William Cobbett

''William Cobbett'', portrait in oils, possibly by [[George Cooke (painter)|George Cooke]], about 1831 [[National Portrait Gallery (London)|National Portrait Gallery]], London William Cobbett (9 March 1763 – 18 June 1835) was an English pamphleteer, independent journalist, Member of Parliament and farmer born in Farnham, Surrey. He, with a popular agrarian faction, argued that reforming Parliament, including abolishing "rotten boroughs", unnecessary foreign activity and suppression of wages would promote internal peace and ease the poverty of farm labourers and smallholders. He was among the pre-party lobbies who backed lower taxes, saving and preferably reversing enclosure of the commons and resistance to the 1821-adopted gold standard.

He relentlessly sought an end to borough-mongers, sinecurists and "tax-eaters" (overpaid and sometimes corrupt bureaucrats, public servants and stockbrokers), also dismissing British Jews in a typecast by the same token. Early in life he was a soldier and loyal devotee of King and country, but he later pushed for Radicalism, which helped bring about the Reform Act 1832 and his election that year as one of two MPs for the newly enfranchised borough of Oldham. He also strongly advocated Catholic Emancipation. He surveyed British agriculture and other economic output geographically. His much-interwoven polemics cover subjects from political reform to religion. His best known book is ''Rural Rides'' (1830, still in print). He argued that economic improvement could support growth in global population, as an anti-Malthusian. His writing coined the metaphor "a red herring". Provided by Wikipedia
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by Cobbett, William, 1763-1835.
Published 2013
Available via EBSCO eBook Collection
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