Initially the emerging Christadelphian movement gained most growth in Britain to the extent that prior to his death the founder John Thomas planned to move across. In fact he died in March 1871 before this was completed, but had bought the house in Olton, Warwickshire, five miles from Birmingham, that can be seen in this picture in preparation for the move.
This is a picture of the first recorded fraternal meeting held by the Christadelphians in a marquee set up in the grounds of his empty house. It is a unique moment between the last days of his life and the events that were to lead to it becoming a fully structured denomination.
The men in this picture were to have the job of taking over where he left off and the picture of unity seen here was to be replaced by intense fracture as they disputed over the need for a codified belief system, the degree to which it should be done, the beliefs considered essential and its organisation.