Hannah Margaret Stanton

Posted by Jeeva Rajgopaul on

Biographical information


A member of the Liberal Party of South Africa (LPSA) and the Black Sash, political prisoner, worked at Defence and Aid, London, lecturer at Makerere University, in Uganda, teaching theology and caring for students, secretary of the World Conference of Religions for Peace, social worker and theologian

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Teddington, Middlesex, England
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Esher, Surrey, England

Hannah Margaret Stanton was born on 30 November 1913, Teddington, Middlesex, England.

In 1956 she went out to visit her brother, Fr Tom Stanton CR, in South Africa and decided to stay behind and work.

She worked at the Tumelong Anglican mission in Lady Selborne, then a mixed black township on the edge of Pretoria.

Stanton's own role was marginal - letters to the press, membership of the non-racial Liberal Party (LPSA), and so on.

On 30 March 1960 she was arrested and held in the Pretoria prison. The arrest aroused public opinion round the world. Parliamentary questions, diplomatic scurrying and protests followed.

Her own account of nearly two months in prison (Go Well, Stay Well, 1961) deals with her incarceration, resolution and refusal of the 'deal' the High Commissioner, John Maud, brought her; freedom if she agreed to leave the country immediately.

Her cell-mate, Helen Joseph, won her over to the African National Congress (ANC). She was deported in mid-May 1960 and in England she became a great asset to the anti-apartheid campaign and Canon John Collins's Defence and Aid work.

Stanton then went on to Makerere University, in Uganda, teaching theology and caring for students and as secretary of the World Conference of Religions for Peace, as dedicated social worker and lay reader from 1962 to 1970.

Hannah Margaret Stanton passed away on 9 December 1993, in Esher, Surrey, England.



• Independent. (1993). Obituary: Hannah Stanton, online. Available at  https://www.independent.co.uk/news/people/obituary-hannah-stanton-1467939.html . Accessed on 7 February 2018.

Last updated : 13-Jun-2018

This article was produced by South African History Online on 07-Feb-2018

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