William Cobbett cover

photo credits: Wikimedia Commons

William Cobbett

English pamphleteer, farmer and journalist

1763   -   1835

country of citizenship: United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland
language of expression: English
occupation: journalist, farmer, politician, writer, biographer
position held: Member of the 12th Parliament of the United Kingdom, Member of the 11th Parliament of the United Kingdom

William Cobbett (9 March 1763 – 18 June 1835) was an English pamphleteer, farmer, journalist and member of parliament born in Farnham, Surrey. He believed that reforming Parliament, including abolishing "rotten boroughs", would ease the poverty of farm labourers. Relentlessly he sought an end to borough-mongers, sinecurists and "tax-eaters" (meaning a wide class of overpaid or corrupt bureaucrats). He opposed the Corn Laws, which imposed a tax on imported grain. Early in life he was a loyal devotee of King and Country, but he later pushed for radicalism, which helped the Reform Act 1832 and his election that year as one of two MPs for the newly enfranchised borough of Oldham. He strongly advocated of Catholic Emancipation. His polemics cover subjects from political reform to religion. His best known book is Rural Rides (1830, still in print).
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