Richard Congreve (4 September 1818 – 5 July 1899) was an English philosopher, one of the leading figures in the specifically religious interpretation of Auguste Comte's form of positivism. In that capacity he founded the London Positivist Society in 1867 and the Comtist Church of Humanity in 1878. He also wrote political tracts.
Life and education
Congreve was educated at Rugby School, attending there as a pupil between 1832 and 1837. He was a pupil of Dr. Arnold, and a disciple of Auguste Comte in philosophy. After taking first-class honours at Wadham College, Oxford (later becoming a Fellow of the college), he was a master at Rugby from 1845 to 1848, but returned to Oxford as a tutor. 
Soon after the French Revolution of 1848 he visited Paris, where he made the acquaintance of Barthelemy St Hilaire and Auguste Comte. He was so attracted by the Positive philosophy that he resigned his fellowship in 1855, and devoted the remainder of his life to the propagation of the Positive philosophy. He took a leading part in the work carried on in Chapel Street, Lamb's Conduit Street. In 1878 he declined to admit the authority of Pierre Laffitte, Comte's official successor, and the result was a split in the ranks of English Positivism, Frederic Harrison, Dr J. H. Bridges and Professor Edward Spencer Beesly forming a separate society at Newton Hall, Fetter Lane. Congreve translated several of Comte's works, and in 1874 published a large volume of essays, in which he advocated Comte's view that it was the duty of Great Britain to renounce her foreign possessions. He was said to have a high character and great intellectual capacity.
He died at Hampstead on 5 July 1899.
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- This article incorporates text from a publication now in the public domain: Wood, James, ed. (1907). "article name needed". The Nuttall Encyclopædia. London and New York: Frederick Warne.
- This article incorporates text from a publication now in the public domain: Chisholm, Hugh, ed. (1911). Encyclopædia Britannica (11th ed.). Cambridge University Press