O'Brien, James Bronterre

BORN c1805, Granard, Longford (near) - DIED 23 Dec 1864, London
GRAVE LOCATION London: Abney Park Cemetery, Stoke Newington Church Street, Stoke Newington

James O'Brien was educated at Trinity College in Dublin where he won the Science Gold Medal. He studied law at King's Inn. In 1829 he went to London to become a lawyer. There he joined the Radical Reform Association where he met Henry Hunt, William Cobbett and Henry Hethetington, who all supported universal suffrage. He wrote articles for Poor Man's Guardian under the pseudonym Bronterre (and later adapted it as his middle name).

After working as the editor of Poor Man's Guardian he started Bronterre's National Reformer. He published translations of Gracchus Babeuf and wanted to publish a book on the French Revolution. But his house was raided by the authorities and his manuscripts were seized.

Because of his activitities for the Chartist movement he was arrested in 1840 and sentenced to 18 month imprisonment in Lancaster. After his release he published newpapers and wrote for others. In 1851 he opened the Electric Institute in Denmark Street and there he taught science and mathematics. During the 1850s his health started to fail and he spent his last years in bed.


The grave of James Bronterre O'Brien at Abney Park Cemetery, London.
Picture by Androom (28 May 2004)


Obrist, Aloys

Published: 19 Apr 2014
Last update: 25 Dec 2021