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Attwood in the Spectator: lead sent by Nicolas Jouault

February 8, 2014

We thank Nicolas Jouault who commented on About Thomas Attwood – biodata, adding that the Spectator archive has a letter written by him in 1839 from St Helier, Jersey and three items are reproduced below. Some hyper-links have been added for those who wish to read on.

spectator archive header

27 SEPTEMBER 1845, page 2

spectator archive attwood joke

11 JUNE 1859, Page 9

attwood statue john thomasA statue to the late Mr. Thomas Attwood was formally inaugurated at Birmingham, on Wednesday. The statue, which is nine feet four inches in height, is carved in Sicilian marble. It is the production of Mr. John Thomas, and is very simple, broad, and effective in its treatment. The artist has discarded all conventionalities of costume, and has represented Mr. Attwood in a loose surtout with a fur collar. The political orator is in the act of addressing a Newhall Hill meeting. The right hand is out-stretched, and in the left is placed a scroll, the end of which rests upon a bundle of sticks tightly bound together, and symbolical of the truth so often illustrated in the career of Mr. Attwood, that ” union is strength.”

John Thomas was born in Chalford, Gloucestershire. Apprenticed to a stonemason after being left an orphan, he later went to Birmingham where his elder brother William Thomas (architect) was an architect. He was noticed by Charles Barry who immediately employed John Thomas as a stone and wood carver on Birmingham Grammar School (now demolished)

21 DECEMBER 1839, Page 7

Mr. Thomas Attwood’s resignation of his seat in the House of Commons, is formally announced in a long letter to “the electors and inhabitants of the borough” (of Birmingham) published in the Birmingham Journal this morning. Mr. Attwood deals with many important questions, foreign and domestic, and especially his favourite currency crotchet. Inability to effect changes which he deems essential to the welfare of his country is the cause assigned for his retirement:

” For seven years I have toiled on under the influence of the righteous hope that I might probably be of service in assisting to restore real and permanent prosperity to the industrious classes, and real and solid liberty to the people. All my hopes have been disappointed. I have found it latterly impossible to do any good to my country by honest means, either within the walls of Parliament or without the walls of Parliament.”

28 DECEMBER 1839, Page 3

The Internet Archive is a 501(c)(3) non-profit that was founded to build an Internet library. Its purposes include offering permanent access for researchers, historians, scholars, people with disabilities, and the general public to historical collections that exist in digital format.


More information: Pete Millington Attwood bio, a downloadable book about the life of Thomas Attwood by C.M Wakefield


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