Joseph Rayner Stephens

Stephens, Joseph Rayner


Born Mar. 8, 1805, in Edinburgh; died Feb. 18, 1879, in Stalybridge, Cheshire. British Methodist preacher.

Stephens became widely known for speaking in support of workers and for his attacks against the “new poor law” of 1834. For a time, he was an adherent of Chartism. In December 1838 he was arrested for agitating in support of the People’s Charter and for urging armed revolt. He was freed in 1840. In the early 1850’s he abandoned political activity.


Cole, G. D. H. Chartist Portraits. London, 1941.
References in periodicals archive ?
fuses religion and reform, and indirectly supports political change through her praise of the reformer Joseph Rayner Stephens (1805-1879).
s "On Joseph Rayner Stephens," Jones's poem is class-inflected; in his poem, the working class "have God and nature still," while the upper classes have naught but "Gold and Hell" (103-4).
In contrast to "On Joseph Rayner Stephens," "Spring Reflections" draws upon the power of the female poet, rather than gestures to a male "saviour.