George Julian Harney


George Julian Harney was a leader of the Chartist movement formed in 19th century Britain.

He was born in Deptford in south-east London to the son of a seaman and his working class roots would go a long way to forging his political activism.

Harney was the editor of a publication entitled The Poor Man’s Guardian and was imprisoned on three separate occasions for selling this paper.

He was one of the founders of the East London Democratic Association, an openly republican movement that would be the precursor to the Chartists.

In 1839 he was kept in Warwick Jail when he toured the country in an attempt to instigate a national workers strike.

Harney married in Ayreshire, Scotland to a woman called Mary Cameron the same year.

In his later life he became heavily involved in Socialism and the philosophy of Karl Marx and Freidrich Engels.

After the failure of Socialism and Chartism to spread in England Harney moved to America in 1863 and as a clerk in the Massachusetts State House.

He returned to England in 1877 and took up one last journalist job as he wrote a weekly column for the Newcastle Chronicle.


Harney died in December 1897 and is buried in Richmond Cemetery in London.

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