It was on this date, November 28, 1832, that the British writer, and first editor of the Dictionary of National Biography (1885-1891), Leslie Stephen was born in Kensington Gore, London. Brought up in a Clapham Sect household of Christians, Stephen was educated first at Eton, then graduated from Trinity Hall, Cambridge, where he excelled in athletics. There he was compelled to become an Anglican clergyman in order to make a living as a tutor. But his reading of John Stuart Mill, Auguste Comte, and Immanuel Kant led to his rejection of Christianity, so that by 1862 Stephen had renounced his religious duties, and by 1870 his religion.
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Originally published October 2003 by Ronald Bruce Meyer.
This is more than just a calendar of events or mini-biographies – it’s a roll-call look into our Freethought history that shows not just who came before us, but that we as freethinkers are not alone in the world, no matter how isolated and alone we may feel at times.