Holyoake, George

BORN 13 Apr 1817, Birmingham, West Midlands - DIED 22 Jan 1906, Brighton, East Sussex
BIRTH NAME Holyoake, George Jacob
GRAVE LOCATION London: Highgate Cemetery East, Swain's Lane, Highgate

George Holyoake was the last person in Great Britain to be imprisoned for atheism. He was a follower of the socialist Robert Owen gave lectures and started a day school for children.

After Charles Southwell was imprisoned, he took over as editor of Oracle of Reason, a journal that wasn't too positive on Christianity. In August 1842 he was sentenced to six months in prison as well. After his release he published the journals The Movement and The Reasoner, the latter selling very well.

Holyoake travelled twice to the USA and Canada to convince the authorities that the should publish guidebooks for immigrants. His autobiography "Sixty Years of an Agitator's Life" was published in 1892.


The grave of George Holyoake at Highgate Cemetery East, London.
Picture by Androom (26 Mar 1996)


• Culbertson, Judi & Tom Randall, Permanent Londoners, Robson Books, London, 1991

Holz, Arno

Published: 01 Jan 2006
Last update: 30 Mar 2024