Charles Bradlaugh (1833-1891)

Charles Bradlaugh was a member of Parliament, freethinker, and atheist. The radical met Annie Besant, a freethinker as well as a feminist, and in 1877 they published Charles Knowlton's "The Fruits of Philosophy," which advocated birth control. During the famous Bradlaugh-Besant trial in 1877-78, they argued "we think it more moral to prevent conception of children than, after they are born, to murder them by want of food, air and clothing." The defendants were convicted for "obscene libel" and sentenced to six months in prison (reversed on appeal). Bradlaugh was elected to Parliament in 1880, but the MPs expelled him because - as a non-Christian - he could not take the oath of office. The freethinker repeatedly attempted to take his seat and was repeatedly arrested, even imprisoned in the Tower of London. In 1886 Bradlaugh was at last allowed to enter Parliament and remained there - opposing English imperialism - until his death. He was buried in unconsecrated ground, surrounded by 3,000 mourners.

1875 circa 5 years
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