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The Political Trajectory of J. T. Murphy$
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Ralph Darlington

Print publication date: 1998

Print ISBN-13: 9780853237334

Published to Liverpool Scholarship Online: June 2013

DOI: 10.5949/UPO9781846313813

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The Early Years in Sheffield, 1888–1917

The Early Years in Sheffield, 1888–1917

(p.1) Chapter One The Early Years in Sheffield, 1888–1917
The Political Trajectory of J. T. Murphy
Liverpool University Press

John Thomas Murphy was born in 1888 to a poor family in Wincobank, a small village on the outskirts of Sheffield. He received his elementary education at the Wincobank Council School, where he took his studies seriously, but left school at the age of thirteen to work at the Vickers engineering factory in Brightside. Murphy's work as a lathe turner in Vickers would make him one of the British working-class movement's most prominent intellectuals in the twentieth century. This chapter focuses on J. T. Murphy's early years as a militant engineering shop steward in Sheffield during World War I and how he became attracted to militant trade unionism in Britain. It considers the formation of the Independent Labour Party, the rise of the syndicalist movement in Britain, Murphy's attraction towards Tom Mann's syndicalist formula, the nature of the syndicalist politics outlined by James Connolly and his conception of the role of the industrial union in the struggle for socialism, and Murphy's involvement with the shop stewards' movement.

Keywords:   J. T. Murphy, Sheffield, Vickers engineering factory, Britain, trade unionism, shop stewards' movement, socialism, Independent Labour Party, syndicalist movement, Tom Mann

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