donald led a failed postal strike for the Labour Union of Hoxton; later, he became a founding member of the ILP, but was expelled along with Aveling and Mahon (Paul Thompson, Socialists, Liberals, and Labour, London 1967, p.161). No one seems to have recorded any praiseful recollections which counterbalance Morris's opinion. Yvonne Kapp speaks of him as retired from political activity by 1898 (Eleanor Marx, vol. 2, p.717), and in 1895 and 1902 he edited texts for the Early English Text Society.


A gifted mathematician and one of Morris's closest lifelong friends, Faulkner came from Birmingham and met Morris at Oxford, where Faulkner earned two firsts in mathematics and a first in natural science. He became a Fellow of University College in 1856, a lecturer in mathematics 1864-71, Dean from 1870-75, and a Senior Fellow from 1877-92. He left Oxford for a period to keep books for Morris,. Marshall, Faulkner, and Co., accompanied Morris to Iceland in 1871, joined him in a Workman's Neutrality Demonstration in 1878, founded the Oxford branch of the Socialist League, and in 1885 contributed £100 to the inauguration of Commonweal. In the summer of 1887 he published an article in Commonweal, 'Inhuman Arithmetic', attacking political economy for reducing men to ciphers. Like Morris's other prosperous socialist friend Philip Webb, Faulkner was anti-parliamentarian and tended towards vague declarations of anti-capitalism. In 'Law and War', which appeared in the Commonweal issue for 7 January 1888 and the two succeeding weeks, he asserted (as did Morris) that 'we shall not be flurried by the thought of the great struggle which shall put an end to it all'. A letter from Faulkner to Joseph Lane of 18 May 1887 commenting on Lane's Anti-Statist Communist Manifesto argues against its direct attacks on religion and expounds a kind of libertarian anarchism:

... what we wish to do is destroy authority, and among other authorities that will disappear will be those who pretend to know more than others about 'the next world' and about 'god'... we may safely leave all men to speculate freely... the socialist should be free to think and to speculate on any subject whatever. ... what he is forbidden to do, which is the very aim of socialism to prevent, is the interfering with other people... (BL Add. MS. 46,345)

Faulkner's closeness to Morris was described by their mutual friend Webb in a letter to J. W. Mackail, 4 June 1898:

... I can answer in a dependable way as to the friendship to the last between the two men: assuredly it was that of the greatest confidence and affection. The unbreakable courage and clear honesty of Faulkner held Morris as closely as friendship, pure and simple, could bind two men together - regardless of difference in quality of mind. They each did for the other what they could not have done for anyone else; and I had the good luck to be alive to this perfect love. C.J.F. had the capacity of seeing the value of that towards which he had no natural attraction; and this, to me, seems to be one of the rarest fine qualities. (WM Gal, J170)

Faulkner's sister Kate was a designer for Morris and Co., and the Faulkners were frequent guests of the Morris's. Faulkner was paralysed in October 1888, although he did not die until 1892; his loss was a severe blow to Morris in an already discouraging period of his life.


Fielding was an active SDF propagandist; H. Lee remembered him as an able speaker (Social Democracy in Britain, 1935, p.1OO) and the 4 July 1885 Justice 'Lecture Diary' lists him as one of 12 available speakers, with lectures on 'The Malthusian Nightmare', 'Internationalism', 'Christianity and Socialism', and several other topics. In the first election contested by the SDF, in November 1885, Fielding was a defeated candidate for Kennington against O'Connor Power, polling only 32 votes. Fearful of losing his London employment, Fielding devoted much of his energy to provincial recruitment. See also footnote [179].


A radical reformer, Foote had been a religious youth, converted to freethinking through the writings of Ruskin, Darwin, Carlyle, and Mill. He founded the Young Men's Secular Association in London, contributed to the National Reformer, joined G.J. Holyoake in 1876 in founding The Secularist, which he edited alone after 1873, and served as editor of the Freethinker and the Radical Leader. A radical and land-nationaliser, Foote remained opposed to socialism. He was imprisoned for a year in the mid-'80s on a charge of blasphemy, and on his release was greeted with much enthusiasm. When Bradlaugh resigned as president of the National Secular Society in 1890, Foote was his successor. See also footnotes [43] and [45].

>GLASIER, J. BRUCE 1859-1920

After the death of his father at age 13, Glasier grew up in near-poverty in Glasgow, where as an adolescent he served an apprenticeship as an architectural draughtsman. As an agitator he was unable to work at his trade and became a decorative iron designer. He began to write verses, sending unacknowledged copies to Morris and other contemporary poets. In 1881 Glasier joined the Irish Land League and in 1884 he helped found the Glasgow branch of the SDF, following Morris into the SL in 1885, and serving as SL Glasgow branch secretary. In the latter capacity he arranged for Morris's speaking visits in Glasgow, and his William Morris and the Early Days of the Socialist Movement is a pleasant if rather lightweight evocation of these visits. Its effort to present Morris as uninterested in Marxism have drawn upon it highly charged and heavily documented attacks by E.P. Thompson and Paul Meier, but Glasier's book seems to me insufficiently pointed to merit such artillery. Its Morris is a rather vaguely hearty well-wisher to Glasier, not a serious theoretician of any kind. More than anything else, Glasier's book testifies convincingly to Morris's ability to enjoy the company of almost all his coworkers, and to hearten, even inspire the insecure and lonely young author. Glasier censored the letters from Morris which he printed; the originals in the William Morris Gallery indicate that Morris was often distressed at the Glasgow branch's unwillingness to sell Commonweal, pay back debts, or keep current with dues. Glasier also omits the occasion of much of Morris's interest, his concern that the Glasgow branch should maintain its anti-parliamentary stance. Later he became a supporter of the ILP and propagandist for the opposite point of view. Glasier wrote several pamphlets and a book of socialist songs. In 1893 he married a Cambridge graduate and Fabian lecturer, Katharine Conway, with whom he visited Morris and the Hammersmith Socialist Society; he co-authored The Religion of Socialism (1894), and spent a lifetime of preaching an ethical version of socialism and campaigning for the ILP. Glasier served on the ILP Council, edited the Labour Leader, opposed labour support of World War I, and fought against union with the SDF. His memoirs of Morris, written before his death; were edited by Katharine Conway Glasier.

GLASSE, JOHN, MA 1848-1918

A minister of Old Greyfriars Church, Edinburgh, Glasse was educated at New College, Edinburgh, and ordained a minister in 1877. He became a prominent advocate of Christian Socialism, active Freemason, president of the Edinburgh Burns Club, early member of the SDF and Socialist League, and the author of several books on poverty and Christian Socialism. See also footnote [133].


Born the son of a Norwich clothier, and educated at the Belfast Mercantile Academy and Owen's College, Manchester, Henderson returned to Norwich and founded a branch of the Socialist League in 1886. At the time of his arrest and imprisonment in Norwich Castle for speaking to the unemployed, he was 19 years old; at 16, he had published the first of three volumes of poems, and in 1887 he issued Echoes of the Coming Day: Socialist Songs and Rhymes. When in the late 1880s he went to London and worked as a reporter for the Star, he stayed for a time at Morris's Kelmscott House. Joining Mahon in an attempt to form an independent labour party, he founded the Clapham Labour League with its journal the Labour Leader, and in 1892 he was elected in Clapham as one of six successful socialist candidates for the London County Council. Later in the '90s he returned to Norwich, where he worked as a journalist, and in 1902 was elected the first socialist member of the City Council. When women became eligible for civic office, he and his wife became the first married couple in England to serve together on the same local governing body. Henderson became an alderman in 1923. Later, during the war, he served as chairman of the Norwich Food Control Committee, and eventually as Lord Mayor in 1939-40 of the city where as a youth he had been imprisoned. He was described as an eloquent and effective speaker, and wrote several books on socialism, including the widely circulated The Case for Socialism (1911), The New Faith: A Study of Party Politics and the War (1915), and Money Power and Human Life (1932). A three-page bibliography of his writings and their foreign translations appeared in the Norwich Public Libraries Readers' Guide, vol. XII, no.9, accompanied by a picture of Henderson as mayor in 1939. See also footnote [3].


The West London Observer for 1887 indicates that Dr Gordon Hogg was a trustee of the expanding Chiswick Liberal Club, which moved to larger premises in November 1887. During the year Tom Mann, Hyndman, Annie Besant, and Morris spoke to the club, and Dr Hogg frequently chaired meetings. He did try unsuccessfully for parliament; on 30 April the WLO records a speech regretting the 'defeat of their worthy candidate, Dr Hogg'. The 12 March WLO gives a precis of Dr Hogg's views at a club debate:

The true causes, he said, of the present discussion had not been fully stated by the recent Royal Commission; it was not overproduction, but lack of purchasing power on the part of the people. But curious to say that while there was this poverty among the people, the wealth of the world was increasing, showing that some people were obtaining more than their share. (p.5)

His non-socialist remedies included restriction of continental loans and return of labourers to the countryside.


George Howard was a landscape water colourist, Liberal MP for East Cumberland 1879-80 and 1881-85, and after 1885, eighth Earl of Carlisle and Liberal Unionist member of the House of Lords; later, he also became a trustee of the National Gallery. Rosalind Howard, described by the D.N.B. as 'an ardent public worker on the radical side', administered their vast estates while he devoted himself to painting and an interest in Italian art and culture. As close friends of the Burne-Joneses, their social life overlapped the Morrises'; the firm did decorating work for the Howards' London home in Holland Park, Naworth Castle in Cumberland, and Castle Howard in Yorkshire; and he and Morris worked together for the Society for the Protection of Ancient Buildings. George Howard's health was one reason for the Howards' frequent trips to Italy, Egypt, and other warm climates. Jane Morris became their friend, accompanying them on extended trips and visiting them at Howard Castle. As wealthy patrons of the arts and mediterranean travellers sympathetic to genteel invalidism, they would have been congenial companions for Jane and Jenny. In an 1881 letter during an earlier trip Morris wrote jokingly to his wife, 'Good bye, my dear, take care of yourself: and please pay your way duly to Mrs Howard: I can't go owing money to Earl-kin' (27 February, Letters, p.145). Jane Morris's letters in the Castle Howard Archives reveal some embarrassment at her husband's tendency to argue politics with Rosalind Howard, and a deep affection for and gratitude to the latter for many kindnesses to herself and Jenny. See also footnotes [39] and [50].


Founder and leader of the Social Democratic Federation, his paradoxical combination of authoritarian arrogance and socialist conviction left its impress on early British socialism. Hyndman was born to a prosperous family of colonial connections, attended Trinity College, Cambridge, studied for the bar, and travelled in Italy, Australia, and the US. He early developed a belief that the need for a strong British empire required greater opportunities for native autonomy. After a failed attempt to run for Parliament as a Liberal, Hyndman read Das Kapital in French translation, and made use of some of its ideas without acknowledgment in Textbook for Democracy: Englandfor All (1881), and, with acknowledgment, in The Historical Basis for Socialism (1883). Marx was sceptical of his disciple, describing him as 'self-satisfied and querulous' (letter to Sorge, Marx and Engels, Correspondence, 1846-1895, 1934, p.397). In 1881 Hyndman helped found the Democratic Federation, which Morris joined in 1883 and which became the Social Democratic Federation in 1884. The SDF soon divided over Hyndman's jingoism, his desire for absolute control, and his emphasis on parliamentarism, parades, and threats to the civil authorities. In 1885 Morris led a disaffected wing out of the organization to form the Socialist League, and stated his objection to Hyndman's tactics as follows:

... his aim has been to make the movement seem big; to frighten the powers that be with a turnip bogie which perhaps he almost believes in himself: hence all that insane talk of immediate forcible revolution, when we know that the workers in England are not even touched by the movement; hence the founding of branches which melt away into mere names, the neglect of organisation for fruitless agitation; and worst of all, hence discreditable intrigue and sowing of suspicion among those who are working for the party. Amidst such elements as this I cannot and will not work, and they are the only elements amongst which H. will work... (letter Joynes, Christmas Day 1884, BL Add. MS 45,345)

Later Hyndman moved from these stances to parliamentarianism and mild trade union agitation. He led the SDF until 1912, its offshoot, the British Socialist Party (BSP), from 1912 to 1917, and a group of pro-war dissidents from the BSP, the National Socialist Party (NSP), from 1917 to 1919. When the BSP merged into the Communist Party after World War I, the 2,000 member NSP/SDF affiliated with the Labour Party. He died in 1921. Hyndman wrote a brief memoir of Morris for Justice in 1896, later reprinted as a pamphlet. His memories praise Morris's character, but blur his political views.

KITZ, FRANK 1849-1923

anarchist activist, promoter of relief for the unemployed, and radical populist. Frank Kitz was the name assumed by Francis Platt, the illegitimate child of Mary Platt and John Lewis, a watchmaker. Born in London and raised in dire poverty, he was briefly apprenticed as a dyer. During the 1870s he was an active member of several London left-radical clubs and helped shift others towards the left; in 1874 he served as secretary of the Democratic and Trades Alliance, and in 1875 of its successor, the Manhood Suffrage League; in 1877 he aided in forming an English section of the Rose St Social Democratic Club. He was a delegate to the anarchist International Revolutionary Congress in 1881, secretary of the Freiheit Defence Committee, and editor of the English version of Freiheit. In 1882 Kitz, Lane, and others formed the Labour Emancipation League, and in 1885 Kitz joined the SL and served on its Council several times. He worked for Morris at Merton Abbey and accompanied him to Paris as SL delegate to the Socialist Congress of 1889. After the parliamentarians left the League, he became its secretary 1888-91, and when Morris left he served with Nicholl as joint editor of Commonweal. Things ended disastrously when in March, 1891 the Hammersmith Socialist Society expelled him on a charge of absconding with SL monies and account books. Freedom lists him as delivering a lecture in 1895, so he probably continued some anarchist activity. He resumed propaganda as a syndicalist in 1909-1912, and published a series of 'Recollections and Reflections' in the 1912 Freedom (January-July). He devotes an entire issue's 'Recollections' to Morris, but his remarks are impersonal and include few specific memories. Appeals for his financial relief appeared in Freedom in 1920 and 1922, and Freedom recorded 'Now, over seventy years of age, he is no longer able to earn a living at his trade of dyer, and has only the miserable old-age pension of ten shillings weekly as a means of subsistence'. (March 1922) He died in the next year in great poverty at the age of 73. See also footnote [4].


Russian revolutionist, scientist, and anarchist. During service as an army officer in Siberia from 1862 to 1867, Kropotkin studied the region's geography and plant life, but also became convinced of the need for cooperative socialism and the abolition of government. In 1871 he refused the Secretaryship of the Russian Geographical Society to devote his life to social justice. A visit to Swiss watchmakers in the Jura mountains convinced him of the efficacy of voluntary mutual aid as a form of social organisation. Imprisoned in 1876 by the Tsarist government for promulgating his views, he escaped to Switzerland in 1876 and after expulsion by the Swiss government suffered imprisonment in France from 1883-86. He settled in England in March 1886 and began the work of publicising anarchism which was to engage him until his return to Russia in 1917; in 1885 he published Paroles d' un revolutionnaire and in 1887 In Russian and French Prisons, but he was already working at the ideas that would appear in Fields, Factories, and Workshops (1899). As the Diary indicates, Morris and Kropotkin shared platforms during this period; Kropotkin excused himself from writing for Commonweal on the grounds of overwork in co-editing Le Revolte, and Freedom, which he published with Charlotte Wilson from 1886. John Hulse's Revolutionists in London gives a good account of the parallels between Morris's and Kropotkin's thought; see also my introduction. Long an opponent of the Prussian state, Kropotkin disappointed his fellow anarchists by supporting the Allied Powers in World War I. In 1917 at the age of 75 he returned to Russia, where he opposed the Bolshevik government, and worked on a history of ethics. See also footnotes [61], [62] and [172].

LAFARGUE, PAUL 1842-1911

Marxist organiser and author of several books on the relation of economics to literary, ethical, and philosophic beliefs, Lafargue studied medicine, participated in the Paris Commune, and later worked in Madrid to establish a socialist party in opposition to the Bakuninists, before emigrating to London in 1872, where he married Marx's daughter Laura. In 1880 he and Jules Guesde drew up the Marxist programme of the French Workers' Party; he was later amnestied in France, and returned in 1882 to lead the party along with Guesde. He was imprisoned in 1891 for speaking at a May Day demonstration, served as deputy in the French Parliament from 1891-93, and in 1905, joined the newly-founded United Socialist Party.

LANE, JOSEPH 1851-1920

An important early working-class organiser and anarchist activist, Lane was the son of a cordwainer, and came to London in 1865 or 1866. While working as a carter he joined several working class organisations, including the English Section of the Rose Street Social Democratic Club and the Local Rights Association. In March 1881 he joined the Freiheit Defence Committee to defend the anarchist Johann Most, and helped produce several issues of an English Freiheit. In 1881 Lane moved to Hackney and formed a new club which became the Homerton Social Democratic Club, and which sent delegates to the anarchist International Revolutionary Congress of 1881. He joined Frank Kitz in organising open-air meetings at Mile End Waste, and with Kitz and others, he formed the Labour Emancipation League in 1882. When this merged into the SDF in 1884, Lane became a member of the SDF Council. He joined the SL in its split with the SDF and with Morris became the co-publisher of Commonweal; along with Kitz, Mowbray, and Mainwaring he formed an anarchist wing of the League. Diary entries and Morris's letters to Lane indicate that Lane frequently took offence over political disputes at meetings of the Council and Conference; at one point Morris urged him not to reopen an issue on which the Council had already expressed its confidence in him (13 May 1889, BL 45,345). Morris paid for Lane's visit to France as League emissary to the socialist congress of 1887. Although Morris urged Lane to circulate his League policy minority report before the 1887 conference (see footnote [190]), he found it rather wordy and abstract. Lane's manifesto attacked trade unions and elections as reformist, and advocated complete abolition of the state, and revolutionary violence:

The study of history has taught us that the noblest conquests of man are written on a blood-stained book. (An Anti-Statist Communist Manifesto, repr. Cienfuegos Press 1978, p.36)

When the May 1887 Conference rejected this document, Lane published it in June as An Anti-Statist Communist Manifesto. Even Lane had some difficulty working with the other SL anarchists who remained after the departure of the Parliamentarians from the League, and in 1889 he resigned from the SL, writing Morris an explanatory letter. Morris's response indicates his usual tact, and a sincere sense of loss:

... I always looked upon you as one of the serious members of the League, and that it is quite true, as far as I can see that our views as to Anarchism are very close together; and in consequence that I look upon your loss as serious in all ways... (21 May 1889, BL 45,345)

Lane continued to publish occasional political pamphlets, and died'in 1920 (for a biographical sketch, see the introduction by Nicolas Waller to An Anti-Statist Communist Manifesto). See also footnotes [15], [110], [137], [145], [147] and [153].


A West-End tailor born in Edinburgh in 1857, Macdonald came to London in 1881, joined the Central Marylebone Democratic Association, met Frank Kitz, Jack Williams, and other left radicals, and became one of the first members of Hyndman's SDF and a member of its first executive. After a brief period in the Socialist Union from 1885 to 1887, he returned to the SDF. In his July 1896 article in Justice for the series, 'How I Became a Socialist', Macdonald would only comment briefly on this episode:

In 1885 I, with others, left because we disagreed with the policy pursued in regard to elections. I rejoined in 1887 because I gathered from a speech of Hyndman's that that policy was practically repudiated.

In 1888 Macdonald and Lewis Lyons had led the agitation of a united body of East-End and West-End tailors which became the Amalgamated Tailors' Union. Macdonald later founded and edited the Journeyman, joined the Independent Labour Party (ILP), ran twice as its parliamentary candidate in Dundee, was a member of the London Trades Council Executive from 1891, and became its Secretary from 1896-1913. The 1896 Justice article describes Macdonald as 'young', and as 'a rather fair, dapper little fellow, of pleasing appearance'. He described himself as still lecturing for the SDF and other labour organisations. In 1898 he initiated talks to consider an SDF-ILP merger, but these failed when the ILP withdrew from negotiations. In 1905 he led a secession of London tailors and tailoresses from the national union to form the London Society of Tailors and Tailoresses, and in 1914 contributed reminiscences of Hyndman to a retrospective issue of Justice. See also footnote [59].

MAGUIRE, TOM 1864-1895

A semiemployed photographer and newspaper vendor from a poverty-stricken Irish Catholic background, Maguire was an active socialist before he was 20 and the first promoter of socialism in Leeds. In 1884, Maguire formed a branch of the SDF in Leeds, which in 1885 affiliated with the Socialist League and became one of its most active branches; he was a member of the- first provisional Council of the SL, contributed poems to Commonweal, later collected in Machine-Room Chants (1895), and continued a steady supporter of the League until Morris's departure in 1890. A skilled open-air speaker, he aided in organising an 1889 building labourers' strike in Leeds, in 1890 helped establish a Labour Electoral League, and in 1892-93, was one of the founders of the ILP. Factionalism in the Leeds movement contributed to a personal depression, which helped precipitate his death from pneumonia in March 1895 at the age of 30. In his introductory remarks on Machine Room Chants, J. Bruce Glasier speaks of Maguire as 'one of those men of whom we seldom meet more than one in a lifetime, who possess that indefinable charm of friendship that suffers not by passing through the furnace heat or killing cold of life's vicissitudes'.


Called by his biographer, Ken John, the first 'post-Marx' Welsh syndicalist, and inventor of the label anarcho-syndicalist, the Welsh engineer and anarchist -trade unionist Mainwaring was born in Heath, Wales, married a Cardiff customs officer's daughter in 1868, and worked briefly in the US before returning to London. As the engineer of a Marylebone shop and member of the Amalgamated Engineers Union, he influenced his younger co-worker, Tom Mann; later he helped found the Labour Emancipation League, joined the SDF, and left in the 1885 split to join the SL. He became an active speaker in the London parks, was arrested with Jack Williams in 1886, and fined £20; the Hammersmith Socialist Society notes record Morris's attempt to raise money for his defence. A Commonweal Hackney branch report of a talk Mainwaring gave in January 1887 outlines some of his views:

He said that the revolutionary Socialist never asks for palliative measures, either from local boards, or even Parliament itself. He showed that all movements of the people against abuse or monopoly, never succeeded except through the efforts of men who rebelled against the then existing 'law and order'.

Mainwaring helped organise the League's platform at the 11 April 1887 anti-Coercion demonstration, and later in the year he and Kitz visited South Wales coalfields on a propaganda tour. In 1891 he returned to South Wales to help raise two children deserted by his brother Tom, Ellen and Sam, Jr, who later became a union organiser and member of the International Workers of the World. Mainwaring returned to London in the late 1890s and continued to advocate anarcho-syndicalism; he died suddenly while addressing a meeting at Parliament Hill Fields in 1907. In 1896 and 1897 he published memoirs of Morris in Freedom (source: Ken John). An 11 November 1911 issue of Freedom commemorating its 25th anniversary records a speech in which Tarrida del Marmol praises the work of 'good old Sam Mainwaring, to whose energy we owed the few numbers of the paper the General Strike, and who... lived and died in the movement' .


Mahon was a former engineer from Edinburgh and member of the Scottish Land and Labour League, who joined the SDF, served on its executive, and was the first secretary of the SL. Boycotted by employers, he began full-time campaigning for socialism in the Midlands, became a highly successful organiser of the miners, and later moved from an anti-parliamentarian to a parliamentarian position. In letters to Mahon, Morris criticised what he believed to be his tendency to stir up arguments, and throughout 1887 and 1888 his comments to Mahon are rather sharp in tone. He felt Mahon should not work as a paid political organiser, that he should recruit for the League rather than a non-League group, was irritated that he had given away rather than sold Commonweals, and suggested that Mahon and other SL parliamentarians should join the SDF. Mahon must have written some angry responses, because Morris was roused to reply:

As to brags about the relative amount of work we do; let's remember the old proverb and wait till we are dead before we raise that question -and meantime do all we can. Yes, please consider my advice not because it's mine, but because it's good ... I am not in the least in an ill-temper, but I am vexed that the road to organisation should lie through the breaking up of the League, and the snuffing out of Commonweal, if that must be so...
Fraternally and good-temperedly yours, William Morris (Arnot, pp.71-72)

and Morris's letters of the period refer in jest to Mahon's 'cheek' and 'chin', and more seriously to Morris's belief that although Mahon stirs up ill-will, he is basically well-intended. As early as 1887 Engels referred to Mahon as involved in forming a labour party, and by 1888 Mahon had left the SL with the Labour Emancipation League to form a new Labour Union; he published a long pamphlet, A Labour Programme, with a preface by R. Cunninghame-Graham, and as a member of the newly formed Scottish Labour Party supported the parliamentary candidacy of Keir Hardie. In 1890 Mahon, Donald, and Binning led the Labour Union in a disastrous Postman's Union strike. By the time of the formation of the ILP he was sufficiently reformist to oppose an ILP goal of collective ownership, a position with which the majority of delegates disagreed, and later, in another failed measure, he opposed the ILP's rejection of designated campaign funds. Ultimately he was expelled from the Leeds branch ILP. I have found little record of his later political activity; he became a member of May Morris's Kelmscott Fellowship in 1919, wrote Frank Kitz's obituary for Justice in 1923, and his son and namesake (1901-1975) later became a trade unionist and London District Secretary of the Communist Party. See also footnotes [77], [95] and [143].


The second child of Ann Maizey Burden and Robert Burden, an Oxford stableman, Jane Burden married Morris in 1859 at the age of 19, and with him raised two children Jane Alice ('Jenny'), born 1861, and May, born 1862. Early in their marriage they shared an interest in embroidery and weaving, but after the birth of her children Jane suffered from somewhat obscure problems of the back and spine, which she attempted to cure with extended, expensive European trips. Her lengthy friendship and briefer affair with the painter and poet Dante Gabriel Rossetti grieved Morris, but he showed a tolerance remarkable for the period in quietly accepting 1is wife's freedom of choice. Her letters reveal her as a somewhat melancholic but kindly and fairly intelligent woman; observers described her as unusually quiet. She maintained a mild interest in Morris's artistic activities, but disapproved of his political work. Morris's letters indicate that despite disappointments, he continued to feel a genuine if detached affection for her. After his death she lived quietly at Kelmscott Manor, and for a time helped care for the invalid Jenny. In the introduction to her father's Collected Works, May Morris seldom mentions her mother, and it was after her more vigorous father that she patterned her life of political, commercial, and artistic interests.

MASON, Stephen

Author of pamphlets on commercial and financial subjects, Glasgow merchant and past president of the Glasgow Chamber of Commerce, from 1881-88 Stephen Mason was a Gladstonian Liberal MP for Lanarkshire, Mid-Division.


When Mordhurst was proposed for membership at the fourth meeting of the Hammersmith Branch of the Democratic Federation, he listed his address as 8 Furber Street, Dalling Road, Hammersmith. He was a steady attender, active outdoor speaker, and contributor of many practical services to the Branch - he helped make a partition for the newsroom, made a box for contributions, and often served on arrangements subcommittees. He strongly supported the split with the SDF, adducing Lassalle as a precedent for local autonomy.

Mr Mordhurst spoke of the starting of Socialism by Lasalle [sic] in Germany and of his aim to make the branches as self-supporting as possible. He compared the present split with the disruption of the Socialist party in Germany... he believed that disruption under such circumstances was necessary to education. (18 January 1885, Hammersmith Socialist Society Minutes)


An East-End tailor who had served in the army when young, Mowbray was an activist anti-parliamentarian, and printer of left-wing literature. He was a co-worker with Frank Kitz in the Labour Emancipation League before joining the SL upon its formation in 1885. A member of the League's anarchist wing and an active worker in the effort to establish the right to open-air speech, Mowbray was arrested in 1885 along with several others after a socialist meeting at Dod Street, Stepney, in East London, and again in 1886 in Stratford, and as the Diary records, at Norwich in 1887. Morris's reservations about Mowbray's conduct are indicated in a letter to Joseph Lane:

... I see clearly that the Norwich Branch cannot keep Mowbray; so to London he had better come... As to any harm he may do, we must make the best of it. I believe him to be sincere; and we all know the faults of his character, and so I hope can guard against them. (BL Add. MS 45,345, 4 February poss. 1889)

Later Mowbray worked in the dockers' and tailors' strikes of 1889-90, and during the early 1890s was an active propagandist for anarchism. After Morris relinquished control of Commonweal in 1890, Mowbray continued as its publisher and wrote its first article in open advocacy of the use of dynamite. When in April 1892, in the Walsall anarchist case, a judge sentenced three anarchists framed by police agents to prison terms of 10 years, and a fourth to five years, Commonweal editor David Nicoll wrote an article advocating political murder, for which he and Mowbray were arrested. Mowbray's wife had died a day or two before of consumption at the age of 38, and his arrest meant the abandonment of five children. Morris paid Mowbray's bond of £500, and the case was later dismissed. According to Paul Avrich's An American Anarchist (Princeton 1978, p.102 ff.), Mowbray emigrated to the US in 1894, where he lectured in several cities. Emma Goldman noted her opinion that his speeches lacked content (Harry Kelly, Roll Back the Years, p.102, in Avrich, p.I04). With associates, he founded The Rebel in Boston in 1894, and was deported to Britain in 1901. He continued speaking for anarchism for a time, but later became a tariff reform lecturer, and died in Yorkshire in 1910. See also footnote [3].

MORRIS, JANE ALICE ('Jenny') 1861-1935

William and Jane Morris's eldest daughter was a bright, serious child considered more intellectual than May, and keenly interested in her father's political activities. In 1878 she began to suffer from a mysterious disease which resulted in violent seizures, and eventually in progressive physical and mental degeneration. Morris believed her condition was hereditary and blamed himself. Amidst his endless activities, he wrote her many long, affectionate, and politically detailed letters, among the best he wrote. After William's death, Jane Morris cared for her daughter for several years with the help of a nurse, then placed her under private care. A few of Jenny's letters are preserved in the Victoria and Albert Museum. Surviving documents are reticent about her condition; it was sometimes diagnosed as 'epilepsy', but it is difficult to be certain what it was. See also footnotes [39] and [50].


Later revealed as a spy in the pay of the Berlin political police, Reuss was a journalist and London correspondent for several foreign newspapers, who joined the SL in February 1885 and was elected to the Executive Committee. As a result of accusations by Victor Dave, who believed the police had acted on the basis of information only Reuss could have given them, Reuss was expelled from the SL on 10 May 1886, and Dave published an article exposing him in the 3 July 1886 Freiheit. Joseph Peukert, the leader of the Gruppe Autonomie, distrusted Dave, and so took Reuss with him to Belgium over New Year 1887, where Reuss was able to identify to the police the important anarchist John Neve. Neve was arrested on 21 February 1887, and on 13 May 1887 the Socialdemokrat printed an article on Neve's arrest which could only have been written by someone involved in the affair, and a meeting of anarchists and socialists later in May appointed a commission to investigate charges of Peukert's complicity with the police. Although the commission cleared Peukert, Peukert and Dave continued to attack each other in print and accuse each other of aiding the police, until Reuss himself wrote a long article for the 5 October London Evening News exposing the activities of London anarchist clubs, and Peukert wrote an article in Die Autonomie which attacked Reuss as a traitor. In this sordid and tragic episode, Peukert's political life was destroyed, Dave was discredited, and Neve's imprisonment and subsequent death in prison deprived European anarchism of one of its most important members. Reuss returned to Germany. (Andrew Carlson, Anarchism in Germany, Chap. 11.) See also footnotes [56]-[58].

SCHEU, ANDREAS 1844-1927

Scheu was a Viennese furniture designer who had been a confederate of Johann Most and an active figure in German anarchist politics before his trial by the Austrian government in 1870. Upon coming to London in 1874 he joined the German leftist Rose Street Club, but became disaffected with German emigre factionalism, and joined the DF and SDF. One of the events which precipitated the 1885 SDF/SL split was Hyndman's denunciation of Scheu, and Scheu left to form the SL with Morris; in Thompson's view his dislike of Hyndman's chauvinism caused him to urge Morris to assume leadership (p.343). Scheu worked closely with Morris until his move to Edinburgh in 1885, where he became a salesman for Jaeger. Morris trusted him, wrote him some of his fullest and most reflective letters, and in an 1885 letter to May speaks of his 'tremendous energy and his knowledge of organisation'. (BL Add. MS 45,341). Articles by Scheu entitled 'Sincerity and Devotion' and a three-part 'What's to be Done?' appeared in the April, May, June and September 1885 Commonweals. That Scheu was considered an effective speaker is indicated by the Council's choice of him to debate with Bradlaugh; he was also a good singer and, like Morris, wrote Socialist songs (see his 'Song of Labour' with two settings, in Chants of Labour, ed. Edward Carpenter, London 1888, pp.60-63). Although he was less active in the '90s, the Labour Annual of 1900 lists him in their 'Directory of Social Reformers', giving his address as 78, St John's Park, Blackheath, London, SE. After receiving a pension in 1911, he returned to Germany, and in 1923 published his reminiscences, Umsturzkeime: Erlebnisse Eines Kaempfers (Vienna), which emphasise his early revolutionary activities, but include a strongly laudatory chapter on Morris, Morris's letters to Scheu in German translation, and several of his songs. He seems someone who would have been more influential had he not had to divide his efforts between two countries and languages; his relationship with Morris merits further study.


The prominent playwright, critic, and Fabian was born in Dublin, to an Irish father of genteel pretensions and uncertain occupation, and a mother who left his father for London when G.B. Shaw was 16, in an attempt to support herself and Shaw's two sisters by teaching music. After a few years as an estate agent's clerk, Shaw moved to London in 1876, and under financial constraints produced five novels between 1878 and 1883, served as art critic for the World, 1886-89, and music critic for the Star, 188890, and in 1892 began a career as a playwright with mild anti-establishmentarian tendencies. After an initial study of Henry George and Marx in French translation, in 1884 Shaw became a Fabian, but continued friendly associations with the SDF and SL. Morris had admired Shaw's early novels, often invited him to speak at the Hammersmith Branch SL, and enjoyed his company, but by 1887 they were drifting apart. The Diary indicates Morris's exasperation at Shaw's tolerance of Bradlaugh's individualism; in June 1887 he described Shaw to Glasse as tending 'towards individualist anarchism' (Arnot, p.69), and the two differed strongly over the desirability of parliamentary gradualism; Shaw's two articles in Fabian Essays on Socialism which he (Shaw) edited in 1889, 'The Transition to Social Democracy' and 'The Impossibility of Anarchism', are in part attempted rebuttals of positions Morris had taken; Morris in turn reviewed them for Commonweal on 25 January 1890. Yet in 1893 he co-operated with Morris in an attempt to formulate a platform for socialist union, and in 1895 published a defence of Morris and other Victorian artists against Max Nordau's charges of immorality in Degeneration. Most important, Shaw's 1936 William Morris As I Knew Him is perhaps the best known memoir of Morris, and influenced interpretations of the latter's work for at least two decades. In many respects it is a moving tribute to Morris's character and expertly captures nuances of his temperament, but its method of contrasting Morris's character with Shaw's own becomes inevitably double-edged, a defence of Shaw's Fabianism and more 'rationally' sceptical modes of analysis. The claim that Morris is 'our one acknowledged great man' is less convincing in the absence of respect for Morris's actual personal, literary, and political choices; eg, Morris's poetry is praised as lighthearted and facile, if sometimes sentimental, and though Shaw admires Sigurd and the socialist essays, he gives no clear idea of their impressive features. Most pointedly, though, he finds Morris's political associates repellent:

Unfortunately they had no experience of the government of anything more complicated than a coster's barrow; and they were romantic anarchists to a man, strong on the negative side, but regarding the State as an enemy, very much as the child regards the policeman... A very amateurish plan, called Anti-State Communism, was evolved; and its authors, after spending a good deal of Morris's money, suddenly perceived that the logic of their plan involved the repudiation of Morris's directorship, which was keeping the whole affair together. So Morris, who had been holding the League up by the scruff of its neck, opened his hand, whereupon it dropped like a stone into the sea, leaving only a little wreckage to come to the surface occasionally and demand bail at the police court or a small loan. (AWS, xvi)

If there is enough truth to these charges so that they sting, enough contempt resides in the metaphor of the anarchist SL as a composite stray dog to be drowned or its more beleagured members as 'a little wreckage' to establish Shaw's real antipathy to Morris's basic egalitarian ideals. Morris was capable of rage and contempt for the strong but not the weak, and not only children are properly wary of police and the massed power of a state in which they have no means of representation. Had Morris's comrades been totally bereft of ideology, 'organisation', and character, the status of 'prophet and saint' Shaw is so willing to accord Morris would have been strangely hollow, and Morris's 'prophetic' gift one of inconsistency and bad judgement. Shaw's essay concludes with a climactic assertion which has often been quoted:

And with such wisdom as my years have left me I note that as he has drawn further and further away from the hurly burly of our personal contacts into the impersonal perspective of history he towers greater and greater above the horizon beneath which his best advertised contemporaries have disappeared. (xl)

Would Morris have wanted such a subtly apolitical canonisation? The tribute is in good part a comment on Shaw, perhaps, and an act of nostalgic love for a long-dead spiritual parent. But a more measured and concrete respect for the intelligence and consistency of Morris's ideas and acts would serve his memory at least as well as such an apotheosis of him as a heroically misguided eccentric. A good treatment of the Shavian-Morris relationship appears in chap. V of John Hulse, Revolutionists in London (London 1970), to which I am indebted. See also footnotes [52] and [60].


May Morris left behind few records of the man from whom she separated several years after their marriage, and Morris's contemporary biographer, Mackail, discretely avoids mentioning him; someone has scratched 'Mrs Sparling' out of the Kelmscott Manor Guest Book and replaced it with 'May Morris'. The Labour Annual for 1895 lists Sparling as educated at Clifden, Connemara, 'by historical studies drawn towards Socialism', and an advocate of total abstinence. Sparling was a steady worker at Socialist League propaganda from 1885 to 1891, serving as League Council member 1885-88, secretary July 1885-December 1886, and subeditor under Morris of Commonweal, December 1886-May 1891. He was one of the SL speakers arrested on 8 February 1886 for alleged incendiary remarks ('bread or lead') at a Hyde Park demonstration. Commonweal indicates that he was a frequent speaker at meetings; as sub-editor he wrote numerous if rather wooden notes on current events, and his letters and comments indicate sympathy with Morris's role in League affairs. Although Thompson describes him as 'an unreliable ally' (Thompson, p.523), he seems to have voted as an anti-parliamentarian. Despite Jane Morris's disapproval of May's marriage to a man of uncertain prospects, and the absence of any enthusiastic comments in his letters of the period, Morris didn't oppose May's marriage to Sparling in the summer of 1890, and Sparling worked as Morris's assistant at the Kelmscott Press 1890-94. As late as April 1892 he was listed in Freedom as lecturing for the Hammersmith Socialist Society, but he became a Fabian in the same year, and as Fabian delegate to a socialist Unemployed Organisation Committee argued against 'irresponsible' relief to the unemployed. In the 1897 Labour Annual he was still listed in the directory of 'Social Reform Lecturers', although the 1895 Annual describes him as 'now chiefly occupied with historical development of the Socialist movement' (p.187). G.B. Shaw claimed that after a period in which he lived with the Sparlings for several months at Hammersmith Terrace, May lost interest in her husband, Sparling left for France to seek work as a journalist, and May obtained a divorce; Shaw believed Sparling had remarried (Morris As I Knew Him, p.33). In 1887 Sparling edited an edition of Defoe's Captain Singleton and a collection of Irish poems and songs, and in 1888 he wrote a pamphlet on unemployment, Men Versus Machinery. In the 18905 he wrote introductions or edited several volumes for the Kelmscott Press and in 1912 he published a lecture on 'Needs and Ideals: being a lecture on the Science of Organisation delivered to the Organisation Society'. In 1914 he contributed an essay to the 30th year commemorative issue of Justice, in which he used the phrase 'we socialists', and advocated more study ofapplications of science at SDF branch meetings, so despite interest in Fabianism he seems to have joined the SDF. In 1924 Sparling wrote an adulatory memoir, The Kelmscott Press and William Morris, Master Craftsman, describing himself as Morris's 'adoring and eager disciple'; the intensity of his praise suggests that the years with Morris may have been the best of his life, and if much of its commentary is derivative, Sparling's own personal memories are lively and interesting. A postscript by Robert Steele remarked that Sparling had died directly after the book was finished, and comments on 'the considerable importance and bulk of his [Sparling's] writings' and 'the personal qualities which endeared him to a wide circle of friends'. H. Lee (Social Democracy in Britain, 1935, p.82) states that Sparling emigrated to the US and died in Pasadena, California.


An anti-parliamentarian SL member, Tarleton joined the Hammersmith branch in March 1886, listing his address as 101 The Grove, Hammersmith (now in W5, Ealing Green). He was a frequent outdoor speaker, was remembered by Shaw as present at 'Bloody Sunday' in November 1887, served as a member of the League Council in 1887-88 and as the League's financial secretary in 1888, and as delegate to the 1889 French International Working-Men 's Conference. Tarleton later became a Fabian.


Born in 1852 in Ballater, New Brunswick, Tochatti was a merchant tailor, lecturer on reformist and quasiscientific topics, and a lifelong campaigner for communist anarchism. He was elected a member of the Hammersmith SL in January 1886, was a frequent outdoor speaker for the branch, served as branch delegate to the 1886 League Conference, and contributed newsnotes and articles to Commonweal. In 1889 he helped organise a strike at Thorneycroft's engineering factory and in 1891 was arrested for causing 'disturbance' at a United Shop Assistants' strike. As one of its anarchist members he continued in the League after Morris's departure. Freedom of the early 1890s indicates that he spoke frequently, and his enthusiastic defence of the imprisoned David Nicoll is recorded in the December 1892 Freedom, p.1. Despite his strong support of Nicolls, he must have had reservations about some of the public statements of his fellow anarchists, for in January 1894, disturbed by the incendiary tone of Commonweal, he began Liberty, considered by Quail an unusually open-minded anarchist journal (p.204). When in 1892 Tochatti asked Morris for a contribution, Morris replied suggesting that Tochatti repudiate propaganda by violence, and added:

However, I don't for a moment suppose that you agree with such 'propaganda by deed'. But since I don't think so, that is the very reason why I think you should openly say that you don't. (WM Gal, J357, 12 December 1893)

Tochatti did provide this repudiation,and Morris contributed two essays to Liberty, 'Why I Am a Communist' and 'As to Bribing Excellence' . Liberty lists Tochatti's address as Carmagnole House, Beadon Road, Hammersmith, W5. Liberty ceased publication in 1896, but Quail (pp.273-74) states that in the early 1900s Tochatti was again a frequent speaker, and his Hammersmith bookshop a meetingplace for anarchist discussion. The December 1912 Freedom announced his 'Lantern Lecture' at the Morris Studio, Adie Road, Hammersmith, on 'Agriculture', and on 12 October 1914, he was reported as lecturing in Bristol on 'The Attitude of Revolutionists towards the War' (Freedom, November 1914). John Mahon's Harry Pollitt, London 1976, pp.65-66, describes Pollitt's visits to the bookshop in 1918 and after, where Pollitt defended conscientious objectors on socialist grounds, disputing with Tochatti, who alternatively favoured folded arms and shooting the officers. Sometimes they had first-hand news from Russia by someone returning from there.


Vander Hout was a Dutch tailor, speaker on socialism, and member of the Hackney branch SL; newspaper references to names very similar to his (VanderHout, Banderhout, etc.) would seem to indicate that he was active in East-End left radical politics from the late '70s, and probably a member of the Labour Emancipation League. A letter from him in the AIISH archives gives a working-class Amsterdam address, 97 Waterlooplein. He may also be the same person as I.S. Vanderhout, who played an important part in the First International in Amsterdam; the Dutch were first represented at the Hague Conference in 1872. See also footnote [150].

WALKER, EMERY 1851-1933

An engraver and pioneer in typography and book design, Walker founded a company of engravers and art photographers in 1886, after many years of work in an etching firm. Three years earlier he had met his Hammersmith neighbour William Morris, and together they undertook typographical experiments, on the basis of which Morris founded the Kelmscott Press in 1891. Walker also joined Morris in working for the SPAB, the inauguration of the influential Arts and Crafts Exhibition Society in 1888, and in the Hammersmith Branch of the Socialist Democratic Federation and Socialist League, for which he served as secretary for several years, and organised the Sunday evening lectures. After Morris's death Walker founded the Doves Press in 1900 with T. Cobden-Sanderson, and co-managed it until 1909. His ideas for improved book design for ordinary as well as limited editions had a substantial effect on later British book production.


A member of the Wardle family of dyers in Leek, he joined Morris and Co. as draughtsman and bookkeeper in 1866, and on Warrington Taylor's death in 1870 became manager. In 1861 George Wardle married Madeleine Smith, who had been acquitted in Scotland after a trial for the murder of a former lover, and they had two sons. George Wardle was also brother-in-law to Thomas Wardle, founder of the Wardle and Co. silkworks, with whom Morris co-operated from 1875 in the development of vegetable dyes. Both George and Thomas Wardle were members of the SPAB, and George Wardle had been designated as their emissary to investigate restorations at St Mark's in Venice. Morris instituted a form of profit-sharing into the firm's structure, and in 1886 he estimated that in the preceding year he had made £1,800, and as the Queen Square store manager George Wardle had made £1,200. Morris biographers frequently confuse George and Thomas Wardle, and to compound the difficulty confuse each of these in turn with Thomas E. Wardle, a cabinetmaker and active member of the Socialist League, and George J. Wardle, a labour poet, editor of the Railway Reviewer, and member of the ILP. By contrast, May Morris describes this George Wardle as 'a man who stood aloof from politics and watched all enthusiasms with equanimity' (introduction, CW, vol. XVI p.xi), and a long 1898 letter from Wardle to Sidney Cockerell giving his memories of Morris's political activities (reprinted in AWS, vol. II pp.602-606) confirms this. Wardle states that he was unsympathetic to politics and 'was obliged to discourage Morris from talking politics all day, which he gladly would have done, at that time'. Although Wardle worked daily with Morris for many years, he notes dourly that he 'never had the disposition for the part of Boswell', and that 'a man's published work is the only part of him that the public ought to know'. May Morris comments on Wardle's 'beautiful drawings of the screens in Norfolk churches in the Victoria and Albert Museum', and states that after several years of living abroad for reasons of health, he died in 191O (A WS, xvii). His widow moved to the United States, remarried, and died in poverty in 1928 (Mary Hartman, Victorian Murderesses, New York 1977, p.83).


Warren was an archaeologist, police commissioner noted for severity, and British military commander. After publishing three books on his excavations in Jerusalem, and serving in several British imperialist campaigns (the Kaffir War, 1878, the Egyptian campaign of 1882, Arabia and Bechuanaland, 1884-85, and Suakim, 1886), Warren was elected Commissioner of the London Metropolitan Police in 1886. He was responsible for the police suppression at Trafalgar Square in November 1887, which caused more than 100 casualties and two deaths among members of the crowd. Methods assumed abroad apparently seemed harsh at home, and complaints of his severity may have contributed to his resignation from office in 1888 in a dispute with the Home Secretary over police autonomy. In News from Nowhere, Morris's portrayal of a reactionary general is based on Warren. From 1889-1900 he served as a British military commander in China and South Africa, and after returning to England in 1900, he devoted his time to working with the Boy Scouts and writing on archaeological and religious subjects.


An early and lifelong member of the SDF, J. Hunter Watts became SDF treasurer when Morris's group seceded to form the SL in 1885, and he participated in the 8 February 1886 procession of the unemployed to Hyde Park. His friend H. Lee described him as an ardent campaigner for the SDF, but personally fond of Morris:

Though a great admirer of William Morris, Watts remained with the SDF at the split of 1884, but his friendship for William Morris made him a little more kindly disposed towards the Socialist League than some of us liked! ... No one could have been animated with greater missionary zeal for the socialist cause... I have known him to go out alone into some poverty stricken East End district of London, and with a flag and a box break new ground and hold a meeting in the open air if he could keep a dozen or so people around him. (Social Democracy in Britain, London 1935, pp.85-86)

On a tour in the fall of 1888 Morris stayed with Watts in Manchester, describing Watts in a letter to his daughter as 'a very good fellow' (Letters, p.303). His article, 'Growing Respectable', appeared in the Commonweal of 30 March 1889. In 1895 Watts became a member of the newly organised executive council of the SDF, in 1906 he strongly opposed a movement to affiliate with the ILP (Tsuzuki, Hyndman and British Socialism, p.163); he remained with the party when in 1912 it became the British Socialist Party, and in 1916 he followed Hyndman into its pro-war offshoot, the National Socialist Party. Watts was an early advocate of Socialist Sunday Schools, and in 1904 wrote State Maintenance for School Children; in later life he spoke against toleration of syndicalists within the BSP (Tsuzuki, pp.132-33). His account was one of several included in Why I Became a Socialist, a collection of reminiscences by early Socialist pioneers published by the Twentieth Century Press, n.d.


A solicitor, literary critic, minor author and friend of authors, Theodore Watts was the son of a solicitor who attended Cambridge and practised law for a period in London. There he became the legal counsellor and friend of the poet and painter D.G. Rossetti, and later of the poet A.C. Swinburne, whom he cared for from 1879 until Swinburne's death in 1909. As literary critic for the Examiner after 1874, and of the Athenaeum from 1876 to the end of the century, he encouraged many younger authors. In 1897 and 1898 he published a book of poems and a novel based in part on his pre-Raphaelite associates, Aylwin, and a second novel appeared posthumously. He added his mother's surname 'Dunton' in 1896. Watts-Dunton effusively but shallowly praised Morris in the two chapters devoted to him in his posthumous memoirs, Old Familiar Faces (1916).


A lifelong friend and co-worker of Morris, versatile and active designer for Morris and Co., and prominent Victorian architect, Webb was born and reared in Oxford, and met Morris while both worked in the office of the Oxford architect G.B. Street. A founding member of the Firm in 1861, he drew animals, birds, and traceries and designed stained glass, embroidery, tiles, metal work, candlesticks, jewellery, furniture, wall decorations and tapestries. Webb's memories of the Firm's early days stress its communal features:

The best of those times was that there was no covetousness; all went into common stock - and then, we were such boys. (W.R. Lethaby, Philip Webb and His Work, Oxford 1935, p.62)

In the 1870s Webb designed a cover for Morris's Sigurd the Volsung. His first architectural commission was the building of Red House for Morris in 1859, and during his life he built 50 or 60 homes and one church, supervising all the details of construction. Webb joined Morris in founding and working for the Society for the Protection of Ancient Buildings, developing a method for cleaning out loose core materials to strengthen decaying walls. Webb and Morris shared an early interest in Ruskin and the Gothic revival, and both respected decorative art of other countries as well as traditional British architecture; they also loved arduous and detailed work, in almost any media, as well as the natural qualities of building materials and the Oxford and English countryside, and they shared a vigorous hatred of the commercial greed of the Industrial Revolution. Webb never married; his letters in the Victoria and Albert Museum to William and Jane Morris reveal deep affection for both. His biographer, W.R. Lethaby, barely mentions his socialism, but some of his comments on industrialism in 1901 suggest some of the views he shared with Morris:

By the herding of labouring men like herrings in a barrel it had been found out that a class of rich people could be produced whose greed could grasp more than 'the dreams of avarice' had forecast. Well, is there any sign in this new-born century that the greed-god is about to be knocked off its pedestal? (Lethaby, p.11)

Webb designed Morris's coped gravestone, saying, 'It will be a roof for the old man' (Lethaby, p.130), and remarked of his death, 'My coat feels thinner... He is not dead after all... But one would think I had lost a buttress' (Lethaby, p.195). In 1900 Webb retired to a cottage in Sussex, but designed two cottages at Kelmscott Manor for his old friend Jane Morris, with whom he corresponded until her death. See also footnote [87].


An unskilled labourer who had been raised in a succession of workhouses, Williams joined the Rose Street Club and Irish Land League, helped Hyndman in establishing the DF and later the SDF, became a member of its first Executive Committee, and for almost 30 years was a constant organiser of meetings of the unemployed. In 1885 he was arrested at Dod Street and imprisoned for one month, and as an unsuccessful SDF candidate at Hampstead he polled only 27 votes. He was arrested in a demonstration of the unemployed in February 1886, and at Bell Street in April 1887; he founded the National Federation of Labour along with John Ward, in 1889 helped organise a strike at a torpedo factory in Chiswick, and in the early I 890s conducted mass protest meetings against unemployment on Tower Hill. In 1895 he was still a member of the reorganised SDF executive, and in 1906 as an SDF candidate for parliament in Northampton he polled 2,544 votes. In 1912 he retired on a small pension. His recollections are reprinted in How I Became a Socialist (Twentieth Century Press, n.d.)


A surgeon's daughter, she attended Merton Hall, Cambridge briefly in 1873- 74, married a London stockbroker Arthur Wilson in 1876, settled in Hampstead, and later bought a farmhouse near the Heath. In 1884 she joined the Fabians and founded a study society to read the works of continental socialists. She published a series of articles on anarchism, in Justice (1884), The Anarchist (1885), the Practical Socialist, and Fabian Tracts (1886); three of these have been recently reprinted by Cienfuegos Press (1979, biographical introduction by Nicolas Walter). Charlotte Wilson's 'anarchism' seems a rather abstract mixture of moral idealism, individualism, and collectivism:

Anarchists believe that the solution of the social problem can only be wrought out from equal consideration of the whole of the experience at our command, individual as well as social, internal as well as external. (Walter, p. I)

In several features her essays resemble those of Morris during the period: their holism about social revolution, attack on vaguely defined 'Monopoly', and emphasis on the satisfactions appropriate to work and art:

When each person directs his own life, then, and then only, he throws his whole soul into the work he has chosen, and makes it the expression of his intensest purpose and desire, then, and then only, labour becomes a pleasure, and its produce a work of art. (Walter, p.23)

What seems her one concrete suggestion for action, 'the direct seizure by the workers ofthe means of production' (Walter, p.22) also resembles Morris's most frequently reiterated suggestion during this period, that of a general strike. Since they frequently spoke at the same meetings during this period, influence or cross-influence is conceivable, though Morris seems to have recorded no favorable responses. At a socialist conference in 1886 Wilson seconded an anti-parliamentary amendment by Morris and in the same year she joined with the recently-arrived Kropotkin to found Freedom. She left the Fabians in 1888 and, with some pauses for ill-health, continued to work with Freedom until 1901 (source: N. Walter). She returned to the Fabians to work for women's suffrage, forming a Fabian Woman's Group in 1908, after World War One was honorary secretary of a prisoner-of-war fund for a British regiment, and after her husband's death emigrated to the US. No one seems to have recorded further memories of her personal sayings or actions, or perhaps even to have understood her. A stockholder's wife devoted to the abolition of arbitrary law and property distinctions, the only upper-middle class woman to propagate revolutionary anarchism in Britain during the 1880s, yet neither herself a labourer nor comfortable with working people, Charlotte Wilson seems to have remained at the margin of movements she ardently supported. See also footnotes [61] and [106].