Richard D. Webb

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Richard Davis Webb - abolitionist and author

Richard Davis Webb (1805-1872) was an Irish publisher and abolitionist.


Webb was born in 1805. In 1837, he was one of three founding members, with James Haughton and Richard Allen, of the Hibernian Antislavery Association. This was not the first antislavery association but it was acknowledged to be the most active and considered the most ardent abolitionists in Europe.[1][2] Allen served as the secretary of this association.

Webb married Hannah Waring and they had four children Alfred, Richard, Deborah and Anne. Webb and his two sons Alfred and Richard were regular correspondents with the American abolitionist.William Lloyd Garrison.[3]

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)
Anti-Slavery Society Convention 1840, painting by Benjamin Robert Haydon. Move your cursor to identify participants or click the icon to enlarge

Webb was one of the few Irish delegates at the 1840 Anti-Slavery Society in London which attracted hundreds from the United States. The Irish delegation included Webb, Richard Allen, and Daniel O'Connell. In 1846, Webb attended another world convention in London. This time the subject was temperance and Webb's fellow delegate Richard Allen was one of the speakers.[4] Webb met the American delegates Wendell Phillips and his wife Ann and Ann reported how they were particularly impressed by Webb.[5]

When Frederick Douglass visited Ireland it was Webb who was responsible for setting up his speaking engagements and also organising the printing of Douglass' book, The Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass. Douglass was earning up to £750 from a single print run and he was asking Webb for more copies.[6]

Webb was notable in Douglass's regard for the arguments that he and Webb had. Douglass felt that white abolitionists would prefer to be hypocritical than be racist and would try not to disagree with him face to face. Webb however showed no such false regard and they argued as equals in a way the Douglass hoped would be a precursor of the relationships that might exist across the races when slavery ended in America.[6]

Webb wrote The Life and Letters of Captain John Brown'[7]

He died in 1872.[8] The image shown is of John Brown not Richard Davis Webb


  1. ^ Frederick Douglass in Ireland: the Dublin Edition of His Narrative, New Hibernia Review 5.1 (2001) 53-67, The University of St. Thomas, 2001
  2. ^ Hinks, Peter P.; John R. McKivigan; R. Owen Williams (2007). Encyclopedia of antislavery and abolition p373. p. 796.  Check date values in: |access-date= (help);
  3. ^ The Letters of William Lloyd Garrison, Volume 6, Page 56, retrieved 24 July 2014
  4. ^ The proceedings of the World's Temperance Convention p48-49. Richard Barrett Jun. 1846. Retrieved January 2010.  Check date values in: |access-date= (help)
  5. ^ Ann Phillips, wife of Wendell Phillips, a memorial sketch, 1886, retrieved 24 July 2014
  6. ^ a b Frederick Douglass in Ireland: the Dublin Edition of His Narrative, Patricia J. Ferreira, 2001, accessed May 2009
  7. ^ The Life and Letters of Captain John Brown, Richard Davis Webb, 1861
  8. ^ Harrison., Richard S. (1993). Richard Davis Webb Dublin Quaker printer, 1805-72. Dublin. p. 84.