Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Hatcham Liberal Club 1891: New Cross Meeting for Jailed Union Leader

From the Evening Express, 9 April 1891, a report of a public meeting held at the Hatcham Liberal Club, New Cross Road in support of Joseph Havelock Wilson (1859-1929), secretary of the Seamen and Firemen's Union. J H Wilson had been nominated as the Liberal parliamentary candidate for Deptford, but was unable to attend this meeting as he had been jailed for "unlawful assembly" after being arrested during a strike in Cardiff. The meeting was presided  over by Dr Richard M. Pankhurst, the Liberal Candidate for Rotherhithe (he was unsuccessful), founder of the Women's Franchise League with his wife Emmeline Pankhurst and father of suffragist militants Christabel and Sylvia. Richard Haldane MP, also there, was a Liberal then an Labour politician and one of the founders, with the Webbs, of the London School of Economics. Edward Grey MP was Liberal foreign secretary at the start of the First World War.

After release from prison, Wilson transferred his candidacy to Middlesborough where he was elected as an independent labour MP in 1892, though he later became a Liberal MP. 

(the Hatcham Liberal Club at this time was at Portland House, 202 New Cross Road, which I believe was more or less opposite what is now New Cross Gate station. Not sure when it moved to its later location on Queens Road)

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