"the upright deportment and sober clothing of city Evangelicals"

The Evangelicals are a branch of the Protestant Church dating back to eighteenth century England. In the nineteenth century a large number of missionary societies flourished, with the aim of converting people to the faith, and more generally of promoting social reform in line with their beliefs.

In England, these societies were particularly active from 1790 to 1830, when organisations such as the Clapham Sect, of which William Wilberforce was a prominent member, fought for the abolition of the slave trade.