Robert Stanley, working-class grocer and tea merchant in the north of England, converted to Islam becoming Brother Robert Reschid.

Robert had been twice elected Mayor of Stalybridge in east Manchester from 1874-1876. He went on to become vice chair at Britain’s first mosque in Liverpool, but after his death his family kept his religious conversion quiet.

Discover the compelling tale of this hidden Victorian Muslim as told by siblings Christina and Steven Longden, the great-great-great grandchildren of Robert Stanley, who unearthed their ancestor’s seemingly swept-over history after it had been kept secret for over 120 years.

About The Speakers

Christina Longden

Christina has written non-fiction about her life with the Kalahari bushmen, as well as northern comedies. Her two latest books are about her great x 3 grandfather – ‘secret’ Victorian Muslim and Mayor of Stalybridge – Robert ‘Reschid’ Stanley. Her brother, Steven also converted to Islam, knowing nothing of his ancestor’s history…

Steven Longden

Steven’s career has included charity work in Bangladesh, Palestine and Lebanon. A teacher today, he is also a Member for Brooklands, Sale (Trafford Council.) Steven converted to Islam in 1990 – nearly a decade before his family unearthed the astounding story of his great x 3 grandfather; a Victorian Muslim convert.

 

 

About The Chair

Lauren Booth

Lauren Booth is a writer and podcaster who lectures and presents workshops internationally. Her first book, ‘Finding Peace in the Holy Land,’ tracks the joys and challenges of becoming Muslim in the West. Her solo play ’Accidentally Muslim’ based on the memoir, premiers at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival 2019.