Richard D. Webb

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

Richard Davis Webb – abolitionist and author


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) writerSamuel Jackman Prescod - Barbadian JournalistWilliam Morgan from BirminghamWilliam Forster - Quaker leaderGeorge Stacey - Quaker leaderWilliam Forster - Anti-Slavery ambassadorJohn Burnet -Abolitionist SpeakerWilliam Knibb -Missionary to JamaicaJoseph Ketley from GuyanaGeorge Thompson - UK & US abolitionistJ. Harfield Tredgold - British South African (secretary)Josiah Forster - Quaker leaderSamuel Gurney - the Banker's BankerSir John Eardley-WilmotDr Stephen Lushington - MP and JudgeSir Thomas Fowell BuxtonJames Gillespie Birney - AmericanJohn BeaumontGeorge Bradburn - Massachusetts politicianGeorge William Alexander - Banker and TreasurerBenjamin Godwin - Baptist activistVice Admiral MoorsonWilliam TaylorWilliam TaylorJohn MorrisonGK PrinceJosiah ConderJoseph SoulJames Dean (abolitionist)John Keep - Ohio fund raiserJoseph EatonJoseph Sturge - Organiser from BirminghamJames WhitehorneJoseph MarriageGeorge BennettRichard AllenStafford AllenWilliam Leatham, bankerWilliam BeaumontSir Edward Baines - JournalistSamuel LucasFrancis August CoxAbraham BeaumontSamuel Fox, Nottingham grocerLouis Celeste LecesneJonathan BackhouseSamuel BowlyWilliam Dawes - Ohio fund raiserRobert Kaye Greville - BotanistJoseph Pease, railway pioneerW.T.BlairM.M. Isambert (sic)Mary Clarkson -Thomas Clarkson's daughter in lawWilliam TatumSaxe Bannister - PamphleteerRichard Davis Webb - IrishNathaniel Colver - Americannot knownJohn Cropper - Most generous LiverpudlianThomas ScalesWilliam JamesWilliam WilsonThomas SwanEdward Steane from CamberwellWilliam BrockEdward BaldwinJonathon MillerCapt. Charles Stuart from JamaicaSir John Jeremie - JudgeCharles Stovel - BaptistRichard Peek, ex-Sheriff of LondonJohn SturgeElon GalushaCyrus Pitt GrosvenorRev. Isaac BassHenry SterryPeter Clare -; sec. of Literary & Phil. Soc. ManchesterJ.H. JohnsonThomas PriceJoseph ReynoldsSamuel WheelerWilliam BoultbeeDaniel O'Connell - "The Liberator"William FairbankJohn WoodmarkWilliam Smeal from GlasgowJames Carlile - Irish Minister and educationalistRev. Dr. Thomas BinneyEdward Barrett - Freed slaveJohn Howard Hinton - Baptist ministerJohn Angell James - clergymanJoseph CooperDr. Richard Robert Madden - IrishThomas BulleyIsaac HodgsonEdward SmithSir John Bowring - diplomat and linguistJohn EllisC. Edwards Lester - American writerTapper Cadbury - Businessmannot knownThomas PinchesDavid Turnbull - Cuban linkEdward AdeyRichard BarrettJohn SteerHenry TuckettJames Mott - American on honeymoonRobert Forster (brother of William and Josiah)Richard RathboneJohn BirtWendell Phillips - AmericanM. L'Instant from HaitiHenry Stanton - AmericanProf William AdamMrs Elizabeth Tredgold - British South AfricanT.M. McDonnellMrs John BeaumontAnne Knight - FeministElizabeth Pease - SuffragistJacob Post - Religious writerAnne Isabella, Lady Byron - mathematician and estranged wifeAmelia Opie - Novelist and poetMrs Rawson - Sheffield campaignerThomas Clarkson's grandson Thomas ClarksonThomas MorganThomas Clarkson - main speakerGeorge Head Head - Banker from CarlisleWilliam AllenJohn ScobleHenry Beckford - emancipated slave and abolitionistUse 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]


  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.
  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 1 January 2010.
  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. Retrieved 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: R.S. Harrison. p. 84.