The Anti-Mormon Riot in Sheffield - December 1884

The following article appeared in The Times dated 8th December 1884. This was just two years after the serious riots that took place against the Salvation Army in Sheffield


A serious anti-Mormon riot took place yesterday at Ellesmere Temperance-hall, Sheffield. For some time Mr. N V. Jarman, who styles himself an ex-Mormon priest, has been addressing meetings in Sheffield, giving his experiences of life in Utah, and making grave charges against the Mormons. A local committee has been assisting him in his crusade. Yesterday a conference of Latter Day Saints was announced to be addressed by Elder John Henry Smith, described as one of the twelve apostles, and president of the European mission, and other elders from Utah. Mr. Jarman, accompanied by nearly 500 sympathisers, marched to the hall, where they at once took possession. Elder Smith rising to speak, Jarman shouted opprobrious epithets at him, the crowd hooted, and a sturdy attempt was made to carry the platform.

Two policemen made a plucky stand against the rioters, and shortly afterwards Inspector Smith and a strong force of constabulary arrived. Meanwhile, the Mormon elders, who were all muscular men of unusual height and strength, were making a stubborn resistance and the uproar was terrific. Ultimately the police ejected Jarman, and several others by the front door and, taking possession of the platform, began to clear the hall. Jarman, and his friends, however, re-entered by a side door, fought their way to the back of the platform, and made a determined effort to sweep off both the elders and police. Ultimately, after a series of severe struggles, the Jarman party were ousted from the ball. One man had his head cut open, another is stated to have received an ugly wound in the forehead, one of the elders was injured, and a policeman had a nasty kick on the kneecap. The Jarman, party held several outdoor gatherings amid much excitement, and shortly before 6 in the evening, when a second conference was to be held, they again returned to the attack, this time in larger numbers, and so threateningly that the Mormon elders decided to abandon the conference altogether.

The only other references that I have of the riot is a firstly brief mention in the Daily News dated 8th December 1884. It was accompanied by a sobering account of the distress and misery that was being inflicted on the working people of Sheffield.

and secondly a fuller account that appears in the Birmingham Daily Post dated 9th December 1884

I have also been able to find out how and why the Ellesmere Temperance Hall came into being. The following cutting is from The Sheffield and Rotherham Independent dated 26th August 1867

"keep thy tongue from evil and thy lips from speaking evil"  – St Mary’s Church Whitby


The Sheffield and Rotherham Independent dated 26th August 1867

The Times dated 8th December 1884

Daily News dated 8th December 1884.

Birmingham Daily Post dated 9th December 1884

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