Donate to our fundraiser

Please make a donation today and help preserve and revitalise Bradlaugh's grave.

We've launched an appeal to restore the grave of political activist, prominent parliamentarian and founder of the National Secular Society, Charles Bradlaugh.

Bradlaugh was a 19th century radical who argued for the abolition of the blasphemy law, the disestablishment of the Church of England and the end of the monarchy. He faced a prolonged struggle to enter parliament as an MP, as he was barred from taking his seat because of his atheist beliefs. He, along with Annie Besant, was also charged after publishing rudimentary information about birth control.

He died on 30 January 1891 and his funeral took place at Brookwood Cemetery, also known as the London Necropolis, on 3 February. It was a huge event attended by several thousand mourners who arrived by special trains from Waterloo on the Necropolis railway. In 1893 a monument was erected over the grave incorporating a substantial bronze bust of Bradlaugh by François Verheyden.

The monument has twice suffered theft and vandalism in 1938 and 1968 when the bust was stolen. Today the grave stands neglected and forlorn, hardly a fitting tribute to the NSS founder and one of greatest secularists and radicals to have lived. Nearby are the graves of other members of the Bradlaugh family and other eminent social reformers and birth control pioneers such as Alice Vickery and members of the Drysdale family.

Now, we plan to restore Bradlaugh to his rightful place.

Working alongside the Brookwood Cemetery Society we have commissioned the manufacture of a new replica bust and other repairs to restore the grave. An adjacent information panel will tell Bradlaugh's story to visitors to Brookwood Cemetery – a Grade 1 listed site in the Register of Historic Parks and Gardens located in the heart of Surrey.

The project is expected to cost £12,000. We are therefore launching an appeal, asking members and supporters to play their part in making sure Bradlaugh's remarkable legacy is properly recognised, and the grave fully restored.

Any contribution, however little, helps.

Donate to our fundraiser

Please make a donation today and help preserve and revitalise Bradlaugh's grave.

If you would prefer to pay by cheque, please send it to National Secular Society, Dutch House, 307-308 High Holborn, London, WC1V 7LL made payable to 'National Secular Society' and with a note indicating it's for the Bradlaugh grave restoration appeal.

Please support the NSS's campaign to restore the grave of Charles Bradlaugh - one of greatest secularists and radicals to have lived.
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