DAVID RICHMOND: THE FIRST MISSIONARY OF SPIRITUALISM
David Richmond was born at Darlington, on January 31st, 1816. He died in the same town on 15th February, 1891, and was therefore just over seventy-five years of age.
David’s father was, we believe, a weaver; and working people were in those days in receipt of small wages; and in towns, even in small places such as Darlington was at that time, families were compelled to live in one or two rooms, and when the children had reached eight or nine years, they they went to work to help to earn their living. Such was the youthful David’s environments, and if he ‘burst his life’s invidious bar’, it was due to his own initiative, backed no doubt by inherent qualities of no mean order.
When quite a young man, he went through England to Penzance on foot, working at his trade as a woolcomber (since superceded by machinery) wherever he could find occupation. He afterwards, for a time at least, settled down in the neighbourhood of Bradford, when he married.
Early on he developed a thoughtful and intelligent grasp of moral and spiritual questions. He carried about with him a New Testament in his pocket, and studied its pages, but whether he allied himself with any of the religious organisations of the day cannot be stated, though it is more than likely he did so. He had so far progressed in the study of principles that he joined the Socialistic Community of Robert Owen, at Ham Common, near London. This would be about fifty years since; but after a few months he made up his mind to go to America, where advanced views found a more genial soil than in England.