135 years ago today - Sunday, Dec 7, 1884

[Apostle John Henry Smith]
Sheffield, Yorkshire

At 10 a.m. we held meeting in the Temperance Hall, Brightside.

At 12 noon we closed our services. We went to the Conference house and had dinner, and at two p.m. returned to the Hall. At the front door were about three hundred people. We passed in at a side door and shortly after the door was opened in front and the crowd rushed in, the Apostate William Jarman in the lead. There were about one hundred of the Saints and their friends and about three hundred of the others. We sang and prayed and Bro. Collett spoke on the first principles of the Gospel for 25 minutes. I took the stand to speak when a "gentleman" in the hall arose and asked me to let him speak. I told him no person would be allowed to speak only those on the platform. At this a rush was made for us and two Policemen who we had hired came to the platform and we beat back the enemy and held them at bay. I and Bro. Collett threw some men off the platform, which was about four feet high. Two old Sisters got on to the platform with us and one of these pulled out some of Jarman's beard

and kicked him several times. Bro. Favel got a severe blow on the head. Jarman's own friends nearly killed him by crowding him against the platform. Jarman then drew to the center of the Hall and made a most vile speach, while his followers yelled like demons. We then passed into a room at the back and the crowd thinking we were going to try to get away they rushed out at the front just as Inspector Smith and several more Policemen were coming to clear the hall. The door was locked and we finished up our meeting, while the rowdy demons were harrangued in the street by Jarman. After our Services we returned to Peter [?] street. On going out the crowd hooted and hissed at me, and some of them told us they would give me a thrashing at night. A friend came in about 5 p.m. and told us that a very large crowd was gathering in front of the Hall. Bro. S. R. Bennion went and saw the Proprietor of the Hall and told him that we wanted to hold our meeting but was unable to pay any damage that might be done.

He said he should close the door for the building would certainly be wrecked. The Saints and some friends were instructed to go to the Conference House where we held our evening meeting, and while packed in close we had a good time. Elders Bennion, Biggs, Brown, Winward and myself were the speakers. The rowdy element to the tune of about two thousand strong gathered in front of the Temperance Hall and finding that [we] were gone they went to the Wicker [?] where the Saints had formerly occupied a room, and broke the windows, and not finding us they made some speeches and dispersed. There is no doubt but what if they had known where the Saints were holding their meeting the house would have been torn down. An Atheist came in to see us late in the evening, saying that the mob had run him off because he had said that we were kind of decent fellows.

I asked the police to arrest Jarman but they said they could not without a warrant.

[Jean Bickmore White (editor), Church, State, and Politics: The Diaries of John Henry Smith, Signature Books in association with Smith Research Associates, Salt Lake City, 1990, http://bit.ly/johnhenrysmith]

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