John Scoble

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John Scoble
William Knibb John Scoble.jpg
To the left is William Knibb and to the right John Scoble - 1840[1]
Born January 16, 1799
Kingsbridge, Devon, England
Died December 1877
Ontario, Canada

John Scoble (January 16, 1799 – December 1877) was a British abolitionist and political figure in Canada West.


Scoble was born in Kingsbridge, England in 1799 and was educated in Devon and London. He was part of the anti-slavery movement in England and was involved in the protests against the apprenticeship system which replaced slavery in the West Indies. He helped form the British and Foreign Anti-Slavery Society and served as secretary from 1842 to 1852. He also helped revitalize the anti-slavery movement in France corresponding with people such as had François-André Isambert who took an active role in trying to free the French slaves.[2] However, he did not have good relations with American anti-slavery advocate William Lloyd Garrison and his followers.

He came to Upper Canada in 1852 to try to assist the British-American Institute of Science and Industry, a vocational school for black people, which was being managed by Josiah Henson, a former fugitive slave. Disputes with trustees of the institute and with Henson interfered with his attempts to reorganize the institute's finances.

Isaac Crewdson (Beaconite) writer Samuel Jackman Prescod - Barbadian Journalist William Morgan from Birmingham William Forster - Quaker leader George Stacey - Quaker leader William Forster - Anti-Slavery ambassador John Burnet -Abolitionist Speaker William Knibb -Missionary to Jamaica Joseph Ketley from Guyana George Thompson - UK & US abolitionist J. Harfield Tredgold - British South African (secretary) Josiah Forster - Quaker leader Samuel Gurney - the Banker's Banker Sir John Eardley-Wilmot Dr Stephen Lushington - MP and Judge Sir Thomas Fowell Buxton James Gillespie Birney - American John Beaumont George Bradburn - Massachusetts politician George William Alexander - Banker and Treasurer Benjamin Godwin - Baptist activist Vice Admiral Moorson William Taylor William Taylor John Morrison GK Prince Josiah Conder Joseph Soul James Dean (abolitionist) John Keep - Ohio fund raiser Joseph Eaton Joseph Sturge - Organiser from Birmingham James Whitehorne Joseph Marriage George Bennett Richard Allen Stafford Allen William Leatham, banker William Beaumont Sir Edward Baines - Journalist Samuel Lucas Francis August Cox Abraham Beaumont Samuel Fox, Nottingham grocer Louis Celeste Lecesne Jonathan Backhouse Samuel Bowly William Dawes - Ohio fund raiser Robert Kaye Greville - Botanist Joseph Pease, railway pioneer W.T.Blair M.M. Isambert (sic) Mary Clarkson -Thomas Clarkson's daughter in law William Tatum Saxe Bannister - Pamphleteer Richard Davis Webb - Irish Nathaniel Colver - American not known John Cropper - Most generous Liverpudlian Thomas Scales William James William Wilson Thomas Swan Edward Steane from Camberwell William Brock Edward Baldwin Jonathon Miller Capt. Charles Stuart from Jamaica Sir John Jeremie - Judge Charles Stovel - Baptist Richard Peek, ex-Sheriff of London John Sturge Elon Galusha Cyrus Pitt Grosvenor Rev. Isaac Bass Henry Sterry Peter Clare -; sec. of Literary & Phil. Soc. Manchester J.H. Johnson Thomas Price Joseph Reynolds Samuel Wheeler William Boultbee Daniel O'Connell - "The Liberator" William Fairbank John Woodmark William Smeal from Glasgow James Carlile - Irish Minister and educationalist Rev. Dr. Thomas Binney Edward Barrett - Freed slave John Howard Hinton - Baptist minister John Angell James - clergyman Joseph Cooper Dr. Richard Robert Madden - Irish Thomas Bulley Isaac Hodgson Edward Smith Sir John Bowring - diplomat and linguist John Ellis C. Edwards Lester - American writer Tapper Cadbury - Businessman not known Thomas Pinches David Turnbull - Cuban link Edward Adey Richard Barrett John Steer Henry Tuckett James Mott - American on honeymoon Robert Forster (brother of William and Josiah) Richard Rathbone John Birt Wendell Phillips - American M. L'Instant from Haiti Henry Stanton - American Prof William Adam Mrs Elizabeth Tredgold - British South African T.M. McDonnell Mrs John Beaumont Anne Knight - Feminist Elizabeth Pease - Suffragist Jacob Post - Religious writer Anne Isabella, Lady Byron - mathematician and estranged wife Amelia Opie - Novelist and poet Mrs Rawson - Sheffield campaigner Thomas Clarkson's grandson Thomas Clarkson Thomas Morgan Thomas Clarkson - main speaker George Head Head - Banker from Carlisle William Allen John Scoble Henry Beckford - emancipated slave and abolitionist Use your cursor to explore (or Click "i" to enlarge)
Scoble is on the right of centre at the front in this painting which is of the 1840 Anti-Slavery Convention.[1] Move your cursor to identify him or click icon to enlarge.

In 1860, he helped prevent the deportation of John Anderson, a fugitive slave accused of murder in Missouri. In 1861, Scoble resigned from the board of trustees of the institute. In the end, the property was sold, with the proceeds going towards an integrated school in Chatham. Scoble was elected to the Legislative Assembly of the Province of Canada in West Elgin in 1863 after the election of George Macbeth was declared invalid; he was reelected in the general election that followed later that year. He supported a decentralized federation in Canada and representation by population. Although reform-oriented, he supported Sir John A. Macdonald's leadership.

Scoble retired from politics in 1867 after failing to attain reelection, and all but disappeared from public life. He died in Ontario at the age of 79 in December 1877.[3]


His published works are:[4]

  • British Guiana, London, 1838
  • Texas: its claims to be recognized as an independent power, by Great Britain, London, 1839
  • Hill coolies; a brief exposition of the deplorable condition of the hill coolies in British Guiana and Mauritius, London, 1840[5]
  • Liberté immédiate et absolue, ou esclavage, Paris, 1844 (with G. W. Alexander)
  • Introduction to Lewis Tappan's, Reply to charges brought against the American and Foreign Anti-Slavery Society (London, 1852)