Petition to Save Bradlaugh Hall now On-Line!

At last night’s Talk presented by Chris Pounds to the Brixworth History Society the petition to Save the Bradlaugh Hall in Lahore was relaunched with a new on-line petition.

Please visit

and sign the petition.

Also please circulate it to as many people as possible.

Thank you

Parliamentary Oath Research

Charles Bradlaugh is made famous in part by his court cases with Parliament (Bradlaugh v Clarke (1883) 8 App. Cas. 354) over the Parliamentary Oath.

The Society is keen to research the actual arguments put forward by Charles Bradlaugh, which on first look seem to be around the sovereignty of the people outweighs the legislation of Parliament.

To further this research a representative of the Society will be attending a British Constitution meeting on 19 November 2016 in order to engage with a suitably knowledgeable person who may be able to shed light on whether Bradlaugh and the people of Northampton were unjustly treated by his expulsion from the House, despite the limitations of the Parliamentary Oaths Act 1866.

If you are interested in joining our Chair on Saturday 19 November travelling down to Winchester to arrive for 10:30am then please use the contact page to make yourself known. The British Constitution meeting is charging £10 in advance for entry.

Space is limited.

Talk on Bradlaugh Tomorrow

Rather short notice, however we are pleased that Chris Pounds will be giving his excellent talk on:

‘Charles Bradlaugh: The Member for Northampton and India.’

again to Brixworth History Society at the Village Hall, Holcott Road, Brixworth.

Village Hall website :

The Hall is situated on the Holcot Road, near the village centre.

Click here for MAP.

The talk commences at 7:30pm

All Welcome.


Speech by Philippe Besson





Citizens, Friends, Fellows and Comrades, as we say in France.

It’s a great honour and a real pleasure to be with you today, here in Abington square in the heart of Northampton, a working class town.

On behalf of the French National Federation of Freethought, la Libre Pensée, we have to pay tribute to the great Charles Bradlaugh for 3 reasons at least.

As you know, Charles Bradlaugh was a radical republican Member of Parliament for this Northampton constituency. For many years during the Napoleon III‘s Empire, the word Republican forbidden in France was replaced by radical. Bradlaugh, fluent in French, was in strong connection with French political exiles in Britain as Louis Blanc, or Elisee Reclus geographer and anarchist.

As it has been told during the lecture, Charles Bradlaugh was a Mason. Initiated in the Order of Memphis in 1859, he joined the High Cross Lodge of the United Grand Lodge of England which he resigned in 1874 due to the election of Prince of Wales as Grand Master. Soon after Bradlaugh was affiliated in the Lodge Union & Perseverance, Grand Orient of France in Paris..

But last but least, Charles Bradlaugh, a Freethinker, founded in 1866 the National Secular Society here in Britain, the sister organization of la Libre Pensée. I’m deeply glad to salute its chairman, Terry Sanderson standing here in front of this statue.

Soon after that, Bradlaugh was the cornerstone of the founding of the first International Association of Freethought in Brussels, in 1880, along with men as Karl Liebknecht, the German revolutionary, Cesar de Paepe a leader of the Belgian Labour Party, and Ferdinand Buisson future founding father of the 1905 Law of Separation of Church & State in France.

His daughter Hypatia Bradlaugh, and mainly his grandson Charles Bradlaugh-Bonner, both leaders of the NSS, were also deeply involved in the international Freethought movement from an International Congress in London in 1938 to his death in 1966.

The World Union of Freethinkers suffered both World War II and the Cold War, and we deeply agree to this statement made in 1952 by Frank Ridley, then Chairman of the NSS : “Freethought has no fought Rome and Ancient Regimes for centuries to surrender today in front of Franco or Staline”

After decades of division or isolation, the strong efforts of leaders of both NSS and la Libre Pebnsée gave the opportunity to launch a new International Association of Freethought in a congress held in Oslo in August 2011, where our longtime friend Keith Porteus Wood present today was elected as one of the international spokespersons.

To conclude, we are optimistic in the real and worldwide need for full Freedom of Conscience by a strict Separation of Church & State.

We’re optimistic when we saw the result of Irish Referendum on marriage for all in deeply catholic ruled country…

We are optimistic when we saw 20.000 citizens shouting out in the streets of London “Make the Pope pay!” and so on…

So we will organize in September 2017 in Paris the 7th World Congress of Freethought to continue to organize these struggles. You are all invited.

Warmful thanks and congratulations to the Charles Bradlaugh Society for this memorable day.

Thanks for your welcome.


Philippe Besson

Libre Pensee

Thank you to all those that made the journey to yesterday’s very enjoyable 15th commemoration of Charles Bradlaugh, MP for Northampton.

15th Annual Commemoration

15th Annual Commemoration

In particular visitors representing the International Association of Free Thought made the journey from Clermont Ferrand in France.

Philippe Besson representing the International Association of Free Thought

Philippe Besson representing the International Association of Free Thought

Philippe extended an invitation to everyone to join him and his wife in Paris next year for the IAFT Conference which we are pleased to accept and hope to send a representative from the Society.

Philippe Besson

Philippe Besson

Terry Sanderson and Keith Porteous Wood represented the National Secular Society of which Bradlaugh was the first President and is celebrating its 150th Anniversary this year with the unveiling of a bust of Charles Bradlaugh in Parliament on 2 November 2016 and again the CBS has been invited to send a representative which we will be pleased to accept.

Terry Sanderson representing the National Secular Society

Terry Sanderson representing the National Secular Society

The Bradlaugh Talk on the India Connection is reported in ‘Petition’.

The last mention goes out to the loveliest Labrador we’ve ever had attend the commemoration.

Loveliest Labrador ever to attend

Loveliest Labrador ever to attend

5 Days To Go

Just 5 days to go until the 15th Annual Commemoration on Sunday 25th September.

We hope to meet as many Friends of the Society as possible and everyone is welcome.

The weather forecast is looking bright and sunny….(famous last words)

1pm Bradlaugh Talk at the  Northampton Museum and Art Gallery, Guildhall Road, Northampton, NN1 1DP

2pm Bradlaugh Walk meeting at Bradlaugh’s portrait on the top floor of the museum at 2pm and arriving at the statue for 3pm.

3pm Bradlaugh Commemoration at his statue in Abington Square, Northampton.

Let’s make this Bradlaugh Day the best yet!!

Bradlaugh in Parliament

Bradlaugh in Parliament


International Association of Freethought (IAF-AILP)

We are pleased to welcome Philippe Besson from the International Association of Free Thought who will be attending and speaking at this year’s commemoration on 25th September.


International Association of Free Thought

International Association of Free Thought


Established in 2011 the aims of the IAFT are:

A website has been opened and 3 initial international campaigns have been decided:

  • For separation of religious institutions and states in all countries, on all continents
  • An international commission of inquiry on public financing of religious institutions
  • For exposure and denunciation of the crimes committed by priests

We urge all atheists and freethinkers and their organizations to join forces with the new International Association of Freethought to fight together for freedom of conscience and separation of religious institutions and states.

Welcome Philippe

Petition to ‘Save Bradlaugh Hall’

CBS launch petition to Save Bradlaugh Hall in Lahore.

The CBS has produced three new documents which we are pleased to make public today relating to Charles Bradlaugh’s connection to India in preparation of this year’s annual Bradlaugh Talk to be held at 1pm on 25th September 2016 at Northampton Museum and Art Gallery.

All Welcome.

Bradlaugh Hall Memorial Stone

Bradlaugh Hall Memorial Stone

Please download and circulate these three documents and petition to save Bradlaugh Hall.


How to find the Museum and Art Gallery (MAP).

2016 Poster

The poster for this year’s commemoration is now out. Please circulate as widely as possible.

We look forward to seeing as many friends again this year.

All Welcome.

2016 Commemoration Poster

2016 Commemoration Poster

MP’s Support Save Bradlaugh Hall

The Society’s Secretary, Chris Pounds,  travelled to Parliament in June for a meeting with Michael Ellis and David Mackintosh, Northampton’s two MP’s.

Discussions on how Michael and David can help support the campaign to save the Bradlaugh Hall in Lahore were very positive and both agreed to contact the Governor of the Punjab. Several other approaches were identified and we hope to bring you more information about these as they bear fruit.



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