Adrian Desmond

Published On


Page Range

pp. 309–320


  • English

Print Length

12 pages

15. Martyrs, Churches and Vestries

  • Adrian Desmond (author)
Saull’s more positive public persona was achieved by his committee work for the repatriation of the transported Dorchester farm labourers, the ‘Tolpuddle Martyrs’. In this he acted as radical M.P. Thomas Wakley’s deputy, and he was, as with so many causes, the committee’s treasurer—his City merchant status being the guarantor of his trustworthiness. We look at the differing perceptions of the committee according to the political slant of the reportage. The radicalism of the City of London allowed the merchant Saull great latitude. Other examples of his treasurer’s roles and his City campaigning for Parliamentary reform, his vestry resistance to tithes and church rates, and his radical and republican activities in Aldersgate ward, are examined.


Adrian Desmond


Adrian Desmond was educated at University College London and Harvard University, where he was Stephen Jay Gould's first history of science PhD student. He has two MSc's, one in history of science, another in vertebrate palaeontology, and a PhD for his work on radical Victorian evolutionists. For twenty years he was an Honorary Research Fellow at University College London. He is the multi-award-winning author of nine books, which include: The Hot-Blooded Dinosaurs, Archetypes and Ancestors: Palaeontology in Victorian London 1850-1875, The Politics of Evolution: Morphology, Medicine, and Reform in Radical London, Darwin, Huxley: The Devil’s Disciple, Huxley: Evolution’s High Priest, Darwin’s Sacred Cause (with James Moore)