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Charles Kingsley (1819-1875) was a priest of the Church of England who supported Chartism and co-founded the Christian Socialist movement.


"[Charles] Kingsley, in common with F. D. Maurice, Thomas Hughes, and John Ruskin, was strongly influenced by the tenets of Christian Socialism, a short-lived mid-nineteenth-century movement which had as its primary aim the social and political reform of Victorian England. Its followers believed that the Church should be more socially active and pursue justice throughout society. Moreover, it should take a more forceful stand against capitalist excesses against the poor. Although known as the 'Apostle of Socialism,' Kingsley was never particularly radical and as he grew older became more and more an establishment figure. As John Saul Howson, the Dean of Chester from 1867 to 1885, remarked: 'I should have described him as a mixture of the Radical and the Tory, the aspect of character which is denoted by the latter word being, to my apprehension, quite as conspicuous as that which is denoted by the former.' In Kingsley's Christian Socialism the emphasis was generally far more on the Christian than on the Socialism. Still, he was in his youth actively socialist and a strong Chartist, supporting the 1840s working-class movement which sought parliamentary reform. Moreover, his condemnation of grave social injustice, especially of bad working conditions, pervades his sermons, lectures, tracts, and such 'social problem' novels as Yeast (1848) and Alton Locke (1850)."

—Brendan A. Rapple, "The Educational Thought of Charles Kingsley (1819-75),"

Historical Studies in Education 9:1 (Spring 1997)


The Day of the Lord


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