Page:Dictionary of National Biography volume 15.djvu/41

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graphic account in his ‘Journal.’ At Salem he was successful in partially healing the dissensions the defection of George Keith had caused among the Friends. In 1692 he left for Barbadoes in a ship so leaky that he barely escaped shipwreck. He returned to Scotland in 1693, and then visited most of the quaker meetings in the south of that country and England. He shortly afterwards married a quakeress, whose name is not positively known; and a few weeks after his marriage he went to London, when, hearing of the death of Queen Mary, he was ‘commanded’ to go through the streets, crying ‘Wo, wo, wo from the Lord!’ but does not appear to have been molested. In 1696 he again visited America, returning the following year, and from that time till 1702 chiefly laboured in Ireland. In 1713 he visited America for the last time, returning to England at the end of the following year, and until 1726, when he lost his wife, was engaged in a series of preaching excursions in England and Ireland. He had for some time been in a weak state of health, and his grief at the death of his wife brought on an attack of paralysis, which closed his active ministry, although he continued to attend to the affairs of the Society of Friends in the north, and on several occasions was present at the yearly meeting in London. Until about a year before his death an increase in his disorder totally incapacitated him. He was buried on 6 June 1741 in the Friends' burial-ground near his house at Eaglesfield, Cumberland, having been a minister for sixty-three years. He was a powerful and successful preacher, and his careful avoidance of party questions, his humility, prudence, and blameless character caused him not only to escape persecution, but to be one of the most prominent and respected members of the second generation of quaker ministers. His writings, with the exception of his ‘Journal’ published in 1745, are unimportant.

[Dickinson's Journal, W. & T. Evans's edition, 1848; George Fox's Journal, 1765; Besse's Sufferings; Smith's Catalogue of Friends' Books; Rutty's History of the Friends in Ireland; Bowden's History of the Society of Friends in America.]

A. C. B.

DICKINSON, JOHN (1815–1876), writer on India, the son of an eminent papermaker of Nash Mills, Abbots Langley, Hertfordshire—who with Henry Fourdrinier [q. v.] first patented a process for manufacturing paper of an indefinite length, and so met the increasing demands of the newspaper press—was born on 28 Dec. 1815. In due time he was sent to Eton, and afterwards invited to take part in his father's business. He had, however, no taste either for accounts or for mechanical processes; and being in delicate health he was indulged in a wish to travel on the continent, where, with occasional visits to his friends at home, he spent several years, occupied in the study of languages, of art, and of foreign politics. His sympathies were entirely given to the struggling liberal party on the continent, in whose behalf he wrote desultory essays in periodicals of no great note. It was not till 1850 that by an irresistible impulse he found his vocation as an independent Indian reformer. His uncle, General Thomas Dickinson, of the Bombay engineers, and his cousin, Sebastian Stewart Dickinson, encouraged and assisted John in the prosecution of this career. In 1850 and 1851 a series of letters appeared in the ‘Times’ on the best means of increasing the produce and promoting the supply to English manufacturing towns of Indian cotton. These were from Dickinson's pen, and were afterwards published in a collected form, as ‘Letters on the Cotton and Roads of Western India’ (1851). A public works commission was appointed by Lord Dalhousie the next year to inquire into the deficiencies of administration pointed out by Dickinson and his friends.

On 12 March 1853 a meeting was held in Dickinson's rooms, and a society was formed under the name of the India Reform Society. The debate in parliament that year on the renewal of the East India Company's charter gave the society and Dickinson, as its honorary secretary, constant occupation. Already in 1852 the publication of ‘India, its Government under a Bureaucracy’—a small volume of 209 pages—had produced a marked effect. It was reprinted in 1853 as one of a series of ‘India Reform Tracts,’ and had a very large circulation. The maintenance of good faith and good will to the native states was the substance of all these writings. Public attention was diverted from the subject for a time by the Crimean war, but was roused again in 1857 by the Indian mutiny. Dickinson worked incessantly throughout the two years of mutiny and pacification and afterwards, when the transfer of the Indian government from the company to the crown was carried into effect. He spared neither time nor money in various efforts to moderate public excitement, and to prevent exclusive attention to penal and repressive measures. With this view he organised a series of public meetings, which were all well attended. After 1859 the India Reform Society began to languish and at a meeting in 1861 Mr. John Bright resigned the chairmanship, and carried by a unanimous vote a motion appointing Dickin-