Marx-Engels Correspondence 1867

Marx To Engels
In Manchester

Source: MECW Volume 42, p. 501;
First published: abridged in Der Briefwechsel zwischen F. Engels und K. Marx, Stuttgart, 1913 and in full in MEGA, Berlin, 1930.

[London,] 14 December 1867

Dear Fred,

This latest Fenian exploit[*] in Clerkenwell is a great folly. The London masses, who have shown much sympathy for Ireland, will be enraged by it and driven into the arms of the government party. One cannot expect the London proletarians to let themselves be blown up for the benefit of Fenian emissaries. Secret, melodramatic conspiracies of this kind are, in general, more or less doomed to failure.

I received the money on Monday and paid Borkheim his 45 back together with 1 1s for inquiry fees.

Would you do me a favour and inquire of Ernest Jones the most appropriate way of marrying civiliter in London, in doctorscommons or where, as Laura is to marry at the beginning of April. As it is not to be a church wedding, it was originally intended that the marriage should take place in Paris. That is, however, complicated. I should have to prove my identity there and, in so doing, might strike the police as being a little too familiar. On the other hand, my wife would like the civil marriage to take place, if in London, as far as possible in secret, as she wants no gossip among her English acquaintances. Please also ask Jones what the position is regarding the consent of Lafargue’s parents? Whether it must previously be countersigned by the envoy (would that be the English one?) in Paris? I know that the formality is not necessary in England. It is, however, indispensable for the marriage to be valid according to French law as well. So, none of the formalities must be neglected in this respect.

What is the position regarding witnesses in England?

Nothing from the Zukunft yet. It is a pity these papers are so small in format, especially at a time when their columns are so full of parliamentary filibustering.

Our friend Stumpf is obviously a great muddle-head.

Siebel returned enclosed. He is mistaken about Lange. The latter must ‘buy’ the book [Capital] and will surely already have bought it long ago.

The quid pro quo with Heinrich is indeed most amusing.


K. Moor

On 13 December 1867 a group of Fenians attempted to free Fenian leaders from Clerkenwell Prison with a bomb which only destroyed a number of neighbouring houses, killing a few people and wounding hundreds. The British press used the occasion for a campaign of anti-Irish hysteria.