William Morris's Socialist League membership card designed by Walter Crane, 1885

William Morris’s own membership card for the Hammersmith branch of the Socialist League, of which he was a founder member. The design was created by fellow member Walter Crane, an artist and important socialist banner-designer who helped start the Art Worker’s Guild and Royal College of Art in 1898. The Socialist League met in the Coach House of Kelmscott House on Sunday evenings and many prominent Victorians addressed the meetings; George Bernard Shaw – dramatist and Fabian Society member; Keir Hardie – founder of the Scottish Labour Party; Sidney Webb – Fabian and part of the intellectual wing of the Labour Party and his wife Beatrice Webb, economist; Gustav Holst – composer who conducted the Socialist Choir at Kelmscott House; Peter Kropotkin – an anti-parliamentarian and anarchist from Russia; Lucy Parsons – an African-American freed slave whose husband was hanged in Chicago for being an anarchist; and Annie Besant who fought for women’s rights and helped organise the Match Girls Strike of 1888.

Record ID:E13
Measurement:7.5 x 11.5 cm
Inscription:William Morris Hammersmith no. 9 J. L Mahon 30 Dec 1884
Classification:Socialism
Artist:Walter Crane
Medium:Paper