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Champion, Henry Hyde (1859 - 1928)

Born
1859
Died
1928
Occupation
Activist, Journalist and Publisher
Alternative Names
  • The Champion (1895 - 1897)

Details

Henry Hyde Champion was a British socialist activist, journalist and publisher.

In England, he published To-day, a monthly magazine whose contributors included Ibsen and Bernard Shaw. He was secretary of the Social Democratic Association, a position from which he was forced to resign due to his Tory acquaintances and financial irregularities, and he was also a leader in the 1889 London dock strike.

He travelled to Melbourne, arrived 12 August 1890, seeking a better climate for his health. He was warmly welcomed, but quickly alienated the Melbourne labour movement. His arguing for concessions to employers in the Maritime dispute of 1890 and his high-handed manners, silk hat, eye glass and cigars, contributed to bitter resentment, culminating in his description of the striking workers as ‘lions led by asses’. He return to England, but was repudiated by the Independent Labour Party and returned to Melbourne in 1894.

He mounted a number of unsuccessful campaigns for a seat in Parliament, he helped found the Fabian Society, and joined the Women’s Suffrage League, and published The root of the matter; being a series of dialogues on social questions (1895). He founded the Social Democratic Assocation of Victoria in 1895, and also the National Anti-Sweating League.
He joined the Victorian Socialist League in 1898

From 1895 to 1897 he published The Champion, from 1897 to 1899 the society paper, the Sun, and from 1899 to 1921 the Book-lover, the monthly magazine of the Book Lovers’ Library, which had been conducted from 1896 by Champion’s wide, Elsie Goldstein. He suffered a stroke in 1901.

He was active in the Victorian Socialist Party, occupying a number of official positions and was involved in its various co-operative ventures. He briefly edited the VSP’s organ the Socialist, and contributed, usually under the pseudonym Tenex.

He died in Melbourne in 1926.

See Geoffrey Serle, 'Champion, Henry Hyde (1859 - 1928)', Australian Dictionary of Biography Online.

Resources

Newspaper Articles

Novels

  • Champion, Henry Hyde, The Root of the Matter: Being a Series of Dialogues on Social Questions. Melbourne, E. W. Cole [This scan courtesy of the State Library of Victoria], Melbourne, 1898. Image PDF Details

See also

  • 'Protection as wanted. Manifesto of the Council of the Social Democratic Federation of Victoria', The Champion (Melbourne), vol. 1, no. 3, 6 July 1895. Image PDF Details
  • Letter to H.H. Champion, President, Socialist Party, Melbourne, . Image PDF Details