Charles Bradlaugh

Picture of Charles Bradlaugh

Date of Birth: 09/26/1833

Age: 57

Place of birth: East End

Citizenship: United Kingdom


Political activist and one of the most famous English atheists in the XIX century, Charles Bredlaf, born September 26, 1833 in Hoxton, London`s East End. Charles was the son of an assistant solicitor (lawyer leading the case in the county court). At the age of eleven years, Charles left school and began working in the legal profession messenger. When he was a clerk and cashier at the merchant collier.

After some time, Charles Bredlaf was an intern at the teacher`s position in the Sunday school. In one of his sermons began to confuse the differences between the "Thirty-Nine Articles of the Anglican Church" and the Bible. When he expressed his concern to the local parish priest, John Graham Packer, who accused him of atheism, he banned him from teaching and expelled from school. The family Bredlaf back too could not. Hoping to serve in India, it is recorded as a soldier in the "Seventh dragoon guards." Instead, he was sent to Dublin, Ireland, where he served for three years, after which in 1853, resigns.

Even before the service in the army, Charles Bredlaf met with George Holyoke, who organized the Charles first public lecture as an atheist. In 17 years Bredlaf published his first pamphlet - "A few words about the Christian faith." Demobilized in 1853, convinced freethinker, Bredlaf returned to London. There he begins to argue and write about the "secular" ideas under the pseudonym of "Iconoclast". Gradually, he achieves a significant place in the ranks of the liberal and radical political groups. Since 1858, he became president of the London high society.

In 1860 Bredlaf becomes editor of the secularist, "The National Reformer," and in 1866 became one of the founders of the National Secular Society. It becomes his assistant right activist Annie Besant, which Bredlaf had a pretty close relationship. In 1868 Bredlaf was prosecuted for blasphemy and sedition. In the end, he was acquitted of all charges, but the courts and in the press continued fierce debate on the subject. Ten years later, with Besant Bredlaf reissue booklet Charles Knowlton "Fruits of Philosophy". In 1877, they again brought to trial, and as a result, they were sentenced to heavy fines and six months in prison.

Charles Bredlaf was a supporter of trade unions of the republic and fought for women`s right to participate in elections. In 1880 he was elected to Parliament in Northampton, whose members must take an oath of fidelity to the Church. Since Bredlaf was an atheist, he is deprived of this right, thus his seat in parliament left empty. He tried to take his place, but the result was only arrested and imprisoned. For he was re-elected to parliament next elections, and with the help of the support of William Gladstone and George Bernard Shaw, as well as hundreds of thousands of people who signed a public petition, received the same place.

Charles Bredlaf died January 30, 1891. At his funeral attended by 3,000 mourners, including the spiritual leader of India`s Mohandas Gandhi. Bredlafa buried in the cemetery of Brookwood.