Graphical version

London Metropolitan Archives



Reference code(s): GB 0074 A/LIB

Held at: London Metropolitan Archives


Date(s): 1554-1956

Level of description: Collection

Extent: 12.8 linear metres

Name of creator(s): British Anti-State Church Association | 1844-1853
Society for the Liberation of Religion from State-Patronage and Control x Liberation Society


Administrative/Biographical history:

The Congregational minister Edward Miall was a campaigner for the disestablishment of the Church of England, that is, the withdrawl of special state patronage and control from the church. In 1844 he organised a national dissenting convention for like-minded individuals, as a result of which the British Anti-State Church Association was founded. The Association urged the withdrawal of all state support for religion, believing that it was wrong for the church to be controlled by outside influences and for politics to influence spiritual worship. They also protested against church rates, discrimination against non-church members and the legal disabilities faced by non-conformists.

In 1853 the Association changed its name to the Society for the Liberation of Religion from State-Patronage and Control, which was usually shortened to the Liberation Society. The Society was politically active and tried to infuence the selection of Parliamentary candidates who shared their opinions. Miall himself was elected to Parliament and several times from 1871 onwards proposed English disestablishment, with no success. Although the Liberation Society did not achieve its goals, they contributed to the dismantling of some of the legal challenges facing non-conformists.

In 1888 the education sub-committee of the Liberation Society, which protested against church involvement in education, became the National Education Association.


Scope and content/abstract:

Records of the British Anti-State Church Association, later known as the Society for the Liberation of Religion from State-Patronage and Control or the Liberation Society. Records include minutes of the Executive Committee and the Parliamentary Committee; reports and memoranda; annual reports; lists of members, officers and executive; correspondence relating to legacies; financial records; leases for offices; legal opinions; papers relating to burial grounds; copies of relevant Acts of Parliament; printed material such as publications, magazines, addresses, circulars and pamphlets; photographs; and press cuttings.


Language/scripts of material: English

System of arrangement:

A/LIB-1: Administration; A/LIB-2: Finance; A/LIB-3: Related Documentation; A/LIB-4: Parliamentary.

Conditions governing access:

Available for general access.

Conditions governing reproduction:

Copyright to these records rests with the depositor.

Physical characteristics:


Finding aids:

Please see online catalogues at:


Archival history:

Immediate source of acquisition:

Deposited in the London County Record Office on 14 April 1959 and 13 October 1960.


Related material:

See A/NEA for the National Education Association, which formed the education sub-committee of the Liberation Society.

DESCRIPTION NOTES Rules or conventions: Compiled in compliance with General International Standard Archival Description, ISAD(G), second edition, 2000; National Council on Archives Rules for the Construction of Personal, Place and Corporate Names, 1997.

Date(s) of descriptions: June to August 2010.

Campaign groups | Groups
Campaign literature | Documents | Information sources
Church and education | Educational policy
Church of England | Anglicanism | Protestantism | Christianity | Ancient religions | Religions
Disestablishment | Religious reform | Religious activities
Dissenters | People by roles | People
Ecclesiastical taxation | Church and State | Church | Religious institutions
Government policy | Government
Political campaigns | Internal politics
Political participation | Political behaviour | Political sociology
Political societies | Societies | Associations | Organizations
Religious dissenters | Religious groups
Political activists

Personal names
Miall | Edward | 1809-1881 | politician | journalist | and Congregational minister

Corporate names
British Anti-State Church Association | 1844-1853
National Education Association | 1888-1959
Society for the Liberation of Religion from State-Patronage and Control x Liberation Society

England | UK | Western Europe | Europe