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John Scoble (January 16, 1799 – ??) was a British abolitionist and political figure in Canada West.


Scoble was born in Kingsbridgemarker, Englandmarker in 1799 and was educated in Devonmarker and Londonmarker. He was part of the anti-slavery movement in England and was involved in the protests against the apprenticeship system which replaced slavery in the West Indiesmarker. He helped form the British and Foreign Anti-Slavery Society and served as secretary from 1842 to 1852. He also helped revitalize the anti-slavery movement in Francemarker corresponding with people such as had François-André Isambert who took an active role in trying to free the French slaves.. However, he did not have good relations with Americanmarker anti-slavery advocate William Lloyd Garrison and his followers.

He came to Upper Canada in 1852 to try to assist the British-American Institute of Science and Industry, a vocational school for black people, which was being managed by Josiah Henson, a former fugitive slave. Disputes with trustees of the institute and with Henson interfered with his attempts to reorganize the institute's finances.

In 1860, he helped prevent the deportation of John Anderson, a fugitive slave accused of murder in Missourimarker. In 1861, Scoble resigned from the board of trustees of the institute. In the end, the property was sold, with the proceeds going towards an integrated school in Chathammarker. Scoble was elected to the Legislative Assembly of the Province of Canada in West Elginmarker in 1863 after the election of George Macbeth was declared invalid; he was reelected in the general election that followed later that year. He supported a decentralized federation in Canada and representation by population. Although reform-oriented, he supported Sir John A. Macdonald's leadership. He was not reelected in 1867.


His published works are:
  • British Guiana, London, 1838
  • Texas: its claims to be recognized as an independent power, by Great Britain,London, 1839
  • Hill coolies; a brief exposition of the deplorable condition of the hill coolies in British Guiana and Mauritius, London, 1840
  • Liberté immédiate et absolue, ou esclavage, Paris, 1844 (with G. W. Alexander)
  • Introduction to Lewis Tappan's, Reply to charges brought against the American and Foreign Anti-Slavery Society (London, 1852)


  1. French Anti-Slavery:for the abolition of slavery in France, 1802-1848, Lawrence C. Jennings, 2000, p130, ISBN 0521772494
  2. Biography at the Dictionary of Canadian Biography Online, accessed September 2009
  3. Hill coolies: a brief exposure of the deplorable condition of the hill coolies,

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