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Spurgeon, Arthur
1861-1938

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Born at Lakenham, Norwich in 1861, he was the son of William, a builder and original Trustee of Chapel Field Road UMC, and Sarah Spurgeon. He was a Sunday school scholar at Chapel Field Road and later became a teacher. He was also the secretary of the Improvement Society, which he later said had aroused and stimulated his literary and debating interests.

He was first employed on the Norfolk News and Eastern Daily Press newspapers. From 1885-91 he was the Managing Editor of the Lowestoft Weekly Press. In 1891 he joined the staff of the National Free Press Agency as a Special Parliamentary Representative and between 1894 and 1905 was its Managing Editor. He was appointed the General Manager of Cassells and Company in 1905 and was also a Director of Letts’ Diaries Ltd. In addition he was President of the British International Association of Journalists and Chairman of the Western Newspaper Company . His interests ranged widely. He was the founder of the London Society of East Anglians, an Alderman on Surrey County Council, a Justice of the Peace of Croydon County Bench and Chairman of Surrey Health Committee.

He remained a member of Chapel Field Road Methodist Church, Norwich all his life and gave many talks and lectures there. In July 1921 he unveiled a memorial tablet to those who died in the First World War at Chapel Field Road – his son was one of those recorded on the tablet.

He made many donations to Methodist churches and was a generous benefactor. He laid foundation stones at several Norfolk chapels and placed a brass memorial tablet in Hethersett Methodist Churc in memory of his father, a local preacher.

He died in 1938 aged 77. He left £6000 to the Committee for Methodist Church Purposes and stipulated that the interest be divided equally between the Norwich Circuit and those churches which had been in the former Norwich UMC circuit.

Publications – King Edward the Peacemaker; Literature and the Commonwealth; The Premature Cheapening of Copyright Novels; The Sinking of the ‘Volturno’

Entry written by: NV
Category: Person

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