James Edward Gordon ~ Politician and Religious Activist

James Edward Gordon, politician and Protestant religious activist, was born at Abernethy (or possibly Aberdeen) in 1789; his father was a factor employed by the Duke of Gordon. At the age of fifteen, Gordon went into the Royal Navy, was promoted to lieutenant in 1811 and by 1814 was in charge of a schooner – St Laurence. In 1815, Gordon was in London and involved in religious activity within the evangelical arm of the Anglican Church. In his beliefs, Gordon was defined and dominated by his anti-Catholicism. He set up the Protestant Reformation Society in 1827 (initially called the British Society for Promoting the Religious Principles of the Reformation). Gordon was elected to parliament in 1831 as the member for Dundalk but lost his seat after the 1832 Reform Act. Despite much effort, Gordon never returned to the Commons. Not thwarted by this failure, Gordon threw himself into anti-Catholic activity leading the 1834-6 ‘No Popery’ campaign. Around this time Gordon suffered from a degenerative illness that caused some paralysis. He died in 1864.