Page:Dictionary of National Biography. Sup. Vol III (1901).djvu/366

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Spears
Stansfeld
352

gate Hill, and in consequence left Stepney to found a Unitarian chapel at Highgate. Among other new causes due directly to his suggestion, and largely to his aid, were those at Clerkenwell, Croydon, Forest Hill, Netting Hill, and Peckham; and, outside London, there were few parts of the country where his influence was not felt among unitarians as a stimulus to propagandist work. Biblical as he was in his own theology, he was deeply interested in the monotheistic movement of the Brahmo Somaj of India, and was in close contact with its leaders from the visit (1870) to this country of the late Keshub Chunder Sen (who was his guest). On his initiative was founded (7 June 1881) the ‘Christian Conference,’ which has brought together representatives of all denominations, from Cardinal Manning to Dr. Martineau. He had travelled in France, Italy, and America, and kept up a correspondence with liberal thinkers in all parts of the world. Personally he was a man of singularly winning characteristics; his massive head was full of strong good sense and marvellous knowledge of men and things ; his robust energy was equalled only by his generous warmth of heart. He died at his residence, Arundel House, Highgate, of internal cancer, on 25 Feb. 1899, and was buried at Nunhead cemetery on 1 March. He married, first (1846), Margaret Kirton (d. 1867), by whom he had five children, of whom the youngest daughter survived him ; secondly (1869), Emily Glover, who survived him with two sons and four daughters.

He published : 1. ‘The Unitarian Hand-book,’ Newcastle-on-Tyne, 1859?, 12mo ; 2nd edit. 1862, 12mo; later edits, revised by Russell Lant Carpenter (d. 1892). 2. ‘Record of Unitarian Worthies’ [1877], 8vo ; the prefixed ‘Historical Sketch’ was reprinted, 1895, 8vo. He prefaced Belsham's ‘Memoirs of Lindsey’ (3rd edit. 1873, 8vo) ; compiled from Priestley's works ‘The Apostolic and Primitive Church . . . Unitarian’ (1871, 12mo) ; and wrote the introduction and appendix to Stannus's ‘History of the Origin of the Doctrine of the Trinity’ (1882, 8vo). He brought out popular editions of Channing's works, 1873, 8vo ; 1884, 4to. His ‘Scriptural Declaration of Unitarian Principles’ has been the most widely circulated of Unitarian tracts.

[Sketch of the Life, by Samuel Charlesworth, 1899, 12mo (reprinted from Christian Life, 4 March 1899) ; Reminiscences of a Busy Life, in Unitarian Bible Magazine, December 1895-January 1899 ; Christian Life, 25 March 1899.]

A. G.

STANSFELD, Sir JAMES (1820-1898), politician, born at Moorlands, Halifax, on 5 Oct. 1820, was the only son of James Stansfeld (1792-1872), originally a member of a firm of solicitors, Stansfeld & Craven, and subsequently county-court judge of the district comprising Halifax, Huddersfield, Dewsbury, and Holmfirth. His mother was Emma, daughter of James Ralph, minister of the Northgate-End independent chapel, Halifax, and his sister married George Dixon [q. v. Suppl.] Brought up as a nonconformist, Stansfeld was in 1837 sent to University College, London, whence he graduated B.A. in 1840 and LL.B. in 1844. He was admitted student of the Middle Temple on 31 Oct. 1840, and was called to the bar on 26 Jan. 1849 ; he does not seem, however, to have practised, and later in life derived his income mainly from his brewery at Fulham.

On 27 July 1844 Stansfeld married Caroline, second daughter of William Henry Ashurst [q. v.], the well-known radical and friend of Mazzini, and in 1847 Stansfeld was himself introduced to the Italian patriot, with whom he formed an intimate friendship. Stansfeld sympathised with the chartist movement, though on one occasion Feargus O'Connor [q. v.] denounced him as ‘a capitalist wolf in sheep's clothing.' He also took an active part in propagating radical opinions in the north of England, frequently spoke at meetings of the Northern Reform Union, and was one of the promoters of the association for the repeal of taxes on knowledge.

On 29 April 1859 Stansfeld was returned to parliament for his native town, Halifax, which he continued to represent for more than thirty-six years. In the House of Commons he generally acted with the extreme liberals led by Bright and Forster, and in June 1862 he moved a resolution, which was defeated by 367 to 65 votes, in favour of reducing national expenditure. His efforts were, however, mainly devoted to the furtherance of Italian unity, and he published several speeches and lectures delivered in that cause. When Garibaldi visited England in 1862 he chose Stansfeld as his adviser, and subsequently referred to him as a ‘type of English courage, loyalty, and consistency, the friend of Italy in her evil days, the champion of the weak and of the oppressed abroad.’ In February 1863 Stansfeld moved a resolution in the House of Commons of sympathy with the Poles, which was supported by Lord Robert Cecil (now Marquis of Salisbury), and in the following April Palmerston appointed Stansfeld a junior lord of the admiralty.