Oxted  District History Society - Article
Oxted  District History Society

Chris Bruce-Jones gave an illustrated lecture to the Oxted & District History Society on ‘Dr. Dale & Brummagen Jo.  Pulpit & Politics in Victorian England’.

Dr. Dale (1829-95) was a foremost Congregational minister in Birmingham.  He adopted the ideas of George Dawson, a Baptist minister, who promoted the civic gospel of how to behave in the community.  A centre of the iron trade, Birmingham expanded rapidly in the Industrial Revolution to become Britain’s second largest city.  Its rapid growth produced considerable pollution, rubbish, as well as a lack of drainage and clean water.  Dale promoted education for all and on his death left a massive theological and civic legacy.

Joseph Chamberlain (1836-1914) worked closely with Dr. Dale to promote civic improvements but as a driven politician.  As Mayor of Birmingham, he vigorously pursued the building of schools, public libraries, galleries, museums as well as opening parks.  He municipalised the City’s gas companies and water suppliers and initiated slum clearance schemes.  In 1876 he was elected as MP for Birmingham, serving with Gladstone’s 2nd Government but split with Gladstone to form the Liberal Unionists, eventually entering a coalition with the Tories in 1895.  His achievements in Birmingham were unsurpassed and 1880s Birmingham was described by an American as ‘the best governed city in the world’.


Dr. Dale & Brummagen Jo. by Chris Bruce-Jones