Joseph Sturge VI

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Joseph Sturge, VI

Birthplace: Frenchay, Elberton, Gloucestershire, United Kingdom
Death: May 14, 1859 (65)
Birmingham, Warwickshire, United Kingdom (unknown)
Place of Burial: buried in 1859 at the Bull Street Meeting House. He now rests at Lodge Hill cemetery, Selly Oak.
Immediate Family:

Son of Joseph Sturge, V and Mary Sturge (Marshall)
Husband of Eliza Sturge (Cropper) and Hannah Sturge (Dickenson)
Father of Joseph Sturge; Sophia (Sturge); Priscilla Albright (Sturge); Eliza (Sturge) and Hannah (Sturge)
Brother of Mary Gilpin (Sturge); Priscilla Southall (Sturge); Rebecca (Sturge); Thomas Marshall Sturge; Henry Sturge and 5 others
Half brother of Charles Sturge

Occupation: Quaker & emancipator , Activist & Philanthoper
Managed by: Private User
Last Updated:

About Joseph Sturge VI


SURNAME: Sturge..... GIVEN NAMES: Joseph VI .......*SEX: M

BIRTH: 2 AUG 1793 Elberton, Gloucestershire, England

DEATH: 14 MAY 1859 , Birmingham, Warwickshire, England.. age (65)

•FATHER: Joseph STURGE V (1752-1817)

•MOTHER:Mary MARSHALL (1762-1819)

OCCUPATION: Quaker & emancipator , Activist & Philanthoper

MARRIAGE 1: Eliza CROPPER (1800 - 1835) age: 35

MARRIED: 29 APR 1834, Hardshaw, Lancashire, England



MARRIAGE 2: Hannah DICKENSON...(1816-1896 ) age: 80

Married: 14 Oct 1846 in Coalbrookdale, Shropshire, England


1...M...Joseph STURGE b: 6 SEP 1847 in Edgbaston, Birmingham, Warwickshire, ENG

2...F...Sophia STURGE b: 5 JAN 1849 in Edgbaston, Birmingham, Warwickshire, ENG

3...F...Priscilla STURGE b: 3 MAY 1850 in Edgbaston, Birmingham, Warwickshire, ENG

4...F...Eliza STURGE b: 3 MAY 1852 in Edgbaston, Birmingham, Warwickshire, ENG

5...F...Hannah STURGE b: 5 DEC 1854 in Edgbaston, Birmingham, Warwickshire, ENG



See TIMELINE for IGI ancestral Records

See MEDIA for information sources

  • Joseph Sturge was born 2 Aug 1793 in Old Manor House, Elberton to parents Joseph Sturge V and Mary Marshall
  • his father was a farmer of Elberton in Gloucestershire, the family belonged to the Society of Friends - (Quakers)
  • Young Joseph first became a farmer but went into business as a corn merchant, settling in Birmingham in 1822.
  • Joseph Sturge was married, in 1834 at the age of 41 in to Eliza Cropper (1800-1835),daughter of James Cropper and Mary Brindson, in Apr 1834 but she died the following year.
  • 11 years later, on 14 Oct 1846 he married Hannah Dickinson daughter of Barnard Dickinson (an Ironmonger) and Ann Darby of ,Coalbrookdale. - a village in the Ironbridge Gorge in Shropshire, England, containing a settlement of great significance in the history of iron ore smelting. This is where iron ore was first smelted by Abraham Darby using easily mined "coking coal"
  • Hannah was born on 30 Dec 1816 in Coalbrookdale and her family were also Quakers .
  • Together, Joseph and Hannah had five children: from (1847-1854 ) one son, & 4 daughters
  • ---- Joseph 1847 --- Sophia 1849 --- Priscilla 1850 -- Eliza 1852 --- Hannah.1854
  • Joseph worked unremittingly in the cause of peace, temperance, adult education and the abolition of slavery. Through it all he was a busy and hard-pressed corn merchant during particularly difficult times.
  • he became a prominent campaigner against slavery in the British West Indies, which he helped to abolish in 1837.
  • 1841 he toured the US slave states with John Greenleaf Whittier, and later campaigned for the repeal of the Corn Laws, the extension of adult suffrage, and Chartism
  • Hannah was also a philanthropist
  • . Joseph died on 14 May 1859 in Edgbaston Birmingham, Warwickshire, England aged 65.
  • Their youngest child Hannah was only 5 years old when he died.
  • He was buried the Bull Street Meeting House. He now rests at Lodge Hill cemetery, Selly Oak............
  • He had been much involved in civic affairs in Birmingham. Three years after his death, a memorial to him was unveiled before a crowd of 12,000 at Five Ways, Birmingham. Sculpted by John Thomas, it shows Sturge with his right hand resting on the Bible
  • Hannah died ....years later in ..1896 aged..80...

Joseph the Sixth 1793 - 1859

Joseph VI, born at Elberton, was the most eminent of the Sturges and many books have been written about his life of public service. His statue stands at Five Ways in Edgbaston. Strengthened by his religious faith he worked unremittingly in the cause of peace, temperance, adult education and the abolition of slavery. Through it all he was a busy and hard-pressed corn merchant during particularly difficult times.

It seems that he proposed to several young ladies, but the one who claimed the right to accept him was Eliza Cropper, the daughter of an anti-slavery colleague. To his great grief she died in childbirth a year after their marriage. Some eleven years later he married Hannah Dickinson of Coalbrookdale and they had five children (described further on.)

By now Joseph was living and working in Birmingham. The firm which he and his brother ran would have been more profitable had Joseph not declined to sell barley (the “ale corn”) for malting - just as his father at Elberton had refused to grow beans for the Bristol slave traders. He was indeed one of the early teetotallers; beer had been served for breakfast in his childhood as a matter of course, but in his work for the poor he saw the evil effects of drink. On the farm which he leased as a young man, he had watched his flock of sheep being driven away when, drawn for the militia, he would neither serve nor pay for a substitute; so now in Edgbaston he found his own goods and chattels being distrained more than once when he refused to pay church rates, and he organised other non-conformists to help to end this levy.

We envisage Joseph Sturge as being staid and venerable: a promoter of the London to Birmingham railway who withdrew from the Board because trains ran on Sundays, an objector to the building of the Town Hall as a venue for music festivals. But in his younger days he was anti-establishment, a radical, nicknamed “Quaker Chartist” in the days when Chartism seemed to imply as much as Bolshevism later. However, when public rallies for political reform got out of hand, and there were serious riots as London police, sent into Birmingham, set on the crowds, it was J.S. who restored order. Once he failed in this, and three men and a boy were condemned to death. It was enough for Joseph to speak up for them, for their sentence to be commuted to transportation.

His activities were endless. Through his Sunday Schools he gave the impetus to adult education; by donating the first playing field he pointed the way to public parks. He and his fellow abolitionists were the first to organise propaganda and fund-raising campaigns on a large scale. His personal contribution - “off his own bat” according to Lord Brougham - was that he won the freedom of 800,000 negroes, having gone to the West Indies to investigate the apprentice system which followed slavery and found it in many respects just as bad. To prove that slavery was not an economic necessity he set up a plantation in Montserrat and visited it many times. Though the venture failed for various reasons, it laid the foundation of the island’s flourishing lime juice trade.

Joseph worked with Cobden and Bright to secure the repeal of the Corn Laws which kept prices high by taxing imports. He was on good terms with his work-people, often calling on them in their homes. He established a Reformatory for destitute boys and pioneered the probation system. He was among a small deputation of Friends appointed to travel to face the Czar of Russia in an attempt to avert the Crimean War.

Only Joseph Chamberlain held as high a place as Joseph Sturge in the affections of his townspeople during his lifetime. Crowds lined the two-mile route to his funeral, and six thousand youngsters came to a Band of Hope meeting in his memory.


Quaker philanthropist and reformer, born in Elberton, Gloucestershire, SWC England, UK. A prosperous grain merchant in Birmingham, he became a prominent campaigner against slavery in the British West Indies, which he helped to abolish in 1837. In 1841 he toured the US slave states with John Greenleaf Whittier, and later campaigned for the repeal of the Corn Laws, the extension of adult suffrage, and Chartism

Read more: Joseph Sturge

There is a book published named... MEMOIRS OF JOSEPH STURGE ...available as a free Ebook ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Joseph Sturge (1793-1859): The Radical Businessman

Joseph Sturge was a Quaker and a leading campaigner in the abolition movement. He visited the Caribbean several times and worked for emancipation with African-Caribbean and English Baptists. He was born in Gloucestershire the son of a farmer. After building up a successful business in Birmingham, with his brother Charles, he began to concentrate on the causes in which he believed.

He became secretary of the Anti-Slavery Society in Birmingham in 1826. He thought the London leadership too cautious and argued for greater public agitation. "The people", he said, "must emancipate the slaves for the Government never will." In 1834, following the 1833 British Emancipation Act, Joseph Sturge sailed to the West Indies. His aim was to study the 'apprenticeship' system that replaced slavery.

He travelled extensively, talking directly to apprentices, planters and others involved. Upon his return he published his ‘Narrative of Events Since the first of August 1834' in the name of a African-Caribbean witness, referred to as 'James Williams' to protect his true identity in case of reprisals. It showed that slavery was far from abolished.

Visiting the Caribbean again in 1836, he saw that little progress had been made. Working conditions were as harsh as ever. A letter to him from a group of Jamaican abolitionists described the system as ‘iniquitous and accursed'; a system that was becoming increasingly oppressive. Whilst in Jamaica, Sturge worked with the Baptist chapels to help find a way to establish Free Villages that would provide homes beyond the control of plantation owners after full emancipation.

On his return to England, he published 'The West Indies in 1837' which outlined the cruelty and injustice of the system of apprenticeship and continued to campaign for its end. He was supported by Quaker abolitionists such as William Allen as well as Lord Brougham, who spoke favourably of his work in the House of Lords. In 1838, Joseph Sturge founded the 'Central Negro Emancipation Committee' and led a March for Justice in Birmingham. With the support mainly of Nonconformists, he headed the movement for immediate and full emancipation. As a result, emancipation was brought forward by the British Government to 1st August 1838.

Sturge's work did not end there. In 1839, he found the 'British and Foreign Anti-Slavery Society' - its objective was world-wide emancipation. The Society organized the World's first International Anti-slavery Conference, in London, in 1840. It attracted delegates from Europe, America and the Caribbean and included African-Caribbeans, women and many nonconformists.

Joseph Sturge also helped found the Peace Society and continued to work on behalf of enslaved people worldwide. In 1857, he purchased the Elberton Sugar Estate on Montserrat to grow limes and show that free labour was productive. Joseph Sturge died in 1859 but the society he founded still survives today as 'Anti-Slavery International'.

A well known Quaker leader in Birmingham who promoted civic and religious liberty, freedom to the slaves, peace, progress, temperance and education. In January and February 1854 with two other Quakers, travelled through deep snow to St Petersburg (Leningrad to Czar Nicholas) as Christian to Christian, in an attempt to avert the Crimean war. His statue stands in Burmingham.[original family tree..FTW]

A well known Quaker leader in Birmingham who promoted civic and relgious liberty, freedom to the slaves, peace, progress, temperance and education. In January and Febuary 1854 with two other Quakers, travelled through deep snow to St Petersberg (Lenningrad to Czar Nicholas) as christian to Christian, in an attempt to avert the Crimean war. His statue stands in Burmingham.


Daughter of Joseph and Hannah.....Sophia, a peace campaigner

Sturge, Sophia (1849–1936), peace campaigner, was born in Birmingham, on 5 January 1849, the second of the five children of Joseph Sturge (1793–1859), corn merchant, and his second wife, Hannah Sturge (1816–1896), daughter of Barnard Dickinson, ironmaster of Coalbrookdale, and his wife, Ann. The two families were members of the Society of Friends. Joseph Sturge was a well-known philanthropist, and Sophia was brought up in an atmosphere of strenuous piety and community service.

Occupation: Activist

Nationality: England

Executive summary: Anti-slavery activist

English philanthropist and politician, the son of a farmer in Gloucestershire. He was a member of the Society of Friends, and refused, in his business as a corn factor, to deal in grain used in the manufacture of spirits. He went to Birmingham in 1822, where he became an alderman in 1835. He was an active member of the Anti-Slavery Society, and made a tour in the West Indies, publishing on his return an account of slavery as he there saw it in The West Indies in 1837 (London, 1837). After the abolition of slavery, to which, as Lord Brougham acknowledged in the House of Lords, he had largely contributed, Sturge started and generously supported schemes for benefiting the liberated negroes. In 1841 he travelled in the United States with the poet Whittier to examine the slavery question there. On his return to England he gave his support to the Chartist movement, and in 1842 was candidate for Nottingham, but was defeated by John Walter, the proprietor of The Times. He then took up the cause of peace and arbitration, to support which he was influential in the founding of the Morning Star in 1855. The extreme narrowness of Sturge's views was shown in his opposition to the building of the Birmingham town hall on account of his conscientious objection to the performance of sacred oratorio. He died at Birmingham on the 14th of May 1859. He married, first, in 1834, Eliza, daughter of James Cropper; and, secondly, in 1846, Hannah, daughter of Barnard Dickinson.

Father: (farmer)

Wife: Eliza Cropper (m. 1834)

Wife: Hannah Dickinson (m. 1846)

Elberton is a village in South Gloucestershire, England, in the civil parish of Aust. It is just beyond Alveston and Olveston and is on a B-road that leads towards the Severn Bridge. It is mostly a farming community, with a small church St John's, and it contains a popular garage.

Elberton was the birthplace of the Quaker anti-slavery campaigner Joseph Sturge[1].


Joseph the Fifth 1752 - 1817

Joseph V lived in the parish of Olveston, farming at Elberton and at Sheepcombe. His first wife was Sarah Sargent, and he wrote that in the four years before she died they “lived together in much love, never having, I believe, evil thought or word against each other.”

In 1787, six years after her death, he married Mary, the only child of Thomas Marshall of Kingley - which was a substantial farmhouse on the Earl of Hertford’s estate. Mary was short and slender and undoubtedly attractive; those of us who have seen her beautiful wedding- dress can picture her as a bride. She had had many admirers, some of whom were mentioned in a long poem written to celebrate - or lament - her marriage. She was “a bright, capable woman, a devoted wife, fond of all outdoor pursuits - she taught her son Charles to swim - and was the “stay” of the family; to her the children looked for guidance and from her they derived their philanthropic qualities and literary taste.” Like other women in the family Mary did much to help poorer Friends.

Joseph in his turn was “a very kind husband: nothing was too good for his wife. New Leaze was a costly house and nothing was too good for it either.” This was the new home to which he retired with Mary towards the end of his life. They had had twelve children but our only glimpse of him as a father is that “he used to call his sons at four o’clock, and if on returning at six he found them still in bed he would say, “Thomas and Joseph, are you going to lie in bed all day long?””

As a farmer, we know that “he rode each Spring into Merionethshire to buy black cattle and into Dorsetshire to purchase sheep. These were fattened in the rich meadows round Olveston and sold off; those being kept through the winter were fed only on hay, roots being then not much grown for cattle. The Merionethshire cattle were very wild, and on their arrival had brass knobs screwed on the tips of their long horns to prevent their goring.”

All but one of the twelve children grew up, their combined lifespans totally 675 years. The eldest, Rebecca, never married; Mary married “a bad man” but had fifteen children. Next came Thomas Marshall, a respected wool-stapler in Olveston who later joined his brothers’ firm of corn merchants, working for them in Gloucester. He was “a large, powerfully-made man, full of information and generally popular, though having strong prejudices.” He married Hannah Enoch, and it was one of their sons, another Joseph, who emigrated and established the New Zealand Sturges with his own eight children.

Joseph VI and Charles are described later. Sophia kept house for Joseph except during his marriage; she was perhaps rather strict, as there is mention of her insisting on Greek lessons for visiting nephews supposed to be on holiday. Priscilla married Sam Southall and Lucretia became Mrs James Cadbury.

John was a chemical manufacturer in Bewdley, after an apprenticeship in London, and moved to Edgbaston to start with Edmund the firm of J. & E. Sturge. His children were Lewis and Lucy who married Colin Scott Moncrieff. John died suddenly whilst away from home and was refused Christian burial as being unbaptised. Henry was in business in Bewdley; his brother Charles bought and enlarged the Summer House for him but Henry died when only forty. His daughter married Georges Appia, a well-known French Protestant pastor. Then by his second marriage to his cousin Lydia, Henry became the grandfather of Sturge Moore the poet and George E. Moore O.M., the Cambridge philosopher.

Anna died as a baby, but the youngest, Edmund, who married Lydia Albright and became “Gentleman Sturge” of Charlbury, lived to be nearly eighty-five. His daughter Margaret married her cousin Lewis Sturge, then later the widower of her cousin Lucy, Colin Scott Moncrieff (see above.) Edmund’s son John Edmund married Jane Richardson of Newcastle-on-Tyne; their daughters Hilda, Olga (Ball) and Elfrida (Cameron) were all born in Montserrat and later lived and died in Cambridge.


The Joseph Sturge Statue

Joseph Sturge VI, the noted peace and anti-slavery campaigner and Quaker philanthropist, died at his home in Wheeley’s Road, Edgebaston, Birmingham on May 14th 1859. A most highly regarded personage, he was held in particular affection by the people of Birmingham, thousands of whom lined the route of his funeral cortege in the rain.

Following his death a group of Birmingham dignitaries met in the Town Hall in the following August under the chairmanship of the Mayor to decide on the form that a public memorial should take. It was resolved that a statue should be erected in Joseph Sturge’s memory and a committee under the chairmanship of Lord Brougham was set up to raise the necessary funds and to carry the project forward.

The London sculptor John Thomas was commissioned and the chosen site was Five Ways, on the boundary between Edgebaston and the town centre, and close to Wheeley’s Road where Joseph Sturge had lived for many years. The unveiling took place on June 4th, 1862 before a large gathering of dignitaries and admirers. A report on the event in ‘The Times’ described the monument as comprising “a central figure of Mr. Sturge, his right hand resting on a Bible, and the left extended towards a figure symbolical of Peace. A figure on the other side is typical of Charity. At the base of the statue, in front and back, are large basins for ornamental fountains, and at either side are drinking fountains. The principal figure is in Sicilian marble, the secondary groups in fine freestone. The likeness of the man is portrayed with wonderful fidelity.”


Menu..... The Joseph Sturge Statue

   also...........STATUE RE-DEDICATION


The Imperial Abolition Act of 1833 was meant to emancipate slaves throughout the British Empire by August 1, 1834. However, the Act required the freed slaves to remain bonded as apprentices to their masters for seven more years.

The anti-slavery movement of which Joseph Sturge VI was a prominent member, fought vigorously against this apprenticeship.

As part of this campaign, Joseph Sturge and three colleagues travelled to the West Indies in 1836 to witness the conditions of the apprentices. It was during his travels that he first visited Montserrat, creating a link between Montserrat and the Sturge family that would survive generations.

Joseph Sturge and his siblings were the proprietors of John & E Sturge Ltd of Wheeley, Birmingham, a firm manufacturing citric acid made from raw citrus juice. Their primary source of citrus was Sicilian lemons. However, the failure of this Sicilian crop led the Sturges back to Montserrat. In 1855, Edmund Sturge, brother of Joseph Sturge VI, purchased three adjoining estates for the cultivation of limes on the island. Montserrat limes provided the necessary Vitamin C to prevent scurvy in British Sailors thus earning them the nickname of Limeys. Edmund Sturge named the resulting plantation Olveston after the area in Gloucestershire, which the Sturges called home.

Olveston House, originally a wooden structure built on the plantations 600 acres, always housed the Montserrat Companys Managing Director


Friends' review: a religious, literary and miscellaneous journal, Volume 18

edited by Samuel Rhoads, Enoch Lewis

Those who have passed over the road leading from Bristol to Gloucester will not readily forget

the scene that breaks on their view as they gain the top of Almondsbury Hill; for there, spread

out before the eye, lies one of the finest landscapes in England, embracing an area of upwards

of a hundred square miles, and stretching in an unbroken sweep from the mouth of the Severn

to the Forest of Dean, and almost within sight of the smoke of Gloucester. Immediately below

is a large district of fertile land, locally known as the " Marsh" or " Lower Level," richly wooded,

principally with elm trees, and extending to the banks of the Severn, which appears like a

silver line in the distance. Nearer to you on the right, and lying between Aust Cliff and the

heights of Old Down, is a rich tract of country, where the edge of the mountain limestone

touches the alluvial deposit from the estuary of the Severn. Scattered along this strip of land

you can see. though in the spring almost buried in the bloom of orchards, the beautiful rural

villages of Tockington, Olveston and Elberton, the last of which was the birth-place of Joseph


In this district, or its immediate neighborhood, the family of the Sturges had been settled for

many generations, either as substantial farmers, or as yeomen cultivating their own land. The

first of the name of whom there is any distinct record was Thoma? Sturge, who lived at

Frampton Cotterell in the reign of James I. His son Joseph was the lessee of an estate at Gaunt

Earthcott, still in the same vicinity, under the corporation of Bristol, and died about the year

1669. He seems to have joined the Society of Friends almost from its first appearance. George

Fox himself had evidently labored in that part of Gloucestershire, and in his journal he records

a visit he paid to Olveston (which he writes Oldstone) on a very interesting occasion in his life ;

namely, immediately after his marriage at Bristol with Margaret Fell, the widow of Judge Fell.

"We stayed," he says, "about a week in Bristol, and then went together to Oldstone, where,

taking leave of each other in the Lord, we parted, betaking ourselves to our several services,

Margaret returning homewards to the North, and I passing on in the work of the

Lord as before." The extraordinary success which attended the ministrations of that

remarkable roan is a very noteworthy fact in the history of those tiroes. Before his death his

disciples might be counted by scores of thousands, scattered over roost parts of the kingdom.

In some instances, nearly whole neighborhoods seem to bave become converts to the new

faith. That such was tbe case in the neighborhood where the Sturges Jived, is rendered very

probable by two facts. First, that at tbe Friends' burial-place, called Hazel, distant about two

miles and a half from Olveston, 1000 burials are recorded to have taken place between 1650

and 1700, which, in such a sparsely populated district, most bave formed a large proportion of

those who died in that interval. This is confirmed by the second fact, that, when William Penn

went out to America to found tbe colony of Pennsylvania, he took with him a considerable

number of families—as mary as forty, if we may trust the local tradition—from these villages

and the adjacent country.

It is certain, at any rate, that the Sturges can trace their descent through a line of "Friends,"

going back almost, if not quite, to the origin of the Society.

Joseph, the subject of this memoir, was born on August 2, 1798, at an old bouse called the

Manor Bouse, which, both from its name and appearance, we may infer to have been at one

time a place of considerable dignity, though used now only as a farmhouse. He was the fourth

child and second son of Joseph and Mary Sturge, to whom were born twelve children, eleven of

whom lived to attain middle age. He was the sixth of the family who in succession had borne

tbe name of Joseph, the first of whom was the early disciple of George Fox, already

mentioned, who died in 1669. His father was a respectable farmer and grazier " of

intelligence," we are told, " considerably superior to men of the same class at that time." His

mother was Mary Marshall, the daughter of Thomas Marshall of Alcester, in Warwickshire. She

appears to have been a lady of a very gentle, retiring disposition, but probably all the more on

that account, as is frequently the case with women of that quiet character, exercising a strong,

abiding influence over the minds and hearts of her children.

That this descent of Joseph Sturge from a long line of Quaker ancestry was a powerful element

in the formation of his character, we cannot doubt. It is not resemblances of form and feature

merely that arc transmitted from one generation to another. But moral and intellectual

affinities are also, to a large extent, hereditary. The early history of the Friends is the record of

a lengthened martyrdom, and the traditions of the Society no doubt contribute to create and

foster a quiet but indomitable resistance to oppression, while its religious sys

tem inculcates the broadest philanthropy, irrespective of nation, class or color. At the time of

Joseph Sturge's childhood, there appears to bave been a deficiency in Friends' families of

direct religious instruction, but they were, nevertheless, pervaded by an atmosphere of

religious influence. Tenderness of conscience and obedience to the divine will were carefully

cherished. Many opinions and customs of great authority in Society at large were of little or

none within that secluded pale, and the habit of proceeding in the right line of duty, without

regard to consequences, was by precept and example earnestly and habitually enforced upon

the young. There is little, of course, to say of his early childhood, which was, no doubt, much

like that of other children. He is described as having been a "very healthy and lively infant,

whom it was a pleasure to nurse." By the favor of Providence, tbe circumstances in which the

young life began to unfold itself were kindly and propitious. His parents, possessed of modest

but sufficient means, and marked by their moderation and tranquillity of character,

"Along the cool sequestered vale of life,

Kept on tbe noiseless let or of their way."

Their home was the abode of cheerfulness and

contentment. He grew up also as one of a

numerous family of children, among whom

were several sisters, some considerably older,

and some about his own age—an inestimable

blessing to a boy. In such a secluded dis'riet

there was small need to restrain them from

roaming at will through the meadows, and

among the orchards, and over the downs, which

give so much of quiet beauty to that part of

the country. Tbey lived, therefore, we are

told, very much in the open air, and grew

rather wild, though tbe wildness was of a

harmless sort.

When he was about seven years old, Joseph went on a long visit to his grandfather Marshall,

who lived at a farm called Kinsley, near Alcester. This gentlemen had lost his wife when he was

comparatively a young man, and as Mrs. Sturge was his only child, he generally had one or

more of his grandchildren to live with him, among whom Joseph seems to have been the


He is described by his eldest brother, Thomas Sturge, who wns sometimes with him at KingIcy,

as being at this time a singularly active, enterprising boy, endowed with exuberant animal

spirits, and a most fearless temper, climbing up trees, and plunging headlong into the hedges

and underwood in pursuit of bis objects, reckless, as he himself says, about his clothing, which

often hung in tatters about him, to the great discomposure of a worthy woman who served in

the capacity of a housekeeper to his grandfather.

Two or three years before his death, he took his own children to Kingley to show them the spot

where their father had spent so much of his childhood. Out of that there grew a little incident

which strikingly illustrates the tenderness of conscience forwhich he was remarkable through

life. As he passed through the familiar scenes of his early days, amid the crowd of pensive and

tender associations that, no doubt, thronged through his mind, there wag one of a painful

nature, because connected with an act of childish wrong-doing. Walking through the village of

Wicksford, already referred to, in company with Joseph Bayzand, the present occupant of

Kingley, they came to a little public-house dignified with the name of the " Fish Inn," at the

sight of which there flashed through his memory the fact that, nearly sixty years before, he

and a 8ervan(>boy of his grandfather's had obtained from the landlady of the house change in

copper for a sixpenny-piece, which they knew to be bad. Trivial as many would be disposed to

regard such au offence, Joseph Sturge could not rest satisfied until be had made.what

atonement he could for this sin of his youth. Accordingly on his return to Birmingham he wrote

the following letter to Mr. Bayzand :—

"ESTEEMED FRIEND :—The kind attention I recfeived from thee when calling at Kingley with some of

my family the summer before last has often inclined me to write to thee a few lines on a

matter which, though it may appear a trifle, has, whenever it has passed across my memory,

caused me uneasiness. It is now, I believe, nearer sixty than fifty years ago (at the age of

about nine years, I think) 1 was guilty in conjunction with one of my grandfather's servant

boys, of defrauding the landlady of the Fish Inn at Wicksford (Mrs. Haynes) of sixpence, by

getting change in copper for a sixpenny piece, which we knew not to be a good one. How far I

was led into it by the servant boy, who was older than I, I cannot tell, but it would be a

satisfaction to me to pay two hundredfold,.say J65, to such relatives of the Mrs. Haynes we

acted so unjustly to, as, were she living, she would moot wish to assist, if thou could'st kindly

put me in the way of doing so. From the inquiry I made when with thee at Wicksford, and

which thou wilt see was not altogether dictated by curiosity, I think I understood there was no

direct descendant of Mrs. Haynes living; but if thou think'st the money can be satisfactorily

appropriated, please to let me know. But perhaps there will be no advantage in letting my

motive for giving it be known beyond thyself, though I have no strong objection to it, if it is

thought best. Hoping thou wilt excuse a stranger for giving thee so much trouble,

, "I am, very respectfully,

"Thy obliged friend,


Newspapers:   South Australian Weekly Chronicle (Adelaide, SA : 1858 - 1867)  Sat 23 Jul 1859  Page 4  DEATH OF MR. JOSEPH STURGE.

DEATH OF MR. JOSEPH STURGE. This mournful and unexpected event occurred on Saturday morning, May 7, at Mr. Sturge's residence, at Edgbaston, Birmingham. He had risen at his usual early hour, about half-past 6 o'clock, and his voice was heard cheerfully calling his children to join liim in riding out before breakfast, in accordance with their ordinary practice in fine Weather. On returning to his chamber he complained of sudden severe pain in the region of the heart, wlhich lasted about 20 minutes, when it appeared to abate, but his strength was utterly prostrated, and at about a quarter past 7 o'clock he breathed his last.

Mr. Sturge has been in feeble health for several months, but had not, found it necessary to lay aside his ordinary engagements, and was anticipating a journey to London this day, with his family, for the purpose of taking part in some of the anniversary meetings now being held in the metropolis, and of presiding, as he had consented to do, at the annual meetings of the Anti-Slavery Society and of the Peace Society, announced for this day and to-morrow.

He was born of Quaker parents, at Elberton, Glocestershire, about 10 miles from Bristol, on the 2nd of August, 1793, and was in his 66th year at the time of his death. He was the sixth member of the family bearing in direct succession the name of Joseph Sturge, which he now transmits to his son, a boy of 12 years of age.

He first established himself in business at Bewdley as a corn merchant on arriving at his maturity, and afterwards, in 1822, settled at Birmingham. Here, and at Glocester, in partnership with his brother, Alderman Charles Sturge, he continued to carry on business until his death.

In 1834 he married Eliza, daughter of Mr. James Cropper, of Liverpool, and thus became related to the extensive philanthropic family circle of which that eminent man was the centre. This union, was, how ever, of a very brief duration, and Mr. Sturge after wards, in 1846, married Hannah, daughter of Mr. Barnard Dickenson, of Coalbrooke Dale, who sur vives him, and by whom he leaves one son and four daughters. From early life he actively participated in the various philanthropic movements of the day, but specially devoted himself to the Anti-Slavery cause. The Anti-Corn-Law League in its early days was deeply indebted to Mr. Sturge. Immediately on his return from America, at the request of the Anti-Corn-Law league, he took up the subject of an extension of the suffrage, and the follow ing year contested the borough of Nottingham.

In 1840 Mr. Sturge had been solicited to stand as a candidate for Birmingham, but did not go to the poll, having been withdrawn upon an understanding that the whole Liberal party would support him at the next vacancy. In 1844, upon the death of Mr. Joshua Scholefield, he was again brought forward, but the arrangement which had been previously made was not carried out, and the result was the return of the Tory candidate,- Mr. Spooner. The following year, when all Europe was convulsed with revolutions, he attended at Brussels the first of that remarkable series of Peace Congresses which con tinued to be held annually in the principal cities of Europe until 1852, and at all of which he was present, and had a principal share in the guidance of their pro ceedings. The year 1848 was also signalized by bis interviews with the members of the Pro visional Government of France, especially Lamar tine and Arago, on the subjects of peace and slavery, resulting in the decree which abolished slavery through out the French colonies. One of the best known incidents of Mr. Sturge's public life was his visit to the Emperor of Russia in February, 1854. Accompanied by two friends — Mr. Charlton and Mr. Pease, M.P. — he formed a deputa tion from the Society of Friends to present an address of remonstrance against the w;ir solely on religious grounds.

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Joseph Sturge VI's Timeline

August 2, 1793
Elberton, Gloucestershire, United Kingdom

Joseph Sturge, "England and Wales, Non-Conformist Record Indexes (RG4-8)"
Name: Joseph Sturge
Event Type: Birth
Birth Date: 02 Aug 1793
Birthplace: Frenchay, Gloucestershire
Christening Date:
Christening Place:
Marriage Date:
Marriage Place:
Death Date:
Death Place:
Burial Date:
Burial Place:
Father's Name: Joseph Sturge
Mother's Name: Mary Sturge
Affiliate Publication Number: RG6_0435

SourcCiting this Record

"England and Wales, Non-Conformist Record Indexes (RG4-8)," index, FamilySearch ( : accessed 14 Oct 2013), Joseph Sturge, 02 Aug 1793.

September 6, 1847
Edgbaston, England
January 5, 1849
Edgbaston, England
May 3, 1850
Edgbaston, England
May 3, 1852
Edgbaston, England
December 5, 1854
Edgbaston,, Warwickshire,, England
May 14, 1859
Age 65
Birmingham, Warwickshire, United Kingdom
buried in 1859 at the Bull Street Meeting House. He now rests at Lodge Hill cemetery, Selly Oak.