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Skevington, John
1801-1851

Chartist leader, born in Nottingham. During his youth the family moved to Loughborough, where his father Joseph Skevington, was one of the founders of the PM society. At 14 he acquired fame as the 'boy preacher' in the local circuit. He was an itinerant in Halifax, Barnsley and Bradwell from 1822 to 1824, then returned to Loughborough. He severed his links with the PMs following a dispute over the Dead Lane chapel, of which he was treasurer. Shortly after this he became the organizer of the Loughborough Chartist district and represented them at the National Convention in 1839. Although he became a national Chartist leader, it is unlikely that he countenanced the use of physical force advocated by some of his fellows. He declared that 'though a man may be a Chartist and not a Christian, a man cannot be a Christian and not a Chartist.' He died on 4 January 1851.

Sources

  • The Charter, 19 May 1839
  • Sidney Y. Richardson in D.C. Dews (ed.), From Mow Cop to Peake 1807-1932 (Leeds, 1982), pp.47-58
  • Dictionary of Labour Biography

Entry written by: NADS
Category: Person

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