Henry Richard

Last updated

Portrait of Henry Richard in 1870 Henry Richard Esq MP.jpg
Portrait of Henry Richard in 1870
Portrait of Henry Richard in 1877 Portrait of Henry Richard, M.P. for Merthyr Tydfil (4671875).jpg
Portrait of Henry Richard in 1877
Statue of Henry Richard in Tregaron by Albert Toft HenryRichardMonumentTregaron.jpg
Statue of Henry Richard in Tregaron by Albert Toft
"Peace". Caricature by Spy published in Vanity Fair in 1880 Henry Richard, Vanity Fair, 1880-09-04.jpg
"Peace". Caricature by Spy published in Vanity Fair in 1880

Rev. Henry Richard (3 April 1812 – 20 August 1888), "the Apostle of Peace", was a Congregational minister and Welsh Member of Parliament, 1868–1888. Richard is best known as an advocate of peace and international arbitration, as secretary of the Peace Society for forty years (1848–1884). His other interests included anti-slavery work.

Wales Country in northwest Europe, part of the United Kingdom

Wales is a country that is part of the United Kingdom. It is bordered by England to the east, the Irish Sea to the north and west, and the Bristol Channel to the south. It had a population in 2011 of 3,063,456 and has a total area of 20,779 km2 (8,023 sq mi). Wales has over 1,680 miles (2,700 km) of coastline and is largely mountainous with its higher peaks in the north and central areas, including Snowdon, its highest summit. The country lies within the north temperate zone and has a changeable, maritime climate.

The Peace Society, International Peace Society or London Peace Society originally known as the Society for the Promotion of Permanent and Universal Peace, was a British pacifist organization that was active from 1816 until the 1930s.

Abolitionism in the United Kingdom Movement to end slavery in the United Kingdom

Abolitionism in the United Kingdom was the movement in the late 18th and early 19th centuries to end the practice of slavery, whether formal or informal, in the United Kingdom, the British Empire and the world, including ending the Atlantic slave trade. It was part of a wider abolitionism movement in Western Europe and the Americas.


Early life

Born in 1812 in Tregaron, Ceredigion, he was the second son of the Rev. Ebenezer Richard (1781–1837), a Calvinistic Methodist minister. He was educated initially at Llangeitho grammar school, and attended Highbury College, near London, to obtain qualifications for the ministry. [1]

Tregaron town in Wales

Tregaron is an ancient market town in Ceredigion, Wales, astride the River Brenig, a tributary of the River Teifi. Tregaron is 11 miles (18 km) northeast of Lampeter. According to the 2011 Census, the population of the ward of Tregaron was 1,213 and 67% of the population could speak Welsh. Tregaron is a community.

Calvinism Protestant branch of Christianity

Calvinism is a major branch of Protestantism that follows the theological tradition and forms of Christian practice set down by John Calvin and other Reformation-era theologians.

Llangeitho village in United Kingdom

Llangeitho is a village and community in Ceredigion, Wales. It lies on the upper River Aeron, about 6 kilometres (3.7 mi) west of Tregaron and 11 kilometres (6.8 mi) north of Lampeter. The population of 874 in 2001 fell to 819 at the time of the 2011 Census.

In 1835, after ordination Richard was appointed pastor at the Congregational Marlborough Chapel, in the Old Kent Road, London. [1] Its foundation stone had been laid by Thomas Wilson in 1826. Richard succeeded the Rev. Thomas Hughes, and raised sufficient funds to pay off the chapel's building loans and establish a school (British School, Oakley Place).

Old Kent Road road in South East London, England

Old Kent Road is a major thoroughfare in South East London, England, passing through the London Borough of Southwark. It was originally part of an ancient trackway that was paved by the Romans and used by the Anglo-Saxons who named it Wæcelinga Stræt. It is now part of the A2, a major road from London to Dover. The road was important in Roman times linking London to the coast at Richborough and Dover via Canterbury. It was a route for pilgrims in the Middle Ages as portrayed in Chaucer's Canterbury Tales, when Old Kent Road was known as Kent Street. The route was used by soldiers returning from the Battle of Agincourt.

Secretary of the Peace Society

Rev. Henry Richard resigned in 1850 to devote himself full-time as secretary to the Peace Society, a post he had undertaken two years earlier on a part-time basis. He helped organize a series of congresses in the capitals of Europe, and was partly instrumental in securing the insertion of a declaration in favour of arbitration in the treaty of Paris in 1856. Through this work he became universally known in Europe and the United States until his resignation in 1885.

International Peace Congress, or International Congress of the Friends of Peace, was the name of a series of international meetings of representatives from peace societies from throughout the world held in various places in Europe from 1843 to 1853. An initial congress at London in 1843 was followed by an annual series of congresses from 1848 until 1853.

Treaty of Paris (1856) 1856 treaty

The Treaty of Paris of 1856 settled the Crimean War between the Russian Empire and an alliance of the Ottoman Empire, the British Empire, the Second French Empire and the Kingdom of Sardinia.

Early political career

During the early 1860s, Henry Richard became a leading figure in the Liberation Society, whose main aim was the disestablishment of the Anglican Church. The Society increasingly focused its attentions on Richard's native Wales and sought to contest parliamentary elections. While Richard's published writings were critical of the landed gentry's influence over political life in Wales, he did nevertheless recognize that the deferential attitudes of those who held the vote at parliamentary elections would be a barrier to any potential political breakthrough. Indeed, in Cardiganshire, levels of support for the Liberation Society (at least in terms of financial contributions) were low. [2] The lack of a political aspect to the county's nonconformity was illustrated at the 1865 general election when Richard briefly emerged as a potential Liberal candidate for Cardiganshire. [3]

The Liberation Society was an organisation in Victorian England that campaigned for disestablishment of the Church of England. It was founded in 1844 by Edward Miall as the British Anti-State Church Association and was renamed in 1853 as the Society for the Liberation of Religion from State Patronage and Control, from which the shortened common name of Liberation Society derived.

Ceredigion (UK Parliament constituency) Parliamentary constituency in the United Kingdom, 1801 onwards

Ceredigion, formerly Cardiganshire, is a constituency represented in the House of Commons of the UK Parliament. Created in 1536, the franchise expanded in the late 19th century and on the enfranchisement of women and its boundaries remained virtually unchanged until 1983. From 1536 until 1885 the area had two seats : a county constituency (Cardiganshire) comprising the rural areas, the other the borough constituency known as the Cardigan District of Boroughs comprising a few separate towns; in 1885 the latter was abolished, its towns and electors incorporated into the former, reduced to one MP. The towns which comprised the Boroughs varied slightly over this long period, but primarily consisted of Cardigan, Aberystwyth, Lampeter and Adpar, the latter now a suburb of Newcastle Emlyn across the Teifi, in Carmarthenshire.

1865 general election

The sitting member for Cardiganshire, Colonel Powell of Nanteos, had indicated some twelve months prior to the election that he would retire and Sir Thomas Lloyd of Bronwydd had been selected as the Liberal candidate. However, when Powell reversed his decision, Lloyd issued an address stating that he would not oppose the sitting member. As a result, both Richard and David Davies, Llandinam offered themselves as candidates. On his arrival in Cardiganshire, Richard immediately visited Gogerddan to seek the views of the Pryse family and, as a result announced his candidature. [4] The influence of Gogerddan was very strong in Aberystwyth and throughout the north of the county, and also particularly hostile to David Davies. Their support for Richard was influenced by their hostility towards Davies.

Sir Thomas Davies Lloyd, 1st Baronet was a British Liberal Member of Parliament, for Cardiganshire (Ceredigion) 1865–1868 and Cardigan Boroughs 1868–1874. Although he coveted a peerage and spent a fortune in pursuit of that aim, he had to be content with a baronetcy.

David Davies (industrialist) Welsh industrialist and Liberal politician, born 1818

David Davies was a Welsh industrialist and Liberal politician who sat in the House of Commons between 1874 and 1886. Davies was often known as David Davies Llandinam. He is best remembered today for founding Barry Docks.

Gogerddan mansion house and estate in Wales

Gogerddan, sometimes spelled Gogarthen, was an estate near to Trefeurig and the most important in what was then the county of Cardiganshire, Wales. Owned since at least the fifteenth century by the Pryse family, the main house, called Plas Gogerddan, still stands and is a Grade II listed building. The estate became especially wealthy from the seventeenth century on the profits from lead mining, which is when the house was constructed. The house was significantly altered in the 1860s and was sold by Sir Pryse Loveden Saunders-Pryse to University College of Wales in 1949.

A selection meeting was arranged to be held at Aberaeron, but shortly before this took place, Powell again announced his retirement. Richard's agents visited Bronwydd to ascertain Lloyd's intentions and, on understanding that Lloyd would now fight the seat after all, Richard withdrew in his favour. [4] David Davies, however, did not withdraw and in his speech accepting nomination was particularly critical of Richard's decision to withdraw. [5] Davies came within 361 votes of victory. [6]

1868 general election

In 1868 Henry Richard was elected Liberal member of parliament for the Merthyr boroughs in South Wales,

Member of Parliament

Following his election, Richard become known as one of the foremost nonconformists in the House of Commons. Here he was a leading member of the party which advocated the removal of Nonconformist grievances and the disestablishment of the church in Wales.

Chairman of the Congregational Union

In 1877 Henry Richard MP was appointed chairman of the Congregational Union of England and Wales.

Author and journalist

Among Richard's writings may be mentioned:

He also prepared some of the material for the life of his friend and associate, Richard Cobden, which was written by John Morley, later Lord Morley.

In the field of journalism he contributed to the Morning Star and the Evening Star.


Less well known for his anti-slavery work and unable to support the American Civil War as an appropriate means to end slavery, Henry Richard was nevertheless respected in this field. Indeed, a few weeks after his death, the Anti-Slavery Society, now Anti-Slavery International, published an obituary in their journal, The Anti-slavery Reporter and Aborigine's Friend

Death and memorials

The grave of Henry Richard, Abney Park Cemetery, London The grave of Henry Richard, Abney Park Cemetery, London.jpg
The grave of Henry Richard, Abney Park Cemetery, London

Richard died suddenly of heart disease on 20 August 1888 at the home of the Lord Lieutenant of Anglesey in Treborth, near Bangor. [7] His body was brought to his London residence in Bolton Gardens, South Kensington, where it lay in state until his funeral on 31 August. [8]

His imposing white stone and marble tomb in the form of a shrine with its own gabled roof, replete with his carved portrait, was erected by public subscription in 1891 over his grave at the Congregationalist model non-denominational garden cemetery, Abney Park Cemetery, Stoke Newington, London. [9] The grave lies on an eastern path not far from the southern entrance. His wife Augusta Matilda lies with him.

The equally imposing Henry Richard Memorial statue which dominates the Square at Tregaron was designed by Albert Toft and unveiled by Sir George Osborne Morgan on 18 August 1893. [10] :p30 The inscription on the plinth reads:

Born here in Tregaron, he was educated for the Christian ministry, and in 1835 he was ordained in London. In 1848 he was appointed Secretary to the Peace Society, gaining an international reputation as "The Apostle of Peace." In 1868 he became M.P. for the Merthyr constituency: and such was his concern for Welsh affairs that he became known as "the Member for Wales." He was also a prominent pioneer in education: he served on several commissions of enquiry and in 1883 he became the first vice-president of Cardiff University College.

"I have always been mindful of three things:--Not to forget the language of my country; and the people and cause of my country; and to neglect no opportunity of defending the character and promoting the interests of my country."

"My hope for the abatement of the war system lies in the permanent conviction of the people, rather than the policies of cabinets or the discussions of parliaments."

See also

Related Research Articles

Aberdare town in Wales

Aberdare is a town in the Cynon Valley area of Rhondda Cynon Taf, Wales, at the confluence of the Rivers Dare (Dâr) and Cynon. Aberdare has a population of 14,462. Aberdare is 4 miles (6 km) south-west of Merthyr Tydfil, 20 miles (32 km) north-west of Cardiff and 22 miles (35 km) east-north-east of Swansea. During the 19th century it became a thriving industrial settlement, which was also notable for the vitality of its cultural life and as an important publishing centre.

Henry Bruce, 1st Baron Aberdare British politician

Henry Austin Bruce, 1st Baron Aberdare, was a British Liberal Party politician, who served in government most notably as Home Secretary (1868–1873) and as Lord President of the Council.

Merthyr Tydfil was a parliamentary constituency centred on the town of Merthyr Tydfil in Glamorgan. From 1832 to 1868 it returned one Member of Parliament to the House of Commons of the Parliament of the United Kingdom, and in 1868 this was increased to two members. The two-member constituency was abolished for the 1918 general election.

This article is about the particular significance of the year 1852 to Wales and its people.

The office of High Sheriff of Cardiganshire was established in 1541, since when a high sheriff was appointed annually until 1974 when the office was transformed into that of High Sheriff of Dyfed as part of the creation of Dyfed from the amalgamation of Cardiganshire, Carmarthenshire and Pembrokeshire. Between the Edwardian Conquest of Wales in 1282 and the establishment of the High Sheriff of Cardiganshire, the sheriff's duties were mainly the responsibility of the coroner and the Custos Rotulorum of Cardiganshire. The office of High Sheriff remained first in precedence in the county until the reign of Edward VII when an Order in Council in 1908 gave the Lord Lieutenant of Cardiganshire the prime office under the Crown as the sovereign's personal representative.

Richard Fothergill (politician) British politician

Richard Fothergill was an English ironmaster, a coalmine-owner in Wales and a Liberal politician who sat in the House of Commons from 1868 to 1880.

Thomas Price was a leading figure in the political and religious life of Victorian Wales and minister of Calfaria Baptist Chapel, Aberdare.

The Aberdare Urban District Council was established in 1894 and covered the parish of Aberdare. Its responsibilities included public health, sanitation, roads and public works generally.

Aberdare Local Board of Health was established in 1854 in response to the 1848 Public Health Act, and a report on the sanitary condition of the town conducted by Thomas Webster Rammell. It was eventually replaced in 1894 by Aberdare Urban District Council.

Robert Joseph Davies, Cwrtmawr, Llangeitho (1839–1892) was a leading figure in the political and religious life of Cardiganshire and in the Calvinistic Methodist denomination. He was the father of John Humphreys Davies.

Kilsby Jones politician and writer

James Rhys Jones (1813–1889), usually known as Kilsby Jones, was a Welsh nonconformist minister, writer and lecturer.

Owen Harris was a Liberal politician and municipal leader in Aberdare, South Wales.

Rowland Fothergill was an ironmaster in South Wales, whose main industrial interests lay in the Aberdare district. He was high sheriff of Glamorgan in 1850.

Evan Mathew Richards politician

Evan Matthew Richards was a Welsh Liberal politician who represented Cardiganshire in the British House of Commons from 1868 until his defeat at the general election of 1874.

Edward Pryse

Colonel Edward Lewis Pryse was a British Liberal politician.

William Thomas Rowland Powell was a British Conservative politician.


  1. 1 2 Lee, Sidney, ed. (1896). "Richard, Henry"  . Dictionary of National Biography . 48. London: Smith, Elder & Co.
  2. Jones 1964, p. 26.
  3. Jones 1964, pp. 22–4.
  4. 1 2 Jones 1964, p. 24.
  5. "Cardiganshire Election". Welshman. 21 July 1865. p. 6. Retrieved 3 May 2018.
  6. Jones 1964, p. 16.
  7. "Death of Mr. Henry Richard, M.P." . Huddersfield Chronicle. 25 August 1888. Retrieved 20 December 2015 via British Newspaper Archive.
  8. "Funeral of Mr. Henry Richard" . Wrexham Advertiser. 1 September 1888. Retrieved 20 December 2015 via British Newspaper Archive.
  9. Photo of tomb at flickr
  10. Tregaron: Images of a country town Tregaron and District Historical Society & Landmark Publishing UK, 2006. ISBN   1-84306-197-X


Books and journals

Wikisource-logo.svg This article incorporates text from a publication now in the public domain : Chisholm, Hugh, ed. (1911). "Richard, Henry". Encyclopædia Britannica . 23 (11th ed.). Cambridge University Press. p. 297.

Parliament of the United Kingdom
Preceded by
Henry Bruce
Member of Parliament for Merthyr Tydfil
With: Richard Fothergill to 1880
Charles James to 1888
D. A. Thomas 1888
Succeeded by
William Pritchard Morgan
D. A. Thomas
Media offices
Preceded by
William Haly
Editor of the Morning Star
With: John Hamilton
Succeeded by
Baxter Langley