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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, 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). Provided by Wikipedia