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John Bruce Glasier

John Bruce Glasier (1859 - 1920) was a British politician highly prominent in the Labour movement. Bruce Glasier came from a working class Glaswegian background and rose to prominence during the 1880s as a campaigner for land nationalisation and socialism. In 1884 he was a founder member of the Social Democratic Federation (SDF), and then later, under the influence of William Morris, he left the SDF for the Socialist League and became secretary of its Glasgow branch. In 1893 Bruce Glasier joined the Independent Labour Party (ILP), the same year in which he married Katharine St John Conway. The couple were together to play a prominent role in British socialist politics for the next twenty years. Bruce Glasier was on the ILP’s national administrative council from 1897 to 1909, and with his wife Katherine Bruce Glasier edited its Labour Leader paper from 1905 until 1909. Like Keir Hardie, Bruce Glasier was an opponent of both the South African War and the First World War.

Schreiner’s letter to John and Katherine Bruce Glasier of 1893, on the eve of returning to Britain, thanks them for their letters and ‘words of love’ and indicates that she would like to see them again. This suggests that she knew the couple fairly well, and it is likely the friendships dated from the 1880s: they were friends and associates of Schreiner’s friends Edward Carpenter and Isabella Ford, amongst others.

For further information see:
Lawrence Thompson (1971) The Enthusiasts: A Biography of John and Katharine Bruce Glasier London: Gollancz
Chris Wrigley (2004) ‘Glasier, John Bruce (1859-1920)’ Oxford Dictionary of National Biography Oxford University Press http://www.oxforddnb.com/view/article/38468
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recipient icon Recipient Of
collection icon Liverpool Bruce Glasier: Schreiner’s letters are part of the combined John and Katherine (St John Conway) Bruce Glasier collection held in speci... Show/Hide Collection Letters
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