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The Australian Election of 2016

June 30, 2016

Where has the eloquence of electioneering gone.

In a remarkable speech delivered on the hustings for the seat of Southwark in 1845 Sir William Molesworth reveals the magnitude of his vast intellect. The people of Adelaide should know that this man who is named in the streets of north Adelaide was an outstanding scholar who led the charge in the abolition of convict transportation.

(Mr Miall)……. ‘you have insinuated that some of Hobbes opinions lead to infidelity. I ask, is there a single work renowned in science, literature, or in art, against which a similar charge has not been brought by some narrow minded bigot? It is a well known historical fact that every great discovery in astronomy, in natural history, in chymestry, or in any of the physical sciences- that everything that has made us better acquainted with the heavens, with the earth, and with human nature- that every acquisition of knowledge which has tended to elevate humanity- every attempt at free inquiry, every effort to shake off the trammels of authority, has been successfully attacked by the ignorant and narrow-minded, as leading to infidelity. Under this malignant and accursed plea some of the greatest spirits of the human race have been persecuted and slain. Socrates was put to death as an infidel. He who first said there were antipodes was burnt. The followers of Copernicus were persecuted as disbelievers; and the great Galileo, on bended knees, was compelled to assert that the earth was immoveable. Bacon and Descartes were taxed with irreligion; the doctrines of Locke were said to lead to materialism; Newton was accused of dethroning the Deity for the discovery of the law of gravitation; a similar charge was made against Franklin for explaining the nature of the Thunderbolt; Priestley’s library was burnt and person endangered on account if his religious opinions; and in our own days, Buckland, Sedgwick, and the other geologists, are accused of overturning revelation by their discoveries with regard to the past existence of the earth. In short, in all ages, and among all nations, infidelity has ever been the war-cry which the base, the ignorant, the intolerant , and the canting tribe have raised against the great, the noble, and the generous spirits of the human race.

 

Sir William Molesworth Baronet

Nomination Speech at the Poll for Southwark Sep 10 1845.

To Mr. Miall- his nonconformist, but liberal opponent who accused him of being an infidel (non believer). 1

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Dr Jeff Nicholas

This site is about both History & Biography

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Researching the House of Commons, 1832-1868

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