Weʼre raising £10,000 to Reinstate the memorial to the influential "Father of Reform", Major John Cartwright, which stands in the churchyard of St Mary-at-Finchley
- Finchley, London
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Hidden behind hoardings for more than two decades a fascinating piece of the heritage of Finchley is at risk, the memorial to Major John Cartwright.
Major John Cartwright was born on 28 September 1740 and died on 23 September 1824. He was a political reformer and radical spokesman of national importance who is known as the Father of Reform having championed universal suffrage (very apposite in this year of commemoration of women’s suffrage) and the introduction of secret ballots. He also founded the Society for Constitutional Information.
Although he is not so well known today his ideas contributed to a century of social and political change. It was not only his thinking that was important, the way he conducted himself made him a model of good political debate. He was noted for his generosity to all people and his lack of self-interest, qualities that are still of immense value. Contemporary accounts refer to his "unceasing benevolence and affectionate disposition", his "public integrity and uprightness". His qualities of character were praised by Thomas Jefferson, the third President of the United States of America. Indeed it is a measure of the high regard in which he was held by his contemporaries that his memorial was funded through public contributions rather as an act of private glorification.
With substantial support from Historic England we hope to reinstate the memorial, which was dismantled for safety reasons in 2008, later this summer. We are aiming to raise up to £10000 locally as John Cartwright is an important part of our local heritage as well as being a significant figure in our national story.
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Jun 16, 2018
Really worthwhile project. Cartwright was a fascinating man. His monument adds extra interest to the churchyard.
Jun 11, 2018
I hope that London Borough of Barnet which took the monument down will contribute
Jun 7, 2018
This is a really worthy project and I am so glad it is happening. I wrote an article on it in the London Topographical Record vol XXXI (2015), 156-64. I hope enough is raised to re-carve the portrait!
Jun 5, 2018
Cartwright sounds like a great man and St Mary's Finchley is a lovely church !
Jun 5, 2018
Keep up the effort to improve the churchyard!