After the failure of the main Owenite Rational Society in 1846, Holyoake attempted to rally the remnants of the movement with the help of Southwell, Cooper and other infidel lecturers. The venture was not very successful. One gets the impression that many local radicals were weary of failure and disillusioned with both Chartism and socialism. Such revival of interest as there was went almost entirely to the Chartists. Holyoake’s ‘Society for the Promulgation of Naturalism’ or ‘Society of Theological Utilitarians’, which he tried to push through the Reasoner in 1846, made little impression outside London, where a headquarters was established at the City Road Hall of Science. The Theological Utilitarians were no more than a remnant, and the circulation of the Reasoner was scarcely a thousand, but they were faithful to their heritage: on 30 January 1848 the Utilitarian Society organised a Thomas Paine birthday tea party at the Hall of Science; and on the same day in South London, Southwell was organising a similar party, to be followed by a lecture and discussion on the immortal Paine.1
KeywordsBirth Control Local Society City Road Cash Dividend Secular Society
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- 2.For a description of a meeting at Goldsmith’s Row, see C.M.Davies, Heterodox London, 2 vols (1874, reprinted 1969) vol. I, pp. 351-63, partly reproduced inE.Royle,Radical Politics, pp. 119-20.Google Scholar